After a lot of trips with trolleys, moving some massive fridges and packing way too much glassware into too few draws and cupboards, we finally moved into our new lab in the basement of Science B at the University of Calgary.
Here’s a photo of my boss Mike Benn. I stole the photo of the University of Calgary website – hopefully they don’t mind.
30 degrees celcius, blazing sun and a ridiculously cold winter approaching … so what better reason than to have a pool party 😀 We found a scungy inflatable pool in our shed, got someone to bring along a slip n slide and setup a web cam in our window to catch all the action.
Unfortunately the web cam also caught me bobbing round in the pool before everyone arrived. My attempts to hover in the middle of the pool without stabilising myself failed. The motion detector in the camera triggered just as I hit the water 😛
The slip n slide was very popular, I can be seen bobbing in the pool on the left, this time with my feet firmly planted on the bottom of the pool 😀 Thanks to Yeye for the video.
It turned out Matt Dakins (an old mate of mine from our undergrad years studying chemistry at Otago) was living in Banff when I moved to Calgary. Thanks for letting me crash at your place Matt 😀
And the prize for my worst first impression of a city ever goes to … Los Angeles. The stench of smog at the airport was simply foul. The following photos I took from the plane show the yucky smog quite nicely.
Okay, soooo … most people who pick locks in prisons are generally trying to get out. But in our case, we were actually trying to get in! Yes that is as warped as it sounds. My old flat in Christchurch was built inside the original prison walls of the Addington Prison. But the old Victorian era prison block was still there, albeit abandoned, awaiting development. The prison block was built in 1874 and named the Mountfort block after it’s architect Benjamin W Mountfort.
A photo I found on the internet depicting how the prison looked back in the old days
My flatmate’s and I discovered one day that one of the access doors to the prison was, er, accessible, ie: if you jammed a credit card in it then you could pop it open 😛 Through trial and error we found that by tracking along one of the walls you could bypass the security system and gain access to the main prison hall and all of the cells. We did this at about midnight and only had our cell phones for lighting! It was totally freaky as we couldn’t see jack, and there were mice and all sorts of creepy crawlies around. We methodically went through each and every cell, seeing what we could find, most had some rather boring doodling by former inmates, however cell number 28 was quite spectacular. It had lots of drawings by an inmate called “Willy Two Worlds”. He was apparently serving a life sentence for killing his mate for stealing his shoes! As you can see by the photos, some are just funny looking cartoons, but others were quite sick and twisted. Later on we found more of his artwork in the isolation cell underneath the guards quarters.
Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">→</span>