My mind is all over the place tonight. With so many things metaphorically wrapped up and neatly stored away as this trip rapidly comes to a close, everyone's mind wanders and after nearly 6 weeks of talking to only 10 people, topics of conversation tend to drift ALL over the known universe.
Case in point: My shift-x handover began with a discussion of the known universe. Not work. From there, it degraded? into questions of why we have instruments capable of seeing 10 billion years into the past, but nothing that can provide us with high-resolution images of our closest celestial neighbors-the planets in our solar system and our own moon. What's up with that? From there, we touched on music and books on tape, UFOs and the space program. A logical progression, no? Maybe not.
Did you hear recent research suggests super-massive black holes spin at near the speed of light? Given the power spewed by them and the amount of matter they eat, which must spiral in if a black hole is spinning, I wonder if they influence the direction of rotation of spiral galaxies, which we know know have a preferential rotation direction-contrary to the currently accepted mechanics and distribution of galaxies in the observable universe. Could even be the reason spiral galaxies, well, spiral in the first place. Cool stuff:)
Anyway, my thoughts are scattered in all directions. Tonight I found myself chatting online with technicians from Norway, Malaysia and Australia and then PW calls from the States. I'm typing tape formatting, data streams and software to all points of the compass, while talking about getting my nuts snipped and chiropractor appointments with PW. That's extreme multi-tasking and not once did I type something to the engineers about my balls, thankfully.
I've also been doing a little online research on cobra venom protease and it's many uses-fascinating stuff when you figure out what the scientists are actually on about. I can thank the King's glorious tripod and the Queen (whom I can't link, yet...) for that one. Oh, the hobbies one can pick up from the Internets. Found some REALLY interesting stuff on our space program, but won't mention it for fear of looking like a crackpot (too late for that, you say?), other than than to say, I'll be sending it your way, Blondie. Interviews, mission transcripts and a healthy dose of conspiracy theory. (not "the Apollo program was a fake" conspiracy, either)
So, back to last night's conversation. For a promise of a copy of my audio book on the known universe and a bit of my music, I was given some great, new music from all over the planet, by the look of it. I recognized only two artists; Martha Wainwright and Sigur Ros, the latter being from Iceland and a recent favorite of mine, though I have little in my collection. Good times and good tunes. He gets some Joe, The Waifs, Mickey Hart's Mystery Box, Robert Earl Keen Jr, Lucinda Williams and Solas. Oh, and LL? I'm slipping in the tune from Lawless I downloaded way back when;) Lawless is headed to Great Britain, via New Zealand.
Speaking of good times, the latest news is that we may actually crew-x on time and even get most of a day to relax and decompress in NZ. I can only hope. Now, if I could only get word on what ship I'm next headed to and when, but alas, that never happens. For all I know, my next assignment will be Lake Superior, or offshore Cuba.
Finally, I have a strange rash in my right armpit. I wonder if it's from the African deodorant I bought in NZ, or from my headphone cord burning me in the sauna. I wear my mp3 player on my right arm and yes, I wear my headphones in the sauna...