Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Jenny's Crash - update

Jenny's bruises developed nicely and she's been  in quite a lot of pain for the past fortnight.  Fortunately that is now easing.  This was just as well as she went to Grenoble with her post-doc, Stephanie, on Tuesday last week, returning on Friday.  They took some fossils to be scanned in the supa-dupa synchrotron facility there.  I had no idea what it was like, but post a few pics here.  I was deeply impressed.


The synchrotron has an enormous ring around which they shoot electrons until they achieve whatever speed is deemed necessary for the experiment, then beams of electrons are siphoned off.

This picture shows part of the building that houses the ring.  It's not as big as the LHC, but then the experiments are in a different league!  Even so, it's powered by its own nuclear reactor, which is what you see in the next shot.

In Jenny and Stephanie's case, the experiment was to try to see inside the fossils they'd taken, and this was only partially successful.  One rock in particular, showed up beautifully, and they should get a lot of information out of that.


Sadly, most of the others didn't work as well.  The problem is that they need the bones and the internal bits of the bones to be more opaque to the beam of electrons than the rock matrix is.  Without that critical difference, you don't see much at all.

And the third pic is of Grenoble itself, which I include really just because it looks like a nice place and they had some decent food there!

Meanwhile, I was sorting out Jen's bike. We'd had a quote for all the parts from the local Yamaha dealer, but of course, that came to much more than this 14-year-old bike was worth.

With the workshop manager, we went through the list picking out just those parts necessary to make the bike rideable and presentable, which came to a much more reasonable figure.


Then we added the cost of a helmet and a jacket (both damaged in the crash) plus a rather small amount for the pain she suffered.  Still came to quite a lot!

When the man came back from holiday on Thursday, he contacted me and we discussed where we were at.  I'd not got around to posting him the documentation, because I thought he'd not be back until the weekend.  Long story short, he's agreed to pay, but has yet to do so.  When I see the money in our bank account I'll post him a "full and final settlement" document signed by Jenny, but not before.

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