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Ouch! - There's something about Mary... — LiveJournal

May. 26th, 2011 06:16 pm Ouch!

 So, I had a  great time yesterday on my physics day out, but I am well and truly paying the price today.

Pleased I managed to do the day, but, my muscular pain is rather excruciating today as a result.  On the plus side, not too long ago I wouldn't have even contemplated such an outing, so it's another data point as evidence that I am slowly but surely beating the M.E.

I am distracting myself from the muscle pain by reminding myself of the fact I managed a 2 hour train journey, a stroll round a gallery, a mile walk, a day of fun, a mile walk back, evening drinks, and then another 2 hour train journey.  I am so glad to have done it that my feelings of happiness (well, them and large quantities of painkillers) are sufficient to get me through today.

Buses (and even local trains) are a nightmare still, in terms of my muscle fatigue, so I avoid them at all costs.  But, smooth, inter-city trains are becoming more and more manageable these days, provided I rest the day before, and the day after.  I think I shall try to plan another London trip in the not too distant future - I do love being there, even though I wouldn't want to live down there again.
Quite a busy day today, so the rest I need isn't really an option!  It was nearly 2am before I fell asleep last night, and I was up at 8am-ish to get ready for my first client at 9.30am.  I am resting partially at least, by limiting myself to non-physical tasks today - the washing and cleaning will have to wait!  Still, I have plenty of non-physical tasks to keep me busy: coaching clients, students to teach, a magazine to proof-read and send back to the editor, etc.
Looking forward to 8pm when my 11 hour working day will be over.  I shall do the washing-up in 2 halves I think, taking a break part way through to rest.  And once I have done that and had my dinner, I shall settle down in front of the TV to watch the one dose of trash I enjoy, 'The Apprentice', which I recorded last night.
I forecast an early bedtime for me today though :-)
And what was so great about yesterday that I was willing to go through agony today for it?
Well, some great physics for a start...
Talks covered: 
- the case against climate change being anthropological - there was none - the speaker was a nut-case!
- Thermodynamics of the climate system - full of lots of lovely equations, and leaving me with the thought that I really should look back over my university thermodynamics notes as it has become rather rusty in my head over time. (Mental note: look up Lorenz energy cycles).
- Climate mitigation - sustainable preferences; cumulative carbon issues, etc
- The prediction and observation of volcanic ash clouds during the last eruption - rather relevant, as it turned out.
- Bioelectromagnetics - health problems we hadn't foreseen - get rid of DECT phones was the speaker's main point, but it was a thought-provoking talk on dangers we should be mindful of around pulsed EM waves.
- Brining Environmental physics into the classroom - with pretty pictures and live data - fun!  Check out: www.UniverseChallenge.org
- Short presentations by some essay prize-winners, one of whom looked at the physics of environmentally-friendly transport, illustrating how much more efficient the idea of a solar panel array in the Sahara is, powering EVs, than using biofuels would be.  And he included a striking comparison of motor efficiency with IC engine efficiency as well - guess which wins by a mile?!  Surprisingly, the energy losses transporting the electricity from a solar PV array, via long distance DC cables, are only 10%.
- Geoengineering the Climate - this was basically a summary of the Royal Society study of different ways we could combat climate change by geo-engineering, e.g. big mirrors to reflect sunlight away from the earth.  Whilst this is an alternative to reducing emissions, the general conclusion was that it is a pretty poor plan B, fraught with problems.

What else was great?  
Getting to spend a whole day with my 'physics-soul-mate', and all-round lovely person, S (with no LJ).  It is rare that I get to spend a whole day in his company and it was a real pleasure.  It is always good to be around someone who really 'gets' me, and who challenges my thinking, as I hope I challenge his.  If you are reading this, S, thanks for a lovely time :-)
And then I got to catch up with mymatedave, who dropped in to see me while I was at the pub on Euston station waiting for my train.  He and I gave S homework, in the form of a list of books to read, and then continued an enjoyable chat after S had gone to catch his train back to Manchester (which was slightly earlier than my Manchester train).
The stimulation of yesterday has left me yearning for the science festival all the more - but I have to wait until September - dammit!  
It also left me feeling regret at how much physics I have forgotten - I don't feel that I use my brain to its fullest potential these days.  I really must do better in that regard.
- - - -
Physics, my love...
oh, how I have missed you!
I didn't mean to leave you...
life got in the way,
you know how it is.
Have we lost what we once had?
What I once had?
No.  But it has faded.
I cling to the memories...
trying to bring them back into focus,
along with the physics I left behind.
My mind has dulled.
When did that happen?
My memories of intellect,
a reflection of my former self.

Love, they say, is a kind of madness
and my thirst for knowledge engulfs me once more.

I resolve to study more physics...
just like I resolved last year.
But will I?

10 comments - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Next Entry


Date:May 26th, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
Wish i was there to massage those aching limbs for you. Will be on Saturday if you are still sore :)
Date:May 26th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks love. I fully intend to be recovered by then though :-)
Date:May 26th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
What a beautiful post. I am glad that you have become closet yo your first love again :) s Xx
Date:May 26th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, time to dig out the uni physics text-books again I think.

Funnily enough, I ordered the latest editions of some of them a couple of year back, when my M.E. was starting to affect my brain less and I wanted to start challenging my brain cells again...

But then, instead of reading my physics books, I started on my coaching diploma(s) instead, and trained in a whole new profession (so you could say I got a bit distracted).

I have loved all the psychology I have studied, and I love doing my coaching; just as I love the physics teaching I do (albeit only teaching up to A level physics).

But, my first love, of *learning* physics, is still there, never to be forgotten, always able to excite me.

So, time to read some more physics baby! *bounce*

Mary x
Date:May 26th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
It was really nice to meet you again as well, and thank you very much for telling me all about the Science festival this coming September. If you do get a chance to read any of those books I recommended I would love to hear your thoughts on them.
Date:May 26th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
I have ordered "An Optimist's Tour of the Future" by Mark Stevenson.

And I have already read "Bad Science" by Ben Goldacre (though S hadn't, and I think he will).

Remind me, was there another book you recommended? My memory fails me (I blame the 2 large glasses of wine!).

Mary x
Date:May 27th, 2011 11:40 am (UTC)
It might have been Richard Wiseman's recent book, or possibly a scifi one that I was going to get soon. But nothing else comes to mind.
Date:May 27th, 2011 11:41 am (UTC)
I'm glad you had a great day out and hope the recovery process continues. That sounds like an interested event - but why oh why does everybody feel the need to give the, ahem, outliers so much opportunity to produce themselves?
Date:May 27th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
Great post, I'm glad you are managing to keep on top of your ME.

Like the poem. It is difficult to retain knowledge of something you don't use every day/week - do you teach physics?

Date:May 27th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
Have seen above you do still teach physics so you can ignore that question.