18 July 2010

18th International Association of Astacology conference: Day 0

The day started off with me discovering that my flight would be departing about 45 minutes later than planned when I booked it. Fairly high chance I’ll miss my connecting flight, but the alternative was a much, much later flight, so I decided to risk it.

The risk paid off. The plane we arrived just in time for me to walk across to a nearby gate and board my connecting flight. As I was walking toward the gate, the staffer said, "Faulkes?" They knew I was coming, and I was literally the last to board the plane.

The Columbia airport is small (and if you've ever seen the McAllen airport I left from, you know that's saying something.) This turned out to be beneficial, though, when a man walked into the lobby and asked, "Is anyone else going to the University of Maryland?"

Clearly, it was up to me to help this poor unfortunate soul, since he was unlikely to find it easy to get to the University of Maryland after having just landed in Missouri.

Jay and I agreed to split a cab to the University of Missouri, but he had a story that made his momentary lapse of geography look trivial. Apparently, someone on his plane was supposed to go to St. Louis, not Columbia. My first thought was, "Isn't that what boarding passes are supposed to prevent?"

The University of Missouri campus is green and smells nice. I'm not sure it'll smell as nice tomorrow, because there's a lot of construction going on, which was stopped today. Got checked into my room and made my way to Jesse Hall for the opening reception.

After having no lunch today because of the super fast layover, plus walking around a bit in the heat, I was famished and was starting to get a slight headache around the time I checked in. Fortunately, both problems were soon solved. They laid out some really excellent barbecued pulled pork and beef, coleslaw, and some fruit cobblers for desert. I was quite full by the end.

Tomorrow, the science presentations start in the Christopher S. Bond Life Science Building, which appears to be rather new. Even in twilight, it almost loks like it's glistening a bit.

Marmorkrebs conversations so far: When I mentioned, "I know what I'm working with, but it has no species name," "The self-cloning ones?" was the immediate reply. Also got a comment that they were all through the pet trade, which is kind of the topic of my next paper.

P.S. – Any campus that has baby bunnies wandering around it has my approval.

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