Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Making Furniture from Banana

I had a solid grounding in natural fibers and polymer chemistry thanks to my father. My mum still has a picture of him happily holding a sisal leaf. We took this picture in the plantations just outside Mombasa. Well the agave family is pretty notorious, apart from sisal it also gives us pineapples and tequila.
So I tend to talk about the wonders of polymer chemistry often. I kept rambling at the Augustiner Biergarten in Munich about natural fibers, hair and aramids, to slightly disbelieving stares. Ended up learning a bit about making violins out of Kevlar.

The whole chain of thought started on the plane from Adelaide to Kualalumpur. I sat next to Ed organising the overseas operations in Egypt for Papyrus inc and making veneer out of banana stems. He treated me to a nice time in KL on condition that I show the same consideration to any travelling PhD student I meet in the future, when I am a director or something. Otherwise it was a great conference featuring a visit to the EADS solar panel and rocket engine manufacturing facility - which used to serve as the tank manufacturing facility at its inception. As well as plenty of nice technical sessions and a strange conversation regarding compressed sensing and the difference between SAR and optical.

I finally did the IGARSS Conference review survey today, so getting the blog out is timely. May be I will present about point clouds at the next conference and take a break from the SAR stuff. Check this video for what I have been doing recently.


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