Only little more than one week to go to our workshop on 'Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity'. If you recall earlier mentioning of my planning for this event, this is the workshop that originally was titled something with 'phenomenology'. However, in times where people seriously talk about 'qualitative predictions', and 'phenomenology' is turning into a widely abused advertisement slogan, I felt like I had to make really clear what I meant. In addition, 'experimental' is easier to pronounce than 'phenomenological'.
Last week I had a temporary crisis, when two of the speakers eventually decided to turn 'to be confirmed' into 'cancelled', only two weeks before the workshop, couldn't they have made up their mind somewhat earlier? (Okay, in case of Brian Greene that was unsurprising, but annoying nevertheless). Then the next day, another one of the speakers who I was very interested in meeting found out he would not be able to get a visa in time. While I was stuck at JFK, arguing with the Delta personnel to rebook me onto the next flight to Toronto, I thought about just taking the first flight to somewhere and let the stupid workshop organize itself.
Instead I got the asshole seat on the Toronto flight, first row aisle, opposite to the restrooms, next to a guy who was barely able to squeeze himself into his seat, had probably be counting on occupying mine as well, and was therefore in a particularly good mood.
That's why I am proud to say that by today, I have managed to replace cancellations, rearrange the schedule, and was able to reduce the number of talks about the all-time favourite topic 'TBA' to four. After one of the initial organizers moved to Europe in September, our workshop is now entirely organized by Germans. Which is kind of funny, because the following weekend workshop on 'Effective Models of Quantum Gravity' is entirely organized by Italians (our schedule, their schedule).
Now that things are taking at least some shape, I am really looking forward to the workshop. We have a couple of very interesting talks, and the participants will make for a good mixture, the intention being to get people together who have been working on various aspects of the same problem. PI's public lecture will also fall into this week which is a nice coincidence. It will be held by John Ellis about "The Large Hadron Collider - World's Most Powerful Microscope" (sounds familiar?). I had some fun with the poster, mostly because I carefully made the layout for ISO paper size which then looked like a disaster on flyers in letter format.
Boah, we are SO organized, we even have a summary talk! After I mentioned it would be nice to have a summary the last day, somebody obviously suggested I'd do it. I then suggested somebody else, who suggested somebody else ... etc ... and eventually somebody suggested Lee. Who, to everybody's surprise (after ignoring the question twice) said yes. (Now every time I see him looking at the schedule he is surprised that he gives the summary talk.) Either way, I am not sure how much time I will have to actually report on the workshop, but the talks will all be recorded, and I will make sure they will appear on the websites as soon as possible.
A nice weekend to all of you!