Friday, August 03, 2012


Lara and Gloria are presently very difficult. They have learned to climb the chairs and upwards from there; I constantly have to pick them off the furniture. Yesterday, I turned my back on them for a second, and when I looked again Lara was sitting on the table, happily pulling a string of Kleenex out of the box, while Gloria was moving away the chair Lara had used to climb up.

During the last month, the girls have added a few more words to their vocabulary. The one that's most obvious to understand is "lallelalle," which is supposed to mean "empty", and usually a message to me to refill the apple juice. Gloria also has found a liking in the word "Haar" (hair), and she's been saying "Goya" for a while, which I believe means "Gloria". Or maybe yogurt. They both can identify most body parts if you name them. Saying "feet" will make them grab their feet, "nose" will have them point at their nose, and so on. If Gloria wants to make a joke, she'll go and grab her sister's nose instead. Gloria also announces that she needs a new diaper by padding her behind, alas after the fact.

I meanwhile am stuck in proposal writing again. The organization for the conference in October and the program in November is going nicely, and I'm very much looking forward to both events. My recent paper was accepted for publication in Foundations of Physics, and I've wrapped up another project that had been in my drawer for a while. Besides this, I've spent some time reading up the history of Nordita, which is quite interesting actually, maybe I'll have a post on this at some point.

I finally said good bye to my BlackBerry and now have an iPhone, which works so amazingly smoothly I'm deeply impressed.

Below a little video of the girls that I took the other day. YouTube is offering a fix for shaky videos, which is why you might see the borders moving around.

I hope your summer is going nicely and that you have some time to relax!


  1. Hi Bee,

    Well it certainly looks as if you have your hands full. Everyone is looking great however. My only advice during these trying times being, if you can’t beat them is to join them :-)

    “Hey! rub-a-dub, ho! rub-a-dub, three maids in a tub,
    And who do you think were there?
    The butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker,
    And all of them gone to the fair.”

    - Mother Goose's Quarto or Melodies Complete, (1825)



  2. Re the climbing business: We made the mistake to buy Mammuth ( at Ikea since Justus seemed to like it in the shop.

    He still likes it but he can carry it around the flat and this extends his reach for about 30cm making most things hidden so far reachable (sharp knives, plants, doorknobs, suff on higher shelves).

    So strong parental advisory: Don't fall this trap!

  3. Right - we do have an IKEA step stool called FÖRSIKTIG which we had to take away, at least temporarily...

  4. Hi Phil,

    How many times can you repeat "Where is your nose?" before synapses start shriveling to death? Best,


  5. ^^^^ rename something, say, the right ear, as "quantum gravity". :). "Lara, where is your quantum gravity?" will always lead to thoughts that will keep your synapses whole. :)

  6. climbing. What a joyful stage. After quickly going to the bathroom the other day, I came back to find Evan standing on the dining room table, throwing decorative balls into the living room while giggling his head off. Good times.


    Alan Kostelecky offers an extensive menu of Lorentz violations through Standard Model Extension, none of which are empirically validated. The Eot-Wash group's polarized electron (zero external field composite magnet) experiments are punctilious null results.

    Your proposal that naughty things can happen until somebody looks is wicked. Feynman wondered what the inside of a brick looks like. Attempting to look breaches a surface, ending the interior. Today we'd take a slice of brick and blast a femtosecond laser pulse through it. A fast gated detector chooses the number of scattering events with its delay time. Thus we can optically reconstruct the inside of a volume, in color, without creating a surface. Or use a transparent brick.

  8. Hi Bee,

    Just to alert you to another art form using baby pictures, from another blog I follow.

    Best wishes,

  9. Regarding the Blackberry... Though I've never owned one, or an Iphone for that matter, my impression from my business reading is that RIM is going through a tough time. Its competitors, primarily Apple, is eating its lunch and unless they change their product line or their business model they are on a downhill descent. It makes me wonder if this has implications for the sustainability of quality at the Perimeter Institute. Do you hear anything? No need to go into any great detail as I don't want you to burn bridges for my sake.

    It sounds like the twins are a handful right now. I'm sure though that watching them explore the world and making connections in their minds is it's own reward.


  10. Hi Eric,

    I really don't know why people bring this up again and again. I've said it a few times already: my understanding is that it doesn't matter for PI what RIM's stock is doing. They have an endowment, which they have hopefully invested smartly. In their annual report you can read:

    "The $220 million fund consists of a portfolio mix of domestic equities, international equities, fixed income, and alternative investments specifically designed in accordance with the Institute's risk return objectives."

    (I believe they made it through the 2008 financial crisis without large problems, so they seem to have the "risk return objectives" worked out well.) About half of their funding I think comes from the government anyway, have a look at page 56 of the mentioned annual report. That having been said, Lazaridis is still head of the board, but that's pretty much the extent to which RIM seems tied to PI at this point.

    This really isn't much of an insider knowledge, you could easily have found out on their website. Best,


  11. Hi Arun,

    Thanks for the link, that is very cute :o) Best,


  12. "I finally said good bye to my BlackBerry and now have an iPhone, which works so amazingly smoothly I'm deeply impressed."

    Bee, I see that you are enjoying all the goods capitalism has to offer. Well it's hard to resist...

  13. Sabine,

    I always heard other parents tell me: 'it gets easier, don't worry.. ', but I have yet to know when that is. It seems like many things get more difficult! Maybe I shouldn't have said that.. I'm thinking maybe age 4 or 5 I can breathe a little easier. One thing I foresee for your girls is that they will have each other's attention soon enough to give you a little more time apart from them.. even if that is 5 or 10 minutes.

    I remember moments in Vija's climbing furniture that I wanted her to learn the consequences of a fall. I scanned the vicinity quickly to see if there was anything sharp and made an estimate of seriousness of injury, and if I estimated that it wouldn't be serious, then I let her fall. It's a hard thing to do, I know.. every instinct of a mother is to prevent such a thing. I believe that she started being a little more cautious from that point. I also had carpet in my rooms, so I'm not sure this will work for you.

    I also remember difficult growing phases, where she was not grasping what her larger body could do. There was one phase at 19 months when she had several faceplants in a weekend and then around that time, two sprained feet in two months time. Try not to be a wreck when your girls enter those phases... Easier said than done, I know.

    Anyway, many hugs from here.. Let's say I understand what you're going through. And I'm thoroughly impressed that you can find enough focus to write/submit/publish papers and organize conferences with two 19mo active girls.


  14. Hi Amara,

    Thanks for your advice. Yes, I'm afraid, they'll only learn it if they fall. Right now however, I seem to be the one who gets the bruises, as they find it presently very entertaining to bang things on my head or throw them at me... Anyway, luckily it's still possible to distract them from their furniture climbing fixation, at least temporarily. It is somewhat unfortunate that when we go to the playground, they seem to be to distracted by the other children too try climbing there, where they could learn it. Best,



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