University Canteen Dinners

Wednesday 21/9/2005


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Diary and Notes

I'm off to Loughborough today to a conference on theoretical neuroscience (this maths business isn't all equations and computers you know). I've been to this thingy before and it's usually quite a laugh. Science meetings tend to fall into one of two catergories, there's the serious formal ones which aren't a great deal of fun, are quite hard work and involve hours of talks on things I neither understand nor really care about and there's the sort of conferences which turn into big piss ups with some of your old sciency chums. Happily for me this was likely to fall into the latter catergory.

But it's not all boozing, there's schmoozing too. These meetings of minds often give people good ideas and collaborations are started and the future of mankind is secured for another year - at least that's what we tell ourselves.

If you are interested in theoretical neuroscience (as you jolly well should be) there are plenty of excellent books and papers on the subject - ranging from dynamical explanations for the onset of epilepsy, the use of deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson's disease, theories of information encoding via various strategies, detailed descriptions of coupled neuron behaviour and much more. There were some interesting talks today, particularly one on computational neuroethology and naturally embedded neural systems (I can hear you whooping with joy) which gave me some interesting ideas for further work.

And after the talks there's always the delicious university cuisine to sample - and what a treat this always is. OK so here I may be exaggerating just a little, university cuisine is generally not highly regarded anywhere on the planet - except in Italy so I am told, where it's supposed to be quite good.

Loughborough had made quite an effort for us however and there was roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (which I've already had on my blog so that's off), a vegetatian dish which didn't look good or tipsy pork - pork with apples in a cider and cream sauce - that's for me I thought.

The pork wasn't bad at all. The potatoes were pretty dire (really lumpy) and the cabbage had the feel of overcooked wartime vegetables but on the whole it wasn't a complete disaster.

And afterwards we all went into Loughborough town for a few sherbets and a discussion about brains and suchlike (which turned into a discussion about beer as these things often do).

More talks tomorrow and then more booze no doubt. It's a hard life this science stuff.

Cake Blog

Starbucks' Classic Victoria Sponge: I had a cake while waiting for the train. I think the dictionary definition of classic needs to be updated after this to mean dry and stale. Not good at all.


  • Tipsy Pork
  • Mashed Potato
  • Cabbage