Archive for April, 2013

Yesterday on my lunch break I took a walk past the lakes at the university I work at. It was a glorious day and the sun was rather warm. I walked across a small wooden bridge and looked down at the murky water beneath. I was thrilled to not only spot one, but two other turtles, and about three eels swimming past. The animals became more visible as they passed from the darkened waters beneath my shadow into the sunlit water. I observed one particular turtle that surfaced beneath my shadow and poked its head out of the water (with eyes clearly visible) as if looking at me – maybe the turtle thought I was going to throw some food in. I also observed two turtles swimming together. The eels as they swam past moved gracefully. They are fascinating animals I thought.

Further on my walk to the other side of the lake, I observed a Little Pied Cormorant perched on a tree branch over hanging the lake and also later one in the water (it may have been the same individual that I observed). And I was also lucky to observed and photograph what I think was an Oriental Darter (due to the bird’s long neck) perched on a submerged branch/log. I watch the bird clean its feather with its bill and then open its beak and squark. This was the first time I had heard an Oriental Darter make a sound.

And along with these animals, I observed a myriad of water birds (Moorhens, Swamphens, White Ibis and duck) on or around the lakes.

What an awesome way to spend your lunch break – observing wildlife!










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I was going to take a look at the fungi I observed on 15 April, to see if the caps had emerged from their sheaths, but I was disappointed to see that they had been mown down. Damn!!

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Yesterday while walking to work, I observed a number of mushrooms amongst grass on a lawn area near the sandstone columned central court of the university I work at. The mushrooms were of a creamy and dark brown colour . The caps had yet to emerge from the sheaths. Perhaps the cap will have emerged over night.


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Career Opportunities

Lipstick On My Lab Coat

Career Opportunities by The Clash

The offered me the office, offered me the
They said I’d better take anything they’d got
Do you wanna make tea at the BBC?
Do you wanna be, do you really wanna be a cop?

Career opportunities are the ones that never knock
Every job they offer you is to keep you out the dock
Career opportunity, the ones that never knock

I hate the army an’ I hate the R.A.F.
I don’t wanna go fighting in the tropical heat
I hate the civil service rules
And I won’t open letter bombs for you

Bus driver….ambulance man….ticket inspector

They’re gonna have to introduce conscription
They’re gonna have to take away my prescription
If they wanna get me making toys
If they wanna get me, well, I got no choice


Ain’t never gonna knock

Quite fitting really. I started a new…

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Lipstick On My Lab Coat

Following on from my post Margaret Thatcher from yesterday, I have been contemplating the diverse reactions to her death, my seemingly disparate views regarding her impact as a woman in politics,as a scientist and her conservative politics and the philosophy behind the Punk movement (partially in reaction to Thatcherism). The Clash songs, “The Guns of Brixton” and “Know Your Rights” have been playing in my head.

Margaret Thatcher’s death is certainly a very contentious matter in the UK and the world. And for myself. I was raised in a liberal, left wing family with an English father. I heard of the impact of Margaret Thatcher, her policies and the Tory party on the UK from a young age. I am a big fan of British Punk band The Clash (and the Sex Pistols but to a lesser extent) and their political views. I am fascinated by…

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On my drive to the train station this morning I was surprised to hear that Margaret Thatcher had passed away. I did not agree with her politics (in fact my political beliefs are on the opposite side of the political spectrum), but I do admire her as a pioneering woman in politics and as a female scientist. She was the first female prime minister of Great Britain and she was very tough and formidable leader and politician. She took the country to war in the Falklands. She was a trained chemist, and a lawyer, and a mother. For all my opposition to her politics, I still admire what she represented – women can succeed in politics and play a very active role in the governance of a country.

Related articles –
Margaret Thatcher the iron lady chemist and prime minister

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