This morning was a long session broken into two big chunks, and I’m afraid it was too much for me — my recent weird sleep patterns are catching up with me, which didn’t help at all in staying alert.
Robert Huber: Intracellular protein degradation and its control
This talk was a disaster. Not because it wasn’t good, because it was; lots of fine, detailed science on the regulation of proteases by various mechanisms, with a discussion of the structure and function of proteasomes, accompanied by beautiful mandalas of protein structure. No, the problem was that this listener’s jet lag has been causing some wild precession of my internal clocks, and a quarter of the way through this talk all systems were shutting down while announcing that it was the middle of the night, and I really couldn’t cope. I’m going to have to look up some of his papers when I get home, though.
Walter Kohn: An Earth Powered Predominantly by Solar and Wind Energy
Kohn has made a documentary to illustrate the power of solar energy. It was very basic, a bit silly — John Cleese narrates it — but might be useful in educating the pubic. He showed excerpts from it, and while it was nice, it didn’t fire me up.
Peter Agre: Canoeing in the Arctic, a ScientistÂ´s Perspective
This was a bit strange. We’ve had all these science talks on global warming, so Agre decided to just show us what we stand to lose, and showed us photos of his vacations on canoeing trips in Canada and Alaska. They were gorgeous photos, but please don’t show me your photo album when I’m crashing hard.
I think my new and revised plan is to take a nap this afternoon and try to recharge a bit. I really must be alert for tomorrow’s session with Shimomura, Chalfie, and Tsien, which are the talks I was most anticipating. There’s also a curious talk by Werner Arber on something called Molecular Darwinism which has my skeptical genes tingling; I’ve got to see what kinds of evidence he provides for that. So brain must not melt down now.