Southwestward Ho

For the next two weeks or so (until Oct. 15), I’ll be traipsing through the wilds of California and Guatemala.  First to Los Angeles, where the Otter and I will take off for a camping interlude in one of my favorite places, Death Valley.  Then it’s off to the Atheist Alliance International conference from Oct. 2-4, where I’ll be speaking along with other apostates like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Russell Blackmore, P. Z. Myers, and (this should be interesting) Bill Maher.  I will try to post from the meeting, but you can absolutely count on P.Z. for on-the-spot reporting.

After that, I’m off to Guatemala to give two talks (one on the problem of creationism and the other on the evidence for evolution) at Universidad Francisco Marroquín (UFM), a private university in Guatemala City.  A perk here is that I’ll have an extra ten days to see that wonderful country, which I haven’t visited since 1973.  My goal — beyond interacting with the folks at UFM — is to spot some nice birds (especially the male resplendant quetzal, the world’s most beautiful bird), soak up what culture I can in that short time, and visit some spectacular Mayan ruins like Tikal.

I will try to post sporadically during my absence, but my blogging buddies Greg Mayer and Matthew Cobb have promised to fill in for me until the 15th.

panama-quetzal-2

Fig. 1.   Pharomachrus mocinno, here I come!

8 thoughts on “Southwestward Ho

  1. wow, that bird is amazing looking. It even has a punk haircut.

    We, who are left behind, will be waiting for your posts. Wear a hat to keep things out of your skull.

  2. Good luck with the quetzals. I’ve never seen one myself.

    There’s a pretty good “birds of Panama” field guide by Ridgely and Gwynne I recommend to take with you if you don’t already have a similar guide.

  3. Wow, great trip! Are you on sabbatical?

    When I went to Tikal, a dozen or more years ago, I was lucky enough to find that there are hammocks that you can sleep in on the site itself. That way you can watch the sunset on a ruin and walk back to your bunk. Hope it’s still there.

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