Illusions and Reality

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” -Albert Einstein

Darwin and Opera 20 September 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — martieinstein @ 6:17 pm
This week has been a good week at work.  I’ve started working on one of the projects that I am interested in doing during my fellowship which is exciting.  I also made my first travel plans.  I will be going to Dallas for the meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) in the middle of October.  It definitely feels like work is settling into more of a routine now that I have been here for three weeks.

The Evolution of Evolution

The Evolution of Evolution

As for non-work fun, that continues as well.  Last Saturday morning, I went to part of a Darwin Symposium at the National Museum of Natural History.  The symposium included speakers from all over, who talked about different topics relating to Darwin and evolution.  One of my favorite talks was by Janet Browne, a professor of the History of Science at Harvard.  She spoke about the role of anniversary celebrations in science and provided a look back at what was going on in the world of science at the earlier anniversaries of Darwin’s birthday and publication of Origin of Species.  The symposium coincided with the opening of the new Darwin exhibit at the museum, The Evolution of Evolution.  I didn’t get a chance to check out the exhibit so I will have to go back to the museum to do that.

Opera in the Outfield

Opera in the Outfield

Later that same day, I went to enjoy Opera in the Outfield at the Nationals’ Stadium.  It was a free simulcast of the opening night of the National Opera.  The first opera of the season was the Barber of Seville and it was fantastic!  Going to see opera at a baseball stadium means that you don’t have to dress up and you need to make sure to bring a blanket since they let you sit on the grass in the outfield to view the big screen.  It also means that for dinner you can have a hot dog while you enjoy the opera.  I had a half smoke from the Ben’s Chili Bowl stand, which is a smoked sausage on a hot dog bun with mustard, cheese, chili, and onions.  Very delicious!!!  Prior to the start of the opera, the fans at the ballpark were treated to a showing of the Rabbit of Seville, starring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

 

The First Couple of Weeks 11 September 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — martieinstein @ 8:18 pm

Welcome to NSF!

Welcome to NSF!

I am finishing up the second week of my Einstein Fellowship and it has been a great beginning.  Being at the NSF is such an interesting experience.  There is so much going on here and such a broad range of interests and opportunities.  This week I got to attend the Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education meeting, which basically is group of experts who meet to give the NSF advice from people outside the Federation.  It was really quite interesting to listen to these discussions.  Part of the meeting was a presentation by Dr. Diane Pataki from UC-Irvine who talked about the work she is doing in urban ecosystems.  Another important part of the meeting was the release of the AC-ERE report, Transitions and Tipping Points in Complex Environmental Systems .  This week I also heard a talk about decision making under uncertainty relating to climate change.  It was a very interesting topic and one that is very timely.  If we don’t understand how people make decisions related to climate change, we will never make any progress towards solutions. Today at lunch, a group of Einsteins met at lunch time to preview and give feedback on some educational materials developed by the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs.


That’s all about cool things happening at work, not to mention the fun things to do outside of working hours.  Last Sunday, I went to dinner at Busboys and Poets in DC with Margie and then we met up with another Fellow to sit on the west lawn of the Capitol and hear the free concert by the National Symphony.  Other than a bit of rain, it was fantastic.  The theme of the concert was anniversaries so they played a selection from Gypsy (50th), selections from South Pacific (60th), Star Wars and ET (in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing), and Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait (in honor of Lincoln’s 200th).

Sitting on the west lawn of the Capitol waiting for the NSO concert to begin.

Sitting on the west lawn of the Capitol waiting for the NSO concert to begin.

There is more fun planned for this weekend: Darwin Symposium at the Museum of Natural History and the free “Opera in the Outfield” simulcast of the National Opera’s opening night at the National’s Ballpark.


This is a great town!!!!