Pages tagged “cambridge”

29 Mar 2022

Nocturnal visitors

Working at my cobbled-together-for-covid-still-totally-fine makeshift standing desk in the kitchen a few nights ago, I was distracted by a peculiar noise. Like somebody with a cold hyperventilating, and coming from the bottom of the thick beech hedge alongside our garden, it was loud enough for me to hear it even though the windows and door were closed. I swung the door open and was astonished to see a long, black and white striped face fossicking along: a badger!

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28 Oct 2018

Am I on time?

Is there something which will tell me - while I’m riding a bike - whether I’m on time for a train? Even if I could find the right app, fiddling with a smartphone isn’t an option: it’s already cold enough in Cambridge that I’m wearing gloves on my pedal-based commute. My Garmin Edge GPS offers “ETA”, can be operated with gloves on, can follow a track and offers “training mode”, all of which seems promising.

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16 Feb 2018

Blue-toothed yellowbike

Australian bird names (the English names, anyway) are often enjoyably “say what you see”. A long time ago Sarah and I spent an unforgettable time in Oz, up close and personal with a lot of wildlife. We imagined the early colonists, privileged first Westerners (or Easterners, depending how you measure it) seeing species for the first time and being the ones to pick names for the new things. It’s feeding on honey?

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18 Jan 2018

The Wind in the Willows

Honoured to be invited for lunch in Trinity Hall today. I got to see the Trinity Hall Prime in the SCR and met some friends for a catch up. On the way over Garret Hostel Bridge the evidence of last night’s storm was viscerally obvious. With reference to the title of this blog post (I’m no dendrologist)… this is (was!) a willow tree, right? [Full size image]

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19 Nov 2015

Cam coffee cams

I’m lucky to work with a great friend who is one of the inventors of the webcam. I spend quite a bit of time on video calls with him - obviously, though a webcam. The original application of the webcam was, as is well known, looking at a coffee pot. Today I was pleased to have an opportunity to use this coffee-related invention to capture a mugshot of its inventor drinking coffee from a mug which commemorates the invention.

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13 Apr 2015

Quirk of the calendar?

Today I saw my first swallows of the year, over our house - and earlier I heard my first willow warblers in the woods near Cambridge’s guided busway. Sort of remarkable that these two springtime events happened on the same day, two years in a row. They arrived one day earlier this year: clear evidence of global warming, for sure. Or perhaps it’s just a quirk of the calendar: I usually cycle past the woods on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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14 Apr 2014

Feathery phenology

Three bird-related happenings in Cambridge today. saw my first, solitary swallow of the year, seven months and seven days since they were gathering to head south heard my first willow warblers of the year, near Girton it seems that peregrine falcons are nesting on the University Library building Spring is springing…

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18 Jun 2013

Further brainery

Earlier this week I volunteered again at the MRC Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. This time I had my performance measured in two types of task, before and after transcranial direct current stimulation. Did having a current of about 2000mA passed through my occipital lobe lateral occipital cortex for 20 minutes improve my performance? I’m not supposed to say, I’m afraid. Like last time, it wasn’t entirely a pleasant experience, especially having electrodes and electricity in yer heed.

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01 Jun 2013

Signage sightings

Since I work in a related industry, I feel a sort of heightened awareness towards all types of signage. A couple of examples I’ve seen recently around Cambridge. The first one, from a barber’s shop, had me wondering how a restyle from short to long would go. The second one appears to have happened accidentally, but I wonder if the proprietors of the Prince of (W)ales in Hilton, Cambridgeshire, have decided to leave things as they are: quite striking!

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