Sunday, June 03, 2012

still on holiday: a dense packing.

so i'm returning to helsinki today.  my plan remains in effect, however, so until tomorrow morning, i am still on holiday and hence, not working.

the decision to put a halt to the maths has been surprisingly easy to enforce this week.  maybe there's hope for me, that i'm not as much of a workaholic as i suspect i am. [1] it may also have helped that my friend from school, a non-mathmo, joined me over the course of 4 countries ..

.. in 6-7 days.

it would have been wiser, in retrospect, to take a more leisurely pace.
this alternative, however, suffers the defect of long stretches of lazy afternoon.

while my friend would be perfectly happy, with wifi on his iPhone, i'd probably be increasingly tempted to work out a little lemma or to sharpen one theorem in a special case.

having sat on many trains, this week, this was a very real temptation. i instead read camus and rousseau, hoping to decode the mystery that is the french mind ..
another convenient distraction was the confusion of speaking french in france.

in having to choose between translating menus, map directions, and train schedules -vs- thinking about subtle differences in a technical definition, one option simply had to be set aside.

it's one thing if i'm traveling alone, miss my train, and follow my own maths daydreams instead.  when someone else is on the same itinerary, though, responsibility asserts itself in a very real way ..

.. and so i stayed on holiday, my mind firmly focused on travel.

anyway, here are a few more snapshots:

and then there was this shot, from a champagne cave. what struck me most was, despite its rotational symmetries, how densely these wine bottles could be packed:

as for some further data, this particular cave has 4km(!) of hallways to store their bottles ..

.. which makes sense because -- according to the tour guide -- each bottle is aged for at least 3 years, and the comtes de champagne (as displayed above) for 10.

[1] to be honest, i don't think that i work excessively much .. or at least, i honestly think that i'm lazier than my peers.  then again, we're mathematicians, so my benchmarks might be a little skewed.

all i know is, my non-techie friends regularly point out that i'm a workaholic.

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