Thursday, August 17, 2006

Look, a parus major, another, loads of them...

I was doing some final planning of my experiment that I'm running today and tomorrow (not a moment too soon, as the conference starts on Monday...). As I was sipping the oilpan-boiled coffee I'd got from the campus buttery, I was sketching the various factors of my experiment to make sure I had all the bases covered and all the stimuli in the right place.

I needed to make sure that my two participants (t1 and t2 for short) were assigned correctly in the right conditions. So I started with an empty sheet of paper, jotted down the levels of factor 1 vertically, cross-tabulated with the levels of factor 2 horizontally, noting t1 and t2 to the various slots as I went along. And once I had managed to fill all the slots with with 't1' and 't2', I took a long sip of the coffee, glanced around the central lawn and the raised faculty building; builders at work here, a few people there, going to the library with their transparent plastic bags (UL is years ahead of Heathrow and Stansted in screening your hand luggage upon your entry to the premises), some early-bird tourists taking photographs of Lord Foster's Law Faculty building... Ahh, such a nice, early summer morning on the Cambridge Sedgwick site. Another sip of coffee and a glance to my satifsactorily filled notes - a page full of handwriting, seemingly repeating tits, tits, tits, tits, in a nice 5-by-5 array...

Luckily I managed to avoid choking on my coffee, and no-one else saw my Freudially (Freudianially? Freudistically? Freudianisically? in-a-Freudian-way?) loaded notes, and not many people were scared by my manic chuckles as I was heading back to the faculty squeezing my notes.

(Pic: Richard Ford,

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