I hadn’t mentioned it to many people, but I had a paper accepted to a conference in Iran over the summer and was supposed to travel there next week (I even got my university to pay for most of the trip).  I was very excited and was going to come back with thousands of pictures and, undoubtedly, lots of fun stories to tell.  I found out Sunday that the conference has been postponed because they have not been able to get visas for the American conference participants (among them, all the keynote speakers).  I’m very disappointed.  I already had my plane ticket as well (though I got insurance so I can get most of my money back).

Since I won’t be posting any cool pictures of Iran, I thought it might be fun to play a little game on the blog to keep people entertained.  I found some nifty software that allows you to take a picture and turn it into a puzzle.  So, I took a picture of an item in our house and turned it into a 35-piece puzzle.  I’ll post a piece a day until it’s complete, then I’ll post the completed picture.  I figure the first person to guess what it is will win a prize: a $25 gift card to Borders (courtesy of our Discover Cash Back Bonus).  Here’s the first puzzle piece:

I won’t confirm whether you got it right or wrong until the complete picture is posted and everyone can see the right answer.  I’ll just check the comments and whoever gets it right first (based on the date-stamp of your comment) wins.  Let the guessing begin…

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7 Replies to “no trip to Iran, a puzzle game instead”

  1. I think that it is a picture of you in a mirror!!!
    Soooo sorry that you can’t go to Iran (however, I was a bit worried about it– sounded a little dangerous to me), but I am sorry that you are disappointed- would have been a great trip– love the puzzle idea– have fun with it. love you

  2. Oh, bummer! I hope it works out for you. Did I ever tell you about my almost trip to a conference in Iran? Everything was all set, but the conference date was set for a few weeks after my mother died. I was discombobulated, and it caught up with me. While I am standing at the copy machine, making copies of documents (itinerary, copy of ticket, etc) for my wife to have just in case something goes wrong, I realize that at that very moment I was supposed to be on the plane. Ugh! Because it was such a long flight, I was off-track by one day, and missing my flight. I didn’t have insurance for the trip, but my travel agent was able to get about 2/3rds of the air fare back from the airline after hearing my story. Because it was a holiday weekend, there were no seats on the next day’s flight, so I decided to stay home and try to piece things back together.

    Gee, that was more depressing than I meant it to be!

    I hope that the conference gets rescheduled for you. I talked with two people from the US who did go to the conference, and they loved it. Absolutely loved it.

  3. OK then, my first guess is a blender then! And I’m so sorry about your trip to Iran! I’m sure that would’ve been such an amazing trip, on many levels. From pictures that I’ve seen the country has some beautiful scenery too! When I lived in Germany (9 years ago) I knew a very kind Iranian family who was temporarily living in Germany. The father was actually the personal translator for the President of Iran at the time. They showed me a lot of pictures & books of Iran & I was stunned (both at the beauty & by how ignorant I was to it). Anyhow, I hope that the conference gets re-scheduled and that you have an amazing (and, let’s be honest, safe) experience!

  4. Hi Mike… Wow, that is a tough story. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to have your mother pass, be preoccupied with everything that entails, and then realize you’ve missed a major international flight. That could not have been a good time.

    I don’t know if you can look back on missing your flight now and find some humor in that situation (combined with your mother’s death, I’m sure that’s difficult), but it does seem like the perfect illustration of the “absent-minded professor.” I find myself forgetting stuff all the time – important stuff, too. My excuse: I was thinking about my research! I don’t know if you’ve seen the new TV show Fringe, but they have the ultimate absent-minded professor on there – absolute genius but can’t really function in everyday life without help. I’m wondering how long until that is me… 🙁

    Hi Holly… I hope the conference is rescheduled as well. I’m going to be very wary this time around when it comes to booking my plane ticket… arghh!

  5. Looking back now, I see it as my reluctant admission that I was in no shape to travel to a far-away land. My unconscious speaking to me, or something along those lines. And even now, despite the bad rap Iran gets these days, I’d love to go and visit. I do hope it works out for you to travel there 🙂

    And I am very stumped about the photo. Awaiting piece #3, just in case it is more helpful than #1 or 2….

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