Friday, February 22, 2019

Green Book

I got up early this morning and noticed the moonlight reflecting off of the tile floor in the living room:


Had a good math day today. I finished the draft of a proof of a result. It seems solid, but it'll have to sit for a few days before I'm sure. I've been collaborating with a friend from graduate school, Scott Dillery, on this recent effort. We'll see if he can poke some holes in it.


Laura and I went to see the movie Green Book at the one theater here that screens movies in English. Great film, highly recommend.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Pitcher Picture

Pretty ordinary day today, though good. Made some progress on a proof. I think I see my way to the end of it by tomorrow. Continued my current DataCamp class on decisions trees. Did a run along the river (lovely weather). Did a load of laundry (good laundry weather). Bought a second pitcher for iced tea:

Iced tea is my staple drink at home. It's nice to have one "on deck" when the current pitcher runs out. Of course, I won't be able to start that new strategy quite yet because I'm out of tea bags (they're on the shopping list for tomorrow).

Hope to finish the proof tomorrow and start thinking about what the paper will look like.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


I guess exterminators are part of everyday life in most cities. Today we noticed one parked in front of our building today apparently working in some spaces in the building across the street. I magnified part of the truck so you can see the words "Control y Tratamiento de Plagas":

I like the word "plaga". It sounds biblical, though in Spanish its more like "pests".

Of course, when you run a restaurant, like the guy in the green circle, having an exterminator parked in front of your restaurant is not really ideal for attracting customers. Round about lunch time, when green circle guy wants to open up the restaurant, he starts following around the exterminator guys I guess trying to get them to wrap it up. To be fair, the truck was parked in the area where he sets up outdoor seating, so I'm sure that was part of it.


On a more humorous note, later we heard a gaggle of kids in front of the building. Looking out, we saw this:

Now that's a plaga. Better call the exterminators...


It's good being married to a mathematician. I shared some work with Laura today because I was getting results that seemed counterintuitive to me. Laura came up with a very intuitive explanation for what I was seeing that led to some real insights. A lot of math progress today.


I learned that the other longest attending student in my Spanish class, Jake, was a child actor for a BBC children's show called the Green Balloon Club. It ran for several years and nearly 40 episodes. He really enjoyed doing it. They made one episode a month over an intense 3 day period. You can see it on youtube. His name is Jake Pratt.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Interior Spaces

The relatively ordered streets of Sevilla hide a ridiculously complicated interior. Every time I go up on the roof to hang laundry, I look around at the interior spaces below and am astonished at the maze of confusion:

On the other hand, lots of folks seem to have their own private rooftop sanctuaries complete with chairs and astroturf. I kind of wish we had that. It would be nice to have a private place to sit outside. In our building, it's against the rules to just hang out on the roof. You're only allowed to use it for laundry.

It was a partly cloudy day today, but pleasant. The sunset was nice from the roof as I took down the laundry:


I did a lot of math and managed to task switch to a DataCamp course on Decision Trees. I also started reading about the history of "center of gravity" and "centroid" for a paper I'm starting to write. These ideas are so old and so basic that you can't attribute them to a single individual. As long as there have been engineers and builders, there have been people figuring out the center of gravity of shapes. That said, there's a lot of interesting math history about who did what with centers of gravity. Even Leonardo Da Vinci is said to have computed the center of mass of a tetrahedron and a pyramid of any number of sides.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Mallorca → Sevilla

The sunset yesterday evening was lovely:

There were a few people along the shore to watch and a busker playing some songs on a guitar (quite good). It wasn't the raucous event  of a Key West sunset, but beautiful nonetheless.

After dinner, we watched a classic lounge singer in the hotel bar for an hour. The standard stuff, Sinatra, Diamond etc, plus a few Spanish tunes thrown in for authenticity. His banter was mostly in German even though he was a Spaniard. This is because Mallorca appears to have more German tourists than any other nationality by far. There are German restaurants and bars, beer and pretzels and the staff all spoke at least German and English in addition to their native Spanish.


This morning we woke to heavy fog:

So different from the sunset the night before. We grabbed breakfast at the hotel, checked out, and headed down to the bus stop to catch the 8am bus to the airport. The trip back was uneventful. We reached Sevilla on time, caught bus back into town, and were in our flat around 12:15pm. All in all, a good trip.

We both practiced a bit of Spanish before heading to our respective classes at 4pm. After class, I did a fast 5 mile walk along the river. I did a little math, took a shower, had dinner and put on my PJs. Ready for bed now.