Monday, July 14, 2014

from different countries

i have returned to australia after a recent round of travel to europe.  this venture was scientifically productive, but another interesting sequence of events happened that i didnt realize until they were almost finished.  of course, these events revolved around the world cup!

throughout the course of this tournament, i watched an australia game while in australia, an england game while in england, a croatia game from croatia, and the swiss play their quarterfinal match from switzerland!   if we ignore the fact that the home teams of each of those matches lost, it was a pretty great series of experiences!

the croatians were the most outwardly enthusiastic, while the english were (predictably) the most negative.

this part of england always feels like i'm in a jane austen novel.



croatia's beauty is underrated.








geneva's cheese still makes me drool, and the sound of the french spoken there makes me swoon.

my first "raclette"
if the embedding doesnt work below, watch the raclette video here!



when they offered me an XMM pin at the astronomy conference, i thought it would be more "dirty space news!"


watching the swiss play in switzerland!



and then the big finale of the conference - an excursion to the the CMS detector of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)!!  geek heaven.





the day was so clear and dry that you could see mont blanc, the highest peak in the alps, behind the CMS building!

Add caption

 bye bye switzerland!


ps.  in the two world cup sweepstakes i entered, i ended up 13th of 247 in one and 6th of 156 in the other.  not bad!! but still no money won :(

Monday, June 16, 2014

how LEGO can improve life

as pointed out by rachel miller on twitter, LEGO hands are the ideal size to hold these cables!

life just changed...
reason is reason number 17 for buying the new female scientist LEGO series!!  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

the 2014 world cup is about to begin!!!

i love the world cup.  i'm so freaking excited about it starting in a few days! i even joined a soccer team a few months ago and have been enjoying full field, 11 player games.   it has been so long since i played on full-size grass fields that i didnt realize how much i loved it.

definitely not a handball :)

there are two things i do not like about this world cup:

(1) the start times of matches when viewed in australia are 2 am, 5am, and 8am.   so much for sleep.  

(2) FIFA, the organizing body, is as about as corrupt as an organization can be.

let john oliver explain in his highly entertaining way...

Monday, May 26, 2014

a birthday month of yoga

one of my closest friends lives in ohio, USA.  it is not ideal for a close friendship, but we make it work.  last year we started a tradition to each do yoga for at least 20 minutes a day for all the days between our birthdays (hers on april 28th, mine today, may 26th).  

a month of yoga days.

laurasykora on instagram

it is possibly my favourite new tradition.

Acro Yoga (credit: yoga beyond) 
we mark our progress for each day online, and feel more connected, even though we still sleep at opposite times of the day and i live 15 hours in the future.  

laurasykora on instagram

we chat more regularly during the birthday yoga month to share our individual yoga practices. we seem to feel accountable to share the occurrences of a day that managed to prevent a mere 20 minutes dedicated to relaxation and simple breath.

laurasykora on instagram

the best part about the month is that after so many days of steady strengthening, increasing flexibility and balance, the final practice on my birthday is the best of the entire month!   it's amazing how much more deeply i can relax into increasingly crazy poses as the month progresses!


yoga beyond on instagram


i cant do most of these crazy poses that laurasykora or the Yoga Beyond team show on instagram, but by the end of the month, i can actually get me heels down from the beginning of the practice instead of only at the end when i'm fully warmed up and relaxed.

Acro Yoga with yoga beyond
its hard to feel anything but good about getting older when my body has enjoyed such a meditative month of strengthening and accomplishment.

thanks, sara! i'm so happy and proud that we participated in another successful birthday yoga month! and i'm amazed that you can fit it in with your career and family.  your dedication motivates me!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

what if saturn flew past the earth?

great video simulating what would happen if saturn flew very near the earth.   it includes some interesting facts i didnt know and then shows fantastic visuals of the meteor shower that would occur as saturn approched, as the earth collected ring dust in its atmosphere. video produced by yeti dynamics.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

supercell storm timelapse

those supercell storm are photos are really incredible - but the timelapse movie shot in wyoming, US is unbelievable!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

most detailed simulation of our universe.

this is your universe, simulated.   watch full screen and enjoy!




"The Illustris simulation is the most ambitious computer simulation of our Universe yet performed. The calculation tracks the expansion of the universe, the gravitational pull of matter onto itself, the motion of cosmic gas, as well as the formation of stars and black holes. These physical components and processes are all modeled starting from initial conditions resembling the very young universe 300,000 years after the Big Bang and until the present day, spanning over 13.8 billion years of cosmic evolution. The simulated volume contains tens of thousands of galaxies captured in high-detail, covering a wide range of masses, rates of star formation, shapes, sizes, and with properties that agree well with the galaxy population observed in the real universe. The simulations were run on supercomputers in France, Germany, and the US. The largest was run on 8,192 compute cores, and took 19 million CPU hours. A single state-of-the-art desktop computer would require more than 2000 years to perform this calculation."

Find out more at:
http://www.illustris-project.org

Publication:
"Properties of galaxies reproduced by a hydrodynamic simulation", Vogelsberger, Genel, Springel, Torrey, Sijacki, Xu, Snyder, Bird, Nelson, Hernquist, Nature 509, 177-182 (08 May 2014) doi:10.1038/nature13316