Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New Orleans and AGU (cont.)

The morning block of talks I attended was the use of drones to study natural events such as volcanos, floods, and avalanches. What is notable is how much cheaper and how much more capable modern drones are. The DJI Phantom 4 has been modded to carry a lot of instrumentation with ranges of over 10km from the control point. The availability of cheap pieces and parts enable the price to drop by another order of magnitude. I.e. using parts from Amazon and 3D printers, they are building drones equivalent to the Phantom 4 for $140 versus $1500 for the commercial solution. The send block of talks were within the Cryosphere section so mostly ice and snow.

During the lunch break, I ventured outside of the convention center and headed towards the water. The last time I was here, the huge Hilton and attached shopping mall either weren't there or not as close to the water and you could just walk along the retaining wall. Not anymore. It was a pleasant 60°F but many people were wearing winter coats, hats, and scarfs. It was 40°F this morning when I headed towards the convention center so it had warmed up considerably.

I ended up walking towards Bourbon Street before I found what I was looking for. Regional cuisine. Since I couldn't decide what to get, here is the southern sampler. Starting at the 9 o'clock position going clockwise we have shrimp & chicken gumbo, red beans & rice with alligator sausage, crawfish etouffee, and fried green tomatoes with remoulade sauce. I was thrilled that my versions tasted similar though these were definitely tastier. Though I've never tried to make fried green tomatoes. They were basically flavorless though the remoulade sauce was pretty spicy.

Since my room was still being cleaned when I returned to the hotel, I headed up to the 18th floor to sit by the pool to start this post. I was somewhat surprised that I still couldn't see the river from this vantage point. The convention center is to the right of the Hilton and behind the Harrah's casino. This is kind of an odd hotel. The lobby is on the 11th floor though looking out the window it’s more like the 5th. Oh well, not complaining. 


  1. Drones have made formerly inaccessible areas actually accessible. I can imagine the footage they capture is invaluable.

    Glad you found more good eats. A good idea to get the sampler.

    I find it odd that a hotel lobby is on the 11th floor though, but maybe that is just me.

    1. The presentations highlighted not only inaccessible areas due to terrain but also dangerous tasks such as collecting ash samples in a volcanic plume. Electric motors don’t clog and fail like internal combustion engines. Pretty interesting talks.