Start the Week

“A loose cat in Colorado must wear what?”

(I thought about this for a while, and could only come up with bawdy humorous answers…)

“A tail light.”

(huh?)

[Post written yesterday.] Yes, I am on the bus to work (above was from the on board entertainment system that sometimes asks quiz questions) and it is the start to another week. Another very full one, it is shaping up to be too. I find these days that if I am not careful I tend to measure a week’s potential a mostly in terms of how much time I will have to work on the Project. Like my research, it is not something that is served best by being chipped away at, catching a few minutes here and the between things, but involves a fair amount of immersion. (Having said that, I am getting better at finding tasks that I can allocate to chipping-away time, and I have even found certain things for it that I can do on the bus… A lot of this will become clearer later, I promise.)

inauguration_2There was certainly a lot going on last week, as I mentioned, and I did not even tell you the half of it. Things like going to see Ira Glass talk about his radio show, essentially doing it in the style of the show, and of course about four hours on Friday spent in costume with hundreds of my faculty colleagues marching in a parade and listening to long (but mostly good) speeches from various Vice-chancellors, Chancellors, Trustees, the Mayor of Los Angeles, and of course, the man of the hour(s), our new President Max Nikias, who we were, er, installing. (When people use that term, and they do here a lot, I always think of plugging in a new electrical appliance, or a new piece of software… I suppose the latter is closer to what we are doing than the former.)

This week sees a lot coming up too, the main thing probably being the first of the Nobel Lunches, scheduled for Thursday. I’ve been very pleased with these events – I launched them in their current for for the first time last year inauguration_1with the help of the College Commons – even though they do involve a lot of running around in the course of a week trying to find people who will be willing to stand up a say a few off-the-cuff remarks (little or no preparation needed, folks!) about the prize in their field of expertise, speaking to the who/what/why aspect, throwing in any juicy gossip or anecdotes if they have any.. So far, I’ve got people for most of the topics, but am getting total silence from people in Economics, and have encountered a number of logistical difficulties with Literature… More about the event here.

Thursday, after the Nobel lunch, I’ll be dashing out of town to do a shoot for some TV stuff – more science being put out “out there” for your viewing pleasure – and then Friday, assuming I am not 100% exhausted form the week, I’ll go to the evening music performance and lecture that is all about gravitational waves. It is organized by my colleague Astrophysicist and Cosmologist Elena Pierpaoli and is part of the Visions and Voices series. The music was specially composed with the gravitational wave scenario in mind, and ought to be interesting. Elena, science writer K C Cole, LIGO physicist Michele Vallisineri, and the composer Andrea Centazzo will chat with the audience and each other after the performance. More here.

Well, it’s a busy week for sure (I’ve spared you details of various committee meetings and so forth, and of course have not mentioned the usual calendar of teaching and research activities), and I see my bus-stop coming up, so I’d better stop now…

-cvj

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