Lasciate Ogne Speranza

September 1, 2018

Trento, Italy

I arrived in Trento on Saturday night after an all day trip through Düsseldorf, Venizia, and Verona. Next time I’ll take the train through München. I had an absolutely fantastic pizza with tomato sauce, fresh basil, mozzarella di bufala, dizzled with a reduced balsamic vinegar at Anfiteatro, a new restaurant. Sunday it rained but I did some indoor and underground archaeological tourism and visited the cathedral.

During the week I was busy with a program at ECT*, but also had a free Friday afternoon and evening. I returned to Anfiteatro to have the pizza, but accidentally walked into their grand opening! They had a free buffet with a free glass of wine, and live music. The food was delicious—some kind of roasted pork, a variety of roasted and pickled vegetables, fried dough of some kind—but I kind of wished for that pizza! The musician performed popular and classic English-language songs. He could sing but sprinkled every song with mondegreens, which I found amusing at first and distracting by the end.


A Bold Deceiver

August 4, 2018

Maynooth and Glendalough, Ireland


The Nucleon Axial Coupling

May 30, 2018

Nature, DOI:10.1038/s41586-018-0161-8

My collaborators and I are glad to announce that the Standard Model of particle physics predicts that , the axial coupling of the nucleon, is 1.271±0.013. The experimentally measured value is 1.2723±0.0023.

A neutron β-decays into a proton, electron, and antineutrino.


A Demon Cannot Be Hurt

February 7, 2018

Mysore, Karnataka, India

The Palace of Mysore still belongs to the Wadiyar dynasty, the titular monarchs of the Kingdom of Mysore, and can be toured with an excellent audioguide app. The well-kept walled grounds have two temples, a stable of elephants, and multiple large gateways. On display in the palace are a small portion of the Wadiyar traditional figurine collection, portraits, and a set of caskets used by supplicants to deliver written requests and mementos to the maharaja. The highlight is certainly the architecture—the palace, built after the previous wooden palace burned, is stone, and has enormous spaces with rich tilework, frescoes, bright colors, and stone and ivory inlay.

I walked through the nearby market, where flowers, spices, vegetables, dyes, and other everyday goods are sold in a loud, frenetic, chaos. Many vendors approached me, followed me, or otherwise tried to get my attention, though a quick pace and polite but firm insistence that I didn’t need a wooden cat puzzle box, junky souvenirs, or ingredients for dinner got my message across.

I had an fantastic onion dosa from a stall on the main market square.

The final stop was at the Sri Chamundeshwari temple, which is the main temple dedicated to the state’s local goddess. A complex of many temples, the main focus is the shrine and idol of Sri Chamundeshwari, who myth claims defeated a snake-wielding demon. This victory is commemorated annually with a 10-day festival, while other nearby regions share the festival and the vanquishing of evil is always accomplished by a deity, Mysore is unique in both celebrating and being the seat of this important regional goddess. The temple is located atop a huge hill that overlooks the whole city of Mysore, and the palace grounds and palace itself are oriented so as to face the temple, to identify the dynasty and the goddess.

From Mysore, it was a bit more than 3 hours to the Bangalore airport. My flight was at 3:30 in the morning, which put me in Frankfurt at about 9 am.


Wine For The Woman Who Made The Rain Come

February 6, 2018

Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India

I woke up early in Bandipur and my driver and I left for Ooty at about 6 am, shortly after the road through the tiger reserve opens. It was a long trip, which crossed from the state of Karnataka to Tamil Nadu and took me high into the mountains. I was warned to dress for the cold, which turns out to be a laughable concern for someone more used to a continental European climate.

My first stop was the botanical gardens, which I found to be lackluster. Very few of the flowers were in season, the grounds were poorly maintained, and some of the water was standing rather than flowing as designed. It was quiet and cool, however, and a nice way to spend the morning.

I had lunch at the Lake & Boat House, which had some amusements and rides that I didn’t ride, and also had paddle boats and powered boats for rent. A class from a local all-girls high school was there, and clandestinely took selfies with me in the background. A family gave me a “butterscotch fruit”A quick search yields only western baked goods. that was unusual in that it had a thin but inedible peel, a center with lots of little black seeds in a goop, and a mushy flesh. It was good, but messy and a lot of work.

I visited the park atop Doddabetta peak, which, as the highest nearby peak, has phenomenal view of both Ooty and the valley on other side of the ridge. On the way back into the main part of town I stopped at Benchmark Tea Factory.

Ooty is surrounded by mountains, with large tea plantations covering entire mountainsides. One of the chief employees gave me and my driver our own tour of their little plantation and took us onto the factory floor to see the machines close-up and to watch the women sort and pack the tea. In addition to an educational time, they also provided samples of green, black, white, and ginger tea.

I had a late lunch at a restaurant in the town center, where I met Tom and Sue, two older British people on their fifth trip to India. I had a nice lunch of paratha and grilled paneer and vegetables, while they shared a masala and some naan. After an hour we parted ways and I walked around downtown Ooty and the market. The most dangerous part, as always, was crossing the street.

At 5 pm we left Ooty and returned to Bandipur. The way down had less traffic, both factors conspiring for a much shorter trip on the way down. I had dinner at the lodge, and met a nice couple from California, their two children, and grandma, who had just arrived that day. I told them about Ooty, and they told me about their first and incredibly successful trip into the forest. The next morning we went into the park and ate breakfast together before checking out and saying goodbye.


February 5, 2018

What Immortal Hand or Eye Dare Frame Thy Fearful Symmetry?

February 3, 2018

Although Your Mind's Opaque

January 30, 2018

My Sweet Lord

December 23, 2017

Things That Didn't Suck 2017

December 12, 2017

How Many Wonders Can One Cavern Hold?

December 3, 2017

Everything Is Awesome

November 25, 2017

I'll Meet You Any Time You Want

July 22, 2017

Orangutans are Skeptical

June 25, 2017

His Tears Fall And Burn The Garden Green

June 18, 2017

If We Travel By My Dragonfly

June 17, 2017

I'd Forsake Them All for Your Sweet Kiss

June 4, 2017

All the King's Men

June 3, 2017

Be Like the Squirrel

June 2, 2017

Be On My Side, I'll Be On Your Side

May 28, 2017

Your Technicolor Motor Home

May 12, 2017

The Hush of Falling Leaves

May 7, 2017

Just A flower I Can Help Along

May 6, 2017

Longer Boats Are Coming

March 24, 2017

Stray Cavaliers

February 22, 2017


February 14, 2017

The Heat Came 'Round and Busted Me For Smilin' On A Cloudy Day

December 31, 2016

A Modern Major General

December 30, 2016

Live and Die a Pirate King

December 15, 2016

Things That Didn't Suck 2016

November 27, 2016

Don't the Sun Look Good Going Down Over The Sea?

November 19, 2016

Heavy Horses, Move the Land Under Me

November 18, 2016

Somebody Holds the Key

November 16, 2016

Stuff that's scuzzy

November 9, 2016

Thinkin' and drinkin' are all I have today

August 3, 2016

Where Your Gentle Wing Rests

May 28, 2016

A Golden Winged Ship Is Passing My Way

December 27, 2015

Steal Your Face Right Off Your Head

December 27, 2015

Things That Didn't Suck 2015

October 17, 2015

This World Was Made For All Men

October 16, 2015

Show the Bastards Up With Our Divine Light

October 4, 2015

Dungeons Deep and Caverns Old

October 3, 2015

Tore Me All to Pieces, Nothing Else Remains

October 3, 2015

See the Colors Floating in the Sky

October 2, 2015

The Deep Forbidden Lake

October 2, 2015

Wild Mountain Honey

October 1, 2015

Flame From Your Stage Has Now Spread to the Floor

September 30, 2015

Take a Whole Pail of Water Just to Cool Him Down

September 7, 2015

I Set Out Running But I Take My Time

August 7, 2015

Eat them up, yum!

August 6, 2015

Let Me Wander In Your Garden

August 5, 2015

Wrapped In The Old School Song, We Fly Our Colours High

August 4, 2015

The Locomotive Jumped The Gun

August 1, 2015

Its Ribs are Ceiling Beams

July 25, 2015

Oh, Mountain of Our Eyes, What Do You See?

July 19, 2015

A Tingling Recognition

July 16, 2015

The Ink Is Black, The Page Is White

July 5, 2015

They're A Band Beyond Description

January 31, 2015

Where Little Cable Cars Climb Halfway To The Stars

October 18, 2014

Rainbows End Down That Highway Where Ocean Breezes Blow

October 8, 2014

The Lunatic Is On The Grass

June 7, 2014

It's Stormin', Stormin' Rain

May 24, 2014

Listen to Those Rails A-Thrumming All Aboard

April 27, 2014

Another Brand New Day

April 26, 2014

A Cave Up In The Hills

April 6, 2014

Smiles Await You When You Rise

March 23, 2014

California, Preaching On The Burning Shore

March 22, 2014

Ain't Gonna Stop Until The 25th Hour

March 17, 2014

My Will Is Prophecy, My Own Mythology

March 16, 2014

Whispering Hallelujah Hatrack

March 15, 2014

They Carry News That Must Get Through

February 15, 2014

One heat up, and one cool down

February 2, 2014

What Shall We Say, Shall We Call It By A Name?

January 24, 2014

There May Be Many Others But They Haven't Been Discovered

January 18, 2014

Your Golden Sun Will Shine For Me

January 10, 2014

A Marvelous Night for a Moondance

January 8, 2014

STAR Struck

December 27, 2013

Things That Didn't Suck 2013

December 20, 2013

I'm As Free As A Bird Now

November 17, 2013

Is this place at your command?

November 16, 2013

It's Not Hard, Not Hard To Reach

November 16, 2013

This Dichromatic Vision

October 8, 2013

Lake Ogallala, We Hold You In Our Hearts

October 3, 2013


September 14, 2013

It's A Light And Tumble Journey

June 12, 2013

I've Been Stretching My Mouth

May 24, 2013

Once In A While You Get Shown The Light In The Strangest Of Places If You Look At It Right

April 24, 2013

People Say We Monkey Around

April 20, 2013

People –– What Have You Done?

April 10, 2013

Send the Sunshine Down My Way Whenever You Call My Name

January 21, 2013

How Can the Wind With So Many Around Me?

January 12, 2013

Come On Children, Now Learn How To Run

January 11, 2013

Almost Aflame, Still You Don't Feel The Heat

January 11, 2013

Near The Village, The Peaceful Village

January 10, 2013

Walking Through Forests of Palm Tree Apartments

January 9, 2013

By The Ranks Or Single File Over Every Jungle Mile

January 8, 2013

If I Ever Get Out Of Here, I'm Going To Kathmandu!

January 7, 2013

I Can Tell My Sister By The Flowers In Her Eyes

January 4, 2013

You're Tired Of Yourself And All Of Your Creations

January 3, 2013

It Takes A Lot To Laugh

January 2, 2013

Tinsel Tigers

January 1, 2013

Played War Games In The Woods

December 31, 2012

Then A Silence That Chilled My Soul

December 21, 2012

Things That Didn't Suck 2012

December 8, 2012

I Sail Above Your Inlets and Interstates

July 5, 2012

Let It Blossom, Let It Flow

June 28, 2012

We Know We Can't Be Found

April 26, 2012

A Hiding Place Where No One Ever Goes

April 17, 2012

They Came In Peace For All Mankind

March 7, 2012

All the Wrong Fuses and Splices

December 22, 2011

Things That Didn't Suck 2011

December 4, 2011

Hey Now, All You Lovers

December 4, 2011

Twisting Burning, My Thoughts Turning

October 3, 2011

Tyger Tyger, burning bright

August 25, 2011

I got better!

August 8, 2011

No Straight Lines Make Up My Life

August 1, 2011

Spirals Round and Round

November 28, 2010

Don't Believe A Thing They Say

October 17, 2010

Out Of Control On A Breeze

July 31, 2010

never trust a man with a typewriter between his lips

July 13, 2010

Can I Step Into Your World For A While?

June 27, 2010

Carved Like a Dwarf Tree On A Mountain

January 12, 2009

It's Easy as 1-2-3

March 29, 2008

Laid Back In An Old Saloon, With A Peso In My Hand

February 24, 2008

Come On Ye Childhood Heroes!

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