Every year, the JILA community celebrates the passions and interests of its individuals through the JILA-X talks, a series of three-minute talks given by ten individuals of JILA. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the talks were hosted virtually in 2021 and postponed until 2023 since then. This year, reprising this tradition, the JILA-X speakers faced a full auditorium as staff, Fellows, postdocs, and graduate students shared their interests, ranging from bat ecology to Oreo cookies to pottery making.
With a strict three-minute cut-off, speakers fought hard to share everything before time ran out, often speaking over the “Ride of the Valkyries” soundtrack, signaling time was up. JILA Staff member J.R. Raith timed each talk and awarded COO Beth Kroger with a special JILA mug for having the talk closest to the 3-minute mark. JILA and NIST Fellow Eric Cornell gave the longest JILA-X talk, speaking on how to manipulate the card game bridge. The audience also learned how to perform ballet from graduate student Lane Terry and the art of aerial dance presented by staff member Christine Jackson. After the event, many audience members voiced their desire to speak at next year’s talks, which will undoubtedly offer a rich and diverse lineup of topics.