Friday, October 12, 2007

Now I REALLY Want to Kiss the Top of His Head!

I was delighted this morning to learn that the target of my beaming maternal pride, Al Gore, has won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize! I had to wipe the tears from my eyes because of all the joy I felt about this great honor being bestowed upon him.

I feel a certain kinship with Al Gore. I tend to think that if I were a politician, I would be something like him, and that if he were a scientist, he'd be something like me. He is a very smart man -- a bit of a nerd, really -- and thanks to his foresight in introducing the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991, I have an interesting job in a very vibrant and growing industry!

In addition to securing the funding for the NCSA and development of Mosaic (the first graphical browser), the technology coming out of this act indirectly boosted our knowledge of the science behind his current passion, climate change. High-performance computers allow scientists to make better climate models and gain a better understanding of the forces that impact the climate.

We have a machine in our computer room that was signed by several dignitaries, including Al Gore. I walk past it every day. That's probably the closest I'll ever get to Al Gore, but that's just as well -- I wouldn't want the Secret Service to tackle me when I try to give that man a hug!

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