Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Interna

Nothing much new these days. I successfully moved an increasing amount of boxes, my furniture, and myself some floors upwards. I felt somewhat bad for letting the 70something year old landlord carry the couch, but he insisted. He did pretty well actually, though he broke the bathroom mirror so I am presently having a break from watching my own nose. It's somewhat difficult though to apply mascara without a mirror, and I came to realize an important drawback of these non-stick pans which are made of completely non-reflecting material.

The only reason why I'm telling you that is that I presently have nothing more intelligent so say. My most profound recent insight was yesterday, after 20 years, I finally realized why my grandmother always told me to turn the bedsheets inside-out before washing. But to be fair she also told me a lot of other things, like not to cut potatoes with the knife, and to always keep my knees together when sitting.

Interesting things to read today: the Smart makes it into the US, Your computer is a 'container' and it's perfectly legal for the US government to snoop around on it, and Nicholas Carr has big news:"Computers are technologies of liberation, but they're also technologies of control".

Topic of the day in Waterloo is the temperature, which reached 15°C in some places yesterday. All the snow has melted, and the park where Stefan took these lovely photos only a few days ago, has turned into a mudhole. Meaning, I ruined my new shoes, and the Canadians are running around in shorts and T-shirts, no kidding. A whole culture melts, if the Canadian kids can't iceskate in the backyard.

Have a nice day.

26 comments:

Blaisepascal said...

I've never heard of turning bedsheets inside out before washing. What's the benefit of doing so? For that matter, how do you turn a sheet inside out?

Bee said...

good point actually. oohm. how do you call these things where you put the blanket in, not on?

let me see, online dictionary alternatively suggests 'bedcover', does that make more sense? I actually thought that's the blanket to, well, cover the bed.

oleg said...

Hi Bee,

I think you meant a duvet cover.

If you've nothing better to do, check out the cover story in last week's Nature about magnetic monopoles in a condensed-matter system. Here's the Editor's Summary with links to the original paper and my News and Views blurb. The preprint: arXiv:0710.5515.

Anonymous said...

Mirror mirror on the wall,
Why cant I see myself at all

A lifeless reflection,
With no affection,

A bittersweet sense,
With a sad commence,

Mirror mirror on the wall,
Why cant I hear the voices call,

Stuck in time in a phrase,
The beginning of this new phase,

Blinded by the dark,
Leaving a mark,

No trace,
No pace,

Just a timeless revere,
Where reality is not near

Mirror Mirror on the wall,
Its like you stalk me in this hall,

Wherever I am you reflection still shows,
How I really feel nobody knows,

You keep on going,
And never stop showing,

But your curse is not bound,
When my facade is not found,

So mirror mirror on the wall,
I declare you and ur curse to fall,

I found myself my true painting,
No longer do I stay waiting,

So now a leave you broken mirror,
Shattered on the ground I have no tears

Never again will I turn to you,
When I just dont know who to be

by Mandi

best,
A.

Uncle Al said...

Homeland Severity can wallow in my hard drive. Bush the Lesser in, now Bush the Lesser out. Impeach and convict the corrupt self-righteous idiot for war crimes including religion-based mass murder of foreign civilians.

When you electrolessly plate a new mirror consider depositing a few monolayers of copper before laying down the silver. An almost imperceptably ruddy tint is complimentary to skin tones.

Andreas said...

Hi Sabine,

If you like the Smart, maybe you'll like this (http://www.theaircar.com/models.html#Mini) one too. It only needs some air - to breath so to speak - as it runs on compressed air (http://www.theaircar.com/howitworks.html). Should become available in France this summer for about Euro 7,000 (w/o taxes).

Nice and clever. I like the idea.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“I felt somewhat bad for letting the 70something year old landlord carry the couch, but he insisted. He did pretty well actually, though he broke the bathroom mirror.”

I find myself at a lose understanding why he was trying to get the couch into the bathroom to begin with? :-)

Phil Warnell said...

Bee,

One more observation.

“My most profound recent insight was yesterday, after 20 years, I finally realized why my grandmother always told me to turn the bedsheets inside-out before washing.”

What you need is a Klein duvet inspired by the Klein bottle. In this case the inside is the outside.

anonymous snowboarder said...

Bee - did you try those Nokian Hakkapellitta snow tires I recommended? I discovered mine do quite well in the mud too these past two days in Vermont.

Eric Gisse said...

Why shouldn't I cut potatoes with a knife, and what should I cut them with?

A fork or butter knife that has my hand pounding on it works in a pinch...

Andreas said...

@eric:
You could use a peeler instead.

Bee said...

Hi Blaise:

What's the benefit of doing so?

If I turn the cover before washing, all the socks that accumulate in it will fall out when I put it on the blanket. Otherwise I have to crawl in.

Hi Phil,

What you need is a Klein duvet inspired by the Klein bottle. In this case the inside is the outside.

But I'd have to pay for this with completely exhausted and disoriented socks then.

Hi Snowboarder,

did you try those Nokian Hakkapellitta snow tires I recommended?

Ooh, no, actually I am still driving with summer tires. Hope you get to see some decent snow the next months!

Hi Eric:

Why shouldn't I cut potatoes with a knife, and what should I cut them with?

As Andreas said, you peel them with a peeler, and you eat them with a fork. As to the why you'd have to ask my grandmother, unfortunately she died last year.

Best,

B.

stefan said...

... the Canadian kids can't iceskate in the backyard.

At least I have seen one or two of these funny constructions with planks and canvas in some backyards, and last week, it seemed to work ;-). But I was really really amazed by this rise in temperature about more than 20 centigrades within a few days...

And, funny, I realise only know that this Globe and Mail article is about the Gretzky's - wow, nice coincidence ... - we've stumbled upon Gretzky's in Toronto, and Wayne Gretzky is the one name of an ice hockey legend that I knew of, back then he was active ;-)...

Best, Stefan

Neil' said...

I remember the winters having more snow and being colder around here (SE Virginia), and lots of people I talk to and see comments etc. say similar things about climate most places. Lots of people actually think global warming is worse than even the consensus believers think it is. That's not going to impress people like LuMo, but I must admit to being impressed by the look at least of his latest skeptical post on that. Any thoughts?

Eric Gisse said...

eh

I peel them with a peeler [even I can figure that one out] but I often cut them only because they boil faster than if they remain whole.

stupid blogger verification. i can barely read cursive as it is...

Lumo said...

Dear blaisepascal,

a closed bedsheet is topologically a sphere, so the problem of turning bedsheet inside out is equivalent to turning a sphere inside out.

Best
Lubos

Phil Warnell said...

>What you need is a Klein duvet inspired by the Klein bottle. In this case the inside is the outside.

>>But I'd have to pay for this with completely exhausted and disoriented socks then.

That's what they deserve for attempting to sneak in there to begin with. I’m somewhat disappointed however. The reason I proposed such a solution to you was that unlike a Mobius strip which can be embedded in Euclidean space (three dimensional). The Klein duvet cover needs to be embedded in four dimensional space. For many this may seem impossible yet I’ve been assured that physicists such as yourself and Lisa Randall have the branes to pull it off :-)

Eric Gisse said...

lubos your blog did something unique:

the ads you serve overwrote not only the window contents, but overwrote the browser history so I couldn't go back.

your blog gets the obnoxious award.

Bee said...

Hi Eric,

That's been the case with my browser since at least a year. I either can't open the site at all, or get forwarded to a random spam site, helps a lot with my good intentions not to read Lubos.

Hi Neil',

My thoughts on global warming are here. You should have noticed by now that I don't like to repeat myself.

Hi Phil,

Not sure what you're disappointed about. I thought you were talking about the topol. of the Klein bottle which can be imbedded in 3d, what were you talking about? In case this is a joke, I don't get it.

Hi Stefan,

Yeah, these rapid ups and downs drive me nuts. I should get an outside thermometer, if the snow isn't exactly melting above your window there's no way telling whether it's -20 or +15. Best,

B.

John G said...

Maybe a Mobius tranformation would work? I think this is equivalent to adding the asshole in a Bee-like group theory approach to blanket suggestions (Hi Lubos!).

As to how a Mobius transformation is equivalent to adding an asshole, it goes like this:

1. As I mentioned earlier, the Golden Compass is related to Gurdjieff's Enneagram and 4th Way work.

2. The Enneagram includes the head, heart and gut triads (related to Gurdjieff's passive, active, and selecting law of three).

3. The 4th Way includes the concept of intellectual, emotional, and moving/instinctive centers (someone actually comically mentioned centers already in relation to Bee's group theory).

4. So we have Bee's head, heart, and soul group members now well represented in Enneagram/4th Way terms. Where's the asshole?

5. Well in math terms we have quaterninic imaginaries and need to add the real.

6. In physics, we have perhaps a triality of passive past (w/matter), active future (w/antimatter), and selective spacetime (real dimensions) and need to add the adjoint (for bosons/imaginary dimensions).

7. Thus adding the asshole is like making the dimensions complex so you can do Mobius transformations!

OK it needs a little work.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“Not sure what you're disappointed about. I thought you were talking about the topol. of the Klein bottle which can be imbedded in 3d, what were you talking about? In case this is a joke, I don't get it.”

Yes, I admit it was suppose to be a joke. This confusion has served to remind me to keep my day job. I’m not sure what you mean when you say that the topol of the Klein bottle can be embedded in 3d. One of the requirements of the Klein bottle is that it must be able to pass through itself without making a hole. This I always thought could only be done in 4d space. The link leads to a description on Wolfram's Math world which essentially says the same.

As for the joke part I think I'll quit while I’m ahead.

Best,

Phil

Bee said...

well, you wrote rather unspecifically "inspired by the Klein bottle", which I understood as the commonly used self-intersecting 3d immersion you've probably seen it.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

Yes I’ve seen it. Some how immersion got mixed up with embedded. So now that’s been cleared up, a question. If you did have a true Klein bottle/duvet embedded in 4d and 3d socks emerged how would they appear to those who might (hypothetically) exist in such of realm? :-)

Regards,

Phil

mum said...

Even if your grandma is dead your mother knows the reason why not to cut the potatoes with the knife. It's just because in former times most of the knifes consist of silver. And the old silver turns into black if you cut potatoes which content some sulfur.
Best Mum

Bee said...

Hi Mum,

Thanks... could recall the part with the silver but not with the sulfur... Best,

B.

amaragraps said...

About global warming.. According to my cousin's daughter who spent last Christmas above the Artic Circle, it was an unusually warm 5C in Lapland, Finland a few weeks ago.

And the end of my saga about Moving!

For my household, it arrived safely last Monday. Even though I brought proper clothes for the winter, I didn't have variety, and I was getting bored of wearing the same two wool sweaters. The path of my household: upon arrival on the other side of the Atlantic to the Port of Houston, Texas, in the third week of December, was separated from the other shipments and Xrayed (I keep thinking that the dogs must have sniffed my tea and spices), and was then put on a train across the mid-section of the US between Christmas and New Years. On Friday, January 4, my house-on-the-train entered Colorado, and last Monday, January 7, it arrived to my home in Boulder, Colorado, two months after waving goodbye to it in Frascati, Italy. Interestingly, I had Italians (Sardinians), packing and picking up my home on the Frascati, Italy side, and Mexicans delivering and unpacking my home on the Boulder, Colorado side. The language lessons were pretty fun! I learned alot of Spanish words, last Monday.

Three companies were involved in the move on the Boulder end: the company to bring the shipping container from the train to my home, the company to unload and unpack the boxes, and I needed a third company: a contractor technician to help me assemble my futon couch. The Rome company Franzosini disassembled my couch to the bare screws and washers, and I have not assembled it from such a basic state before. (I took pictures of that futon assembly too, and so I will write myself an instruction sheet for the next time.)

There was a sort of ritual to 'break the seal' on the shipping container, then the truck driver, who doesn't have authority to touch the boxes inside of his own truck, went to the cab of the truck and sat there (I hope his heater was on, since it started snowing a little in the afternoon) for several few hours, while the _second_ company unloaded the boxes and while I checked off the numbered boxes on my list to make sure that we had everything. I am _so glad_ that I wrote on all four sides and in English the contents of most of the boxes in Frascati, because it would have slowed us up considerably. And yes, indeed, the boxes that slowed us were those whose contents we couldn't figure out from the Sardinian Italian and which I had not marked.

The second company brought a large truck too -- these two trucks occupied a large volume on my street last Monday, obstructing for a little while the City of Boulder garbage pickup truck. The purpose of the second truck was so that they could store the packing material from unpacking my boxes. Our strategy was for them to leave with as many empty boxes as possible, Monday evening, which meant emptying the contents of as many boxes as possible onto the floor of my home. By Monday evening, I had no space to walk, especially with 1200 books in piles everywhere. The books were first to get off of the floor, which needed some lessons too.

I have a plump carpet throughout my new home, now, which doesn't provide the most stable surface for heavy bookshelves. My first bookshelf, of physics books, neatly fell over, after I had spent two hours assembling and filling it. Of course, in the process, it knocked over my cup of tea onto the beige carpet and onto one of my beige meditation cushions. OK, so after slipping enough pieces of cardboard under the front of the bookshelves to force them to lean against the wall, I filled the assembled bookshelves and they appear to be more-or-less vertically balanced now ;-), barring any earthquakes (which I never heard of in Colorado) so I think I am safe. Now, to the rest of the putting away of my household... Ciao! Amara