Apr 2009 BLOG

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2009-04-19 The Zen Gun

Finished reading the sci-fi novel by that name by Barrington J. Bailey. Somewhat esoteric, eccentric and interesting. Many concepts put together, not all fully developed. Its a bit of Animal Farm in another dimension. feetol drives, and how 3D facets are effected from simplex are interessting concepts, as is the cosmological model based on that. Pirates, revolutions, gas 'giants' thrown in for good measure.

The Zen Gun
2009-04-18 Archana 2009 (IFA)

Attended the IFA fundraiser Archana 2009 at the Fred Kavli Theater in Thousand Oaks. The number of participating people was amazing as was the colorfulness on stage. No very big items, but several small ones, including many BY small ones.

The overall job they are doing is amazing. Its been going on for the last 15 years. Hopefully it will continue for many more with more people joining their folds.

Archana 2009
2009-04-17 Balancing lives

Get a life they say. And if you can not, get a Second Life. But now you can have both. Gave a talk today at MICA in Second Life on Classifying transients. While you are talking people chatter (only in text) and it is almost impossible to pay attention to it. It is good that others can take care of that. The audience was mixed. Mostly science enthusiasts, but also a few astronomers. Anyway, all were clearly interested in Astronomy at some level, and there were several questions after the talk.

2009-04-14 Does B2 count as a bird?

Went to the Caltech bird walk after a longish gap. The highlight was a pair of Mallards by the Millikan pond, hopefully arrived for a long time, and a vociferous house wren in tournament park. But the higherlight was unarguably the B2 stealth bomber that just kept on making rounds throughout the hour 12 - 1 over Pasadena (and surely nearby regions). A couple of times it was low enough for my 16x50 to pick up the small blinking lights on the underside. I suppose they turn those off when on an actual mission.


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