I am a sailboat!

Every so often, I feel wonderful. Very happy. Peacefully excited maybe a little bit in love.

What the heck is that?

Here are the kinds of situations where I begin to feel that way.

• When I’m finished work, and can take a minute to play.

• Right as I start to take my day off.

• Taking some time off to go shopping.

• Getting ready to jump into bed.

All in all — Relishing the moments that are mine and mine alone.

Hey. Is there some kind of pattern here?

I think I’ll take a whole day to do that. But when?

And then something happens, and I feel the rush. Not in a good way. It’s heavy and horrible. When the realization sets in that I have very hard work to do, and I better get at it.

What the heck is that? Who made it so very hard and horrible?

The other day, I had a realization. When I wake up in the morning and face another long period of work. I put on a huge smile (forced, I might add), and say, “This is fun!”

The weird thing is, it sort of works!

This is from a site about building a sailboat. Sounds like too much work, but I'm going to check it out! Click on the picture to go take a look... I was going to say, like any of us have the time... the thing is, I guess, all of us have to make the time. Let's start now!

Then the sailboat dream, followed by the message from Isabel.

“Quickly before I go…” working until midnight from 6am!  please  please be careful.  I know that you have been through hard times, and that there is a future out there that you would like to secure, but you also must not induce disease by overworking yourself.  You know that I am as close to being an atheist as it’s possible, but St. Augustine appears to have been a pretty wise guy, and the Augustinian Rule says 8 hours work, 8 hours leisure and meditation, 8 hours sleep.  Leisure time and of course, sleep are real necessities for the body’s immune system to keep our health, both physically and mentally.  I think all the wise people out there, Lamas and others would agree on this.”

And the sailboat dream. What lovely boats, all oiled wood, sleek — vessels that use the wind to move them, and engineered to make it so. Masters of leisure time – actually the ultimate symbol. Who, but the very rich, can own such a lovely thing?

Oh how I would love to be a sailboat!

When the wind dies down, the sailboat rests quietly. In a storm, with sails trimmed, it rides the waves. And these sailboats I envision, they are pleasure crafts. They can race, but more often, they just are out and about, traveling around (going on exotic, thought-out, amazing trips) and having a good old time.

What a life!

St. Augustine. Did he have a boat?

ps. visited the sailboat site. they have building a sailboat in about five or so easy steps! sounds like an afternoon’s work! so funny!

Mandelbrot again

and now that he’s dead, I know who he is.

old too soon. Smart too late. Me not him.

That’s life, isn’t that the truth?

In his fractal research, he saw that as you had better tools to measure the coastline in more detail, the coastline became longer and longer. For the whole story, go here. For the short version, keep reading…

Mandelbrot tips off the markets

By Christopher Caldwell

Published: October 22 2010 21:39 | Last updated: October 22 2010 21:39.

“Economics is a science of fashions – Keynes and ‘pump-priming’ at one time, Friedman and monetarism at another,” the Franco-American mathematician, Benoît Mandelbrot, who died last week at 85, wrote in The (Mis)behaviour of Markets, a book he co-authored with Richard L. Hudson in 2004. “The profession burns through new theories the way a teenager hops from one new date to another: it meets them, spends some time with them, examines them, finds what it thinks are flaws, and then drops them for a newer face.” If the condescension and intellectual vanity are typical of Mandelbrot’s writing, so is the fearlessness and general good sense.

When Mandelbrot began writing about markets half a century ago, he was struck by the similarity between his studies of the coastline and how markets worked. Markets “scaled,” he said.

Studying the history of cotton prices, he formed an impression, shared with many physicists and economists, that “all charts look alike”. Without the legends, you can’t tell whether you are looking at a century’s worth of data or a day’s. If anything, scalability was more pronounced in money than in science. All such charts were hard to read, because of the way chance creates “spurious patterns and pseudo-cycles.”

From here, he went on to study math that financial analysts use to build their positions, but as time went on, he became less impressed with the theories.

Analytical models, he found, underestimated risk. There were “Joseph” effects – seven fat years here, seven lean years. And the “Noah” effects, when the floods hit. And there were many more floods that do not actually get calculated into the formulas.

It’s the cataclysms that unmake the investor, he said.

“Wild price swings, business failures, windfall trading profits – these are key phenomena. In all their drama and power, they should matter most to bankers, regulators and investors.”


The  newspaper I’ve started working for is having its launch party tonight. Been so busy writing, I have not been connecting. So, for you in my area who care to attend, please feel free to stop by. It will start at 5:30 p.m at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, 1001 East Indiantown Road, Jupiter, today, Oct. 19.

I am sorry that I have not invited you in person! Come for coffee and dessert if you have the time!

Benoit B. Mandelbrot

Remember when I posted about the Mandelbox?

Well, here’s some light on the subject…

Benoît Mandelbrot, Novel Mathematician, Dies at 85
Published: October 16, 2010

Benoit B. Mandelbrot

Benoît B. Mandelbrot, a maverick mathematician who developed the field of fractal geometry and applied it to physics, biology, finance and many other fields, died on Thursday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 85.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, his wife, Aliette, said. He had lived in Cambridge.

Dr. Mandelbrot coined the term “fractal” to refer to a new class of mathematical shapes whose uneven contours could mimic the irregularities found in nature.

“Applied mathematics had been concentrating for a century on phenomena which were smooth, but many things were not like that: the more you blew them up with a microscope the more complexity you found,” said David Mumford, a professor of mathematics at Brown University. “He was one of the primary people who realized these were legitimate objects of study.”

In a seminal book, “The Fractal Geometry of Nature,” published in 1982, Dr. Mandelbrot defended mathematical objects that he said others had dismissed as “monstrous” and “pathological.” Using fractal geometry, he argued, the complex outlines of clouds and coastlines, once considered unmeasurable, could now “be approached in rigorous and vigorous quantitative fashion.”

For most of his career, Dr. Mandelbrot had a reputation as an outsider to the mathematical establishment. From his perch as a researcher for I.B.M. in New York, where he worked for decades before accepting a position at Yale University, he noticed patterns that other researchers may have overlooked in their own data, then often swooped in to collaborate.

“He knew everybody, with interests going off in every possible direction,” Professor Mumford said. “Every time he gave a talk, it was about something different.”

Dr. Mandelbrot traced his work on fractals to a question he first encountered as a young researcher: how long is the coast of Britain? The answer, he was surprised to discover, depends on how closely one looks. On a map an island may appear smooth, but zooming in will reveal jagged edges that add up to a longer coast. Zooming in further will reveal even more coastline.

“Here is a question, a staple of grade-school geometry that, if you think about it, is impossible,” Dr. Mandelbrot told The New York Times earlier this year in an interview. “The length of the coastline, in a sense, is infinite.”

In the 1950s, Dr. Mandelbrot proposed a simple but radical way to quantify the crookedness of such an object by assigning it a “fractal dimension,” an insight that has proved useful well beyond the field of cartography.

Over nearly seven decades, working with dozens of scientists, Dr. Mandelbrot contributed to the fields of geology, medicine, cosmology and engineering. He used the geometry of fractals to explain how galaxies cluster, how wheat prices change over time and how mammalian brains fold as they grow, among other phenomena.

His influence has also been felt within the field of geometry, where he was one of the first to use computer graphics to study mathematical objects like the Mandelbrot set, which was named in his honor.

“I decided to go into fields where mathematicians would never go because the problems were badly stated,” Dr. Mandelbrot said. “I have played a strange role that none of my students dare to take.”

Benoît B. Mandelbrot (he added the middle initial himself, though it does not stand for a middle name) was born on Nov. 20, 1924, to a Lithuanian Jewish family in Warsaw. In 1936 his family fled the Nazis, first to Paris and then to the south of France, where he tended horses and fixed tools.

After the war he enrolled in the École Polytechnique in Paris, where his sharp eye compensated for a lack of conventional education. His career soon spanned the Atlantic. He earned a master’s degree in aeronautics at the California Institute of Technology, returned to Paris for his doctorate in mathematics in 1952, then went on to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., for a postdoctoral degree under the mathematician John von Neumann.

After several years spent largely at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, Dr. Mandelbrot was hired by I.B.M. in 1958 to work at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Although he worked frequently with academic researchers and served as a visiting professor at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it was not until 1987 that he began to teach at Yale, where he earned tenure in 1999.

Dr. Mandelbrot received more than 15 honorary doctorates and served on the board of many scientific journals, as well as the Mandelbrot Foundation for Fractals. Instead of rigorously proving his insights in each field, he said he preferred to “stimulate the field by making bold and crazy conjectures” — and then move on before his claims had been verified. This habit earned him some skepticism in mathematical circles.

“He doesn’t spend months or years proving what he has observed,” said Heinz-Otto Peitgen, a professor of mathematics and biomedical sciences at the University of Bremen. And for that, he said, Dr. Mandelbrot “has received quite a bit of criticism.”

“But if we talk about impact inside mathematics, and applications in the sciences,” Professor Peitgen said, “he is one of the most important figures of the last 50 years.”

Besides his wife, Dr. Mandelbrot is survived by two sons, Laurent, of Paris, and Didier, of Newton, Mass., and three grandchildren.

When asked to look back on his career, Dr. Mandelbrot compared his own trajectory to the rough outlines of clouds and coastlines that drew him into the study of fractals in the 1950s.

“If you take the beginning and the end, I have had a conventional career,” he said, referring to his prestigious appointments in Paris and at Yale. “But it was not a straight line between the beginning and the end. It was a very crooked line.”

Sheila Chandra

why do i like this?

But don’t go away yet. In all fairness, listen to this. She can make beautiful sounds! her voice is an instrument, isn’t it?

Listened to her on NPR years ago. I was amazed at the sounds she could make! A comment under one of her speaking in tongues videos: she must have been a drum in a past life!

From Sheila Chandra’s site:

Born in South London to a South Indian immigrant family, Sheila Chandra discovered her voice at the age of twelve and whilst at Theatre Arts school. From this moment her chosen path was to be a singer. Lacking any real contacts or access to the music business, she nevertheless honed her vocal skills as a labour of love, spending up to two hours a night throwing her voice into the tall, draughty and uncarpeted stairwell of the family home: “I didn’t know how to manufacture an opportunity, but I was determined that when a chance came my way I would be ready.”


the eighties:
* In 1981 Sheila Chandra met Steve Coe in London and became the lead singer of his Asian fusion band Monsoon which then signed to Polygram.
* Monsoon had a UK Top Ten hit with their first single “Ever So Lonely” when Sheila was 16.
* After Monsoon disbanded, Sheila signed Steve Coe’s Indipop label in 1984 and went on to make her first four solo albums in two years.
* Sheila retired when she was 20 to take a sabbatical that lasted 4 years and re-emerged with her fifth solo album on Indipop.

the nineties:
* In 1991 Sheila decided to give concerts for the first time and developed her distinctive voice and drone approach — drawing on vocal cultures from around the world — so that she could perform alone on stage.
* Sheila formed her own music production company and went on to write a trilogy of albums in this style, each of which she licensed to Real World as one-offs, in order to retain creative control.
* In 1999, to mark the 10th anniversary, Real World put out “Moonsung” — a retrospective collection drawn from the trilogy.

the noughties:
* Sheila signs to Indipop for a one-off album “This Sentence is True” (The previous sentence is false) which is released April 2001 by Indipop/Shakti (Narada).
* Jakatta, fresh from their success with ‘American Dream’ use Sheila’s 1982 ‘Ever So Lonely’ vocals and completely * In 2007 Sheila returns to live performances after a gap of 14 years.
* In 2009 Sheila signs her first book to Vermilion Books (Random House) entitled ‘Banish Clutter Forever – How the toothbrush principle will change your life’ Publication date 4th March 2010. Ffi go to http://www.thetoothbrushprinciple.com

I can’t wait to find out more about her banish clutter book. The way she organizes her music is so interesting, I am looking forward to seeing how she organizes her life!

Working for Santa

thin santa by Mimi Kirchner

You are not going to believe this, but I dreamed I was hired by Santa Claus the other night. And, by the way, in my mind at least, he is not fat (and now  that I think about it, not all that old, either).

I was working on some really stupid assembly line (where the workers actually took a conveyor belt to get to work), and Santa saw me, pulled me off the line, and gave me a job. I’ll be darned if I can remember what he actually had me doing, exactly, but it was challenging and satisfying (It might have been marketing, or something like that — that would be great, wouldn’t it? Marketing for Santa? With his renown and popularity that would a fun job!

Santa let me think for myself, be creative and come up with solutions. He was not a micro-manager.

In the dream, being allowed to work this way, changed me. I became a nicer person! Oh, Santa!

I woke up happy.

Santa! Where are you? Do you have a job available?

Got the thin santa picture from Mimi Kirchner’s web site, which i plan to go back and read. On her homepage, I saw the sewing machine that my sister just handed over to me. I may want to make one of these dolls. I don’t know what my thing about dolls is all about, but I have always liked hand-made stuffed dolls.

So, maybe I’ll end up working for Santa after all!

Oh, I just realized how funny this is! Santa’s Mean Old Bitch makes dolls!