Getting to LPSC

Part of the reason I’m able to attend the LPSC meeting in Houston is its convenient location in time. Its mid-March date span landed exactly on my Spring Break. For some reason, however, this knowledge hadn’t triggered a flag in my brain to warn me that it is also spring break for probably 25% of the colleges and many K-12 schools in America. This has an amazing impact on flying. My last flights loading and unloading was frustrated by a group of college girls on their way to their spring break hot spot. These women clearly hadn’t worked through the math on “If I pack 40lbs in my roller bag, then I have to lift 40lbs into the overhead compartment.” No big deal, and mostly just funny, but the business men and women partook in much...

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10 days of Space Science!

10 days of Space Science!

This is going to be another crazy wonderful week on Astronomy Cast Live. Just like we covered the American Astronomical Society meeting last January, this week we will be covering BOTH the launch of STS-123 and the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, TX. Making this possible are: Scott Miller (A SIUE student I work with) who is spending his Spring Break in Florida for the launch, Rebecca Bemrose-Fetter who is spending her Spring Break in Texas at the LPSC, and of course me and Fraser. I will be in Texas at LPSC, and Fraser will be participating remotely, working to help get you wall-to-wall coverage of all that is going on Johnson Space Flight Center to Kennedy Space Flight Center. We invite you to join us, and ask you to please announce the...

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Austin: Day 0

Austin: Day 0

We’ve arrived. Mostly. Fraser and I are in the warm and overcast city of Austin, drinking in a bit of atmosphere and a whole lot of TexMex. Today is a day of planning, talking, and recording. In a little while we’ll be recording an Episode of Astronomy Cast while (gasp of shock and horror) actually sitting in the same room. We’ll be using the two channel pre amp and the two microphones you wonderful readers sent me. Starting tomorrow there will be wall to wall coverage of the AAS meeting on this site, Universe Today, Bad Astronomy and on a special Astronomy Cast Live page. On the Astronomy Cast Live page you’ll find YouTube videos, interviews, and coverage mirrored from all our feeds. Between us, hopefully no piece of news will go...

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AAVSO: Day 1, post dinner blogging

1 good dinner + 1 good martini + 1 calmed brain = ready to blog less panicy Dennis di Cicco is giving a talk on the history the building we are all sitting in. This is actually way more exciting than one might expect. Dennis is an editor at Sky & Telescope magazine, and S&T and the AAVSO have a very strangely interwoven history. Both orgs started at Harvard College Observatory. Both orgs had headquarters on Concord Ave (decades apart in time, but across the street from each other). They both (several decades apart) moved to the same 1 block area on what eventually grew into adjoining properties. They stayed next to each for about 20 years. Then last year, S&T was purchased by New Track Media, moved to a new office, and AAVSO bought their old HQ. (Full...

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Totally Random

Random 1: Tomorrow I fly out to Boston for a meeting of the American Association of Variable Star Observers. I’ll be their until mid day Sunday. If you want to get together, let me know. I may be planting myself at a pub on Sunday to work and chat. Random 2: There is an interview of yours truly over at Books and Ideas with Ginger Campbell, MD. Give it a listen 🙂 Random 3: I was traumatized by tricker-treaters tonight. Over 200 kids in 3 hours. We went through 8 bags of candy, and reduced our selves to pulling out our personal candy stashes, and when we were bombarded with 15 kids at once and only had 5 pieces of candy left, they got snack bags of potato chips. We then turned off all our lights and hid. And this was night 1! Our town has TWO nights of...

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AstroFest

I go to a lot of conferences. Some are good, some are bad, and most are just, well, a generic conference. In addition to the science content presented, I tend to judge conferences by three other criteria: Is it pleasant (are the hotel and conference center places I like being and within walking distance of things like good coffee), are we able to eat in a reasonable way (enough time and options), and is networking possible (are there people I want to talk to and is their time to actually talk to them)? This conference is a winner on all counts. [warning – this was written over a period of a couple days] Day 1, afternoon: I’m sitting in review talk on Mars polar regions that is presenting excellent science at just the right level for an audience of...

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