Specular Reflections
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Thoughts on Life, Science, Writing and the Universe at Large

Sunday, November 06, 2005
Unlike October, November is warm. The opening days have been sunny and mild, with some light rain today, the kind that seems to hang in the air. There are so many things to write about and no time to do each topic justice (considering how tired I am and how my students' papers, piled on the desk, seem to be reproducing with shameless abandon) so I'm just going to breathe a couple of random observations into the blogosphere.

Yesterday I made the perfect cup of tea, nice strong Taj Mahal. Set it down for a moment. Picked it up and there was a gnat in it, floating, tiny wings trailing. Poor gnat, I thought, as the tea swirled down the sink. To end in a cup of perfect tea. I suppose there are worse deaths.

Here's hoping the gnat lived a full life. That time for gnats is so fast that it compresses a whole lifetime into a day or an hour.

The unfortunate event put me in a mood to pick up Alan Lightman's book, Einstein's Dreams, which I bought recently. I like it. It's better than the story he wrote for Physics Today earlier this year. The only annoying thing is that he thought of the idea before I did.

I'm also reading, when I can (and when I shouldn't) Amartya Sen's great book, The Argumentative Indian. Among other things I've learned a lot about Aryabhata, the astronomer and mathematician from around 500 A.D. But he deserves a whole post to himself rather than ramblings on a rainy Sunday. More on him anon.

posted by Vandana 1:55 PM
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