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Amparo Bertram

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10:25 am: A cosmic week
You may recall that last fall I reported splurging on tickets to see Neil deGrasse Tyson in San Francisco. The date of the lecture finally rolled around, and on Wednesday I headed downtown directly after work. When I arrived, I had about 4 hours to kill, so I decided to check out the nearest game shop, which was about a 30 minute walk away.

The game shop (Gamescape) was a fairly decent size. I was impressed by their selection, though there wasn't anything that I needed to purchase on the spot. They have several gaming tables set up in the back, along with a wall of shelves holding demo copies. They seemed to be doing pretty decent business, particularly considering that I was there mid-afternoon on a weekday. From what I overheard of the staff answering other customers' questions, they seemed quite knowledgeable about games.

After I finished scoping out the game shop, I went back to Market Street for a leisurely supper and then continued on to the theater. The advertisement for the event said that it would be about an hour lecture, but it ended up being about double that. The topic of the talk was the "culture of discovery," and how scientific innovation is generally made by nations that are A) wealthy, B) healthy, and C) putting a priority on science. He mentioned that, while the US had a culture of discovery 50 years ago, that has been declining in recent years, and the bulk of today's innovation is coming from other countries.

Also, Pluto. Still not a planet.

He is an awesome speaker, and he had the audience in stitches for most of the presentation. By the time the lecture and Q&A session at the end were over, I rushed to catch the BART back to the airport. I managed to arrive and catch the last express bus home with about a minute to spare.

This weekend we had warm, sunny weather, perfect for working out in the yard. Of course, I proceeded to spend most of Friday playing on the computer. I tried to make up for it on Saturday by weeding for about 5 hours and transplanting a bunch of alpine strawberries. I also harvested all the leeks that remained from last year's crop. I looked up a recipe for Colcannon in one of the cookbooks I got as a Christmas present and made that for supper, using the leeks plus the potatoes I harvested a couple weeks ago and a fresh bunch of kale from the front yard. It came out rather well, and quite colorful, since most of the potatoes I had on hand were purple.

I still have a bunch of weeding and transplanting to work on. Hopefully I'll be able to get that done next weekend. I also plan to harvest some of my bamboo to construct supports for the beans I'll plant in a couple months.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:February 15th, 2015 07:27 pm (UTC)
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Also, Pluto. Still not a planet.

I'm so sad for me, because my instinctive response to "how many planets are in our solar system?" is still 9. I really need someone to discover a new planet hiding out there before I die and go to my grave with bad data in my head. (Mind you, until Pluto was declassified, I had no idea how many dwarf planets were in our solar system. And I still don't know the others' names.)

Edited at 2015-02-16 02:59 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:February 16th, 2015 12:49 pm (UTC)
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Mind you, until Pluto was declassified, I had no idea how many dwarf planets were in our solar system. And I still don't know the others' names.

As Neil said, "It's with others of its kind now. It's happier there."
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:February 17th, 2015 02:11 pm (UTC)
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As Neil said, "It's with others of its kind now. It's happier there."

Ha, that's great. He must get so much grief about Pluto.
[User Picture]
From:neonhummingbird
Date:February 15th, 2015 09:26 pm (UTC)
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I saw NDT here in Chicago a few weeks ago, and had much the same experience. Double the time, people in stitches (did you guys give him a standing O for walking out on stage?), and Pluto still not being a planet (get over it). It was easily some of the best money I've ever laid down to see anyone stand on stage and talk for hours. :)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:February 16th, 2015 12:45 pm (UTC)
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did you guys give him a standing O for walking out on stage?

Not when he came on, only at the end. But there were people sporadically shouting out, "We love you, Neil!"

It was easily some of the best money I've ever laid down to see anyone stand on stage and talk for hours. :)

Agreed!
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