The Einstein float


This photo of a Rose Parade float from the 1930s celebrating Albert Einstein in flowers, trumpeting his “achievement” with blooms and angelic little girls, hangs in a hallway of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Old Pasadena. The physicist at the time was a frequent visitor to Caltech before he was snatched away by the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, which offered him a tad more money. But no floral tributes, I’d wager.

Can you imagine a Richard Feynman, or Murray Gell-Mann, or David Baltimore, float today?

Big scary laser


This apparently half-joking warning sign is up on the window of a lab at the Oak Crest Institute of Science on Foothill Boulevard in East Pasadena, where President Marc Baum gave me a tour this week. I’ll write about in my Friday — perhaps my Sunday — column, considering how much great hands-on, high-level work the institute provides for PCC science students.

The Volvo in the trees


After we pulled the branches back from its tailgate, this was how our station wagon looked Thursday morning after the winds knocked several huge oak tree branches down on it it. Later, after hundreds of pounds of good firewood was removed from the front, the report is that there are only superficial scratches on what could have been a total. Miracle car.