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From time to time, when I need a trip to Provence, I read Peter Mayle's Hotel Pastis. I've started reading it again, this time in French. Gene Fowler's Timber Line, published in 1933, but it was one of the first books I read, when first I learned to read. David Harsanyi's Obama's Four Horsemen, a few days ago. Rybicki and Lightman's Radiative Processes in Astrophysics (I quit teaching in Aerospace a few years ago, and started working my way through the graduate program in Astrophysics, two or three courses at a time). Buy a book a day, read a couple of books a week. Cita Stelzer's Dinner with Churchill is great. I have Manchester's three volume set, The Last Lion, but haven't started on it yet. Neil Sheehan's A Fiery Peace in the Cold War was good, though several reviewers took issue with handling some of the chapters. Next to that n the shelf is Bronowski's The Ascent of Man, read when it was published, and von Neumann's Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. These last three have strong couplings and deserve to be read together.
I had the misfortune of attending 10 different schools- elementary, junior high, and high school before I started college. In college I was a STEM major (literally- math, physics, engineering). The rigid curriculum (three years work in two years) did not have enough flexibility to include two years of lower division credit for language while completing the BS requirements. To finish my math major, I took the same courses as the MS students.
This indeed did come back to bite me- I needed that two years of French for a PhD communication requirement, which meant cramming that much material in five months!
After the PhD came research, teaching, writing,classical guitar, journal editing, technical committee work. Retiring from teaching, I opted to work through the astrophysics PhD program for the fun of it. I can still read French, but I never learned to speak it.
Probably the best time to have done it would have been in an intensive high school course, or perhaps elementary school.
To really master something, someone recently said, takes 10,000 hours. That's five years full time, about the length of a fast PhD program. Tempus fugit.
Being from the STEM community (BS, Applied Math; doctoral level education in Applied Math, Mathematical Physics, Astrophysics; MS, PhD, Controls and Systems), retired college teacher (Aerospace Engineering), Editor, J. Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, worked lots of satellites including, Hubble, Orbiting Solar Observatory, Gravity Probe B, Transit, AXAF, and many others), the liberal arts students I knew as an undergrad turned out very well, as did the science/engineering students. However, the liberal arts folks have no access to my professional world, where I can at at least read their literature. I did take philosophy, English, French, history, economics, literature, music and others as requirements for the BS. The liberal arts folks certainly did not learn differential equations and classical mechanics.
My professional training was in the Engineering PhD program, in which my undergraduate humanities served me well. Twelve years of college, three degrees.
Of the 18 students who started the PhD program with me, only three of us made it though the preliminary exams- just those with strong math preparation.
Some years ago, I alighted from the train at Loughborough U.K, enroute to the college. While standing alone on the platform waiting for a taxi, a greyed haired damsel stopped by me and enquired "Excuse me, but it this the queue?".
OK, I caught a large chunk of truck rubber in the windshield. I wasn't knowingly following a truck. The rubber was probably kicked up from the roadway by another vehicle. But when it hit my car, it was like a bomb going off. It smashed the right side of the windshield, with all the shards of glass filling the empty passenger seat.
No warning. No way to avoid it. I was lucky that I did not get the glass in my face.
Being from Colorado, I found the 112 deg. summers in Texas oppressive, and no a/c. Went to school at Texas A&M, and found the summer there oppressive and no a/c. Went to the Air Force and found the summers in San Antonio and Harlingen oppressive and no a/c. Went to work for Johns Hopkins and found the summers there oppressive, and we had a/c. Returned to Colorado, and finally bought an a/c equipped car in 1985 (standard equipment), and installed a/c in our house in 1999, because of the 1998 El Nino year.
I remember people in Texas trying to cool their houses with evaporative window coolers- when it was 112 deg and 90% humidity.
When a/c became available in theaters, the operators set their thermostats to 'artic'. Brrrr.
Here, on a hot summer's afternoon, we turn the a/c on for a while, then off and open the windows when the sun drops behind the nearby peak. Typical dog days evening temps, 60 F!
Shucks, I wear Rockports. They are comfortable, certainly not inexpensive, durable, and available in all styles from rugged walking shoes (my daily wear) to dressy and stylish, which I will wear to the Chancellor's party this afternoon. Or, not.
A pinstripe, Florsheim clad colleague of mine, on his first trip here (we had worked together at Johns Hopkins way back when) wondered why everyone in Colorado wore 'tennis shoes'. I had to explain to him that usually people wore sturdy running or walking shoes, not tennies. Wingtips are not really practical for walkers.
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) satellite has provided the most detailed picture to date of the nature of the solar wind. This satellite orbited the Earth-Sun Lagrange point, as did ISEE-3, the International Sun Earth Explorer.
Back in 1967, a group of us took the first full disk color pictures of the Earth with a color TV camera on the DODGE satellite. The camera was original intended as an attitude determination device, when our supplier of IR Earth Limb scanners couldn’t support our mission at 6.3 Re.
The first week the camera found three tropical storms, and the first folks the boss called were National Geographic. The pictures are in the November ’67 issue of NG.
That was using a 600 line TV camera with color separation filters.
Now you can get better electronics in a $29.95 digital camera at COSTCO.
My father used to recite this to me, when I was a little kid. He had been a telegrapher on the Army Postal Telegraph Service at Fort Yukon, Alaska, 1919-1922, when instant food was frozen caribou hanging outside, the lottery was betting on the Yukon River ice breakup, and transportation was still by dog and sled.
I have the collected works of Robert Service on the shelf, and dig it out from time to time.
I am surprised there isn't a movie. I thought it had been included in the Disney Melody Time films back in '48 or so.
Hill north of Denver? Hwy 287 runs through prairie grasses. Now, if you look to the west- that is where we keep our hills these day.
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