Tuesday, March 14, 2006

California Dreamin'

I'm in Pasadena, California on a business trip, including a two day class at the Caltech Industrial Relations Center on doing business with India, an important subject for my international distribution manager responsibilities. Caltech has a great campus, and I really enjoy the fact that when eating lunch at the Athenaeum (Caltech Faculty Club), that I am dining in a room where Millikan, Michelson, and Einstein, and of course Richard Feynman, had also dined.

Caltech also operates nearby JPL for NASA, so space geek that I am, I wandered over to the Caltech bookstore in hopes of finding... some sort of space geek stuff, I guess. Lots of books, nothing really special that I don't already have (yikes). So I check out the apparel. Caltech T's and sweats... nah. NASA T's and sweats with a giant NASA logo on the back... nah. JPL T's and sweats, not really rocking my world. Then I saw it - in the total geek section of shirts with Maxwell's equations and DNA diagrams - a Caltech t-shirt that says "Actually, I am a rocket scientist." I was walking to the cash register when I realized the scorn I would have to endure from my daughter if I ever actually wore this shirt. I put it back. Now it can be told: I'm a wimp and a geek.

P.S. As I was grabbing JPL's web link, I noticed a new item (March 13) there, a still frame from a simulated fly through video of Valles Marineris, assembled from hundreds of images from NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. It's really amazing! The picture above is a frame from the video that shows the Los Angeles Basin area inserted into Valles Marineris with room to spare.

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