Spare Time

So what do astronomers do when it is cloudy/raining I hear you ask. They work diligently on writing papers and analysing data. Well, ok, tonight we have played lots of games of pool and table tennis. After looking up the rules of table tennis I am now full of useless trivia such as the height the ball has to be thrown upwards on a serve (16cm or more) and how much advertising you can have on your top (200sqcm). I learnt a few things such as how to count to ten in Japanese (so that I could keep score during a game against one of the Japanese astronomers) and to count to three in Zulu from Geoff who works at the observatory.

We have also been talking to a VIP who came to visit the observatory from some national advisory committee in South Africa. It turns out that he is an ophthalmologist who has Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher for patients. Inevitably he asked where we were from and so we told him we were from Manchester. It is amazing that this seems to have a similar response in different parts of the world as he then asked if I supported Man U.! The last time this happened was when I was in Poland. It is certainly a good conversation starter.

I must go and continue playing table tennis ... I mean I must go back to work.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 28th Sep 2003 (06:39 UTC) | Permalink
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]