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For me, the meeting begins on Saturday the 26th. I have several events to attend that day so that I can write about them for my newspaper and the blog.

For the most part, my newspaper is right on track. The graphic designer is designing and I’m almost done with my list of articles to prepare before the meeting. It’s busy, but so far I have managed to not get too caught up in the craziness. Now, I spend most of my day at work just reacting to things that pop up–design issues, translations to proofread, corrections to drafts of articles I’ve written. I’m glad that I worked my to-do list so that I do not have to spend time being creative. Reacting and creating do not mix.

Tomorrow, I’ll take the day off to sleep in and relax. I’m reading the Grapes of Wrath and I downloaded a Hitchcock movie to watch in the afternoon. There’s no sense in getting worn out before the meeting even starts!

Last Saturday, my officemate, Elisa, and I traveled to Munich for the day to go to the Deutsches Museum. It’s 6 floors devoted to science and technology, from airplanes to industrial metal working machines. There are rooms filled with engines that have been cutaway so you can see inside. It’s a great place to get a feel for how a certain machine or scientific idea has developed over time.

They have a new exhibit called the Center for New Technologies, where they introduce the public to nanotechnology. I’ve never seen an exhibit quite like this. They do more than explain that nanotechnology is really small. They show the public how researchers study nanotechnology. They have actual lab instruments (or just pieces of them) on display, empty bottles of chemicals, and bottles for cell culture. They also talk about ethical issues associated with the latest research. In the genetic engineering section, they address common misconceptions about cloning.

I thought it was really well done. Usually science exhibits just present clusters of information, but this exhibit teaches the public how researchers learn that information. The director said that he wanted to teach the public about the “fragility of science,” that science is always changing as researchers uncover new information. I think this exhibition at least is a start to showing the public that science is a constantly evolving process.

Elisa and I wandered around the museum for four hours. Then we stopped for dinner and caught the train home. That’s the last thing on my list of things I wanted to do and I’m really glad we went.

We had a string of good weather for a few days after the rund um started. One day, there was a warm, dry wind. My officemates said that it is called a Sahara wind because it comes from that desert. I even felt some sand on the tables. I can’t believe that the wind can travel across the Mediterranean without picking up moisture, but I have to trust the data. It definitely felt like it came from the desert.

Sorry for the delay in telling this story. It’s getting quite busy around here and I haven’t had any brain cells left to write at the end of the day.

Two weeks ago, there was a sailing race around Lake Constance. I was told that there were 500 boats on the lake, all different types of sailboats. It starts outside the Lindau harbor and they have 24 hours to sail around the lake, visit checkpoints and return to the harbor. The boats are not allowed to have motors onboard, so they are completely dependent on the wind. If there is no wind, the race can’t start. Also, I was told that this weekend is guaranteed to have the worst weather of the year.

Thankfully, the weather was absolutely gorgeous that day. It was sunny with a warm breeze. The sky was clear and we could see the mountains in Austria and Switzerland more clearly than ever before.

the boats lined up for the start

And then it was time to start. There was a great breeze in the middle of the lake, and they all went quickly away.

And they're off!

After all the boats were out of view (which actually took some time because there were so many), my officemates and I had sparkling wine and enjoyed the festival. It was a fun evening.

A few days later, I got the details of the race from my officemate. His landlady’s husband was on a boat in the race. He said that the wind stopped just around the corner from the island in a town called Wasserberg (5 km west of Lindau). Only 33 boats made it back to Lindau in 24 hours. The rest were stuck on the lake for 2-3 days.

The race started on Friday night. The next morning, this officemate flew from Friedrichshafen to Cologne. He said it was the most beautiful flight he had ever taken. The sky was clear and he could see for miles…..and all the sailboats were stuck in one spot on the lake.

Even if the sailors didn’t have much fun, we certainly had fun in Lindau!

The meeting officially starts on June 27th, but my work will start on Saturday the 26th. I have several events to attend and write about for the paper. I’m working on getting the graphic designer as much content as possible for the paper so that he does not have to design 32 pages in 5 days. It’s getting busy, but it’s manageable. Another science writer is coming from New York to help me write articles during the meeting. She’s helped edit some of the articles I’ve written so far and she’ll help write during these last days. I’m really glad to have her help and I’m excited to meet her. Another bonus: our graphic designer is the calmest person I have ever met. I do not think it is possible to get him stressed. I’m looking forward to working with somebody who has calm energy  during the stress of the meeting.

So…I do have stories and pictures to post. I will get to it, I promise. But first I must cross a few more things off my to-do list so that my brain has enough room to be creative. Till later.

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