Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,

Big Data in Baltimore

I'm in Baltimore! Josh (aka Speedbump, a friend from undergrad) works at the Space Telescope Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University. After we had a number of discussions on email about Big Data this past summer and fall, he asked me "Hey, do you want to come give a talk about this for our engineering colloquium?" So I did!

I flew in yesterday on Southwest. I paid $40 to upgrade my boarding rank to 14, got an aisle seat near the front of the plane, and then nobody sat next to me! Plus I got a very tasty salad from Root Down to eat for lunch. So it was a very good flight in.

Spent most of my free time yesterday finishing off my powerpoint slides. Got checked in to the hotel, which is a very brief walk from the STScI building, in the late afternoon, then met up with Josh to see his office a little and have dinner with him and his son at a farm-to-table place in a converted factory building. Kinda pricey but really good food. The buttermilk ice cream and cranberry sorbet for dessert were basically amazing.

I slept okay; hotel pillows are never right. Mostly spent the day sitting in on a users' group meeting for their data archive. I also met with their outreach group and got a bunch of lithographs of cool space stuff. Gave my talk at 3 and it was well-received. Yay! Had dinner with 'Bump and a colleague at an excellent Afghan place. Apparently it's run by the brother or cousin of former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai. I thought there was an Afghan restaurant in Boston that was also very good and also run by a brother/cousin of former president Karzai? But maybe I'm confused and it's this one, in Baltimore. Or maybe he just has a bunch of restaurant-owning relations.

Anyway, it's been a good visit. Also, humidity is the worst. 40 degrees here is much colder than 40 degrees back home is. Glad I brought my parka!

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