Yes there is a new installment in my Separated at Birth series. You know you want to look. Go.
Plucked this from the Interweb:
The caption was, “If he’s going to be sitting there anyway…”
I am ensconced in the Watcave, packing my shit. Yes I am vacating my condo and renting it out while I’m away during my sabbatical. Good times.
I had settled in to watch the the MMA main event: Tit Ortiz vs Chuck Liddell 3. My (illegal) live stream conked out just before the main event started. And I’m happy. I don’t need to see a dude my age knocked the frack out in the first round.
One good thing came out of it, though. Tito walked out to Limp Bizkit. And that, kids, is how you know these are old men fighting.
Cleaning out my shit, I found this old output ticket from the old automated fortune teller by the pier in San Francisco. It hurts my heart a bit to throw it out. But we must fight the urge to become hoarders!
This Week I Learned….
(1) That the Hopf Fibration is “the most important object in the world“, according to polymath Eric Weinstein. Now, Weinstein is ten orders of magnitude smarter than me. So if he says it, I am inclined to believe it. But I won’t lie to you: I have only a vague inkling of what the frack it is.
(2) That you can download an app called CREDO, that allows your phone to contribute to one of the greatest scientific endeavours in history: the search for dark matter.
(3) While warming myself in the Jewish Community Centre, I saw this photo:
What is it, you ask? It’s in a museum in Vienna, and belonged to people murdered in the Holocaust. No one knows its meaning or significance. If you have any ideas about its origin, use, or symbolism, you are to email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @Holcaust_Ed using the hashtag #untoldstories.
(4) That you can also download fantastic FREE software from NASA that renders the location and characteristics of all the exo-planets thus far discovered. It’s called Eyes on Exoplanets!
I learned about #3 after attending a lecture at the University of Toronto about exoplanets:
At the same event, this guy was putting up his hand to ask a question…. before the speaker had even been introduced:
Is it wrong of me to post that photo without the peoples’ consent? Well, it’s legal. If you’re in a public place, you have no photographic rights to privacy. But is it wrong? Absolutely it’s wrong and I’m a horrible horrible person for having done it.
I Hate Toronto
I love Toronto. I hate Toronto. I love Toronto. I hate it again.
I grew up in Toronto. I know it down to its granularity. I am filled with joy when I arrive there. I feel safe in ever crack of the place, at any time of the day.
BUT…. in recent years, the rudeness of the place has become too much to bear.
On the subway yesterday, I stood in a moderately crowded car filled with mostly young people slumped in their seats. A very very pregnant woman walked in, grabbed the pole, and looked about woefully.
What happened next was very interesting. Several young people deliberately avoided her gaze. These were mostly young women, mind you. One middle aged woman extended her already gruesome stretch onto the adjacent empty seat.
After about six minutes of this, one young man (let’s call him Gilgamesh) looked up and saw the pregnant woman and immediately offered his seat, which she took. The person who was next to him (let’s call him Fuckface) watched all of this quizzically.
A few stops later, the pregnant woman exited. Gilgamesh, who was standing above her, saw his chance to reclaim his seat. But Fuckface saw his chance to claim the now vacant seat, sliding over, leaving very little space for our hero Gilgamesh to occupy. Gil instead continued to stand, eventually departing some stops later.
I was disgusted by such a raw, unapologetic display of selfishness and bad manners.
A few stops later, a dude got on, sneezed into his palm, then used the same palm to grasp the pole.
Oh, but that’s not the end. Later in the day, I was in the rush hour crowd heading back East at the end of the work day. But the train was halted because some dumb-ass teenage girls were shouting at each other, and one of them pressed the emergency strip just to express her anger. Several hundred people were thus forced to exit the train, and we we are delayed by at least 30 minutes. (I eventually left and walked home.)
Maybe it’s not a Toronto thing. Maybe it’s an overall Western society thing. We old folks will tell you: common daily decency seems to be on the decline.
Or maybe I’m deluded. Early dementia, you know.
Overly Complicated Breakfasts
And we’re off…
Have I Shown You This Before?
On sabbatical, I do everything remotely. This past week I had 4 teleconferences and participated in 2 thesis defences via videoconference. Here is one of them:
Congrats to my student Ashley for having successfully defended her thesis!
I also took part in a high level grant review panel via teleconference. But I was little surprised when reviewers questioned the seniority and world standing of an applicant who is…. ahem.. a NOBEL LAUREATE.
Where Are Dog and Blonde Girl???
Blonde Girl’s mother texted me this photo. The caption is hers:
On that note…. ta ta.