Blog

Expect posts about science, nonsense, brewing, and other interests.


  Back to work

The quite comfortable train for the commute between Stockholm and Uppsala, with my bike on the left.
The first day of work getting out of hand.

It’s back-to-work time. After two months of parental leave, I went back to work 2 weeks ago, the day Covid restrictions were entirely lifted here in Sweden. Since them, I got to get into a routine, two days taking the train and working in the office, the rest working from home.

It’s good to see the office now more lively with more colleagues, and we also got our first regular observing run with CRIRES at the VLT. I was the remote observer for the first night - the dome did not open because of clouds :-(. However, the subsequent two nights were rather good and data flowed in!

photo work

  The hop harvest

Picking up the hops.
Some cones were dried on a window screen (shown here), some in the oven
Dried and packed hops ready for the freezer

In the spring, I planted 4 old varieties of Swedish hops in my residence [1,2]. Last week I finally harvested the previous cones, dried them, and froze them to be used in brewing beer in the coming weeks and months. For a first year, the harvest in not bad: I got around 450 g of dried hops, which would be enough for 100-200 litres of beer.

photo gardening

  The great time machine / analog pictures

Bonfire on Valborg celebration. Gamla Uppsala. 2012
Observatoire de Meudon. 2012
Bonfire on Valborg celebration. Gamla Uppsala. 2012

One of the first analog film I ever shot, with my dad’s old Praktica Pentor 2, just resurfaced. It is from 9 years ago, in 2012. A cheap, and great time-machine. I was in Uppsala at the time, doing my first reseach internship, with the people I have now ended up working with!

photo

  Summer reads

It’s been a while
Summer is in full swing
Holidays came and went by
Quickly.

During my holidays, I visited the bookshop for the first time in … too long, and got some nice books to read. Some books that I wanted, some that I randomly browsed and seemed interesting (the magic of going into the bookshop after all).

I started with Grey is the Color of Hope, the gulag memoirs of Irina Ratushinskaya (Ирина Ратушинская). A tough book, as expected, but excellent and somewhat lighter than I thought. The english translation is unequal sometimes.

I followed with Solaris, the 1961 sci-fi novel from Stanisław Lem which inspired, among other, the Solaris movie directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. I know Tarkovsky’s work from Stalker, and wanted to read Solaris before watching the movie. The book is very interesting, and definitely can give a great movie by Tarkovsky, given the general atmosphere and the overall mystery. I disliked some parts, but that’s OK!

random culture

  PNPS logo

A few design iterations for the new PNPS logo

Creating logos - as well as posters or websites - is something I find interesting and rewarding. When the French “National program of stellar physics” (PNPS, for Programme national de physique stellaire) opened a competition for a new logo, I submitted a proposal straight away.

They somehow ended up selecting my contribution :-), and after a few design iterations, the new logotype was introduced yesterday, together with a brand new website.

The picture above show some of these iterations, I think the process is quite typical. Starting from a very geometric and minimal design (using the colours of the old logotype), the design gains in complexity after a consensus had to be reached with board members requesting more physics included.

In the published version, there are stars - at different evolutionary stages (Sun-like star, red giant, hot star), stellar multiplicity, exoplanets, magnetic fields, a brown dwarf, and a disk (at least that what I see, you are welcome to see more than this).

design

  Holidays / analog pictures

A wineyard in Bélesta under the snow. Winter 2021
The Canigou mountain. Winter 2021
Water lilies in Victoriahuset, Stockholm botanical garden. Summer 2021.

It is now summer holidays for me after the Midsommar celebration here in Sweden. I got my latest photographic film developed, some photos above. I used the old Praktica MTL 3 camera with a russian Helios M44-2 lens. The film itself is interesting, it’s an Ilford SFX 200 with increased sensitivity in the red.

photo

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