Happy passover -- chag Pesach same'ach -- people. How do you know it's pesach in Israel? Here's a hilarious (and true) list: You'll know it's passover in Israel. Seriously, the fact that there's an Arab dude in Abu Gosh who theoretically owns all the remaining bread in Israel for a week is probably the most delightful thing I learned the whole time I was there.
And since the advisor has been in Israel for the holiday, you'd think this would have been a slow week. Not so much. I'm actually having an astonishingly busy spring, which isn't terribly surprising if you consider that we have to pack up our experiment and leave for the field in something under three months. This has been annoying to a number of people, as my tight and shifting schedule has made it hard to commit to things very far in advance.
In other news, contact lenses are curious things.
See, I have at last gotten fed up with my ancient, battered, scratched, pitted, and soldered-back-together glasses, so various activities are in process to remedy this situation. One of these is that I am wearing an evaluation pair of contact lenses. Ignore for a moment the trick that was suppressing my finely honed reflexes enough to literally stick my finger in my eye without blinking. Optically, they basically work by reshaping the cornea, which is a totally different mechanism than the pre-eye correction done by glasses. Overall I think the vision correction isn't as precise as what good glasses can achieve (I also have new glasses coming in the mail any day, so I'll soon be able to directly test this assertion). On the other hand, for as long as I can remember I've been plagued by some subtle visual artifacts, like chromatic abberation caused by thick lenses (I can tilt my head and be a human spectrograph!), and ghost images around high-contrast borders (e.g. I see double or triple images of stars, which as you can imagine is extremely annoying to me as an astronomer) due I think to some asymmetric abberation of my cornea. Both are now gone, which is awesome and totally bizzare. While I wouldn't wear contacts all the time by any means, I'm really looking forward to trying a public observing night with these things.