|Although I have made many visits to Washington, DC over
the past 25 years, I have never taken the time to do a tour of the White
House - being put off by the long lines of tourists. We drove from
Columbus to Dayton during a blizzard, taking a US Airways flight to
Washington. Having arrived in DC mid-day on Tuesday for some
business at Walter Reed, but concluding our meeting on Tuesday evening,
we found we had time on our hands on this Wednesday to take in a few
As it turned out, it was a most beautiful and spring like day, unlike
the weather when we set out for Dayton on Tuesday morning. In
Washington, there were few tourists around, so we were able to walk into
the White House without any queuing. Similarly, later on we
visited the Holocaust Museum, also without any queuing.
In the evening, before leaving Washington, I visited with Congressman
Lamar Smith (number 2 on the House Science Committee) in his office located in the
Rayburn Building, across the
road from the Capitol. Also at the meeting was Dr. Paul Shuch of
the SETI League. We spent about 30 minutes with the Congressman
discussing microwave and optical SETI. We look forward to the day
when NSF and NASA can fund SETI programs. This meeting came as a
result of the CNN.com item which was in
response to the Planetary Society's OSETI III press release.
Our return flight left DC
for Dayton at 8:50 pm, and I arrived home in Columbus at the stroke of
midnight. It was quite a long day. I hope my next visit to
the White House will be less eventful!
The time stamps on these pictures are taken from the pictures files produced by my
digital Sony Mavica camera. All these pictures are the copyright
of The Columbus Optical SETI Observatory.
Dr. Stuart A. Kingsley
Director, The Columbus Optical SETI Observatory