The past 2 weeks have flown by in what seems like a day. Does anyone else have this problem?
First, I went to visit my parents in their new digs. They were on the East Coast and I had been begging them for years to move to California. They finally capitulated – part way – and settled in Colorado….sigh….parents these days, what will they do next? After the visit, I was home for 10 hours (time enough to change the dirty clothes in my suitcase to clean ones) and went to Fermilab for a committee meeting. Upon my return home from that, I have been ear deep in writing sections for the committee report. That finally got finished today and now life can begin again. Whew! The report will be public in about a month and you will read all about it here. Meanwhile, I have 46 hours to prepare for my upcoming trip to Trieste, Italy….
In the meantime, I have missed too many blogging opportunities! I could have told you about:
California leading the way: The esteemed governor of California and his efforts to curb global warming. I am not usually an Arnold fan, but this time he’s done it right. He’s thumbed the Bush administration in the nose (yet again I have to say) and helped push a bill to cap greenhouse gas emission in the state so that such emissions will be reduced to the 1990 level by 2020. That’s a reduction of 25%. It’s amazing to me that it takes 14 years to reduce emissions to where they were just 16 years ago….shows how rapidly we are increasing our production of CO2. Here’s a website that tells us what we have to look forward to in California if we don’t act now.
What is going on down South? A close colleague just returned from a trip to Mexico and expressed his amazement at the lack of reporting here in the US on the aftermath of the Mexican elections. Mexico did a reenactment of Gore vs Bush in 2000. Only this time the Gore-type candidate, Lopez Orbador, is not conceding after the supreme court ruling. Apparently there are massive protests on the streets and real fears of civil war breaking out between the North and South regions of the country.
I’m ready to finish up with committee meetings and focus on actually doing scientific research.
Speaking of which, there were lots of interesting papers on the archive the last 2 weeks. Everyone is writing up the results of their summer vacation! A couple things on blackholes at the LHC, and a new analysis of the “slinky universe” where collider measurements of dark matter particles may not tell the whole story.
While in Chicago, I did get to see a seminar by Gabriela Barenboim on the “slinky universe.” She and Joe Lykken have an interesting model where the universe undergoes a repeated cycle of inflation, then radiation dominance, then matter dominance, then over and over again. Here, both dark energy and inflation are explained by the evolution of a single scalar field. It’s kinda cute.
While in Chicago, I feasted on my favorite Chicago-style stuffed pizza. Giordano’s. Pepperoni, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Had it for 4 nights in a row. Gained about 5 pounds.
As a result of my parent’s move, the family piano was shipped to me in California! I’ve had it for 2 weeks now. Not enough time to practice much yet, but nonetheless I have almost mastered by 5th grade recital piece. I pulled out my 6th grade recital piece in anticipation and stared at it for awhile. Lots of notes there.
Otherwise I have been kept busy chasing squirrels away from my tomatoes! For those who have been following – the rats are dead rats and now there’s a squirrel issue.
Saturday, before I board a flight for Trieste, I am going to the annual heirloom tomato festival at Kendall Jackson vineyards. The event is sold out and I am looking forward to it! Should be lots of good seeds there which I’m sure the squirrels will appreciate next year.