Monday, July 26, 2004

In No Particular Order

Math research went off track for a while, followed by two days of brilliant progress, followed by all our hunches being wrong. Darn you, contractible lex simplicial complexes! However, we did get remote computer access on a faster machine at the University of Illinois. We're using it to do all the dirty work for us, check the 5-simplices, etc.

The game of "clubs" invented by some of the other REU participants (the "dual game" to hearts) has become pretty competitive in version 4.0. It involves a not-quite-trump suit of clubs, devious scoring, and a deadly jack of clubs. I think I may start it in Chicago next year. I bet Erik and Juan will be beating me at it within a week.

The current ads at the top of the page are for lobster-order companies. Lobsters? Where did I mention lobsters?

Oh, and I think that "social capital" is a meme whose time has come. James originally coined the term in reference to his roommate's loud music, saying that he didn't have the social capital to ask Bobby to turn it down. It seems that this social capital is a person's potential energy within a group, gained by impressing others and telling jokes, and exchanged for making suggestions to the group. This leads to the possibility of a social socialist revolution, or world social2ism...

And the real news today? Alice came to visit this past Friday and left this afternoon. We pretty well exhausted the best parts of downtown SLO, had a picnic, had an unexpectedly bilingual Mass at the mission church, decided Milagros is the town's best Mexican restaurant, and spent a lot of good time together.

(Nota bene: the following is a paraphrase. Alice remembers the precise wording and will soon correct me.)

(Alice has doubled over in pain after a bad joke of Patrick's)

Alice: Your jokes are awful, but you have a great delivery.

Me: If the delivery is so good, why does it hurt so much?

Alice: Maybe it's like natural childbirth!

The weekend was filled with all sorts of bad jokes, moments of doting, and Catholic Nerd moments. Alice is wonderful and quite irrepressible, and I will be very happy to see her again in three weeks.

No comments: