Copenhagen, Cosmology and Coleman Hawkins

Now that I’ve finally checked into my hotel in the wonderful city of Copenhagen I thought I’d briefly check in on the old blog as well. I’m here once again for a meeting, this time as an invited speaker at the 2nd NBIA-APCTP Workshop on Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics; NBIA being the Niels Bohr International Academy (based in Denmark) and APTCTP being the Asia Pacific Centre for Theoretical Physics (based in Korea). This is the kind of meeting I actually like, with relatively few participants and lots of time for discussion; as a welcome gesture for the first day there was also free beer!

I decided for some reason to try an experimental route getting here. There wasn’t a flight at a convenient date and  time from Gatwick, the nearest airport to my Brighton residence, so I decided to get an early morning flight from Heathrow instead. The departure time of 06:40, however, left me with the difficulty of getting there in time by public transport as the relevant trains don’t run overnight. I toyed with the idea of booking an airport hotel for the night, but decided that would be extravagant so instead opted to get a coach from Brighton; this was cheap and comfortable – only a handful of other passengers got on the bus – and got me there right on schedule. The downside was that I had to catch the 01:40 from Brighton Coach Station, which arrived at about 4am at Heathrow Terminal 3. It was quite interesting finding the normally busy terminal almost deserted but although I did a self-service check-in straight away the bag drops didn’t open until almost 5am. None of the cafes in the check-in area were open, so I had to hang around for an hour before finally getting rid of my luggage and passing through to the airside whereupon I nabbed some coffee and a bite to eat.

The flight was almost uneventful. Unfortunately, however, as we came in to land at Copenhagen’s Kastrup airport, a young person sitting behind me vomited uncontrollably and at considerable length, producing a steady flow both of chunder and unpleasant noises. The aftermath was quite unpleasant, so I was quick out of the blocks when the plane finally came to a stop at the gate. An aisle seat turned out to have been a wise choice.

Assuming it would be too early to check into the hotel that had been booked for me, I decided to go straight to the meeting but got to the Niels Bohr Institute’s famous Auditorium A near the end of the first talk, about the Imprint of Radio Loops on the CMB (a subject I’ve blogged about), which is a shame because (a) its interesting and (b) some of my own work was apparently discussed. That happens so rarely these days I’m sorry I missed it.

I was a bit tetchy as a result of my sleepless night, though I limited the expression of this to a  couple of rants about frequentist statistics during the discussions.

After the free beer I finally made my way to the hotel and checked in. It’s not bad, actually. There can’t be that many hotel rooms that have a picture of the great tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins on the wall:


Anyway, I was due to give the conference summary on Friday but I’ve been moved forward to Wednesday so I’d better think of something to say. Maybe in the morning though, I could do with an early night…

5 Responses to “Copenhagen, Cosmology and Coleman Hawkins”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Free beer is a serious perk given how much the stuff costs in Copenhagen.

    Following The Duckworth-Lewis Method, do you think that The Copenhagen Interpretation is a good name for a jazz combo?

    • Not bad. I admit that I had to look up “chunder”, apparently slang from down under (which is appropriate, considering the corporal source of the same). During my research, I came across the phrase “boot-polish advertisements”; I think that would be a wonderful name for a band.

  2. “thought I limited” —> “though I limited”

    The original form is almost correct, but would imply “but…”. 🙂

  3. Michael Kenyon Says:

    Looking forward to a full report on the breakfast.

  4. When I was doing a postdoc in Aarhus, I used to have to fly Dublin to Heathrow, Heathrow to Copenhagen, and then the boat-train to Arrhus…thank God for Ryanair!

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