Tag Archives: Teign Valley

Snow, pain and science

This is going to be a mostly science-free post, as I have been busy for the last couple of days. Busy being a tough cookie, and busy recovering from said toughness.

However, a quick recap of where I’m at now: I am almost at the end of my virtual study tour in the Teign Valley, having just taken a look at the water composition of the river and its tributaries. I’ve got to be honest, the course isn’t gripping me so far. BUT – the books look much more interesting, so I shall not be disheartened.

It’s most definitely more of a “geography with science benefits” course, and I am very much looking forward to getting stuck into the pure science again after this course. Astrophysics all the way, baby!

I am, though, learning a lot about spreadsheets. This is useful, but dull. It’s driving me to drink.

Enough of that, though. I spent yesterday evening doing this: the Grim Night Terror. Here is what it looked like:

Grim.

Yes, that is snow. Basically, we ran seven miles (it was supposed to be eight, but the ice necessitated a change of course) in an hour and ten minutes. In the snow. It was bloody good fun, and felt fabulous!

During the last mile, I was struggling to put one foot in front of the other – and then there were the crowds of onlookers. It’s astonishing the difference a bunch of strangers shouting encouragement can make. Suddenly, with their help and a man to overtake, I found a burst of speed and crossed the line at pace with a huge grin on my face.

That was nothing compared to the journey home though – four hours in heavy snow, with vehicles spinning off the motorway left, right and centre. It was quite exciting, and completely exhausting. Driving snow gave me flashbacks to my misspent youth…

With a swollen knee – not to mention the swollen sense of pride – I’ve just signed up for this one too: The NUTS Challenge. And I’m probably going to do the Tough Mudder in the summer.

I am this: NAILS. Factoid.

Sign up now. It is fun most excellent.

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The virtues of virtual field trips

After a certain amount of technology woe (the laptop DVD drive died a horrible, grindy death), the IT manager at my workplace managed to do the (as it turns out, simple) job of installing the Teign Valley DVD on my work computer. What a splendid fellow. (We now have a new DVD drive on the laptop, so I’m currently studying at home. Win!)

On starting up the “tour guide” section of the DVD, I took the tour. Now, I’m the kind of girl who likes being told what to do.

  1. Start here.
  2. Click this.
  3. No, not that, you muppet, THIS.
  4. Listen and absorb.
  5. Keeping clicking the “next” arrows at the end of each section.
  6. Do the activities in order when prompted.

What I got was a rather fuzzy and chaotic set of non-instructions, leaving me unsure as to when the tour finishes, and the actual activities start. I’m still a little unsure, but I’m plodding on, and have completed my first activity – Differences on Dartmoor.

This takes you through a series of places in the Teign catchment, and asks you to look at various maps. You’re provided with a spreadsheet, and you’ve to fill in the missing information. So far, so Sesame Street. One problem: the resources window on screen is tiny. Really, really tiny. And when you have an overlay on the map (e.g. contour lines, so you can give the altitude of the locations you’re talking about), you can’t zoom in. So you kind of have to guess at the exact measurements you’re asked to take at the relevant locations.

This displeases me greatly, because I am, after all, a budding scientist. And there’s no room for guesswork in precise measurements.

I’m about to embark upon activity 2 – The Heather Hypothesis. I’ll keep you posted.