Location: Denver Airport, hour-long security line.
The gentleman looked surprised, but said OK when I stopped him and asked for a photo. There wasn't time to get the back-story....
Monday, July 30, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Been traveling for much of the summer -- sorry for the paucity of posts. Conferences, talks, vacation.
Space news has been pretty quiet lately, though today we'll hear more about allegedly drunk astronauts. The Wif: "Hell, if I were a mission specialist, damn right I'd want to slug back a few shots before playing one-in-fifty Russian roulette. They're not driving, after all."
Me: "Um, but they need to be alert, in case there's a pre-launch evacuation down the zipline to the bunker. And if you were representing your country on world TV, mebbe you'd want to be sober."
When I was 12, I realized I'd never pass the physical to be a pilot astronaut, and started aiming to be a mission specialist. Since mission specialists come from a variety of specialties (science, medicine, engineering), I picked the one that excited me most -- astrophysics. After all, it worked for Sally Ride.
Quite a few years later, NASA's done zippo with crude spaceflight, and so here I am, letting photons do the traveling for me.
(More embarrassing NASA news over at Bad Astronomy.)
Monday, July 9, 2007
The Alhambre wildfire, 3500 acres, threatens Kitt Peak National Observatory and Baboquivari (sacred mountain of the Tohono O'odham people.)
Four "hotshot" crews and 2 big air tankers are working the fire, according to the AZ Daily Star. Scientific staff were evacuated Saturday night. Now everyone waits to see what the wind does.
This is the 5th wildfire in 5 years to threaten Arizona telescopes. (Mt. Lemmon, Graham, Lemmon again, Hopkins, Kitt Peak).
Hey fire crews: be safe, and good luck.
Photo by David Sanders, Arizona Daily Star.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Every Friday afternoon, I get an opinionated, funny, informative "What's New" email from Bob Parks, summarizing the last week's news regarding physics, astronomy, climate change, and space politics. "What's New" has been running for 23 years -- if you haven't subscribed, perhaps you should!
Props to the American Physical Society, and now the University of Maryland, for sponsoring such a useful, often bitchy, bulletin. You can't help adoring the disclaimer:
Opinions are the author's and are not necessarily shared by the University, but they should be.