Lindsay the Scientist (Thoughts from the Lunar Planetary Science Conference)

8 03 2010

Sun kissed and flooded with vast amounts of knowledge, I am back at Hampshire College after a week long stint at the Lunar Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas. While at the conference I presented this poster of my current gully research during the Thursday evening poster session

After listening to, talking with, and presenting for over a thousand planetary scientists from all over the world  I realized just how awesome this field really is. The topics of discussion ranged from meteorites to Saturn’s moons, to craters and water on the Moon to Mars atmosphere, geomorphology and MSL landing site analysis with many, many more topics in between. NASA presented, astronauts took notes and everyone involved in planetary science from China, Japan, Russia, India, Europe and the United States drank free beer and socialized while talking about the future of our space faring species.

Make no mistake, I will definitely continue to be a part of planetary science and perhaps decide to acquire some higher degrees in this pretty sweet field of study.


Blacksmithing in Italy

16 02 2010

This summer, one of the festivals I attended was the World Forging Championship in Stia, Italy — a small town up in the mountains near Florence. Here’s some photos taken by my friend Kate Dinneen. We’ll play the ‘can you spot the safety violations?’ game!

A pose!

An Interesting Article and an Interesting Photo Gallery

26 01 2010

My internet score is up by two:

Last month, I was featured in a blog article from Hampshire College’s Lemelson Center blog! It’s about my six month trip to Ukraine and beyond as an artist blacksmith and has some interesting comments by me. I promise I am (slowly) writing about my trip and will have some of that project up soon.

There’s a photograph from Arisia of me and a few close friends and relations over at the Boston Phoenix. The girl with the balloon over her head is my sister. Lindsay mentioned Arisia a few days ago. It’s the largest New England region science fiction convention, and takes place every January in Boston. We here think it’s worth both your time and money.

Science Fiction Conventions, Science Conferences

22 01 2010

Exciting news! My abstract was officially accepted for presentation at this years Lunar Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas. So in March it is off to Woods Hole to present a poster on the geologic history of Martian gullies!

I will be posting my abstract as soon as I have the permission from the other three authors and certainly on my other blog I will keep more detailed updates of my research, so if you are interested in the geomorphology of Mars (and really, who wouldn’t be?) stop by over there and I’ll make sure to keep some fascinating background and cutting edge science up to date as best as I can.

I am interested in seeing the differences between a convention and a conference. This year seems to be the year that I participate in both! Watch out Texas, I just shot a gun for the first time ever and I’ll see you in a month!


5 02 2009

Today was sunny for the first time since I arrived in Berlin! I had a whole two hours of sun with the hint that it might remain sunny for at least part of the day. The walk to school was definitely more enjoyable in the sun. It is funny what you forget to miss when you are used to not having it!

It is not a convention… but it is Berlin!

4 02 2009

Guten abend from Berlin! I have been quite busy for the past few months, but now I am here in Germany and somewhat acquainted with the city and ready to start spilling my adventure stories! To start with, here are the top ten things that have surprised me (thus far) about Berlin.

1. I always push the door when I should pull and pull when I should push. It must be backwards from what it usually is in America, because I ALWAYS do the wrong thing. And it is always awkward.

2. The keyboards here have the y and z switched, among other things. Typing is slightly off… when I am not paying attention it would go like this: Hez! I hope zou are having a great daz! But I am learning to switch it fairly rapidly, so hopefully I will be back up to my normal typing speed soon. I wonder what that will mean when I switch back to an American keyboard?

3. Crossing the street is weird. I never wait for lights to cross the street, you just cross when there are no cars, right? WRONG. And also, when the walk light is green, cars can still run you over.. and frequently try.

4. “Subway” (S Bahn, U Bahn here…) tickets are on a on-your-honor system with a little bit of fear. You buy a ticket, but you do not have to show it anywhere or validate it when you ride the train or anything… however, randomly they “control” you which means undercover agents are on the individual cars and once the train is moving pull out their official badges and make everyone show them their tickets. If you do not have a valid ticket, it is 40 Euros. Yikes! I have been controlled once already. It is actually pretty exciting as long as you have a valid ticket.

5. Food is really cheap in supermarkets. (And supermarkets are really small.) I went in and bought things for the whole week (meat, cheese, bread, etc. plus some random fun things like chocolate pudding) and it was under 9 Euro.

6. Most of the people I have met thus far do not speak German as their first language. This is due to the fact that I am attending a German language school, where everyone is learning German. Oddly enough, almost no one there is also a native English speaker. So communicating on any level is a mosh of German, English, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish… etc. Right now I am going to be learning Turkish in addition to German because I live in the Turkish center of Berlin, Kreutzburg.

7. The city, as far as I can tell, is made up of parks, canals and waterways, graffiti, cobblestone, bicycles and very large sidewalks. The buildings are a weird conglomeration of super old, super new, super falling a part and most have graffiti and murals covering the sides. Also, the whole city is gray in the winter.

8. EVERYONE smokes. I thought Hampshire was bad but here… yikes. My clothes are beginning to smell like smoke, and I hate it.

9. Beer is cheaper than water and they do not give you tap water unless you ask, and even then they think you are crazy.

10. Berlin is the city for bikes, dogs and street cleaners. I have walked with four street cleaners already in my first week of being here! They cruise along at about walking speed, so if you are headed in the same direction it is like you are walking with them. They are very friendly, but a little loud.

Babyquakes and King Richard’s Faire.

22 09 2008

Today I half fell asleep during my Geology Lecture (I blame this entirely on King Richard’s Faire, which I will speak to in a moment) and had a dream about babyquakes. It’s like an earthquake, but in a baby. I’m not entirely sure what it would mean, but in my dream there was a scale for it and everything (feeling it while holding the baby, shaking the crib, etc.)

On Sunday I made the two hour trip to Carver, MA to spend a delightful day at King Richard’s Faire. A friend of mine works at one of the shops there, and subsequently had free tickets to give away. I saw “jousting” and a Liger (that thing is huge), ran around the shops, talked up pretty sword smith boys and aerial silks girls and saw a high school friend I haven’t seen in years! My father and youngest sister were able to meet up with me there, which was also a nice surprise.

All in all I had a lot of fun and I recommend the faire for anyone who is close enough to Carver, MA to consider it. Of course – having free tickets is a particularly nice way to enjoy it and those of you accustomed to SCA events might be horribly offended (I saw at least six Captain Jack Sparrows and one Link walking around.) But if you like laughing and running around in the woods with a commercialized “Medieval Faire” in the background – you’ll probably enjoy yourself just fine.