Friday, March 9, 2012

back home

Sorry for the silence, but I went to the States for 10 days for a conference. All was well - my research was well-recieved, I made more good contacts, chatted with old friends, it was a great time.

The biggest adventure by far was the trip back to Paris.

And after I tell you this, we will never speak of it again. I am still recovering. If at some point in the future I would like to talk about it, *I* will bring it up. Otherwise, read on because you want to know, not because you want to have some in-depth conversation with me about this later...

People who know me well know that I hate to fly. Like, HATE. I was fine with it when I was a kid, but in college, I just decided I had enough. Enough. I found out from my Aunt that she used to like flying and then suddenly didn't. I wonder if something about it is heredity. Or maybe its just the sign that I was growing up and thinking that being in a tin can 30,000 feet in the air didn't sound like the path to longevity.

Anyways, I hate flying. I have all sorts of tricks to try not to hate it as much. I knit. I always sit on the aisle. I meditate. Well, let's just say that this flight, this 6 hrs of amazing airborne-ness from one continent to another, was not going to let me have my peace. The first hour was fine. And then the hell started. The following 4, yes, FOUR hours of the flight were spent in the worst turbulence of my life. (Keep in mind that despite my hatred of flying, I do it frequently, on average more than a flight a month for the past several years.) So for me to say this was the worst, it was BAD. I'm not even sure how I made it through. Somewhere in there I decided that I had to keep myself distracted so I spent time visualizing all sorts of engineering things and doing engineering estimations. So I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that the natural frequency of an Airbus 340 jet is around 1.5 Hz. I can also tell you that, by my estimates, 1/4 to 1/3 of the passengers on my flight used their airsickness bags. This was from direct observation of the surrounding seats. Oh, and I was in the absolute last row of the plane, so I had a really good view of everyone ahead of me.

So anyways, you can imagine how excited I was when the plane (the entire plane, in one piece) landed at the Paris airport. So I am back. And I will be posting more often. About fun Paris things. I promise!!!

And now we will never speak of this again...

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