Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Canada, eh?

So I'm in Canada. It's really freakin' beautiful. The weather is crazy. It's August, and I'm cold outside. That's not supposed to happen.

The conference is pretty cool. Some of the talks are useful and informative. Others are quite soporific.

I met one of Dan's former students. He's now a professor at the University of Calagry. He seems pretty cool. Didn't have any good stories about Dan though.

We were walking around the harbor yesterday, and we saw a street performer's act. He was a juggler/comedian. He was really good and put on an excellent show. I gave him $5, and as we were walking away, Mike made the comment that he probably makes more in a year than we do. I agreed, b/c he gathered quite a large crowd and people were pretty generous. We walked further into the city for dinner, and returned via the same way a few hours later. There was another variety act at the same place. We stopped for a minute or so to see what they were doing. It seemed to be some sort of comedy troupe. However, they were using some of the same phrases/tricks/jokes to entice people to tip them. I.e. they both threw a hat up to a person in the top row to collect money from people up there. Anyway, it dawned on us that they were probably working for a company/guild of stree performers. I don't know why, but it sort of tarnished the image in my mind I had of the juggler. No longer was he the free spirit making his living scraping by on the generosity of strangers, but something akin to a corporate con artist... putting up the facade of the street performer to get more tips.

Then, I thought more about it. It shouldn't matter who he's working for, or whether or not he's a genuine starving artist, because he was really good. He was the best street performer I'd ever seen. His jokes were funny, his tricks were amazing, and he truly entertained me. He earned his $5. I wonder if I'm becoming an entertainment snob now that I've lived in Austin.

Oh well.

E-mail me with your address if you want a postcard from either victoria or Seattle. Crystal, you should call me. Actually, I should turn on my phone to see if you have left me any messages.


Twentysomething said...

I'm jealous. I forgot you were even going. It's 106 today. Have fun.

PS - what do you think about this whole " new planets" thing?

AstroDude said...

You mean "new planets" like is Pluto a planet? Personally, I'm not sure I have much of an opinion on the idea.... There are some people with some strong opinions on the matter in the department. I think there's supposed to (or might have already been) a vote on the matter at the IAU (international Astronomer's Union) in Prauge this summer. Not sure what the vote will be, but I seem to remember that most astronomers were leaning towards pluto not being a planet... I think the people who favor pluto being a planet are mostly educators who don't want to change the acronym, but I don't know... I'll keep you posted.