About Angel S.

Born in Mexico City, PhD graduated from the University of Bristol and former postdoctoral researcher at Aalto University. Blogging about topics related to knowledge intersections, the social experience embedded in board gaming and cultural shock. All photographs are of my authorship unless indicated. Views are my own.

Day of the Dead in Bristol

Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead is one of the biggest and most spectacular celebrations in Mexico.  During the two first days of November millions of Mexican families adorn streets and houses with colourful ofrendas or offerings. The main idea behind an ofrenda is remembering and honouring the memory of your ancestors. Favourite foods or objects of the deceased relatives and colourful decorations -made of paper and cempoaxochitl flower- are the main components that comprise an ofrenda.

The visual elements used in ofrendas have had a huge impact in Mexican artistic expression, such as paintings, literature and photography. This influence has gone beyond Mexico motivating a group of people in Bristol to create an exhibition. Some members of the group had the chance to see this exhibition guided by Angel, a Ph.D. student in our group.

Ben, Angel, Tom and Carl -from left to right- next to a traditional ofrenda

Summertime!

Aside

Another week is almost over, however, this has been a special one for our group for many reasons: final year project student presentations, Charl starts a visiting professorship in China and summertime has just started in Bristol. Thus, ISA group had a great celebration of flavours and smells from almost all around the world on Thursday night at town.

As part of the degree programmes offered by the School of Chemistry, undergraduate students have to complete a research project in their final year, which includes writing a thesis and an oral presentation. This year, our young lab mates were involved in subjects such as covalent organic frameworks (COFs) based on tetraniline motifs (with possible applications in gas storage or sensing), functionalization of perylenes with electroactive units to achieve new hierarchical architectures for nanostructured materials and the synthesis of surfactant-like molecules with high osseointegration capabilities for their use in hip implants.

Charl holds a prestigious visiting professorship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, hosted by Prof. Zhixiang Wei at the National Centre for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing, China. For two months, shifu Faul will be working on the field of organic functional nanomaterials and devices and trying to learn the secrets of ancient Chinese cuisine.

On the subject of food, the group visited a buffet restaurant as part of the celebrations for these special events on Thursday night. From my point of view, this place has an interesting concept, cool to hang out with a group of friends but not amazing food. This buffet market has five kiosks, which offer European, Tex-Mex, Asian and Indian food. There is also a huge variety of salads and desserts.

 Unfortunately, my lexicon is not good enough to describe summertime in the City of Bristol, but as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words!