Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tasmania II

My talks at the University of Tasmania went well: an afternoon seminar on election administration, and an evening public lecture about constitutional foundations of executive power. About 30 people were there. The UTas is especially strong in environmental policy, and it's one of the main staging points for Antarctic research; one physicist I met even knew about a University of Wisconsin project called Ice Cube, a cubic kilomter neutrino detector at the South Pole that cost more than the annual national Australian scientific research budget. I wonder what happens if they don't detect any neutrinos.

We also met a bunch of people who came to Tasmania expecting to stay for a few months (that was anywhere from 8 to 20 years ago).

Here is a view from a lookout above town, called Mt. Nelson. The city is at the lower left:

A photo of the Harbor (those are statues of seals and penguins):

It's become clear that even with six months, we're barely going to scratch the surface of what Australia has to offer. I'm already thinking that our time here is dwindling fast.

One thing we are tempted to buy: a Tasmanian myrtle dining room table. It's just exquisite, with the grain reminiscent of cherry, but with more depth. Hell, I can see the difference, and my artistic skills are normally relied on for, well, truth be told, nothing. Kind of a nouveau classic design (that means nothing to me, but there are evidently people who know precisely what it means. My wife, for one). It was pretty steep and we're looking into the shipping costs. Too bad you can't get this into a $14.95 FedEx World Wide Overnight bag. Still, it would be a nice memento of our time, and one that we'd use . It's a Win-Win !


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