journal
2003

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This is my 2003 journal.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug

Also available: 2002 2001 2000 1990s 1980s

Everything on this page:
Copyright 1985-2003 by Thane Plambeck, except where obviously not.
23 February 2003
Sarah Vaughn




23 February 2003
1600 Meters


They've put in a cushy new track around the Palo Alto High School football field.

I thought I would try to see if I could get around it four times in less than 7 minutes.

Owen counted the laps for me. I finished with 2.11 seconds to spare.

Now if I could just run 26 of those in a row, that would be just about a three hour marathon...


13 February 2003
Foreign Policy of the United States of America


12 February 2003
An Amazon One-Click Purchase




10 February 2003
Three words or phrases that cause me to stop reading a document

gestalt
Usually a good indicator that bad writing awaits...
oprah
What could be said about Oprah that I would be interested in?
thought leader
Just trying searching on this term to see what I mean...

8 February 2003
Doing Math

Andrew Wiles, quoted in "Review of BBC’s Horizon Program, “Fermat’s Last Theorem”", by Andrew Granville, Notices of the AMS, Vol 44, No 1 (1997):
I start trying to find patterns. So I'm doing calculations which try to explain some little piece of mathematics. I'm trying to fit it in with some previous broad conceptual understanding of some branch of mathematics. Sometimes that'll involve going and looking up in a book to see how it's done there; sometimes it's a question of modifying things a bit, sometimes doing a little extra calculation; and sometimes you realize that nothing that's ever been done before is any use at all and you just have to find something that is completely new, and it's a mystery where it comes from.
John Horton Conway, quoted in "The Things that Glitter: From Games to Game Theory, John Conway's Passion for Mathematics Excites Students and Colleagues Alike," by Caroline Moseley, Princeton Alumni Weekly, 23 Dec 1992:
It's like being in a unfamiliar town, full of little byways. You think, 'Ah, I want to visit the palace—perhaps it's through here.' You plod along, you take a few twists and turns, you look up, and suddenly, there you are, at the palace steps.
Alain Connes, in Triangle of Thoughts, American Mathematical Society Press, 2001, translated by Jennifer Gage, pg 26:
I would like to put forward a second aspect of mathematics: I maintain that mathematics has an object that is just as real as that of the sciences I mentioned above [geology, particle physics, biochemistry, cosmology], but this object is not material, and is located in neither space nor time. Nevertheless this object has an existence that is every bit as solid as external reality, and mathematicians bump up against it in somewhat the same way as one bumps into a material object in external reality. Because this reality cannot be located in space or time, it affords—when one is fortunate enough to even uncover the minutest portion of it—a sensation of extraordinary pleasure through the feeling of timeliness that it produces.

8 February 2003
Overhead at the Internet Chess Club

If sometimes you feel insignificant, useless, offended, or depressed, always remember that you were once the fastest and most victorious sperm out of hundreds of millions.

6 February 2003
Photo Search

By searching at Google on common file name prefixes output by digital cameras, a person can have a look at random photos, taken by just about anybody, from all over the world.

For example, search on "DSC00ZZZ.jpg", where ZZZ are any three numbers.

Almost all of the photos revealed by such searches are bad, however. I guess I'm not the only crummy photographer.

Here are four that caught my eye: joan of arc shrine greek cat uncomfortable


3 February 2003
Email exchange with my parents


From: Vern and Marlene Plambeck
To: thane@best.com
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 12:23 PM
Subject: February 3


Looks like it would be a great time for hanging out at Oakhurst, the weather being consistently in the high fifties and not much precipitation. (Not that we're about to travel out there)...
From: thane@best.com
To: Vern and Marlene Plambeck
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 12:31 PM
Subject: February 3


We were there (Oakhurst) on the Martin Luther King day weekend and it was perfect, nice and warm and not at all too hot. Some of my math work got mentioned in the American Mathematical Society's "New in Math" column (on the web). I go to physics class, taught by my neighbor, tonight.

A girl named Amy Malzbender, 6 years old, was run over and killed by a Palo Alto high school senior January 28. The driver kept on going "as if nothing had happened" (as one says). It happened over near Gunn High School, which is near the University Club.

Cole and I went for a bike ride the next day and saw a parrot sitting on a mailbox, near a busy intersection. It was very talkative, calling out "Look at the bird! Look at the bird!" over and over again. We stopped to listen and the owner appeared. The bird says what it hears, that's all, she said.

2 February 2003
Long term consequences


From Sky News, "Benn Interviews Saddam"
...Tony Benn met Saddam in 1990 when, along with other British politicians, he tried to seek the release of British civilians in Iraq following Baghdad's invasion of neighbouring Kuwait.

He said the reason for his current visit to Baghdad was "to explore possibilities of a peaceful solution to a problem, that otherwise might lead to the most catastrophic war in which innocent people will be killed with long-term consequences".

1 February 2003
Opposite Day

At the intersection of Castro and California streets in Mountain View, Owen (age 4) lectures Gloria from the back row of the minivan:
"Mama—when we say that it is not opposite day, it means that it is opposite day. And if we say it is opposite day, it—well, actually, it's not...