Sunday, May 08, 2005

lazy blog - California dreamin'

So, fun places to do science...

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?).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of wine and writing papers, I'm working on the M4 observation paper (slowly). I hope that you are still planning to spend time in 05-06 in Santa Cruz. We need to do some more fun papers together, and if it can't be in Aspen, it might as well be in California.... --s

2:01 AM  
Blogger Steinn said...

Hm, 2006-2007 ok? Unless I do a flying visit this summer - hm, y'all have some interesting conferences going on later this year.

Anyway, numbers?!
Hot tubs?

Much better view over your bay, and better climate.

Should have some hard numbers on the models when I get back to town.

11:46 PM  

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