Friday, December 08, 2006

More miscellaneous happenings. . .

I met the new CEO of Vaisala this week in the hallway of FMI. He's paying a third of my salary. We talked briefly about use of the dual-polarimetric radar that Vaisala built for the university to look at snow density.

It's been unusally warm in northern Europe ever since the second week of November (low to mid 40s F for highs) The two snowfalls that I experienced my first week have been nearly melted all over the country. See this article on the lack of snow in Lapland (northern Finland). This web site also has a nice link to the declining snowcover (replotted from the FMI web site). I've posted this graphic below. The lack of snow is really affecting the Finns in a negative way. With nearing the shortest days of the year, almost always overcast, and no snow, the city is dark and the Finns' attitude is just as dark. They love the snow as it brightens up the city, and they get to go skating on the harbor when it freezes and skiing in the many parks around town. I'm worried that things may start getting creepy if it doesn't snow around here. . .

I think the Finns could probably help themselves out a little bit by wearing some brighter color clothes. Nearly everyone is wearing dark colored clothes (even me so I don't stick out too much!). This is not good. When I go back, I should bring some Hawaiian shirts and hand them out to people to wear during the day. It's gotta help.

On the island I live, Finland maintains its icebreaker fleet. Here's a picture of the ships, still in harbor, waiting for ice to form somewhere along the Finnish coast.

Last night was bowling with the graduate students from the department. I was the only professor to go, and they kept asking me how good I was. I kept saying that although my parents were in a bowling league that I'm really not that good. Turns out I bowled probably my best three consecutive games ever, scoring 465 for three games (with a high score of 166). I scored 150 points higher than any other person. Boy was I embarrassed! This was called Fun Bowling and featured blue lights and great rock music (playing Dylan, Springsteen, Rolling Stones, 50s rock, good country music). It was a hoot of a place to be!


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