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May 15th, 2009

Travels since April, Part I

It has been a few very busy weeks since last I wrote here. I check here every day to see how my friends are doing; I suppose I owe them the same courtesy!

But I have to consult my calendar to even see where I was when last my blogpost in the dooryard bloomed. April 22? Not even a full month ago!

April 23-25: three nights on the telescope, at the VATT, hoping to catch the shadow of Haumea's moon as it crossed the dwarf planet. Not sure we got anything; it was cloudy for at least part of the event. But the background data the night before and after might be useful to others. One fun bit was hosting the writer and freelancer Dan Falk, who was up one night to interview me for Canadian radio.

Dan, who has recently written a fun book about Time (http://www.danfalk.ca/in-search-of-time-journeys-along-a-curious-dimension) left me a CD of a radio program on the topic which he did. I copied it to my iPod and later, during one of my plane journeys, I gave it a listen. How strange... hard to follow... it came in 18 short parts, and I discovered he had cleverly put the pieces together in a seemingly random order so that you never knew exactly what he was referring to at any given moment, but it certainly illustrated the illusive nature of time and... oh, never mind. I had the iPod set to "shuffle."

April 26-28: Got into Philly at midnight, airport hotel, then on to the Jesuit parish of Old St. Joes... where I never saw any of my fellow Jesuits, since I spent to little time there. Instead I had lunch with a bunch of friends from Drexel's physics department, gave a class talk there. Then it was the train to Bryn Mawr for dinner with chemistry professor and blogger extraordinaire Michelle (see Quantum Theology http://quantumtheology.blogspot.com/ and Culture of Chemistry http://cultureofchemistry.blogspot.com/). Buch of visits and talks at Bryn Mawr and Haverford the next day.

Turns out, Michelle is buddies with my friend Cy, who does physics at Boston College. But before then... an early train to New York, an interview for Fordham web TV, an impromptu talk to a really good seminar that deserved better than I gave them about Jesuit education and the sciences (good thing I am shameless about making stuff up in front of an audience). Then May 1, train to Boston, a weekend with my old buddies Dennis and Jeri. Ran into super-SMOF Leslie T. at a cookout he arranged. (We also went to see the Big Dig area and the MFA). At Leslie's suggestion we also visited a great SF bookstore in Central Square, Cambridge... (to be continued...)

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