Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Fountains of material soar above the surface of one of Saturn's medium-sized moons - Enceladus, from Cassini

Friday, November 25, 2005

In the sunlight

Herschel crater catches rays - Saturn's moon Mimas, from Cassini

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here's a view to be grateful for - Saturn and Dione, from Cassini

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Last Friday, I was a speaker at Math Club. My talk was "Predicting the Fate of the Universe - Using Trajectories to Understand the Universe." It was a basic derivation of Newtonian cosmology, which is cool because it gives the general relativistic answers without all the tensors and pain. I quite enjoyed myself - several of the students were past/current students of mine, all were very smart, and many of them were "gothy" - dressed in all black, dyed purple hair, heavy eyeliner. I think it's interesting that Math Club has become an intersection of different outsider groups, and I think that's a good mix...geeky goths.

Monday, November 21, 2005

But Mercury Moves Quickly!

Favorite headline from CNN today:

Bad horoscope prompts PM to ban reporters' questions

Favorite quote - "He added that Mercury moves slowly and will not steer clear of his star until next year." Mercury actually moves pretty quickly on the sky, so I think he's trying to get away with something. Hmm...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Many Things

Whew. Busy. Very busy.

My mother and sister visited this weekend! I had not seen either of them in over a year. My own mother had difficulty recognizing me because of the weight-loss - nifty, I think. I converted them to the cult of IKEA and drove them around Northern Arizona. We had a lot of fun, and I was sorry to see them go.

The end of the semester is rapidly approaching, and I have so much to do! Grading, writing exams, applying for travel funding, preparing a talk... there are 84 things on my to-do list, and I'm positive that I'm forgetting something important.


Thursday, November 10, 2005


Dione, Pandora, and Tethys seen against a backdrop of darkness and rings, from Cassini

Sunday, November 06, 2005

All about me

With Greg off at the World Fantasy Convention, I spent the weekend in Flagstaff. Completely hedonistic. I left work on Friday and went immediately to my massage therapist for an hour-long massage. Then I drove to Flagstaff in the late afternoon. The sun was setting as I drove into the Verde Valley, highlighting the red rocks of Sedona in the distance. So lovely. But my goal was at the base of the San Francisco Peaks.

My time in Flagstaff involved soaks in the jacuzzi, hiking in the beautiful sunny crisp weather, and eating at some of my favorite places. I watched Revenge of the Sith and What The #$*! Do We Know?! I drank cocoa and window-shopped for hippy clothing. I managed to spend only $2.70 at the bead shop. I have arrived home completely relaxed, and the mountain air has helped my lingering cold tremendously.

As much as I love my students, teaching means I'm forced to be more social on a daily basis than I would typically prefer. It was nice to spend some time focused on indulging myself and enjoying some solitude. Mmm...purr...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Feeling Better

Mmm...mexican food...the perfect comfort food. Warm, soft, spicy...mmm....

I had warned a few students over email to be wary about attending office hours today, because I'm sick. One of the students showed up to my office with a thermos of hot tea and honey and a mug. That and a dose of DayQuil got me through the day.

I must say I receive much more support and affection from students than I ever would have anticipated. There's been hot tea and thank you cards and flowers and chocolates. There's been Star Wars discussions and magic tricks to cheer me when I'm blue. Visits from former students. Nice emails and hugs. Friendship. If you'd told me before I started teaching how much warmth I'd feel from students, I would have laughed at you. Now I know better, and every day I'm grateful.

Pesky Pluto

Pluto might have two more moons, bringing it to a grand total of three. The whole "is Pluto a planet?" debate just gets more and more interesting - from Hubble