We made it to La Thuile yesterday, after a uneventful drive in the morning. La Thuile is a nice mountain village close to the border between Italy and France, just below the Piccolo San Bernardo pass, at 5000 feet above sea level.
The hotel is a big one, at walking distance from the ski slopes. We got a spacious double-double room, and spent the afternoon exploring the facilities - swimming pool, gym, sauna, turkish bath, and the like. I especially appreciate a turkish bath after a swim, and am planning to have one each evening during my stay here. Mariarosa seems
more attracted by the gym, and Filippo is a happy fish in the large pool. As for Ilaria, she's enthusiastic about everything.
Now I am writing from the conference room. No wireless here unfortunately, so I will have to post it later. The morning session is about Heavy Flavor Physics and has just started, with Ursula (session chair this morning!) introducing T. Tran Vahn, the organizer of Moriond QCD, who gave a short welcoming speech.
Three talks into the meeting Monica D'Onofrio, a colleague from CDF, described the analysis on which her Ph.D. thesis will be based. She is getting lots of questions from the audience, and her answers are detailed and precise. I cannot help smiling, since I had breakfast with her this morning and she was really nervous, pretending she was scared by the possibility of getting tough questions...
We had figured out some strategies: one way out of a nasty question is to say "This is a very interesting question, which needs a thorough answer; let's discuss it over lunch". Of course, that entails having lunch somewhere else.
Or, one could point to a random person in the audience, inviting him or her to answer the question after claiming he/she is more qualified to answer it. That typically works, since nobody wants to deny being qualified...
Finally, one could say "Great question, the next please"... None of that was needed by Monica.