AAVSO/BAA Day 1: Lost in Translation

Posted By Pamela on Apr 11, 2008 | 4 comments

After the talk on spectral work by amateurs I fled across campus to the Pathology building and a room of Naked Scientists. More exactly, one of our wonderful fans e-introduced Chris Smith and I and said we should meet, and she was right.

Chris Smith is the originator of perhaps the first online/online radio science show. Each week, he and his team bring a wide range of topics to BBC radio, iTunes, and essentially the world. Quite coincidently, this week’s show was on stars, and he interviewed me about the AAVSO, my pro-am collaboration, and how all these things work together.

I then dragged him to a pub where we met with a couple fans of the show, and several other AAVSO members, and he got to use his “Carry it everywhere” portable rig to interview Gerry Samolyk, one of the amateurs who keeps finding really cool stars to study. You will be able to hear the results this Sunday on BBC, and then podcast next week.

This is a week of “Chris”s. Chris Lintott. Chris Davis. Chris Smith. Is everyone named Chris? I think I need to meet a colleague in astronomy named Mike down at the pub…

P.S. I learned one sad thing today: I can not understand Yorkshire accents when there is background noise. The diversity of accents over such a small country is truly amazing.

In scrap moments I’m writing a travelogue and it will all go up sometime soon. More to come, including theories on the calculus of walking directions…


  1. You fly into England and you just happen to get onto the only local BBC station I listen to???

    I’m familiar with Radio Cambridgeshire since I listen to the Cambridge United Football Club matches (Interestingly, I’m listening to Cambridge vs. Stafford Rangers RIGHT NOW! Cambridge U. currently #3 in the Conference! Promotion! Promotion! Promotion!! πŸ™‚ )

    Not heard “Naked Scientists,” but now have the alarm set up to hear you tomorrow on Radio Cambridgeshire! πŸ™‚

    >I learned one sad thing today: I can not understand
    >Yorkshire accents when there is background noise.

    Will need to sit you down and force-feed you “All Creatures Great & Small” sometime. πŸ™‚

  2. Wait till you hear the “scouse” accent that will baffle you..

  3. Pamela,

    It was great to meet you last night, and also Chris and some the other AAVSO people. Gerry is a remarkable character – who would have guessed that eclipse chasing would involve sharks, lions and bears (oh my!).

    Sometime serendipity does get me in the right place at the right time.

    Keep up the good work, on all fronts. And if it’s any consolation, I was having a little trouble keeping up with the conversation too – there was a lot of background noise.

  4. Hi Pamela

    I’m so pleased that you got to meet up with the Naked Scientists. I thought you’d enjoy them and I look forward to hearing your chat sometime on their podcast.

    Maybe you can watch ‘All Creatures Great & Small’ before you come to the UK next time!

    Did you ever get you luggage back from Terminal 5?

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