Saturday, May 17, 2008

Wishing Ovomaltine and Mango Fanta was sold in the States

Well I've now had plenty of chances to tour around Zurich, and I think I've done most of it. There were some nice churches in the downtown area, and around the city there are plenty of hiking trails with viewing towers. I have not eaten out much; with today's lousy exchange rate it seems like a bad idea to do so. I was really surprised when I got the bill for a seemingly inexpensive meal at a back-alley restaurant in the city. So I'm mostly buying "Aktion" groceries from their big discount store, Migros, which is just one bus-stop away from where I live. I've tried the various foods which I'm told are characteristic of Switzerland, and so far I've enjoyed all their meats, cheeses, rosti, and of course, the various malted chocolates, my favorite.

As for research, I've spent a lot of time shadowing the graduate students and seeing all the neat equipment they have. All the machines are very high quality; I used to think only industries could afford this caliber, but I guess my home-school just doesn't spend enough of it's own huge grant on research equipment. Anyway, I have a fairly good idea of the project I want to do using nickel nano-wires that I made back in the US, on a setup similar to one being done here at ETH now using carbon nanotubes. Which reminds me, the department I'm with had it's annual Industry Day last week, and there we heard speeches from various big industries (ABB, Siemens, etc.), and also from Dr. Iijima, who is pretty much the Dr. Watson of nanotechnology as he is credited with discovering the carbon nanotube. So that was exciting. That and seeing all the projects here has actually made me seriously consider applying for a Masters degree or more here at ETH. That is if living in Zurich becomes more affordable for students!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Technology truly is an inescapable aspect of our daily lives, and I am 99% certain that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as technology further advances, the possibility of transferring our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could see in my lifetime.

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