July 31st, 2005

krazy koati

But there's a lot of valor on the team

Quiet again today, which seems to be a neat binary pattern we've developed. Today was largely my fault: I had an ``outreach'' event, convincing High School students to come to my university, that took most of the day. This was the first outreaching since the reorganization of my department became public, so the other staff had reasonable questions for me like what's happening to the people in it (academic and non-academic staff), what's happening to me, whether anyone bothers coming in anymore (yeah, it's just like any other between-term time), do we have any flyers to give out (no).

It turns out I'm pretty good at outreaching, though it takes time to warm up in the morning and get used to barking, asking anyone who walks by if they've considered a science major, or the university, and trying to make up reasonable answers about things outside my department (``you do need some biology to take a biological sciences programme, but there are bridging classes for weak points in your background''). That simple, genial approach seems to do all right, and one guy from another department mentioned he hoped I would get assigned to his department, because he liked my energy and could use me for further outreachery. We really should get somebody from Lucky Plaza or Change Alley, one of the aggressive barkers who tackle passers-by and drive them into their stores, to get people to our stands. Or we could learn some of their marketing tactics. I hate being a salesman, but if we're going to do it, we should try doing it well.

Later, back home, my guest and I did something that, so far as I recall, I've never done in my life before: get delivery pizza. The list of things I've never done in my life is odd and generally dull. We got from Pizza Hut, which I've rarely eaten at, never before in Singapore. Ordering took -- my phone times calls, and yes, my phone bill will not be zero this month -- four minutes, 31 seconds, for a single pie. They asked for my address, name, phone number, and postal code. They also got lost. And got the order wrong, although by the time it arrived we didn't feel like arguing. It was a tasty Singapura Topping pizza, which was ... I guess ham, turkey sausage, pineapple, capsicum, olives, that sort of thing. Pretty good, though I still miss your classic Romeo's ``You Tried The Rest, Now Try The Best'' grease pizza with grease.

Trivia: Swedish naturalist and taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus developed ``Flora's Clocks,'' flower beds whose plants opened and closed at different, but regular, times of day. Source: Life Science Library: Time, Samuel A Goudsmit, Robert Claiborne.

Currently Reading: Longitude, Dava Sobel.