Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sea Life

As we all know, sea life plays an important role in the Japanese lifestyle, to the point where they can be rather bristly about it - witness that whole business with the Whales, and then there is the Tuna poaching (which I think about when I am eating sushi, but fortunately my favourite sushi is seared salmon...).

So it is only fitting that in my little Museum of Computational Mathematics and Differential Geometry I should have some sterling examples of the kind of conic sections which are thrown up from that stormy foundation of Japanese life. Everything you see here is the remnant of something edible, of all which I have eaten. The first two shells I ate from on my first day in Japan (thanks to the Delightful Miss E) and I must say they are rather tasty; the third is of course a scallop, quite popular here; and the last is a cuttlefish 'bone'. I have eaten raw tiny cuttlefish at a sushi restaurant, their little tentacles still dangling off the edge of the bed of rice. And of course all they leave behind is this quaint little section. I wonder what its equation is? Perhaps if I go on a rampage through my Museum of Differential Geometry I will be able to find an example, and then I can perhaps graph the body of the cuttlefish on my Casio FX-1. Perhaps this is why these strange shapes are sitting on the bookshelf beneath the multi-dimensional Aussie cork hat.

Or maybe they were just the Dean's last lunch in his office. Ah, history and mathematics, the strange questions they throw up when they are combined in dusty brown offices! But now I must return to my study of graphical models, and perhaps a little lunch at one of the University's three cafeterias. We are indeed privileged here in Matsue, City of Museums!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you actually do any work, Sir S?

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Miss Violet said...

References to your Casio calculator brought flashbacks to the unfortunate time of my life spent in an advanced mathematics class after a rogue quadratic equation tricked me into solving it correctly, thereby fooling the NSW Department of Education into thinking my cerebral skills were much more than they were. I was rubbing shoulders with 3- and 4-unit maths students who were permanently bewildered at why this person of dubious ability was in their class!

By contrast, my previous mathematical teacher was a nun who would emit a cry of joy every time one of her students simply held a log book the right way round, let alone correctly solved a problem.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Sir S said...

And that, Cracklypork, is why I am not doing any work - a rogue stats lecturer tricked me into thinking I could do some, and now here I am unable to prove a simple relationship on cross product ratios. What else to do but check out the sealife?

6:27 PM  

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