It’s mid-August and in recent months lots of milestones were passed here in Heidelberg: .Astronomy was a big success, I gave a talk at the super fun and interesting Galactic Star Formation conference here in Heidelberg (my slides are here), and I successfully managed to take my first 2-week holiday in some years.
I wandered round for a few days, feeling lost like a mother cat without her kittens (for kittens, read: laptop, astro-ph, infrared bubbles etc) – luckily I found some bona fide replacement kittens living behind the garden shed, and with that relaxation was achieved, a tan procured.
So back to work it is, and here’s a bit of a recap on what’s been happening…..
- Rob wrote a nice post on the hack we worked on at .Astro together with Karen Masters – I should say that I stole the idea from Brad Voytek, passed it on to Rob and Karen, who did all the hard work [NB. I think Hogg would approve of this hack-management approach]. Alasdair Allan then picked it up and wrote some nice words on O’Reilly Radar. Basically we wanted to examine trends in the astronomy literature by mining ADS; the idea is that the ability to do this will then allow a more sophisticated analysis to uncover hidden relations between concepts. I’m incredibly impressed with Rob’s efforts.
- NASA landed a very cool rover called Curiosity on the surface of Mars. It was lowered onto Mars with a crane! It has nuclear fuel! It zaps rocks with a laser! Mars looks just like Arizona! OK, you probably know all about this already.
- The Guardian posted a few good articles on life in academia that struck a note with me: (1) The superwoman fallacy: what it really takes to be an academic and parent by Melissa Terras at UCL, and (2) The two body problem: trials and tribulations of a trailing spouse by writer Simon Perks. Notes were struck because (1) I’ve been working incredibly hard and my mind is suffering a little for it; and (2) oh joy, job season is a’knockin’ once again.
September always comes along with a flurry of meetings, telecons, trips and deadlines, so for the next week or 2 I’m enjoying the remainder of the summer quiet, while it lasts.