Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I missed the Canadian Thanksgiving, I missed the German one, so let me try the US one! This year, I am very grateful to the GZK cutoff being where it's supposed to be. I am grateful to Mike Lazaridis for paying our coffee and cookies, to the guys who fixed the air condition in my office, and to SISSA for the travel reimbursement. I thank the Maple software engineers for the tensor package, and the inventors of Facebook for making it possible that Stanford Profs throw turkeys at me. But most of all, I am thankful for having such a lovely husband who stays up all night because his wife is on Eastcoast time and never to reach before midnight.


  1. Hi Bee,

    Thanks for remembering the US Thanksgiving. Do you get to watch American football on Canadian Television?

    Please remind Canadians that they are Americans also, just as Germans are Europeans.

    A question regarding 'the Maple software engineers for the tensor package':

    Do you or Stefan sometimes use helical functions [primarily electrical engineering] in lieu of elliptical functions?

    Maple has a software package [32 worksheets] for Hamish Meikle [MS EE and European radar consultant], 'A New Twist to Fourier Transforms': MAPLE.

  2. Hi Doug,

    No, I've never used these functions. Unfortunately, most of the integrals I am dealing with I know are divergent, so just plugging them into Maple usually doesn't work.

    Regarding football: I have no TV. But it seems the thing to watch in Canada is ice hockey. As far as I am concerned they are mostly exchangable anyhow, put soccer and baseball also within that category.



  3. I received an e-mail from my hosting provider saying "Happy Thanksgiving" I begin to understand what we're talking about :)...

    It's really in Italy it's not so frequent to say "thanks"...maybe a "dedicated day" could help!

  4. @Doug: the Canadians I know are more attuned to linguistic-pragmatic norms than you seem to be. There's not a country in Europe to which the adjective "European" has been assigned; "American" on the other hand means "*United Stater". You can deplore that if you wish, but it's a fact of language, and the Canadians I know have no desire to be "Americans" though they acknowledge sharing a continent with us.

    But Happy Thanksgiving anyway. :-)

  5. I didn't know Germany and Canada had a thanksgiving.

    And aaaahh maple. The engineers can use it on their exam, the physics and astronomy however have to do it by hand.

    I just got my exam schedule. January 2008 shall be the month that decides my life!

  6. Dear Bee,

    oh... that's also about me... blush... thank YOU :-)

    I am somehow confused, I always thought, US thanksgiving is on the last Thursday of November. OK, before asking (maybe a stupid question is one where the first google hit provides an exhaustive answer ;-), google tells me it is actually the fourth Thursday in November, which is ususally the same as last Thursday, unless the 1st of November falls on a Wednesday or a Thursday, as this year...

    About throwing turkeys and mashed potatoes to other people via facebook... at least it keeps young ;-)

    Hi Doug,

    helical functions? Never even heard of, I have to admit...

    Hi ridger,

    thanks for the enlightening remarks about the Candian/American issue I'll feel more comfortable now when briefly using just "American" instead of "US-American" ;-)

    Hi Francis,

    the German Erntedank is usually celebrated only in church, it's not a big secular event. It's on the first Sunday in October. For the Canadian Thanksgiving, see e.g. here ;-)

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  7. Hi Francis:

    Good luck with your exams!

    Regarding the Canadian/German Thanksgiving, see also last year's post. The Canadian Thanksgiving is some time in October, but seems to be essentially the same pumpkin-turkey story as in the US. In German Thanksgiving is not an official holiday, but celebrated in some churches and there are usually many markets where the harvest is sold, often they make it kind of medieval style which can be quite nice. Best,


  8. Ah. I see. My husband already said that :-)



    The Nanny State is naught but Hate
    plus heavy wallet suckin',
    Erect a finger in its face
    and cook up a turducken.
    Your BMI says you will die
    with doctors' tongues a cluckin',
    They can't erase your smiley face
    if you're packed with turducken.
    A chicken, duck, a turkey boned,
    and lots of Cajun stuffin',
    They died to save the little kids
    all gorging on turkducken.
    More protein that a suckling pig,
    More fat than a deep fryer!
    More cayenne than a can of Mace,
    More salt than desert playa!
    The oven hums, the roaster groans,
    The serving platter's bucklin',
    When it comes out it goes back in,
    It's THAT good, the turducken!

  10. I'm sorry to have to say that the main thing I am grateful for on Thanksgiving is that I don't have to read the arxiv.....

  11. I'm thankful for a couple of things. First of all, there were no seminars after Tuesday this week, which is good, since I managed to get a cold, and now I can sit around at home without feeling guilty about missing talks. Secondly, I get to visit with family and friends.

  12. I'm raising a thanksgiving mug of Cheap Red to uncle al for "Ode to a Turducken."

    I had to go deeper and check out the link to uncle al, and after chortling and guffawing, this brought home to me what I'm grateful for today.

    Having just returned from China, I'm thankful NOT to be living in a place where posting a website like uncle al's, or even perusing it, could land you in the hoosegow.

    I'm thankful for a community of kindred spirits who can connect from across the world using the most magical of technologies.

    I'm thankful to be living in a time when the efforts of diverse thinkers and tinkerers can convincingly hypothesize events across billions of years and lightyears, and where there is a store of knowledge called "science" that is tested and built up through their efforts.

    So thanks! Now pass the turducken!

  13. Also, we could define Thanksgiving in terms of atlantic crossing, Then, Spanish Thanksgiving should be October 12th. And so for other expeditions, with the restriction of founding a colony (which Colon did, but it was totally wiped out).

    For Norway, I am not sure if the epic of Eric the Red gives some calendar date.

    I have a problem also to define "Canadian Thanksgiving" with this criterium.


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