Thursday, October 25, 2012


Lawrence O'Donnell, on MSNBC this evening, talking up President Obama for re-election, spent many minutes discussing whether he could use the word the President had been reported as using to describe Mitt Romney: Obama used the word "bullshitter", which in the context of the lies and misrepresentations that the former Governor of Massachusetts has used seems rather tame.
But apparently the MSNBC lawyers are unwilling to let L O'D use that word on the air.
Such bullshit!

Yours, wishing that the US would lighten up a little (actually, a lot) where swearing on TV was concerned,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I love cycling.  I don't do it often enough, and I'm not particularly good at it.  I do it for fun, for exercise, not to race or compete.
But I have to say that I am sorry that international body in charge of cycling has taken all of Lance Armstrong's record from him.  I understand their view that he was cheating by taking steroids or other chemicals: it appears that it's undetectable still, so we don't know who else took it....

But my feeling is this: he brought such hope to cancer survivors: he was so inspiring to those who need hope: he took a "you're dying" diagnosis, and came back to show incredible resolve: I'd rather we never knew about the drugs.  I'd rather we still were all screaming his name, taking inspiration from his feat.
What he did was incredible, cheat or not.  Without the wins, we'd merely celebrate him as a mildly inspiring individual who went back to bike races.... and the inspiration would be nice, but mild.  With the wins, he had the potential to really inspire.  Now that those wins are gone, he's back to human.

Yours, missing when he could be considered stronger than any human I knew,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nice conference

Spent a couple of days away at a conference: I was the first plenary speaker, and naturally I stayed around for the rest of the meeting.  I really enjoyed lots of talks --- mainly by undergraduates about research they had done, and felt good about encouraging them, and pointing them to new potential directions to examine.
I've received some wonderful mentoring in the past, from several directions, and it always makes me happy to be able to pay back some of this by passing the advice on forward.

Yours, suddenly realizing that I'm a "senior" mathematician, not a "junior" one any more.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Getting stuff together

Spending a few minutes printing out an agenda, directions, hotel reservations, etc, in preparation for a trip tomorrow.  Off to give a conference talk:-)

Yours, sure to forget something,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A more enjoyable debate last night

As a committed leftie, last night's Presidential Debate was rather more fun to watch than the previous bout between these two: as much fun as the VP version last week.

Yours, hoping this helps the polls swing Obama's way a bit,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I miss a day of posting, and suddenly it's nearly a month that's gone by.  Oh well.  I won't pretend and catch up: let's just see if I can restart.

Yours, jolted,