Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Traveling through Japan
I was lucky to have local hosts to make many of the steps work without having to fumble through them. I suppose that part of traveling like a scientist is that you have scientific friends wherever you go. The other part of traveling like a scientist is that you use the scientific method in figuring out how to use some common appliance or in facing whatever obstacle you encounter. For example, when I was setting up the projector for my talk, I was faced with a remote control whose buttons were entirely in Japanese. There had to be a button that turned it on and another that would switch the mode to the VGA input. The former was easy: it was the big red button. The latter was trickier but limited to a few likely candidates based on pattern recognition with US remotes. A little trial-and-error and, voila, my presentation was ready to start. I guess I could have waited for my hosts to do this, but after all their kindness, I wanted to give them one less thing to do. We could then move sooner into the purpose of my visit: discussing our latest scientific results, and using them to enable each other's next scientific advance.