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Vera Rubin. Copyright NASA

Vera Rubin

Among all the more famous deaths of 2016, I want to mention Vera Rubin. She was the only person graduating with an Astronomy degree from her class in 1948. She wanted to do her PhD at Princeton, but they didn’t accept women for post grad studies at the time, so she went to Cornell. That’s where she discovered that galaxies didn’t seem to be flying straight out after the Big…

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The nativity scene in Las Nieves church on Christmas Eve with a kitten in place of baby Jesus

An unusual Nativity

Most churches on La Palma have nativity scenes. The custom here is to put baby Jesus in at midnight on Christmas Eve, during midnight mass. (I think this is a general Catholic custom). On Christmas Eve I was guiding an excursion from a cruise ship which included the lovely church at Las Nieves. And there was a kitten keeping the spot warm for Jesus. If I remember rightly, nativity scenes…

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