Gratitude (May 17 – 23)

  1. Helpful tutorial session on physics software my students and I will need to use
  2. Wonderful dinner with a friend in Illinois
  3. Catching up with my friend
  4. Ice cream at one of my favorite places in Batavia
  5. Buying breakfast supplies at Walgreens
  6. Good discussion with a student via Skype
  7. Catching up with colleagues at the Collaboration Meeting
  8. Buying gifts at the Fermilab gift shop
  9. Good collaboration dinner
  10. Dinner with friends and one of their little children
  11. Giving a gift to the little one
  12. Delicious breakfast at one of my favorite places in Batavia
  13. Returning rental car easily.
  14. Making a connection despite the previous flight’s delay
  15. A colleague was on the same flight
  16. Colleagues were greeting other passengers who were contestants in the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).
  17. My wife gave me a ride home from the airport
  18. Ice cream and dinner with friends
  19. Volunteering as a tour guide with ICPC
  20. A surprise trip to Mt. Rushmore as part of being a volunteer
  21. A locksmith quickly opened and replaced a door handle in our basement
  22. Successfully cleaning some of the house
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Gratitude (May 10 – 16)

  1. Finished grading final exams for my class!
  2. Entered the final grades for my class
  3. Skype conversation with a colleague about a great app that I will probably write more about soon.
  4. Skype conversation with a good friend
  5. Helping my wife with her grading
  6. Buying pizza as part of a fundraiser
  7. Grocery shopping trip (May 11)
  8. The banner for our upcoming conference arrived
  9. Our secretary is back from her successful surgery
  10. Settling some details about an upcoming trip.
  11. Preparing our basement for plumbing work
  12. Harvesting the first (small) radish from our garden
  13. Booking a rental car for my upcoming trip
  14. Planning dinner with friends on an upcoming trip
  15. Our conference (CoSSURF) is off to a good start
  16. Being interviewed on SDPB about the conference
  17. Buying rain barrels from a friend and former pastor
  18. TV interview with KNBN
  19. Good food at the CoSSURF banquet
  20. Fun, good, and important conversations at the banquet.
  21. Riding to and from the banquet with my wife
  22. My wife driving me to the airport
  23. A surprisingly strong positive reaction to one of the presentations
  24. Safe and punctual flights from RAP to MSP to ORD.
  25. Despite some delays and impatience, I had a rental car from the airport to my hotel
  26. Recommendation from a colleague for a less expensive hotel than the one I had originally chosen.
  27. Staying in touch with my wife while traveling.
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Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to some of the women who made me possible! Below, from right to left, are my mother Anita, her mother Lucille, and her mother Agnes. Thank you for everything!

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Gratitude List (May 4 – 9)

  1. Mass transit in Twin Cities means I didn’t need to rent a car while here
  2. Delicious food at Annie’s Parlour
  3. Good conversation with friends at Annie’s
  4. My “shadow” shift was helpful and informative
  5. I also helped to improve the remote control room where I am working
  6. Good conversation with a colleague about teaching and diversity in physics
  7. Helping my shadow shifter prepare for his upcoming shift
  8. Dinner with a friend from high school (May 5)
  9. Despite forgetting my lunch, I was able to go back to my hotel and return only slightly late for my shift, thank in part to a bus that was going my direction on the way back.
  10. Good internet connection in the hotel room.
  11. The Target Express near my hotel where I have been able to buy breakfast lunch supplies
  12. Smoothie and conversation with friends who picked me up at the hotel.
  13. They also gave me a ride to another friend’s house (Katie)
  14. Katie’s family gave me dinner and we were able to catch up on our lives. I was able to meet her husband and cute sons.
  15. Successfully packing for my return trip.
  16. The problems encountered by the experiment overnight seem to be resolved.
  17. My wife getting to donate food to an animal shelter and visit some kittens.
  18. Good conversation with a friend via Facebook
  19. Good food at the MSP airport
  20. Safe and punctual flight back to Rapid City
  21. Watching my wife play on our church’s softball team
  22. Cheering with friends at the game
  23. Good meeting about our upcoming conference
  24. Attending public hearings on a proposed uranium mine in South Dakota
  25. Good food and friends at community meal
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Review of Farewell to the Master

Farewell to the MasterFarewell to the Master by Harry Bates
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As with many readers, I read this story because it is the basis of one of my favorite movies, the original The Day The Earth Stood Still. However, the movie has almost nothing to do with the story. Except for the landing and the names of Klaatu and Gort, the plots are completely different.

The original story has a few interesting twists; however, this is a rare case in which I think the movie was better.

View all my reviews

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Gratitude List (Apr. 26 – May 3)

  1. Teaching my final class of the semester!
  2. Lunch club at Noodles & Co.
  3. Good meeting about upcoming construction near my lab
  4. Testing the latest version of a colleague’s cosmic ray detector app on my phone
  5. Dinner at Pizza Ranch
  6. Making more plans with friends on my upcoming trip to Minneapolis
  7. Deleting enough from my e-mail mailbox so it is no longer full
  8. Important decisions and information regarding graduate admissions
  9. Finished writing the final exam for my class
  10. Reception for our departing school president
  11. Planning signs for our upcoming conference
  12. Beautiful singing and friends at a choral concert (April 28)
  13. Helping my wife get ready for her trip
  14. Her safe (if delayed) trip to San Antonio
  15. Keeping in touch with her while she is travelling
  16. Finishing laundry
  17. Mowing our front lawn
  18. Watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 on a free trial of Netflix.
  19. Safe and punctual flight from RAP to MSP
  20. Good conversation with colleagues at the U of Minnesota
  21. Lots of good restaurants near my hotel
  22. Target grocery near my hotel
  23. Artwork on a bridge where I caught the bus to my hotel 
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My Speech from the Rapid City March for Science

This is what I looked like giving my speech after the sound system was working.

Amazingly, a recording of (almost) my entire speech is on the South Dakota Public Radio website! It is missing a part of the beginning due to issues involving sound system problems and a bullhorn. You can listen by pressing play below:

My best transcript of the part of the speech that isn’t on the recording is below:

Good morning everyone. My name is Luke Corwin. I am a Physics Professor here in Rapid City, but I am speaking for no one but myself today.

I thank the organizers of this event for the opportunity to speak to you today and for the great honor of sharing the stage with Chas Jewett, who has done so much to advance the causes of justice, education, and reconciliation in our community.

As the Facebook page says, “The March for Science is a celebration of our passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community.” Thank you all for taking the time to be here on a Saturday morning to show your passion and support.

Many of us are here because we are concerned about the perceived lack support and trust of science in our city, state, and nation. Today, I want to talk about what we can do about this distrust, and why it exists in the first place. Before that, we have some things to celebrate.

Only 46 miles from here, in the former Homestake gold mine in Lead, we are building the Sanford Underground Research Facility, which is one of the most advanced physics laboratories in the world.  South Dakota has invested a great deal in this facility from public and private sources. Mr. Sanford himself donated 70 million dollars, and the State of South Dakota has invested more than 45 million dollars (source). I am a member of the largest collaboration preparing to build an experiment at Sanford Lab. My job and the jobs of several of my colleagues would not exist without these investments.

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Gratitude List (Apr. 5 – 25)

I have not posted  one of these in a while for multiple reasons. With a friend’s daughter dying, I didn’t feel like being grateful. Of course, that is the time when it is most important to be grateful, so here is a triple edition of my gratitude list.

  1. All of the donors who have contributed to Anna’s medical expenses and memorial fund
  2. Our department wanting to care for colleagues who have lost loved ones.
  3. The hope of the Resurrection:
    “Death has been swallowed up in victory.
    Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?” (I Corinthians 15:54-55)
  4. The hope of the Resurrection:  “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead…” (Ephesians 1:19-20)
  5. Lunch club at Murphy’s
  6. Interesting colloquium about astrophysical neutrinos
  7. Meeting with the colloquium speaker
  8. Tubas earned a 3.9 (out of 4) on our latest playing test.
  9. Having time to take care of my wife while she is sick
  10. My wife made an amazing homemade pizza crust
  11. Friends and a wife who show me the truth about myself even when it is unpleasant
  12. Having so many good books to read
  13. The amazing power of a hard reboot.
  14. Our Symphonic Band concert went very well (Apr. 23)
  15. The Facebook live feed of our concert worked well
  16. The hilarious performance of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by the School’s drama club
  17. We had wonderful weather for the March for Science
  18. Excellent turnout for the March for Science
  19. My speech at the March was well-received
  20. Chas Jewett’s speech at the March for Science
  21. News coverage of the March
  22. The new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000
  23. One of our students passed a candidacy exam
  24. Title IX training that was actually useful
  25. Being asked to give a presentation of DUNE at a conference in Prague
  26. Seeing our students win awards at the annual convocation
  27. Enjoying the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra concert with friends (Apr. 8)
  28. Fixing my bike by replacing a bolt that had fallen off
  29. Buying ice cream for us
  30. My wife taking care of me while I was sick
  31. Finishing the yoga class for this semester
  32. Our garden is sprouting
  33. The seeds my wife planted indoors are sprouting
  34. Planning for the conference is going well
  35. Training my fellow committee members in editing the conference website
  36. Writing a flyer advertising our new course in the fall
  37. Settling several other logistical questions about the course
  38. Lunch Club at Fuji Steakhouse and Sushi Bar
  39. Useful and important grad student admission discussions
  40. Ribbon cutting on the remodeled Chemistry Building
  41. Skype conversation with a good friend
  42. Good discussion on Daniel with the Wobbly Table
  43. Friends willing to hear and critique my speech before I gave it
  44. My wife being willing to hear and critique my speech before I gave it
  45. Watering the garden
  46. Successfully using my bicycle pump on a Presta valve
  47. A potential new funding opportunity
  48. Lunch Club at Panera
  49. Ordering gaskets for my lab
  50. Visiting the booths at the Earth Day Expo
  51. Interesting physics colloquium from the new postdoc in our department
  52. Colloquium by the Society of Physics Students on their activities over the past year
  53. Praying with InterVarsity
  54. Ice cream social for the final band rehearsal of the semeseter
  55. My wife starting softball practice for the upcoming season
  56. The University Orchestra concert
  57. The amazing string bass soloist in the concert
  58. Dunn Bros. being such a good meeting place
  59. Starting a new discussion series at The Well
  60. Dinner with my wife at Saigon (Apr. 25)
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I will be Marching and Speaking for Science Tomorrow!

The March for Science is an international set of marches that intends to be “the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.”

I will be speaking at the end of the march here in Rapid City, which starts Saturday at 9am. You can read more on the March for Science Rapid City SD Facebook page and from a recent story on Sound Dakota Public Radio; I am one of the “local scientists” who will be speaking.

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Come to our Concert Sunday! Listen in Person or on Facebook!

To listen live, come to the SDSM&T Music Center (Map).

To listen on Facebook wherever you are, go the the SDSM&T Music Center page.

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