- I went on my first hot-air balloon ride (click here for photos). We landed in a Mennonite farm a half hour’s drive from Waterloo. Seven kids came out of the farmhouse to greet us, wearing caps and bonnets. These were the best-behaved kids I had ever seen in my life: they literally walked in formation, and only the oldest one spoke to us, the other six remaining silent. Having a balloon land on their farm was not at all a new experience for them.
- I saw this xkcd cartoon, which succinctly captures a point that I’ve been trying to make for the last fifteen years, in arguments against conspiracy-mongers and other associated doofiati.
- I read Elizabeth Kolbert’s New Yorker article about the Large Hadron Collider and the future of particle physics. I hereby nominate her for a Pulitzer; this is one of the best popular science articles I’ve ever read.
- I saw Spider-Man 3, a profound philosophical drama that spoke to me on numerous levels. It is indeed true that with great power comes great responsibility; that we all have the capacity for good; and that, if we wish to vanquish the evil without, then we must first confront the arrogance within. My one complaint is that the Sandman was not a particularly effective villain. Let’s face it: sand just isn’t scary.
- I got a job offer from MIT.
[Note: To clear up any confusion, I’m now lucky enough to have several great offers, and have not yet decided where I’m going, even unofficially.]