April 17, 2014

This time of the year, I say Hyviä lomillepääsiäisiä!

This, because it is Eastertime and other people say Hyvää pääsiäistä! ((Have a) happy Easter!) or Hyvää pääsiäislomaa! ((Have a) happy Easter holiday!).

That thing which I say, I say because I have an irrational dislike of going with the flow, and a rational dislike of religion. I try to avoid implicit religious wishes; and Easter has more religious connotations than, for example, a carefully neutered and secularized community-and-family holiday like Christmas. (“No, we’re not secularizing Christmas… pay no attention to the reward-in-heaven god-child being replaced by a rotund red symbol of earthly rewards for good deeds… I’m sure your need to remind us of remembering the true meaning of Christmas every time when starting to speak of the child doesn’t in any way indicate a shift in the meaning away from yours…”)

Hyvää is the same in both wishes — hyvä would be good, nice, enjoyable, and hyvää is the same conjugated to fit “(have a) nice (something)”. (Well er uh I think hyvää is an adjective in the same partitive case as that noun which follows it would be in but I don’t know; I just speak the Finnish language, I don’t understand it. Finnish grammar is madness.)

Pääsiäinen is Easter, but if you look at the word, it sounds and looks like it could have something to do with verbs like päästä, to be allowed or let go, or päästää, to allow or let go. Päästän koirat irti! — I’ll release the hounds!, or Erkki pääsi vankilasta, Erkki, a hypothetical character, got out of prison. Pääsiäinen is not something that immediately looks like a word of smaller parts in Finnish as currently spoken, but once you look it looks like an oldy-timey way of meaning “the-thing-or-event-related-to-releases”. This is probably the original meaning of the word — but this is not what anybody think about when the word is used in a standard construction.

Thus, pääsiäisloma would be “the Easter holiday/vacation”, but if you turn the words around into lomillepääsiäinen, it becomes something new, something where it is not obvious whether the p-part refers to the holiday or the word seemingly embedded in it, and the word seems best understood like this:

loma : holiday

lomille : to-the-holidays

pääsiäinen : the-event-of-being-released,


lomillepääsiäinen : the-event-of-being-released-to-go-on-the-holidays, the event of the time or occasion when or where you are allowed to burst the bonds of this surly work and go have some free time.

Which I think is something nice to express at people: You gets to go and have a holiday! Happy occasion! See you in a week! Hooray!


Then again, at times I hear Hyvää viikonloppua!, (have a) good weekend, and I am compelled to answer Kohtuuhyvää viikonloppua!, (have a) reasonably okay / moderately good weekend!

Or Ihan tavallista viikonloppua! — (have a) perfectly ordinary weekend.

I could even say Siedettävää viikonloppua — (have a) bearable weekend. (Sietämätöntä would be, in this phrase, unbearable.) Except with my dialect it would come out as sii’ettävvöö.

Or — you’re seeing how my mind works, right? — I think I should say Nähdään maanantaina!, see you on Monday — and I say instead Nähdään maanantaina, ellei sokeuduta sitä ennen! — which would be, see you on Monday, unless before that we lose our sight.


Also, päästäinen means “a shrew”, but that’s not related to anything. Also a shrew can be, Wikipedia tells me, popularly called a nokkahiiri, or a beak mouse.

Now you know this, too.

Finally, there are six species of shrew that live in Finland: the forest shrew, the black shrew, the eastern shrew, the infirm shrew, the dwarf shrew, and the water shrew. You could assemble a cartoon cast of them, except it would be horribly racist.

“Incredible” things you “didn’t know”

April 3, 2014

Grr. Time to rant against a fairly undeserving target.

I came across a Youtube video on the Alltime10s channel titled “10 Things You Didn’t Know about Game of Thrones”, though it starts with the title “10 Incredible Game of Thrones Facts”.

The list is, actually, “10 Things You Didn’t Know about Game of Thrones if You Were A Person So Not Interested About Game of Thrones You Were Not Going to Watch This Video Anyway”. Also, they weren’t very incredible at all.

For example, the tenth fact: the King’s Landing scenes are filmed in (some medieval parts of) Dubrovnik, Croatia, or as the video puts it, “King’s Landing is a real place”. If you are even a casual fan — watched one or two watcher-baiting documentarettes, visited Winter Is Coming or some other website a few times — you would know this. It’s one of the show’s biggest publicity points that it’s filmed in Croatia! Morocco! Iceland! Ireland! And “The set for Castle X was actually a real castle” isn’t novel or incredible either; even Monty Python did it.

Fact nine is that “sexposition” is a critical term that sprang up because of, um, some scenes in the first season. Again, this isn’t an obscure fact; it’s something even a non-fan would know. To not know sexposition is a term widely used to describe scenes in Game of Thrones, and a term made up for that purpose, you would have to have lived in a cave during season one; I think there were articles on CNN.com and everywhere about the damn term. Late night TV people were talking about it. If you don’t know the word, you know nothing, video watcher.

The eighth fact is worse. “The show’s Iron Throne took 2 months to make, is almost 8ft tall and takes 4 men to lift”.

To be accurate, I did not know that.

To be honest, I didn’t think, either, that the Throne was something cobbled together from styrofoam five minutes before filming started. I didn’t know the exact numbers, but they do not surprise me. In much the same vein, I do not know how tall Kristian Nairn is, but a factlet exclaiming his height would not be a very “incredible” didn’t-know fact either. And so much of the show’s publicity has been “buy a copy of the throne for silly money!” and “come see the throne on tour!” that it being a solid prop is really really not incredible or unknown.

Here’s an incredible fact you didn’t know! Kristian Nairn, playing the mildly gigantic man-of-word Hodor, is 6 feet 10 inches tall! Incredible! You — didn’t — know — this!

You know, I wouldn’t be writing this pissy post if the video had been called “10 interesting facts”, or “10 nice details”; but I’m a mathematician and if you deliberately ignore the meanings of very definitely defined words to make yourself look better I’m going to get incredibly pissy about it.

(Anybody that uses the superlative form of an adjective online is lying. Anybody that does the same on TV is lying too, and also should be beaten with sharp hammers.)

(Also, eighth fact, footnote: “One of the melted swords is Gandalf’s Glamdring”. Which was an idea that went around the Net a few weeks ago. As far as I know this is just some fans saying one of the swords on the back of the Throne kinda-sorta looks like Gandalf’s sword. The sword pointed to as Glamdring looks like a sword and so does Glamdring, so this “fact” is not completely a stupid, unthinkingly propagated piece of uncritical, masturbatory, delusional, foetidly laughable bullcrap.)

Next, number seven: Direwolves were an actual prehistoric wolf species. This is actually not that well known; I can’t snark about this one.

6) There’s a tie-in rap album called Catch the Throne. If you’re interested in rap and the show, you’re likely to know this! And if you’re not interested in either, then this fact could be replaced by “There’s a character called Arya Stark!” and you wouldn’t know it either. And given that two established bands, The National and The Hold Steady, have had songs in the show, an album of not-in-the-show, show-related songs isn’t that novel an idea. Hardly “incredible” anyway.

Then there’s the fifth “did not know”, which is not a thing known by anybody except George R. R. Martin at all: why does Westeros have years-long irregular seasons? “May be from an unsteady planetary axis or ocean currents”, and “One theory suggests an elongated orbit, with periods near to and far from the sun.”

May I offer another? The irregular seasons may be because the sun of Westeros occasionally retreats inside the butthole of a red unicorn called Charlie, drawn in by Charlie’s vacuum-forming exotic gastrointestinal distresses.

This is what is known as fan theory, not fact. The reason Westeros(-plus-environs) has strange seasons may be an unimportant background fact, or it may have relevance to the plot. In either case, nobody in the books knows, and to my knowledge and to the limits of my shaky memory GRRM has never committed to or commented on any particular theory.

And “fans have crazy theories!” is not a very surprising nugget of knowledge in and of itself. With this series it’s one of the most best-known facts. “Tyrion Lannister’s being a dwarf may be because he’s actually a son of the Mad King, or a reverse giant” — may, may!

(And “elongated orbit = weird seasons”? Oh, for fuck’s sake, if you want to explain fantasy with science, try to do it properly. Earth’s seasons come from Earth’s axial tilt, meaning that when the north pole is tilted away from the Sun Finland has a winter: longer nights, shorter days. The period of this seasonal cycle is a year — one orbit around the sun. Half a year later Finland has shorter nights and longer days, and thus a summer. An elongated orbit would (I think) create a second summer-winter cycle: planet very far from the sun, it’s colder for everybody; planet very close to the sun, it’s warmer for everybody — but this cycle’s period would be a year (one orbit), too. These two put together can not make for years-long, unpredictable (to medievals) seasons; they, at most, I think, could give the hemispheres different-magnitude seasons.)

(For example: When the north pole points away from the sun, the planet is at its orbit’s farthest distance from the sun. Thus north gets short-days and cold-days at the same time, while at the same time south gets long-days and cold-days. For the other half of the year, north gets long-days (pole to the sun) and hot-days (close to the sun), and south gets short-days and hot-days. The result is northern seasons are more extreme than southern seasons.)

(Because Earth’s orbit is barely an ellipse at all, the distance from the Sun isn’t, as far as I know, much of an influence on the seasons.)

Next, there’s a porn parody of… uh, this is an interesting… I mean I didn’t…

“An Iron Throne made of sex toys”?

Let’s take a short break here. I need to go and…

Ooh, Ramsay, you sexy bastard, are you gonna make me beg for it?

Next: The George Bush head — a well-known, well-publicized Season Two thing. Amusing, yes, but one more “It was even on CNN.com!” thing. (I can’t speak of the CNN TV channel, but I go to their website to read about US news. What gets a column there I treat as being “well heard” news in the US.)

Next (number two), a certain horse heart was made of gummy bears — again, if you didn’t watch a single season one Emilia Clarke interview, didn’t listen to the comment track, didn’t see a props featurette, sure, then it’s news to you. But if you aren’t a dedicated show-watcher, what is a mention of a horse heart prop going to mean to you?

The number one didn’t-know is… it’s about GRRM and his flippant remark that Game of Thrones was inspired by the pet turtles he had when he was a child. Because he had a toy castle for them, and they died a lot. Ha ha. Which is a humorous just-so story he tells in every interview he gives. I know, I’ve seen probably all of them; sometimes I get stuck on Youtube and can’t think of anything new to look for.


Other than this, the video is nicely produced, snappily paced, well written, and pleasant to watch. If you haven’t been watching the show since it began, many of the facts are ones you didn’t know, too.

Eve of April Fool’s

March 31, 2014

I turned 32 today. (31st of March, if the dateline borks.)

My celebration was watching the new Captain America movie — not great, but very entertaining, with some interesting things to say about surveillance — and next, it will be watching the newest episode of Cosmos — oh, Neil deGrasse Tyson, if only we were gay, and you were single, twenty years younger, and I an American in your neighborhood and… never mind, it would never work.

Also: an icy glass of cola and heated pizza leftovers from yesterday. It’s not the magnitude of the celebration, but how much you like it, and I know what I like. (Some people think a celebration means a get-together; extroverted freaks, those people. I bantered a while with those who matter, but I don’t do parties.)

I did a spot of homework directing at the university — a set time and a place, and people come to me to ask about problems with their mathematics homework — the audience today was not large, but more than I expected, and my banter was good, my advice sufficient, and my mood excellent, during and after. Even if I’m tired and sick of all when I walk in the classroom door, there’s some fire that makes me much better than I am the instant it’s the time to teach; and it lingers, even after.

Even if adulthood means always being at least a little tired, even if adulthood means you forget your worries by acquiring new ones, even if the future scares me, I’m pretty content right now.

Worse idiots than me seem to get by in life. Maybe I will, too.

I turned 2^5 today; I’m pretty happy.

This blog post was in no way spurred by the fact that I haven’t blogged anything all March and don’t want an empty month.

The tweets of @MasksofEris, as a pdf

February 5, 2014

I made the non-worst of my tweets into a pdf book.

Mostly because it amused me.

Nothing more to say, really.


February 4, 2014

Hmm. Mercury is both a planet and a metal.


Sailor Mercury. Sailor Cadmium… Sailor Lead.

The planet-Sailor Mercury’s attack is mist. (Mist and not Mist, for those that speak German — though one could argue something you could compare to a bad day’s atmosphere in Shanghai is bit of a Mist- oder Scheissangriff, when others get a fireball or a lightning strike. Then again the smartest character in Sailor Moon is a cat, so what do I know.)

What if the metal-Sailor Mercury’s attack was some kind of a vapor, too? So… “Our enemies are defeated! In 1.21 years, once the heavy metals in their lungs have had time to work their… heavy metal magic!”

Wait, “Sailor Mercury”? Sailor Gemini! Sailor Apollo, fly me to the moon!


This kind of a silly game could go on forever. Take one Sailor Scout, and interpret the name in a funny way to generate others.

Sailor Mars! Sailor Snickers — Sailor Twix! Sailor Toblerone! To make an innocent girl feel guilty over what she eats is the pinnacle of villainy! In the name of chocolate, we will nourish you! (etc. etc.)

Other useful courses

January 28, 2014

Continuing on the theme of Chalk : an introduction, here are some hypothetical useful courses that nobody organizes for M.Sc. students in mathematics.

  • The Greek alphabet: how to tell \xi and \varsigma apart on the blackboard
  • How to pronounce foreign names: the language l’Hospital
  • How to read upside-down text: the art of checking your student’s answers in a hurry
  • How to use the copier: How duplexes get done, and why you need to be VERY careful with transparencies
  • The Laptop and the Data Projector: One Thousand Years of Anger and Sorrow
  • Seven exercises in following a flood of information transparency after transparency and slide after slide and oh god why’s she wiping that text away nooo I didn’t write it down yet—
  • One exercise in trying to listen while you’re making notes too; it’s like those sleep tapes in that it doesn’t work
  • What is the sound of an unasked question? The nine types of silence in the classroom
  • If every student seems stupid, it’s probably you that is
  • Practical examples for everything, A — Acad
  • Acupressure by chalk
  • How much caffeine is too much caffeine? (This is a trick question)
  • Acupuncture by chalk: an introduction to the Omerta of the classroom

A possible podcast

January 5, 2014

Was listening to a podcast, and hit the most annoying part: “Like every other weekly program, [podcast name here] takes time and money to produce.”

It’s true, it’s a worthy plea and my anger at it is a scummy thing, so I channeled my anger into petty disagreement.

If I wasn’t lazy, I would disprove that statement.

With trivial one-time time, and without any money, it should be possible to create an app, applet or browser add-on that took random online audio sources, cut out pieces of them according to some simple algorithm, and pasted and layered them together into a puzzling or amusing weekly five-minute collage of noise. This would be a weekly podcast i.e. seeded by the week, and same to all listeners of it — creating a sub-reddit for it would be free, and the listeners could find meaning or amusing passages together.

It would not take (after the small initial effort) time or money to produce that podcast. It would have listeners, too: you would listen to five minutes of surprises, wouldn’t you?

Also, have I mentioned lately that “contrarian” is one of my lesser character flaws?

New Year’s Night: Mathematics is impossible!

January 5, 2014

So, the first night of the year, one thirty AM. Me and my brother are at our parents’ place, watching TV. (Apparent cause: Hey, home together, let’s spend every possible moment together. Real cause: Brother sent me to buy snacks; I panicked and overperformed and now there’s a shopping bag full of salty stuff and we’re scattering come morning.)

We’re getting ready to fight over what to watch (Me: Hobbit extras! He: America’s Funniest Home Videos reskinned for Finland!), when I see mathematics on the random channel open and say “Hey! Holy MS Word equation editor, Batman!”

(My brother’s not Batman; he’s a physicist. But we had watched the 1966 Adam West Batman film a few days ago before that, and it had been one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen.)

But this show: it is one of those nighttime live call-in shows: it shows a puzzle or a question, and if you call in and answer it correctly, you win a small sum of money. (Well, if you call in you’re fed into a series of multiple choice questions, and if you answer them correctly, and are the quickest of the round — one round’s a minute or two of callers, maybe? then you get on air and are allowed to guess.)

DSC_0146(Click for bigger.)

(Translation: “Laske kaikki mahdolliset luvut yhteen!” is “Add up all the numbers you can!” — more literally but less fluently “Count all the possible numbers together!”)

(“Nopeita kierroksia” isn’t “Thus I suffer for my sins” but “Quick rounds!”)

Me and my brother watched, with increasing puzzlement, hatred and incredulity, this program for an hour and a half, while smarter members of the family slept.

There were dozens and dozens of callers, most of them not audibly inebriated, and equally many different answers, all of them wrong. The spread was in thousands. The MC or people-goader — a nice, a little awkward young guy doing his first night of this, at the lowest end of the TV-personality totem pole — grew more and more anxious with every “No! Sorry, that wasn’t the right answer…” until his turn ended and he was replaced by an equally shocked, though more experienced, woman.

By now you think this is an illustration of the stupidity of the sort of people who watch TV on a fine New Year’s night; but no. Me and my brother both have Ph.D.’s, though admittedly only mine is in mathematics; his is in the soft and almost humanistically unrigorous subject of physics. We came up with a dozen ways to interpret the problem to explain why the right answer hadn’t been called in yet; but eventually someone always called in with our most likely guesses, and proved them wrong.

(We didn’t call, because then we would have been rubes, not amateur ethnologists.)

For example: The equation’s not that difficult. But it’s been called already, so that’s not it.

Hang on a minute, that 14 is really badly aligned. Is it a trick, a 1^4? Do the people behind this show know what exponentiation is?

Hey, wait, that 5+5. That’s not a plus sign, that’s division! You need to get really close to a passably big screen to notice that…

Hey, wait, the problem is “Count all the possible numbers together!” Not “solve the equation for question mark” — oh, how our education misleads us.

Oh, so it is addition. Disregard the multiplication, the minus signs, all that. (I hold forth for a few minutes on “The numbers in 5-7 are 5 and 7, not 5 and -7, unless you remember, as one does, that subtraction is defined as the addition of the sum-reciprocal number of the second operand,* in which case that’s 5 plus -7, but what kind of mathematical knowledge can we assume of this program and its audience — you tell me, you have the degree in a soft science, physicist.”)

(* = This could be accurate.)

Wait, “all possible numbers”? Does that mean… all natural numbers? All real numbers, all complex numbers, and… fuck, that’s a lot. And that’s either undefined or zero.

No, you physicist, I’m not going to call in with “undefined or zero”, I’m sure that’s not how they mean it. It’s not my fault mathematics makes you read things like a paranoia patient. And we call that rigor, thank you very much.

Oh, those numbers on the left-hand side of the screen, one to ten. Oh you clever bastards.

Hang on a minute. The sevens on the first and last row look different. Maybe the first one isn’t a number… look, it’s the same as those definitely-not-numbers squiggles around the equation!

Look at that 10. That’s not the same 1 as in the 19 on the next row… more fake numbers! Subtract ten! And that 5 on the last row is just a squiggle!

Wait, does this mean the numbers in the “Hyvää uutta vuotta!” (“Good New Year!”) rectangle, or does it include the phone number too? The reward money number? The 18 in the K-18 age limit? (Is that minus eighteen?) Nobody’s called in with a number over seventy million, but the spread is astonishing — here’s a partial record of about an hour — I’ve inserted comments where our best guesses were shot down:







































177 (fuck)






160 (double fuck)



Please note the -2030 and the 1543. That’s worse spread than with first-year non-math-majors on Introduction to Small Integers!

The second MC, the woman, eventually grew really desperate with the hints: add up the numbers, add them up, listen to what I’m saying, don’t solve the equation, add up the numbers, all the numbers, all the numbers, all the numbers, in this rectangle to the left of me, oh God, how can we be doing the third hour of this, usually this isn’t more than an hour — that didn’t help us, or the callers.


And that scroll at the very bottom of the screen? I hope it was a general rules-scroller, because it advised one to consider “all Arabic, Roman or written-out numbers while solving the problem”.

Oh, the reward? Began at 200 before we started watching; eventually crept up to 750 euros when we stopped (3 AM), and to 950 by 4 AM when the show stopped. (Parents have a provider that offers TV with a two-week recall.)

The next morning I checked the scheduled early-morning continuation of the show, but it had been replaced with an SMS forum — you text them, and a slow scroll of the received texts shows on the screen — there were, as usually there are, racists and xenophobes and some that were both actually, but no answers.

The good people of eurojahti.com, I hope you are happy with destroying my faith in mathematics and the Finnish people just two hours into 2014.

Bum diss

December 4, 2013

If I wasn’t lazy, I would put up a sign like this at a university noticeboard:


(phone number)

— and then, when people called, first ask them questions: What do you think this service is? Why did you call? Weren’t you a bit apprehensive? Then I would give them a digest of the previous callers’ answers.

Since I doubt the psychology dept would sponsor me, it would be one of those pay-to-play numbers.

“Dissertations” is clear, but what does “bum” sound like in this context? The rear end? An economically disadvantaged person?

And how come the dissertations come “from your bum”? That would imply the anal interpretation, but is it a colloquial ass-pull, “out of thin air”, or a literal investigation of an actual rectal outpouring? Is this an advert for the homeopathy Ph.D. program, or the one in human physiology?

Is it your dissertation that gets done, or that of an unscrupulous human biology major, who just hands you a coffee ticket and kicks you out? “I got a dissertation from your bum. Get going!”

But wait, “your bum” could be an affectionate term for your spouse, usually a male one. “I fixed the car while my bum husband just watched TV.” But if the advert is aimed at university students, is it then some clever trick — this one clever trick to graduate in under 30 days! — to enlist your spouse in your thesis work? (“Step one: Tie his TV rights to a daily page quota. He writes it, you write it; but unless it gets written by somebody, no TV!”)

But what if “your bum” is literally the exact bum-behind you sit on? Surely there are no dissertations in there. You couldn’t convince people, even desperate thesis-writers, that there would be useful text in there, could you? (“Where do you think all the stuff you learn goes? For 99 money units per hour, we rent this camera onna stick! Careful with the flash, it gets hot.”)

Or is this a cheating device, with “dissertations” being hype-speak for “pre-inserted exam answers”?


Doesn’t “bum” sound like one of those words that twee people have for their grandparents? Papaw. Nana. Bum.

“Okay kids, we’re visiting Bum today!”

“I don’t wanna, Bum smells funny.”


Ahh, I could write a whole book on how and when unusual object insertions into different bodily orifices are/aren’t funny; what I couldn’t make up, I would investigate through some really exceptional surveys.

“Chapter Seven. The Navel. There is really only one story here; it concerns a naive boy unsure of how and where women get pregnant.”

“Chapter Fifteen. The Right Nostril. We begin with the fingers and toes: there are twenty possibilities for single-digit insertions per person, and—”

“Chapter Twenty-Three. The Bum and the Mineral Kingdom.”

“Chapter Fifty. Suggestions for M.Sc. and Ph.D. Projects.”


Also, projects: “Experiments in Humor and Self-Injury Part One: Narrative Experiments”.

I wouldn’t do part two, “Practical Experiments”. That’s better left to Johnny Knoxville.


(“Dissertations from your bum” is a line from a Paul and Storm song called “Oh, No“. It’s one of those lines that just stick in my mind, much like “his groin’s got a date with the guillotine” and “The Mother Superior of Kicking Posterior“.)

Ritual dialogues of mathematicians having coffee

December 3, 2013

(To be read in a dull monotone by a set of two people for the amusement of the complement.)


I could go for a cup more.

You could always go for a cup more.

Better then that I do not start at all; for by induction I would never stop.

Nonsense, for there is a boundary condition in the worldwide availability of coffee beans.

But are not coffee beans, with respect to time, a renewable resource beyond the rapidity I can consume them, even in a liquid concentrate?

Ah, I see you are right; you should not even have had the first cup.

Indeed. And I shall not have another.


Was that good?

That was better than yesterday.

But was it good?

It was the best I’ve ever had.

But was it good?

That I’d rather not say.



In this cup, coffee frozen to brown snow. In this cup, a boil under the lid. Let us call the temperatures zero and one hundred.

From cup to cup you pour this, back and forth, portion and portion.

So the temperatures change, but do they converge?

They do; I have proven this.

Where do they converge? We may assume the cups to be identical, and containing an identical amount of coffee.

At fifty do they converge.

Let me sketch this. You graduate student over there, stop eating the chalk and give me one. Scribble scribble. Oh, yes, right, they converge. Hooray.

It is proven, then?

It is proven, with reasonable assumptions on “pouring”, “back and forth”, and “portion”, for all measurable cups of finite Lebesgue measure in any fixed dimension. Results for Hausdorff cups of non-integer dimension to be investigated next.

Yes. I will get more coffee.

Coffee is life.


Correction: Lack of coffee implies lack of life, by the Erdös definition of life; “life: doing mathematics”. This is the standard definition of life.

Correction accepted.

Correction acceptance accepted.


Topologically speaking…

Never speak topologically when I’m here!

I speak topologically; you vanish.

I do.

Topologically speaking, this coffee cup is the same as this donut.

How so? I only know function theory.

Both could, assuming they are malleable, be deformed to the other.

But your coffee cup isn’t malleable!

Not at this temperature, no. But that is hardly the point.

What would you do with a ceramic donut anyway?

Interdisciplinary research.


I would give it to my son.

I am puzzled.

So I would solve the longstanding open problem in theology, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone instead?”

But what of the donut-matter coffee cup?

That I would eat.

How would you drink coffee, then?


See, your plan fails like the commutativity of addition and the square root operation, and you resemble a mathematics student in such a person’s first year by claiming the negation of this statement!

Ha ha. I am amused.

Yes you are!

I am amused by your wit. Ha ha.


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