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I end up traveling for work quite a bit (on the weekdays, guys, don’t worry!) and often find myself with big chunks of time to explore my surrounds.  Orlando was no exception and this time I had a car!  So I headed out, at the suggestion of my lovely aunt and uncle, to the place they call Gatorland.

alligators in black and white

I was going to put interesting facts about alligators in this spot, but I’ve just realized that I learned absolutely nothing at Gatorland.  Not sure if that is entirely my fault, but it is what it is.  More pictures, then!

alligators in detail

This is a gator feeding area!

alligator in black and white

There really were just tons and tons of gators all over the place – really close, too – but they had some other animals you could scope out.  The birds were remarkably plentiful.

bird with eggs in a nest and python

giant tortoise at gatorland

hot dogs in a cup

Three images from Orlando

A series of unfortunate events, on top of the cold weather we always have this time of year, has prevented me from getting out and taking pictures.  I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately and I asked my husband what he thought might be the problem.  “Well, you haven’t photographed anything in a while,” he said.  But that can’t possibly be the issue, could it?

In any case, I’m writing this from the Orlando airport en route to birthday celebrations in even-colder Chicago.  But David always drags me around to see fun things so I’m hoping to get plenty of shutter clicks in there, too.  Meanwhile, here are three random images from my travels.  First up – shuttle launch.  The planets (har, get it?) kind of aligned for me to go see Discovery’s last launch.  We drove for what seemed forever and got about 5 miles away.  It was pretty seriously neat watching something launch that was headed for space.  I didn’t photograph the liftoff but wish I had now.  Lesson learned: just take the damn picture.

5/12 Books: Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

Surely youSome books are brilliant in their own merit – funny, thoughtful, fascinating.  Other books are very difficult to judge objectively because they are so important to you or someone you love.  I fear I may be falling into the latter category here with Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!, the first in a series of short, playful autobiographies by the Nobel-prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman.  Then again, it’s exactly the kind of book that pushes my buttons and gives me that insatiable itch for adventure.  I must, in the end, enthusiastically endorse this book.

The autobiography is laid out in a very engaging way – short chapters that cover one specific interesting anecdote, story, or period in his life.  The man had a lot of fantastic adventures in his time.  The book is indeed funny, thoughtful and fascinating!  It’s also an interesting look into the past.  Feynman worked on the bomb at Los Alamos and on a host of other important physics problems.  He can be a pompous ass about recounting his role in these things and his “humility” isn’t believable for a second, but you almost don’t care because you’re wrapped up in his story.