Dear Long-Deprived Readers,
It’s been busy out! I’ve had that creeping anxiety lately of having twelve dozen things due, wanting to spend time on important things but having to take care of urgent things instead, and being convinced I must have missed something. I don’t like this state. Do not get into this state if you can help it, you will not sleep well.
Many of the items due have to do with an upcoming world tour — this is the longest and most expensive trip I believe I’ve ever been on. Many thanks to Brian and Skymapper for funding me. It’s not that it’s a particularly bad value given the length (five weeks!) and scope, but I was quite sticker-shocked coming into it. I won’t give specific numbers, but let’s just say trips from Oz are a chunk of change, about half the cost of which is always the air fare. Thanks also to my friends in various places who’ve agreed to let me surf their couches, thereby keeping my costs down and letting me come see you more often. You are all awesome. Here’s my rough itinerary:
- Boston, MA (218th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society)
- New Haven, CT (visiting colleagues in Yale’s Astronomy Department)
- Paris, France (meeting with Brian and colleagues at LPNHE about the Skymapper SN search)
- Oxford, UK (meeting with Galaxy Zoo folks at University of Oxford)
- Baltimore, MD (Very Wide-Field Surveys In Light Of Astro2010 at STScI)
- Sydney, NSW (Supernovae and their Host Galaxies
It’s a lot of places to go, and a pretty rough schedule, and even though I’ve had quite a bit of help from our faithful administrative assistants and travel agents in organizing it all, the logistics of figuring out how I’m going to see everyone and get everywhere are driving me batty. If I’ve learned any lessons here, it’s that I really need to plan my international trips at least six weeks in advance instead of three, and that I need to not be shy about padding in a few days for recovery from punishing 28-hour plane journeys.
Other than that, all’s more or less well. We got a five-day weekend at the end of April because ANZAC Day happened to fall on the Monday after Easter Sunday, and Australians are pretty serious about their holidays. I’ve made good progress on a paper I’ve been writing, which is basically ready to ship — now I just have to corral my colleagues and get them all to make their edits and sign off on it! I’ll be giving a talk on that work in Sydney and another one here at the RSAA after I get back, as well as a general Skymapper talk (or poster) in Baltimore. The Skymapper SN search has also seen a lot of progress, and with luck we’ll be in a good position to start searching for supernovae really soon. Hoping to write more about all these developments, as well as travel stories, soon!