My web log of NBI2003

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These pages are devoted to pictures and commentary of my trip to the Neutrino Beams and Instrumentation 2003 conference held at KEK in Tsukuba, Japan in November of 2003. The intended audience is friends and family, and in particular, my kids, in case you grown-ups are wondering why I took so many pictures of bathrooms and vending machines.

I left Chicago around noon on Wednesday, 11/5/03. The plane arrived thirteen and a half hours later in Tokyo, where it was about 4:30PM on Thursday, 11/6/03. The flight was very long and uneventful. I waved to Uncle Curt on Kodiak Island as we flew over it. (I'll have to ask if he saw me!) I took a cab from Narita airport to the Japanese research laboratory called KEK. The cab ride was about 1.5 hours long. I was pretty beat by the time I got to my room, which may explain the quality and content of some of the pictures below.

Tokyo time is 15 hours later than Chicago. If you want to know what time it is in Tokyo right now, just add three hours to what's on your watch and change AM to PM (or vice versa).

Please click on the thumbnails to get an expanded image.

Pictures from Thursday, 11/6/03

This the entrance way to the dorm at KEK where I'm staying. I'm in room 101, building 3, so I have a little locker for my shoes with that number. Everybody takes their shoes off at the door of the building and we're given slippers to wear while we are in the building.

These are the vending machines on the way to my room. The second one from the right has beer. There is way more variety in the stuff you can get from vending machines here than in the US. Right outside the conference we have a robotic vending machine that can pour hot or cold drinks into cups and has a motorized door that opens when the drink is ready. It's so cool! (It's picture is on the techno-amenities page)

OK, this is the faucet that beat me. I had to ask a Japanese guy into my bathroom to explain to me how to turn on the water. (There were instructions in Japanese only.) I figured out that the knob on the right made the water hotter or colder, but I spun the knob on the front all the way from left to right and nothing happened, and I couldn't figure out how to direct the water (if there were any) from the sink to the tub for a shower. After this kind Japanese student read the instructions on the faucet, he discovered that you need to push hard at both ends. If you push hard at the left end, you get a shower, at the right end you get sink water. Now that I know how it works, it's really a good design! I'm also going to try to capture in pictures the fantastic variety of bathroom hardware here. (Wait til you see the heated-seat butt-shower toilet in the other building!)

Here is another view of my bathroom. The entire thing is like an RV bathroom where you can just hose it down. There is a raised threshold separating it from the rest of the room.

Here is my desk and bed. The dorm has wireless Internet (which is how I'm posting this page.) I have a hot pot and tea things.

The little gizmo on the upper left of my desk is the remote control for the heater/air conditioner in my room. (That unit is above the head of my bed which you can't see in the last picture.) I was really impressed with number of buttons that I had no clue what they did. (The buttons are hidden behind the little plastic door on the right of the remote.)

Friday and Saturday, 11/7-8/03

I didn't get any pictures either of these days. Spent both days in the conference learning all kinds of interesting things about new experiments around the world. My first talk was Saturday afternoon and I think it went very well. People congratulated me on how well the MiniBooNE horn was working. I signed up to go on a tour on Sunday of a famous shrine and a very scenic area. I'll post whatever happens. I really have no idea what we'll be doing. All I know is that we are leaving the dorm at 7:00am and not coming back until 7pm.

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