The Pump with No Handle: The Week in Review (April 16 – 22, 2017)

My gitlab CERN page shows that the last 10 days have been solid blue with coding activity. Being away from SMU and working in London has been ridiculously productive for me.

This was quite a week. It began with the long Easter weekend here in the UK, which came to an exceptional end for me on Monday at St. Martin-in-the-Fields for a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” and a night out with (and I love to say these words) my publisher and editor, Otto. Tuesday was a work day at QMUL, and then dinner that evening was with a high-school friend I have not seen in 23 years. The next few days were an intense work period, and today is both “Earth Day” and, more importantly, the day of a global effort to “March for Science.” I took a personal science march in London through pieces of a story that is very important, not only to me, but to the entire world. That story is the story of a pump with no handle.

Continue reading

The Case of the Street that Wasn’t: The Week in Review (April 9-16, 2017)

 

A view of the London Eye and Westminster from the Waterloo Bridge. Taken on Easter Sunday, 2017.

This last week has been eventful! It began with an early morning return to Dallas from Connecticut, fighting the beginning of an annoying cold. After a couple of days at home, I was on a plane again, this time to London to spend 13 days working with colleagues at Queen Mary University London (QMUL) on software development for the ATLAS H->bb analysis. Easter weekend is a 4-day affair in Europe, so after a couple of days of jet lag and a bad cold I had a little welcome down time… which turned into serious down time when I lost my voice. I closed the week with a nice stroll around London on a Sherlock Holmes-themed Easter Sunday. Now, rested, I am looking forward to the next week of work and engagement in London.

Continue reading

Anti-Steve: The Week in Review, March 5-12, 2017

To get to the Tri-Cities in Washington – Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick – you hop a flight in Seattle and make the short trip inland to a beautiful mountain-ringed desert plain.

This was quite a week! After last week’s near-exhausting onslaught of post-CERN jet lag and my student, J’s, PhD thesis defense (as well as a number of home repair and other such chores), this week I had something of a break to look forward to. Jodi and I are both on approved leaves from teaching this semester, and so we are spending a lot of time in the field – at laboratories and other institutions where our research is ongoing. I’ve been bouncing between SMU, CERN, and Argonne National Laboratory. Jodi is currently at about the mid-point of a 5-week visit to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA. I traveled here this week to visit her and spend some time relaxing a bit before I hit the road again for Argonne this week.

Continue reading

Anti-Steve: The Weeks in Review, Feb. 6 – 18

This sign hangs on the door of an office not far from my own office at CERN. Seeing it was a delightful moment of science humor on a walk back to work.

I am on an approved leave from teaching and university service this semester so that I can focus on research. While I’ve had a number of things going since before the New Year, the last two weeks have been the start of the “traveling” phase of my semester. For me, it’s “Phase 1” – I’ll be in Dallas for much of March while Jodi is away at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Now that this part of my semester has begun, I thought it would be useful to reflect on the last couple of weeks of “HEP Life.”

Continue reading