Monday, June 24, 2013

Descent from the Alps.....

We are still catching our breath from 10 days in Switzerland and France.  All pleasure this trip: we had a great time visiting family, who showed us their beautiful new neighborhood (i.e., the Alps), taking us hiking and watching BASE jumpers (we post a breathtaking video below from a 2012 National Geographic piece on the sport) and paragliders in the valley of Lautenbrunnen.  We hiked, ate (drank beer and Alsatian wine) and enjoyed great conversation in a fine bed and breakfast by a very small lake in the very small town of Sewen in Alsace, France as well.  No internet service there, we really were on vacation. The other guests spoke Dutch, French (some of them), and German and English (some of them), so it was a rather interesting table.

We want to thank Holly and Dan heartily for filling in here on MT while we were away.  Holly's writing a good little book this summer, as you all know, so we thought she might post once or maybe twice, but yikes, yeoperson's duty!  Fortunately, she says that what she wrote for MT will overlap with the grand little book, so all is good.

And Dan is off soon with his family for 6 months of field work on malarial transmission in Thailand, which means that anything he could write for MT while we were away was indeed a distraction from his final preparations for that.  So we especially appreciate his post on the intensity of the problem of malaria in low-tranmission areas.  We hope he'll be checking in here from time to time with thoughts on what he's finding while he's in the field.

Meanwhile, a few photos from pretty near the top of the world.  When one stands and regards this splendor, it takes one's mind away from the details of genome mapping, association studies, determining disease causation and all that.  It makes one realize the majesty of natural processes, and our rather humble place in all of it.  Now that we're back home, we'll have to make a come-down from the Alps, to lower our attention to those more mundane topics....hopefully a descent, but not from the sublime to the ridiculous...

Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau

Halfway up to Stockhorn

View from Stockhorn

Paths not taken

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