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Peta Foster
Laser-plasma physicist and science communicator
Laser-plasma physicist and science communicator

Peta's posts

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Looking forward to this 😊

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"Put your own oxygen mask on first!", as they say in the airline safety talk. This reminds me that, on this Valentine's Day of appreciation of those people and things we love, we should first remember that it is often considered wise to try to love ourselves first, something that for whatever reason doesn't always seem to come as easily as loving others.

It is by loving ourselves, and attending to our own needs, that we ensure we are giving the best version of ourselves to others.

So if you read this, take a moment to think of three (or as many as you wish) things you love and appreciate about yourself. Feel free to write them in the comments, especially if bravery is on the list ;)

My three things would be:
1. I love my tenacity in the face of problems.
2. I love that I get pleasure from helping people.
3. I love that I still find squirrels so squeal inducingly exciting :)



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Travel blog of a scientist's adventures!

Ok so I normally do science all day but I'm changing jobs for a while. Out with the high power lasers as I excitedly dive into fusion research.

I am a big advocate of recovering between projects and, while I do yoga and meditation to keep my mind and body working well on a normal week, I think a big change like this is an opportunity to really shake yourself up and tweak anything you want to change.

So I am off to work on myself a bit, push my boundaries and learn more about this stunning planet on which we live: Bali, New Zealand, USA and Costa Rica are on my agenda and I'm now in New Zealand and it's amazing!

#travel #sciencetravel #blog #alayakuta

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Free!!! Entire catalogue of Marisa Peer! 

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Get yourself fit and healthy!

+Yoga With Adriene is not my normal science posts but this is the best! Adriene's amazing way of making Yoga accessible and fun is fantastic.This get me ready to go and rock the laser lab! :D

We acknowledge that sometimes a little goes a long way. You requested a quickie (HY) - something for those busy mornings or brief breaks throughout the day. Good for artists, mamas and papas, rockers, office workers, kiddos and clowns.  Live your full potential! #yoga  

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Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na Batman!

How do you teach optics and lasers? :P Here a green laser diode is spatially filtered, expanded and then a piece of paper in the shape of a batman symbol is placed in the beam using sticky tape. The tape messes up the crispness of the batman image unless you image relay it, which is what you see here :) #batman   #physics   #teaching  

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Vector graphics made even better with LaTeX :D
Scientific posters with Inkscape - how to easily add LaTeX formulas

Inkscape is an excellent Open Source program for making vector drawings. It works very well for preparation of posters and can even be used for presentations (with the JessyInk extension). For these purposes, you might need to be able to quickly add a nicely formatted scalable formula.

There is a great extension for Inkscape called TeX Text which makes adding and editing LaTeX formulas quite easy. Unfortunately it is not so easy to install it, as it has not been updated for the latest versions of Inkscape. For Windows, follow this approach and hopefully it will work:

1. Make sure that Inkscape, a LaTeX distribution like MiKTeX and ghostscript is installed.

2.a Install pstoedit.

2.b Optional: Test that pdflatex and pstoedit are accessible from the command prompt.

3. Download and install the latest version of TeX Text.

After restarting Inkscape, there will now be a Tex Text entry in the Extensions menu - but, it will not work!

To fix the errors, from here you should follow the approach found on this blog post by adin:

Essentially, you should

4. Unzip the contents of the file linked below (courtesy of David Gleich) into the C:\Program Files\Inkscape\python\Lib\site-packages (or similar) directory, overwriting any already existing files.

5. Modify the file in the C:\Program Files\Inkscape\share\extensions directory according to adin's instructions. Or just grab the modified file here (by me) and overwrite the original.

6. Restart Inkscape and pray everything will now work.

If the extension works, you will now be able to make formulas with standard LaTeX syntax, move around and resize the resulting svg shapes, and then edit the formulas by selecting them and invoking the TeX Text extension again.

#science #posterdesign #inkscape #latex

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Happy pi day!

Here is my little apple and raspberry contribution. :) 
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