I can’t believe London was over a week ago – time is flying by so quickly this summer. As usual, almost all of my time has been spent writing my thesis. It is starting to come together after many hours, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Back to London!
I ended up on a ridiculously early flight on Thursday morning, so there was a lot of time to explore and chill out. I went to the Natural History Museum just before it opened at 10 in the morning – for some reason I had been to the Science Museum twice but never the Natural History Museum. I was starting to see why as soon as I got to the front door. There was a massive queue by the time I had arrived, and it was getting busier as time went on. Once I made it in the door I could see why it was so popular. There was so much to see, and I ended up only scratching the surface after about three hours. Crowds aren’t my thing and by lunchtime there were so many people that they had merged into one giant moving mass that I did not want to be anywhere near. And not just any ordinary crowds, these were London crowds. Hundreds of people all trying to get where they want to go with no regard or awareness of other people with different goals.
Aside from the people, the museum was great. My highlights were the gems and precious metals section, and the earthquakes and volcanoes section. There was an earthquake simulator built to look like a supermarket in Kobe, Japan, during a massive earthquake in 1995 which had a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter Scale. It left over 5,000 people dead, over 300,000 people homeless, and cost an estimated £100 billion damage to houses, factories, and infrastructure. That was all very interesting, but I’m forgetting one of the best parts of the museum: the Attenborough Studio.
The Attenborough Studio, named obviously for Richard Attenborough and his role in cloning extinct dinosaurs, is a fairly intimate lecture space, seating 64 people and allowing for a lot of audience interaction with the speakers. I dropped in for a talk by an archaeologist who was studying the teeth of children who died hundreds of years ago. By looking the teeth of children, you can determine if there was a particularly stressful period in their early lives, such as illness and fever, and a huge line is left over from childbirth. During periods of sickness or physiological stress such as malnutrition, the body stops enamel production, leaving furrows or pits that can be measured to estimate the duration of the stressor. The process is known as enamel hypoplasia, and is a part of bioarchaeology. The room was small, and despite the large number of visitors in the museum, the seats in the studio weren’t filled. The atmosphere was great though, as it reminded me of the Royal Institution Christmas lectures, where people were truly enthusiastic about the subject matter, and happy to answer any questions.
I made it to the fabled Comedy Store on Thursday night which was an excellent experience. There was an interesting line-up, including Jarred Christmas, a Norwegian guy, a new guy, and some other funny people. Clearly this all made a huge impact on me. It was good though, and the MC, Ben Norris, was hilarious. The amount of piss that was taken out of everyone in the front row was unbelievable. The Norwegian, Harald (of course), wasn’t too bad. His act had the potential of being funny, but it was the first time he was performing it in English and the timings and punchlines didn’t necessarily work out. The actual line-up was Jarred Christmas, Charlie Baker, Paul Zerdin plus special guest and open spot Harald Roenneberg. Paul Zerdin is an amazing ventriloquist, and finished up the show by using an audience member as a dummy, to great effect.
I’m starting to run out of steam again, and just want to get this post finished. I’m still going to blame my thesis, though now the introduction is almost finished, as is methods and materials. It’s coming together finally. And I sold my first ring! Newforge Rings is in business, and if you are looking for an interesting coin ring at all, head over to my Etsy shop. AND Ordinary Decent Gamer just passed the three year mark. Woohoo! So much to celebrate, but instead, I’m going to sit down and write some more gumph about kidney disease.