Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Gee has it really been 2 weeks since my last post? I suppose it has, but it's not like I had any time to think about it. Since Geneva, I definitely lost a week both to jet lag and talk writing. Then the next week was probably a trifecta for me: a visit to Ohio State University where I gave both a Departmental Colloquium and a Nuclear Physics Seminar, followed a day later by a PHENIX talk at a workshop at BNL on running RHIC at very low energies. Three talks in three days: makes me drowsy just to remind myself.

The visit to OSU was incredibly interesting, as they have quite a group of nuclear physicists, both experimental and theoretical, who kept me busy for two solid work days, leaving me not as much time to prepare for the workshop as I would have preferred! Then again, I didn't prefer to have two planes, on two different airlines, malfunction on the ground in Ohio just as I was trying to board them. While the second one turned out to require only a quick repair, my return to my apartment in NYC was spoiled by a complete absence of water, due to a broken main on Broadway. Fortunately, I had a backup plan, allowing me to attend the low-E workshop with a minimum of unnecessary odor!

Since then, I've been recovering a bit, seeing friends a bit, seeing art a bit (like this dreamy video installation at Scope New York), seeing Garrison Keillor with the NY Philharmonic a bit (thanks Terry and Rachel!), and trying to wake up for a new round of ATLAS work. But speaking of waking up, I was utterly blown away by the reports that Ambien, the enormously popular sleeping pill, seems to trigger sleep-eating in many people, who gorge themselves at night, and wake up remembering nothing, although they have food in their mouths. Doesn't anyone sleep anymore? Turns out that lots of people think they don't, as they lie awake for an hour or so in the middle of the night (I know I do this!), but some people think that this is the most natural sleep pattern of all. Go figure.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

John Cale in Geneva

Geneva certainly seems like a nicer place to hang out now than I remember it from 10 years ago. There are lots of excellent new restaurants and bars (e.g. Le Gout des Autres in Eaux Vives), and old standby's like L'Usine have gotten very impressive and ambitious in their offerings.

Here's a shot of a John Cale show we caught at L'Usine the night before heading back to the US. Most notable was how excellent the show was, bursting with ideas and energy (incredible especially for a guy the same age as my parents -- I hope I age as gracefully). A close second was the absolute ban on smoking, requested by Cale himself. One of the bouncers mentioned that Cale would flat-out stop if he smelled smoke. That's another serious change from 10 years ago.