Category Archives: Story

An even later pi day post

In my post dedicated to pi day, I happened to refer to a musical interpretation of pi. This video (while still viewable from the link I gave) has been forced off of YouTube due to a copyright claim. The video includes an interpretation by Michael Blake, a funny and avid YouTube artist. The copyright claim comes from Lars Erickson – he apparently says that he created a musical creation of pi first (and… I guess therefore no others are allowed…). In other words, it seems very peculiar.

I like Vi Hart’s treatment of the copyright claim. For completeness, here is Blake’s response.

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A Bag’s Journey in Search of its Owner

This is the story of a bag,
who lost its owner and trav’led the whole world!
And though it left with lots o’ tags attached,
She absolutely lost it, when she flied.

How many days would it be?
She arrived with hope, but found only tears.
The bag just disappeared,
so she flew in without any gear.
But she gets a call the next morning,
“Where are you, your bag is right here!”
Thousands of miles afar.
When she looks in the mirror so how does she choose?
The same clothes worn day after day.
When travelling homeward bound,
her bag seems never to be found.

This is the story of a bag,
who lost its owner and trav’led the whole world!
And though it left with lots o’ tags attached,
She absolutely lost it, when she flied.

[loosely to “Story of a Girl”]

This is one of those strange stories – girl gets ready for flight from Atlanta to New York to Prague, girl ends up going Atlanta to Norfolk to New York to Prague, but bag ends up going Atlanta to New York to Atlanta to New York to Prague to New York to Atlanta to a warehouse to Atlanta to New York to Prague to Krakow… you know, the typical story. To be fair, the flight change through Norfolk as opposed to a direct to New York was last minute, and it makes sense for the bag to have been detained in New York. Perhaps it would make it on a later flight to Prague – such is life.

But nothing so simple occurred. The bag makes it to Prague, and when the girl notes that the bag should be sent to her home, one might expect the story to end. Instead, the bag ends up back in New York, then back in Atlanta. Of course, girl doesn’t know this – it’s all a big mystery (as she borrows friends’ clothing, of course). Fortunately, a Delta worker named Carl (I think) finds this bag and its tag in this warehouse, looks it up and calls girl. Girl asks for it to be shipped to her – no problem, he says. Carl is very good at his job, I think, and I commend him. Unfortunately, the bag gets to Prague again and somehow whatever instructions were once somehow connected to the bag are lost. So now someone at Prague calls up girl – what do you want to do with this bag? So the bag goes to Krakow, but that’s okay. That’s where the girl found the bag.

A very logical route, one might say.

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About 3 weeks behind:

On 8 March 2011, Dr. Thomas Weiler and graduate fellow Chiu Man Ho of Vanderbilt put a paper on another possibility of achieving a sort of time travel. This apparently got a good deal of press at the time, as both CBS and UPI actually picked up the story and ran with it.

Why do I mention this? It is most certainly not because I have a dream or hope of time travel – quite the opposite really. In the past, I have talked of how surprised I was at the lack of hype coming out of the LHC. The last terrible bit I heard was a sort of rogue media assault on the possibility of the LHC creating a black hole and thereby destroying everything! But that was years ago and not stirred up by the high energy physics community.

As an aside, it did provide the very comical, which includes a very simple answer and funny source code. By the way, no – as far as we can tell, it hasn’t yet destroyed the world.

Let’s get clear – I don’t think that hype is bad. Dr. Weiler himself noted the speculative interest in this idea and that it’s perhaps not the most likely theory. And it doesn’t contradict M-Theory, apparently. I know nothing of this, so I can’t comment. But I can say that such fanciful papers are wonderful. This sort of free form play is liberating, and exactly the same sort of thing that drew me into science. What can we say about the world around us that goes along with what we know? Whether it’s correct or not is something that can be explored, but it’s just an idea.

For those who don’t want to read the article, Dr. Weiler and Chiu Man Ho allude to the possibility of transferring Higgs singlets (a relative to the as-yet-only-hypothesized Higgs Boson) to a previous time. So no, unfortunately we cannot yet fix the problems of our past.

Nonetheless, there should be more hype about the LHC. The test schedule on the collider is becoming more intense all the time. Very exciting.

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A late pi day post

As this blog started after March 14th, it hasn’t paid the proper amount of attention to $latex \pi $. I only bring this up because I have just been introduced to Christopher Poole’s intense dedication to $latex \pi $. It turns out that Christopher has set up a $latex \pi $-phone, i.e. a phone number that you can call if you want to hear $latex pi $. It will literally read out the digits of $latex \pi $ to you. I’ve only heard the first 20 or so digits, but perhaps the more adventurous reader will find out more. The number is 253 243-2504. Call it if you are ever in need of some $latex \pi $.

Of course, I can’t leave off on just that – I should at least mention two other great $latex \pi $-day attractions (late as they are). Firstly, any unfamiliar with the $latex \tau $ movement should read up on it or check out Vi Hart’s pleasant video. I also think it’s far more natural to relate the radius to the circumference rather than the diameter to the circumference (but it would mean that area becomes not as pleasant as $latex \pi r^2 $).

Finally, there is a great musical interpretation and celebration of $latex \pi $. What if you did a round (or fugue) based on interpreting each digit of $latex \pi$ as a different musical note? Well, now you can find out!

Until $latex \tau $ day!

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