Friday, March 31, 2006

missed opportunities

Argh. So Billy Bragg played DC last sunday, and I didn't even know. Didn't even think to look to check if he was in the US touring.
Not that I could have gone given the nature of the trip, but still.
I think I've seen Billy live 4 times, including once in the US (LA), only act I've bothered to see more than once.
Why? Think British Bob Dylan of the 80s - with punk influence, not hippie, and hasn't sold out yet either.

At AbSciCon there was, at NASA's request, a "Town Hall Meeting" to discuss the funding situation.
As mentioned before, some bones with bits of meat were tossed, looks like astrobio will get $10 million extra per year over the next three years (no word yet of where that money was taken from either...). This is enough that ongoing multi-year grants will not have to take (as large) immediate cuts, but not enough for new grants this year or next - though word is, as I mentioned, that two NAI centers will be picked in the current round after all (and my bet is still that Washington will be one, and I'd think VPL the other - unless it violates the "no $ to Ca" rule that seems to be in operation right now).

We'll find out soon if this works.

Then Congress gets it say.

BUT, there was one very important thing about the Town Hall meeting.
Only Astrobiology department staff from NASA were there to answer questions.
No one, near as I can tell, from Science Missions Directorate (or whatever it is called this week), no one even from Origins.
Certainly not anyone from the AA level. Hah.

On a lighter note: Les Halles - provincial french restaurant on Pennsylvania and 13th (right across from Ronald Reagan building) - recommended by senior NASA friend, and very nice indeed it is. Think "steak and frites" but well done.
Chef is actually famous in some way.
Service is mediocre bad, too busy, and I didn't look like a CongressCritter or some such important local, thankfully.

Oh, and the Denny's in Bedford, at the intersection of the Pa Turnpike and I-99 is quite good as Denny's restaurants go.
Very friendly service, fast, helpful and the food was edible. Munchkins were happy.


Anonymous britton said...

FYI: Billy Bragg interviewed in The Onion A/V Club last week, in case you didn't know.

1:51 PM  

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