October 2015

Lisa Randall signing my copy of “Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs”

Lisa Randall was at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington DC tonight, giving a very interesting talk about Dark matter and the Universe. In her new book, Dark Matter and the Dinosars, she ties in the dinosaurs by speculating how Dark matter may have been responsible for popping a comet out of the Oort Cloud, thus sending it on its way to crash into the Earth 65 million years ago- wiping out the dinosaurs and most life on the planet.  

Her talk was great; first book tour talk I’ve been to that was like a classroom lecture:  she had slides with diagrams, pictures and explanatory text.  So easy to follow and really engaging. 

Her book, “Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs” was just released yesterday.  Here she is signing my copy.


Actors playing as real live rock band before the play.

Saturday night – Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. Wonderful production of Titus Andronicus in the new indoor venue for Chesapeake Shakespeare Company in Baltimore.  They had a live rock band play before the show and during intermission, as well as doing the music during the play.  The were great!  

This was my first time seeing Titus Andronicus, and they did a wonderful job.  I took my teenage son- ‘yeah, Dad, it didn’t suck’.  High praise!  

I saw Much Ado About Nothing here with my younger son last month, and we already have tickets to Macbeth in the spring.  

Some “new” ancient coins for Preston’s collection. The youngest is over 1600 years old. The oldest is over 2300 years old! More than two thousand years. I get a kick out of holding a coin that was used to buy something so long ago, and could have traveled around the ancient world in somebody’s “pocket” (or whatever). These are our first real ancient coins. I suspect we will be scouting for more as time goes on…

Some history of the coins:

The Honorius is neat: On 23 January 393, Theodosius I proclaimed his son Honorius, age 8, co-ruler (Augustus) of the Western Roman Empire. Thought Preston would appreciate that. The coin is a bit smaller than a US nickel.

The Greek Philip II is nice, though harder to see details. Philip II became the ruler of all Greece when he defeated the Athenians at the Battle of Chaeroneia in 338 B.C. Philip personally selected the design of his coins. His horse, on the reverse of this coin, won a race in the Olympic Games in 356 B.C., the year his son Alexander the Great was born. The coin is about the size of a US penny, but thicker.

And the Silver denarius? Just looked freakin cool. Silver! Annona was the goddess of harvest and her main attribute is grain. This reverse suggests the arrival of grain by sea from the provinces (especially from Africa) and its distribution to the people. The coin is about the size of a US dime.

I haven’t done a lot of macro photography, so I suspect my images of coins will get better over time. Still working on lighting.