Saturday, January 06, 2007

Blog Tag -- Five Things about Me

Tim van Gelder tagged me in a kind of blog-network pyramid scheme: relate five things about yourself that others may not know, then tag five others. Although this feels a bit like the sort of thing that junior high school (middle school) students do, I cannot resist the siren call of a person as eminent as Tim van Gelder. So here goes:
1. In 1905 the Czar of Russia exiled my maternal grandfather from Latvia to St. Petersburg (Russia!). This exile apparently was not a fate worse than death. My grandfather met my grandmother (a Polish woman), who gave birth to my mother there, in St. Petersburg, in 1910.

2. In my sophomore or junior year in college I proclaimed that fuzziness was my first principle -- but I said that I should not say this (about fuzzines) too clearly. (Documentary proof of this fuzzy proclamation is on file with the author.) A couple of years later Lotfi Zadeh published his seminal paper on fuzzy sets. See Pragya Agarwal, Lotfi Zadeh: Fuzzy logic-Incoporating Real-World Vagueness. Zadeh's proclamations, I admit, were more profound (and more influential) than mine. Still, ...

3. In my childhood homes my family (mother, daughter, son [i.e., Peter T.]) did not have a telephone or a television. We first got a radio when I was in the 10th or 11th grade in high school. I did not have the regular use of a telephone until I went to college. I did not own a television set until after I graduated from law school. I spent a lot of time in the Columbus, Ohio, public library, whose construction was financed by Andrew Carnegie.

4. My second car was a 1936 Packard. I acquired it in the summer after my graduation from high school. I was forced to sell the car. I sold it for about $100 to Jim Elliot, who became a world-famous astronomer. (He discovered the rings of Uranus.) Moral: astronmers are smarter -- or luckier -- than lawyers.

5. My mother tried to teach Jim Elliot spoken Russian. Moral: astronomers should stick to astronomy.

Now tagged:
1. David Kaye
2. Priit Parmakson (who maintains a quasi-blog)
3. Edwward Cheng
4. David Faigman
5. Joseph Sanders
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