Monday, July 30, 2007

Here comes the sun

Back from sunny California, into sunny Colorado.
In the Miesch family the sun always shines, since Sarah and Mark are solar physicists - they study how the Sun works.
Sarah studies the outside (the corona) and Mark studies the inside (the convection zone). This image shows what convection
inside the Sun might look like. It's from a computer simulation done by Mark and colleagues and it is projected onto a large sphere two meters in diameter (six feet), hanging from the ceiling! The sphere is at the Fiske Planetarium on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Mighty Pacific ...

Well here I am ... in front of the mighty Pacific Ocean.
What a view! But didn't I tell Mark I suffer from a fear of heights!
But can a scientist like Mark,
who constantly has one eye on outer space,
understand the acrophobia of a little rat?

Ah, I don't blame him ... I wanted to see the Pacific,
and after all, here I am.
(thanks, Mark!)

Friday, July 27, 2007

San Diego, California

Mark went off to San Diego, California for just a few days and I could join him because I wanted to see the Pacific Ocean.
The mug is a gift from the San Diego Supercomputing Center we visited. They have a computer there that can do more than ten trillion mathematical operations every second. They must feed it alot of coffee!
We're sure that the strange symbols on the side of it must mean something profound but we're not quite sure what.
Perhaps it's a message from an alien civilization?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Meeting Frankie Lee and Judas Priest

Frankie Lee and Judas Priest,
They were the best of friends.
So when Frankie Lee needed money one day,
Judas quickly pulled out a roll of tens.

Well, Frankie Lee, he sat right down
And put his fingers to his chin,
But with the cold eyes of Judas on him,
His head began to spin.

Judas pointed down the road
And said, "Eternity!"
"Eternity?" said Frankie Lee,
With a voice as cold as ice.
"That's right," said Judas Priest, "Eternity,
Though you might call it '

"I don't call it anything,"
Said Frankie Lee with a smile
"All right," said Judas Priest,
"I'll see you after a while."

Well, Frankie Lee, he sat back down,
Feelin' low and mean,
When just then a passing stranger
Burst upon the scene,
He just walked along, alone,
With his guilt so well concealed,
And muttered underneath his breath,
"Nothing is revealed."

Well, the moral of the story,
the moral of this song
is simply that one should never be
where one does not belong.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hikin’ in the Rocky Mountains 3 (Rocky Mountain High)

Havin' a rest in these beautiful Rocky Mountains ... What an experience! It's so beautiful up here ...

... it's the Colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply
Rocky mountain high ...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hikin’ in the Rocky Mountains 2

Climbin' to the top ... the sky is the limit.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hikin’ in the Rocky Mountains

You might have seen the Rocky Mountains in the background of the mural yesterday. We are livin’ very close to the Rocky Mountains indeed, and today we went out hiking in the mountains. It was a long and heavy hike … for Mark. Jeremy and I had a good time in his child carrier.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bolder Boulder

Boulder, Colorado is known for the Bolder Boulder, a 10 km race which attracts top athletes from all over the world. The race involves up to 50,000 runners, joggers, walkers, and wheelchair racers, making it one of the largest road races in the world.

The race is held on Memorial Day every year since 1979. The Bolder Boulder 2007 took place on May, the 28th and is commemorated here in an impressive mural behind Nick and me.

Friday, July 20, 2007

May Peace Prevail On Earth ...

This picture needs no comments, just think about it.
It was taken in front of Zanmai Sushi where we had dinner last night.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Not all Americans eat hamburgers!

Not all Americans eat hamburgers! Some of them drink Belgian beer, eat Belgian chocolate or Belgian (not French!!!) fries.
I must admit, the Miesch family has a good taste. Last night they took me out for Sushi in the famous Zanmai Sushi. Like most rats, I am not a picky eater, although being Belgian, I am fond of a delightful Japanese dinner. So, I enjoyed the quail egg and the wonderful fish.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pearl Street, Downtown Boulder

Today the Miesch family took me to Pearl Street Mall, a walking mall in downtown Boulder with a variety of shops and restaurants. It also has street performers (buskers) and sculptures like this ‘Hearts on a Swing’ by George Lundeen.

I am seated with my new pal, a friendly fox of Nick called Cutie Pie 2 (the first Cutie Pie was tragically lost).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Don't fence me in

Colorado, where I live now, is part of the American West, complete with cowboys, ghost towns, and wide open spaces. I found a noble steed to ride into the sunset. Ok, really it's a balloon horse but it was just my size and I am new here…

Here's an old Bing Crosby song about the West that might have been written just right for me:

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above,
Don't fence me in.
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,
Don't fence me in.
Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze,
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees,
Send me off forever but I ask you please,
Don't fence me in.

Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies.
On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise.

I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can't look at hovels and I can't stand fences
Don't fence me in.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I'm king for a day

The Miesch family is really doin’ everything to make me feel at home. They even build me a castle (of course they know I like castles!). Here you see me playing with Nick (blue shirt) and Jeremy (yellow shirt) in a castle of my own size. Cool guys!

By the way, out the window you see those quaking aspen trees, one of the things Colorado is famous for.

Ah, after a few days, I really feel at home here. Even on this Friday, the 13th, this makes me sing this good, old song:

Build me a castle and throw a parade,
Put my name in stone so the words won't fade,
Start a Religion and name it for me,
Build me a city and give me the key,

I'm King for a Day,
I can do no wrong,
I'm King for a Day,
'Til the next one comes along,
King for a Day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Boulder, Colorado ... finally in the US!

After touring for exactly four months in Europe - Poland, Lithunia, Germany, Sweden, Finland, the U.K. and in between a city trip to Hong Kong - I crossed the ocean again.
I finally reached the
United States, and now I am staying with the Miesch Family in Boulder, Colorado.

It was quite a long trip – with a short stop in
Cambridge in the UK – but I was in good company. Mark tried to explain me Einstein’s theory of special relativity about the structure of spacetime. I don’t know if I understood him well, what I know is that I am still struggling with a jet lag.
Here in Colorado Mark and his family are doing all they can to make me feel at home. They read my blog thoroughly (and understood the hint!), so they know I am fond of Belgian beer and looked for the closest thing they have here in
Colorado: beer from the New Belgium brewing company in nearby Fort Collins, Colorado!
I was really happy to refresh myself after such a long journey. And I must admit, this is really the Belgian quality of beer. I feel at home here, and it tastes for more ...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Berlin Revisited

Well, I am back in Berlin!
I was here during almost the whole month of may.
I love Berlin, I am wearin' my Berlin-bear-badge with proud! (thanks Rheinhardt family and all those other Berlin friends!).
It's just a short stay though, before I am travellin' on with Mark to the US.

Here's a picture with me and Mark (both eyes open this time), near the Hauptbahnhof train station. There was a sand castle competition involving artists from all over the world.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Potsdam, Germany

After the Thinkshop on ‘Meridional flow, differential rotation, solar and stellar activity’ Mark and I spent several days exploring Potsdam. We were indeed ‘without cares’ as we wandered the wooded lanes, venerable structures, and picturesque landscapes of Sanssouci ("without cares") Palace and Babelsburg park.

One afternoon we visited the nearby Telegrafenberg Observatory which includes the Great Refractor, one of the largest telescopes of its kind ever built. Also at Telegrafenberg is the famousEinstein Tower ( This is a solar telescope which was designed to verify some predictions of Einstein's theory of general relativity. Those particular measurements weren't successful but the tower continues to be useful for solar astronomy and the stylish design of the building helps to make it a popular tourist attraction. After that we visited Einstein's former summer home in Kaput.

Unfortunately Mark did not have a camera him, but he did have a cell phone however and he managed to get this picture of me next to Babelsberg Castle in Potsdam.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Back in Germany !

Seven days in London, interrupted by a short trip to Hong Kong and now I am back in Germany. It’s a rat race!

As you all know, since Berlin I am staying with very smart guys, Astrophysicians! Now they took me to Potsdam where I enjoyed being involved in the 5th thinkshop
I had a reunion with Axel in
Potsdam (Axel – left on the picture - was a co-organizer) and I´m now with Mark Miesch, an American scientist (Mark is the one with his left eye closed).
We (hm!) discussed the magnetohydrodynamics of the solar and stellar interiors, from both a theoretical and an observational point of view. To be honest, I saw it more from a rat’s perspective.
Mark has promised to take me - via Berlin and Cambridge - to Boulder, Colarado in the US.

I fact I have never been in the US, although I had glimpse on it when I stood at the Niagara Falls (at the Canadian side), about one year ago. It’s a small, small world.