Rachel Down Under!

Life on the Edge

Posted in Australia, Sydney by rssmith218 on September 21, 2010

How to sum up yet another fantastic week in Sydney?

1. Papers, papers, and more papers

I have spent the past week in lab reading more papers than I would like to admit. I’m slowly figuring out an experimental design for the field season, and hopefully, with some insight from just a few more papers (hopefully?) I will be able to start setting up my project this week!

Of course, reading papers is always easier with the aid of our lab pet, Twiggy, a Giant Prickly Stick Insect (scientific name Extatosoma tiaratum), who normally resides quietly on the corner of my desk. Here we are, reading, while someone else is cleaning out her home!

Don’t be afraid! You can see that she might be better described as a Cute Prickly Stick Insect than a Giant, and I am glad to have her as a co-worker! Here is a video of a stick insect molting, which I think is pretty cool. Just ignore the cheesy music.

2. Busty ladies…

After exploring the Museum of Contemporary Art (they have a neat exhibit right now that features artists who use art as a form of environmentalism), and Paddy’s Markets with Aisha on Saturday afternoon, I met up with some girls from my lab to see the show BUSTING OUT, an act that has “women cheering on their feet and men gasping with amazement” according to the program.

The website for Busting Out claims that the play is “an uplifting celebration of bouncy songs, wobbly jokes, thigh-slapping sketches, and of course, practical demonstrations of the fascinating lesser-known uses of your drooping assets.” Yikes. A quick exploration of the website will prove that this play was definitely a bit more than I had bargained for.


On Friday morning, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology documented the biggest wave ever recorded in Tasmania, a wave that was a whopping 18.4 meters tall! Wow! That is like three Sydney Buses stacked on top of each other, according to this picture:

Oh Buoy! Admittedly, Tasmania has only been recording wave heights since 1998, which makes that statistic (biggest wave ever!) less notable, but that is still a big wave! This same weather pattern brought huge waves to Sydney as well, and Aisha and I enjoyed these impressive waves on an afternoon stroll along the Bondi-Bronte coastal walk.

Bondi Beach doesn’t look so friendly today, does it?

But the waves only got MORE INTENSE as we continued our walk.

And yet, as the waves became increasingly FIERCE, we encountered MORE people testing their limits in the surf. For example, what is this guy thinking? (photo credit to Aisha)

And what are these crazy girls doing? They better be careful!

As we neared the end of our walk, we found a few brave surfers hanging out at Bronte Beach- here I caught one on video!

So maybe this wave doesn’t compare to the “biggest wave ever ridden” or even to “once the biggest wave ever ridden“, but I was still impressed.

Afterwards, our surfing friend was glad to talk about the waves….

Haha, just kidding, but I really love that video.

2 Responses

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  1. Lenore said, on September 21, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    I’m glad I didn’t see a video of you out in that surf!

    I love Twiggy – when did you become left handed? Did you take the picture with your Photo Booth?

    And I see you are getting some use out of you Milton Bradley Cubs shirt! Ha!!!

  2. Thomas said, on September 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Rachel has a youtube account! I hope this means some vlogging in the near future.

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