Friday, August 31, 2007

Announcing My New Column!

Hey everyone! Today was the first publication of my new column for The Observer, which is the CWRU student newspaper published weekly. The column is called "Quarked" (my first choice, "Perpendicular Thoughts from a Parallel Universe," was deemed too long), and my intention is to make it a "fun column" with a geek bent rather than one of those pretentious political ones or what have you. I will also say right now that it will be more a biweekly column than a weekly one, because I am a physics major who does too much.

But anyway, hooray I'm a columnist now! I always thought it would be a fun job to have but not one I was willing to work my way up to (in newspapers, columnist jobs are cushy ones given to the best senior journalists as a reward for their prior grueling work), but I sort of bypassed all that thankfully enough. In fact, I was just planning on doing a guest column this week, but was asked Tuesday to consider doing a regular one, and that's how these things go.

Man oh man, so now I have to write something on a regular basis with deadlines and stuff! Hmmm we'll see how this goes... Also feel free to let me know if anything interesting has caught your eye as of late, because I will now forever be searching for new material.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First Day of School! First Day of School!

Well ok, it wasn't today, it was yesterday. It's been understandably busy around here, and I don't mean just the sudden shortage of bike rack space, for the following reasons-

1. Classes (well you were hoping that'd be #1, weren't you?). I'm doing six this semester- solid state physics, cosmology, senior project, American history, creative writing, and orchestra- but orchestra doesn't really count and senior project's off in its own little non-classroom world for the most part. The interesting thing is that I have no classes on Tuesday or Thursday because those days are typically lab days at CWRU, so while I'll be using those days for senior project work it's nice to not have to roll out of bed at a specific time.

2. Due to my inability to do anything in order, I was never told to take the mandatory introductory computer science course freshman year like I was supposed to. The result of this was that I had to take a proficiency exam to get out of the requirement last Saturday (actually taking the course wasn't an appealing option), which would've been a lot cooler except the test was in Java and I'd prepped in C++. I still passed though, either due to my awesome programing skill or because Java and C++ are pretty similar. Take your pick.

3. I'm the president of the CWRU Physics and Astronomy Club this year, and like student organizations everywhere we forever need to recruit new members. The traditional way of doing this is to whip up some liquid nitrogen ice cream at the Activity Fair to bribe the freshman into signing onto the mailing list, and that works quite well, but we had several gallons of milk/ingredients left over after the Fair. Not good. So I made an executive decision that we're going to have a liquid nitrogen ice cream party this Friday on the quad during lunchtime, as I figure that's as quick a way as any to get rid of the stuff. Heck, we're probably going to be in disastrously short supply, but when your goal is to get rid of ingredients that's slightly moot.

4. I will (hopefully) have not one but two articles appearing this weekend. Hooray! Which reminds me, I should go send that revision back to my editor once I'm done here...

5. My sister is heading off to Australia tomorrow for her field research. It's interesting enough that I will probably write a bit more on it later... But one of the consequences of doing field research in the Middle of Nowhere, Australia is there is no power and only minimal running water, so our correspondence is usually quicker via snail mail than email. Plus this way I can send her stuff. :-)

6. The freshmen never fail to fascinate me for some reason. Take their appearances for example- while I'll accept that I was at some point just as young and clueless, I refuse to believe I was ever that well-dressed or scrawny-looking. (Yeah yeah, it was only three years ago, shush!) The freshman class at CWRU is notably bigger than most years, there are 230+ people signed up for introductory physics whereas my year was closer to 150, so they're sort of everywhere.

7. I confess I am rather happy because the dining hall is open again. I'm too lazy to be a good cook, especially when important assignments or papers are due, so unlike a lot of my friends who shun the meal plan I still sign up for a limited one. (Plus after New Zealand I am never complaining about our dining hall again- the NZ "hostel food" was so terrible that I stopped eating in the residence hall altogether about halfway through.) So few 4th year students do sign up for the meal plan, though, that by this point we're all on some level of familiarity with each other and that's remarkably nice. We spend the time reveling in our role as Masters of the DH, and the freshmen consider us minor deities because we know how to reset the jukebox when some idiot decides it would be hilarious to play the Macarena.

8. My orchestra audition is on Thursday. At Case there are two orchestras, one that's uber-serious and another which is laid-back, and while I've played in both I like the laid-back one because I'm just out to have fun and prefer being 1st violin in a not-so-good orchestra to 2nd violin in a really-good-and-competitive one. (This isn't really pride or anything, just 1st violin parts are a lot more fun because they get the melody.) I hardly touched a violin for six months because I didn't take mine to New Zealand, unfortunately, but I'm pleased to announce that you lose surprisingly little skill if you don't play for such a long amount of time so I'm hoping to keep my section.

9. I'm trying to think of something else that should go on my list, but I can't, so I shall end it here. Cheers!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Childhood Cartoons, Hungarian Style

Today on a lark I started typing in some of my old favorite cartoons on YouTube to see what would come up, and was nearly moved to tears by the results. Why? Because unlike most of you people reading this I spent a decent amount of my childhood watching Hungarian cartoons rather than the normal American ones, and I hadn't seen them in years. They were also generally cute and awesome in a way only animations of the communist era ever were (you think I kid), so there was a lot to miss.

Unfortunately, Hungarian cartoons have suffered greatly in the past decade, and on my last trip to the country all I could find on the TV were dubbed versions of SpongeBob and the like. It's such a pity, really, because those cartoons were decidedly unique and undoubtedly revealed more about the Hungarian psyche than any case study ever would.

So what are the cream of the crop as far as animation goes in a small Central European country? Here are the ones I most fondly remember-

Esti Mese- This translates literally into "Nightly Story," which was aired every day in the evening right before little kids were supposed to go to sleep. The program was 15 minutes long, and consisted of the TV Maci, or"TV Bear," (seen above) going through his bedtime routine before and after the brief cartoons. Back when there was only one Hungarian channel this was a rather big deal, as it wasn't like there were many other cartoons on, and he doomed several million children to being nagged by their parents because he never complained about going to bed or brushing his teeth! (TV Maci was decidedly cool, however, so we forgave him.)

Vuk was originally a beloved Hungarian novel about a little fox named Vuk, but became a movie in the early 1980s (starting here). This actually was such a popular movie that it got dubbed into English, so you guys might've seen it... anyway, it's completely adorable, and watching it is filled with moments of incredibly pleasing memory. It's also filled with great lines about how the evil "smooth-skins" (people) take advantage of everything, and how the dogs are trecherous sycophants to be hated, and how the foxes are members of the just, free society. But hey, what kind of Hungarian movie would it be without at least a few subtle ploys towards patriotism?

Kotorka actually originated in Czechloslovakia as a little mole known as Krtek. However, he's universally popular in Central and Eastern Europe even today, partly because the cute animals never actually used real words and instead just want around acting cute. The above clip probably makes that amply clear; there are loads more on YouTube if you search for him under "Krtek."

Mézga család- The best way to describe this one is that it's a combination of The Simpsons and Dexter's Laboratory: the dad bumbles, the mom manages, the sister tries to act sophisticated, and the brother is a genius. They would also regularly contact their relative in the 30th century, named MZ/X, who would give them technology that would wreck havoc in the family's daily affairs. This wonderful show aired during the 1970s, and while there aren't many clips of the cartoon proper I did find the intro, which has to be the best cartoon theme song sequence ever. The lyrics to the chorus-

Be silly sometimes, just a little,
Gray worries fly away, the sky is clearing,
(There is something alluring
If your belly is quivering!)
Pleasures are taking wing like a duck to the sky,
Be happy, be tough, act like a kid,
Toot your horn, play something loud,
Even in trouble don't lose your humor
Don't even listen to what the top guns say
I think that one's crazy, who says those things,
Who writes you off, who says you're the clown!

If you've a moment, watch this segment of the show as it's really cleverly done and you don't really need to understand Hungarian to see what's going on. It's rather Flatland-ish, and the general plotline is that Aladar (the brother) is watching from 3-D as a scientist in a 2-D world is being persecuted for discovering the vowels "a" and "o" when only "e" is known (a more detailed description, plus full text, is on the side). Clearly Hungarian kids had no choice when it came to the option of becoming geeky! Must be why Hungarians disproportionately become scientists later in life- while kids in other countries had cartoons focusing on violence and asinine behavior, ours were focused on the natural order and being persecuted for heresy in a two-dimensional plane. Just a thought.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mira the Comet-Star

I've been away in Pittsburgh for the weekend, excitedly getting more stuff than the two suitcases-worth I've been living on the past few months, which explains the few posts here. But one interesting thing happened: while seeing Superbad with my brother and his friends (which is actually good if you're in an American Pie-ish frame of mind), one of the friends asked me if I'd heard of the newly discovered star he'd heard about on the news. "It has a wake of planets and dust behind it as it plows through space!" he explained, which sounded interesting so I promised to look into it.

So today after I got back to campus and unpacked somewhat, I went to good old APOD and the blogosphere to see what was up. It turns out all the fuss is about Mira, which isn't newly discovered at all: it's been known for centuries to astronomers because it changes brightness dramatically over the course of 400-odd days, and this was rather interesting during the days when the stars were believed to never change. We now know that Mira does this is because it's a star near the end of its life, very similar to what our sun will be like someday, and stars at this stage pulsate as their outer layers expand and contract.

What is newly discovered about Mira is its cometlike tail that was recently discovered through a UV image taken with the GALEX satellite (seen above). The tail you see in the image is about 13 light years long, and has about 3,000 times more mass than the Earth. This came about because Mira is plowing through space at a breakneck speed of 130 km/s (our Sun, for comparison, moves at a glacial 20km/s), so the outer layers of the star are being stripped away and left in Mira's wake, and which show up in UV.

I rather like this discovery, by the way. I like it because it shows that even though you can look at something for hundreds of years and still not know all the secrets! You're really in for the long term when studying the universe...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Welcome to The Matrix

The New York Times is over 20% certain that we live in an artificial universe on par with something out of The Sims or World of Warcraft. How exactly they got this figure the article does not say, but I figure as long as our artificial universe has chocolate and doesn't catch a computer bug that messes things up I'm pretty happy. Let's just hope that we've got a geek in charge who has the smarts to update his simul-universe anti-virus software!

Really though, it reminds me of Arthur C. Clarke's flash fiction entry to Wired magazine a few years ago- "God said, 'Cancel Program GENESIS.' The universe ceased to exist." Makes sense to me.

Stephen King on Harry Potter

Stephen King wrote an absolutely wonderful review of Harry Potter for Entertainment Weekly that you all ought to read, as it covers everything from why Harry Potter became successful, why we love British writing, and how he wished someone at some point would "pull out a good old MAC-10 and start blasting away like Rambo." Ah, he explains it all so perfectly!

Of all the topics he covers, though, I found this section the most poignant, discussing how academics keep saying traditional novels are dead and kids don't read-

But reading was never dead with the kids. Au contraire, right now it's probably healthier than the adult version, which has to cope with what seems like at least 400 boring and pretentious ''literary novels'' each year. While the bigheads have been predicting (and bemoaning) the postliterate society, the kids have been supplementing their Potter with the narratives of Lemony Snicket, the adventures of teenage mastermind Artemis Fowl, Philip Pullman's challenging His Dark Materials trilogy, the Alex Rider adventures, Peter Abrahams' superb Ingrid Levin-Hill mysteries, the stories of those amazing traveling blue jeans. And of course we must not forget the unsinkable (if sometimes smelly) Captain Underpants. Also, how about a tip of the old tiara to R.L. Stine, Jo Rowling's jovial John the Baptist?
King raises a good point here that he is undoubtedly well-familiar with: that is, the best books are the ones that make you think and you have fun with. I often have skirmishes over this with people in the humanities over this because apparently the best stuff is never read by anyone not in academia, but I find this incredibly silly because no one I know reads to be confused and supercilious. Why would you? I figure good writing is sort of like good art in the sense that we like best what we identify with, and for better or worse I am hard-pressed to find someone who didn't identify with Harry Potter!

I will close this with one final story, which occured when I went to Stratford-upon-Avon (the English one, not the Ontario one) three summers ago. We spent the night at a bed and breakfast when we were there, and during the morning I couldn't help but overhear the conversation of a nearby table- they were a group of graduate students studying English, and one of them lamented how he could make a lot of money if only he would "lower" himself to the level of writing like Stephen King. Clearly, there is a definition of success that is askew here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Those Summer Nights

(Image credit: APOD)

Did end up seeing some Perseids last night, hooray! Went out with the ever-kind Alison to the CWRU Farm (of physics picnic fame), and we stayed almost until dawn because we never seemed to get either cold or tired. This is such a rare thing in stargazing, of course, that we hadn't really expected it to happen.

I saw a few straggler Perseids tonight as well, as I started running some tests for my senior project. This involved basically sitting on the roof looking at an oscilloscope wondering why on Earth various things weren't working, but I looked up on more than one occasion and was amply rewarded (even from downtown Cleveland!). I also checked in advance on Heavens Above, a nifty website that will tell you what satellites are visible from your location on a given night, complete with starcharts, and caught the International Space Station and space shuttle passing overhead, which is always fun! The two are docked and according to Heavens Above were passing over extreme northern Canada several hundred miles away- something that rather impresses me to be honest. All in all, a good pair of nights.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Perseid Meteor Shower

Before I forget, do yourself a favor and go out to a dark site tomorrow night (read: Sunday/Monday) and take a look at the Perseid meteor shower. It's going to be a great show this year thanks to the new moon, with rates around 60 meteors per hour. It's best just before dawn (though you should see some meteors starting around 11pm or so), and you need to look towards Perseus in the east. Check out the post on Bad Astronomy for more information.

By the way, if it's cloudy one of my favorite radio-geek things to do during meteor showers is to hear them! There's a live feed you can listen to here, based in Roswell, New Mexico. You can also rely on a propagation technique known as 'meteor scatter,' which occurs when a meteor burns up in the upper atmosphere and leaves a trail of particles which reflect signals from Earth for a few seconds. You can hear it just by tuning your FM radio to a static-y point on the dial, and you should hear a faraway station suddenly come in for a few seconds every few minutes. It really is kind of neat to check out if you never have before.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Physics Department Picnic

Who says physicists don't have a good time? Yesterday was the annual CWRU Physics Department picnic, where they coax everyone out of their laboratories and invite them, still blinking from the sunshine, to an afternoon of hanging out at the farm owned by the university. Hooray!

This year, however, there was a twist as to the method of transportation for the 12 miles to the farm. Despite the hot and humid conditions, all the cool kids decided to bicycle-

Hey man, Jaws was never our scene and we don't like Star Wars.

(For posterity, from left to right the members of the bicycle posse were Tim, Miriam, Pat Dave, Alison, me, Laura, and John. )

As I noticed from the odd looks several car drivers gave us, we were just like a really cheap motorcycle gang. Amusement about the unique nature of my bicycle was also prevalent in the group, particularly thanks to the recent installation of my awesome bicycle bell, which performed marvelously in both passing and in doing the Bicycle Race solo. Let the record also show that we were the first group to arrive, as Dan Akerib and his family used gasoline-propulsion and just barely beat us. But hey, this way we got first dibs on the drinks!

Anyway, everyone else affiliated with the department showed up pretty quickly, and there was much merriment in the form of conversation and consumption of foodstuffs. There was also the constant threat of attack via water gun (or, in my experience, getting rugby-tackled while running with a water gun), but we did not give in to terrorism so the picnic merrily continued until the faculty-student softball game towards the end of the afternoon.
Due to numbers it wasn't perfectly faculty vs students: it was actually faculty and grad students vs undergrads and children of faculty members, so I suppose "degree haves" vs. "have nots" is more appropriate. Either way, the stakes as I understood them were that if we won us undergrads would be permitted to graduate, so clearly there was a bit riding on this, but we won by two runs in the last inning. Victory!

Above is the fearless undergraduate team, or at least what was left of it because most people had begun to wander off as it was late. Pretty soon, the bicycle posse left too- we had an hour of cycling ahead of us- and it was fortunately easier on the way back as it's predominantly downhill (with the exception of a few inclines toward the farm end of things). All in all, it was a great way to go out and enjoy the summer sunshine.

(PS- I do have more pictures if anyone wants them. They'll probably make a Facebook appearance soon too, particularly if someone reminds me to upload them!)


Forgot to mention that Sunday, my last night in New Hampshire, I saw Incubus! Yay! They were doing a concert in Guilford, New Hampshire of all places, so my siblings and myself went to check them out.

(By the way, if you are culturally illiterate and have no idea who Incubus is, please go listen to Drive and Stellar and then come back when you are properly enlightened. You'll thank me for it, I promise...)

Now I will confess upfront that we were unfortunately not setting our hopes too high for this concert: the previous year we'd seen Counting Crows at the same venue where they played all slow, whiny songs not even on the CDs, and then refused to play Mr. Jones despite the crowd chanting it throughout the whole encore. (I understand that bands can't play all their famous songs at once, but if you ever reach #1 with a song you are required to play that song at all subsequent concerts because that's what people pay to see. Or at least any songs you are generally known for!!!) Thankfully last year's concert wasn't a complete waste as Goo Goo Dolls played before Counting Crows and were much better, but that didn't stop us from joking the whole way "man, I hope Incubus doesn't pull a Counting Crows on us..."

Thank goodness, Incubus delivered: they went through Drive, I Wish You Were Here, Megalomaniac, Oil and Water, and even Stand by Me as a cover. They even played a song from their next album during the encore, which was called Punch Drunk if I recall correctly.

The other noteworthy thing about this concert is how we ended up with really good seats: earlier last week my brother dropped a pair of shears on his foot and needed nine stitches, meaning he was going around with a golf club cane during the concert. His limping meant he (and my sister and I, as an extension) got VIP treatment from pretty much all the staff, and even got front-row seating on the lawn which was pretty sweet. To quote my brother who bravely hobbled without complaint, "I really don't like political correctness, but I really like it when it's in my favor."

So yes, good concert. It would have arguably been better if, in the aftermath, I didn't have to get up at 330am to catch my 6am flight back to Cleveland the next morning, but I guess you can't be too picky when such opportunities make themselves known. Plus it was so worth it.

New York City- Center of the Universe

"The skyline of New York is a monument of a splendor that no pyramids or palaces will ever equal or approach." -Ayn Rand

New York City and I have this odd relationship in that I always feel like I'm ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room: it's huge, right there, yet I have only actually gone over to check it out three brief times in my life. One of these times happened recently, my brother had an internship there this summer so my family went to help him move out and hang out a bit, and I was rather sad that I've hardly ever been there to be honest. Perhaps New York City is better described as a really sweet elephant in the room who you'd really like to hang out with, but you've spent too much time crossing oceans to faraway jungles so you could see those elephants instead. I guess this gives me something to do once I'm older and no longer willing to go on safari, but I'll hold that thought for now.

This was the view from the hotel room we were staying in. (As an aside that has nothing to do with anything, I really love how you can see exactly how the sunlight was reflecting off the red building!) One thing that people don't understand who have never been to NYC is how, well, prevalent the skyscrapers are, more so than any other city in the world. The entire island of Manhattan is essentially a network of artificial canyons, where the bare minimum "ground height" of the canyon system is a good, constant fifteen stories above you. It's incredible, and puts the quotation at the beginning of this post into context when you see it.

Anyway, this time around I had about 24 hours of time in the City, so we headed over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a brief attempt to absorb something out of the 2 million pieces there. To say the Met is overwhelming when you first visit is a complete understatement, of course, but the curator giving a guided tour mentioned at some point that he'd been there 30 years and still found things he'd never seen before, so I felt better... Then after a brief dinner we went and saw Wicked, which was incredibly wonderful and you need to go see it whenever you're in town or if it comes to your town. No exceptions!
Then, because it was Saturday night, we were in the largest city in America, and because it was my brother's last night with his NYC friends, we went out to have some fun. Yay! We started out at Columbia University where the everyone was staying in the dorms while doing various summer internships (the above picture is from a statue at Columbia that moves when enough people push it), and took the subway down to West 79th or so because, for those of you who don't know, there is a large concentration of bars frequented by the young crowd in that area. It was fun, and surprisingly not that expensive compared to how much everything usually costs in New York City.

And a bit earlier than we'd wanted to the next morning, we packed up and headed out of the town to see this place-
The house is known as Kykuit, and was the estate of John D. Rockefeller. It was built in 1913 and was the home of three generations of Rockefellers, until it was finally donated to the National Historic Trust and opened to the public. It is an (understandably) pretty swanky place- I wasn't allowed to take pictures on the inside, but here's a side view so you get a grasp of the dimensions-
Some of my favorite features about this place, in a complete "if I was the richest person on Earth I would so have that in my house too" sort of way, was how there was a wide hallway in the basement specially made so the young Rockefeller boys had a place to ride their bikes up and down on rainy days, and a private art gallery. I was also rather fond of the mansion further down the hill which had a bowling alley, stables, and several swimming pools- known as "The Children's House," it was apparently built entirely for the Rockefeller teenagers. The family still keeps that one, which I find mildly amusing but understandable: if you had a choice between the nice house and the fun house, which one would you choose? Yep, that's what I thought too.

One thing I sort of didn't like about the tour (beyond the fact that we had dreary weather, and it started to thunderstorm partway through) was how while our tour guide was a kindly lady I kept discovering that she didn't know arguably important things like where the Rockefellers are buried. (Answer: less than a mile from where I type this, in Lake View Cemetery.) The clincher, though, was when she mentioned how one of the Rockefeller sons disappeared in Africa under mysterious circumstances a few decades ago, and she said that the official line given to tour guides was that he was lost in New Guinea.

"But New Guinea is several thousand miles away from Africa, near Indonesia," I said.

"Oh! Do you know a lot about the Rockefellers?" was her standard answer whenever us people on the tour displayed knowledge.

"No," I replied, "I just know where New Guinea is!" Arguably a slightly cheeky answer, but there's a mild difference between not knowing if Rockefeller Junior's wife went to college and not knowing major landmasses in the world. That or maybe I'm a geek who happened to not sleep too much the night before because she was too busy roaming through New York City with a gaggle of internship students.

So that was the end of my brief stint in New York City. I really, really liked it though, so perhaps I'll make a point of showing up there sooner instead of later. I ought to you know, as it's impolite to ignore someone when they're in the same room as you.

"If a guy doesn't pay for you, you're not being treated like you're special."

The above line is from an odd little article written by a woman who says she's a feminist and "a battler of gender inequality," yet thinks guys should pay for the first date. Hypocritical much? Moreover, what if the guy is going through a financially rough stretch, or you were the one who asked him out in the first place? More important, how do you expect to go into an equal relationship with someone when you're forever expecting him to buy?

I've often gotten into arguments about this with my friends, male and female alike, because most argue that guys don't mind being gracious. Fair enough, but if the gent insists on paying I will at least be courteous enough to thank him kindly and buy the next round of drinks (or pay the tip, or whatever), and I would certainly not go out expecting the guy to pay or judge him for doing so/ the lack thereof. It seems an odd thing to base judgment on, particularly when it's a first date with a guy you hardly know.

At least, that's the way I see things. What do you guys (and gals) think about such situations?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Explaining Sunscreen

One of my favorite online columns is's Explainer, which takes recent events from the news and does a run-through on the finer points, like if you can survive in space without a spacesuit, how they power an iPhone, or even how to determine if a bridge is structurally sound. It's the sort of clever column that appeals to your inner geek.

Today, for example, in light of a SPF 70 sunscreen being released this year, they addressed the important question of how scientists determine sunscreen's SPF (sun protection factor) rating in the first place. Here's how they figure it out-

A product's SPF refers to its ability to deflect ultraviolet rays. To calculate this figure, scientists gather 20 human volunteers who are especially susceptible to sunburn. According to FDA guidelines, volunteers must have a skin type of I, II, or III on the Fitzpatrick phototyping scale. (The categories correspond to the amount of pigment present in the skin: Very fair blonds or redheads are Type I, while those with dark brown or black skin are Type VI.) Using a device called a "solar simulator," experimenters irradiate a small patch of skin on each subject and then record the UV dose required to produce mild redness (in scientific parlance, the "minimal erythematic dose"). After applying a thick layer of sunscreen, the experimenters repeat the test. Then they divide the MED needed to redden the protected skin by the MED needed to redden bare skin. The result, rounded down to the nearest five, is the SPF.
Nifty, don't you think? Granted, the article goes on to say that the scientists apparently use a whole lot of sunscreen while doing their tests, ie a lot more than you probably use, so don't bet on being able to stay out in the sun 70 times longer without burning unless you douse yourself in the stuff. Just something to think about during the last days of summer.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Live Free Or Die

It's very New Zealandish in New Hampshire. No wonder I like both so much. Great weather too, check out the Weirscam to see what I mean...

Catch you guys next week, when I'm in Cleveland and no longer in the prettiness.