The Last Word

April 14 – 18 Our boy, Abstruse Goose, becomes as one with his electronic devices.  Truer than he knows.  Well.  I don’t know what he knows.  Truer than you might think, anyway. Poor Jessa, age 35, thinking about losing her math abilities.  And yes, mathematicians do have the reputation of topping out young.  But Jessa, […]

Losing My Math

In playwright David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work Proof (later adapted into a film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Gyllenhaal) there’s an exchange between a young mathematician and the daughter of his recently-deceased mentor. They’re at a party and discussing the use of amphetamines by older mathematicians: Hal: There’s this fear that your creativity peaks around […]

The Last Word

April 7 – 11, 2014 This week we say a sad but temporary ciao to Sally and a delighted ecco! to Craig Childs, and no, I don’t have a clue what he’s doing in that photograph. Sports programs measuring themselves by winning instead of by kick-ass players who also know how to lose are, says […]

Waiting for Peak Bloom

It was a long winter in North America.  The kind of winter where you think, well, that must have been the last snow storm, and then it snows three more times. It seemed like this might be the year when, Narnia-style, winter never ends. Here in Washington, we gauge spring by the cherry trees. The […]

An Arctic Encounter

Traveling in the north country, the open-skied Arctic of North America, you can’t help thinking of the first people and their journey across the Bering Land Bridge to this side of the world. They would have arrived in what is now Alaska and the adjoining Yukon Territory. The landscape has not changed much in the […]

New person of LWON: Craig Childs

Today, we bid temporary adieu to Sally Adee, who is going on hiatus for a while. We are trying not to mourn, because she promises to return to LWON at a later date. In the meantime, it’s my pleasure to welcome Craig Childs as the newest person of LWON. I first met Craig backstage at a […]

The Last Word

March 31 – April 4, 2104 Richard:  “But in a way, Kepler had beat him to it. By imagining the universe from the point of view of someone on the Moon, he’d discovered a new planet: Earth.” Guest Stephen Ornes:  “The theorems, proofs, and equations of mathematics are Big Ideas distilled to their naked cores. […]

The Last Word

March 24 – 28, 2014 Richard’s redux post:  he went to the real true South Pole, had a chance to stand on it and didn’t but it changed his perspective anyway. Erik went to Tulsa, met a bookseller who had gone to the third world and done the best thing he ever did, better than most […]