I, uh, kinda blew off the talks associated with stargazing in Battery Park without really consulting Chad, for which I have apologized. When we got there, it was about 9:30 and cloudy, so no stargazing. But we headed toward some bright light and found a small cluster of people at a stage around Neil deGrasse Tyson, who was signing autographs and answering questions. And we stood there and listened, and more people drifted up to listen, and someone put a mike in front of him, and people started sitting down in seats in the audience, and when Chad & I left at 11:00, he had been answering questions and telling stories for at least 90 minutes without a break or a drink. And he was still going!
That is a man who is generous with his time and remarkably energetic. But you know, he made several references to himself as a science educator, and here he had people out on a Friday night asking him questions about science! He was clearly in his element, and I had a blast listening to him. (Part of his talk is up on YouTube already, a discussion of scientific literacy (ETA for accuracy); also his more offical talk we missed, part one and two, which also has a bunch of Q&A.)
Then we went to the Met today and mostly focused on the special exhibitions:
- Five Thousand Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from the Packard Collection (some nice stuff)
- Epic India: Scenes from the Ramayana (way cool)
- Contemporary Aboriginal Painting from Australia (very challenging, to look at things for which I had no cultural frame of reference)
- Surface Tension: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection (one I liked a lot, I'll see if my picture came out)
- Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú (this is totally cool and I highly recommend the tour if you don't have problems with heights)
I took some pictures and will post them when I get home.
Delicious Caribbean food at Negril Village in Greenwich Village, which we found randomly.
Then a World Science Festival event called Hidden Dimensions: Exploring Hyperspace, which you can watch online. This didn't tell me anything I didn't know about physics from Chad, but the art historian did actually explain Cubism to me (artists were fascinated with the idea of a fourth spatial dimension, and also X-rays revealing different layers of things). And I see Chad has written up the panel while I was typing, so I will defer to him for the rest.
And geez, now I have to go to bed.