Itâ€™s a pleasantly foggy morning here on the USC campus. It is 7:00am now (at least at start of writing), and it will all burn off in a few hours, I imagine, to reveal the sunny sky waiting for us. But right now it reminds me of the Cambridge morning of a couple of weeks ago. A foggy Saturday morning in fact. I took that photo of the spider web I used on Halloween with that mist in the background.
That Saturday of celebration of Andrewâ€™s work (The Andrew Chamblin Memorial Conference) at Cambridge was a remarkable experience. I was exhausted through a good deal of it, since I had eight hour jetlag, but Iâ€™m so glad I went, and that I could contribute a talk. I met many old friends and colleagues, drawn mostly from the UK and European side of Andrewâ€™s collection of friends, collaborators, and admirers in the field.
andrew chamblin memorial conferenceThere were talks by former collaborators of Andrewâ€™s: Gary Gibbons, myself, Roberto Emparan, Robert Caldwell, Raphael Bousso, and Stephen Hawking (who also guided some of Andrewâ€™s thesis work). Gary, in â€œDiscrete Symmetries and Gravityâ€, talked about Andrewâ€™s early Oxford and Cambridge work on various discrete symmetries in physics, particularly those of a geometrical origin. Heâ€™d played with various ideas in this context, including some applications to problems in […] Click to continue reading this post
Post or pillar boxes. One in Ireland, one in England. Nothing profound, I just like the contrast, thatâ€™s all.
I am back from my hop around â€œthe islandsâ€. Thoroughly confused body clock. Health generally needs restoring to some sort of balance. Had weird disagreement with a […] Click to continue reading this post
Well, Iâ€™m not getting any sleep at all tonight, so might as well blog a bit. Iâ€™ve got to wake up in two and a half hours to catch a flight, so might as well give up gracefully, and usefully, by sharing with you:
Two spheres caught my eye around Dublin today, one familiar, one not. Both great. […] Click to continue reading this post
It was a long day on the Job. From 8:15am to 6:15pm, we were stuck in one room for more or less the entire time. Now…. a quick guinness on the way back from dinner. Conversation about the private vs public forms of university, funding in science in general, dark … Click to continue reading this post
Iâ€™m always pleased to see this sign. It is at Heathrow, on the walk down the perpetually dingily lit underground corridors connecting the terminals, the tube, the
extortion Heathrow express, and the parking lots.
For a start, I generally like the idea that the ground floor of a building (the one you walk onto off the street) is the â€œzerothâ€ floor. (I mean no disrespect to this splendid country I live in, that has largely chosen otherwise, although every now and again in older buildings you see it.) So it is just great to see […] Click to continue reading this post
Well, it was only yesterday that I was telling the physics 100 class all about Special Relativity (lots of incredulous looksâ€¦. lots of reassurances, including: â€œYouâ€™re confused? Thatâ€™s ok! It is one of the greatest pieces of science of the 20th Centuryâ€¦ Itâ€™s not supposed to be trivialâ€¦.â€), but it seems like an age ago, and very distant. Thatâ€™s because Iâ€™m in Dublin today. (Pesky wormholes.)
Just for a few days.
Guinness will be involved, I imagine (yeah!), although it will not be the primary focus. (The pint in the photo to the right is from a previous trip.) [ … ] Click to continue reading this post
During the course of a coffee break during Saturdayâ€™s all day conference in Cambridge, I looked out of the window to an intriguing sight:
(Click for larger.) They were doing needlework of some sort, and it looked like a lot of fun. They were happy to let the strange man (uhâ€¦ me) take the photograph he asked for. Little did I know that one of them -Richard- actually reads blogs about science including this very blog and wrote in and asked if I was that particular photographer! Small world! […] Click to continue reading this post
Got to sleep at 6:30am after the post-memorial-conference banquet, and its aftermath… Up again at 9:45am to rush around to get ready to go for a quick walk (how can one not do that when visiting Cambridge?) and then check out of the hotel. It is always pleasant to go … Click to continue reading this post
Spotted near King’s College: Always funny how these things happen. Or maybe it is just how my mind works. During the lunch break, after talks by Gary Gibbons, myself, and Roberto Emparan, it sort of stands to reason that I would run into some scene on the streets of Cambridge … Click to continue reading this post
You’ve probably gathered from my writings by now that I think that bike riding is a good thing. Particularly as an alternative to driving, where appropriate. One such place where biking is in principle a perfect alternative is Los Angeles. Mostly flat, wide streets, perfect weather most of the year … Click to continue reading this post
On the 14th of July of this year, Bastille Day – the important French holiday – we inhabitants of the mathematics “monastery” at which I was staying in Luminy in the South of France (see a CV post about this here) were forced to wander out into the outside world. … Click to continue reading this post