Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday: Sandia Crest

After class, we drove up from downtown Albuquerque, elevation 5,000 feet, to Sandia Crest.
I suspect that this is an Eastern Fence LIzard,
Jean takes pictures of the eastern half of New Mexico.
I can see Texas from here!
View looking west, towards Albuquerque, where the Rio Grande River, 5,000 feet below us, flows south from the state of Colorado, through New Mexico, then divides Texas from Mexico.  Rio Grande translates literally as "Big River", so it should be called the Rio Grande, not the Rio Grande River. Also, it's not very big.
female Broad-tailed Hummingbird
male Western Bluebird

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Albuquerque Day 4

Finally, we did something interesting, today! That's why there are no blog entries for Monday and Tuesday.
I need to go back, and post some more of my photos that I took on Sunday.  It just takes a long time to upload each picture, because they require a lot of MegaBytes, and Blogger's server is slow.

Well, I'm not the first Hungarian to visit New Mexico.  The building, above, is proof of that.
One of these days I'll tell the story of the time I ate chocolate cake with Edward Teller (Teller Ede).

Our tour bus

Fat Man and Little Boy
Fat Man was your basic atomic bomb where you slammed 2 pieces of subcritical Uranium 235 into each other at high speed, and their combined mass went critical so fast that the fission reaction went out of control.
In other words, it went "boom". 
Little Boy's design was more complicated: they had a single lump of Plutonium 239 that was surrounded symmetrically on all sides by high explosives.  When they got all of the explosives to go off at exactly the same time--down to the last millionth of a second--the lump of Plutonium got compressed inward to the point that it went critical. 
The museum does dedicate part of its exhibit to the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  It also starts the exhibit with a display of 1930s and 40s era Japanese Army radios, rifles, and "Samurai" swords (actually, they're officers' swords). 
They also have exhibits about the positive uses of radioactive materials. 
This is a patient getting a nuclear medicine scan.
Here's a depressing thought: I know how to operate this scanner on display. 
That's how long I've been a nuclear medicine technologist.
Hey, this is cool:   This is Hal Anger's ORIGINAL gamma camera!
This is the original nuclear medicine scanner.  Wow.
I need to find out why they have this small Navy aircraft carrier jet plane on display.
They also have a B-52 on display in the back.
My friend Tony Maldonado was one of the last tail gunners in the back of a B-52 bomber.
Too weird.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Don't Pick Your Nose in New Mexico

This wasn't my plane but with the turbulence it felt like we were in something this small. 
female Wood Duck with babies, male Wood Duck
White-winged Dove
female Black-chinned Hummingbirds

The Rio Grande.  Doesn't look impressive, but its water flows at a fastpace. Don't fall in.

This is Art and Joanie. They set up their truck on side of the road, near the Rio Grande Nature Center, and bar b que ribs
 that will knock your socks off. 
Art was a tunnel rat in Vietnam. 
Enough said.

They give you a jalapeno with your bar-b-qued ribs.  After you bite into the jalapeno, don't rub your eyes, and definitely don't pick your nose.  Unless you want to end up in the hospital.