Victoria museum

Today’s lectures were about… you guessed it: discs! A lot of people find them interesting apparently! Anyway the talks were ok, some good some bad. One in particular involved formation theories that seemed to explain the observed distributions well; I wanted to ask about selection effects but thought I’d find him afterwards. I didn’t have time in the end but it was very interesting. Coffee was taken up by talking to a postdoc at UNSW about dynamical stability.

Bike ride of the century

Today’s schedule was short, we had the afternoon off to do whatever we wished. Actually the conference organisers offered to put on a trip of some sort after a vote to find out the most popular choice, but that fell through as organising such a mammoth activity would be too difficult. This session was the most relevant to me and my work, as it involved the observational side of things. We had some great talks from some friends of mine, and other colleagues in the field.

Discs, discs and more discs

So today we learnt about discs, as the title of this post may suggest. We had protoplanetary discs (or proplyds which is a horrible portmanteau), thin discs, thick discs, transitional discs… This mostly involved theorists and simulations working their hardest, but we did get a few observational results thrown in for good measure. To be fair it’s a simulation type topic, current methods are not powerful enough without some serious and therefore expensive time on the largest telescopes.

First day

So the first day has just finished. We had some interesting talks (and some not so interesting, but that’s to be expected). The first session - before lunch - was dedicated to direct imaging, which is really taking off as a field, with advancements in technology and analysis tools since I last updated myself on the field. Being able to directly see protoplanetary disks is a new idea for me.

Victoria ferry

The ferry from Vancouver to Vancouver island (not Victoria island, as I’ve been told) was amazing. The scenery was breathtaking, photos of which I shall upload later. The little islands around Vancouver island were amazing to see, really fantastic. The map is centred on Victoria itself but the islands are to the north east. View Larger Map We’re sitting on a coach waiting to depart to Victoria town centre, ready to find our hotel and work out where the conference centre is.

Hostel ahoy

So we arrived at the hostel, a very nice place too. I’d recommend it if I could be bothered to find out what it is. I’ll try and remember to insert a reference here: Reference So yeah nice place. Vancouver is not very exciting so far but as was pointed out to me: the area around the airport is never going to be very nice. The public transport on the other hand seems excellent so far.

At the airport

So we’re at the airport. Mostly uneventful journey so far, luckily. Airports terrify me; flying doesn’t scare me at all, but the chance of being rejected for something as simple as forgetting your passport is so unnerving. I’ve been up since 6am this morning, which is pretty tough. I’ve managed to get some free wifi at the airport, ironically from BT Openzone which have announced that they’re closing to O2 customers.

IAUS 299

Tomorrow I fly to Victoria, Canada to attend the International Astronomical Union Symposium 299, entitled Exploring the formation and evolution of planetary systems. I’m presenting a poster, which I may put in the space below for all to see, but to cut a long story short: it’s blue. I get to enjoy a 9.5 hour flight across the Atlantic, mostly by myself and hopefully I’ll be blogging about it whilst I’m there, though I may have to go to talks and get quite drunk with my peers.

The :Explore command in vim

In vim a useful command is the :Explore, which opens the netrw browser at the location of the current file. This is especially handy for editing files over ssh, but is handy for those who don’t like the file tree type plugins.

The command can be shortened to :E which is fantastic, quickly browse the file system inside vim.

Dark Souls magic

I was sceptical when I first stepped into the land of Lordran and perished at the hands of yet another undead nightmare hunting me, for I assume I’d angered it in some way. I do not know what I did to annoy this poor hollowed creature but it wanted my blood so I unburdened it of the strange life force causing it to attack me so. I had already died to it many times but this time I managed to vanquish the foe and move on…

…to the next foe and subsequently die at its cold hands. This pattern repeated itself for quite a while until finally I managed to defeat the Asylum Demon and escape that wretched place.