Happenings – 2011 Jul 16

Okay, let’s start with the important stuff.

The Blu-ray extended versions of the Lord of the Rings movies came out recently. A few friends and I are going to get together this morning, and we will start watching “the Fellowship of the Ring” at about 10 AM, on a very large HD TV. What with one long break in midafternoon, and small breaks during the day, we will probably finish “Return of the King” around 10:30 PM. (We’ve done this before.)

So, I will do no mathematics today… but I will be suitably geeky.

Offhand, I can only think of one other similar all day event. This isn’t possible for the Harry Potter movies, or for the six Star Wars movies – those both cannot be handled in a day, not by me anyway. And the original three Star Wars movies didn’t take all that much time to watch.

But… there is an old science fiction series… six books, each about 250 pages… I can read the set comfortably in 15 hours. I’m referring to the Lensmen series by E. E. “Doc” Smith. I think this, rather than Asimov’s original Foundation series, should have been voted the best science fiction series. Don’t misunderstand me: the original three-volume Foundation series was great – but the Lensmen series was greater.

If you’ve never read it, look for a copy of “Galactic Patrol”. It’s the third book in the series, but the first two are better read after you’ve gotten hooked. (They are prequels.)

Have you read the Foundation series? If so, do you remember the Prime Radiant? It was a device that projected all of mathematics onto the walls of a room, and one could zoom in to get more and more detail. I fell in love with it the first time I read about it.

It took me a while to figure out that I was a mathematician rather than a physicist or engineer, but my attraction to the prime radiant was an early, if unrecognized at the time, milestone. Unfortunately, the closest I can come to it are a large personal library of mathematics books, and the Internet.

With that, let me close and get ready for this long day.

Oh, there was a magnitude 6.2 earthquake this past Monday… that was the fourth one of magnitude at least six somewhere on this planet. My forecast for the month has been satisfied. There was a fifth such earthquake yesterday. The forecast of six earthquakes that I was afraid to make is looking pretty good.

Okay, let me go get ready for a day of myth and magic, and problems solved with swords.

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Posted in diary. 1 Comment »

One Response to “Happenings – 2011 Jul 16”

  1. rip Says:

    In retrospect, I don’t see why I couldn’t watch all 6 Star Wars movies in 15 hours. Especially since I might not bother with the fourth one released.


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