Steve Nahn | USLHC | USA

So, it’s MITs spring break, which gives me a chance to zip over to CERN and see how the CMS tracker checkout is going (my students are heavily involved, and doing excellent work – I’m like a proud poppa!). But I arrived on Easter Sunday, and Friday and Monday were holidays too, so it has been pretty quiet actually. Nothing like arriving in France with no restaurants or stores open for two days! The Europeans take their holidays seriously, about which I am totally hypocritical – on one hand, sometimes it seems that things take infinitely longer due to people taking off all the time, but on the other, I wonder if this isn’t just my work-aholic American upbringing blinding me to the fact that there is more to life than just work, and maybe the Europeans have the right idea. I can argue either side, and frequently do. But, when push comes to shove, what I usually do is think about how much money it costs to run the accelerator – if my piece of the detector isn’t working, that is money down the drain, and we’re talking $100 million per year, or about$10 per second – that’s pretty expensive, so we need to be sure that none of that beam time is wasted. If we can be confident that we’ll get all there is to get out of the beam, all the extra hours and weekend time are worth it. Just don’t tell my wife.