fivemack (fivemack) wrote,

Interview questions from beckyc

1)Where's the best place you've visited?

I think that probably has to be Romania; certainly, when I close my eyes and think about holidays, I seem to be thinking of Peles castle in Sinaia. It's a combination of the slight extra intensity you get by travelling on your own on Eastern European trains where you can just barely speak the language, that I managed to meet four memorably-interesting people in a week (the infinitely erudite American aid-worker, the perfectly-cynical perfectly-Anglophone trainee lawyer on the train from Sibiu to Bucharest, the specialist in removing wrecks from the Danube who was staying at the Bucharest youth-hostel, and the young doctor desperately looking for a way out to somewhere where a doctor's pay was sufficient to afford the drugs to treat her leukaemia), and the unreasonably Heidi-like greenness and Swiss-cottageness of Carpathian meadows.

2)What's your favourite comic?

I'm verbal and unobservant enough that comics really aren't my thing; I've followed instructions and read The Dark Knight Returns, Watchman, V for Vendetta and bits of Sandman, but all out of a sense that culture required me to read them. Of those, I think I missed the point of Watchman.

Misunderstanding the question, Harry Hill; political comedy I find actively painful because I think of it as taking things that ought to be fought over and annihilated, and going the cheap route of mocking them.

3)Would you ignore OU course entry requirements and just do the course anyway?

For a science course, I probably would; I'm arrogant enough to believe that I can pick up bits of background with Google and a library, and that reading New Scientist since the age of seven ought to have got me an eighth of an inch of background in almost anything.

Moderately Advanced Korean, requires Basic Korean, I'd not try to blag; science is easy and tonal languages are hard.

4)What's your favourite thing about crystallography?

I like the way that, pace all the quantum people, you can see atoms as little blobs [yes, I know these are normal-distributions of thermal motion], and that all the stuff you learnt in chemistry with balls on sticks is, at at least one practically-useful level, really true.

5)What did you think of the eclipse?

I thought the sky-gods had been particularly good at the composition between the legs of Leo, and the air-gods particularly kind in keeping the sky cloudless; but I didn't have binoculars or a camera with me, and lack the patience to sit and observe. It was a nice shade of orange. I was with friends in Hull; we'd watch eclipse until cold, go inside and play Jenga, watch more eclipse, go inside and dance wildly to Robbie Williams, watch more eclipse, ...

I wonder if anyone's done a good model of what the view of Earth from the Moon would be during a total lunar eclipse; presumably a black disc with a brightly-backlit orange-to-red ring of atmosphere around it, and with good binoculars you could see city lights in the night.

If anyone wants to be questioned by me, ask in comments.
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