April 2007

The scene is Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, during the middle of an evening service. You see a person standing to one side of the alter, in the transept, looking across at one of the massive rose windows. The digital camera comes up, the window is magnified as much as possible, and then there is […]

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This evening, while we were watching the evening prayers and song at Notre Dame, a massive thunderstorm broke out. As a consequence, we got completely drenched – though it was in a jovial kind of way. We then pushed onto the most crowded subway train I have ever seen, filled with people seeking respite from […]

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Yesterday was mostly spent in Montmartre. We assembled materials for a picnic at a market near Mike’s, then headed over by Metro. The steps leading to Sacré Coeur were well speckled with people appreciating the view. Inside the building itself, one gets a much more sombre sense of grandeur than the upwardly elongated outside view […]

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I need to issue a quick but important correction. Earlier today, I said that I was surprised by the similarity between Paris and London. Admittedly, the museum districts of the two places resemble each other to a greater degree than one might expect, during the daytime. At night, downtown Paris is a far different (and […]

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Hilary and I spent this morning and afternoon exploring the Louvre. The combination of art and architecture is superb. I especially like the high-ceilinged galleries of the Denon Wing and the marble sculptures. Thankfully, the place was a lot less crowded than I have been told it gets at the height of summer. The general […]

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Hilary and I have arrived safely in Paris and passed a very enjoyable evening in Mike’s company. A longer description, along with photos, will appear at a time when I am not sitting outside with a borrowed laptop, accessing the web courtesy of someone’s unsecured access point. People who have ‘must see’ suggestions for this […]

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People may have noticed that the news today is saturated with stories about scientists ‘discovering Kryptonite:’ the fictional substance that causes Superman to lose his powers. The claim is based on how the chemical formula for the new mineral – discovered in Siberia – is the same as the one invented for Kryptonite in the […]

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I now know when my final exams will take place. Twentieth century history will be at 9:30am on the 11th of June. At 2:30pm that afternoon, I will have my IR theory exam. On Tuesday at 2:30pm, I have my international law exam. Wednesday at 9:30am, I have my developing world exam. After that, I […]

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The emergence of spring in Oxford is rather dramatic. I would expect that this seems especially true for someone from Vancouver. Since most of our trees are coniferous, the degree of colour change that accompanies the passage of the seasons is much less pronounced. Our green mountainsides may spend less time obstructed by cloud-banks, but […]

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Solar eruption

2007-04-24

in Science

The Japanese Hinode satellite, launched in 2006, is meant to study the sun from a sun-synchronous orbit. On December 13th, it got quite a show. Sunspot 930 has released an X-class solar flare: twice as large as the Earth, and sufficiently powerful to make the Aurora visible as far south as Arizona. The video is […]

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