Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Home, finally

I had planned to eat dinner in the airport on Friday during my layover in MSP on the way to Omaha. This was not a good plan as nearly everything closes by 9pm, so no Rock Bottom for me--- nor even Chili's. Also non-free airport Wi-Fi still sucks, and I was not willing to shell out $10 to cover the extra hour I was in the airport (due to a delayed flight.)

Once in Omaha, I got what I hope is the only cab driver in the city who could not navigate to 108th and L unassisted. The city is a grid, and L street is an exit on I-80. Even with the navigation system, he picked 'L St[reet] Acc[ess]' rather than just 'L St' so the device tried to dump us off somewhere around 92nd street.

I had a good time seeing Marissa's extended family and even got to hold the 2-year-old being baptized for a couple minutes. Breakfast at Wheatfield's was good as usual.

The six-hour drive home was fine, but I am heartily grateful that tomorrow is a Sunday so I have another day to recoup.

I finished Bryant and Sangwin's "How Round is your Circle" and Lisa Jardine's "Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance", both of which were excellent. And they even overlapped a bit on mathematical tools!

Of one tool, the sector (invented in 1568--- though usually attributed to Galileo in 1597), Bryant and Sangwin say
The sector was a standard component in a set of mathematical instruments. However, the smaller pocket sectors would have been of little or no use because of the difficulty in using them accurately. Compass points damage scales with regular use and this reduces the accuracy of the instrument. The large number of well-preserved sectors that exist would add weight to the school of thought that claims they were of little practical use, other than for school geometry problems.

The book contains lots of practical advice for building the models they describe, as well as mathematical analysis of them.
Tags: books, family, travel
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