Writing from the tail end of a very long flight, the brain seems to linger on that groggy sensation achieved through a very bright plane and a less than ideal sleeping position. Or, should I say, a less than ideal trying-to-sleep position. There are, in fact, some noticeable after effects; namely the inability to type more than three words or so at a time without hitting the wrong key as a result of clumsy fingers and a general loss of coordination. Still, long flights and the knowledge of another flight to follow don’t cut the excitement of arriving in a different country in about an hour. From my window seat, it’s easy to see alternating layers of thin and fluffy clouds through the ice crystals crusted on the outside of my window. For some reason, I’ve convinced myself in my lack of sleep stupor that I will somehow be able to spot an iceberg in the ocean below (never mind the fact that I can’t actually distinguish ocean from air) and keep craning my neck to do so. Of course, all I get is a straight shot of burning sun to the retina. Which is super fun. Still, I spotted a low flying clump of clouds which I named “iceberg” in my head and now I’m content.
In lieu of sleep, I’ve been reading the latest issue of Scientific American, which has of course stimulated some interesting thoughts, as it is wont to do. Firstly, I got excited to see a clipping about research on the domestication of horses in Khazakstan. Why? Well, because my adviser is in fact doing that research, and I just finished scanning about 800 pages of old books in Russian to send to him in Khazakstan to help with finishing some articles. Yay, I feel like I contributed to the greater world of science.
Also, there was an interesting article (a column, really, just one page) on a scientist interacting with different creationists. Young earth creationists in turns fascinate and horrify me. In a sense, it’s an interesting exercise in psychology to consider how a person warps scientific and geological evidence to fit a certain theory. At the same time, I think of generations of kids thinking that dinosaurs and humans frolicked together in the garden of Eden… yikes. I suppose it feels particularly relevant while flying over to the “old world.” Of course, the really old world is in Africa with the start of the human race, not in Europe. But visiting places where the archaeological record stretches back further than the supposed birth of the earth according to young-earth creationists makes a person think. Anyway, more to come when wireless is available. If anything, a throng of posts once I finally land my feet on Irish soil.