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Gondwanaland
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October 2008
 

Todd Eisworth
Date: 2008-10-04 18:38
Subject: Fluegel and Scelsi
Security: Public

This past April, NPR's "All Things Considered" had an April Fools Joke concerning a mythical composer known as Simon Fluegel.  You can read about it here ; the point was that Fluegel was exploring a compositional style known as "subminimalism", and had just released a new CD called "B-Flat and other notes", where each composition consisted of a single note played by various instruments.

I thought "Ha ha, very amusing".  But now I've discovered Giacinto Scelsi, who actually HAS written a composition called Quattro Pezzi su una nota sola ["Four Pieces on a single note"] (1959).   Yes, indeed. The pieces are exactly as advertised. You can even buy the CD at Amazon.com.

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Todd Eisworth
Date: 2008-09-27 23:17
Subject: Green Acres is the place to be!
Security: Public
I watched the film Koyaanisqatsi this weekend -- it's 80+ minutes of (mostly) time-lapse photography accompanied by an original Philip
Glass score. (I believe it was the first film he ever scored.)  A large portion of the film illustrates the hectic pace of modern life, and there is much footage of NYC pulsing in time-lapse like the circulatory system of someone on speed.

One of my not-so-secret secrets is that I cannot get comfortable when I'm in a big city.  Driving on the 401 in Toronto when we visit leaves me with sweaty palms and an uneasy feeling that I can't shake. I feel claustrophobic when walking in places where the sky is blocked by buildings, and when faced with crowds, my personality essentially shuts down and all I can think about is getting out to where things are quiet and I can think. 

So when you combine the film's raison d'etre together with my propensity for freaking out when faced with a concentrated population of humans, I find myself unable to sleep even though I'm extraordinarily tired.  I guess I'm just a wimpy right-brain introvert at heart, but I sure am glad I live in a place like Athens, Ohio...
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Todd Eisworth
Date: 2008-09-11 23:34
Subject: Oooookay then
Security: Public

 


This may be old news out there, but I just ran across it for the first time.  I thought this must be fake at first, but it seems she may actually be serious...

 

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Todd Eisworth
Date: 2008-08-06 15:07
Subject: Unfortunate
Security: Public

Talk about your unfortunate choice of advertising slogans:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26057894/

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Todd Eisworth
Date: 2008-08-02 20:49
Subject: Just have to say...
Security: Public
It's been 18 days, and I still can't believe I have a beautiful little daughter.

That is all...
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Todd Eisworth
Date: 2008-07-20 23:22
Subject: She married him??!!
Security: Public
And they've got seven kids??!!

Yes, indeed...I finally got sick of wondering about the "lucky couple" used in classmates.com's ubiquitous ad. Google led me to it:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003325519_adcouple27.html


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Todd Eisworth
Date: 2008-07-05 11:57
Subject: I, Picard
Security: Public
I'm really enjoying the old BBC mini-series "I, Claudius", and in the middle of one of the episodes, THIS  appears.
I would have never thought he had curly hair originally...


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Todd Eisworth
Date: 2008-05-29 13:50
Subject: 6 degrees of separation
Security: Public
subtitled: Generalized Erdos Numbers

I just found out that Mathscinet (the big online database recording publications appearing in mathematics journals) has a cool utility that will allow you to input two mathematicians and it returns a "co-author" path from one to the other.

For example, my Erdos number is 2: I published a paper with Saharon Shelah, who published with Erdos.

However, it gets entertaining when I try to connect up with my friends:

My "Shaw number" is undefined, because Doug hasn't published in mathematics journals with any co-authors, but I AM connected to Doug's advisor:  Eisworth published with shelah published with nash-williams published with harary published with storer, who begat shaw.

My "Rayevskaya number" is 4:

Eisworth published with Nyikos published with Kierstead published with Lorentz published with Schumaker published with raevskaya.

My  "Complehx number" number is 5

My "Prophet number" is 4

My "Mupasiri number" is 4

Cool!
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Todd Eisworth
Date: 2008-05-27 16:33
Subject: Parkersburg, Iowa
Security: Public

I miss a lot of things about Iowa, but the severe weather isn't one of them:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24840152/

I remember Parkersburg as a beautiful little small town a few miles away from where I lived in Iowa.  I'm glad everyone I know in Cedar Falls seems to be OK. I was a bit worried about two of my grad students who went back to visit Iowa over the last weekend, but both of them made it back to Athens...


*************
Edit: I realized just now that along with Clermont Harbor, this makes TWO towns I have connections with that have been completely destroyed by natural disasters.

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Todd Eisworth
Date: 2008-05-11 23:06
Subject: Friendly advice
Security: Public
Zip on over to youtube and watch the "Safety Dance" video, then follow it up with "Land down under".
It's almost guaranteed to make you feel better.

And I just made up a joke that's almost surely been made before:

Optimists look at a glass and say it's half full.
Pessimists look at a glass and say it's half empty
The people in charge of our university's budget look at a glass and say "It's 50% too big".
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