Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sunday School News

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:41 AM

Promotional news from Google: Bullock's Bird Box.

See as well Friday night's post "Lone Star Wars."

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Raiders of the Lost Crucible Continues

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 10:22 PM

Mystery Box

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:38 PM

". . . humanity battling an unseen force . . . ." —

Quantum Space Elements?

The Cracked Potter

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:52 PM

See also an embedded ad in The Atlantic  magazine, Sept. 2017.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Picture Yourself …

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:12 PM



Sunday, August 13, 2017

Compare and Contrast

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 1:00 PM

From The Atlantic , September 2017 issue, online —
"How America Lost Its Mind," by former Harvard Lampoon  
writer Kurt Andersen

The Atlantic 's embedded Google ad for "Quantum Space Elements"
is, by the way, completely unrelated to similar-sounding work on 
models of space in finite geometry (cf. tsimtsum . . .

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Larger City

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:09 AM

By Penelope Lively
229 pages. Viking. $26.95.

Review by Michiko Kakutani
in The New York Times ,
online Jan. 23, 2012

As a historian, Henry acknowledges that he has “a soft spot for what is known as the Cleopatra’s nose theory of history— the proposal that had the nose of Cleopatra been an inch longer, the fortunes of Rome would have been different.” It’s a bit of a reductio ad absurdum, he admits, but nonetheless “a reference to random causality that makes a lot of sense when we think about the erratic sequence of events that we call history.”

What Ms. Lively has done in this captivating volume is to use all her copious storytelling gifts to show how a similar kind of random causality rules individual lives, how one unlucky event can set off unexpected chain reactions, how the so-called butterfly effect— whereby the flapping of a tiny butterfly’s wings can supposedly lead to a huge storm elsewhere in the world— ripples through the ebb and flow of daily life.

Rhetorical question—

"Why walk when you can fly?"
— Mary Chapin Carpenter

Rhetorical answer—

Two excerpts from a webpage on random walks

A drunk man will find his way home,
but a drunk bird may get lost forever.

— Shizuo Kakutani

Now we move to a larger city

IMAGE- 'Now we move to a larger city...' illustrated by 4x4 grid with dots signifying extension of the grid

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Wednesday August 18, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Dyer, Part II:

From Here to Eternity

“Dying, at its best, might be something like this.  Everything was a memory, and everything was still happening in some extended present, and everything was still to come.”

— Geoff Dyer, quoted (in part of an entry, Dyer, for yesterday– the day mathematician Shizuo Kakutani died) by Ruth Franklin in

Journey Without Maps

A Koan for Kakutani
on a random walk, a bird, death, time, and eternity–

In a comment on the previous entry, a Xangan asks,

“How many drunk men could migrate to Argentina without a map?”

My answer:  At least one.

Wednesday August 18, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 AM

Drunk Bird

T. Charles Erickson
Shizuo Kakutani
in the 1980’s

Kakutani died yesterday.

“A drunk man will find his way home, but a drunk bird may get lost forever.”

— Shizuo Kakutani, quoted by J. Chang in Stochastic Processes (ps), p. 1-19.  Chang says the quote is from an R. Durrett book on probability.


A random walk in d dimensions is recurrent if d = 1 or d = 2, but transient if d is greater than or equal to 3.

From a web page on Kylie Minogue:

Turns out she’s a party girl
who loves Tequila:
“Time disappears with Tequila.  
  It goes elastic, then vanishes.”

Kylie sings

From a web page on Malcolm Lowry’s classic novel Under the Volcano

The day begins with Yvonne’s arrival at the Bella Vista bar in Quauhnahuac. From outside she hears Geoffrey’s familiar voice shouting a drunken lecture this time on the topic of the rule of the Mexican railway that requires that  “A corpse will be transported by express!” (Lowry, Volcano, p. 43).

For further literary details in memory of Shizuo Kakutani, Yale mathematician and father of book reviewer Michiko Kakutani, see

Santa Versus the Volcano.

Of course, Kakutani himself would probably prefer the anti-Santa, Michael Shermer.  For a refutation of Santa by this high priest of Scientism, see

Miracle on Probability Street

(Scientific American, July 26, 2004). 

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