Thursday, March 09, 2006

Another hour I'll never get back

My mentor told me that I desperately had to go to a public lecture by a guy called Robert Fisk who wrote a book about "the conquest of the middle east". Sounds like so much sensational ranting, any amount of which is available at a moment's notice via the BBC for my entertainment, and I've got a huge quantum physics assignment that's supposed to be submitted tomorrow morning, but since it's apparently vital for my education, I planned to go along and arrive early to get a good seat.

What a zoo!

First problem was parking. I knew I was in trouble when the big public carpark was totally full 10 minutes early. I eventually parked over in physics (not too far to walk, but a long way away by the roads, so there was plenty of parking) and ran over to try to find the lecture.

On the way, I was assaulted by the usual group of passionate green left anarchist socialists (the protest-everything club) trying to get my signature on a petition, attendance at a protest of Tony Blair (does Canberra have an excess of hot men I wasn't aware of?) and something about "say no to racism" (because fascists embrace lesbians and gypsies and there's a large risk of me saying "yes" to racism) ...but I pushed through the mob to find the lecture.

It was in the largest theatre at school, which holds 496 students comfortably. But every chair was occupied, the stairs were filled, and so many people were standing at the back that it was considered to be "unsafe in case of fire". I didn't determine where the dumpy chick at the door expected a fire to come from.

I was faced with a choice: call "who wants a model wearing a boob-tube to sit on his lap?" somehow elbowing into the crowd and squeezing my slim hips into the crush, or give up and go home to do my huge quantum physics assignment...

So here I am facing my copy of Griffiths with the alive cat on the front and the sleeping cat on the back, getting ready to calculate the uncertainty in the position and momentum of the particle with wavefunction Nx(a-x)e^(-i(omega)t). Despite my irritation at having that hour fraudulently taken from me by and Mr. Fisk his padded out book, I look forward to an entertaining and stimulating evening!

(Anyway, if it turns out to have been any good, I'll be able to get the recording.)



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