The primary reason to go to the big annual society meetings is, of course
the hot science results
networking for jobs
schmoozing with your peeps
Yes, that is why we go.
The NASA Space Calendars, the Hubble Mission buttons, the institutional logo USB sticks, the 3-D bookmarks, and, of course, the legendary High Energy Astrophysics Red and Black pens.
But each year there are one or two inspired surprise original Swag.
Who can forget the Lockheed Lunar Stress Ball? The foam space shuttle?
The photometrically accurate B,V,R ruler set?
This year the fancy Swag was definitely the Torpedo Lamp
– think multicolour lava lamp with glitter.
But, the winner has to be the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope little blue pedometer.
And, if you made 20,000 steps – which the LSST folk tell me is 10 miles, and they know their metrology – you could enter a drawing for an etched chunk of LSST optical glass!
I got mine monday late morning, thought to put it on, and turn it on (did I mention I am a theorist?), sometime monday afternoon, and hit 20,000 steps late tuesday evening.
I reckon about 3/4 of that came from walking the poster exhibits – I’d like to say that was to see all the wonderful science, but that was just half of it – rest of the time I was trying to find hos.
Still, not bad for day-and-a-half of browsing science-in-progress.
And now the rest of you won’t have to walk all round like me, ’cause I’ve done it for you!
Rest your feet on the final day, don’t obsess over the step count, no need to press on through that last few thousand to reach the magic 20,000…