Monday, July 29, 2013

Astronomy: Protostars and Planets VI

Two weeks ago, I attended Protostars and Planets VI, an astronomy conference held in Heidelberg, Germany. It was a large meeting and also my first time in Germany. Hence, I decided to stay a few extra days and thus this post is somewhat delayed.

In this post, I give my personal impression and experience during the conference. I'll point you here if you want a summary of the talks, particularly the earlier ones during the meeting.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shadow of the Wind (La Sombra del Viento) is a novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and forms part of a series called The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (El Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados), though this book is so well contained that I have no idea what the other books in the series are about. I read this as part of the book club I'm part of and so it is straight fiction. The novel was originally written in Spanish, but I read it in English since I read faster there plus it was significantly cheaper. I did wonder at some of the language, but I don't think too much was lost in translation.

The Shadow of the Wind revolves around the story of a young boy, Daniel, who receives a rare copy of a book with the same title. He is fascinated with the story and wants to learn more about the author- Julian Carax. However, he quickly realizes that someone has been systematically burning all of Carax works and this person has caught word that Daniel holds one of the last copies. Who is this mysterious person and why does he or she want to destroy these books? Just who was Carax that he should receive such attention? These questions drive Daniel as he searches for the truth in the streets of Barcelona.

Read on for my (spoiler-free) review.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Astronomy: Las Campanas, Round Two

Las Campanas Observatory

This past weekend, I took another short trip to Las Campanas Observatory for a brief observing run. Given that my experience this time was different, and that perhaps some readers may want to learn more about the life of an astronomer, I've written this short post on my recent time there.
At least one paragraph is very science-y, so feel free to skip that one if you're not an astronomer ;)

More after the jump.