I've got a bunch of stuff sitting between me and a full fledged update today. I'll try to get back later.
Meanwhile, if you missed it, today is the day of the Venus transit across the face of the Sun. It is a cloudless morning in Giessen (rare in itself) so I went outside with my binoculars and a white sheet of paper and projected the scene onto the paper. It was pretty amazing...especially when one considers that Venus is nearly the same size as Earth...to see what a teeny tiny speck it makes across the face of the Sun is humbling.