Saturday, 24 September 2011

term's not even started yet!

Meetings. More meetings. On all sorts of things: From lecture content to managing the "Virtual Learning Environment" (designed to be as hospitable an environment as the surface of Mars) to advising on maternity leave, mentoring, and the setting up of yet more committees. And term doesn't start for another two weeks. Thank goodness I'll be too busy teaching to be able to think about doing any more administration. And as for my research... I see that receding into the distance like a ship sailing slowly into the sunset.

Next week's excitement, though, is a final pre-term conference trip. One of those crazy conferences with so many talks (7 parallel sessions from 8.30 in the morning to almost 7.30 in the evening) that it's actually impossible to go to any talk other than one's own. In my own case, I'm giving two talks. I last gave a conference talk just three weeks ago (in Paris) and that talk, and these other two, are all non-overlapping in terms of their content. Never mind it being a crazy conference, it's driven me crazy just preparing for it.

This week's excitement: Aside from becoming a bona fide CEO of an American corporation, I learned that the increase in submissions to the journal I've been editing the past five and almost a half years has subsided and come to a much needed halt - we've had as many submissions in the first 38 weeks of this year as we had in the first 38 weeks of last year. Phew. So having spent five and a half years permanently running to catch up, I can now slow down, take stock, and breathe. Phew.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Laws of (e)motion

It occurs to me apropos of nothing, other than that the grass is still too wet to cut, that Isaac Newton should have been a therapist of some sorts (I resisted using the term psychologist, as I believe that I myself am one, on a good day):

  • Newton's 1st law of motion: Every body stays at rest, or continues in motion, unless acted upon by an external force. Emotional translationEverybody wants to stay at rest, or continue on their way, without someone else messing with them.
  • Newton's 2nd law of motion: The change in motion of a body is proportional to, and in the direction of, the amount of force acted upon it. Emotional translation: The change in emotion of somebody is proportional to how much they're messed with, and depends on how they're messed with.
  • Newton's third law of motionTo every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. Emotional translation: To every emotional reaction there is always an equal and opposite one. Often way sooner than you'd want.

Other than my pondering the laws of motion (and thermodynamics, as it happens), I've also had occasion to ponder the prospects of becoming incorporated - a technical term that applies to the creation of a corporation. Am on my way to the store, this morning, to buy jeans and a black turtleneck...

Another recent excitement has been the release of the Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements. I had a hand in the cover design - I generated the word cloud that is used on the cover. It looks much better up-close and personal... if, that is, you have the physical strength to lift the thing - it's HUGE. Of course, although I think the cover is brilliant, the final chapter in this tour de force is orders of magnitude more brilliant

Friday, 9 September 2011


Bruised, beaten, battered, breathless... But oddly triumphant. Despite finding I had used up all my energy, and despite almost giving up, I didn't, and instead I managed to get through a gruelling Karate session. Whether I will be able to move any of my over-tired muscles tomorrow is a bridge I shall cross (hobbling, no doubt) when I come to it. Lying down never felt this good. Oh. Wait.. No, please no... Cramp!