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Lachlan Rogers
Works at Universität Ulm
Lives in Wiblingen
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Lachlan Rogers

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It feels time for a regional ‪#‎potw‬. Pigeons have commandeered this tower at one end of the Ehinger Tor (Gate towards Ehingen), which was built in the middle 1800s. It was part of a large circumference wall that was built around Ulm and Neu Ulm to form a fortress that was intended to defend against the French. Decades ago the adjoining wall sections were demolished for roads and residential buildings, and so today this gate stands in isolation. It is one of the main bus/tram interchanges, and I pass it every day on my commute to work.
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+Shannon Roy I cropped a bit from the original frame, and it wasn't easy to make it feel "right".  A big part of the problem is the 6-way traffic intersection that wraps around the front of this gate, making it necessary to compose around the traffic light poles and road signs and tram wires.  I've had roughly this image in mind for months, but the actual photographing turned out to be trickier than expected.  I might try moving the bird around to see if it does improve things.
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Lachlan Rogers

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I got out of bed far too early this morning due to a daughter who was woken by the early summer sun. Things were already feeling a bit surreal and then the kids started fighting for "turns" of my Periodic Table of the Elements fridge magnet. I bet the people who put it in my conference promo bag had no inkling of its fate. We had a brief impromptu science lesson on the couch.

It was entertaining to hear my 4-year-old son a little later explaining excitedly: "Mummy, look at this! It has oxygen and - what was that one - nitrogen. They are in the air!" 
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Looks like great fun...
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As an Australian, I find the dramatic transformation of spring in Ulm fairly stunning.  In winter everything is either stark monochrome when there's snow, or dull grey when it melts.  The last few weeks have turned everything technicolour! 
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So glad you have this to enjoy. We have gray monochrome at the moment!
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Sure enough, there's snow at home! After some weeks enjoying the Australian summer, this transition is dramatic. There was no snow around Frankfurt, and even Stuttgart only had patches of snow. Ulm is blanketed white, and it's beautiful.

Today reached a maximum of about -3 degrees, and I foolishly forgot my coat and gloves as I left for work! I'm terribly out of practice for this thing called "winter". Luckily the bus was on time and was heated - but even then I doubt I'll repeat that mistake in a hurry! 
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This looks spectacular! Almost too spectacular to be real. +Luke Webster​ or +Shannon Roy​, do you know anything about this amazingly futuristic-looking piece of city?
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Ah, architectural renderings. The number 1 best way to trick clients into giving you piles of cash...
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Lachlan Rogers

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My ‪#‎potw‬ has been revised at the last minute, because eating these Bodensee strawberries this evening was a revelation. Yes, they are as dark and richly coloured as this photo suggests. Yes, they are nearly black all the way through (like a black cherry). And yes, even after 3 summers of Germany strawberry gluttony these are undoubtedly the best I've ever eaten.
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They look fake...and delicious!
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I regularly fall behind with my photo organisation, which is a shame because I try to operate by the principle "if I can't find it quickly when I want to show it, then the photo should not be taking up hard drive space!". The task involves systematic file renaming, tagging, culling, sometimes raw processing, rating, and sensibly archiving in meaningful directories. Sadly, it is usually more fun to just go and take some more photos!

So here's an idea that I hope can be a catalyst for me. I'm going to try sharing a photo of the week (‪#‎potw‬), which will be my personal favourite. The catch is that it must come from the organised photos from the last 7 days, and not from my "import" directory. I know that "photo-a-day" challenges already exist, but there's no way I can maintain that level of activity. This will be something slightly different. If any of you like the idea then feel free to play along!

This first #potw is a sunset view out the dining room window, looking over Kuhberg. This hill on the west side of Ulm is an extended ridge that follows the Danube River. Today Kuhberg is a mostly residential suburb of Ulm, but 150 years ago it was part of the defences of the city. Two forts were constructed in the middle 1800s, one at the top and one half way down to the city. These were never really used in battle, but the Fort Oberer Kuhberg was used from 1933 to 1935 as a concentration camp primarily for political opponents of the Nazi regime. I always find it slightly strange to realise that the view would have often been this majestic even during the war.
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As you might have noticed I love sunsets!
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I oppose the death penalty in all forms for any reason.  Tolkien expressed deep truth when he wrote these words from Gandalf: “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”

I also deplore the inconsistency of Australia's (politically and socially) defence of human rights.  This article gets much more interesting half way down, when it contrasts the recent rhetoric against sentiments surrounding the execution of Bali Bombers.  It is also illustrative to see the similar (and flawed) narratives that unite Indonesian executions and Australian mandatory and indefinite detention of innocent people.
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This week I've been at a conference/project-meeting for a European Commission collaborative research activity on Quantum Systems. The venue was the excellent Institute for Photonics (ICFO) in Barcelona, and we rearranged the schedule this morning to allow the coffee-break to coincide with maximum coverage of the solar eclipse. A stiff wind was blowing clouds in from the Mediterranean, but we did end up getting a decent view.
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Oh Clansi! Was thinking of you Lach when we saw it on the news...
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We saw more than just the remnants of wall when we were in Berlin for my conference in March.  I've been wanting to share these photos for months, but it has been hard to find the time to sort and organise them.

It is a rather similar situation while actually visiting a new city for a physics conference.  Despite the long list of things that tourists go to see in Berlin, I was technically there for work.  I find this to be a pleasant way to get the feel of a city, because it provides a glimpse into what it is like to live there.  The week-long German Physics Society conference meant that I had to use public transport as a commuter (rather than tourist); I had to squeeze sight-seeing into out-of-business hours; and I was able to enjoy meals with friends and colleagues.

One evening I went exploring by myself to visit the picturesque Oberbaum Bridge.  I had a few nice photo ideas in mind after browsing a post-card stand, but the weather was not perfect and I was too late for interesting light in the sky.  It's always risky using postcards as inspiration - those photographers typically get the luxury of timing flexibility (they can return the next day, or next month, or next year).  On a different evening I wandered along the river near Friedrichstraße Station and got one of my favourite Berlin photos. 

We stayed for the weekend after my conference finished, and picked out a few things to experience in more detail.  I'll write a separate post about the Pergamon Museum, but we also got a boat cruise on the Spree and a brief visit to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.  The latter turned out to be quite a highlight, because the architecture was so intriguing and the memorial was perfectly sensitive and moving.  One week in Berlin left me wishing I could spend more time there discovering fascinating details and amazing history.
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I am looking forward to my first visit to Berlin travelling from Mauritius via Frankfurt on 20th December 2014.
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I'm regularly stunned at the diversity of the "useless box" ecosystem.  This one has some particularly amusing surprises, and I'm left wondering how all the features fit inside a box this size!
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Back in March we went to Berlin so that I could attend one of the German Physics Society's annual conferences.  It was fascinating to spend some time wandering around and absorbing the feel of this remarkable city.  These experiences and memories are especially powerful right now, as the world celebrates 25 years yesterday since "The Wall" opened.

As an Australian, I found Berlin to be slightly confronting due to how recently its "history" reaches.  I am accustomed to feeling like European cities (or even villages) are mind-bendingly old; for example, friends of ours live in a farmhouse that was built hundreds of years ago and has been in their family since the 1880s.  However, so much of Berlin's history has happened in the last 75 years that it seems to invert this normal sense of the "Old World".  I don't remember die Berliner Mauer coming down, but I do remember the shock I felt when I first realised that I had been alive and old enough to remember that momentous event.

We arrived at the new Berlin Hauptbahnhof and walked a few blocks to our hotel.  That evening I checked on a map and discovered that this short walk would have taken us across The Wall if it still stood.  Our hotel was just inside old East Berlin, and fairly close to a memorial built around a section of preserved wall.  We spent a morning there and then caught an underground train into the city from one of the "ghost stations" that was once totally locked up.  While traces of the actual wall have been completely removed throughout the city, there are still plenty of places where it is possible to feel a hint of the eerie proximity of history.

Walking around Berlin kept reminding me how ludicrous it seems to slice a city in two with a wall like this. 
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I had a similar "that happened in my lifetime?" reaction while reading the news of Wayne Goss' death.  Goss became Queensland premier in 1989 following Joh Bjelke-Petersen.  I knew there was a lot of corruption under Bjelke-Petersen but I was surprised to learn that democracy as we understand it only came to Queensland under Goss.  Prior to that, the National party would set electoral boundaries not only to favour themselves, but they also made electorates with fewer voters so that they could win more seats in country areas.  In this way, a city Labor seat might have 40000 voters but the country National seats could have 20000 voters each.  This is how Bjelke-Petersen was able to hang on to power for so long.  You can appreciate my surprise when I realised that representative democracy only came to Brisbane 25 years ago!
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Wiblingen
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Morisset - Canberra - Mandalong
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  • Universität Ulm
    Postdoc, 2012 - present
  • Avondale College
    Lecturer, 2011 - 2012
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Fantastic Thai food in generous portions. The seating looks a bit cramped, but I've only had take-away. Excellent take-away service: they pack components of some meals separately so that you avoid soggy or over-cooked bits. It is popular with locals so queues can get a bit long, but food is still ready within 25 mins. They don't take cards, so you'll need cash.
Food: ExcellentDecor: GoodService: Very Good
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