The Northeast Kingdom

Well, summer seems to have produced a lull in the ever-exciting soapbox blogging, so I thought I would fill in the gap with a question. Does anyone know why the northeast region in good ol' VT is called the Northeast Kingdom? The barn girls & friends had the opportunity to spend some time on beautiful Lake Willoughby and I couldn't help but ponder over "the kingdom". The only explanation I found was that a beloved VT senator exclaimed that area was so beautiful that it should be called the northeast kingdom. However, I feel like this explanation is a bit sketchy and certainly anticlimactic, so if anyone knows a better story or just wants to make up one, I'd be all ears.

You should all spend time here if you can.
Lake Willoughby: You should all spend time here if you can.
  

Illegal Alien Story

Does anybody in this small Dartmouth blogosphere know who the victim of the Illegal Aliens on top of Kitt Peak story is? I'm dying to hear the Dartmouth side of the story. I just heard the Ohio State side of the story, but apparently the person at the 2.4m was a male grad student from Dartmouth when stuff went down. Does anybody even know what I'm talking about?

  

Voting

So...I voted today for Oklahoma's presidential primary. It was so strange, though, because I was just sitting at my desk in Wilder. It felt so unofficial and unceremonial. I don't know...I guess I'm just one of those people that likes getting the "I voted" sticker and talking to little old ladies that volunteer at the polling place. Maybe I'll feel more official once I have my ballot notarized.

Another thing I thought was weird was that my vote had to be cast in pencil. In light of the past elections and their vote counting problems, I'm not sure that I'm totally comfortable with that. Who says someone couldn't just erase my vote. hmmm...I guess I'll just have to have faith in the good ol' people at the Cleveland County Election Board.

Does anybody else think this is usual for absentee voting? I'm not really that worried, but I just thought it was very strange.

  
  Music : I Lied by Telefon Tel Aviv

Conference parties

Well, as a new soapbox blogger, I thought I would start at the epitome of geekiness: the "underground" conference party.  As a recent attendee of such a glorious event, I would just like to say "wow."  Not only have I never seen such ridiculous dancing, I also haven't ever been in a situation to see so many of my colleagues drunk and hitting on girls half their age.  Generally, it was a very fun time, even if you were just watching the old guys strut their stuff, so to speak.  This was my first time at an event like this and it was definitely an eye-opening event.  Are all conferences like this? I would love to know if physicists get down with their students like the astronomers do.  Also, can we have one of these parties in the department?  That would be very interesting...