Things I Saw Outside Stony Brook: Bridge Edition

Photographer’s note: for best results, view while listening to this song. Although for even better results, you should try doing it in person :-).

In Belated Memoriam

After a long chain of hyperlink-clicking yesterday, I learned that an entertainer who had been a fixture of my childhood passed away in 2007 without my knowing. It seems that Gary Rosen, formerly of the children’s musical group “Rosenshontz” had finally succumbed to ALS, after many decades of providing some of the finest, if under-appreciated, children’s entertainment.

I offer the following video from youtube as a small tribute. I have no idea where the video itself came from, since there aren’t very many Rosenshontz recordings floating around the web, it seems. Still, it features a song I always really liked (which will forever sound to me like a candy-fueled car ride down to see the Grandparents on Christmas morning) as well as singing stuffed animals, which also feature prominently into my memories from the elementary school era. Enjoy it. I dare you not to have a boppin’ good time and wind up wishing you were hanging out with your first-grade friends.

Mr. Rosen, wherever you are now I hope they have an absurdly large number of picnicking teddy bears, pterodactyl eggs, and rockin’ hippopotamuses.

A Thanksgiving Musical

Well, I’m back, after being away over the Thanksgiving holiday. I had a wonderful time in Manhattan hanging out with my old pals from college (still feels weird to describe a group of people that way) and doing my best to enjoy Turkey Day without the usual aunts and uncles around.

One of our strategies for doing this was to go to a couple of shows, which was a ton of fun. Since then I’ve been trying to think of the proper thing to say about them on by blog, and I’m afraid I’ve had trouble coming up with a nice, overarching narrative for a post. After all, “reviewing” them doesn’t do a lot of good, since not many folks reading this have probably seen them at the moment, nor are they considering whether to fly out to New York over the weekend to catch the weekend matinee. But there are a couple things about each of them I didn’t really get a chance to discuss with my friends so I thought for good measure I’d post them here. I’ll focus on the first show at the moment, since I’m still trying to work out my thoughts about the second, but hopefully I will have a change to comment on it as well at a later date.

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When Did “Compromise” Become a Bad Word?

I can’t begin to count the number of times sine the election I’ve heard someone  (both Democrats and Republicans alike) announce that “what’s important now is that the [insert name of my party here] dig their heels in and do not compromise!”

Maybe this is naive, but that just sounds silly to me. How could you possibly, as a blanked policy, be prepared to say that “no compromise” is always preferable to “compromise”?

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Nerds Having a Laugh

My quantum mechanics professor waltzed into class yesterday chuckling under his breath, and, before we’d scarcely taken our seats, asked (in his medium-strength Russian accent),

“Deed anyone go to zhe conference at Simons Center zees morning?”

As it happened, I had, along with a few others in the class. We raised our hands dutifully.

Dr. Abanov’s eyes flashed. He continued:

” And deed you all see zhe error zat Michael made in heez presentation?”

We timidly shook our heads no.

“Ach! What a shame. Eet was wery, wery amusing.”

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Pixar in Real Life

Two friends now, knowing how much I enjoyed a certain, recent movie that may be the best animated film of the last decade, have sent me this picture:

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Things I Saw in Stony Brook: The Simons Center, Continued

This week a conference on quantum computing (which is rapidly becoming a new interest of mine) is being held at our new Simons Center for Geometry and Physics. It’s given me an excuse to take some pictures of the inside of the building, which is really quite beautiful. It’s such a great place, and the photos don’t do it justice, but if you’re curious, you can take a quick, virtual tour below the fold.

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