An indecent proposal. [Weekly Head Voices #31]

Dear readers,

I would like to introduce you to my new friend:

Pretty Leifheit kitchen timer, ideal for the Pomodoro Technique. Also the first time I use the macro setting on my Canon. Doh.

Pretty Leifheit kitchen timer, ideal for the Pomodoro Technique. Also the first time I use the macro setting on my Canon. Doh.

It is old-fashioned and mechanical. It makes an extremely comforting ticking sound, and then after the 25 minutes of focus-time are over, starts ringing. The ticking is not too loud, and not too soft. The ringing is just the right length. You don’t take my word for it, as I’ve made you a short movie clip:

Comforting, no?

In spite of a number of deadlines having been successfully met, I’m still in the lamentable situation where every second counts, so I’m going back to bullet mode for the rest of this post:

  • The FNSF and I managed to finish that Indecent Research Proposal and submit it at 11:57 on Wedensday, 3 minutes before the Deadline for Indecent Proposals at the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO). We almost missed the deadline due to the extremely primitive web-submission system in use there. If you happen to be invited to review this proposal, please approve it. You Can Trust Us. :)
  • The real-time collaboration functionality in the new Google Docs was a life-saver during the writing of this proposal. Being able to see FNSF’s cursor move and edits happen in real-time was really great for coordinating. Now if they could only improve: 1) The styling possibilities (there are none at the moment, so you have to manually change typesetting if you don’t agree with their default style) and 2) The PDF export (it inserted page-breaks within tables and generally screwed up. Eventually I exported to MS Word, fixed typesetting and page-breaks there, then exported to PDF); then I would be happy.
  • On Friday I had one of the most hectic oral defences of my life. There’s a high probability I’ll have to try again in a year or two’s time. Or never. I’ll keep you posted. Or not.
  • Partly due to the events of Friday, but also to continuous general self-reflection (read: voices in my head that never sleep), I will gradually revise my publication strategy in the coming years. Bottom-line: I have to focus more on generalising until our applications start looking like pure theory. :)
  • I’m slowly learning how to say no. It’s hard, but at least there is some professional help available:

In a few weeks, I hope to have the time to write you a proper post. Until that glorious occasion, I’ll do my best to keep you up to date with these healthy and low-fat WHV light editions!