Back from the Old World

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
May 17 2011 7:41 AM

Back from the Old World

Mrs. BA and I have spent the last week in Europe, on a Center for Inquiry-sponsored cruise with fellow critical thinkers. I'll post more later, but yesterday we flew across 8 time zones, arriving home late last night. My body thinks it's 2:00 in the morning yesterday, or perhaps tomorrow -- I was calling the time zone confusion "yestermorrow" on the trip -- and I'm a wee bit messed up. So instead of some big post about astronomy or Doctor Who or the latest attack on reality, here is a funny picture of a mail slot/intercom (I think) I saw in a narrow alleyway (as they all are) in Venice.

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I think it's a robot saying, "Meh." If you know what it actually is, please leave a comment. I'll be sleeping until the day before yesterday.

[UPDATE: In the comments, people are asking about the odd lighting in the picture. I did not use a flash (which would have made the shadows distinct and sharp). The alley I was in - as are all of the Venetian alleys - is tall and narrow, with limited sunlight coming from above. We were not near a canal at the time. I can't remember the precise conditions, but I suspect quite a bit of the light was coming from the alleyway surface itself, which is why it looks lit from below. In a sense, it is!]


Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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