Author: Julia

Literacy campaign
08March 2017
Exactly two years ago I was in Cuba, and it was International Women's Day. Everywhere we went we were greeted with, "Congratulations". It had to be explained to us what we were being congratulated for. I don't remember it being discussed in the United States. Until now. And I find the comparison interesting. Cuba is still a communist country. There is healthcare for all, to a point. There is education for all. Keep reading this post
Foucault Pendulum
02March 2016
The world rotates on its axis. We all know this. The sun rises and sets, a misnomer perhaps as it is less poetic but more accurately "earth move", shadows lengthen, constellations shift from horizon to horizon during the night. I think of this on a regular basis. I work at Griffith Observatory where at local noon I watch an image of the sun cross a metal meridian, see the golden light of sunset streak in through the Planetarium doors, hear the cheers of visitors as the Pendulum swing knocks down a peg. Exuberant cheers that echo through the marble halls. And each time I wonder, are people seeing proof of the earth rotating, or do they only see the movement of the pendulum, slightly hypnotized by its continual swing, and a peg knocked to the ground? By Newton's laws of inertia the swing of the pendulum is released from the rotation of the earth allowing us to see that we are indeed moving. As we all move together as one, it's one of the few ways that allow us to see our earthly motion (particularly when we are inside a building). To be reminded that we are a ball spinning rapidly though space, on our axis and around the sun. We are in constant motion, with our planet and within our bodies. Our hearts beating, our breath in and out, molecules that multiply or decay. Always in motion. It is a fact. Facts that receive no applause are when a patron's ticket flutters to the ground. Gravity seems less exciting, posssibly because it is simply there. As is the chemistry of the continual exchange of oxygen to carbon dioxide as we exhale to cheer. Perhaps the acclaim the pendulum receives for doing what it must do comes from being present to witness. A peg falling because it has crossed the path of a large swinging object becomes an event. It fulfills a human need for completion. Or to mark time. Or, for a split second, be in the presence of scientific understanding. Or perhaps folks just like a sure bet.
Cuba 2
09April 2015
I recently returned from a trip to Cuba. Changes are already happening and I felt I was seeing the country in the last days of its embargo era. This may or may not be true, as travelers from the United States are still only allowed to visit Cuba with a special visa, but these are a few of my first thoughts about what I experienced. Keep reading this post
28February 2015
I work at the Griffith Observatory where I have been very lucky to have met those who have gone into space, Buzz Aldren, and Gordo Cooper, and those who have inspired our imaginations of space travel, most notably, Leonard Nimoy, who graced us with his genuine love of the iconic building.  Keep reading this post
23February 2015
My top 10 Observations of the AEA Special Membership meeting:   I attended the AEA meeting on Monday February 23rd at Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City, the meeting to discuss the proposal that will change the current 99 seat plan for theatre in Los Angeles. Over 400 were in attendance. Both sides were deeply passionate about their points of view. Much was said in the three-hour meeting and my observations skim the surface but these are the thoughts and questions that stayed with me.     Keep reading this post
22February 2015
Hollywood is known for the movies. This weekend celebrates reaching the heights with a gold statue or the lows with a Razzy. The awards for Independent movies also present on the weekend leading up to the Oscars. The elite of the elite will be celebrated in one way or another. This is what the world will see and what the viewing audience expects. Even the protesting of the lack of diversity in 2015 nominees will be seen.     Keep reading this post

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