Friday, December 7, 2007

Mighty suns

To the great surprise of absolutely no one, I have decided to apply to the University of Washington School of Oceanography. This will not be happening immediately, but it is nevertheless a decision, and one I'm fairly excited about. It's not a nebulous thing, either; I'd like to become involved in Project NEPTUNE, and to specialize in extremophile ecology. A chance to ship out on the R/V Thomas G. Thompson wouldn't be unwelcome, either. The Tommy, you might (or might not) be interested to know, is the identical twin - one of a set of quadruplets, actually - of the R/V Atlantis, out of Woods Hole, famed as the operating craft of DSV Alvin, the cute little submersible that's starred in so many marine exploration documentaries on the Discovery channel.

It's a tenuous connection about which to be so excited: the remote possibility of shipping out on a craft that was built identical to another famous ship that carries the vehicle that first discovered hydrothermal vent ecosystems. But goddammit, I am so excited.

Oh, and I've also, in an effort to improve my productivity and organize my thoughts, decided to write seven blog entries in the next seven days, not counting this one. If the daily thing works out well, I may just keep it up! I may also compromise on a bi-daily or MWF schedule, depending.

And in case anyone didn't catch it last time, allow me one more time to plug The Skeptics Guide To The Universe (and the James Randi Education Foundation, hosts and sponsors of The Amazing Meeting! Be there!) Further, in that vein, allow me to say that anyone who has not read Carl Sagan's eponymous The Demon-Haunted World is not really living. It's hard not to get shivers down your spine when, following an anecdote about Sagan's own childhood, you look up at the stars and realize that they are all, indeed, mighty suns in their own right, some orders of magnitude larger than the one that is the source of essentially everything we know.

Mighty suns.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Applying to grad school, eh? Need a little encouragement?


I was poking through the UW computer science masters program the other day...