Thursday, March 15, 2007

Translation invariance

I'm in a minor pickle right now but will get onto that shortly.

It looked like I was going to miss the cherry blossom in Japan for the second time this year but the TV news informed us that just outside the government buildings near the Imperial Palace a few trees had blossomed early. Most of the trees around the city are predicted to be in full bloom by Monday, by which time I will have left but I'm delighted to have been able to take a visit to the early-starters. These photos were taken yesterday when I went with a couple of students and one of the professors from the department.

Officially I'm now free to go see the city but there is some work I would like to finish soon and am now back in the department. On top of this I am, as I mentioned above, in a minor pickle.

I Couchsurfed last night at the flat of a student from Tokyo university. I hadn't expected to stay up till late chatting about emergent phenomena, Boltzmann brains and Milliavin calculus, but my host happens to not only be doing research into complex systems in biological processes but also has a strong mathematics research background and seems to be up on just about any subject I bought up and frequently knew a lot more about it than I did. Pretty impressive, especially for an undergraduate!

Anyway, it was my fault but I had misconstrued the e-mails we'd exchanged and expected to stay for four nights. Looking at them again it was reasonably clear what the deal was, so now I'm without somewhere to stay tonight or indeed until Sunday, when I fly back. I'm going to do a quick Couchsurf call and see if I can find somewhere in the next 12 hours or so. Forking out for a hotel is not really a last resort.

So, that's where we are I think, it's going to be a bit of a frantic day so I'd better get about my business.

Oh, before I forget, there was a small earthquake last night, my first in Japan and a pretty strange experience. Very different from the small tremors I've felt in England and China. I'll mention it when I'm not so homeless.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your pickle. You're welcome to stay at Cowdrey Mansions in the meantime. I'll pump up the airbed.

I spent a very enjoyable afternoon today wandering around the British Library and came across this book which may be of interest (if you haven't already read it):

Unknown said...

Hi there, no worries, just part of life's rich pattern. Thanks for the heads up on the book. I have to admit to having read pitifully few books about China but I'll keep an eye out for that one.

Did you get to see the Lindisfarne Gospel when you were at the BL?