Andrew Kavanagh’s on my Facebook!

Doctor Kav on my Facebook

Hey all you “cool” kids from my high school, remember this?

Ryan: Hey guys! Can I ride to school with you?

Cool Kids: Okay Ryan, but we can’t be seen with you, so you’ll have to ride in the trunk.

Ryan: Sweet! Now I won’t be like all those losers who ride the bus to school! Hey! You guys wanna come over to my house later and play with my transformers collection?

Cool Kids: Into the trunk Ryan.

Well, you know what? BITE ME LOSERS! Because Andrew Kavanagh’s on my Facebook! Thpppt! on you! Thpppt! I say!

That’s right, THE Andrew Kavanagh (aka. “Kav”), is on MY facebook friends list. Author of the Living in the Real World blog, 11 refereed articles, three conference proceeding papers, 23 conference presentations, and, most importantly, an occassional commenter on this blog.
Herr Docktor Kavanagh is a Research Associate in the
Department of Communications Systems at Lancaster University, specifically at the
Infolab21, whose website describes its function as:

Lancaster University’s world-class research, development and business centre in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). It is a well equipped, high-tech environment shared by academic research staff, research students and businesses.

Obviously this is a ruse to throw people off the top-secret facility’s nefarious plot for world domination, but I’ll speak no more of this, lest Dr. Kav decide I know too much and makes me disappear.

Super-Dooper impressive is Dr. Kav’s thesis, Energy deposition in the lower auroral ionosphere through energetic particle precipitation (PDF). Doesn’t that just sound cool? I would love to drop that bomb on a boring conversation:

Average Person: …and the Bahamas were just grrrrrand, we just lay on the beach all day soaking up sun!

Dr. Kav: Sun, huh? You know I wrote my thesis on Energy deposition in the lower auroral ionosphere through energetic particle precipitation (PDF). Did you know that solar radiation follows an average eleven-year periodicy that produces–?

Average Person: My goodness! Is that spinach dip over there? Please excuse me.

This thesis truly deserves the word epic. Dr. Kav draws data from RIOMETER (Relative Ionospheric Opacity Meter using Extra Terrestrial Electromagnetic Radiation), SAMPEX (Solar, Anomalous, Magnetospheric Particle Explorer), GEOTAIL satellite, CUTLASS radars, DMSP satelites, EISCAT, CANOPUS, IRIS (Imaging Riometer for Ionospheric Studies), and many other observation points on Earth and in space. What an incredible cooperative effort, requiring 28 phreaking pages of references to cover (Go cry emo-boy Michael Crichton!).

A model of a solar flare showing possible sources for different radiation types
A model of a solar flare
showing possible sources for
different radiation types

It was also pretty dang-gone educational for lay-people like myself. The first chapter and section introductions explained concepts like solar wind, the Earth’s Magnetosphere, and the Interplanetary Magnet Field. I didn’t realize that solar wind was actual plasma flowing from the sun, or that there even was an Interplanetary Magnet Field. I was only aware of the Earth’s.

Although most of the text was lost on me, I was genuinely impressed by all the research, which revealed to me a whole nother realm of inquiry into our shared reality. It’s incredible how many experts it takes to figure out this thing, and Dr. Kav is one of those important experts, and the “cool kids” should take a moment out of their mundane lives to envy him.

They should also give me back my lunch money… with Interest! (Two Dollars a day for gas money my ass.)





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