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Books: Last acquisitions


Between the Bono Cultura from last holidays and an Amazon order, I’ve been able to collect a nice handful of books in the last couple of months:

The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick

American Gods – Neil Gaiman

The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

Things the Grandchildren Should Know – Mark Oliver Everett

Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

The Complete Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I am a Strange loop – Douglas R. Hofstadter

Universal Principles of Design – William Lidwell, et al

From bilge rat to lookout


I had to do a “Writing exercise” for my English class, the assignment was to write a paper for a TV program called Masterclass, answering the question “What’s your secret ambiton and why?” so they could chose some people to receive expert tuition from a pro. So this was my answer:

From bilge rat to lookout

Ahoy! My name is Iñigo Alonso and I want to be a pirate! A mighty one, may I add. I want to sail the seven seas, with the Jolly Roger over my head, flapping in the warm wind of the Caribbean.

Although I fight like a dairy farmer, I am pretty athletic, so a few lessons with a sword master should be enough to transform me into a dangerous buccaneer. Also, I already curse like a sailor, so I’d only have to practice some taunting shouts.

Also important in a pirate’s life is the thievery, especially during the periods of time spent on shore awaiting for favourable winds, as stealing from your mates on board can cause you severe health problems, like losing your remaining eye or having to spend the night (or precisely the rest of your life) sleeping with the fish. Robbing landlocked lubbers seems much easier.

On regard of my treasure hunting abilities, I won last year’s Easter Eggs Contest held at my school. Admittedly, I only won the decoration contest, but I got to keep one of the eggs that I painted! Plus I can hold my breath for ten straight minutes, so many sunk ships are well within my reach.

So Masterclass, help me be a pirate, I’m already halfway there… Please? Pretty please? Please pretty please with sugar on top?

In the high school gym…


In the high school gym, all the girls in the class were lined up against one wall, and all the boys against the opposite wall. Then, every ten seconds, they walked toward each other until they were half the previous distance apart. A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer were asked, “When will the girls and boys meet?”
The mathematician said: “Never.”
The physicist said: “Eventually, they will come to a point where they would be required to move less than 1.616252(81)×1035 meters closer together. From the uncertainty principle, we know we cannot measure position more accurately than that. So either they will not move at all, or they will superimpose at that point.”
The engineer said: “Well… in about two minutes, they’ll be close enough for all practical purposes.”