For the past few days I’ve been at FOCS’2007 in Providence, Rhode Island, where apparently I’m supposed to have been live-blogging the conference. This came as news to me. (One of the organizers wrote to ask if I’d be posting live updates. I replied that I might post something eventually.)
The trouble is, I still have tons of “backblog” from my previous trip to Latvia and Germany. And so, in the hopes of someday catching up, without further ado I hereby post some photos from Europe.
The Latvian countryside.
Sure, I support moderate-to-liberal Democrats … as a temporary measure until zee vorkers take over zee vorl’ [laughs maniacally]
(The above photos were taken in an underground bunker a couple hours from Riga, which the Soviets secretly built in the 70’s, and to which top Communist party officials planned to retreat in case of a nuclear war. Of course, no provisions were made for the rest of the population. Apparently the Soviets built shelters like these all over Latvia. Most of them were converted to bowling alleys or library storage space, but one was preserved for tourists.)
My gracious hosts in Latvia: longtime colleague (and sometime Shtetl-Optimized commenter) Andris Ambainis, Andris’s Ambai-niece Ilze, and Ilze’s husband Girts.
When I think about Munich, Germany, so many mental associations spring immediately into my mind: the fine baroque architecture, the nearby Bavarian alps, the freshly-baked pretzels that are a Munich specialty, the open spaces perfect for rallies and demonstrations of all kinds — but most of all, of course, I think of Oktoberfest! Here you see me drinking genuine bier served by a genuine bier wench (not pictured) with my gracious hosts from the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik: Norbert Schuch, Ignacio Cirac, and Michael Wolf.