When you’re in D.C. do as the Swedish do

As an aspiring undergraduate aiming for a career in science writing, I was easily persuaded to attend the American Association for Advanced Science annual meeting. The AAAS meeting is currently being held in Washington D.C. at the Convention Center in downtown. There are additional special events taking place at a couple of hotels one or two blocks away; however, these “special events” are geared towards members of the National Association of Science Writers and not the presenting scientists for the AAAS meeting. NASW members come from across the country to this meeting to mingle, connect with other professionals in the field, and attend sessions on various science topics such as the religious issues involved if life were to be found on another planet.

As a member of NASW I was given not only a name tag with my name on it, but a name tag with the notorious/prestigious (depending on who you’re talking to and what about) title of “Press”. This little name tag has not only given me the opportunity to meet some renowned professionals within the science writing field, but it has also served as my meal ticket for the past two days. Not to mention, this is some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Anything from salty soft pretzels to lumpy crab cakes and mushroom bisque.

I recently returned from a magnificent party held at the House of Sweden in Georgetown. The first thing I noticed as I walked up the lit pathway were the entrance doors that had a cascading waterfall trapped within them. I’m sure it’s not difficult to place some mini hoses across the top of a door and continuously run water through it, but it is a very unique idea and an even more unique image. This party embodied what every party should: fantastic food, dance floor, and open bar. Not to mention the inside of the building was stunning. The walls were glass overlooking the Potomac River while the downstairs area had a two inch deep, ten foot long by two foot wide (approximately) water pool. I say pool because I can’t think of any other way to describe it. But, if you’re wondering if people got tipsy and jumped in, although I left early, I can almost assure that is impossible simply due to the lack of depth this lovely decoration held.

So, after eating a plate full of food, drinking a couple drinks, then eating a plate full of desserts I was perfectly content. I highly recommend the House of Sweden, which also houses the Embassy of Sweden and the Embassy of Iceland, as a place for a party. If you ever get the chance, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. I just kind of wish I hadn’t drank that test tube with the green sugar coated rim.

Snazzy

Need another reason for why Google is great?

Google is sponsoring it’s very own space race! However, unlike the 60’s space race, this race is not just between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and it does not end with a man on the moon. This space race will see a great deal of robots of all shapes and sizes cascading through moon’s nonexistent atmosphere. The recent tally for competitor numbers is 29. Twenty-nine different teams across the globe have signed up for the $20 million first place prize. The stakes are high as well as the game rules. Competitors must land a robot on the moon that has the capability to travel 500 meters on the lunar surface in addition to transmitting photos to earth. The first robot to achieve this will be awarded first place. Kudos to Google for creating the world’s first space race of the 21st century!

It's the robot's turn this time around.