Sunday, 2 January 2022

the longer time spent in academia, the more you realise how its progression structure is a pyramid of economic struggle which functions to wean out the working class. this is probably obvious when thinking about higher education in places like the united states, where student debt after a typical undergraduate degree can be in excess of $150,000, however it may be less obvious in places like the u.k, where it is generally believed that university is accessible to all due to bodies like 'student finance england' etc. such bodies are probably the reason for the largest diversity of students in terms of their socio-economic background at undergraduate level, as this is the only time government support is available to pursue higher education in the form of maintence loans and/or grants (although little government and/or institutional support exists for students with dependents). progressing to a masters degree in the majority of cases however is impossible without securing highly competetive scholarships which would act to cover 100% of your fees and maintence costs. in reality the majority of available scholarships don't even cover 100% of the costs, so you would have to make up the shortfall yourself, and often these scholarships are super hard to come by unless they're backed by a large corporation, whose interests are seldom aligned with academia. acquiring bank loans for further education is often not possible depending on your socio-economic background either, and frankly the interest rates on a bank loan would make people think twice about pursuing a masters degree. doctorates are a similar story; unless you can secure highly competitive funding there is almost no chance you'll find a position. its unlikely a potential supervisor just has a huge pot of money to hire a phd student for 3-4 years. once again, the expected long working hours during a masters and a phd also make it difficult for people with dependents (although part time study options are available). short-term (1-2 year) international job positions such as postdocs (which are essential if you want to pursue a career in academia) then also present significant barriers for working class people. you may be hired for a position on the other side of the world, and may need to come up with thousands of pounds/dollars to be able to relocate yourself and find suitable accomodation for yourself and any family, and then pay the costs all over again to relocate yourself when your position comes to an end.

Monday, 13 December 2021

hello. I'm the Dr.

4 years all wrapped up yo!

things to do now:

get US visa, find somewhere to live in Princeton, book flight, eat a biscuit.

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

hey thurrrr, 

some biiiig news. I recently accepted a job offer for a postdoctoral research position at Princeton University! It's an amazing looking project, working with a great team looking to address climate model biases through machine learning. It's also part of a wider network of institutions, each working on different components of the climate system - i'll be looking specifically at sea ice biases. I'm super excited as i was really hoping to continue exploring machine learning concepts and statistics after my PhD, so i feel really fortunate to be able to do that. Not only that, the PI (my future boss) is someone who i really respect and is just an all-round delightful person. I had originally suggested that I would be able to start in October, but turns out I can't begin the visa application until after my PhD viva, and the earliest I can take that is probably early November. So all in all, i'll likely be heading out to the US in early Jan 2022! Will be nice to have a few months off in between the PhD and the start of something new. I'm really excited to start a new adventure and experience living abroad. I love London but i desperately need a change. Over the past 2 years i've really been feeling the walls closing in on my life here, which i think is due to numerous factors... i generally get itchy feet when i'm doing one thing for too long, but this time i don't think that could be fixed by just getting a new job in London. I think after a lot of people who were close to me left London after finishing their PhDs 2 years ago, i really felt a big void which hasn't yet been filled. The pandemic hasn't helped obviously, but i really miss being around like-minded people, with a bigger sense of community. Anyway, things are looking up in the mean time! In other news, i also had my second paper published last week, which was kinda cooool, but yah that's about it. un abrazo

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

 heyyyyyy, been a while so I thought i'd check in.

it's been a busy few months eh... I managed to submit my second paper just before christmas, and it recently came back with some pretty positive reviews. Felt good submitting it after quite a lot of hard work, and even better that it was all done with one of my dear friends.

my mum got the all clear in mid Jan; her cancer is finally in remission! this was pretty huge news for the fam. I'm super happy for her, she worries more than I do and she often carries it all by herself, so I know she will be relieved. It was a long process of treatments for her and she smashed it from start to finish. it's frustrating not being able to visit her to be honest.

my mental health has oscillated a bit since the new year. Anxieties about the future are creeping in, and also just the increasing feeling of loneliness is somewhat unsettling. I'm grateful to have a busy house, living with 4 other people, but sometimes I feel like I'm the 5th wheel. I don't really know what I want from life at this stage. I like living in London with my brother and one of my best buds; we've lived together for over 5 years and it's been great every step of the way. It's only when i start to think about life down the line when I start to panic. They are both in serious relationships and I imagine will want to get their own places some day. I think our good times together will have to come to an end at some point.

Since she left I find myself trying to be more like her all the time. Many of my mannerisms often cause me to have exestential moments where I realise how much of the person I am now, is because of her. In the way I eat, the books I read, the way I interact with inanimate objects, the way I talk to my cats, the way I feel when I run (hard to explain this last one). They are all her. The one thing I often struggle to do though, is be totally in the present. She could do this better than me. I think I wasted a lot of time when were together worrying about the inevitable day when she would have to leave, while she was right there, smelling the roses... Today I submitted an application for a postdoc position in the US. Thinking about moving to a different country alone, to a city where I don't know anyone, is terryfying. But i'm trying to just think about little steps. 

Running has become a new thing for me in the last month I guess. I've been keeping it up usually 3-4 times a week and i'm enjoying it more with each time I go. It feels good to feel the progress each time, and it certainly gives me much needed breaks from staring at this screen. I had been using it as an opportunity to plug back in to my Spanish whilst practicing my mindfullness, by listening to some Entiende tu mente. Although this week i've been caught up listening to some siiick new tunes. 

 Anyway, that's enough for one day. Will check back in soon.

 Later yo

Sunday, 15 November 2020

ice in lung

ice in wind,

life unsung

milk death

split tooth

sorrow marrow

whispered truth


    -- Tanya Tagaq

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

 Currently allll about this album. I don't think its controversial to say that the Strokes had a string of mediocre records after their smash hits Is This It, Room on Fire and maybe First Impressions of Earth - but their new album, The New Abnormal, is just siiiick. Not just a string of good tracks but a great album altogether. I'm feeling a decent to strong 9 on this one... TraannnSITION. Have you given this album a listen? c/o Melon

Thursday, 15 October 2020


after 3 months of reading, I have finished this mammoth of a book. Without a doubt this is the best book I have ever read. After more than 700 pages, spanning over 5 or so decades in the timeline of the story, the characters in this book become like real life companions. You are elated in their moments of happiness and are utterly crushed in their periods of misery. It has taken me to levels of emotion I have rarely felt in my entire life and I think it is the first book I have read which has brought me to tears on numerous occasions. This book is not a happy story; it is centred around tragedy. Yet within this tragedy the author manages to convey moments of profound beauty amidst such darkness, and perfectly captures the fragility of life itself. All of your pre-conceived notions about how life should be and how we define ourselves and each other are challenged, leaving you with an entirely new outlook on the world around you. Exploring facets of sexuality, mental health, addiction, abuse, self-harm, life and death, and love; no stone is left unturned. Utterly fantastic.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

aqui estoy en ESP otra vez. que vistas, que ambiente, que bonita

Friday, 25 September 2020

 and dropping a barbell, he points to the sky saying "the sun's not yellow it's chicken!"

i got my very first tattoo today and I have to say I'm suppperrr happy with it. I worked with a very talented artist by the name of Mon Abella (Gilt Moth Tattoo) to draw up the design and she tattoo'd it in her individualistic dot-style.

the idea comes from Bob Dylan's 1965 song Tombstone Blues, featured on the album Highway 61 Revisted, in which Dylan quotes the line about the sun not being yellow but rather, chicken. I had been playing with the idea of getting a tattoo for a few years but never saw a design that really resonated with me. Then listening to Dylan one day (as I do almost every day) I realised how amazingly interpretive a lot of his songs are. The lyrics invoke so much imagination and make you conjure up so many different images when you hear them. I started exploring a number of his most poetic songs trying to come up with the perfect tattoo idea. It's Alright Ma, Visions of Johanna, Buckets of Rain, Desolation Row were a few I went back and forth between, but I really felt that this line from Tombstone blues perfectly encapsulates Dylan's music between 1965 and 1966 when he famously "went electric", where so many lyrics are like a textured acid trip into the mind of someone speaking with absolute creative freedom.

there were some other ideas I had which were close contenders but who knows, maybe save those for another day.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

 i decided to go vegan yesterday. 

over the last few years i've cut down on my meat consumption considerably, tried to buy clothes second hand or from sustainably sourced brands and also tried to cut down on my air travel. Some time ago I was startled by how seemingly every action we take has significant consequences for the Earth's climate. Beef was the first thing that I knew had to go. Of the entire mass made up by mammals on this planet, livestock constitute 60% of that alone. This requires untold destruction of habitats just to farm them, and even more destruction (for soy) to feed them. About 70-80% of global soy farming goes to feed livestock, so don't feel too bad about your soya milk. Destruction of land for agriculture seemingly knows no bounds. 56% of the total China landmass is used for agriculture, 44% in the US, 20% in Europe, and to top it all of livestock are responsible for emitting a methane equivalent of > 3 gigatonnes of CO2 every year.

with over 1 million species of plant and animal facing extinction and untold consequences for human kind, you have to wonder, why aren't we doing anything about it? We've been talking about this issue for over 40 years and if anything we're getting worse, not better. Attempts to change attitudes through films and documentaries make people shed a tear for an hour and then it's back to business as usual. I'm sick of it. It seems at this point hopeless. So why should I care? why should I continue to study climate change, or go vegan or cut out air travel? So I can suffer the same fate as the rest of humanity and go down saying we told you so? Fuck knows. To be honest I couldn't give two fucks about human kind and it's never ending capacity for greed. I just know I feel sick when I see animals suffering at the hands of human beings. From poaching, to wet markets, to the Yulin festival, to the Taiji slaughterings, it makes me ashamed to be part of the same species. Human beings have claimed dominion over all land and creatures since time immemorial, without right or reason other than a false sense of divine entitlement. Fuck us.

Friday, 4 September 2020


today I did walked away from instagram.

there were a few factors which influenced my decision to do this. On the one hand, I feel somewhat of a moral obligation to denounce all products owned by Facebook. Having said that, I will probably have to live with using WhatsApp for now... 

primarily though, my decision to delete instagram has been for mental health reasons. I found the more active I became in posting, the more self conscious I became, and then my mental health would deteriorate as a result. As much as I like to tell myself I don't care what other people think, this is clearly not true as I found that the number of 'likes' that I received - not so much the number of likes, but likes from the people from who I wanted their approval, would ultimately affect my mood. I would rarely upload pictures of myself but when I did I felt as if I was posing (like above), or showing my life in a different light than it is in reality. I also felt that being an 'active' poster on instagram really prevents you from being present in the real world. Taking several pictures until you find one that is just right, then uploading it and then thinking about how well it's being received online; all the while you are missing what's right in front of your eyes. I prefer the idea of an analog film camera as invariably you do have to be in the moment to take the right shot but then once it's taken you can't do anything about it until you get the roll developed so you can get on with being present in your surroundings. 

I felt better posting pictures of drawings as it meant I didn't have to be posting from some 'cool' location, or show a picture of myself. Maybe I'll make an account just for that someday...