Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I meant to tell you something about the String Pheno, but the slides are still not online. So, instead just a lovely photo from the old part of the village, Frascati, where it took place. I am on my way back to Italy, this time to Trieste where I will attend the workshop From Quantum to Emergent Gravity: Theory and Phenomenology.


  1. In the 4 years I've lived in Frascati, I've never made just a photo excursion in my town. I'm always running somewhere or the other. Thanks for the photo, Bee. You've reminded me that I must make such a photo excursion pronto...

    Here's a story, you might like.

    In the wee mornings of my birthday, in March 2004, I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep, so I decided to read a bit to help me relax. I am usually reading several books at once, and the book that I chose that moment was _Writing for your Life_, my old favorite, which I use to delve into my inner worlds. The way that I use this book is to flip it open to a page that looks interesting, then read it and think/work through some of the suggestions. After all of these years, I've read about 3/4 of the book this way. On that particular early Sunday morning, I read a section that I haven't read before about one's creative muse, and ways that help to invoke the muse, when building and supporting a creative life. The author presented some words written by a colleague/friend named Regina O'Melveny (essay: "Bread Woman") about what worked for her to invoke the muse. O'Melveny called on a "3-Breasted Bread Woman from Frascati" to give signs and assistance when she needed to open up her heart, in order to write.

    The "3-Breasted Bread Woman from Frascati" is, in fact, the patroness of my town, and you can buy pastries and ceramics of a woman with three breasts. It was a little surreal, lying in the middle of the night, in my bed in Frascati, thinking about my inner worlds, while the author of the book I was reading, was telling me about invoking the patroness of the town in which I live. Perhaps it only means that I've seen so many different places and things, that now words from others are familiar, and I'm more connected to this planet than ever before.

    And why the three breasts? From a cookie salesman in my town, these are the reasons:

    -two breasts for giving milk
    -one breast for giving wine

  2. hey bee, please stop by in Venice for a glass of wine!

    Let me know - my cell phone is coming by mail.


  3. Hi Arun,

    yes, isn't it? Looks like taken from a picture book about Italy :-) I actually went back the last day to take that photo.

    Hi Amara,

    Thanks for that story :-) I am back in Italy now, but have to say so far I am not particularly excited by Trieste (sorry for being so brief, internet is kinda shaky)

    Hi Tommaso,

    I could definitely need one (or two or three) glasses of wine in nice company, but I'm afraid I'm leaving Italy already tomorrow. Hope it works some other time!



  4. Hi Bee, I've heard some Italians say that Trieste is 'not really Italy', and I suppose that is because of its history with the borders frequently changing (I haven't visited Trieste to see for myself). Even today, the mobile field for TIM shifts in and out sometimes giving Trieste TIM telefonino users an expensive Croatia mobile field instead.

    The corner that you chose for your photo is particularly photogenic... indeed it is one that I've seen on Frascati postcards, so you are in good company!

  5. Hi I actually thought the photo looked like the computer generated guy from the Dire Straits video:

    when I first come to the backreaction site, the image, for some reason triggers thoughts of the above guy? paul.

  6. From the summer I spent in Frascati, I agree, that corner is one of the most photogenic. I think I ate dinner right near there once. Also, there are some spots in the city overlooking Roma that are quite beautiful at night.


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