USA Science & Engineering Festival

just stepped out of the time machineWe had a good, if tiring, time over the last two days talking to the kids visiting the USA Science & Engineering Festival. Actually, I spent a lot of my time talking to the parents, who were happy to prompt their children with “When I was your age, we loved to watch Jacques Cousteau’s TV documentaries.” We spent some time today just inside the entrance to Mellon Auditorium, where many folks were distracted by just having cleared security and the urge to find the flight simulator and the hamster globe. We had more extended conversations out on Wilson Plaza, right at the point where the booths peter out and everyone is wondering where the auditorium entrance is: it was easy to figure out whether people wanted to pause and chat and take pictures and ask awkward questions like “Who was your best friend?” (Hey, this is not a online banking security challenge, lady!) or whether people were looking to motor on to their next destination. Thanks to the family from Lebanon who kindly chose not to continue our conversation completely in French.

my favorite government workerLeta did a great job of boiling Rachel Carson’s explanation of toxin accumulations in upper trophic levels of the food web down to elevator speech length.