Hi everyone, I hope the summer is going well for all of you. It’s been a little boring of late for me, what with Julia going away to America for a week and then being boring and writing her thesis when she got back. How I have been longing to climb some hills or go exploring somewhere, but all I can do is sit here on the sofa philosophising and daydreaming. And Tweeting, of course.
So it was with great excitement that I watched Julia open her birthday presents last week, and saw this little creature emerge from the packaging:
She was a gift from my old friend and former housemate Graeme, and her label says that she is called Kissing Disease. “What on earth…?” I hear you begin to ask.
She comes from a company called Giant Microbes who make all of your favourite diseases and complaints in fluffy format. For example, you can also get The Common Cold, Bad Breath and The Plague among hundreds of others! The Kissing Disease also goes by the names of ‘mononucleosis’ and ‘glandular fever’, and apparently more than 95% of the population has been infected by it. Most people catch the virus when they are very young, and will barely notice that they have symptoms, whilst others (Julia included) catch it as young adults and suffer from a terribly painful sore throat and a general malaise which can last for up to a year afterwards. The virus is a pretty sneaky one and is most contagious in the 4-7 weeks before any symptoms start showing, so infected people are going around kissing each other and passing it on unknowingly!
As I said, I was very excited to see this creature because it meant that I had a new friend to share my sofa with! So far I’m having trouble thinking of a good name for her, and am calling her Betty until I can come up with anything better. Suggestions from you guys are more than welcome!
Seeing as Julia has been neglecting me so much, I feel no guilt in revealing her latest secret, which is something that she’d rather keep quiet from all her mathematical friends. It is that, in her free time, she has been indulging in some tv-watching and, in particular, watching episodes of Britain’s Next Top Model. Who would have thought it from someone so fashion-ignorant? I feel particuarly indignant, since it is quite obvious who Britain’s next top model is. Me. ME! Did you ever see anyone as photogenic as me? No. I rest my case.
After I pointed this out to Julia, she agreed to play the role of photographer (in the absence of the talents of Graeme) and do a little photoshoot with me and my new friend Betty. Here are some of the results:
And here’s us relaxing in my favourite place: the sofa.
What do you think? Do we have what it takes to be models? (You can click on the pictures to get bigger versions and see me in all my close-up glory.)
This weekend I can look forward to some more action in the flat, since we are being visited by the science communicator and postgraduate singularity theorist Joel Haddley. He’s coming up to see some festival shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, including the wonderfully funny Matt Parker doing a show called “Your days are numbered: the mathematics of death”. If you’d like to join us, we are planning to see the 11:25am show on Monday 9th August, and you can buy your tickets on the Fringe website. As well as some festival shows, Julia and Joel are going to have fun designing a new game called Mathopoly, based on the classic property game but with maths instead! Watch this space to find out what they’ve created…