Ben Oostdam story #14

GRAVITAS

Ron and I decided to visit the Geophysics department of Kyoto University, where we were generously received by their Gravity Expert. Although he asserted to know or know about Scripp's Victor Vacquier and my WHOI-friend Richard Field, he waxed most excited about my fellow Dutchman, the giant Vening Meinesz!
An embarrassing situation evolved when he enthusiastically talked about the new platform on their vehicle, which could be raised for the purpose of better measurements of gravity. He decided to show the vehicle to us and called on the phone to the driver to meet us with the vehicle at the garage. When we got close to the garage, we heard a nasty crushing sound and a few seconds later we saw the mortified driver watching the damage to the platform when he had taken it out of the garage for the first time since the platform had been installed in situ .
I think it was Ron's presence of mind which saved the embarrassed driver from the harakiri he undoubtedly considered at first: Ron insisted to have his picture taken next to the driver. We profoundly apologized to the Professor and he to us, and the upshot was that we were driven around in the vehicle to visit such various sights as the Rockgarden, the Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple and Kyoto Imperial Palace.

searching +gravity, +Kyoto on Google on Sep 29, 2002, I was astonished to find about 15,900 results! Of course, some related to the "gravity" of the Greenhouse gases problem...
clickable map of Japan
BLO fecit 20020929 - corr.20060605 - stories

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