Sunday, April 22, 2007

Super busy weekend

Remember how weekends are supposed to be the time you get to relax and unwind from the stress of the week? Yeah, me neither. Today, when I was eating my lunch at 4 PM at work, my boss said, "Hey, you do know it's Sunday, right?" Yeah, I'd almost forgotten :-)

Yesterday was Earth Day, so this being Boulder, we expected it to be a city-wide holiday. Sadly, we quickly realized that in Boulder, they must subscribe to the "Every day is Earth Day" philosophy. In Reno (not the hippy-est town), Earth Day was huge, with GIANT tents with dozens of cool vendors, live music and everything to make a good festival. And it's not that Boulder can't throw a good fete. In May or June, Boulder's Creek Festival is amazing, with more vendors than Reno's Earth Day and lots and lots of activities. So with these facts in mind, we set out Saturday morning to the farmer's market, which is right next to where most Boulder festivals take place. Last week, there was a big "save the planet" rally there, so naturally we expected something this weekend (the actual weekend of Earth Day).

Last weekend:

Hug your mother:This weekend:

Crickets chirp...

So while we bought some lovely fresh food at the farmer's market, we had no Earth Day. Since this is practically Peter's favorite holiday, we tracked down the "main" action. It was at NCAR, which we'd often heard about and could see up on the hill from town, but had never been to. All I knew was that it was designed by I.M. Pei, which makes it important. While the Earth Day stuff was a bust (I think we were the only people there without kids and it showed, though the exhibits were cool if you DID have kids), the going-there was great. The view is incredible and the location can't be beat. There are beautiful trails all around that are more easily accessible than some of our other favorites. We will definitely be bringing visitors there now, especially if they like science, since they have some great weather exhibits in the public lobby.

"Fly fishing" under the Flatirons:

After that, we accidentally found out about "Astronomy Day" at the CU Planetarium. I'd been in there for a lab once, but Peter had never been there. We were in for a cool experience.

The planetarium had just recently acquired a "Science on a Sphere" exhibit, of which there are apparently only two in the world right now. It's basically a huge floating spherical screen that has four projectors projecting images of planets, moons, and pretty much anything else onto it. The system makes the images rotate, which makes the sphere look like it's rotating itself. It's incredibly beautiful and amazing to see the individual craters on the face of one of Jupiter's moons so clearly. Here's a video that sort of shows it, but it is much, much cooler in person. If you get the chance to see one of these, definitely do.

Sunday was even busier for me, but it was mostly work stuff. We did get to see our friend Kris perform in one of her clarinet recitals for her PhD in music, which was incredible. If you are a music buff on a budget near a university, try to find out when recitals are. The talent was incredible, it was totally free and I think things like this happen all the time.

Hope everyone else had a nice weekend!

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