06 August 2005

4 Days in Hawaii

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.

  1. Electron microscopes are phallus shaped -- everyone likes to compare.
  2. Everyone uses their 'unit' to look at god, err... gold even. The more money you have, the better you can see god.
  3. If you don't have the latest-greatest accessory for your unit, you can't do good research, unless you are a graduate student.
  4. 15 minutes is not enough time to say anything aside from, "clear as mud?"
  5. 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.

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