California Convertible at Midsummer

Our first snow of the year arrived last night, so I thought now was a perfect time to look back on summer nights with convertible German sports cars and Bay Area sunsets.

California Convertible at Midsummer

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Spectroscopy Lab

After spending my entire adult life as a laboratory scientist, the web of gas lines and vacuum pumps and electrical cable seems normal. I do understand, rationally, that all of this looks overwhelming. There’s so much purpose and productivity behind the network, however, that it’s worth the sophistication.

Spectroscopy Lab

A Midsummer Night’s City

In the Berkeley Hills, above the National Lab’s Advanced Light Source, the view over Oakland’s twinkling night sprawl entrances. Look at all of those light-emitting objects! As LED lights have replaced sodium vapor models, I’m particularly fascinated in the shift as cities glow white, instead of orange.

A Midsummer Night's City

Landing the Molecular Foundry

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory sits in the Berkeley Hills, so close to multiple centers of scientific and technological innovation; the intellectual climate on its campus is astonishing. One of the newer facilities on campus is the science-fiction-come-to-life Molecular Foundry. The most dramatic part of the building hangs in space above the bay. I can’t resist the image of a spacecraft coming in for a landing.

Landing the Molecular Foundry

Fusion Ball

That Newtonian worldview (one of cause and effect, of a Universe that is fundamentally understandable), so often criticized as unromantic and clinical, makes this setting transform: where there was once a bucolic sunset over empty fields, there is now a repeating pattern of polymerized sugars on an iron-cored planet, gravitationally bound to a thermonuclear fireball. Isn’t that cooler?

Fusion Ball