April 29, 2012

Blast from the Past: Meteorite Graduation Gift

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

Phil and I at Red Rock Canyon (outside Las Vegas), circa January 2006.

I feel very fortunate to have known Phil Plait aka “The Bad Astronomer” for many years, primarily through our involvement with the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). I twice worked as an intern for the JREF, and Phil used to be president of the JREF. Over the years, Phil has been very encouraging and supportive of  my scientific studies.

I’m currently packing up my office as I prepare to depart from MIT/WHOI, where I’ve been a student for the past six years. When I was sorting through various office items yesterday, I came across a graduation present from Phil. When I graduated from Dartmouth College back in 2006, Phil sent me a wonderful letter and a meteorite. Best. Graduation. Present. Ever.

I thought I would share Phil’s letter and a picture of the meteorite. By the way, the reason Phil calls me Kitten/Evelyn is because my mom’s name is “Kitty,” and she used to refer to my sister and I as “Kitten 1” and “Kitten 2” on the JREF’s online forum. So, when I joined the JREF forum (back in 2003, I believe), I used “Kitten” as my forum name.

Here’s Phil’s Letter:

Phil's graduation letter, Page 1.

Phil's graduation letter, Page 2.

And here’s the meteorite:

The little meteorite.

Phil, thanks again for the meteorite and, more importantly, for being enthusiastic about science and supportive of my scientific studies. Just so you know, my PhD graduation is in early June… just in case there are any other space rocks you’d like to send me.