The thing about living in a UCT+2 timezone is that by the time I see people posting about Friday, it's well into Saturday for me. Or maybe it's just a problem because I follow a lot of
It's not that I'm a perfectionist or anything. I completely accept that nothing will be done 100% right. I'd just like everything to be within a few standard deviations of correct. 3-sigma certainty, for example, is 99.7%. A 0.3% error in the posting time would give me, um, less than four and a half minutes into Saturday when I could post. See? Totally not perfectionist about stuff. Not whatsoever.
The holidays are too long. Now, people will object if I advocate for more term time, but I think it would be cool if we could take a couple of weeks from the long summer/winter holidays and tack them onto the ridiculously short mid-semester breaks. It might be nice to have a more balanced kind of year, but it would definitely be nice if I didn't have time to realise that the sensible thing to do with my curriculum might be to pick up Operations Research and Numerical Methods and drop Real Analysis and Algebraic Structure. I think it's worth struggling to take the courses I'll most enjoy, though.
It's not that the other modules are horrid, but it feels like switching waffles and ice-cream for macaroni and cheese. Macaroni cheese is yummy and good for you, but, well, it's not waffles and ice-cream.
|Better than macaroni cheese? [Photo by Michael Kwan]|
When I'm trying not to stress (for whatever collection of reasons) I read. A lot. In the last few days I've read Northanger Abbey as well as all five books in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief series. Riordan is awesome, but I couldn't help noticing that Percy dreams an awful lot in those books. Dreams are used as a really cool plot device, but given the number of throwaway comments the guy makes about his past dreams, he must have way more non-plot-related dreams than plot related ones. But he says he dreams way more at camp (where the action happens) than elsewhere. The epistemo-temporal maths doesn't work out. (It's still better than Harry Potter, where there are forty kids per year, but six or seven hundred in the school . . .) Despite such things, I love the books.
No, I don't think epistemo-temporal is actually a word. But let's pretend and use our etymological detective skills, yes? Epistemo from the Greek word ἐπιστήμη (epistēmē), meaning "knowledge". Temporal from the Latin root tempor- meaning "time". That is, the knowledge Percy gains by dreaming doesn't seem to tie up with the amount of time he spends dreaming. And I feel totally justified in mixing Latin and Greek, since Riordan does it all the time, although we hardly noticed until it became the premise for the new Heroes of Olympus series.
|Next on my (re)reading list (anyone who writes about classical mythology set today with a steampunk edge has to be pretty awesome, right?)|
There is a blog called Faraday's Cage is where you put Schroedinger's Cat.
It reminds me of why engineering is awesome, as well as why it frustrated me. It makes me think it doesn't really matter that much which bunch of cool courses you take for your undergrad degree: you can still shift around a bit more later if you're willing to work. It's pretty cool if you're interested in stuff like Physics/Maths/Engineering/Science Education/Gifted Child Education/Homeschooling/Cute Fluffy Animals*. I saw it featured here and it's part of the reason The Lost Hero is still on the to-be-read list (rather than the currently-reading list).
*Actually, it's pretty cool even if you aren't, but you probably have to like some of them to enjoy it.