Hearty laughs at the CMS meeting January 18, 2007Posted by dorigo in humor, news, personal, physics, politics, science.
Well into the second afternoon of an otherwise boring series of meetings, dubbed “Physics Days”, I had a moment of real hilarity during Patrick Janot’s talk on software validation activities in CMS.
Patrick had just started his talk, and he had slide three on the wide screen in room 40-S2-A01, one of the meeting rooms in the basement of the building hosting the CMS and Atlas offices. No less than eighty collaborators were sitting in front of him, plus maybe thirty more connected via VRVS.
As he discussed the slide, which started to list the several activities completed in 2006, he made the point that he had not included in the slides any of the names of people involved in the huge effort of software porting and validation which had taken place, “because the slides would have doubled in size otherwise”.
I was sitting in the front row, and Patrick was at reach of my voice. Since he was looking in my direction as he was making the remark – which had the clear intent of making it clear how many had helped with the effort he was presenting, and how grateful he was to them – I intercepted him by remarking aloud “Your name is there, though!”, pointing at the bottom of the slide being projected, which indeed had a not-so-small footer with his name, the name of the talk, the name of the meeting, and the date: each slide in his talk had indeed the same information.
There followed bursts of laughter in the room, and I got some embarassed mutterings from Patrick in return, plus a frowning look by Paris Sphicas (the organizer of the meeting), who did not know whether to look reproaching or amused.
What was at work was a quality I possess and I highly admire of myself, that of bringing myself to speaking up that the king is naked, when the case arises. Tradition has it that people from Venice are quick-mouthed and won’t be silenced easily…
Of course this gift (which brings me sound laughters and offers good humor to my company at times) does not come for free: it is just as much a defect as a quality, because I sometimes end up being or looking cocky, arrogant, abusive. Oh well. I yam what I yam.