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Postcards from Travel Near and Far by Jia-Rui

94103, San Francisco

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Earth and planetary scientists descend on the Moscone Center

Dear ——–,

Sixteen thousand earth and planetary scientists descended on San Francisco, as they do every December, for the fall conference of the American Geophysical Union. This is one of the few conferences where they serve beer free, every day at 3:30 p.m. I showed up at the Moscone Center on Thursday to talk up the Cassini mission to Saturn and the outer solar system. At least I came armed with an image release about the first flash of sunlight ever seen on another world besides Earth. I expected a lot more reporters, but I think the economic woes befalling newspapers and other media outlets have hit science reporting particularly hard. Maybe it’s a luxury they decide they can’t afford any more. (Health and medicine will probably be fine because those are clear pieces of news you can use. But Saturn might be a harder sell.) I was nervous introducing myself around the press room, but I did my best to highlight what was cool about Saturn’s moons. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some of the reporters will follow up!

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Author: postmarkhere

I'm a journalist based in Los Angeles who has always said that writing postcards for a living would be a dream job. The posts -- short enough to fit on an actual postcard -- chronicle recent travels near and far. I could blab on about being inspired by epistolary novels, the short poems of Emily Dickinson, and the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" pieces, but I'll just say that I'm aiming to give you a sense of flavor of a place without boring you to death. Wish you were here!

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