Archive for the 'Travel' category

Letchworth State Park: The panoramas

Oct 27 2008 Published by under Travel

I mentioned in my post on Letchworth that I had a bunch of panorama photos to put together when I got home, and I've done so!  They're posted below...

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Letchworth State Park in Autumn!

Oct 20 2008 Published by under Travel

I brought my fiancée for the first few days of my stay in Rochester, both to introduce her to my former thesis advisor (who insisted I couldn't get married until he approved of my choice) and to show her a few of my favorite 'haunts' from my graduate school days.  On Saturday, we went to Letchworth State Park, a wonderful and spectacular stretch of wilderness which follows the Genesee River for some 17 miles.  The park consists primarily of the estate of William Pryor Letchworth, and was bequeathed to the state in 1906.

The park contains wonderful views from the heights of the river gorge, lovely waterfalls, and even an excellent restaurant/inn.  This is a great time of year to visit Letchworth, as the leaves are turning colors and the weather isn't yet oppressively cold.

Below, I display some of my preliminary shots of Letchworth Park.  When I get back home, I'll also stitch together some panaramas that I took of the landscape.

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Fossil Hunt: FAIL!!!

Aug 26 2008 Published by under General science, Travel

Well, I'm back from Chicago, and my fossil hunting expedition!  My abilities to find fossils on this trip can be summarized by one word:  FAIL!!!

This was a field trip sponsored by the Field Museum of Chicago, a place I spent much time at in my youth.  For at least 20 years, they've sponsored fossil hunts in the Mazon Creek area.  My dad and I participated in one some twenty years ago, as mentioned in this post; in recent months, I suddenly got the urge to go back and try my luck again.

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Where the Hell is Matt? 2008

Jun 20 2008 Published by under Travel

For those who've enjoyed Matt Harding's delightful videos of himself dancing throughout the world, he has a new one, with "a cast of thousands." This is the sort of video that, perhaps irrationally, gives me hope for humanity, and actually brought a tear to my eye:

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Unconventional skydives: beach jumps!

Jun 15 2008 Published by under Sports, Travel

Over Memorial Day weekend, i went with a group of friends to a skydiving party ('boogie') at the Emerald Coast Skydiving Center, which is near the Gulf Coast. The fun of this particular boogie is the ability to skydive over the Gulf and land on the beach, right in front of the Flora-Bama Bar (which is on the coastal border between Florida and Alabama). My friend Terry did some nice videos of our jumps, and I post one of them below the fold!

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May 28 2008 Published by under Sports, Travel

Well, I'm back from my skydiving adventure at the Memorial Day Boogie at Emerald Coast Skydiving Center.  Just like last year, the staff was friendly and helpful, and I managed to get eight jumps on the beach.  There's nothing like landing in front of the Flora-Bama bar and getting a round of cheers and applause from a bunch of bikers!

I should have video of some of the jumps next week, and I'll post them asap.

Some skydivers were not so lucky over the weekend; Michael Fournier, the French skydiver I've written about before, was planning to make his record-setting freefall over Canada from 130,000 feet.  Unfortunately, the attempt never got off the ground; an unexplained electrical discharge disconnected the high-altitude balloon from the gondola before takeoff, and it drifted to the ground 40 km away.

This malfunction put an end to this attempt to set the world-record freefall; the cost of the failure is estimated at 600,000 euros, but Fournier is hoping to try again in August.

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Vacation time!

May 21 2008 Published by under Travel

Those who read me regularly may have noticed that I've dropped off in my postings lately. I've been preparing for a trip to Florida to skydive off the Gulf and land on the beach, and much of my time has been spent making sure all my work business is up to date. I leave tonight, and come back on Monday.

I've set up a few small posts for the time that I'm away, and may get another one up this afternoon before I go. Otherwise, when I come back, I'll have a few excellent scientific posts (all my ILLs finally came in) and hopefully some cool skydiving pics/video!

P.S.  I've raved before about the Gallica website that is part of the National Library of France.  Well, now it looks like they're into a version 2, beta, and the search pages can be read in English as well as French.  I just downloaded part of the complete works (Oeuvres) of François Arago, circa 1850.   I'm almost in awe of the fact that it's so easy to find these works now.

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A brief San Antonio travelogue!

Jan 10 2008 Published by under Travel

So I've been posting a little light this week because I've been in San Antonio on business.  Now that the work is done, and I'm heading home, I thought I'd post just a few pictures of the highlights...

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A day at the Field Museum! (updated)

Dec 31 2007 Published by under Science news, Travel

I'm in Chicago, visiting family for the holidays with my girlfriend, and we decided to hit the Field Museum of Natural History, one of my childhood haunts. I thought I'd do a little 'photo highlights' post about the things that I found most intriguing this time around...

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A ride on the Shanghai maglev train

Oct 18 2007 Published by under Science news, Travel

I've been in a 'magnet mood' since I did my big post on the physics Nobel winners a week ago, and I thought it would be nice to show one of the most spectacular applications of magnetism - magnetic levitation (maglev) trains. China opened the first high-speed commercial maglev train line in the world in 2004 in Shanghai. I was there this January and my colleague set it up for us to take the train to the airport on departure.

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