Some FnH fic
Lucy's head was pouding, she felt like she was about to be sick. Was going drinking in Eastreach with the clansmen really such a good idea? They knew how to party and she knew how to cause a situation requiring a party it seemed. She would probably regret it in the morning but it wasn't morning yet.

Morning...the passage of time was a bit fuzzy after attempting to drink the Eastreach Militia under the table but she had a funny feeling it might not be far off. Maybe the offer of the guest room might not be needed, she could just go home now perhaps? Despite the great evil being defeated there could still be bandits and foulspawn out there. She absent mindedly drew her sword, when it suddenly occured to her it was useless.

"It lasts until dawn"

The faint blue glow was still there. It was starting to fade, it wouldn't be much longer. Suddenly Lucy forgot the incoming hangover from hell and climbed onto the wall. She could see a fair way from here, and sat there thinking. These lands are all safe now, thanks to him. Thanks to us.

She sat and stared. Her family were now safe. Everyone was safer than they were yesterday. This was definitely a good thing, but the blue glow was fading and it was slowly getting light. She started at her sword harder, trying to will the sun not to rise. But not even the Huntsmaster can stop the rising sun, and after an hour or so it burst over the hills and the faint blue light went out.

The little piece of his soul was gone, and so was a bigger part of hers.

ow. My feet.
I tried wearing normal for normal women shoes today, the result was so much pain I coulnd't walk properly. Went home to change into my lovely comfy MBTs.

I recently got into MBTs and similar due to knee pain getting worse. I later discovered a couple of cheaper brands which I've now tried - Sketchers and Everest, I will compare them here.

The MBTs do actually work for knee pain. This is somewhat suprising given the other outlandish claims they make. For example, the claim that you have to learn to walk in them and it takes ages. Um no, the first pair was probably easier to walk in than any other shoes I've had. This just seems like some ridiculous circus to enhance any placebo effect they might bring. Apparently people who have jobs requiring them to be on their feet a lot often swear by them - I can't imagine why as standing up still-ish for long periods of time is the one situation where they really suck - the instability is IMHO an annoying side effect of the sole design which makes them more comfortable to walk in, definitely not a feature. They did fix my knees but I also found I started having back pain, I have no idea if this was caused by them or would have happened anyway.

Sketchers make much weaker claims to work miracles on pain and just peddle some bullshit about weight loss. Since I have no interest in weight loss you might think they would be useless - in fact I think they're better than MBTs! No knee or back pain, and no annoying nearly falling over all the time either! They're about 1/3 of the price and more comfortable, the only disadvantage is the narrower range of styles. All of them are sporty footwear and few are black which does not really go with my usual style of toned-down goth at all. The ones I got have purple bits on, that'll do!

The other brand I've tried are Everest, much, much cheaper. They seem OK, not worn them long enough to notice anything annoying like back pain. They're much cheaper and nastier made and the sole is a straightforward rocker sole rather than the squishy heel MBTs and Sketchers have. The sandals have a very unstable sole, the shoes much more stable. Not sure why.

The only way I can think any of these shoes could possibly help with weight loss is if the person buying them avoids walking because of some pain that the shoes fix. They definitely do not make each step more effort. For effort, try going back to heels where every step causes as much challenge and pain as climbing a small mountain.

Maybe that's why some brands think you need to learn how to use them - if after weeks of living in MBTs I can barely walk in heels, maybe people who buy MBTs because they've trashed their joints pottering around in heels have similar problems with the opposite transition.

Edit: I suspect the reason that MBTs work miracles on some people (I don't refer to all people they benefit) is because the some people in question refuse to wear any shoes other than trendy brands which claim to work miracles of making you sexier. Ordinary flat shoes would solve the problems just as well, but the women I'm talking about would never buy them. However, a brand claiming trendy magic science and claiming to make you slim and beautiful is something they're prepared to buy. And the weight loss claim might be to do with calf muscles getting more stretched by flat shoes than heels, but as I just implied, the same also goes for any flat shoes that don't have weird soles, probably more so.

I have ordered Ryn and Gumbies, I will be very interested to see how they compare. Everything I've heard about Ryn suggests they're better. Ryn apparently claim you have to watch a DVD before wearing the shoes which seems like more placebo theatre.

CERN: not filtered by the press office
This entry is at least partly a rant.

This does not mean I believe CERN to be, on the balance of things, a bad organisation. It does a lot of great work which I hope will continue for a long time. However, I am having a bad experience. This is the truth that CERN rarely admits: CERN isn't for everyone. I do not want to work here long-term after I've finished my current course, although I can think of things that might tempt me to stay in the unlikely event that I got a fellowship (but nothing longer). If you have a good life where you are, I would not recommend CERN to you.

Here's the bit I'll probably get lynched for: I think the international community thing adds NOTHING to my experience. If I choose to get to know someone it's because of who they are (and they might be a different nationality, I don't care about that either way any more than I care about how many vowels are in the name of the road where they live), not so I can brag about how many different countries I have friends from (for the record it', seriously, I haven't even counted and don't care enough to bother doing so). And if you really do want to be able to brag about having friends from X different countries, you don't even need to go to CERN, any university department is like that. I came her for physics, not because I want a career in international relations but got rejected by the UN.

There is not a wide range of activities here. If you think there is, try actually looking through the societies list of any British university. Some are a factor of 10 higher, and have a much broader range of categories (i.e. cannot be categorised into "sports and exercise", "music", "arts & literature" and have more than 2 active groups left over).

Another recent brag was women's day and finding nearly enough women to run the place for a day. Well done CERN, you noticed that women work here. Now how about bring the concept of the Womens' Club into the 21st century? Not all women here are bored housewives dragged along by husbands who work at CERN. What about the women who work here so can't play bridge or go walking during working hours? Or wives of CERN employees who have found jobs but still want to join in with stuff? Or some even more progressive thoughts: why not provide something for husbands who have been dragged along by their CERN employed partner (who may or may not be a woman)?

For somewhere that brags about one type of diversity, I see very little lacking in other areas.

for Ada Lovelace Day
I'm going to write about an unsung heroine who was one of my undergraduate lecturers - Dr Helen Heath at the University of Bristol.

Helen Heath is a lecturer at the University of Bristol and working on the CMS experiment at CERN. I would like to clarify that merely being a woman in physics is not something I consider a major achievement for reasons expressed very well in this blog . Malicious and/or intentional sex discrimination in particle physics seems to be somewhere between rare and non-existant, problems arise with far more subtle problems like how having children can harm your career. Helen Heath has three children and has a successful career in physics and still takes on extra activities! Her husband is a particle physics professor so it's not like he's stayed at home while she does the hard work.

Her "extra curricular" (can you use that phrase for the lecturers?) activities read like someone desperate to get into a top job, not someone who already has one. At the moment she holds titles of "Director of Studies & Schools Liaison Officer". I'm not sure what "director of studies" involves but when I was there she was in charge of second year. Previous duties have involved admissions tutor (I believe it may have been her who started the legendary free pizza for applicants and any undergrads wishing to help on the open days!) and chair of staff student committee.

She is probably the most keen member of the department for outreach work, I remember a science event in a local shopping centre which had an excellent contribution from the particle physics group. Unlike many academic staff she treated undergraduates as human and people who may have a genuine interest in physics, and undergrads have been recuited to take part in outreach activities when most academics don't think to use anyone below PhD students.

As a result she is one of my main role models (although I'm not so sure I want any children, let alone 3). I'm not saying she should be a worldwide celebrity and should be considered a better role model than more famous people, I believe every university should have an inspirational figure like her to provide a role model for its students.

Penny Jackson, DPhil student in Particle Physics (I actually do accelerator physics), University of Oxford/CERN.


Log in

No account? Create an account