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This year I made a move from my faculty position at MIT to one at UC San Diego. While there were many wonderful and positive things I was leaving behind in the process (good friends, brilliant students, phenomenal staff and a supportive and scientifically engaging department), the one thing that my backside will miss the most is my Eames lounge chair. I purchased this design icon as a “thinking chair”, but it was a frequent hit with visitors, students and of course the other junior faculty. Indeed, not long after I had made public my decision to head out to San Diego, I received emails like the following from my colleagues:
“If you are not taking it with you right away, can I keep your Eames Chair for “safeguarding” in my office? I promise to give it back whenever you either come back or take it with you..”
Unfortunately, this was not an item that could leave MIT, so it was clear that it had to be passed on to a deserving recipient. But how to pick one person in a department of superstars? Thus was born:
The Adam J. Burgasser Endowed Chair of Astrophysics
Slide over Jimi Hendrix; lay off Eric Clapton; because here comes….Jumping Jim? He’s just one of the 18 acts who showed off their ukulele mastery at Ukestock, held in Worcester (pronounce it “Wooster”), MA this past Saturday, September 6th.
First, a little disclosure: I love the ukulele. In June, my wife and I went to Hana for our second anniversary and took a little mini-lesson on ukulele at the Hotel Hana-Maui. We loved it so much, we refused to part with our practice ukes until we had to leave, and promptly picked up a pair of Ponos at Bounty Music in Kahului. Playing together is one of our favorite “couple-things” to do, so much so that we subject our friends to little mini-concerts (keep in mind that several of them are professional musicians, so they are incredibly patient with us). Having played guitar on and off, I find the ukulele (pronounced “oo-koo-le-le”, not “you-koo-le-le”) the perfect size for some mellow playing at home.