8 June 2009

We have moved. [Filed under: Uncategorized]

Our worldly possessions have been packed and are shipping out to Denver, and we are no longer residents of Massachusetts. From now on, we reside at:

2449 Uinta St.
Denver, CO 80238

We are traveling out of the country until June 27, but after that date, we will both have new mobile phone numbers:

Michael’s mobile: (303) 242-1086
Emmy’s mobile: (303) 550-5669

17 April 2008

Math Vids [Filed under: Mathematics.Video]

Nothing says “fun and exciting” to me quite like videos about math and mathematicians. And lately, I’ve been experiencing a lot of fun and excitement watching the two videos linked below. Both are chopped into several pieces, all of which are linked below. The first is a fantastic lecture on “The Importance of Mathematics” by Timothy Gowers, a professor of mathematics at Cambridge University. In this lecture, he gives some surprisingly simple but elegant illustrations for non-mathematicians of the beauty and aesthetic charm of some good mathematics. It is a rather rewarding lecture, and is currently available on YouTube in eight (8) parts:

  1. Timothy Gowers, “The Importance of Mathematics”, Part 1
  2. Timothy Gowers, “The Importance of Mathematics”, Part 2
  3. Timothy Gowers, “The Importance of Mathematics”, Part 3
  4. Timothy Gowers, “The Importance of Mathematics”, Part 4
  5. Timothy Gowers, “The Importance of Mathematics”, Part 5
  6. Timothy Gowers, “The Importance of Mathematics”, Part 6
  7. Timothy Gowers, “The Importance of Mathematics”, Part 7
  8. Timothy Gowers, “The Importance of Mathematics”, Part 8

The second video I recently watched and enjoyed is a short documentary about Andrew Wiles’ proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem. Watch the introduction, see Professor Wiles almost break down in describing his discovery, and be hooked. This video is also available on YouTube in five parts:

  1. UKTV Documentary, “Fermat’s Last Theorem”, Part 1
  2. UKTV Documentary, “Fermat’s Last Theorem”, Part 2
  3. UKTV Documentary, “Fermat’s Last Theorem”, Part 3
  4. UKTV Documentary, “Fermat’s Last Theorem”, Part 4
  5. UKTV Documentary, “Fermat’s Last Theorem”, Part 5

NP: Modest Mouse, Neverending Math Equations

3 July 2007

SHE SAID YES! [Filed under: Uncategorized]

I asked, and she assented. What a beautiful, beautiful world.


6 December 2006

Lemony Goodness [Filed under: Uncategorized]

I’m not going to lie. I read children’s books. I enjoy reading children’s books. And I am not ashamed. I am so not ashamed that I made myself a shirt:

The line is the motto of a secret organization of noble volunteers in the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. It is also, incidentally, eerily reminiscent of the first line of a poem by Swinburne that Snicket quoted in the tenth book.

It seems that my girlfriend Emmy is also not (entirely) ashamed of my reading habits. About two weeks ago, we went to paint pottery at a place here in Cambridge. I painted a thoroughly unartistic and unimpressive teacup, but Emmy made me the loveliest mug I’ve ever seen:

Doesn’t she rock?

NP: The Gothic Archies, Smile! No One Cares How You Feel

22 September 2006

The Trial of Socrates [Filed under: Uncategorized]

What leads a convalescent city, in need of heroes and role models, to execute its wisest and most famous citizen? And why would that citizen participate willingly and hasten his own demise?

Athens was a city in decline. Its hegemony had been eclipsed by that of Sparta, and its spirit was flagging. It had suffered a terrible defeat at Aegospotami by the Lacedaemonians, and its democratic ideals had been severely circumscribed by thirty tyrants who controlled the city for almost a year. Many of Athens’ heroes had been disgraced, perhaps most notably Alcibiades.1 Athenian supremacy was no longer certain, and the traditional ideals were everywhere being challenged. Sacrifices were necessary to regain the graces of the gods.

(Read more…)

11 May 2006

She gave me flowers [Filed under: Uncategorized]

Lovely Flowers [42K]

Emmy gave me tulips Tuesday because… well, because she’s wonderful like that.

NP: Colin Hay, Beautiful World

8 January 2006

Truth, Correspondence Theory of [Filed under: Uncategorized]

About a week ago, during my Evidence class, my professor (who tells us the best way to study for our final is “studying and discussing with your fellow students whatever you find genuinely interesting in the course”, so far a refreshingly diminutive set of materials) off-handedly mentioned the “Correspondence Theory of Truth” a couple of times. I must admit that I was unable to follow much of the discussion, or to make much sense of it, but I was inspired to recall my undergraduate course in Epistemology, and to reconsider the Correspondence “Theory” through the foggy lens of my more mature current state of thinking. I have since considered it at very great length, studying both its most vociferous supporters and its most ardent critics. I have traversed the depths of scholarship on the subject, and am prepared to say, without hesitation, that the Correspondence Theory of Truth is, in a word, total buncombe.

(Read more…)

4 January 2006

Phoenix Rising [Filed under: Uncategorized]

So, I am placing my (not-so) temporary moratorium on posting under a temporary moratorium. I have been encouraged by my Evidence Professor to begin blogging again, so from time to time for at least the next three weeks (until the class ends), I will try to post a few thoughts, most likely tangentially related to class discussions. Then I’ll probably stop again, because being lazy is fun.

NP: Röyksopp, What Else Is There?

12 March 2005

Weblog Temporarily Disabled [Filed under: Uncategorized]

Actually, it seems not to be temporary. I moved to Boston months ago, and haven’t written anything since, so signs are bad. If you need to get a hold of me, please see the contact page. I don’t always respond quickly, but I do try to respond.

Update [9/6/2005]: I just switched servers, and I’m redoing all my photos, so many of the links here are broken. They will be for awhile. Apologies to anyone who clicks and gets the 404, but I figure you’re a pretty small audience, and school’s starting up, so I’m a bit busy now.

NP: The Alkaline Trio, Stupid Kid

1 May 2004

Fun in the Sun [Filed under: Uncategorized]

Last week I attended the 22nd annual croquet match between St. John’s College and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Several of my co-workers attended St. John’s, and the event is for them a sort of homecoming. Hundreds, if not thousands, of alumni were on campus not so much to watch the match as to dress in funny clothes and reconnect with classmates. The amount of alcohol consumed in the sun was absolutely astounding. The “athletes” from St. John’s imbibed as much as anyone, and frequently could be seen with two drinks in hand—while playing. Nevertheless (or perhaps as a result), the Johnnies took the tournament handily, winning four of the five matches played. That night, we also attended a cotillion in the St. John’s dining hall, complete with swing band, champagne, and strawberries and cream at midnight. It was quite a way to spend a day.

NP: Palace, New Partner