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Frank Simon | MPI for Physics | Germany

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I’m an Addict – But not the only one!

Email addicts in Big Meadows Lodge in Shenandoah National Park.

Email addicts in Big Meadows Lodge in Shenandoah National Park.

We’ve seen it before here on Quantum Diaries: One of the more important aspects of life as a particle physicist is being connected. Many things in our line of work are happening over email, since we have collaborators spread over the planet, many things require informing a large group of people and so on. While email is terribly convenient, it also tends to pile up. I always notice this in particular during vacations: Life does not stop, even if you are not paying attention. On a typical day I get between 50 and 100 emails, many of which luckily don’t require a reply, but are still important to keep up to speed on all sorts of things. This is just a consequence of being a member in several experimental collaborations, plus a committee here and there. So, I hardly ever go anywhere without my laptop, and I’m happy if I have wireless internet to keep the flood at bay – I really hate it to come home after a week or two to more than 1000 emails in the Inbox.

Of course there are compromises to make: If you spend time out in the wild, in a National Park, you don’t really expect to be able to go on line. So, imagine my surprise when I found out that the main building in the Big Meadows Lodge in Shenandoah National Park has free internet! It does not get much better than this: Adventures during the day, including a face to face meeting with a black bear, and still some connection to the outside world. And, not surprisingly, I’m by far not the only addict: After 9 pm, there were quite a few glowing laptop screens to be seen in front of the crackling fire place in the main lodge…

Connected at night, adventure during the day: Face to face meetings with a black bear included. He turned out to be a shy and friendly guy, luckily...

Connected at night, adventure during the day: Face to face meetings with a black bear included. He turned out to be a shy and friendly guy, luckily...

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