Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cambridge diary 2

I told my friends, 3 weeks at Cambridge and it's 1-0 to Warwick Universtiy. But it's hardly 'half-time' yet so it's still too early to judge.

One of the advantages of being at Cambridge is that you get to see celebrities. No, not Britney Spears or Beckham but celebrities in the academia world. E.g. Stephen Hawking is just down the corridor (though I never see him) and I heard Dr. James Watson and Dr. Francis Crick, who got the Nobel Prize for discovering DNA, is somewhere around too. They are, of course, at the Cavendish Laboratory and not at C.A.P.E. where engineers are.

We also have a lot of invited lectures. So I attended one the other day. For those who are not familiar with the development of the physics of magnetic materials may not know him, but I've seen some of his papers. He's good!! I guess this is one of the things that I should make full use of at Cambridge and meet as much famous people in the academia as possible. (funny, he was initially taken aback when I asked him if I could take a picture with him...)

(With Prof. Shobo Bhattarchaya)

One of the most famous visit sites in Cambridge is the King's College. (My college, FYI, is Hughes Hall). King's, St John's and Trinity are among the richest colleges in Cambridge. I heard, that their estimated net worth reach billions of pounds.

(King's college chapel under maintenance, but nevertheless majestic)

(Familiar? This is seen all over postcards of Cambridge)

(the river beside King's college, damn romantic a!)

(King's college as I walk towards it, crossing the bridge...)

And then there is this unusually looking clock, right outside King's college, with a bug sitting on top of it. Yes, it is a clock!. The bug moves forward, pushing the wheel clockwise and that represents 1 second.

(it's rumoured to worth more than 1 million pounds)

Cambridge recently celebrated it's 800th anniversary. 800 years, but it's still not the oldest University in England. That would be Oxford. But 800 years of excellence is no small feat too. And to celebrate this, the University had a little 'show' at the Senate House, which is located in front of... King's college. Basically, it's just projection of powerpoint slides onto the wall of the senate house! But I later found out that this wasn't an easy thing to do and Cambridge had to invite a foremost expert in this area for this event. 

It was rather short, about 10 minutes. Considering that I had to walk 20 minutes, it's a bit disappointing. But the crowd is huge, someone even sang "Happy Birthday to Cambridge" and the 'powerpoint' presentation were pretty impressive. you can see it for yourself in the short video clip below.

(Cambridge 800th anniversary celebration at Senate House)

One of the places where many visitors of Cambridge do not go, and in fact, many students of Cambridge themselves do not go is the Main Library. It is, contrary to what many would think, quite a nice piece of building.

The first time I got there, one word popped up my mind, "HUGE". But the collections of book is even larger. The number of books kept here is so huge that they have to arrange those open-shelf books on the table, leaving only a tiny space (1 lane) for people to move about. It is actually quite difficult to locate all the books contained within this library, even with the Cambridge's catalogue system. That's probably why most students just resort to their department's library, since most of the useful material will be there.

(and this is only one small part of it. It's basically a BIG square, and at the center of one of the edges is the entrance, which is shown here)

And last, but not least, I bought something. My new (authentic albeit old design) England T-shirt! for only 4 pounds!!!! wahahahaha.... i can't stop laughing la. So cheap...

1 comment:

小小粒 said...