It is May in Pasadena, and May is jacaranda time. The photo above doesn’t quite capture the fullness of their purple-y glory (camera phone, no direct sunlight), so I’m hoping that Eye Level will take up the mantle and post some photos of the nice ones at Caltech. This is the time of year to drive on Del Mar Boulevard (between Marengo on the west and maybe Wilson on the east) whether you need to or not (though do try to invent a reason…you can always hit the Trader Joe’s on Lake Avenue at Del Mar). What am I saying “drive”…that is SO last century! Heck, it is Bike Week here in Pasadena. Take your bike. The jacaranda are splendid.
Caltech: I read Watson’s account of the discovery of the double helix in a science-for-non-science-majors class in college. It is quite a compelling account, made even more real to me because they did the work at Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge, and I did a year of undergraduate work in Cambridge (at Homerton College– love that photo).
When I first visited Caltech, I burst out laughing when I saw a large rectangular shallow pool with a double helix on the bottom. The pool is just such a literal rendering of one of the great moments in scientific history. A most unusual (yes, I fear tacky) homage–more like a construction project than an art installation. Here’s a photo of the whole thing. Below is a detail photo:
Finally, remember the good old days when we learned the metric system, because soon our whole nation would be switching over to it so that we could be in synch with the rest of the world? That’s what they told me in sixth grade. This map makes me laugh. Only Myanmar and Liberia (those bastions of democracy!) join us in being non-metric. We have this.