My apologies to J. R. R. Tolkien.
I'm referring of course to Phoenix. As we know, the Phoenix is a mythical bird that would immolate itself at the end of its life, and rise reborn from the ashes. It is also the name of a city in Arizona.
On Sunday we returned from the NSTA area conference in Phoenix AZ. Now, I had never been to this city before. I must say, I was quite impressed. The city is very modern and clean, and well planned. The weather was essentially perfect, cool and dry. Being in a desert, one might expect it to be sweltering and infested with every manner of scorpion, but this was not the case.
After the show I took a drive through the desert and looked at some Joshua trees. Later, I found myself in the middle of nowhere after dark. The moon hadn't risen, and there was no light pollution to speak of. The views of the galactic core were spectacular, as were the stars. I found myself staring upwards for quite some time. You just can't get views like that back home.
To all who attended the conference, thank you.