31 March 2009

Now that I have some time, I can do things like this!

Hello, world! Chances are about 90% that if you're reading this you already know who I am and why I'm in Krakow, but I figure I should start from the beginning for completeness. After graduating in June 2008 with my BA in physics, I didn't feel like going to graduate school right away. Instead, I won a fellowship to do research on the International Linear Collider! This is a huge international project focused on building the successor to the Large Hadron Collider, whose ignition in fall 2009 (hopefully) we all await with bated breath - half of us to discover new physics, the other half to see if humanity makes it out the other side.

This blog has two purposes, at the moment: First, all my friends and family keep saying they want to stay updated about what I am doing, but I am terrible about emailing everyone. So, here you go! I'd love for you guys to leave comments; it may even remind me to email you in person every once in a while :). Second, I want a place to put my thoughts down, and I figure there is no better place to do that than here on the internet so they can be easily ridiculed. An additional benefit is that due to the internet archive, anything I write here will be recorded forever as a testament to how wrong I undoubtedly will be.

Alright, that's enough bloviating for now. I leave you with a few pictures of Krakow (taken by my girlfriend Katie when she came to visit me during her winter vacation), and a link to the LHC safety report, which I found extremely entertaining (and it has no math!).

Rynek głowny (main square) on a (really) nice day. It's in the middle of the Old Town, and either in spite or because of all the ancient buildings, it has an incredibly dense concentration of nightclubs and bars. Krakow is especially known for having lots of good jazz.

Some guy set himself up in rynek głowny with a bucket of soap, two rods, and a string. He has about 20 little kids running around chasing the bubbles. I'm really excited for the spring and summer when square will be little more active.

This is the main courtyard of Wawel Castle. Begun in the 11th century (man this place is old), the castle really reflects all the different rulers and styles that came in and out in the centuries since. There are baroque rooms, renaissance rooms, rooms from when Italian fashion was in favor and from when German fashion was vogue.

Snowy Krakow seen from Wawel, looking south-east across the Wisła. Yes, I do like to show off my ability to type Polish characters, dziękuję!