Quick note to say I’m in Pasadena right now — this is my first time out of Australia since going there in September. Didn’t realize how homesick I was, even though my current environment doesn’t have much that the better-appointed parts of Australia wouldn’t have. (More accurate perhaps to say that it has things Melbourne might have, but not Canberra — for example, convincing art-deco buildings).
I’m here to attend the 2011 Caltech “Fireworks” Meeting, which looks like it’s going to be a cozy little workshop on exploding things, mostly supernovae of all stripes. There are currently 55 registered participants including myself, and I know a large fraction (20%) of them so I don’t expect to feel at all out to sea. As a workshop, it’s going to be about evenly divided between plenary talks on selected special topics related to (astrophysical) things that explode, and free-form discussions about the implications of the states of affairs thus summarized. I expect to learn a great deal at this meeting, and then also go out and have beers with my august colleagues after hours. Not such a bad existence really.
I’ll be recounting what I consider to be the science highlights of the meeting in as plain English as I can muster, followed by a slightly more technical unpacking of the details for the aficionados. So watch this space!