I thought I was almost the only sports fan in the lab, but it turns out I just needed to wait for the right sport. We have lots of people from outside the U.S.-- I haven't counted but I think American-borns might be the minority-- and everyone's going crazy for the World Cup, all rooting for different countries. Folks are streaming the games live on their laptops and hooking them up to the break room's projector so all can enjoy. And out on the street I see the Gadsen flag cropping up everywhere; I thought Obama might be inspiring an outburst of anti-statist sentiment until I realized it's a symbol for U.S. soccer.
The international character of our lab reminds me of when I first started working here, six years ago. I owned a bunch of posters from the time of World War II, and when I saw the drab basement rooms I'd be working in, I decided to bring one of them in to hang over my desk. My big framed B-17 Flying Fortress seemed suitable. And then I took a look around and realized that:
The guy at the desk next to mine was German,
The other girl in our room was Italian,
And the guy training me was Japanese.
The three Axis powers! It seemed tactless to display a poster of the plane that bombed the heck out of their countries, so I bought some nice irises instead.