Saturday, November 26, 2005

Baby it's windy outside

Ok, that isn't really the way the song goes. But, if it is windy outside, the jet stream probably dipped south over LA.

I don't get string theory

I always harbored a secret shame. I am too shallow to understand why I should care about string theory. Now you, too, can read why string theory is also irrelevant to your life. Quantum mechanics, in contrast, gets a great plug in this article. You can test it again and again and it just works.

Twins separated at birth

Does Iris have a twin that I don't know about? But then, it would have been very inattentive of me not to notice giving birth to twins. As this blog title says, I am a bad mom... (Her yoga teacher pointed out this cover to me. Another teacher at her school assumed that Iris was the cover child.)

Saturday, November 19, 2005


I told some other scientists that my kid takes Yoga. They told me it is so LA. But you have to admit, it is so adorable.

keywords: Iris, LA, yoga, modern motherhood


At the airport in San Jose, Costa Rica, they launch the weather balloons with Hydrogen. They don't use Helium because they can't afford it. I am not ready to share the road in California with hydrogen-fueled cars.

Earlier, I forgot to show the balloon ascending into the stratosphere. Special thanks to Radiosondista Victor Hernandez for planning ahead. He suggested that a globo negra would photograph better than a white one against an overcast sky.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Laundry: the count

I came home after 7 days and nights away. I did 6 loads of laundry the evening of my return and the morning after. Half of that was just our normal scheduled linen change.

keywords: modern motherhood

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The second best thing to be in Costa Rica

I just returned from a week in San Jose, Costa Rica for work. I discovered that saying you are with the NASA group is the second best thing in their value system. (#1 would be a soccer star.) It is reminiscent of the way the Japanese treated us when Sapporo hosted IUGG (Internation Union of Geodesy and Geophysics). The Emperor and Empress flew to Sapporo to welcome us. I don't recall any president or even a governor taping a hello for us at the AGU (American Geophysical Union) annual fall meeting in San Francisco.

Ending a top 10 list at 8

One of my journalist friends (OK, my only journalist friend) said that her least favorite part of her job is writing the list article. That's when the editor assigns a stuckee to write an article with top 10 this, top 15 that! Suppose there really aren't top 10 whatevers to write about? How do you keep your professional pride and yet submit a long enough list to keep your job?

That's why I love the blog. She ended her list at 8 because she had run out of good ideas! What a concept. And don't miss this classic list of 8. I took her advice and printed off a pile of "Please steal this car" flyers that we keep by the front door. So far so good.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Out to lunch, and dinner and breakfast...

Sometimes I discover that someone I have never met and I belong to the same tribe. Shortly after the Columbia disaster I read a newspaper story that quoted one of Laurel Clark's neighbors. The neighbor ran into Clark at an all night supermarket. She asked why one would be grocery shopping only hours before being due at the launch complex. Clark replied, she needed to make sure her family had food to eat while she was gone.

I am thinking about this as I prepare to leave my family once again for work related travel. I am going nuts thinking about how much I need to do before leaving. Will everyone, at home and abroad, stay healthy and safe? What will the house look like when I get back? (This is not an idle worry as one of my former coworkers returned from a month in Antarctica to discover that her husband left the laundry for her. Yes, a month's worth of laundry.)

And how will I plan her birthday party from a far away country where I am not sure I will have broadband internet access?