Tuesday, March 28, 2006

AbSciCon - random snippets

Hm. Lockheed serves a decent Cote d'Rhone. But, guys, session from 2-6 with drinks only at the break; then you can't serve finger sandwiches only at a "Meal Reception". Ah well, some downtown restaurants did well. Hosting it at the Smithsonian was brilliant. IMAX showing was decent, though I'd have gone for Harry Potter meself (Harry Potter on IMAX, who knew?).

Rumours that the funding crisis in astrobio was to be solved by taking the proceeds of the cash bar at monday nights reception are false. They know us too well, and knew we were too cheap to actually buy any drinks at those prices.

So... Town Hall: "we are going to give some money back to AstroBio, yay! No! Wait! Hah, fooled you, we gave to this other mission first..."

If I parsed it correctly, the current claim is that HQ was going to restore the AstroBio funding cut, honest they were, they had found the money. But... they decided restoring Dawn was more important. And who could argue with that.
Well, except that it is BS, really. They didn't "find" new funding for Dawn, nor was that money the one unique pot of NASA funding that could have restored AstroBio funding.

Ah well, goodish news is that allegedly two of the NAI Centers in the current round will be funded (the plan was for 4). Rankings have been made (I heard ~ 100 applications, including renewals). I have not seen those rankings. I'd bet on Washington and VPL, but what do I know.

Harrison Schmidt talked a good talk. Although it wandered a bit off topic onto Star Wars etc.

Er, there was some interesting science too, planets, and life and stuff...


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