Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Too much cheese, too many surrenders!

Saw the end of the France-Denmark World Cup game today. The cheese-eating surrender monkeys surrendered once again, 2-0, and go home having not just failed to win but having failed even to score in three games. And they're the World Cup champions! Is it a coincidence that France has the euro and Denmark has resisted it? I think not! The French played abysmally. You could tell half-way through the second half that they would lose. The Danes were smiling, loose. The French looked lost, hypnotized. Now don't get me wrong. I love France. It's beautiful. If there just weren't so many darned Frenchmen in it! Fill it with Danes and send the French to keep the Palestinians company. They deserve each other.

Monday, June 10, 2002


Found an astonishing article at the Atlantic online (theatlantic.com) about viruses and bacteria that may - probably do - cause - get ready - heart disease, cancers, schizophrenia, even - gasp! - homosexuality! Somewhat breathless but entertaining. I knew it wasn't the sausages and bacon I eat every morning that were the problem, or even Atkins' demons, starches. It's infection, I tell you! They're everywhere!! Get them off me!! ARRRRRRR .....

Sunday, June 09, 2002

[6/9/2002 10:56:48 AM | Robert Speirs]
Snowflakes, flowers, seashells and the stock market - Wolfram as God

In Chapter 8, Wolfram tells how snowflakes are made, how flowers grow, how sea creatures form their shells and how stock traders determine when to buy or sell. Or, he tells why we can't tell when traders will sell. This chapter has rather a lot on evolutionary mechanisms, a la Stephen Jay Gould. I kept wondering how Gould would respond to the patterns Wolfram generates from quite simple rules. As a layman, I also wondered how experts in the various fields Wolfram looks at would respond. Would it be, "Oh, of course, everyone knows that," meaning everyone in the field, or "That can't possibly be and I'll show you why"? Or, more likely, would it be, "Well, that's interesting. I'll have to check that out."?

For me, in my state of half-education on all these topics, my reaction to the revelations matches my wonderment at being shown that the progressions of buds on a plant stem are spaced according to the Fibonacci sequence. Ah, so there IS a correspondence between numbers and nature! And, now, "Ah, maybe someday we will be able to grow a creature like none that ever lived on Earth before!"