Dinner With Phillip

It’s a rare pleasure when I get to meet Aard’s regulars, strewn as they are across the globe. Nine years ago when I began teaching in Umeå I met Birger Johansson. And tonight I met Phillip Helbig, everyone’s favourite Texas-Deutsche Kosmolog! I was taller than he expected and he was less red-headed and be-spectacled than I expected. We had dinner at a pub on Stockholm’s South Island and found a lot to talk about.

Phillip tip-toed onto the Aard scene eleven years ago with comments about nude saunas, astronomy and Swedish literature, and he has been with us since. We knew already in late 2011 that he is a polyglot Scandy speaker, a theoretical star gazer and and a lover of those wonderful things that are within two arms’ reach. He is also a dad, a former finance IT guy and an active research scientist.

I hope it won’t be nine years before I get to meet another Aard regular!


Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

9 thoughts on “Dinner With Phillip”

  1. If Philip is a cosmologist he will be thrilled by the news that a recent survey of 1570 type 1A supernovae have provided fresh information, such as the Universe is unlikely to end in a ‘Big Rip’ – a very important existential piece of evidence that I expect the media to ignore.
    Here is Dr. Dillon Brout from Harvard explaining how the results constrain the amount of “dark energy” in the Universe.


  2. FYI, the north-south distance from Umeå to Berin is large enough for the stars to be visible at a noticeably different angle.
    -Are there any areas in Germany where light pollution is low enough for more ambitious stargazing on a clear night? Harzgebirge? Schwarzwald?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “he was less red-headed and be-spectacled”

    The former is probably due to both age and chemotherapy changing the colour of my head hair. (It didn’t change the colour of my beard, so in that case it is just age). Amazingly, my near-sightedness has become less pronounced with time, to the point where it has essentially disappeared. I’m almost at the point where I need reading glasses, though, due to old-age far-sightedness. Of course, the two normally don’t compensate each other: the former is due to the eyeball being too long front-to-back, while the latter is due to the lens becoming inflexible. At best, being near-sighted will reduce the impact of old-age far-sightedness, but the latter doesn’t compensate the former. No idea why that happened to me, but I’m happy as I don’t like wearing glasses (nothing to do about vanity, just impractical and I don’t like objects on my body).

    Liked by 2 people

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