Cam's Blog

February 11, 2011

Film adaptation of “Inherent Vice”

Filed under: Books, Movies — cfranc @ 9:26 am

There’s news going around that Paul Thomas Anderson, director of Hard Eight, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love and There will be Blood, is adapting Thomas Pynchon’s novel Inherent Vice. You can read a bit about it here, but the short of it is that (a) yes, Thomas Pynchon is helping with the script and (b) Robert Downey Jr. is interested in the role of main character Doc Sportello, who is a drugged out private detective working out of California in the 1960s.

Anderson is also working on another project titled The Master, which is a work of fiction loosely based around Scientology. It allegedly takes a critical stance on the cult, so I’m excited for this movie as well.

Financing seems to be coming together for both of these films, so we may be in for a double-dose of Anderson quite soon.

February 8, 2011

Imagine, if you will…

Filed under: Math, Religion — cfranc @ 1:02 pm

As I eat lunch I’m reading some of Steven Krantz’s book Mathematical Apocrypha Redux, which is the sequel to his previous volume, Mathematical Apocrypha. Here is a sample which made me laugh (luckily my mouth was not full):

Recently Nicolai Reshetikhin, a Russian, gave a seminar at U.C. Berkeley on the topic “Statistical mechanics, partitions and interfaces”. The talk was stimulating and informative; it was well attended. At the end there was time for questions, and the distinguished applied mathematician Grigory I. Barenblatt raised his hand. He wanted to ask where this subject was going, what the long-term goals were. He phrased the query like this: “My question is rather philosophical. Imagine, if you will, that God is sitting right here…” Reshetikhin interrupted him to say, “I am atheist. I cannot imagine that”.

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