Thursday, November 06, 2008

Year on year

My Mathematica programs are biting back today and undocumented interpolationpoints commands are laughing at me every time I turn away. Still, answers are converging in hoped for directions and all should be well soon.

Anyway, I haven't had a chance to write up much more about my trip to Porto, but I will put up a couple more photos from this splendid city.

On the Sunday as I walked around the city with some friends from Couchsurfing, and waited for my midnight bus, I had a chance to go to a few wonderful viewing areas to see the city as the sun was setting. In particular the rather charming Crystal Palace gardens (no longer with a Crystal Palace, but a somewhat less attractive auditorium) gives a great view over the river, with the Port Cellars peppering the opposite bank:

Porto Panorama2
Further along the coast the scenery changes considerably and you get a real view of the ocean and the smell of the sea replaces the smell of ancient city life:
Porto sunset
A few more photos to process at some point too, but they will have to wait.

Anyway, everything is busy as ever at the moment, with a short trip to Dublin to give a seminar in a couple of weeks, and a semi-public lecture on atmospheric optics to give at the beginning of December. I'll be heading to Madrid to give a talk at the Christmas meeting too, before heading back home for a few days over Christmas and the new year.

Today we had a fascinating talk on the use of Turing machines to study evolution and I spent lunch quizzing the speaker on many things which have been on my mind since the amazing talks by James Glazier on morphogenisis back in 2007 in Beijing.

On a side note, I've now been living outside China for almost exactly a year. I never imagined how much I would miss the place, and although I'm extremely happy here in Spain, in the department, in the city and in my current position, there is something unreplacable about life in that sprawling, dirty, glorious city of fourteen million, which is at the same time undescribable and unforgettable. I was hugely lucky to have the chance I had in China, and am equally lucky now to be here in Santiago, in a very different, but equally stimulating environment.

Anyway, Mathematica seems to be giving me better answers now, so I should get back to it...

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