22 December 2013
As is traditional, I ended this year’s Fall Meeting by contracting a cold and developing an ear infection by the time I made it back to DC. (In fact, I can only think of one year where something like this didn’t happen, and I got sick over Christmas anyway.) Naturally this meant I was in no mood to do any sort of wrap-up post, and today is the first day I’ve actually felt like sitting upright for any amount of time, so I’m making up for it now.
On my last full day in San Francisco, I took a break from talks and workshops and posters and went out into town to see the Ferry Building and the Embarcadero, a spot I haven’t been to yet in my ramblings around the city.
Union Square may be known for high-end shopping, but I love to spend time in markets like this. Mostly eating my way through them.
For example, the Ferry Building is full of purveyors of all kinds of cured meats, often with their own clever merchandising:
Being a good Italian, I had to sample some prosciutto from Boccalone:
But it was much too nice a day to spend inside, even with the ubiquitous San Francisco fog, so I walked along the Embarcadero for a bit and visited some of the piers.
A little bit beyond the Ferry Building is the new(ish) site of the Exploratorium. For a scientist, this place is awesome. I played with magnetic fluid:
Made an aurora with a plasma generator:
Created some sand dunes with confined aeolian processes and watched some mass wasting:
And my personal favorite, watched ionizing radiation in a cloud chamber (a sealed environment supersaturated with alcohol vapor where you can see charged particles passing through and ionizing the vapor):
But, of course, Fall Meeting is about science and networking. And I had a lovely time doing both, overwhelmed as always by the staggering amount of expertise and innovation on display every year. To finish up, here’s a sampling of sights from around the meeting:
I’m glad I had a chance to attend again this year, meet so many great people and listen to some really fascinating science. Happy Holidays to everyone!