The physicist, the prostitute and the end of the world

I felt old when I was seven, now, twenty-one years later I feel like I’ve lived many lives, it’s common, I’ve heard many people say the same. Measurement is something I am familiar with, it’s how I look at not only the cosmos but my life, at seven a week was a lifetime, in the midst of violence time grinds to a halt as if a fist dilates time.

When I was among people I felt alone, strangely that made me want more of them, some or more poignantly one of my own. Besides friends who know when to go, who I seem to have a symbiotic or perhaps even parasitic relationship with, men, mostly seem to more put up with me for what being on their arm or under them gives. I wish I was that simple, I bet we all do because what we think of others is often how they feel about us.

I’ve watched my girlfriends breed, transferring that want and need to the reward of being the centre of another’s world – until that other becomes a teen and the cycle repeats. Fortunately my coupling has only ever been for fun or profit, or the opposite of both when I was young. I can’t wait for the day when I’m not told off for saying I’m old because I feel it and I certainly have the mind for that now.

Nationalism is something I find abhorrent but I do love the place I live, it to me feels like an externalisation of my inner self, I live happily in a large modern city which largely ignores the massive empty desiccated but beautiful world outside it. Here in what has to be one of the most hostile landscapes in the world I lie facing the inky vastness of the only real eternity with a silent telescope to my left the only anchor to Earth in my field of vision.

Countless invertebrates, reptiles and god knows what close by crawling around in the less hostile night of the middle of the desert which frighten most people into staying in doors feel like relatives, indeed is there anything more dangerous than a human? If we are honest is it the Mulga snake, the Giant Western Australian Centipede or the Desert Scorpion who fucked this world up?

A few days ago I had a flat tire on the way into camp 50 kilometres from anywhere it was one of those things that when I tell people about they are shocked that I survived at all, despite the fact I didn’t even get close to being in danger. Being small and thin I had utterly no chance of getting the wheel nuts off the Hilux I was driving, though I did get the spare out, the jack in place and then I had to flag down a truckie to do the rest. Which he was glad to do, but I wondered you know, would he have been so helpful if I was a guy, or old or ugly?

As I sat there contemplating calling for help on the satellite phone I noticed that within my poor eyesight there was at least six drink cans, most of which were coke. Butt fuck nowhere is littered with our junk, it spoils the effect of it all, that and the dead Kangaroos every 50 meters, they tell you not to travel before 9am and 5pm out here or ‘you WILL hit something, probably a roo.’

Sadly in my old age I’ve come to love life, and this world, but less and less I like people, the fact I used to sleep with so many of them, even for money now boggles my mind, and how I used to try and see the good in them. Frankly the wildlife out here seems less malicious to me.

I stopped watching the news years ago because I was tired of being depressed about the state of the world and now, staring up at the sky I know why we’ve never found aliens.

I love this planet, I love the universe, much more than any one I ever met, hopefully it will outlive me, I don’t like funerals. I’m sorry if that sounds sad, I am so happy these days that virtually nothing makes me sad, even the angry men who think coal and carbon dioxide is mana from heaven.

Headphones on I look at the sky and am not just a hole any more, I’m whole.

Ich habe es für dich getan.


Venus, Stalin, Fermi and the end of the world.

I have often wondered, like you, whether I was made by nature or by nurture – or lack thereof actually, and why there are no aliens coming to the end of year party.

How do these things relate?

I’m a Physicist, that’s how – which feels weird for me to write because even now – half way through my Masters I find it hard to call myself a scientist let alone a physicist. I doubt, chiefly I self doubt but because I grew up as a strumpet, I am great at hiding what’s going on inside while affecting something of an ecstatic experience from being in your close company.

Let me explain…

The longer I study, and the longer I live the more I find that maths and science are the only reliable ways to describe reality, there is a past, the future is fluid and divination is the lazy sister of causality. true I’m only 28, but so far so true. I’ve had many people tell me that this or that is the origin of us, then later attempting to impress me with absolute proofs of the end times.

No end times, no real evidence for supernatural tampering with humanity has ever ponied up with any actual evidence. Evidence being what science is made of, unlike the sugar and spice that I was apparently wrought from.

Why won’t this butter in my mouth melt?

My mum and dad made me from their union, science tells me that was biological and chemical, romance says love and love making and the JW who once handed me the Watchtower – he said – sin and by God’s plan – if that can possibly resolve rationally let me know.

Both my parents in deed and descent were practical people, my mum a yuppie princess and dad a bookish engineer, they did have some romance in them, dad probably more than mum but they were big fans of the real not the magical. They’d not have been fans of Game of Thrones I suspect, although they did take me to church occasionally, for easter, xmas and family events, births, death and marriage. So I did get a look at the one true god – and he was dark and full of terror.

I don’t remember much religious instruction but I do remember mum giving me books about animals and dad delighting in my delight at his hobby of astronomy. Where my best mate was drilled in what Jesus would do if she got pregnant when she was 8, I was taught how to avoid that and just how it was that I would get ‘that way’. My friend didn’t learn that until she was 14 – in the same way we all do – the internet.

Sweet Jesus! It goes where?

I wasn’t afraid of sex, not like my friend, but I was also not especially interested in it – or boys, like her though, I was a little giggly around them since I’d gone to an all girls school most of my life. A nominally religious one as well, though they never pretended that men were the stuff of satan to me. Mostly they drummed into me that I was in all things a man’s equal, of which I am grateful. And eventually some time before puberty I did decide I liked boys and some day, when I was ready I’d like one to like me.

You can kiss me but get your hands off my butt and don’t even try touching my boobs.

Men are from Mars, women from Venus. You know that the first signal to space was Morse code to Venus? Now you do.

In the first 4 years of my course and even now, in my Masters we are encouraged to do – sorry required to – do classes on how to present our studies and ideas in a way that isn’t offensive or demeaning to deists. Seriously this is a thing, an actual thing.

“Lay down your mind and peace will come. A peace deeper than anything you have known.”
― Haruki Murakami, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

This is what it’s like being a scientist today, reason is mocked by the powers that be and as a foundation for that mockery we are given – a book that is supposedly the words of a god – which is then used to persecute minorities and reason. Once I used to be interested in what these people had to say but now I feel like it’s the same as when a client would tell me to shut up and bend over. I should be happy with this, it’s what I’m made for – wanting more is greedy, rebellious – evil even.

A few weeks ago I was sitting at a table drinking with a couple of French science sorcerers and the Fermi paradox came up, the woman had read an article that put the fact we’ve not so much as had a whiff of contact, or the vaguest indication of alien life down to the example of how aggressive life on Earth is. “Look at us!” she said “We are on the edge of extinction yet we still poison the Earth, we fight over silly details our imaginary gods have, is it hard to see why we are alone?”

The other, a man, an idealist to the core offered ifs and buts but no one was convinced, soon more people joined in, passionately or rationally. I wasn’t in the mood so I wandered outside.

Plus you know, the elephant – this cosmos isn’t big enough for both of us.

In the desert there is little moisture in the air, and where the array is, there is no light pollution, you can see the milky way with your naked eye. It makes me sad that it’s so mind-bogglingly obvious we are poisoning this lovely little world of ours – and each other.

Few care enough to stop using plastics, to dare tell businesses they can’t mine this or that, every child is a miracle so even after we hit seven billion god wants more, ever more. Despite the fact most will go hungry and never have a decent life. A woman is still, in most countries a holy cow, the receptacle for a man’s divine seed. A dick toy that if you grab her pussy she’ll gladly let you fuck her. Gays are evil, un-natural, god says so – not in so many words, actually never in words but here it is in a dubiously collated set of wildly contradictory rantings.

I get it, I’m impatient with deists and business circle jerking each other while preaching some biblical end times and ignoring the actual causes, because well you know – sometimes I wish they would burn in hell like the way they think I will.

Enjoy this pre-emo Aussie rock.

The things you do for love.

Be careful what you wish for right? I’ve always expected to end up at the arse end of Australia if anywhere assuming the magic job fairy ever blesses me – and if you know Australia then you know how bleak that might be. I’ve been to the outback once and it was horrible, it’s too hot for rocks out there – too dry for anything more than beasts that survived the permian extinction. I know this because one of them, a two meter Monitor lizard tried to eat me. Lucky for me Aussie men are mad from the heat and this guy chased it off with a very large stick. I have to say though – it did look at him with some hesitation before it went away, I’m pretty sure it was thinking – can I take them both?


Above: That’ my kitty!

I like blokey dudes, those that appear out of no where wielding a dead tree to save me from something pre-postosuchus. Thing is, we have dicks here too, a lot, and most of them I’ve met, it seems – to me.

Anyway that’s a little off topic – I’ll lay off the man bashing shall I? I’d been busy applying to the few scienceful jobs that don’t involve oil/iron/uranium/gas flavoured land raping – as I am not a fan of any of that sort of thing, and got a bite! Which is where I have been lately, I got to go play science at a big radio telescope which was actually near civilisation!

Sadly I am part of a team who has been working on some imaging tech which I’d tell you about but then I’d have to kill you. It’s a secret, unless you’re a Russian or Chinese hacker than you’ve probably already got access to it and my laptop camera, which is why I am wearing a t-shirt in bed. We are working for another place – which is much larger and specialised than the facility we will are starting at – looking at sharpening resolutions that will help look backwards in time.

Cue 2001 jokes.

The days of individuals doing anything in science alone and getting anywhere are probably gone, so I have shelved the plans I had of a warp drive, cold fusion reactor and Make-me-taller© beam, which I began designing when I was 6 I think. Sadly I am no closer to any prototypes of them than I was when I announced to my mum that the fluids under the kitchen sink which I’d poured into the lawn mower tank actually warped space/time. At least this time I won’t miss out on dessert for a month.

Gosh I hope it works – it’d be nice to actually get my masters… I have a female friend in the group – another woman who goes to parties to get asked what she does – then has to listen to some idiot guy insist that astrology is legitimate science. Poor thing, oh well at least I’m not ethnic and I don’t get the – hi do you speak English thing.

The remaining two have willies – I am assuming – they have boys names and one of them is quite a cool guy, he is capable of real conversations and actually refuses to abbreviate in text messages! Keeper! This dude and I get along quite well and so we do most of the talking, his name is Dave – get it? I do – cough.

So contestant number 4 is well – have you ever done science? You know the kid that got all the 100%’s in everything and has that look on his face like he peed his pants and he thinks you should clean that up for him? The plump mummies boy with the same thick glasses as me although not for fasshy ironic reasons just because they are more practical – sociopath? The guy who in first year said “You’ll just get pregnant to one of the marketing students” as a kind of hello.

Him. Sweet Darwin – kill me now.

So he’s a genius at programming and thankfully I’m not in that stream but somehow he ended up being interested in the kind of thing that the rest of us are. So he and his buddies wrote something that almost worked, until my other – overdue to be pregnant student – and I worked out why his software didn’t work. Here is the news! Girls beat man – at something that involves thinking no less! A dark day in history.

No, we don’t get on, did you guess? Dave seems to be able to communicate with spectacled hate and his cadre of geeks but those of us plagued with stupid inducing bewbz not so much. The other she – not me – the other woman has so much patience – not even I seem to get on her nerves but he does, so there you have it, it’s not just me.

Anyway we have to spend spring together – mostly in a small room and in small on-campus accommodation so I am ploughing through vodka and illicit substances – cards against humanity too, he’s great at that, and burying hookers in his back yard. Don’t get me wrong this is awesome, but it’d be nice to not have to deal with him.

Did I tell you I fucking love science? Even if you are stuck in a room for most of the rest of your life pouring over data, trying to work out where a hypothetical/theoretical something is.

I was worried when I took this stream that I’d end up either jobless or working for some dreary commercial interest but here I am staring at the sky again – joy!

I won’t see much of this spring though – sadly – oh hello Mr vodka! Have you met Ms lime? Have a swish around to some music and meet me in my mouth.


Internet security :/

I began life on a IBM thinkpad, it was a kick arse thing when I was six I think, or five, I can’t quite remember but it only lasted a year until I broke it. The thing was really heavy and I was a small weedy kid with arms more like vines – floor meet laptop. I remember thinking wow it broke the floor then I started thinking about how the coloured shapes in the kitchen floor are rocks made of colour – or colour made into rocks. I was thinking about this not the broken laptop when my mum arrived and asked me what I’d done. I said I think I broke the floor, which both of us were more concerned about than the laptop, it surprised both of us that my dad thought the laptop was more important.

Mind of women – different you say? I am still fascinated by colour even though I was never good at art I am a boss at physics and maths – unfortunately I am also good at dropping expensive tech. 3 MacBook pros and iPad and five – yes five phones. I could have bought a Toyota Corolla for that – if I had no taste or hated life.

Poor Thinkpad – it was replaced by a cool new Vaio which I chose, mum agreed it looked cool and dad shuddered. It also had changeable covers that so you could co-ordinate – sorry I’ll go find the point again…

The Vaio was lovely, sexy and sleek but it was marred by Windows which at the time was basically a magnet for virus’ and picked up more infections than a junkie who finds his needles in the gutter. Not that I cared, I have always been a nerd and diligently closed all the ports that where not in use, installed a connection monitor, anti-virus and didn’t really spend much time at the kind of sites that spread tech disease being a  kid. Still Windows being what it was managed to get infected all the time, I understood and didn’t care, I used public transport which seemed analogous at the time.

I was a twelve or thirteen when mum bought me an iBook, it wasn’t that nasty plastic Barbie thing it was the white square one initially dismayed at it’s lack of anything Microsoft I soon got to love that lappy, iTunes helped and the way nothing seemed to worry it. I had to be gentle with all my previous computers and I could be a bit rough with that one. That was the end of me and Microsoft, other than work and airports I can’t say I missed M$.

I’ve never had a virus or malware or anything like that on a Mac but to be honest I also keep my computer updated with anti-virus apps, I don’t allow remote access to anything, I shun social media, don’t visit dodgy websites and routinely wipe caches and cookies.

I do a lot – almost all my shopping online – outside of clothes and food – but I also have a password manager. I regularly change my passwords for banks and iTunes – which is the only place I was hacked and even then because the people who did it tried to buy a iPhone at a store I’ve never used Apple said no and contacted MasterCard who called me instantly.

So I look at people who get virus ridden and loose their credit card details to the wrong people and think how? Why?

Security online? It’s only going to get worse so stop vomiting all your details and pics onto social media, I once came across a girl using my pic and she (?) actually argued that it was her! So then I stopped using it. Never put your address or even country on a profile, phone number, likes and dislikes. Trash Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram – it’s only making your insecurities worse and shaking your meme fist at Trump isn’t working is it?

Use a password generator – preferably a hardcore one not the name of your pet or deity. Use anti-virus software – if you are going to subscribe to anything subscribe to that. Use a VPN – a virtual private network – so no one can track you. Ok that’s techy – phone a friend for that.

And don’t be stupid, which is asking a lot of most people – but not you – if you read me you’re probably smart right?

Soooo – here’s how to delete your download history on the MacOs – not that you’ve been to Pornhub ever… no – me neither.

Go to your drive, then to the ‘applications’ folder, then to ‘utilities’ inside that – there you’ll find the ‘terminal’ app – launch it and paste this into it…

sqlite3 ~/Library/Preferences/* ‘delete from LSQuarantineEvent’

You’re welcome.

Reality Bytes

Is there something wrong with being a nihilistic optimist? Don’t get me wrong I like movies, books, all kinds of fiction but I get nervous when people tell me to believe in something, I much prefer knowing, believing is to me why people fly planes into buildings and give their bank details to scammers.

I know it’s cynical of me to equate belief and fraud but it’s kept me alive so I’m loathe to drop my knickers – I mean guard on this. Aww hell it’s sunny and nice I feel like a bit of innuendo – sheesh!

In the brighter times of my life I have often let my guard down, thrown caution to the wind and let people who like causes into my life but you know what, they are all mad, mental and ok maybe angry too. Why? I dunno, like I said I am an optimistic nihilist, I like being alive, I like the sun, holidays, nature, books – hell I think I’d like two life times thanks, that way I might finish enjoying myself.

Life can be a rough pecker, doing you when you’re not ready but it’s not always, and even when it is you can usually find some light somewhere. This idea that when you die things are going to get better or you’re going to win a lottery to a better neighbourhood? Really?

Cats don’t get shitty about being alive, they don’t get huffy when you put them down, they also don’t cry abandonment when you don’t pat them all the time, they actually get annoyed if you try to over affection at them. Yep that was a gen-y sentence huh? You know we do that to shit you right?

OoOo the joy of annoyingly, unswervingly content.

Having said that, have you seen that laugh yoga? The fuck is that? Suddenly I feel sane and not so mental, those people are mental you can just tell they would rather be crying, and probably will when they get home – to their cat – who is also not into them.

You can let personal horror and tragedy take joy out of you or you can lie in the sun when you can.

Mmm coffee and raspberry muffin. I really would like a cigarette with it though. sigh.

Historically Accurate Disney Princess Song – Rachel Bloom, enjoy, I did!

Friends – with boners – n uz olde-men… put down your beers.

One of the things I wonder about men is if they experience the kind of projection that seems to come with being female. Almost every man I’ve known has had a crack at telling me who I am and what I should be – two different things apparently. Women don’t do that – to me at least, maybe to others – but in my experience no.

So I think I am about to loose another friend who insists on drunk calling, texting and oddly emailing. He’s twice and a bit my age but I know he as a crush on me and I have done my best to dissuade his interest in anything but friendy things. Which men seem to get very pissy about – going to the extent of coming up with a term ‘friendzoning’. This horrible place where a woman you like holds you at the distance where you can’t put your dick in her.

Some people think that the law of diffusion where a concentrated substance will spread to a low concentration works on women, i.e. if you hang around one no matter the age difference, or any other obstacle – say she’s not attracted to you sexually will be overcome.

I’m pretty sure this comes from the movies, where dorks continually are showered in hot women who just love awkward idiots with bad hair and laughs like donkeys. Sure, totally hot, I don’t know why Hollywood thinks that’s so important but they have been doing it for years, maybe it’s a side effect of creepy old producers sexually harassing would be starlets into sex? Maybe they think if they make enough Adam Sandler movies we’ll all admit our mistake and marry insufferable jerks.

Not that my mate is an insufferable jerk in that way, more in the chuckle at an opinion and then a passive – ‘the right ways is this…’ Which is in itself insufferable, so why put up with it?

The charm spiral. There is this thing I call the charm spiral, where someone will be nice to you in wide nice circles, respectfully distant yet a good buddie then occasionally swoop and apologise for the strange arse squeeze that came out of no where as – ‘an accident’ or a friendly arse squeeze – you know it’s a bit like when a president grabs your vagina and you should be fine with that otherwise you’re a nazi feminist.

Being inappropriately touched by someone you know is a difficult problem to broach with a friend, so they know you are currently single, they’ve been your buddy for a while so there is common ground, so when they make a move and you are offended or even not into it then it’s a shock to them. Which is funny because it shouldn’t be to you. According to them, to them it’s a natural progression and almost an inevitability, like erosion or taxes.

The fact your friend knows you’ve been sexually assaulted seems to now be something you should – yanno – get over – somewhere in the last year you should have accepted the fact that you are his and as soon as your relationship mourning period was over get used to the idea.

That, upsetting as it is isn’t the worst things that can happen, at least in my opinion it’s the patronising that can happen with this sort of age difference. Guys – and girls my age seem to have a line they’ll tell you if they have a strong opinion, you’ll argue and its done, they know, you know and it becomes a line that you don’t approach unless it’s a joke or your relationship deteriorates to the point where you need ammo in the ‘final battle’.

I fully appreciate that at not quite 30 I am not the wisest person on earth, some of my ideas and opinions might be right. But the mansplaining thing, that my friends is fucking annoying. There are a few things I am an expert on, maths, physics, being a woman, my like of dick/pussy and things I like or dislike. Getting told about those in a matter of fact way, that’s a bit much, its like when you tell someone you are an atheist – or a deist and they nod then tell you why you’re wrong and how silly you are.

Ranty as I am I try not to lecture people about how there is no god and physics is my prophet, sorry poor joke. People get offended when you keep doing that little laugh and telling them not to be silly. Silly, that’s a good way of spotting a sentence where you’ve been an arshole and need to stop drinking then apologise and go home.

As a member of gen-y I have to accept I am responsible for the fuckery that is going on in the world, how my phone and I have ruined the planet, my views on sex, gender, politics, 80’s fashion, make up and everything else is terrible compared to older people – cough – men.

My apologies, you’re right, again.

Joie de vivre

I don’t cry much, I don’t cry at movies, I don’t cry at weddings, sad songs, but I don’t begrudge people having a cry, I think it’s good for you I just don’t do it much. I have done, many times but I think after all is aid and done I am a positive person. If I am not positive then I am sarcastic, which some see as the low point of wit, they usually wear pearls and drink unsweetened tea when we are doing shots, and tisking when we are snort laughing.

This has either allowed me to stay mental but cheerful or if you watch a lot of horror means you shouldn’t go camping with me. Fear not, I hate camping and the only stars I like to sleep under is the five stars of a hotel.

I think this cheerful outlook comes from how I treat drudgery, I tell myself it won’t last so look forward, I also think this when I am enjoying things like parties and uni, so I tell myself to enjoy that too for joy is fleeting stuff as much of it into your handbag as you can.

There are days like today, when I have done my work that can sit here with the thermostat on 30, in a t-shirt and ugg boots, smell the full cream sexy of my coffee while blowing a joint like it was my favourite ever boyfriend and do what I please.

You remember the tale of the ant and the grasshopper? I’m neither, I am thrifty with things so that at the end I can indulge in obscenely selfish pleasures. I’ll have a bath, that will take an hour where I’ll slowly rub the soreness out of every bit of me. Dress in something comfy and warm and go down to this park not far from here and sit there and read something that has nothing to do with physics and it’s going to be divine.

After I’ll order some Thai, have another joint before it, a Chardonnay during and watch a movie on the couch then have a bed joint before bed.

I’ve had a few addictions, the worst was cigarettes but even those I rarely smoked more than 10 a day at a peak. Chocolate, coffee and other minor addictions I’ve never over-indulged in, nor have I ever seen the worth of it. Treats should be treats, otherwise they have a way of backfiring and most things in life are about balance. The trick to having a cake for lunch is not having cake every day, nor ice-cream nor anything that is bad for you but comforting.

Still; enjoyment is what life is meant for, pleasure slightly less, sensuality is a measure not a scoop or a second helping, denial is part of why reward is so good. Those of you who are good in bed know what I mean, there is a balance to everything, sometimes that is obvious sometimes it’s a feeling, a line an abstract.

A friend of mine was listening to Édith Piaf and telling me how bitterly sad La Vie en rose is, I never thought so, to me it sounds defiant, a celebration. She tells me it’s about the life of a rose, thorny and bitter sweet, I tell her it’s about a rose coloured world, neither of us speak French, we look at the same thing and take a different meaning.

Today was a good day, as a reward for working hard, you should try that I highly recommend it.

Alice – Pogo