It’s been a while since my last post on December 16. That was just before I left Atlanta for a trip to Alaska, returning on Jan. 6th of the new year. Internet is a bit dodgy up on the roof of the world! I did manage to see my first aurora, a very faint green cloud like shape which actually put me more in mind of a poison cloud in some science fiction movie.
Then returning here we had a week off, with a huge ice storm that came through and caused hundreds of accidents. ATL airport was even closed. I had my first class on Wednesday 19th, instead of the scheduled Jan 10th.
Got some nice toys for Xmas, including the Asus Eee PC, a netbook format laptop which I’ll use for conferences and travel. Came with Windows 7 (Starter–not sure about this), has wifi, Bluetooth and a very usable full size keyboard. Also picked up a Droid Evo 4G phone as I was due for an upgrade. (I can just about get some 4G–upstairs!). Will cost $150 after rebates ($450 retail). Nice, but a battery hog. Have uninstalled a few apps in hope this improves things. Comes with unlimited 3G/4G data, so if I want to use it as my own mobile wifi hotspot for my Eee I can (costs extra though and I’m happy with my Aircard at the moment which does the same thing).
Right, what else? In personal news I’ll be moving to a new job. I’ve been offered a very nice position at the University of Kentucky. This is completely mindblowing to me that I’d be joining such a well renowned and exciting department.But the fit and timing are just right. Told my colleagues a couple of weeks ago and it will have been 10 years in Atlanta–thought I’d only be here a couple! Amusingly, I’ll go through tenure yet again (this takes place before I arrive there and is considered a formality) but that will have made 3 times!
Returning to the subject of this blog, I’ve also just learned that my paper on Arthur Robinson and the OSS has been accepted for the ICA Conference in Paris in July. Now I hope to get some funds to help me travel there (I’ve already applied but the US national group only decides after the ICA announcement). So hopefully that’ll come through.
The AAG posted their preliminary program for Seattle. In a switch from last year when our session was on the last day, Saturday, the session Trevor Barnes and I organized on geographies of intelligence and counter-intelligence is now on the Tuesday, basically as soon as the conference starts! Not sure how I feel about that and hopefully everybody can make it in for that time. The other component will be Author Meets the Critics for Matt Hannah’s latest book, which I’m currently reading. This is for his book Dark Territory in the Information Age: Learning from the West German Census Controversies of the 1980s, which covers the German Census protest movements and the implications for an ever-increasingly informationlized world. I’m looking forward to the discussion with him, Neil Smith and my new Kentucky colleague, Patricia Ehrkamp. The session was organized by Steve Legg. This one will be on Saturday, so it will be a long week, especially as I’m hoping to attend stuff on Monday on VGI (still to hear about that).
Finally, an interesting headline in the Daily Mail yesterday: “We have lift off… just: Massive 235ft rocket carrying a secret spy satellite replacement blasts off from California coast.” Basically this is another part of President Obama’s strange way of honoring his commitment to open government… a secret spy satellite from the NRO.