Friday, November 19, 2010

Google "viola jokes" for an example of what musicians find funny

My friend Diana messages me that a friend of hers (who I don't think I've met) was on a plane last week and bizarrely, improbably, began to talk to the person next to her about Ernst and Young, and the stranger, a female violinist, ventured forth my name, saying she went to high school with me in a small town. Pequeño mundo, claro, but the mystery is: I can't think of a violinist I went to high school with -- though I did spend most of high school writing bad poetry and bemoaning the unfairness of life; es decir, I wasn't exactly social.

I did go to school with a violist, but I haven't talked to her in half a decade, long before I joined E&Y.

I think the best way to solve this mystery is taking into account that English isn't Diana's first language, so when she said "my friend met someone who knew you in highschool who plays the violin" what she meant was "my uncle saw someone who went to boarding school with Anne Heche last night on Glee who plays the kettle drums." Now that's a puzzle we all can solve.

Incidentally, I'll be in Jersey for the weekend. Be back Sunday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Craig - Dawkins

Richard Dawkins, after persistently belittling the accomplished philosopher as unworthy of debate, will finally be appearing with William Lane Craig.

By Craig's report, Dawkins is typically petulant:

I am currently in Mexico to participate in a conference called Ciudad de las Ideas, which is a conference modeled on the TED conference in the US. It features lots of high tech people, sociologists, psychologists, economists, scientists, etc.

As part of the conference they´re having a panel of six of us debate on the question ¨Does the Universe Have a Purpose?¨ Well. to my surprise, I just found out that one of the three persons on the other side is Richard Dawkins! It´s true! I met him the other night. When he came my way, I stuck out my hand and introduced myself and said, Ï´m surprised to see that you´re on the panel.

He replied, Änd why not?

I said, ¨Well, you´ve always refused to debate me.

His tone suddenly became icy cold. Ï don´t consider this to be a debate with you. The Mexicans invited me to participate, and I accepted.¨ At that, he turned away.

¨Well, I hope we have a good discussion,¨ I said.

Ï very much doubt it,¨ he said and walked off.

So it was a pretty chilly reception! The debate is Saturday morning, should you think of us. I´ll give an update after I get back.

The umlauts are original. As Craig is fluent in German, I presume he's using some sort of international keyboard layout.