Kyoto Prize gala honors astrophysicist Michel Mayor for discovery of the first extrasolar planet

Michel-Mayor-kyoto-prize-gala-extrasolar-planetThe 2015 Kyoto Prize in basic sciences went to Michel Mayor, a Swiss astrophysicist credited with the first discovery of an extrasolar planet, 51 Pegasi b. I had the chance to talk with Dr. Mayor about his work at the Kyoto Prize gala held at UC San Diego in April 2016. One of the hardest tasks that I perform while talking to and interviewing scientists is parsing accents, which are often complex linguistic mixtures that result from globalized collaborations.

Dr. Mayor’s accent is very thick Swiss-French, and for a few minutes I was utterly baffled by his discussion of the “hockey” planet until he said “hadius”. Then I realized that he meant “radius”. This led me to realize that he was describing 51 Pegasi b as a “rocky” planet. Lucky for me, Dr. Adam Burgasser, an astrophysicist credited with discovering a class of stars called “T Dwarfs” was able to explain the discovery process in his easy-to-understand Buffalo, NY, accent. I made the mental corrections to Dr. Mayor’s comments before I embarrassed any of us.

Poke goes East

pokefestival2013Fresh, raw ‘ahi tossed with sesame oil, toasted macadamia nuts, chili pepper and green onion—a pretty typical ingredient list for poke. But the inspiration—and the winning ingredient—was a simple squeeze of lime. The acid made the flavors of the dish really pop, earning chef James Harris from Orange County the top award at last year’s I Love Poke festival in San Diego. The festival returns this year to a sell out crowd savoring only sustainably-harvested fish….more in Hana Hou!