Things I've been up to in 2011

"Bring It, Don't Bin It" happened: we collected a load of clothes, toiletries, kitchenware and bedding (which, as you can see above, we promptly sat on) from departing Erasmus students and had a yard sale at the union. The profits and the rest of the stuff went to St. Vincent's, a Sheffield homeless charity. We got the electrical stuff PAT-tested, too! There was a second collection in June as the rest of the students left - unfortunately I couldn't attend, as I was at BarnCamp. I'm really pleased with how this project turned out.

I played in the National Concert Band Festival with the Sheffield University Wind Orchestra. We won a gold award, which sounds great until you realise that there was also a platinum award, and somehow managed to get to Glasgow and back in a single day. What madness.

BarnCamp - the annual techheads-go-camping-and-drink-too-much-cider extravaganza - was awesome (if very, very wet). My favourite workshop was on fractals, by Mike Harris. He was showing us the <canvas> element in HTML5, and how it can be used to make things like Mandelbrot sets. There are some great photos on flickr.

Incidentally, the person who coined the term "fractals", Benoit B Mandelbrot died last year. The B in his name stands for Benoit B Mandelbrot.

Lots of people I like have died recently. Janet McCleery, my awesome singing teacher - Dennis MacDonald, a fellow volunteer at the BitFixit Cafe (and a million other community projects) - Charlie Dickinson, a cracking lad I knew at school - and my lovely friend Brian Jackson, who I miss rather a lot. So that's not been great.

I found out today I have a confirmed place on my Mechanistic Biology Masters course for next year, so that's me sorted until next September. Last week I started my internship for the summer at Oxford Uni working on computer models of heart cells. I didn't know much at all about electrophysiology until last week so it's been a pretty steep learning curve! I'm really enjoying the challenge. Happy summer, everybody.