"When I was a kid, they gave you 9 planetary chocolates"
"If they were to scale, the Jupiter chocolate would have to be as big as your head. Or, most of the planets would have to be microscopic."
"Eating Jupiter or Saturn would be a bitch."
Me: Guys, I have to go to a meeting in 15 minutes
Owen: WHAT?!?!? Again!??!?
Marcus: Are you coming home when we wake up?
Me: I'll be back before then
Owen: Long before then
Me: And I'll get home around 8:30 tonight. I'll kiss you, and you and Daddy
Marcus: On the butt?
This all comes to mind because I recently gave some ergonomics advice to a friend of mine. I also get a lot of comments about my stand-up desk. Admittedly I only stand about 20% of the time, but the kids, they love the stand-up configuration and motorized action. However, looking back, perhaps I should have instead opted for one of these:
Then again, it probably wouldn't be optimal for working after a big lunch at the Ath.
For maximum comfort/excitement while writing code or working on proposals, this option is the only way to go:
Then again, this setup might not work after a heavy lunch either, but for different reasons...
I got to participate in a press conference today to announce three record-setting exoplanets that my group at Caltech discovered around a little red dwarf star named KOI-961. The paper, led by my postdoc Phil Muirhead, is on astro-ph tonight: http://arxiv.org/abs/1201.2189
Back in March last year I was contacted by a very interesting person named Dana Berry. The funny thing is that I almost deleted the email before reading it because it was from an AOL email address (AOL?!). Fortunately I got over my email prejudices (have you accepted Gmail into your heart yet?) and opened the message, which read:
Hello Dr. Johnson,
I am producing a show for the National Geographic Channel about the hunt for the next planet Earth as it involves the Kepler and Corot missions, and the plans to characterize these new found worlds with missions like JWST, the upcoming TMT telescope, etc. We are already in post production, but had sought to get a "pick up" interview with Geoff Marcy. Alas, he is unavailable. This was a disappointment since Marcy is so extraordinarily good on camera.
But, Marcy highly recommends you as a potential replacement. Would you be interested in doing an interview about the follow up to Kepler, and to JWST? If so, are you available so…
In an early morning raid, Pasadena police found a large weapons stash at the so-called "Johnson Compound." The confiscated collection of firearms included 2 semiautomatic dart guns equipped with "whistler darts," a Berzerker pump-action dart gun with a center-launched rocket, a pump-action assault rifle with multiple ammo clips, and a compact yet high-power "Mar Gun" with a laser sight.
"We're glad we found these guns," said the police chief. "It's possible that these darts would have hit innocent bystanders visiting the compound for dinner or something."
The purpose of the guns is not immediately clear to investigators. However, experts close to the case speculated that the Johnsons may have planned to use the guns to shoot each other in crazy "dart wars," with Mommy and Owen on one team, and Daddy and Mar on the other.
Investigators painted a chilling scene of family members sprinting down hallways shooting at each…