Most useful/funniest thing I've learnt during lockdown
Professor Alan Fitzsimmons (Academic)
Most people have heard about the Infinite Monkey Theorem - if you take an infinite number of monkeys and give them an infinite number of typewriters, one of them will randomly type Shakespears' Hamlet. In 2003 a group at the University of Plymouth did the first test of this by placing 6 macaque monkeys in a room with a computer for 4 weeks. In between urinating on the keyboard and smashing it with a rock, they produced 5 pages of text, mostly the letter "S". The Director of the University of Plymouth's Media lab, Dr. Mike Phillips, reported "Obviously, English isn't their first language". The theorem remains unproven.
Dr Dermot Green (Academic)
There is a famous quote: “Golf is a good walk spoiled” (i think this is usually attributed to Mark Twain, but others disagree). One thing I discovered in strict lockdown times was that golf courses (without golf!) are fantastic places. See my photo of Fortwilliam golf course on the foot of Cavehill. Daily walks here preserved my sanity, and the peace and quiet was great to get my two kids to sleep (giving me an important window to work!) and keep me fit pushing a double pram up and down Cavehill ... Then the darn golf re-started!
Dr Jason Greenwood (Academic)
Not sure if this is useful or funny but I decided to celebrate my daughter's 21st birthday by sending her a video of me trying to be John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever (and even this was only at 3/4 speed) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-rAhoo56pY&t=41s
Professor Marty Gregg (Academic)
Very silly things can keep you going.....the short video of me and my daughter having a laugh about the format of my lunch kept us both going all day !!
Dr Myrta Gruening (Academic)
I did not learn something really new, just had more time for some of my hobbies. I had time to experiment a bit more with my zoomlens and new body of my camera. Since I could not visit anything exotic, I have a large collection now of pic of the Botanic and Lagan valley with some of their inhabitants (nothing fancy - mostly robins... those birds are the opposite of shy - if they would have smartphones I guess they would take tons of selfies)
Professor Jorge Kohanoff (Academic)
There are efficient ways of procrastinating, by doing things that we have to do anyway in the future.
Dr Felicity Lamrock (Academic)
It may not be useful or funny, but I've learnt that my cat likes taking up three seats on the couch sleeping most of the day. When she is awake she enjoyed watching the birds outside. There are a LOT of birds. She does NOT enjoy maths. She tried some coding but gave up and had a nap...
Dr Tchavdar Todorov (Academic)
One realisation that came as a surprise at first, but that I think is shared by many people, is how much time we ordinarily spend in auxiliary activities: travel, lunch, tea-breaks, settling down at our destination after travel, etc. Working from home during lockdown changed all that. In some ways life became more efficient. And more demanding of course.
Mr Gary Hall (Professional support)
When Squirrels jump from a tree, they do Superhero style landings. It's very cool!
Miss Dina Abdul-Wahab (Research)
Things I learnt sharing an office (aka bedroom) with my sister. 1: Agree on your working conditions beforehand. She didn't want the curtains open (room easily gets stuffy from the sun's heat) and I didn't want the lights on (gives me a headache) so for our first day working from home in the same space we spent it all sat in the dark. 2: Be respectful of each other's meetings. In one of her more important meetings I accidentally knocked into her old broken wardrobe walking past and the door fell off. All visible in camera. Oops.
Mr Jarod Gouldie (Research)
I've learned I can haul a maximum of 4.5 IKEA bags of stuff in a pinch. Method of discovery - moving house with no public transport!
Mr Peter McConnell (Student)
The importance of fresh air. Taking time out to go outside resets the mind and allows for a greater focus in my next work session.