Saturday, 5 December 2009

Norman of Nottingham

I don't actually know this guy's name so I'm calling him Norman for now. He's a mascot of The University of Nottingham Astronomy Group and he's currently observing at the summit of Mauna Kea. Apparently he accompanies astronomers from the group all over the world when they go observing and tries to help at night although I found him a little unresponsive when I gave him the safety briefing and explained how to use our telescope.

He seems to be a little short-sighted as well but at least he tried to fit in by wearing his aloha shirt and sunglasses despite not being appropriate clothing for the summit. He's been here before so he ought to have known about the requirement for wearing cold weather gear. Still, it's always a pleasure to see Norman again.

I can't strictly call The University of Nottingham my alma mater since I was wasn't a student there, but I did spend two-and-a-half years in Nottingham as a postdoc although this was before there was an astronomy group at the university - I worked in the chemistry department for a small but very active astrophysical chemistry research group which is still going strong I'm very pleased to say.

It was a fun two years and I love Nottingham despite some of the problems the city has had over the last few years and I have to say the university campus has to be among the most beautiful anywhere in the UK. I return fairly regularly as I still collaborate with university staff and still have many good and dear friends there. Of course it's always a real pleasure to have them out in Hawai`i visiting us!

1 comment:

Zuzana said...

I have a similar mascot at my computer, I guess it is a "scientist" thing.;)