frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Merlin - Gwen - hair)
My degree results come out tomorrow.

Tomorrow.

And first they make us go to the zoology department and have a year-group photo and then there is a reception "during which you will have the chance to chat to your Examiners and lecturers" and then we get our results. And then we go back to college and see our tutors. It's a little... sadistic.

I might not even attempt sleep tonight. Not sure it's going to happen.
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Neal 1)
Hello LJ. Let me share my exam paper from today with you, which I'm totally counting as #8 on my #100things list. (I would tell you to think of it as a birthday present, but I'm not quite that bad a friend.)

For context: You answer two questions in the three hours. This whole exam paper is brand-new: we're the lucky year who get to be guinea-pigs to see whether it works. As such, there were no mock papers, no one knew any guidelines, and we've been explicitely told that the examiners have no model answers to compare ours against. FUN.

1. Are all taxa successful?
2. What benefits will new technologies bring to our understanding of biology?
3. If life exists on other planets, what features would you expect it to share with life on Earth?
4. What is the most significant scientific challenge now facing biology, and why?
5. Will biology become more reductionist as knowledge increases?
6. What role do parasites and pathogens play in biology?
7. Is an understanding of statistical methods essential for biologists?
8. Are all species doomed to extinction?
9. How do organisms respond to stress and how are these responses similar across taxa?
10. Is homeostasis an essential attribute of living things?
11. Are organisms well-designed?
12. What is the evidence for evolution?

So yeah XD (I answered #4 and #8.)

Then I went and hung around in the botanic gardens with Conrad and Seb and Seb's brother where I did a lot less revision than they did and ate strawberries. So that was very nice and de-stressing :)

Only two days left. I CAN DO THIS.
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Zundry - bobtail squid)
One exam down. I am very wiped out, but I answered questions, which is a good thing. Send pictures of baby animals and Neal Caffrey.

Because I wouldn't be me if I wasn't geeking out about random bits of biological experiments, this was my favourite question:

"In older experiments aimed at testing the hypothesis that bees estimate distance from energy consumption, worker bees were made to carry small weights. The bees struggled even to gain height when loaded, and overestimated the distance that they had travelled. It was concluded that the bees were using their energy consumption to estimate distance. Provide an alternative explanation of these results."

They put little weights on bees and made them fly around, you guys!! :D Sadly the paper doesn't reference it, so I don't know what the weights were made of...

I don't have an exam tomorrow, and I'm really tired, so I shall now drink wine and pretend that there isn't at least one person I badly want to murder.

frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Eternal Law - Tom - pillow)
THAT WAS THE WORST EXAM IN THE HISTORY OF EXAMS AND ORAL EXAMS ARE THE WORST THING IN THE HISTORY OF EVER.

*SCREAMS SOME MORE*

I'M GOING TO GO WRITE FANFIC NOW OKAY.
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Default)
So, I had my three-hour stats exam. It went okay, I think - I'm pretty sure I passed, and that's really all I'm aiming for at this point. Now I'm back to reading about ants in prep for the viva voce tomorrow. I'm really not looking forward about that. Gah, I hate oral exams.

--

I was probably going to post a snippet from the Newsflesh series eventually anyway, but I was reccing them to [livejournal.com profile] sholio so they're on my mind. There's Feed, Deadline, and I'm currently waiting for Blackout to be released in a couple of week's time. They're about government conspiricies and a group of young adults who run a news website. And zombies. They're very good.

#4
At least Becks was being smart about her stupidity and was using a crowbar to poke the zombie, which greatly improved her chances of survival. She'd managed to sink the clawed end under the zombie's collarbone, which was really a pretty effective defensive measure. The zombie would eventually realize that it couldn't move forward. When that happened, it would pull away, either yanking the crowbar out of her hands or dislocating its own collarbone, and then it would try coming at her from another angle. Given the intelligence of your average zombie, I figured she had about an hour before she really needed to be concerned. Plenty of time. It was a thrilling scene. Woman versus zombie, locked in a visceral conflict that's basically ground into our cultural DNA by this point.

When you're going out to play with dead things, do it during the daylight. They don't see as well in bright light as humans do, and they don't hide as well when they don't have the shadows helping them. More important, the footage will be better. If you're gonna die, make sure you do it on camera.

- Deadline, by Mira Grant
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Writing - Universe)
I've just handed in my viva powerpoint slides, and tomorrow I have a stats exam. But in five weeks it'll all be over.

I'm actually walking round the house in my black heels today because I pretty only wear heels as part of subfusc and I've forgotten how to walk in them :P I'm smooth. I also forgot to get a white carnation over the weekend - anyone know what time the covered market opens? I'm guessing 9, which would give me enough time to get one before the exam. Also, so glad I get to do my exams in a room by myself in college, rather than in Schools.

---

I was wondering how to do the quotes from 100things which are from fiction books. I've decided that I'll do this by picking bits from near the beginnings of the books, and which don't give away plot spoilers. Is this an okay way to handle it, do you think?

#3
I was born in a water moon. Some people, especially its inhabitants, called it a planet, but as it was only a little over two hundred kilometres in diameter 'moon' seems the more accurate term. The moon was made entirely of water, by which I mean it was a globe that not only had no land, but no rock either, a sphere with no solid core at all, just liquid water, all the way down to the very centre of the globe.

If it had been much bigger the moon would have had a core of ice, for water, though supposedly incompressible, is not entirely so, and will change under extremes of pressure to become ice. (If you are used to living on a planet where ice floats on the surface of water, this seems odd and even wrong, but nevertheless it is the case.) This moon was not quite of a size for an ice core to form, and therefore one could, if one was sufficiently hardy, and adequately proof against the water pressure, make one's way down, through the increasing weight of water above, to the very centre of the moon.

Where a very strange thing happened.

- Iain M. Banks, The Algebraist

This is nearly my favourite of his books. (Excession and Look To Windward narrowly beat it.) I love the way he puts little things in near the start, like this whole I was born in a water moon section, which you know are important, but you just can't quite figure out how until later.

it's over

Jun. 24th, 2010 10:29 pm
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Evolution > CGI)
I have finished my exams.  Seriously, I cannot express my relief at this coherently enough or completely enough - they have eaten up my life for the past month and a half of revision and now they are GONE.  And I don't think I did too badly.  Evolution & Systematics definitely went better than Plants & Microbes, but I was expecting that.  I think I got phytochrome(red) and phytochrome(far red) the wrong way round, which worries me a lot, but I probably should stop worrying about it.

I had the most lovely awesome post-exam meeting ever.  Since I have an official doctory note stating that I am a Very Special Snowflake I take my exams in a little room in college on my own, while everyone else is over in the main exam schools.  So when I came out into the main quad [livejournal.com profile] susannajoy  and Eleanor were there with the most amazing mobius paper chain which they wrapped me in and a paper flower garland to go on my head.  It was lovely :D

Now I get to go home and do exciting things like read books which are about neither plants nor evolution and have no statistics and names of genes in.  Also I get to go to the Lake District with TolkSoc on Saturday for a week - I can be excited about that now!!!

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