lazy blog - California dreamin'
Kavli Institute at UC Santa Barbara.
Perfect location, nice new building, good people, and kickass workshops.
Been there three times I think; always productive and often fun. I think that was where I was introduced to the great custom of pulsar hottubbing, though that reached perfection in Santa Cruz and Aspen...
Most fun paper I've written recently came from a completely accidental conversation over wine, pure luck the combination of people who sat down together - though there were a couple of people there who were very unlucky not to sit down with us.
This is one of these "anyone could have done this paper"(well anyone of 10 or 12 people who knew to), and a very good graduate student, we found out later, was in fact working towards this and independently confirmed what we found while our paper was in press. Weirdly. two of us had talked about doing this about 5 years earlier, but with lack of time, moving, lack of students to work on these projects etc, it didn't get done. [Hm, lack of people to do stuff - something to blahg about]
[oh, and "spontaneous appearance" - sweated blood to knock the bloody thing into shape, Science and Nature are serious about their word count limits. I'm sure it is character forming or something. Some of us need room to blather on, as my students have learned the hard way.]
This is how fun science happens. It is how it should happen. Spontaneous leisurely conversation of speculative issues over coffee/beer/wine/water that leads to a paper spontaneously appearing. Also the hallmark of a great science instution if they provide the atmosphere in which such happens.
Oh, hotel situation relative to UCSB campus is awkward - kinda a linear freeway sort of town. Good food in downtown; allegedly one of the best sushi places on the west coast (and possibly one of the most expensive). Lots of decent mexican food, though I haven't found a truly great place there yet (any hints people?).