Some people go to graduate school to work towards a degree in something useful, but sometimes I think astrophysicists go to graduate school to procrastinate growing up.  After all, how could anything be more exciting than contemplating the nursery of supermassive black holes?  Perhaps the one drawback is that they are not cuddly, and I guess they could also be a little easier to see (although then my research would be useless, so I take that back).  But graduate students do not live off of optimism alone, or free food, so we must occasionally cook.  Or if you are me, you must cook a lot.  If I had to name my favorite 5 things in the world (other than people or places… notice that rarely in astronomy would anything fit in this category) they would have to be:

  1. Tomatoes.  Scratch that, GREAT tomatoes.  It is never too early to become crotchety about something.
  2. Berries, all shapes and sizes.  I dare you to find a (edible) berry I dislike.
  3. Bread with holes.  The more holes the better, and if my sandwich filling falls out it gets extra points.
  4. Chocolate cake, mousse, ganache, pie, sauce, pudding, glaze, cookies, peanut butter cups, and beer (in order of decreasing awesomeness).
  5. Tomato plants.  Perhaps happily situated within reaching distance of a basil plant so that they may be munched on together while weeding.  Is it too much to ask for a mozzarella plant?


When Peter isn’t baking bread, he’s saving endangered pottos in the central African rainforest.  His previous adventure involved sailing the Drake passage and excavating the remains of the Norte Chico civilization (and no, it’s nothing like what Indiana Jones would have you believe, he keeps reminding me).  He is also the uncredited inventor of numerous web technologies, and his lifetime goal is the rediscovery of all the works lost in the burning of the great library of Alexandria.  His immediate goal, however, is the realization of the quantum computer.  Peter’s 5 most favorite things in the whole wide world (other than people or places) would have to be:

  1. Bread.  Most kinds are good; he used to dislike cheese bread, but is now confused as to how that was ever a possibility.
  2. Chocolate cake.  Especially if it contains Guinness.
  3. Potatoes.  He has yet to find a method of potato preparation that is unsatisfactory.
  4. Meat.  Meeeeeeeeaat.
  5. Pottos.