I just spent 4 days of my life attending the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2005 conference in Waikiki. I think Waikiki in Hawaiian means 'tourist trap hell'. Contrary to expectations, Waikiki beach is not populated by Maxim girls.
I was fortunate enough to win a student travel award from the Microscopy Society of America to go there and do a platform presentation. I even got a plaque, with gold leaf embossment. I got really excited as I imagined the surface plasmons of the glided plaque coupling with the fluorescent lighting to create that glorious and lustrous shine. The back side has a bevy of mounting options, so I can display it to my office mates at school. (This post has long been tongue in check if you haven't noticed.)
I learned a number of things by attending the conference.
- Electron microscopes are phallus shaped -- everyone likes to compare.
- Everyone uses their 'unit' to look at god, err... gold even. The more money you have, the better you can see god.
- If you don't have the latest-greatest accessory for your unit, you can't do good research, unless you are a graduate student.
- 15 minutes is not enough time to say anything aside from, "clear as mud?"
- Don't try and do wind sprints after being on an airplane or bus for 20 straight hours unless you want to pull both hip flexors.