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  • On writing this blog

    21 November 2013

    Science news articles and blogs are about recent discoveries. The materials are available, being the press releases and the original articles. On the other hand, writing a blog about daily life makes that I have to be even more aware than usual of my...

  • Today is the day of the Doctor

    23 November 2013

    Doctor Who was created 50 year ago. There are many reasons why I like the show but I would rather talk about the first time I was introduced to it. I appreciate that in the TV show The Big Bang the scriptwriters have to push to the extreme the personality...

  • Painting and astronomy part I, The Astronomer

    24 November 2013

    I lived a few years in the Netherlands, where my appreciation of the Dutch painters from the old masters to the members of the Stijl grew. But the most famous painting that concerns directly astronomy can be admired in Paris. Johannes Vermeer has produced...

  • The new doctors (the real ones, not the incarnations of Doctor Who!)

    27 November 2013

    2014 will be their year, whatever they choose to do. Many will live in a new country, meet new people, face new difficulties, but also encounter new opportunities. But we are still in 2013, a few more weeks to go. And a few of PhD students have to defend...

  • ALMA, the trigger of emotions and stress

    27 November 2013

    Writing observing proposals is stressful but I do not understand why people feel obliged to do it. Perhaps they want to make revenge on selection committees by inundating them with proposals to read and judge. Astronomy is not a dictatorial system. We...

  • A geeky way to invite your colleagues for a drink

    02 December 2013

    No time for an original blog today. Here is an email I sent to invite people for a few drinks. A padawan found it funny so I should share it with you. Dear fellow Jedi knights, we need to get some time away from our duty and missions (papers, proposals,...

  • Spuistraat, Amsterdam

    03 December 2013

    When I was living in Amsterdam and was working at ESTEC (Noordwijk, close to Leiden), I was commuting every day. I was walking twice a day through one of street with the most bizarre combination of shops and institutions you can imagine. The name of street...

  • ALMA night

    05 December 2013

    First here is a small story. A female non-astronomer friend connects (the conversation was in French): - Can we chat? - I am making a proposal. (Instead of I am writing a proposal) - Why don’t you propose to me? :-) (she meant marriage) - Because you...

  • ALMA proposal aftermath and Geek relooking

    06 December 2013

    Finally I did propose only once to ALMA. If she accepts, the “wedding” will not be before summer 2014. For two days, I was in my telescope-observing mode with enough caffeine in my blood to feel like constantly falling in love at first sight. It was time...

  • Acting

    10 December 2013

    I recently joined an amateur theatre company. As a relatively reserved person, I never dreamed of becoming an actor. And as a scientific-minded person, this is the opposite of seeking the truth; it is about making an audience believe in a story. The basic...

  • Past, Present, Future

    11 December 2013

    Doing science is learning something everyday. But recently I am learning a lot about myself and about human behaviour by joining a theatre club. One requirement for being a good actor is presence. At the theatre course we trained ourselves to focus on...

  • 2013

    23 December 2013

    It is probably time to reflect on the year 2013. Science-wise it was an extremely productive year despite a few moments of stress. Most importantly I am very glad to have met many great new people. Most astronomers are in the asymptotic part of the happiness...

  • Blame the scientists!

    26 December 2013

    France was hit the last few days by a storm. The storm Dirk was not particularly powerful and France is normally well prepared to face those situations. What was not well anticipated was the flooding that hit a few cities. The controversy arose because...

  • Working at night: astronomer or DJ?

    05 January 2014

    When I say that I am an astronomer, many people asked if I really work at night. It is true that I observe at night while I am at a telescope. But this happens only at most once per year. Most of the time I sit in front of my computer during standard...

  • Coldplay - The Scientist

    28 November 2013

    The interpretation of song lyrics depends on your state of mind and on your own experience. I should not listen to this song. Maybe because it reminds me some of my past mistakes. But this is a beautiful song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLm_aSP36...

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