Why? Well, gravity, of course. I can’t tell you the full details, but I was helping out the folks from the BBC on a documentary program (for the series Horizon, which I loved watching back in the 80s when I was in school!) being made about topics connected to gravity, space travel, mass, energy, and all that good stuff.
You can see me mid-demo in the photo (click for larger view), standing upon a rock somewhere in the park, talking about Newton and Einstein. I also got to be a bit of a stunt driver for a while, being filmed bouncing an SUV along a dirt road several times, which was (I grudgingly admit) a lot of fun!
After the shoot, I wandered off to have a quiet dinner in a little cafe (Crossroads) in the town of Joshua Tree, working on a black hole related computation (research) for a while. After wandering back (no, really, along the side of the road and everything) to my motel I slept for five hours, woke up at 4:30am (oddly) and decided to jump into my car and try to make it back to LA before rush hour traffic (my original plan was to wait until after the traffic). I failed, of course, but worked through a number of interesting BBC radio podcasts while hanging out on the 210, so I was fine.
The program will air in the UK in January, and in the USA eventually, but I’m not sure of the details. I’ll try to remember to let you know.