Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I was only away for a week but I hardly recognize PI, the whole building is a madhouse. I mean, there is no such thing here like 'business as usual' but this week business isn't even as unusual.

One thing I have to report is that the duck which had built a nest in PIs inner yard is gone... maybe I shouldn't have mentioned it on the blog. I recall some conversations about Chinese duck recipes...

Then I entered my office yesterday and had to notice my office-mate Jimmy has vanished, apparently he moved into another office. Well, effectively this means I have managed to upgrade myself from a non-window desk in a shared office to a window desk in an office of my own. Now the only thing that's missing is a couch.

Today we had a water outage in the building, and were asked not to use the bathrooms. The plumber arrived and we soon received an email saying 'the water problem has now been corrected and there is now water in the building'. A friend remarked about this 'water in the building doesn't sound too good either'.

I am very happy to report that my workshop 'Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity' has been approved, and will take place here at PI from Nov 5th to 9th. Bianca, Achim and Tomasz are helping with the organization. We even have a website, but so far there is about no information on it.

Besides this, my landlord wants to increase the rent, and I decided I will move out. Actually not because of the rent increase, but because I find it kind of weird that rain leaks through the ceiling even though I don't live under the roof.

Okay, but besides all this I have to announce that I will be travelling the next weeks, starting from tomorrow morning. So you are facing a slow time on this blog. I can feed you with photos from Europe but probably wont have the time to write anything substantial for quite a while.

This morning I read an article in Seed Magazine titled 'Intimate with Einstein' with the opening lines:

Think for a moment about the people in your workplace. Have you ever considered that one of your coworkers might forever revolutionize our understanding of the universe, bending space and time in his or her mind?

Have I ever considered that my coworkers aim to revolutionize our understanding of the universe? *yawn* Who doesn't?


  1. "I find it kind of weird that rain leaks through the ceiling even though I don't live under the roof."

    I had this problem at a rental once. They just couldn't seem to get it fixed. I didn't want to move. Finally I hit upon the solution.

    Each day I went to the rental office. Instead of complaining about the water dripping through the ceiling, I called it "sewage" and attributed it to the age of the units. This put frowns on the faces of prospective renters. The problem was fixed almost instantaneously.

  2. My coworkers seek to revolutionize our understanding of the brain dead. They pop Lunesta hoping for "complex sleep-related behaviors" like being mistaken for sentient beings.

  3. Nooooooooo!!!

    I demand a thorough investigation about the Duck issue immediately!

    By the way, the little fracas(ette) in the cafe last Wednesday? I followed up. See the blog for more.

    Glad you made it safely back. Thanks for visiting!


  4. I suppose, Bee, that that piece of salmon locked in your desk drawer did the trick!

    Now to figure out the couch.


  5. Hi Carl,

    Ha, smart move!

    About my apartment, I think it's a serious problem and one that can't be fixed easily. The water shows up not on the ceiling (since there is another floor above mine) but on the inner walls underneath the wallpaper. I suspect is leaks in from the roof runs down through some cracks. Other walls have cracks too, this in itself doesn't concern me coz not all carry weight. But the walls towards the corridor usually do (esp since this is the one that connects to the elevator). It's not like I think the building is falling into pieces, but that this problem can't be solved without a major renovation. And I really don't want to be around for that.

    Hi Uncle,

    your comment set off a whole chain of thoughts that resulted in me becoming convinced PI is actually a sociological experiment about behavior of scientists under weird conditions. If someone where to pass a law that caffeine consume is forbidden in academical institutions, I think then we'd REALLY have a crisis in physics.

    Hi Clifford,

    hmmm, well, one can still see the nest, and feathers and stuff. Maybe she was just afraid growing up among smokers would have a bad influence on the kids?

    Thanks in return for making my visit less work and more enjoyable :-)

    Hi Arun,

    ah, but I need the salmon to keep people off the TOE in my desk drawer.



  6. Have safe and fun travels! I'll enjoy seeing pictures from Europe, etc.

  7. The duck who has built the Perimeter Institute was the String Ducky, the winner of the two-minute video contest. See my blog. No surprise that he is gone because PI is full of various loop quantum gravity staff etc.

  8. Hi Bee,
    I am sorry that I was not able to keep track of your duck with a camera, in particular to press the shutter at the moment whe she was leaving. However, certainly I am not the one who discussed on the Chinese recipe of ducks, simply because I am a vegitarain. :-)



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