Re: Swimming post

1

I was about to send this to ogged. The thing that blows me away is that as someone pointed out on Twitter, her 1500 free time at age 17 is better than Ryan Lochte's was when he was 19.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 3:54 PM
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My son went to high school with her brother - by all accounts she's a nice kid when she's not destroying world records.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 4:46 PM
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In honor of SomeCallMeTim, but without his fervent belief, let me be the first to say: juiced.

She's amazing, and Philips is right that those moments of seeing someone performing on a different planet are part of what makes watching sports sometimes so wonderful.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 5:19 PM
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Without clicking through, I assume we're talking about Alison Wagner.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 5:44 PM
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My phone wouldn't let me watch the video. Is it like watching Bolt run?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 5:55 PM
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Basically, yes.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:33 PM
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That's what it is like watching my nephew run. It will be good if he ages into stronger competition.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 6:50 PM
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Basically, yes.

Much as I love swimming...no. You could watch Bolt run against no competition and it would be beautiful to watch. Swimmers mostly look like they're flailing, and you have to watch a lot to tell a good stroke from a great stroke, and they're only going at about walking pace, so it's not electric the way a runner is.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:13 PM
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Yu Darvish is half Iranian? No one tells me anything.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:30 PM
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How many Darvishes are not at all Iranian? That would seem more surprising, though perhaps I'm just being racist.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:33 PM
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Maybe 9 means "Yu Darvish is [only] half Iranian?".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:35 PM
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Oh, right. Maybe.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:36 PM
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But I doubt it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:38 PM
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I would have told you, but you didn't ask. Doing a quick search to see if there have been other (part-)Iranians in the majors, I learn that there is a Baseball Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Huh.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:42 PM
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I guess Iranians aren't all bad.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 8:47 PM
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mostly look like they're flailing, and you have to watch a lot to tell a good stroke from a great stroke, and they're only going at about walking pace, so it's not electric
yeah, you get to say this shot, but if I say the same about the wpsl I get in Big trouble!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-19-14 9:35 PM
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People write articles to TELL YOU that something is a VERY big deal.

It's a big deal.

This is kind of a VERY BIG DEAL.

Not only do we tell you impressive things, we MUST TELL YOU THAT THEY ARE IMPRESSIVE BECAUSE THEY ARE KINDA SO F___ING IMPRESSIVE.

Wow.

That's badass.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-20-14 7:36 AM
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It's not quite Usain Bolt, but the end of the 1500 is something else: it looks like a community pool in which people in different lanes are just swimming independently in random directions. The people who seem to be keeping up with her are actually two pool lengths behind and the runners-up are offscreen going the other way.

The Grantland writer is actually a capable writer, if you read his other stuff; I'm honestly a bit peeved I hadn't heard about how dominant Ledecky was earlier. The hyperbole is appropriate.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 09-20-14 10:40 AM
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Swimming, wherein Texas Tech outclasses a poor school like NYU.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/21/fashion/college-recreation-now-includes-pool-parties-and-river-rides.html


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 09-20-14 11:18 AM
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Always striking to see how the tail of the distribution stretches out all the way to the end, so to speak. You might not think that once you'd worked pretty hard to find the best eight to ten people in the world at something, one of them would still be obviously much better than the others at that thing. But it still happens quite a lot.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-20-14 2:25 PM
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Forgot to mention (and this is mildly related to recent posts about in-demand colleges) that Katie Ledecky has committed to Stanford. The other US woman mega-swimmer, Missy Franklin, is at Cal. The East Coast will have to be content knowing that Katie's brother, just a run-of-the-mill nice guy and brilliant person, is at Harvard. To my knowledge, none of them has won a MacArthur...yet.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-21-14 10:05 AM
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She's amazing, and Philips is right that those moments of seeing someone performing on a different planet are part of what makes watching sports sometimes so wonderful.

Agreed. She is amazing.
This swim reminds me of watching Phelps doing flip turns where he gains a half a body length on some pretty amazing swimmers.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:40 AM
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ATM

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I got a thank you card from my future sister-in-law (FSIL) which I found really disturbing. FSIL put together a card with a photo she had taken of her daughter for her first birthday.

As a feminist, I object to this card, because it is all pink and very girly in a way that seems to be rigidly policing a gender norm that I find oppressive.

But it's offputting to me for reasons that I can't quite put my finger on, but which feel vaguely pornographic.

FMIL said that it was not the sort of thing that she would do to a child, but it was sort of a fashionable thing now. I dislike FSIL very much, and i am trying to sort out how much of my disgust comes from my general antipathy toward FSIL and how much would be, more or less, objectively viewed as offensive by the liberal Unfoggedtariat?

If I post the picture to the flickr pool, would those with access look at it and give me their perspective?

|>


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:06 AM
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I'll look at it, but my off the cuff reaction is that if you're looking at a picture of a one-year-old and thinking 'vaguely pornographic', it's not the picture, it's you. (Not that you're a pedophile, but that you're for some reason on a hair-trigger to think badly of the picture-taker.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:09 AM
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I think I said pornographic, because it seemed objectifying.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:13 AM
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24: Haven't looked at the picture yet, but the whole little-girl-beauty-contest thing is vaguely pornographic (and that isn't an uncommon opinion). And that's, what, three-year-olds? Admittedly part of the squickiness of that is that it's melding the impressionable in horrible ways and that's not going to be an issue yet for a one year old, but I can understand the concern.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:15 AM
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A scanned image is up under my regular pseud.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:18 AM
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I'd be interested in seeing the photo. But without having seen it yet, most baby photos that are in any way staged are to some extent objectifying. And depending on the staging in question, there may or may not be anything wrong with that.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:18 AM
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29

Not seeing it in the group.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:19 AM
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Link


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:20 AM
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Doesn't work for me -- is it set to friends only, and we're not?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:21 AM
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29: Can you see it now?


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:21 AM
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18: I thought a wide spread of the field wasn't unusual at the end of the 1500, eg 1996 Men's Olympic Final https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPmkYBLHpqw , which wasn't a record breaking race but was a big deal at the time because the winner was down with flu and only barely qualified for the final.

Ledecky is still amazing though.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:22 AM
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31: It was friends only, but I just made it public.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:22 AM
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35

I can. I think it's entirely about the cupcake. I don't think that's particularly bad as far as baby pictures go, it just feels like nobody said "hey, you might want to think about how this could be interpreted."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:23 AM
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No, there it is, I can see it now. Huh. I can kind of see how you'd have that reaction, but it doesn't actually trouble me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:24 AM
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37

Should be in the pool now too.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:25 AM
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38

I can see it now. And having seen it . . . I see what you mean.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:26 AM
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39

It's over the top with the saccharine shmaltz, but not worse than that. Basically cute.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:26 AM
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40

Yeah, I don't think it crosses the line into objectively offensive, but I think FMIL got it right.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:28 AM
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41

I agree with 39.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:29 AM
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42

I don't see the problem with the picture. I see how you could see a problem with the picture, but I don't see any problem you could point out without having everybody think worse of you for seeing the problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:30 AM
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It's over the top with the saccharine shmaltz

I guess that I just generally find saccharine shmaltz offensive. I think it reminds me of the line from The Unbearable Lightness of Being about kitsch being an aesthetic ideal "in which shit is denied and everyone acts as though it did not exist."


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:31 AM
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I guess what it comes down to is that I don't think there is a category of 'vaguely pornographic' pictures of one-year-olds. 'Vaguely pornographic' sounds to me like 'there's something about this picture that means that people are likely to respond to it as porn, although they shouldn't'. And I can see that in pictures of adults in nominally non-sexual settings, or pictures of underage teens or children posed or dressed to look inappropriately adult. But you really can't make a one-year-old look inappropriately adult; anyone who finds a picture of a one-year-old sexy is someone in the fortunately rare category of people who does that spontaneously rather than because the picture is staged that way.

The picture's kind of tacky, but just in a "stop trying to be Anne Geddes," kind of way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:32 AM
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42 gets it right.

It's not my thing for the schmatlzy and pink reasons, and because of that I would never have looked at it long enough to get to the problematic cupcake placement possibility.

In short: I think you probably are letting your feelings about FSIL color your interpretation of the photo.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:32 AM
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35: Yeah, the cupcake is a problem for me too. Apparently, the new thing at weddings is to buy a second wedding cake to smash up. I think that's what she was referring to.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:33 AM
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I guess that I just generally find saccharine shmaltz offensive.

It seems like raising matters of taste to the level of things that are offensive to you is going to make for many rocky relationships with people you can't avoid (i.e., family).


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:34 AM
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48

The pink stuff bothers me a lot. If I had a girl kid someday, I would not want any pink baby clothes.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:35 AM
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I just generally find saccharine shmaltz offensive

Offensive? You should consider dialing down your offensemeter to save energy. It isn't an aesthetic I'd choose either, but it's just bog-standard baby stuff.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:37 AM
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47: I wasn't going to bring it up with anyone. My FE talked to FMIL about it; I didn't.

I haven't seen FSIL in a while, because travel has been difficult for unrelated reasons.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:37 AM
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51

44.last: Obligatory.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:38 AM
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Coming at this from the perspective of a tense and hostile feminist with strong opinions about childrearing, getting bent out of shape about banning pink seems almost as bad to me as drowning a daughter in it. You don't want to treat markers of femininity as if they have cooties, because most actual women and girls out there display conventionally feminine behavior to some extent, and if conventionally feminine behavior is always despicable, you end up at misogyny, not feminism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:38 AM
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I think 44 is wrong - when I heard pornagraphic, I was expecting to see leopard print, faux-high-heels, baby-plunging-neckline, etc. Maybe gaudy earrings. At any rate, it seemed like a coherent accusation, even if no one would find it titillating.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:39 AM
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Sadly, that is pretty normal for the Pinterest Era/ everything-is-a-professional-photo-op parenting world, so I doubt she's going to see anything weird about it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:39 AM
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53: Well, yeah, that's the pre-school baby-pageant stuff. But on a one-year-old? I think you'd hit 'mindboggling bizarre, as if someone dressed up a baby as a prop for the Rocky Horror Picture Show' before you got to vaguely anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:42 AM
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I wasn't going to bring it up with anyone. My FE talked to FMIL about it; I didn't.

Is this a typo or am I being daft? I can't figure out who FE is.

My 47 was meant more along the lines of 49: that it seems likely to cause you unneeded emotional expense, even if you never air it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:44 AM
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52: Yeah, that makes sense. I just remember running around in my striped Osh Kosh BGosh as a kid with short hair, and it felt much more free.

And it probably is just because I dislike FSIL and found much of her wedding, e.g., comments about finishing her dissertation before her water broke or things like tossing a garter belt, kind of misogynistic.

53: I knew that "pornographic" was the wrong word. It seemed to me to go beyond merely being tacky, but if it didn't then I'll let it go.

And, of course, my views are strongly colored by the fact that FSIL said a while ago that I should have her as my wedding photographer.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:45 AM
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A.N.C.R., just keep in mind, you only have to wait a little over a decade before you get to see FSIL freak out when her daughter starts wearing black lipstick and nail polish.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:46 AM
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future ex-husband?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:46 AM
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56: FE = fiance. Possibly a daft shorthand on my part.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:46 AM
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59 to 56 and I kid, I kid.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:47 AM
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Tossing a garter is creepy. Tossing a garter belt would be different, at least.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:47 AM
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Tossing a garter snake is hostile. Tossing a girder is probably some sort of Scottish sport.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:49 AM
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Tossing a grater is potentially dangerous.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:50 AM
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Tossing a garden salad is in.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:52 AM
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Tossing a salad is a whole 'nother thread.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:53 AM
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To the question of gender norms, Selah's mom thinks it's adorable that Selah's obsessed with Batman (Burt Ward era) and insists on Batman shirts and so on and fine that she shops across the aisle for dinosaur gear, but when her partner suggested they buy an action figure or an apparently awesome Batmobile toy for a recent visit said that nope, Selah shouldn't be playing with boy toys. She has plenty of trains and cars she likes already, but that really surprised me.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:54 AM
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Tossing a goiter is gross.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:54 AM
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I agree with the emerging consensus. The photo prompts an eyeroll, but I can't see it as offensive, and you should try not to let it bother you for a couple of reasons: you're likely to be seeing much more of the same, and the kid will figure things out for herself. Not that the twee gender-normative stuff has no effect at some concentration, but I can't see this as harmful. My daughters were presented with all manner of princessy pink shit and just incorporated what they liked into their style palette. They're both pretty tomboyish; I really wish I'd gotten a picture of S in her poofy pink dress with her well-worn Carhartt jacket, an outfit I think she wore to go out and play baseball when she was six or so.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:56 AM
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Selah's mom's partner? I'd normally read that as female, but in context with the not wanting Selah to play with boy toys, I'm guessing I'm wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:56 AM
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67: FE got her a duplo trainset for her birthday, mainly because *he* loves legos and trains. I want to get her some nice blocks. Before I got her one of those sticks with plastic doughnuts in different colors. To make the order qualify for free super saver shipping on Amazon, I threw in some rubber duckies which only cost a few dollars. Those are, by far, her favorite toy.

If anyone knows of nice wood blocks, I wouldn't mind a link.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:00 AM
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So, basically, when FSIL tells me that I should hire her to do photography for my wedding (a side gig she's taken on), I should just say that I have different taste, and not mention that I was grossed out by her photo. That was sort of my plan all along.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:03 AM
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Tossing Gal Gadot would technically be assault.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:03 AM
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70: Not wrong, though I don't remember if I've said that explicitly before here. I'm having a really hard time with a case where a worker from the other state kept badgering ours to take Selah because her mom has a history of domestic violence and gay relationships and is depressed and then she ends up here. It's one reason it was very easy to connect with her mom (and the partner, who wasn't around until after Selah and her mom had stopped having visits and whom Selah adores) and that they are happy with us, I think.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:05 AM
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72: The easiest excuse would probably be if you have a friend who can do it and who is to your taste. Or that you want her to just be able to enjoy the ceremony and so on. But no, saying that you think her aesthetic is gross probably won't help even if it is.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:07 AM
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72: If you want to be diplomatic about it, you could say that you want her to be in the photos, which she can't be if she's behind the camera.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:07 AM
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But still enforcing gender norms like that. Huh. People are peculiar.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:07 AM
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I should just say that I have different taste, and not mention that I was grossed out by her photo.

It seems like it might go over better to emphasize how you want her to be able to be fully there and taking part in her brother's wedding without distractions than to tell her you think her photos suck have different taste.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:07 AM
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No chance of you recreating the cake photo in just your veil and train? Because that would be pretty awesome.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:08 AM
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say that I have different taste

That would be about as subtle as "fuck off and die." You can tell her that you'd rather she relax and enjoy the wedding.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:08 AM
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79: Needs more icing smeared on body.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:08 AM
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75, 78: Yeah, 'different taste' doesn't make it to tactful. You've found a pro whose pictures you love, you couldn't impose on her, you want her to be a guest, not having to work through the wedding, anything like that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:08 AM
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Oh, sure, pwn the old guy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:08 AM
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79: Needs more icing smeared on body.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:08 AM
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I am disappoint: small god-daughter has gone full-core Disney Princess and the RAF flight suit barely gets a look in. Well, I tried. Hopefully it's just a passing phase.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:09 AM
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I think "fuck off and die" is the appropriate way to respond to a relative asking to photograph your wedding.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:10 AM
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Or trying to sell her some Amway stuff.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:11 AM
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to a relative asking you to hire her to photograph your wedding

If that's truly the case (that she wants you to pay her above materials costs), it is pretty tacky.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:13 AM
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Okay, okay, Blume. Come on down for a visit and I'll smear icing on your body. Sheesh.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:14 AM
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For the standard nursery school blocks, I think the search term is "maple unit blocks" or something. They're expensive, but nice.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:20 AM
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Do it, Sifu, smear icing on your body or you'll get the hose again.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:20 AM
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The tutu has to be any color but pink, though. Not that I think you'll be picky, apo.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:22 AM
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76: I was hoping to do a shot of FE with his Mom and Dad and brother but without us. I actually don't know whether we'll have a photographer, because we want it to be cheap. Also, it's possible that my Dad won't be there, and I don't want to make a big fuss out of family photos. Getting my Mom organized for that would be a lot of work too. Having said that, her Dad blames her for her parents' divorce and didn't come to her wedding, and she still made a fuss about pictures.

FSIL has done photos for a friend of one of the cousins.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:25 AM
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Having said that, her Dad blames her for her parents' divorce

That seems cruel. Maybe you should let her photograph your wedding as karmic repayment. If the photos suck, you can kick her father in the balls to complete the cycle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:29 AM
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I don't know that I was going for tactful, so much as intentionally rude, but not in an over-the-top way. I don't want to be shrill-ly indignant.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:30 AM
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Once you're being intentionally rude to family, it's all over-the-top. I mean, you might want to anyway, but that's open war.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:31 AM
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94: Absolutely cruel. It split the family. As adults, her sister took her Dad's side, and she took her Mom's. I think that her sister almost didn't come. That was sad and probably very hard. I'd only just started dating FE a year before (and she was already planning my wedding) and wouldn't have minded if I could have skipped it. I had to miss a dear friend's wedding because of it.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:33 AM
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Just tell here that Eva Braun photographed weddings and you don't want her to start down the road to dating Hitler.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:35 AM
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LB, you don't know how to be subtly rude to family members? What kind of freakishly well-adjusted family do you have?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:38 AM
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96: I know. We've sort have been at war since we met. I really didn't like it when I asked her what her research was about, and she said, "Oh, it's really complicated. You wouldn't understand." I suspect that she said that, because she was more interested in talking about scrap-booking, but it grated at the time. She was condescending to FE long before she met me. Right now, the brothers just talk to eachother. FE went up for a brief visit about a year ago. I had no vacation time and couldn't go. And I had a lot of family obligations down here.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:40 AM
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Hire her as a photographer, but also hire a pyrotechnician. You won't care who takes the photos when they're of the two of you boldly walking away from an exploding altar or having your first dance in a ring of flames.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:09 AM
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Tell her that before you hire her to photograph your wedding, you've got another project you want to hire her for first. "I want to surprise FE with some anus photos, but I don't want them to be selfies, because that would be tacky. I want them to look professional. You can help me with that, right?"


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:04 AM
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I am disappoint: small god-daughter has gone full-core Disney Princess and the RAF flight suit barely gets a look in. Well, I tried. Hopefully it's just a passing phase.

Maybe read some books with strong female role models with her, after all?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:08 AM
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101 and 102: I'm told that technically as a Canadian resident (not sure if she's a citizen), it would be illegal for her to do business in the U.S., so she might not be able to charge.

Really don't want her there, but, obviously, she has to come. Pretty much my least favorite person on earth. Pol-Pot was worse and all, but, of the people I know, most loathed.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:08 AM
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104: Hire her and then tip off immigration officials, so she'll be arrested.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:10 AM
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Pol Pot didn't get all cute with baby pictures, say that for the guy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:11 AM
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†‡*†§¶**††**‡‡§§†


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:16 AM
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That's the author list of a draft I'm working on with the names removed so that only the symbols marking affiliation remain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:20 AM
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107: I was wondering.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 12:47 PM
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Fact about FSIL who was totally swept up in the crazy wedding-industrial complex:

4 months after her wedding over dinner, she asked me point blank, "What was your favorite part of my wedding?"

I don't know whether "I want you to relax and enjoy the day" might not be too subtle.


Posted by: Anonymous Northeastern City Resident | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 12:50 PM
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Ogged was right when he suggested "Fuck off and die" as the best thing to say.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 12:52 PM
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I really didn't like it when I asked her what her research was about, and she said, "Oh, it's really complicated. You wouldn't understand."

I require more examples before I can sympathetically hate this woman. This situation is a tough one in math.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 12:53 PM
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Never mind, 110 is sufficient.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 12:53 PM
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Probably to a bit too esprit de l'escalier at this point, but the a good response to "What was your favorite part of my wedding?" would have been "Oh, it's really complicated. You wouldn't understand."


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 12:56 PM
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"What was your favorite part of my wedding?"

The drive home.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 12:56 PM
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"This conversation. You wouldn't believe how much mileage I'm going to get out of it on the Internet."


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 1:03 PM
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So wait, her parents had a bitter divorce where the kids took sides and now she's obsessed with weddings and domesticity. How old was she when they divorced?

Possibly she's insecure and overcompensating. Doesn't make her easy company, I'm sure, but this really doesn't sound like someone who is in control.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 1:11 PM
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I don't know whether "I want you to relax and enjoy the day" might not be too subtle.

I guess I'm not quite understanding the end goal here. Is it that you want her to understand how much you hate her and despise her values? Because if she doesn't get that yet, I'm not sure what the value would be in showing her.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 1:11 PM
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Maybe she can be brought to change.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 1:12 PM
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Stab the eyes out of the thank-you card and send it back with "BENGHAZI" written on it in blood. (Or fake blood, she likely won't check.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 1:13 PM
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I don't actually understand what the future sis in law has done to deserve such loathing. She sounds kind of annoying, but if that's the threshold for being consigned to the circles of hell, it's going to be a very stormy marriage into that family.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 2:00 PM
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[REDACTED]


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 2:16 PM
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112: biology in a health- related area. She could have said, something like " I study proteins involved in cancer."

Re: domesticity. She was 22 when they got divorced.

I asked her once about their schedules as grad students in science labs, since FBIL worked in a lab with mice. And she said, "oh, Once you're married and have a dog, you don't work hours like that and you both need to be home."

Very smug, as if to say I couldn't possibly understand adult life since I wasn't married. No acknowledgement that different people structure their relationships differently.

I'm not a huge family person. I mean it's fine. Among the cousins and cousins of the parents, some of them gravitate towards her and others toward me. I generally try to be polite except when venting on the internet.


Posted by: Anon NER | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 2:16 PM
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Sorry for the Nosflow indiscretion error. Someone please redact 122.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 2:20 PM
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Once you're married and have a dog, you don't work hours like that and you both need to be home."

No one told my brother that.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 2:33 PM
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Another good argument for getting a dog.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 2:38 PM
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Maybe his dog was defective.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 2:38 PM
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I am further confirmed in hostility to marriage and weddings by all of this, seems to be bringing out the worst in all.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 2:43 PM
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If your marriage fails, don't blame the institution, the wedding ceremony, your spouse, or person your spouse is cheating with. It's your defective dog's fault.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 2:46 PM
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103 was lovely, tho.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 2:48 PM
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123: I can't stop laughing at that. One test of whether you can effectively communicate your science is the Grandma Test, meaning everybody should be able to simplify their work into an explanation anyone's grandmother could understand. (Maybe this doesn't exist in truly esoteric fields, but it seems fairly general to me.)

Also, I know a husband and wife who worked crazy shifts so their dog wasn't home alone for long. She was working 4 am-2 pm and he was working noon-10 pm or something. They gave up and started sending the dog to day care.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 2:56 PM
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On the "should you give your girl pink clothes" subthread, i didn't particularly encourage or discourage pink stuff from age 1-6, we got a lot of it and she definitely had a girly phase or two. Now in second grade the social world of girls seems to be divided into girls who like pink and the Disney princesses and a competing tribe, including my daughter, who define themselves by not liking pink princesses. Fortunately for those of us in the intellectual property game, this doesn't mean giving up a branded lifestyle, since there's a whole competing line of Mattel products called "Monster High" (the daughters of the monsters go to high school together) whose ethos could best be described as "a little bit spooky, a little bit slutty." Disney and the Barbie line at Mattel's loss work to the gain of this other Mattel line. But there are definitely competing tribes and I hear a lot now about "I hate pink."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 3:04 PM
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All the second grade kids here are into Normcore.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 3:13 PM
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In math you're doing great if you can come up with a pitch that's understandable to a first year graduate student.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 3:14 PM
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Agreed that the "explain it to your grandma" test does not apply to math.

I would guess that in high school most of us learned biology that was cutting-edge maybe 30 years ago, physics that was cutting-edge maybe 60 years ago, and math that was cutting-edge in... 1500?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 3:22 PM
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134: but you might be able to say "number theory." And I don't think she cared about work at all. She just wanted a good salary and figured that a PhD was a good way to get into a government job. She got a 35k/yr tax-free scholarship which is like getting paid 50k to be a graduate student and she figured why not. She'd be just as happy, if not more happy, doing crafts.


Posted by: Anon | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 3:36 PM
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She likes crafts, so what. Lots of us do. Knitting doesn't make anyone less intellectual or a less competent scholar. You're doing that thing again where you're denigrating girly stuff.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 4:04 PM
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137: probably. And I do do that. It bothers me that she took a scholarship that was intended to keep Canada's best researchers from going to the US when she didn't really care that much about science. She's said many times that she just wants a 100k/yr job and doesn't care what it is. That's fine, but it's not the kind of person I want to spend time around. I'm not girly, and I feel denigrated for liking intellectual stuff (too nerdy) when I'm around her. She puts down people who like to read.

Also, seriously racist comments about real Canadians (versus Asians) in labs and about First Peoples, but I don't need to go on about it.


Posted by: Anon | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 4:21 PM
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One test of whether you can effectively communicate your science is the Grandma Test, meaning everybody should be able to simplify their work into an explanation anyone's grandmother could understand.

When I am interviewing science grad students for management consulting jobs, I invariably ask them to explain their thesis / dissertation topic to me in 60 seconds. This requires them to go beyond the ten word summary suitable for satisfying small talk obligations, but make it a tighter summary than a presentation to an academic audience. If they can't take a topic they know very well and make it meaningfully intelligible to a competent non-specialist, they are going to have a hard time in this line of work.

The follow up question is: "Does this research have any potential commercial applications?" If they've spent that much time thinking about the topic and never thought about how it could make them rich, even in a wildly improbable scenario, they probably don't have the commercial instincts for the job. (A cogently argued case for why the research doesn't have any commercial application would also be acceptable, but "I've never really thought about it" is a bad sign.)


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 4:50 PM
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I unexpectedly had to give that kind of elevator pitch the other day; "explain what your [ doohickey ] does in sixty seconds, with no jargon." I did okay, but I got caught a little off-guard. I'll be ready next time, damn you, [ redacted medium-wig ].


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 4:53 PM
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I don't really understand the dudgeon of having the temerity to accept a well-paid grad studenthood (well paid for grad studenthood) in the absence of the desire to persist as a penurious seeker after truth. I mean … BFD, or for that matter, good on her.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 4:54 PM
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Oh hey hah I also got the follow-up. That one went well. Clearly this dude was using essentially exactly the same playbook as Knecht.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 4:54 PM
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The commercial applications of a robot with a death ray that can also make and serve cocktails are pretty obvious, though.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 4:56 PM
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It's the robot that can make and serve cocktails. Not the death ray with which the robot is equipped.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 4:57 PM
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I kind of want to disagree, and say that a 60 second pitch of Ph.D. level research is inevitably mostly bullshit, and to the extent that the listener feels like they've gotten the main point they're probably just getting bamboozled. But on the other hand, you're probably right that if you can't dazzle someone with an oversimplified 60 second pitch then indeed you're not cut out for management consulting.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 4:58 PM
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Agreed that the "explain it to your grandma" test does not apply to math.

When I was in grad school, I had a party routine with my grandmother, where I'd say "Want to see my grandma do a trick?" and the other person would obligingly say yes, and I'd say "Grandma! What's the title of my dissertation?" and she'd recite it. We went on a big road trip and visited lots of relatives, so we got to trot it out a lot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 4:58 PM
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The thing about math is that I can tell you something in 60 seconds, and you'll have no idea how very, very ridiculously little it had to do with my dissertation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 4:59 PM
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I think the right approach to "explaining your research" at the Ph.D. level is almost always to explain the more interesting research that launched your subfield and talking as little as possible about the new content of your own research.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:00 PM
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I usually say something like "A tiling is a pattern that goes on forever in all directions. Some patterns repeat, like a checkerboard. Some patterns are absolutely random and have no structure whatsoever. The repeating patterns are too easy, and the random patterns are too meaningless, and it turns out the most interesting stuff happens to the tilings in between. They've got some order." Then if they've got 60 more seconds we can tackle cohomology.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:03 PM
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Just write a journal article based on your dissertation and after it is published, make copies of the abstract to pass out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:03 PM
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148 was pwned by 147 rather than agreeing with 147.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:04 PM
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dude was using essentially exactly the same playbook as Knecht

I must concede this technique (and the now obligatory rehearsed responses to it) reaches its apotheosis in the Bay Area startup culture, the members of which make me want to punch people in the face.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:04 PM
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But on the other hand, you're probably right that if you can't dazzle someone with an oversimplified 60 second pitch then indeed you're not cut out for management consulting.

Exactly.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:06 PM
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149: "Interesting, but we have wood floors."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:08 PM
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148: I have a friend who studies lungs, and he's happy to talk about it. Ph.d was in physics. He doesn't talk about the applied math stuff for radiologists. He had great stories about trying to bring back fish gills from Iceland.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:12 PM
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149: "yes, but what of Penrose's theory of consciousness?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:40 PM
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if they've got 60 more seconds we can tackle cohomology

I just read the Wikipedia page on cohomology, and I couldn't understand a damned word of it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:41 PM
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The homology page is a better place to start. No one understands cohomology until after homology anyway.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:45 PM
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Agreed that the "explain it to your grandma" test does not apply to math.

Why not? I'm not getting what makes math special.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:49 PM
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Agamanogenesis.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:52 PM
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If that's a word.

(Not a word.)

Dammit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:53 PM
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159: It's written in a different language not all of which easily translates into English (or any other spoken language). You can explain it fairly easily to someone else who knows the language, but not to someone who doesn't.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:54 PM
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That's true of a lot of jargony disciplines (not sure I buy the "any other spoken language" bit--that seems question-begging).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:56 PM
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I'm not getting what makes math special.

The structure of the formalisms you are manipulating have no analogues in ordinary language and experience.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:57 PM
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Maybe mathematicians are really bad at explaining things!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 5:57 PM
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I think the main problem is that it's particularly difficult to give someone a direct experience of a mathematical object. You can go to an aquarium and see a squid, so people have some idea what a squid. Now, relative to what a squidologist knows, my knowledge of squids is pretty tiny, but at least they can explain a bit about their research because I know what the word "squid" is referring to. Cohomology is different. You can't go see cohomology at a museum. Also, in science it's often easier to separate the techniques from the results, and it's mastery of the techniques that separates the experts from non-experts not understanding of the results. In math, outside of a few situations, it's hard to understand the statements without being an expert

As a general rule it's much easier for me to read a paleontology paper and get the general outline than a math paper outside my subfields (and even sometimes than a paper inside my subfields!).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:00 PM
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So OT, my second grader has a mohawk. I was ambivalent about it but he REALLY wanted one (for several months he was begging--no idea what the inspiration was), and so fine, we let him get one late summer. He doesn't spike it up daily, so it basically just looks like a really bad/uneven haircut. He's actually only ever spiked it up maybe three times, and never before at school. Today was picture day at school, and he really wanted to spike it for his picture. We said sure. Well apparently the teacher made him brush it down as soon as he got to school (before his picture). She said it was "too distracting". He was very disappointed. I'm trying to figure out how pissed I should be. My instinct is to be very pissed, because WTF?, but maybe I'm overreacting.

The idea that she asked him to brush it down isn't inherently crazy--I honestly would expect her to say something if he wore it up every day. (Although in that case I would expect her to say something to us, not him.) But he pretty clearly just wanted for the picture today, which he told her. Forcing him to brush it seems cruel and unnecessary.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:04 PM
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Too distracting to whom?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:07 PM
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You can get squid at a restaurant should an aquarium be too far away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:08 PM
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Yeah, I have a relatively easy-to-explain dissertation topic and a practiced 60-second spiel that is mostly bullshit. Still, I would have a hard time explaining any details to someone who doesn't know what a differential equation is, and it would be hard to describe what a differential equation is to someone who has never taken calculus. My grandma flunked trig sixty-some years ago and hasn't thought about math since.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:11 PM
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it would be hard to describe what a differential equation is to someone who has never taken calculus

You think? "A differential equation is a mathematical equation that involves variables like x or y, as well as the rate at which those variables change" seems pretty good.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:14 PM
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(not sure I buy the "any other spoken language" bit--that seems question-begging)

I'm totally confused by this. You think there are spoken languages that math can be translated into significantly more easily than it can be translated into English? I mean, I don't really know, I guess that could be, but... which ones? (And what does this have to do with question begging?)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:15 PM
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171: tell it to my grandma, see what she says.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:16 PM
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A couple Christmases ago I got in a huge fight with her about whether zero is a number. "You ain't got zero," she insisted, "you just ain't got any." Sigh.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:17 PM
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If you explain negative numbers first, then maybe zero will be a number by default.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:20 PM
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Well that's qiute profound of her. Did you tell her she could take her old fashioned Pythagorean cult talk back to Aegilaus?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:20 PM
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In mildly related news, I quite enjoyed this pop-math book when I read it decades ago.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:21 PM
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I would be pissed but I also probably would have given the teacher a heads up re: consuming desire to be spiked for class photo in such a way as to encourage getting her on side with the whole thing. Either that would have worked or, if all indications were she would remain hostile you could have talked about it with your kid before hand so he was a bit more prepared for oppression.

I really hope your son keeps faith with his sartorial self, I've said it before I know but my kid has learned tremendously from learning to navigate issues around his distinctive style.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:23 PM
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Also - that would have been one hell of a class photo! What a drag to miss out on that!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:24 PM
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And what does this have to do with question begging?

You say math doesn't translate into spoken language, but that's what's at issue. Doesn't it? Maybe 166 is right, but it seems like shape, quantity, direction, and acceleration, get you most of the way there even with complex mathematical objects, but I obviously don't know what I'm talking about.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:24 PM
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Also - that would have been one hell of a class photo! What a drag to miss out on that!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:26 PM
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whoops!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:27 PM
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I just read the Wikipedia page on cohomology, and I couldn't understand a damned word of it.

I understand all the words except "abelian", "cochain", "cocycle", "coboundary", "pullbacks", "contravariant", "simplex", "kernel", "homomorphism", "surjective", "manifold", "isomorphic", "homotopy", and "cobordism". And I'm pretty sure I don't understand the words "ring", "group", chain", "space", "complex", "transpose", "space", "map", "split", "image", "form", "singular", "periodic", "graded", "connective", and "cycle" either.

It's kind of similar to philosophy in that way. I think we've talked about this before.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:29 PM
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Okay, so the alleged question begging was the "not all of which easily translates into English", not the "(or any other spoken language)". That makes more sense.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:29 PM
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ogged's menagerie of complex mathematical objects is a small sad affair.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:33 PM
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That's really awful about the class photo. And for the rest of all time, the kiddo will have that picture as a reminder of petty oppression.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:33 PM
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Too distracting to whom?

This is one of a number of questions I would like to have answered.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:34 PM
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Looking at a squid doesn't tell you much. Immune system, neurons, eyes, not likevyours.


Posted by: Lw | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:35 PM
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180: I dunno, I think you also need the concept of "surface-y type item", "hole-type thingie" and "tile".

Also pointing to the wikipedia page for higher math concepts as a way of noting the complexity of those concepts is hilarious, as the wikipedia math authors seem to be in a furious competition for who can delve more immediately into cryptic ultra-abstraction, even for something like real numbers. Oh, real numbers are Dedekind-complete! I thought they might be, when I learned about them in fifth grade!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:35 PM
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166 -- definitely true that math is way more confusing and impossible than other sciences. For most fields, including pretty hardcore ones like chemistry or physics, I can read a Wikipedia page and get some rough idea of what the topic is about -- a little more working at it and reading English I can get close to what I think of as a lawyer's understanding, where you can describe the thing in coherent English language sentences that a judge or jury could understand. But reading a math Wikipedia page is almost impossible and text-based explanation just doesn't seem to work. Even Heebie's plain-English description, which is a very good one, totally leaves out what's interesting about her research because it's just impossible to explain it. But I'll bet if I sat down with Essear and talked to him about whatever genius ass thing he's doing instead of building the powerful weapons I want, I could come to a reasonable sense-making English language description that I could give to other people.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:35 PM
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Wikipedia is a bad place to start for introductions to mathematical concepts. It's precise but completely inaccessible. I don't know if there's anywhere else better.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:35 PM
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but it seems like shape, quantity, direction, and acceleration, get you most of the way there even with complex mathematical objects

Nope. A lot of things are just formally defined, with no basis in physics or any other field. And there are just layers and layers and layers of formal definitions.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:36 PM
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191: Wolfram Mathworld is leagues better.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:37 PM
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190.last: oh boy I sure do bet you're wrong, or at least that it would take every bit the same level of explanatory ability that explaining heebie's work would.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:38 PM
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I don't know if there's anywhere else better.

here ya go


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:39 PM
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193: Yeah, that's what I used to use but, ick, Wolfram.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:39 PM
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On urple's kid's teacher, my guess is that her actual fear is that since a yearbook photo will be seen by all, this will get attention and lead to more kids dressing unconventionally in more situations. I don't agree that that's a problem, but I bet that's her unspoken concern.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:40 PM
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195: That was really useful. Not for the cohomology so much, but I tried other things where I know something about it and it seemed reasonable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:44 PM
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The link in 195 is amazing. I can't stop laughing.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:44 PM
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I actually kind of believe in crushing kids' dreams on these kinds of issues. Just dress normally like everyone else. Or, don't, and then take it up as actual rebellion when you're an adult or teen with choice. But it seems totally fine for me for a teacher/school to want their yearbook photo to have more or less standardly dressed kids with no one radically sticking out. Teaches social coherence.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:45 PM
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The Wolfram Mathworld for Cohomology (and Homology, and Bordism) isn't terrible for trying to start to build an intuition, if you already have an intuition about what a manifold is.

I mean, not that I actually know what these things are. But my intuition is tingly, now.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:46 PM
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AND NO FUCKING WHITE SPACE.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:46 PM
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199: because the wikipedia math editors are assholes, or?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:48 PM
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200 -- No no no no.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:50 PM
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I mean, simple english wikipedia has manifold, topology, abelian group, homology... I think they probably could have munged something together for cohomology.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:52 PM
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199 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:56 PM
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But it seems totally fine for me for a teacher/school to want their yearbook photo to have more or less standardly dressed kids with no one radically sticking out. Teaches social coherence.

It... does?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:57 PM
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Urple, just make sure that when you talk to the teacher about the haircut that you accompany it with a peacemaking gesture, like making cookies for the class.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 6:59 PM
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How very LA of you, halford! But I suppose that's "social cohesion" all right. Except for the thing where learning to tolerate perfectly inoffensive variation in sartorial inclinations actually leads to a more sophisticated deeper social cohesion. Wouldn't want that!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:01 PM
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Halford, does your daughter's school have a dress code? Mara and Nia wore coordinating dresses and had their hair freshly done last year. Their Latino classmates were mostly way dressed up in what I'd think of as going-to-church clothes, often ties for the boys and dresses and sweaters for the girls. Their black classmates typically had new hairstyles and new brand-name clothes, not necessarily dressy. The white kids spanned the whole spectrum from grubby t-shirts to dressy. I don't see how a teacher could have made anything cohesive out of that, and instead you just saw how each child was cute in his or her own way.

(I do remember when Alex's dad gave him a mohawk the week before picture day and he looked like a tiny bird or something with his delicate little scalp. A bit like Beak from New X-Men, in fact. And I did spike it up a bit for the pictures and put him in a button-down shirt.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:05 PM
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Halford is on record as being opposed to perfectly inoffensive variation in sartorial inclination, even -- especially? -- among adults, so no, I think he wouldn't.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:06 PM
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But yes, the idea that enforced conformity teaches "social cohesion" is both obviously false and maddening. In conclusion, San Frantastic!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:08 PM
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I just don't get why we want to encourage little kids to be way outside the norm showoffs. Just dress normally like everyone else.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:09 PM
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210 -- we have a (simple) uniform. It works really well. They obviously have a little bit of individual variation but I think enjoy dressing in kinda the same way.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:11 PM
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214: As I've said, dress code starts in third grade, and we're looking forward to it since Lee and I don't always agree on how far Nia's sartorial experiments can go. We get kindergartners wearing crop tops high-heeled sandals and so forth, though not from my house, and there's no visual cohesion at all in the primary school.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:13 PM
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I just don't get why we want to encourage little kids to be way outside the norm showoffs. Just dress normally like everyone else.

I actually feel a touch of this, hence the "I was ambivalent about it" in my original post. So I did not encourage him--actually I discouraged him. But he was dead set on really wanting it and so eventually I came around to "what's the harm?" And for whatever reason, he has been genuinely happy with it. In conclusion, you're an asshole.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:13 PM
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There is writing about math for laypeople, need more than 60 seconds, though. Kac + Ulam's book is good. Ivars Peterson is also ok.

Wikipedia helps most for topics where there is too much empty talk, social science.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:16 PM
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Crush away, pater familias, crush away! This hill seems a particularly soul-deadening one to stake out, but perhaps your children have little inclination towards style.

I've clearly chosen different battles to fight, therefore I oppress via manners.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:19 PM
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216 --a rule that says "comb down your Mohawk when at school, or at least for the school photo," doesn't seem like too much of an intrusion there. Or any more an intrusion than a lot of other things we do to encourage socialization and building cohesiveness.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:21 PM
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I do draw the line at texting me in Cyrillic, tho. That's too far. Not that my line drawing is particularly effective.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:25 PM
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A mohawk is too close to an inverse comb-over to be allowed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:27 PM
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My raised-Mormon friend was prohibited from wearing chuck taylors because her mom didn't want people to think she sold drugs. That one cracks me up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:30 PM
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I don't allow Hawaii to wear just tights and a shirt, even though the tights match the shirt (and the headband) and shorts or a skirt would contrast.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:31 PM
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You don't think kids get enough pressure to conform from the kids, so the teachers should step in? Wtaf?!


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:40 PM
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I haven't the slightest idea about when clothes on the top are supposed to match those on the bottom and when they are supposed to contrast. Except suits. I got that figured out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:43 PM
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Hawaii is judging you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:45 PM
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As old timers might guess, I'm pretty much with Halford on this, although I'm not sure I can fully justify it ("social cohesion" is such a bullshitting on oral exams answer that I almost admire it).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:46 PM
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224 -- just the opposite, the school can set rules that everyone can live by, kids on there own will set rules that some/most people can't, or that are designed to show themselves off as opposed to emphasizing their similarities with their peers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:47 PM
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Speaking of social coherence, turns out it's not necessarily the best idea to take a first date to a shoot at the Armory, maybe even worse than taking a first date to a performance of Stockhausen and Grisey. (NB I have only done the latter, never the former; I gained this valuable intelligence from, hilariously to me, a friend from high school.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:48 PM
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Can't believe I screwed up a there/their.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:48 PM
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In conclusion, San Frantastic indeed.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:48 PM
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As far as I can tell from his peers, social cohesion would demand my kid dress in an endless succession of baggy long cargo shorts, oversized logoed t shirts and shapeless hoodies. Clearly very important to encourage knuckling under to this particular bit of herd "intelligence"!

Although there are signs that new winds may be wafting about recently...several pals have shown up chez nous for parties wearing long pants (that fit!) and nice shirts. Their parents were shocked, not having put it together that their sons wanted to look better because frankly girls.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:52 PM
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We're called San Marvelous.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:53 PM
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229: I skipped that concert to see The Leopard at the Castro, but hear the Grisey was great. Was torn! But had a couple of dates for the movie and they both loved it, so yay.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:56 PM
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Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy.
Here's tailored pants. Wear them maybe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:57 PM
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They weren't first dates, tho. But Burt and Alain would probably be safe for a first date.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:58 PM
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Hawaii is Senorita Marveltastic.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 7:59 PM
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I liked the Grisey but the real winners for me were the pieces by Kyle Bruckmann (kind of Andriessen-esque, or anyway very hockety) and John Ingle.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:00 PM
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My date didn't like anything.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:01 PM
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a shoot at the Armory

I thought this was a gun range date, then I googleed.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:05 PM
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Would you really be happy with someone who didn't like, uh, hockety pieces?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:08 PM
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Another member of team Halford and Ogged here. I tire of people's love of showing everyone what a special snowflake they are. It's fucking school. Do that shit on your own time.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:10 PM
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Just out of curiosity for you good ol' boys: where would you stand on a school age kid wearing gender-bending clothing? Boy in a skirt?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:14 PM
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Team oggford aren't supporting social cohesion or dress codes; they're supporting the arbitrary and capricious exceed use of authority.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:15 PM
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Sure, exceed use. Good job, autocorrect.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:16 PM
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Well, I also hate the teacher in that story. I guess I'm pretty deep. Time to buy a fedora.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:18 PM
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I just realized that when I see what looks like a weasel on a man's head, that's a Mohawk that isn't spiked.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:21 PM
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Another member of team Halford and Ogged here. I tire of people's love of showing everyone what a special snowflake they are. It's fucking school. Do that shit on your own time.

I feel like maybe you have lost track of what the actual activity in question is here. Reminder! It's not a sixteen-year-old defying a uniform code with a shirt that says I HAVE AN INDIGO AURA AND I LOVE PEENS.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:27 PM
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Not yet, it isn't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:28 PM
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248: You mean this guy?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:30 PM
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243: How far above the knee?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:43 PM
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248: Yeah, I thought we'd moved on into generalization territory. The mohawk thing? Meh.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 8:48 PM
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I can definitely see Urple being justifiably mad if the school's policy up until now had been "here at elitist hippie academy, feel free to let your showoffy inegalitarian freak flag fly" and then they came down hard on the Mohawk. But I'm opposed to the general principle of haehafftlysifff.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:15 PM
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229: "You're missing a great effect here.

...

What, you don't like movies?"

Actual first date with kayak: we went to six different bookstores looking, unsuccessfully, for a copy of The Life and Times of Michael K. He eventually sent me one from Powell's after returning to Portland. I think he read it first.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:20 PM
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Is it good?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:25 PM
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Topic of dinner table conversation just now: What did the pre-date convo consist of? "there's this concert I'm interested in, mid-century avant garde classics composers and hot off the presses contemporary works by cool local group, wanna go? Because if so and answered yes, how does the date then plausibly claim not to like *anything*? Seems nuts.

Re clothing, strange emphasis on special snowflake-ness. The small number of kids I know who care enough to consistently buck the sartorial trend are not at all about "show offy ness" so I think there is some major category error at play here.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:39 PM
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I asked did she like chamber music and provided a link to the sfsound page describing same, saying that while I did not know the specific pieces I thought the program looked very promising and sfsound is great. I did not, I admit, specifically say anything about its being *modern* chamber music or avant-garde classics or mention Stockhausen or like that, but, as I said, I did provide a link! Anyway, it's not as if "mid-century avant-garde" narrows down a great deal what one will actually hear.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:49 PM
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Let me take that back; it obviously does narrow it down a great deal. But it leaves a lot of possibilities open yet.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:50 PM
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255: Oh yes, easily among his best. Have you read his Nobel Prize speech? I'm rarely that purely impressed by anything I read.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:50 PM
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And then this weekend I dragged three other people to see a performance that was part of the SF Friends of Chamber Music free concert deal, and no one (including me) liked it—the group was supposed to do Rzewski's "Coming Together" but switched it up and did something else, originally scored for three electric guitars, which really did not work when arranged for violin, cello, vibes, soprano, flute, and clarinet. Surprisingly enough.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 9:56 PM
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WOOOOOOO SUCK IT GIANTS


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:01 PM
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Ah, with a link provided I am afraid the date is on the hook.

Arrangements are a tricky business.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:02 PM
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A) violin + cello = guitar
vibes + soprano = guitar
flute + clarinet = guitar

B) violin = guitar
soprano + flute + clarinet = guitar
vibes + cello = guitar

C) violin + lower 2 strings of cello = 1st guitar
higher 2 strings of cello + left hemisphere of soprano = lower 12 frets of 2nd guitar
flute + 1 vibe = upper 12 frets of 2nd guitar
vibes - 1 + right hemisphere of soprano = 3rd guitar
clarinet = amp noise


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 10:46 PM
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The original was described to me as a "doom metal" piece; it was dedicated, somehow, to Milton Babbitt. It ended with a spoken coda less sophisticated than American Beauty.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-23-14 11:09 PM
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I unexpectedly had to give that kind of elevator pitch the other day

I found myself in a similar situation recently. Someone working on grants/fundraising was looking for a short summary of progress made on a project I've taken over. I can pitch what we're trying to do, which the institution has been trying to do for a couple of years, but the honest assessment is that things are much more of a mess than I expected and in my first few months of the job, the big accomplishment was getting us off a path that wasn't going to work last year, but which wasn't formally acknowledged last year as dead in the water, and which then sat idle for six months while the job was vacant, until just a little bit of systematic testing after I started showed it to be non-workable. That's progress, but you can't sell it to people not closely involved in the process. There's been considerable progress in other areas of the project that I'm not directly working on (partly because they seem to be going fine now so my priorities are elsewhere) but which are similarly not really visible to the public at this point.

There's also a problem that the stuff that pitches best to the public is stuff that we aren't working on yet and my pitches incorporate some of that into our current work are all falling flat, for reasons both valid and invalid (mostly the latter, in my opinion). But I don't want to be less vague about it in comments, so I'll stop here.


Posted by: project managerial president | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 12:58 AM
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265: "After experimenting with and ultimately discarding several alternative approaches that initially seemed more promising, we took stock of the lessons learned and rallied around an approach that we are now confident is the quickest path to [goal of project]."

That will be $1,000, please.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 4:21 AM
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I would assume that "chamber music" without any further elaboration was going to be tonal, and that if it was going to be atonal music that at some point the word atonal would be said.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:13 AM
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That seems reasonable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:15 AM
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He provided a link, people. Date was on the hook for a plausible representation the concert was at a minimum "interesting" and "enjoyable" even if not the sort of thing he/she would have normally gone to.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:18 AM
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I would not assume that chamber music was going to be tonal. But if someone told me they liked "chamber music" with no further specification, I would not assume that they would necessarily be up for anything non-Baroque-y. But by providing a link to the program, neb did his due diligence.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:19 AM
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Nobody ever clicks on the links.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:21 AM
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I myself very much like being able to talk with my date about not liking whatever I just saw or heard! Even if atonal is one's cup of tea one will not necessarily find a given example interesting or enjoyable. I do, however, almost always find a happy willing conversation about the thing afterward to be interesting and enjoyable! (I know many people do not, and actively loathe that kind of postmortem conversation about movies/music/books/whatever. But for me it's often the best part.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:23 AM
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Anyway, I was not aware that chamber music included anything non-Baroque-y. Of course, I wouldn't be particularly interested in seeing your bog standard Baroque chamber music.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:23 AM
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Given that neb would, all else being equal, no doubt much prefer to date Blume or dairy queen than Moby or Unfoggetarian, the date seems to have worked about as well as one might have hoped.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:23 AM
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At least he's not a home wrecker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:24 AM
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I mean I am confident that none of the above are going to happen. I was just using you all as proxies for fish which remain in the sea.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:27 AM
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I wouldn't necessarily expect something Baroque-y. Chamber music could just as well be Shostakovich, or whatever, or it could be earlier like Dowland, or something. But I would probably expect something vaguely tonal, in a loose sense, yeah. Where by 'loose' I'd be including Webern, and things like that.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:33 AM
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If the Stockhausen was the one with helicopters the date could be forgiven for believing it stretched the bounds of "chamber music" a tad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:36 AM
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Maybe neb could take a date fishing? There's a pier or something in the area, IIRC.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:36 AM
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There was also a little like with rowboats. It seemed nice enough, but I don't think you could fish from those boats. The lake was so shallow, I realized that it was much easier to move by using the oars against the muck on the bottom instead of the water.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:38 AM
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"a little lake with rowboiks."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:39 AM
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"a little like with rowboiks" is a valiant attempt to render your thick accent in prose, Moby.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:44 AM
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I figured rowboiks were Icelandic rowboats.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:45 AM
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I think it's called the Stow Like Boikhouse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:46 AM
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My wife's university position allowed a cheap subscription to a concert series. Present to me, I chose, and loved the modernity and obscurity as well as the performances. But a trial for her, and we didn't renew.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:48 AM
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I myself very much like being able to talk with my date about not liking whatever I just saw or heard!

And you know what, we had a nice conversation after the concert!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:49 AM
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Oh look it's possible to have a do-over!!!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:54 AM
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I sure do love this trend lately where I fall asleep later and later and get up earlier and earlier, by the way.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 6:57 AM
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Too much coffee?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:00 AM
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288: seems like the wrong time of year for that. That's me every June.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:09 AM
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Last time we were at Wigmore for a Sunday morning concert the young Franco Spanish duo played a Webern for their encore and man did that puppy clear the little white haired ladies from the hall! Impressive!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:11 AM
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291:
What piece?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:19 AM
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Don't seem to have the playbill, main program had some Saint Colombe and Bach played on, respectively, cello and cello piano, which honestly struck us as odd (such is the resurgent hegemony of the gamba!) but very well played so charming and enjoyable, rounding out with as I recall a Brahams? Then BOOM Webern before the sherry.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:28 AM
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1 of 5 or some such, doesn't narrow it down much with Webern does it?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:31 AM
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(such is the resurgent hegemony of the gamba!)

I was at a concert recently with an honest to god theorbo! I was very pleased.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:36 AM
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I was at a concert recently with an honest to god theorbo!

So will there be a second date with the theorbo?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:38 AM
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I can't go to a concert featuring a theorbo without spending at least some time wondering what kind of car the theorbist drives.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:38 AM
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At many performances of the local period-instrument Baroque music orchestra, I have contemplated what sorts of accommodations one would have to make for the theorbo. Do you have to drive a station wagon or similar to have room for it?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:41 AM
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Hey I think I know what you guys could talk about on the way to or from a concert featuing a theorbo.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:42 AM
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I'm in rehearsal now for a performance of Carissimi's Jephte. The best recording, by Le Parlement de Musique, has got a theorbo on it. I don't know if our director will be able to match that.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:44 AM
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Heh. Yeah. The big theorbos are monsters. Ordinary biggish swan-neck or extended type Baroque lutes seem to cover most of the same range, though, and are normal-ish in size. I'd love one.

http://www.gamutmusic.com/martin-hoffmann-baroque-lute/



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:57 AM
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Googling, they seem to only be around 170cm long, a lot of them. Which presumably you can fit at an angle, vertically, in a normal car seat.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 7:58 AM
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I can't go to a concert featuring a theorbo without spending at least some time wondering what kind of car the theorbist drives.

Because I brought it up. Stop stealing my bored-to-death-at-a-Baroque-concert musings!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 8:07 AM
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I am not sure that is true. I think it was on everybody's mind.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 8:08 AM
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Anyhow that concert was actually pretty good, if I recall, as far as period instrument baroque concerts go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 8:09 AM
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Cohomology: the study of getting there fast and then taking it slow.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 8:11 AM
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And other jokes that worked better in my head. (Outside of my head, it's too dark to fall in love to the rhythm of a steel drum band.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 8:18 AM
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Two quick things:

1.) You guys managed to have an interesting conversation about why it would be hard to explain math to someone.

2.) It's a lot nicer if, instead of saying "you wouldn't understand," she had said something like, "I study the chemistry of cancer. I'd have a hard time explaining it, because so much of what my expertise is in is really in complicated lab techniques."


Posted by: Anon NECR | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 8:54 AM
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Remember last week (?) when Sifu linked to the Uncoloring Book (which I also had as a kid)? Apparently Amazon noticed me clicking on it, and sent me an email today suggesting that I buy it.

The whole reason I don't speak to store clerks is so that they don't suggest that I buy anything. Fuck off, Amazon.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 10:03 AM
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306 makes me think of the confused mathematician hearing that song: "wouldn't 'cocomo' just mean 'mo'?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 10:39 AM
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Scene: my former advisor and I are waiting at an elevator. Another mathematician gets off and says hi.

Other mathematician: Guess how many mathematicians it takes to press a button in an elevator!
My advisor, gamely: How many!
Other guy: THREE! One to request the button, one to push it, and one to say thank you!

We all stand around blankly and awkwardly for a couple beats. Then the other mathematician explains that that is what had just happened on the elevator - three people had been involved in the request/push/thank you for the button. It struck him as funny, so he turned it into an inscrutable joke. We all dutifully hollowly laughed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 10:45 AM
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Anyway, 306 and 310 made me laugh, and not hollowly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 10:46 AM
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Guess how many mathematicians it takes to press a button in an elevator!

Later. I got a pencil stuck in my butt from the last joke.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 10:49 AM
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On math stack exchange, someone asked how you would explain cohomology to a high school student. You can check out the answers, but I think they basically fail at the task.

I think the best you can do is something involving why Green's theorem fails if the integrand is discontinuous, but I sure wouldn't have understood it as a high school student.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-24-14 1:30 PM
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