Work Travel: The longest days

Work Travel: The longest days

One of the flaws in what many of us do is this: When we spend our days disseminating our work and training people to use our materials, we are doing one aspect of our job that is very important, but the other parts of our jobs still need to be done. The emails keep coming. The staff still need to meet with us (online). The paperwork still has to be done. The audio still has to get recorded. (image: Hourglass by borabora on Flickr) There is a group of us here in Turku, who are working to provide teacher professional development to a group of educators from all around Europe. From 9am to 6pm, we are working with the teachers, providing concepts and content (and coffee). We are staying in an adult travelers hostel, and our evening are being spent cooking a shared...

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Jeff Medkeff: a legacy of giving

Jeff Medkeff: a legacy of giving

There are certain moments that get burned into your memory. for me, one of those moments is the morning of August 4, 2008. I was sitting on the floor in Lynn Cominsky’s house getting ready for a teacher training workshop at Sonoma State. Flipping through my email I was stopped cold by a message that Jeff Medkeff, the Blue Collar Scientist, had died of Liver Cancer. While I had never met him personally, he was someone I knew as a fellow doer and teacher of astronomy. He was an asteroid hunter and blogger, and a mentor to countless observers and also to young new media communicators of science. He was a kindred spirit and someone I respected. And he was gone. That year at Dragon*Con, the podcasting track (which was conjoined with the skeptics track back then)...

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Helsinki for a day

Helsinki for a day

For not the first in my life, I find myself passing thru Helsinki. To me, it keeps being a waypoint between places that gets slept in, wandered about in, and then left behind. The first time I was here was 24 years ago. I and 24 others were on our way back from several weeks in the USSR, where we’d been studying astronomy and playing all but unsupervised in a small village in the caucus mountains. On our return, we’d stopped for a couple days in Leningrad before taking the train to Helsinki, from which we flew home. We stayed here a night, and we spent that night walking through the lack of darkness, trying to make our way to a ferris wheel we saw off in the distance. I was 15, and along with a few other misplaced teens, I walked this city till what...

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I’ll Fly Away

I’ll Fly Away

For the past week, I’ve had the Alison Krauss & Gilian Welch song, “I’ll Fly Away,” stuck in my head. This fabulous song is one that I hope someone will remember to play when I die, but… beyond that… I’m wondering what my subconscious is trying to tell me about my upcoming trip to Europe. “I’ll fly away // To that home on Gods celestial shore // I’ll fly away” Today, I’m leaving behind Edwardsville and my home outside St Louis, and I’m embarking on a 35 day trip to Europe. From STL to ORD to HEL, I’m traveling to the European Week of Astronomy and Space Sciences conference in Turku Finland. From there, I’ll be continuing on to Lisbon, Portugal to work with colleagues,...

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