Back on the Ground

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I’m back from California and the award ceremony I mentioned last week. The trip was fun but a little absurd–I flew across the country and back within 36 hours. It’s time for some serious carbon offsetting. I got to hang out with ABC’s Robert Krulwich without having to go into a forest, and was finally able to put a face to RadioLab‘s Jad Abumrad’s incantory voice. I find I can never, ever predict what someone looks like from how they sound on the radio. Eric Kandel came to pick up a prize for his book, In Search of Memory<. During a discussion with some journalism students, he and I got into a spirited debate about what science writing is for. He thought it should educate a public seriously in need of education. I said that’s what high school is for. He was perpetually gracious during our disagreement. Never during the conversation did he say, “Listen, punk, have you been to Stockholm?”

On my return I had to cope with a system meltdown on the MacBook; once I was back in business I faced massive heap of email to get through, not to mention a couple serious deadlines for stories (more on them in a couple weeks). At last I’ve got a relatively calm morning, which I’m trying to savor, since tomorrow I inject some more carbon into the atmosphere for the Thanksgiving trek. I’m going to take avdantage of this brief lull and perform a blogging blitz. I’m going to try to put up as many blog posts as I can before I have to turn to other matters. The posts won’t be long essays on esoteric topics, but they may provide some entertainment as you drift in and out of a turkey slumber over the next few days.