Sunday, February 24, 2008

I was working at the APL one day...

This was almost five years ago to the day (2003).

I was working at the APL (Applied Physics Lab) at the UW, at the helpdesk. As I wandered the halls of the building teaching very intelligent scientists, and people with very high IQs, how to use their email and printers, I got to know the warm folks at the Polar Science Center. Most of the year these bearded scientists crunch numbers and write reports and ask for more money from the National Science Foundation. But for a few magical weeks, at just the right time of year, they get to go to cold north and gather data for more crunching. I assume the additional data will, in turn, help them ask for more money. I began asking if anyone was video taping this or making a documentary on the upcoming trip. "No, why?". I was interested. Their response was, "Well, we can look into it but don't count on anything."

A couple weeks later the secretary on the 6th floor asks if I "have a passport? Because you'll need it on the way through Greenland." I was so excited! Then I remembered how cold it is, and I realized, that must be why all those scientists wear beards, to stay warm. Then I was wishing I hadn't shaved my head bald the night before.

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