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Personal Development

I have decided to keep a log of what I learn each day. Being a postgrad is difficult. You often feel isolated and demotivated. Mostly, you feel as though you are not achieving anything. I have heard many a postgrad say that they feel they are actually "getting more stupid" as their PhD progresses...

I have found a solution! I feel that no day is a waste if I have learned something or tried something new. Now, I try to tailor that, "something new", towards my PhD. I am keeping a log of what I have discovered here, that others may read it and be inspired.. or at least, learn something new, for themselves that day ;)

here goes....

  • young people really do care...

  • 13/09/2009:
    The "elephant ear", a common decorative garden plant in South Africa, is also the source of a popular Taiwanese dessert... Taro. In this format, they look like small purple Christmas ornaments with a texture appearing similar to sweet potato. The taste, after warming for ~10 minutes in a hot oven, is of creamy-crumbly vanilla. A healthy alternative to ice-cream :)

  • 04/02/2009:
    The surest way to stop your colleagues from "borrowing" your pen, is to visit the beautiful Warwick Castle and buy yourself a giant feather quill pen - prefferably in bright pink.

  • 05/02/2009:
    * Fossils of prehistoric reptiles possessing two front feet have been found, confirming the evolutionary link between extinct sea-going reptiles and modern serpents.
    * The largest snake on record is a fossil of a 13 m long python found in Columbia.
    * The approximate average daily temperature of that time could be calculated relative to the size of such a cold-blooded reptile, as cold blooded animals growth is limited by the maximum temperature of their surroundings. Hence Columbia's average temperature at that time must have been 30 - 32 °C, compared with today's average of 28 °C.

  • 06/02/2009:
    * 2H2O is the correct written form of deuterium, not the popularised D2O version. With the superscript 2 denoting the isotope, as normal.
    * Significant parts of the neanderthal genome have been successfully sequenced from genetic material taken from a thigh bone found in Croatia.
    * The A46 is the main road between Stratford-upon-avon and Coventry.

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