I had a great trip to Columbia yesterday. I spent most of the time up there discussing halo substructure with Eric Bell (MPIA), Kathryn Johnston, Sanjib Sharma, and James Bullock (UCI; by phone). Bell has a nice paper with a variance (power spectrum) analysis of substructure in the Milky Way halo, finding that there is a lot of variation around any smooth fit. Johnston and Bullock find the same in simulations. Before and after this I discussed with Zolotov our project to look at substructure in the velocity distribution. Today, Willman (now CfA) suggested we check out the super-awesome RAVE public samples, which contain 105 stars with well-measured radial velocities.
While I was up there, Schiminovich got me fantasizing again about a huge sample of normal galaxies with Spitzer spectra. The Spitzer deadline is in just a few days. But the point would be to make up the difference between all the specialized samples out there (star-forming galaxies, Seyferts, quasars, dwarf galaxies, etc.) and a complete, flux-limited sample.