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    Ok, I must gym :pinch: I've somehow managed to read four articles today, which is largely because they weren't very relevant. But if I put off the gym any longer it won't happen. Hopefully I'll feel all alert and energetic afterwards :awesome:

    :creep:

    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    I wish being a polymath was an actual job :p:
    :ditto:
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    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    I wish being a polymath was an actual job :p:
    Haha, same. I feel like I'm half-decent at quite a few things but not amazing at any particular one. :sigh:
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    (Original post by alex_hk90)
    Haha, same. I feel like I'm half-decent at quite a few things but not amazing at any particular one. :sigh:
    Yeah, I'm the same. I still miss doing maths and studying history that isn't tied in with literature. There are just lots of things I still want to know and I want to have time to study them all properly!
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    I don't think that is quite fair. Israel's human rights record is far better than any other country in the middle east. When you look at Israel's treatment of Israelis that is.
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    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    I have itchy feet!
    So do I. I wish I didn't.
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    (Original post by ukebert)
    So do I. I wish I didn't.
    Me too. Especially because the very top of my list is a trip to Antarctica and I don't think I'm ever going to make enough money to be able to do that so I'll probably just end up disappointed and embittered :sad:
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    :stickyman:
    Wow, that's definitely the highest intensity cardio session I've had for over a year. So nice to be registered at a gym across the road again... I'm finally having a chance to get back to the level of fitness I used to have.
    If that sounds a bit too boastful, let me point out that I'm being quite unproductive in other ways so I'm clutching at small victories :p:

    (Original post by alex_hk90)
    Haha, same. I feel like I'm half-decent at quite a few things but not amazing at any particular one. :sigh:
    Its probably my pessimism again, but I don't so much look at it in terms of what I'm good at... its more the case (in academia anyway) that I like to be able to study and explore an area for a little bit and then move on to another. I don't like to be bogged down in the same focus endlessly. What that means for my possible academic career, I don't know, but I'll be doing my best to touch on lots of things so that I don't get too pinned down.
    (Original post by ukebert)
    I don't think that is quite fair. Israel's human rights record is far better than any other country in the middle east. When you look at Israel's treatment of Israelis that is.
    :rofl:
    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    Me too. Especially because the very top of my list is a trip to Antarctica and I don't think I'm ever going to make enough money to be able to do that so I'll probably just end up disappointed and embittered :sad:
    Oooh yes. Whereas that (in theory) would be a possibility for ukebert, because apparently there's a strong demand for engineers at the poles because nobody really wants to live there, so they have to pursuade people to do six month contracts.

    I'm getting so excited about Norway. At the moment it looks like we'll be able to do a cruise that crawls along the coast of the Northern-most part of Norway! It makes me think of His Dark Materials :o: Yes it will be summer, but it will still be very North and therefore awesome.

    The rest of the world can keep the ruddy Bahamas and whatnot :p:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Oooh yes. Whereas that (in theory) would be a possibility for ukebert, because apparently there's a strong demand for engineers at the poles because nobody really wants to live there, so they have to pursuade people to do six month contracts.

    I'm getting so excited about Norway. At the moment it looks like we'll be able to do a cruise that crawls along the coast of the Northern-most part of Norway! It makes me think of His Dark Materials :o: Yes it will be summer, but it will still be very North and therefore awesome.

    The rest of the world can keep the ruddy Bahamas and whatnot :p:
    Are you going to Svalbard? :awesome: The north is incredible. Even in the cities there's this amazing wildness to it. One of my favourite memories ever was standing on top of a cliff in Murmansk in November looking out over miles and miles of snow and ice with this incredibly industrial port on the other side, with huge blocky buildings and cranes and corrugated containers and ships. Everything's so big and windy and cold. I'm a sucker for industrial beauty and big open spaces so the combination of the two is amazing.

    I've never been to Norway but I bet it will be amazing. You should definitely go to Russia at some point though because it'll be even better (if a lot more expensive to get to) :p:

    I have to say, even with my infatuation with cold places I still want to go to the Bahamas. I'm not very fussy about where I travel to as long as it's not a mini England.
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    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    Are you going to Svalbard? :awesome: The north is incredible. Even in the cities there's this amazing wildness to it. One of my favourite memories ever was standing on top of a cliff in Murmansk in November looking out over miles and miles of snow and ice with this incredibly industrial port on the other side, with huge blocky buildings and cranes and corrugated containers and ships. Everything's so big and windy and cold. I'm a sucker for industrial beauty and big open spaces so the combination of the two is amazing.

    I've never been to Norway but I bet it will be amazing. You should definitely go to Russia at some point though because it'll be even better (if a lot more expensive to get to) :p:

    I have to say, even with my infatuation with cold places I still want to go to the Bahamas. I'm not very fussy about where I travel to as long as it's not a mini England.
    I'm afraid I don't like industrial interference in my landscapes

    No we can't afford Svalbard :sad:

    I don't think I'll be able to afford anything like this again. Its only because of gifts from family and it being a 'honeymoon' that its possible. From here onwards we'll have to wait for a place to have a conference before we could go :p:

    And no, hot places are a real waste of money. I remember getting to Barcelona and being so insanely exhausted from the heat that I just fell asleep in my hostel room, and then could only go out at night. As a result I missed a lot of the sights because we went from there into wider Catalunya and the Pyrenees.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    I'm afraid I don't like industrial interference in my landscapes

    No we can't afford Svalbard :sad:

    I don't think I'll be able to afford anything like this again. Its only because of gifts from family and it being a 'honeymoon' that its possible. From here onwards we'll have to wait for a place to have a conference before we could go :p:
    It would usually feel like an intrusion but up there it sort of fits in with the whole brutality of the place. And you never know about affording things! It depends what you prioritise financially and so on. Probably not in the next few years, but if you're good at saving then you can put some money aside every so often for an adventure, and if you regard it as already spent and refuse to let yourself dip into it then after a while you might be able to do something again.

    And no, hot places are a real waste of money. I remember getting to Barcelona and being so insanely exhausted from the heat that I just fell asleep in my hostel room, and then could only go out at night. As a result I missed a lot of the sights because we went from there into wider Catalunya and the Pyrenees.
    This is why you have to pick your timing well! I wouldn't ever go to anywhere hot in the middle of summer unless I was planning on lying on a beach for the whole time (and I can't do holidays like that anyway). The best time for Barcelona is April, although I went once in December and the weather was lovely - nice and cool but not too rainy. Cities in particular are icky in the heat. By the time I left Moscow it was way too hot and getting really dusty and there were giant balls of fluffy pollen flying around everywhere. I went to Madrid in July once and it was just gross and I didn't do anything but sleep. But then I went to Granada (much further south than Madrid) in March on a different occasion and that was beautiful and not too hot at all so we got lots done. I also hate being too hot, but I think you can avoid it if you get the right season

    Of course, the other issue is what coincides with school holidays - I went to Greece in the height of summer several times with my family which was always disgustingly hot, but we planned our day so that we did things like going to archaeological sites after about 2pm so that we'd missed the heat and could wander round without feeling like we were dying. We couldn't have gone any other time though because we always do Christmas at home and at least one member of the family has had exams right after Easter for the last eight years.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    And no, hot places are a real waste of money. I remember getting to Barcelona and being so insanely exhausted from the heat that I just fell asleep in my hostel room, and then could only go out at night. As a result I missed a lot of the sights because we went from there into wider Catalunya and the Pyrenees.
    And we disagree again, well that was quick. Sunbathing on the beach in Hong Kong last summer in the 36 degree C sun was just :awesome:.
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    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    And you never know about affording things! It depends what you prioritise financially and so on. Probably not in the next few years, but if you're good at saving then you can put some money aside every so often for an adventure, and if you regard it as already spent and refuse to let yourself dip into it then after a while you might be able to do something again.
    We do know :p: We both think that the cost involved is unjustifiable both in terms of environmental impact and because we could just go somewhere far cheaper and give the spare money to a charity instead. So we wouldn't go unless there were an academic conference or some extra reason to make it necessary.
    This is why you have to pick your timing well! I wouldn't ever go to anywhere hot in the middle of summer unless I was planning on lying on a beach for the whole time (and I can't do holidays like that anyway). The best time for Barcelona is April, although I went once in December and the weather was lovely - nice and cool but not too rainy.
    Well I didn't have that luxury. I only went to Barcelona because my old best friend from SA was delivering a paper at a conference there, which meant she was on the Northern Hemisphere for once. So I went primarily to see her and secondarily to have a holiday. Also there is no point at Cambridge that I would ever have gone on holiday in any vacation other than the summer one, because I was always too stressed out with course work.
    Also I've been to Sardinia in April and didn't like it much even though it wasn't too hot. I just think the kind of natural beauty you get in colder countries is more to my taste. I don't like dried out yellowish looking places. I like lush green and blues.

    (Original post by alex_hk90)
    And we disagree again, well that was quick. Sunbathing on the beach in Hong Kong last summer in the 36 degree C sun was just :awesome:.
    Trivial disagreements don't count :aetsch:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Trivial disagreements don't count :aetsch:
    Yay! :woo: And that's a cool smilie though I'm not sure what "aetsch" is meant to mean. :confused:
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    (Original post by alex_hk90)
    Yay! :woo: And that's a cool smilie though I'm not sure what "aetsch" is meant to mean. :confused:
    I was wondering that :dontknow:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    We do know :p: We both think that the cost involved is unjustifiable both in terms of environmental impact and because we could just go somewhere far cheaper and give the spare money to a charity instead. So we wouldn't go unless there were an academic conference or some extra reason to make it necessary.
    I wish I could be so self-sacrificing but I am greedy when it comes to seeing new places. All of my spare money goes on travelling.

    Well I didn't have that luxury. I only went to Barcelona because my old best friend from SA was delivering a paper at a conference there, which meant she was on the Northern Hemisphere for once. So I went primarily to see her and secondarily to have a holiday. Also there is no point at Cambridge that I would ever have gone on holiday in any vacation other than the summer one, because I was always too stressed out with course work.
    Also I've been to Sardinia in April and didn't like it much even though it wasn't too hot. I just think the kind of natural beauty you get in colder countries is more to my taste. I don't like dried out yellowish looking places. I like lush green and blues.
    It was just advice for if you went back! Spain in the summer isn't always particularly pleasant (except for places further north like Galicia, where the climate is more like the UK). I think I've been abroad during every vacation while at Cambridge, except for this last Easter one. But then that directly contributes towards my degree so I can justify it. I also don't go to countries for the landscape (although I think there is beauty to be found pretty in pretty much any natural landscape, just by the force of it being nature) - Greece is beautiful but the big attraction there is how you can walk down the road and just find an uncovered mosaic or the remains of an ancient building. I love looking at the marks people leave behind.

    Anyway, I think I just love the world in general so I'm going to stop gushing now :p:
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    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    I wish I could be so self-sacrificing but I am greedy when it comes to seeing new places. All of my spare money goes on travelling.
    Well it helps that neither of us are the 'itchy feet' type. Plus I'd been to 21 different countries by the time I moved to the UK so I sort of feel like the novelty has worn off and there are better/more important things to do with my time and money. Its just a case of there being one or two things left that I'd quite like to see before I die because I think they'd be distinctive (e.g. Norway).
    It was just advice for if you went back!
    Not likely, but thanks :p:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Well it helps that neither of us are the 'itchy feet' type. Plus I'd been to 21 different countries by the time I moved to the UK so I sort of feel like the novelty has worn off and there are better/more important things to do with my time and money. Its just a case of there being one or two things left that I'd quite like to see before I die because I think they'd be distinctive (e.g. Norway).
    I have a family history of itchy feet so I blame them. My mum loves to travel, and my granny has spent a lot of her retirement planning her next trip. My biological dad is a diplomat and has lived in five or six different countries across four continents since I was born, and my auntie on that side has lived in four countries that I can remember. I was doomed from conception to be forever dissatisfied with being stationary :p:

    Can't beat 21 countries though, I have to say!
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    (Original post by alex_hk90)
    Yay! :woo: And that's a cool smilie though I'm not sure what "aetsch" is meant to mean. :confused:
    It's a German term of interjective derision.
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    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    I have a family history of itchy feet so I blame them. My mum loves to travel, and my granny has spent a lot of her retirement planning her next trip. My biological dad is a diplomat and has lived in five or six different countries across four continents since I was born, and my auntie on that side has lived in four countries that I can remember. I was doomed from conception to be forever dissatisfied with being stationary :p:
    My Mum also has the travel bug. But fortunately her and my Dad's job (going round the world speaking at churches and giving counselling and strategy advice) means that she's able to stay on the move. When I was growing up I couldn't understand how people could just live in one place and never move.
    Can't beat 21 countries though, I have to say!
    I think its more now but I forget :hmmmm:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Here's one that surprised me yesterday: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/uzbekist...707663&v=13784 Apparently the Uzbekistani government is having loads of women forcibly sterilised :confused: First I've heard of it, so I have no idea why...
    I think it's because it's pretty hard to get in/out of Uzbekistan; that, and a lot of the women suffering this fate refuse to go public on it. It came up on a recent edition "From our own correspondent", BBC Podcasting at its best
Updated: October 5, 2012
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