Hello from the hermitage!! Thanks to a few technical difficulties and illness, I've been stuck inside the past few weeks without a soul to talk to besides my students (and really, though they aren't soulless, they are very much heartless). But, the internet is "working" once again (for how long...) and my near-constant headache has subsided.
First, a link to a story: Hyperfast Star Ejected from the Large Magellanic Cloud I enjoyed very much the subject matter of this one, and explaining conservation of angular momentum in the comments. Surprisingly, I couldn't find too much out there in the 'tubes that explains very basically the ejection of a binary star system from the interaction with a black hole. The possibility of a BH in the Large Magellanic Cloud is so freaking cool and exciting!
On a personal note, I will be returning to Ames at the end of my time here. People keep asking me what I'm going to do with the rest of my life, and the answer is simply: I don't know, but I'm going to enjoy it. My reasons for returning to Ames are many and varied, but the main one is to work at Skunk River Cycles once more as a mechanic. I merely inquired about the possibility of working there again, and somehow ended up with the job. I guess Ronn and Steve like me after all :) Of course, this will allow me to continue writing articles (with an internet connection that works!, in my house!), playing around with bikes and perhaps the starting up of my own podcast. I get to live with Eric, a dear, dear friend of mine.
Until then: I originally thought to go to Budapest during this next vacation (Feb. 15th-Mar. 3rd). But, it will be kinda expensive to get there and monies need to be saved for my trip to Germany by bike. So, I will stick around here, maybe go to Lannion, Quimper, Vannes, Nantes, etc. I also need to start training to ride a loaded bike in hilly places 70-80 miles a day, something I can't really do without a bike in cold, cold Hungary.