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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Blow Out the Candles December 1

HOF Dodgers manager Walter Alston was born on this date in 1911.  He won 2040 games, 7 Pennants and 4 World Series Championships.

1968 Topps #472

1962 Topps #217
"Look at misfortune the same way you look at success - Don't Panic! Do you best and forget the consequences."

"I'd rather win two or three, lose one, win two or three more. I'm a great believer in things evening out. If you win a whole bunch in a row, somewhere along the line you're going to lose some too."


Mathematician Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky was born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia on this date in 1792.
 For me this is an excuse to post the following song by Professor Tom Lehrer:



For many years now, Mr. Danny Kaye, who has been my particular idol since childbirth, has been doing a routine about the great Russian director Stanislavsky and the secret of success in the acting profession. And I thought it would be interesting to stea... to adapt this idea to the field of mathematics. I always like to make explicit the fact that before I went off not too long ago to fight in the trenches, I was a mathematician by profession. I don't like people to get the idea that I have to do this for a living. I mean, it isn't as though I had to do this, you know, I could be making, oh, 3000 dollars a year just teaching.

Be that as it may, some of you may have had occasion to run into mathematicians and to wonder therefore how they got that way, and here, in partial explanation perhaps, is the story of the great Russian mathematician Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky.

Who made me the genius I am today,
The mathematician that others all quote,
Who's the professor that made me that way?
The greatest that ever got chalk on his coat.

One man deserves the credit,
One man deserves the blame,
And Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name.
Hi!
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobach-

I am never forget the day I first meet the great Lobachevsky.
In one word he told me secret of success in mathematics:
Plagiarize!

Plagiarize,
Let no one else's work evade your eyes,
Remember why the good Lord made your eyes,
So don't shade your eyes,
But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize -
Only be sure always to call it please 'research'.

And ever since I meet this man
My life is not the same,
And Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name.
Hi!
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobach-

I am never forget the day I am given first original paper
to write. It was on analytic and algebraic topology of
locally Euclidean parameterization of infinitely differentiable
Riemannian manifold.
Bozhe moi!
This I know from nothing.
What-i'm going-to do.
But I think of great Lobachevsky and get idea - ahah!

I have a friend in Minsk,
Who has a friend in Pinsk,
Whose friend in Omsk
Has friend in Tomsk
With friend in Akmolinsk.
His friend in Alexandrovsk
Has friend in Petropavlovsk,
Whose friend somehow
Is solving now
The problem in Dnepropetrovsk.

And when his work is done -
Ha ha! - begins the fun.
From Dnepropetrovsk
To Petropavlovsk,
By way of Iliysk,
And Novorossiysk,
To Alexandrovsk to Akmolinsk
To Tomsk to Omsk
To Pinsk to Minsk
To me the news will run,
Yes, to me the news will run!

And then I write
By morning, night,
And afternoon,
And pretty soon
My name in Dnepropetrovsk is cursed,
When he finds out I publish first!

And who made me a big success
And brought me wealth and fame?
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name.
Hi!
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobach -

I am never forget the day my first book is published.
Every chapter I stole from somewhere else.
Index I copy from old Vladivostok telephone directory.
This book was sensational!
Pravda - well, Pravda - Pravda said: "Zhil-bil korol kogda-to, pree nyom blokha zhila"[1] It stinks.
But Izvestia! Izvestia said: "Ya idoo kuda sam czar idyot peshkom!"[2]
It stinks.
Metro-Goldwyn-Moskva buys movie rights for six million rubles,
Changing title to 'The Eternal Triangle',
With Ingrid Bergman playing part of hypotenuse.

And who deserves the credit?
And who deserves the blame?
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name.
Hi!

One of my personal favorite filmmakers, (Allen Stewart Konigsberg), Woody Allen is turning 76 today.
  I've been a big fan since the mid 1970's.  Favorites off the top of my head-- Bananas, Sleeper, Love and Death, Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Zelig, Radio Days, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy.

Here are some pictures and clips:


"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."

This is from 1965.

From 1967


2 comments:

  1. As soon as I saw the picture of Lobachevsky, I thought "And who deserves the credit? And who deserves the blame?"

    ...Then I scrolled down. Should've known. :-)

    And, on the second look at the picture of Lobachevsky, I thought "Why has Jeff Goldblum not played this guy in a movie?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lobachevsky does have a Jeff Goldblum vibe. Speaking of Jeff Goldblum, he has a tie-in with Woody Allen. He had a memorable four word line in one of Woody's best films. Does anyone remember the movie and the line?

      Delete

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