## Sunday, September 10, 2006

### For Friends

Arnaud Sahuguet, the traveler, french-member-no-more at Bell Labs, swallower of miles without hiccups, told me that when I have braids, I put my head down slightly, and play with individual braids in the back of my head, testing each, pulling it, and moving on to the next. He told me it looks like I am lost in a zone, doing a calculation on the abacus. You have to be there to see it.

I went to a party to celebrate friends and their milestones. As I looked over at the Hudson river from the roof, with silent, lit boats plowing, and the NY skyline in view, Herve (this page has a picture more like him than that), in a moment of loose melody says, "Yeah, I swam the Hudson today." What an opening line for a conversation.

Here are some Suresh-esque references to geometry (thanks for the yank down the memory lane with his indian grad student post). I will combine that with my passion for Tennis:

- NY Times, no leader when it comes to sports pages, gamely tried to cover the US Open but gave in and talked about it in the Arts pages on Friday. A lovely set of excerpts from Michael Kimmelman's The Art of Tennis:

Tennis points, she said, are problem-solving equations for line drawings in space.
Translation: the beauty of the game is seeing, then trying to remember, the way a ball travels around the court during a point. Its path makes lines that arch, zig, move diagonally, straight, back and forth. The court is like a sheet of paper, with its own lines already drawn on it. Strategy entails mapping out and resolving combinations of lines — patterns — just as an artist maps a drawing.

- Maria Sharapova after the win at the finals:

"Well, I figured the last four times I have played against Justine I lost, so I thought I would just flip everything 360 degrees and do the total opposite," she said.

Off by a factor of 2.

Jonathan said...

Or you could give her the benefit of the doubt and say she was off by a factor of only 1.5.

12:40 AM
hollander said...

Or maybe she meant 360 radians, not degrees.

7:54 AM