Meewella | Fragments

The Life of P

Month: November 2005 (page 2 of 2)

Doing Things By The Bottle

After last night I am of the opinion that free champagne should be served not by the glass but by the bottle. The result is both more efficient and more civilised than running the traditional alcoholic’s gauntlet, fighting one’s way through the horde for each refill. Given her slight stagger by the end of the evening, it would appear Kirsten was inclined to agree. Despite her marked disapproval of us spoilt lawyers and the way in which we are courted, for some reason she seemed entirely happy to accompany me on a boat cruise down the Cam, courtesy of Cleary Gottlieb. According to LawSoc head honcho Nick, we collectively consumed around 70 bottles of the good stuff in under an hour. Of course, lesser drinks continued to emerge throughout the remainder of the three hour ride, while a few ardent enthusiasts cradled their remaining bottle protectively. One such reveller was Joe from Selwyn, who recognised me and I him, but have not the faintest clue from where or why. There was an admirable contingent of the Downing first year lawyers present, although most of the usual second year legal suspects (of any college) seemed strangely absent, tempted away by fireworks ents, no doubt. Fireworks schmireworks, I say; the river (er, and Kirsten of course) had my full attention for the night.

P.S. Big up to Jayraj gracing the Downing massif with his inglorious presence this weekend. Word. And I hear Cara’s knocking around somewhere too, so I’m off to hunt her down…

World Community Grid

Human Proteome Folding ProjectI had been meaning to join The Grid for several months and finally got round to it today. For students who tend to leave their computers on all day anyway, it’s a great project to get involved with. Set up by IBM, the idea was to create a distributed public computing grid that could collectively engage resources in research projects that could otherwise take decades without major funding. The scheme works by downloading a small program which contacts a server and collects a task. When you wander off to your three hours of lectures and your computer is sitting idle, it starts up and uses those free processing cycles to start crunching through the data and submitting back the results when it’s done. In this way the community of volunteers are able to produce years worth of calculations on a conventional computer every day.

Currently efforts are being directed towards the Human Proteome Folding Project. As a logical progression after the completion of the human genome map, we now need to find what all those proteins do, in order to develop effective treatments for related diseases. The goal of the project is to predict the structures of unknown proteins and how they are likely to fold. By collecting structures and functions for a huge number of proteins, biomedical researchers can then access this database of information to find functional clues about these mystery proteins when they come across them. And it’s rather satisfying when your first task hits 100% and is submitted, rewarding you with 93 points (a crediting system so that people can group together and keep track of how much they have collectively contributed, including one for Cambridge University).

All My Sons

I bumped into Dawson from Whitgift a couple of days ago. He’s been studying English at Pembroke for the last year and we run into each other intermittently, usually whenever he’s up near the Faculty. He has gradually transmutated into the wild-eyed, rebellious-haired director type, puffing distractedly on a cigarette as we chatted (in his defence he hadn’t slept the previous night which may have had something to do with it!). He’s currently directing All My Sons, quite possibly the best of Arthur Miller’s less mainstream plays, so I’d highly recommend it to anyone with a free evening.

All My Sons
Pembroke New Cellars
19:30 Tue 01st – Sat 05th Nov

Disclaimer: No cash, gift or other item of monetary value exchanged hands in return for this plug. It would, nevertheless, be most welcome.

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