Caribbean Christmas Tree

I’m not an avid traveler, but occasionally I’m prodded from where my rump rests to go somewhere.  This time, my cousin who was born and raised in Trinidad left his Seattle-Google residence to get married in his home country.

On the trip, I had the chance to visit a bird sanctuary where the Scarlet Ibis is the main attraction.  One of the neat things was that in the evening time, all the birds congregate around a similar area to sleep. On our tour, it was a mini island rock with a bunch of trees that looked much like this:

Scarlet Ibis Tree

Pretty sharp contrast.  Guess they do Christmas a little differently there.

IAS Princeton

I visited the IAS this last week (“best known as the academic home of Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, and Kurt Gödel“) to meet with the prof I’m currently working with (she’s there for the year). It’s such a quiet and natural place that exists purely on “endowments, grants, and gifts”. That’s quite the yearly budget considering they reportedly house 27 permanent faculty and award hundreds of year-long fellowships.

And “research is never contracted or directed; it is left to each individual researcher to pursue his or her own goals”. It certainly humbles any sense of self-discipline I’d like to think I have.