Sunday, December 31, 2006

In with the new

Greg and I are celebrating the New Year up in the crisp cold clear air of Flagstaff. There has been much good food, warm beverages, and walking through the snow. Flagstaff is a mellow place to ring in the New Year - I am very content to be here.

I set some modest goals for 2006. I came close on some and succeeded in a few others, so I can't complain. In fact, I'll roll over a few of the goals into the new year. This upcoming year will see some big changes, and I'm both apprehensive and optimistic, if that makes any sense at all.

I hope that you all look back at 2006 without regrets and look forward to 2007 with hope and dreams. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Perfect fit

Greg had this quote generator on his blog, so I gave it a whirl. Hee hee.

Many Bothans died to bring us this lisa.

Which movie was this quote from?

Get your own quotes:

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays!

I hope y'all are as spoiled and cozy and well-fed and loved as I am.

From Hubble:

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Today's my birthday - thirty-six years old. I have no complaints. I talked to friends and family, received wonderful gifts, went out to dinner (burger and fries!), and remained generally cozy. The weather even gave me a nostalgic treat - fog! Just like growing up in Northern California. Not a bad way to spend the day at all.

Oops. Gotta go. Greg is taking presents out of his stocking while I'm distracted by typing!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Remembering Carl Sagan

Today is the Carl Sagan Memorial Blog-a-thon. I've actually been meaning to write about Sagan for quite some time. I have students today who are as enraptured by Cosmos as I was as a child. I caught some of the episodes recently and the music brought me to tears, it resonated so deep within me. I spent so much time watching Cosmos and read the book over and over again. What a magnificent gift that was to all of us.

I think of Sagan and his wonderful gift for communication often when confronted with pseudoscience and intelligent design. (If you have not read Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, do so immediately.) I sometimes ask myself, "would these ideas proliferate so easily if Sagan were here to refute them?" Sagan, with his simple way of conveying the most complex ideas...surely he could help us. He is sorely missed. There will never be another Sagan, but we do need someone to step up and be the Great Communicator of Science again. Who will be next?

Check out Celebrating Sagan for more to remember Sagan on the tenth anniversary of his death.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Sparkly, winkly stars - LH 95, from Hubble

Saturday, December 16, 2006


The semester is over. Yay! To celebrate, I shall display one of the most beautiful images I've seen recently: aurora over Finland, by Vesa Särkelä

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I wanted a nice bowl of soup with hearty bread for dinner. We went to a nearby shopping center where we could obtain such yumminess, but were deterred by a big war protest and throngs of people waiting in line for a booksigning. Jimmy Carter thwarted my dinner!

Speaking of thwarted, let's hear it for some Scottsdale valets who called the police on a woman who took her dog into Neiman Marcus, but left her two-year old son in the car. She resisted arrest "stating that she did nothing wrong and that the valets were supposed to be watching her child."

Saturday, December 09, 2006


To do this weekend:
  • Write a letter of rec for a grad student.
  • Do other paperwork of a bureaucratic nature.
  • Input astronomy lab grades for the university.
  • Write physics final exam.
  • Write two astronomy final exams.
  • Grade astronomy term projects.
  • Grade astronomy quizzes.
  • Grade astronomy math exercises.
  • Write journal entry that serves both to whine and procrastinate
Hey, at least I can check one thing off the list!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I'm almost 36 years old, yet I still get all excited when my mom sends me chocolate chip cookies. Mmm... thanks, Mom! Of course, I'm mired in grading, so I have a feeling that this batch won't last long. One exam, one cookie, one lab, one cookie... precious, precious cookies.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Good Day

It was a good day. First of all, "Hail to the hills of Westwood." Yes, indeed, UCLA beat USC. That's always good. Dashing USC's national championship hopes? That's outstanding. Makes me wiggle just to think about it.

Secondly, we just got back from seeing Barenaked Ladies in concert. That was an outstanding show. I never go out of my way to listen to BNL, but I think I'll want to see them whenever I can in concert. Beautiful harmonies, and you can tell they're having such fun.

Hope y'all had a good Saturday as well!