After yet another week of un-Scottish summer, I formed a plan to get as far away from Donald Trump, who was forecast to arrive in Scotland, like an unwanted storm, on Friday to play golf. A quick look at the map, and a battle with the Citylink website suggested that heading up to the munros near Bridge of Orchy was a real possibility. Armed with this knowledge, and aided by the University closing at 3pm for Glasgow Fair I caught the bus, and headed North, away from the US President.
We’ve entered the third month of the exceptional summer of 2018, and it only seemed right to continue working on the T-shirt tan, and put a few more munros in the bag at the same time. After a few minutes of looking at the munro map I decided that the four munros near Tyndrum looked like a good target. With the plans made, I caught the train after work with Andrew and headed up to Tyndrum, where we met Shona at the camp site. Within 20 minutes I had my tent up, and we made as quickly as possible for the Tyndrum Inn to avoid the swarms of midges which were also calling Tyndrum home for the evening. Appropriately refreshed, we all turned-in early, ready for a fresh start on Saturday morning.
At some point during the planning of a trip to the Highlands and Islands, which was already to involve running a half marathon, it seemed like a good idea to try and fit in a nice ridge walk, and in the process bag six munros.
Today marks a major moment in the development of a project I’ve been working on for some time: me and my co-authors have completed a paper on inferring the opening angles of gamma ray bursts by observing binary neutron star mergers and gamma ray bursts. What does that mean? Well, I guess the point of this post is to explain just that. It should be said, while you can download the paper now, it’s still a pre-print: that means it hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet, so there’s a chance it may contain some mistakes which we’ve not picked up on. So I guess you might argue it’s probably not quite completed.
This is the second time that I’ve written a blog post under an embargo; the first time was a few months into my PhD, and it was about something which had happened just about the time I started. As a result, I’d not really had much to do with it, and I’d spent most of the time that other people were analysing data and writing papers finding my way into the collaboration. That wasn’t quite so true this time, as I found myself invovled with the public outreach effort for LIGO’s next big announcement. It turns out that it’s hard to condense a groundbreaking discovery, which took over 3000 people to make, into one A4 sheet of paper. I also learned all sorts of new things I never expected to during my PhD, like the niceties of colour theory. However, on with the story.
I’ve been in Louisiana for almost a week now, and I’m slowly getting over the jet-lag and the change in climate from Glasgow, though I have fallen asleep over my dinner at least twice this week, so maybe I’m not handling it all that well…
Chances are at some point in the last year you’ve heard me mentioning that I was heading off to America at some point in my PhD. You might well have heard me complaining about filling out forms to get a visa, about the uncertainty about which part of the USA I was going to, or even about how worried I was that I wouldn’t be able to get about while I was there (through not having a driving license).
Round 10 of the Pro 12 and Aviva Premiership competitions, and Round 13 of the Top 14 are now complete, and we’re running into a two week hiatus while we make the switch to the European Champions and Challenge Cup games for December. It seems like a good time to take stock of how each of the teams are performing compared to how the numbers would suggest they ought to be doing.