I’ve been a bit quiet here the last week or so, you may have noticed. I wish I could say it was because I’ve been scribbling some amazing new physics in my notebooks, or drawing several new pages for the book, or producing some other simply measurable output, but I cannot. Instead, I can only report that it was the beginning of a new semester (and entire new academic year!) this week just gone, and this – and all the associated preparations and so forth – coincided with several other things including working on several drafts of a grant renewal proposal.
The best news of all is that my new group of students for my class (graduate electromagnetism, second part) seems like a really good and fun group, and I am looking forward to working with them. We’ve had two lectures already and they seem engaged, and eager to take part in the way I like my classes to run – interactively and investigatively. I’m looking forward to working with them over the semester.
Other things I’ve been chipping away at in preparation for the next couple of months include launching the USC science film competition (its fourth year – I skipped last year because of family leave), moving my work office (for the first time in the 12 years I’ve been here), giving some lectures at an international school, organizing a symposium in celebration of the centenary of Einstein’s General Relativity, and a number of shoots for some TV shows that might be of interest. I don’t think I can tell you about either yet in detail, so more later. One is a new PBS show that I’ll do an episode for tomorrow in fact (it is sort of a history of scientific ideas), and another is a fun (as far as I can gather) new series that has been green-lit, and I might do a bunch of regularly occurring segments for them with a science-meets-entertainment flavor. I say might since we are still chatting about the details logistics for it, but I expect it will work out.
In other good news, I’ve been back on the road with the Brompton (pictured above) on a regular basis. The New Arrival meant that I’d not been riding it at all (especially since I did not have a regular commute during family leave) and there was an understandable general reluctance on the part of my wife to have me cycling out and about in city traffic with a newborn at home. With trying to get things back on a regular schedule, including a regular commute to work several days of the week, working the bike (in conjunction with public transport) fully back into the mix was a priority. I have to say, it remains a pleasure and a thrill to unfold and ride this thing after -how long?- more than a decade. And as I anticipated so many years ago, with so many more people than ever trying to get their giant full-sized bikes into increasingly packed carriages on the subway and buses, a rapidly folding bike like this has become even more of a good investment. I just tuck right into any corner that a bike-less person can fit into and off we go.
It’s good to be back on the road…