Sharing Space

The fabulous Nate Greenslit holds an event called the Lost Marbles Salon. It’s a great collection of thoughtful people, thinkers, researchers, and artists who come together on a specific theme. There are a small handful of presenters who do their thing, whatever that may be, and then there’s time for some questions. It is one of my favorite events to attend with absolutely no expectations except that something will be exciting. In June folks got together to talk about Space. The idea was to take the theme and go wherever you want with it. I like the idea that we were sharing space and getting overwhelmed by space while hearing great stuff at Cloud Club.

astrophysicistI tend to bring a sketchbook whenever I go. Keeping my hands busy prevents my mind from wandering, and means that I am more likely to follow what’s going on. This is a little harder to make the case when you’re hearing from an astrophycisist. For all my love of science fiction, for all my love of space… physics is a lot like a bowl of magic to me when you get right down to it. Yes there are rules, but when you’re talking about galactic rotation curves, and dark matter suddenly things feel about as comprehensible as systems of magic.

Dark matter research is full of amazing feats of engineering. The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search sounds tough: searching for something in a way that allows you to screen out other radiation sources. Take it deep underground, in the cold, in amazing shielding. I thought our precautions to avoid DNA contamination at work were daunting, and sterilization to make an environment advantageous to brewing yeast annoying… this is a whole other level. Thankfully we got a digestible book recommendation: The First Three Minutes. I’m excited to dig into it later this summer.

There was so much other great stuff that evening. I highly suggest checking out the paintings of Scott Listfield. He paints astronauts and sometimes dinosaurs. This painting  particularly brought to mind Pecan’s work. More gallery “space” shows need to happen on the east coast.

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