I don't know what it is about me that attracts astro-numerologists, mosquitoes and, distressingly, of late, Rajinikanth joke tellers to me in droves.

If you remember that old experiment one used to do in high school with iron filings scattered randomly on a sheet of paper and you introduce a magnet underneath and all the filings sort of rush to that spot, some very close, almost on top of the magnet, some a little distance away, not because they don't want to get closer to the magnet but because all the space close to the magnet is already taken up by other iron filings? That's me. I'm the magnet. The sheet of paper is the party or dinner I'm at and the iron filings are the astro-palmo-numerologists. Or mosquitoes.

Or, as happened the other day, Rajinikanth joke tellers.

You're probably familiar with the first two. The astro-palmo-taroto-numerologist is usually an erudite looking gentleman or a serene school-marm-ly woman who looks like she should have been the ex-Maharani of Cooch Behar who will ask you for your date of birth, add all the digits till they are divisible by nine and tell you your character. It's an impressive science, with societies and chapters and what not but due to a perverse streak in my character, caused possibly by the fact that my date of birth is not naturally divisible by nine, I don't believe in it and I tend to reveal this disbelief by making sarcastic observations.

I know. You have sucked in your breath in disbelief that one so apparently a nice-guy can be capable of villainy of this order but it is true. I do not believe and I display it.

And the poor gentleman or school marm, as the case may be, retreats with an eyebrow raised, as one might from a Bufo toad or a member of the legal profession, and I don't blame them. I would do the same under the circs, if I were them.

Mosquitoes too, are passionate about N Shenoy. They look upon me as a vast buffet table, sampling here an ear salad or there a neck au-gratin till they can take no more and stagger off to the balcony to smoke a cigarette. But these I have bested with a new bug-spray someone got from America which works superlatively.

It is the last named group that I find my self helpless against. The Rajini joke tellers. They spot me from a mile away and approach me with a steely glint in their eye.

"Hi, Naren!"

"Hi! How are things?"

"Couldn't be better! And you?"

"Oh, getting by, getting by"

"So heard the latest Rajini Joke?"

"Er, I have to get going.."

"Here", says the person, holding my sleeve with their right hand while they whip out their cellphone with their left, scrolling down the SMS list

"here it was.... just a minute...."

"I really do need to get going.."

"Hang on.. dammit where is.. ah, got it..Rajinikanth once killed a terrorist in Pakistan via blue tooth"

"Really?"

"Dude, it's a joke. A JOKE!" and then, mumbling "Don't suppose you know what a joke is" under his or her breath, potters off to spread the news that N Shenoy is the most humorless man in this hemisphere. These things sting. I know they shouldn't. You are no doubt soothingly saying "There, there, Naren, don't personalize these things. They happen" but it is very well for you to say so. You are not the affected party.

No, what I need is an antidote and my pleas, which I aired on Twitter, did not go unheeded. The plan is, broadly, to tell deeply abstruse Rajini jokes to the Rajini joke teller, who has walked up intending to tell you that a Tata Nano was a Tata truck that ran into Rajinikanth, and watch the blighter's face.

Here are a select few.

Rajinikanth knows a number smaller than 1729 which can be expressed as the sum of two cubes in two different ways [1]

Rajinikanth knows the position and momentum of a particle simultaneously [2]

From the inimitable @i_r_squared

Rajinikanth can change the temperature and pressure of a substance at its triple point without changing its physical state [3]

Rajinikanth can find the eigenvalue and eigenvectors for a non-square matrix. [4]

Rajinikanth can solve for n unknowns using only n-1 equations. [5]

From @utprekshaa

Rajinikanth can compute the inverse of a matrix with determinant zero [6]

From @sribkain

Rajnikanth can turn a sphere into a doughnut and disprove the Poincare conjecture. [7]

Apologies if I'm missed out some. Gotta go to work, so in a hurry.

Cheers and have a great day, remembering that Rajinikanth knows an effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic which is both consistent and complete [9]

Footnotes:

[1] Famous anecdote where the mathematician G H Hardy remarked to Ramanujan that he came by a cab which had a boring number - 1729. To which Ramanujan instantly replied "No, no, Hardy! On the contrary, it's a most interesting number. It's the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of two cubes in two different ways!" (12^3+1^3 and 10^3+9^3).

In his honour, we have the Ramanujan cocktail, which is the smallest drink that can be made with two ice cubes in two different ways

[2] This is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which states that the position and momentum of a particle cannot be known simultaneously. Cannot? CANNOT?? Not for Rajini

[3] This is a physical property of a substance where the three phases of that substance coexist in thermodynamic equilibrium. It is also the kind of thing engineers whisper into other engineers' ears with whom they hope to have a romantic relationship

[4] An eigenvector of a square matrix is a non-zero vector that, when multiplied by the matrix, yields a vector that differs from the original at most by a multiplicative scalar

[5] Cannot be done. N unknowns need N equations. Unless you are Rajini

[6] Again, cannot be done unless you are Rajini

[7] As above

[8] As above

[9] The famous Godel incompleteness theorem. Messrs Russel and Northhead expended large amounts of cerebral effort to write a monumental work called Principia Mathematica in which derived all mathematical truths from a well-defined set of axioms and inference rules in symbolic logic when along came Godel and demolished all of that with his elegantly worded theorem which was paraphrased by my son when I attempted to upgrade my old phone to a new Android Operating System. He used the words "Dude, it can't be done" which is precisely Godel's first Incompleteness Theorem

If you remember that old experiment one used to do in high school with iron filings scattered randomly on a sheet of paper and you introduce a magnet underneath and all the filings sort of rush to that spot, some very close, almost on top of the magnet, some a little distance away, not because they don't want to get closer to the magnet but because all the space close to the magnet is already taken up by other iron filings? That's me. I'm the magnet. The sheet of paper is the party or dinner I'm at and the iron filings are the astro-palmo-numerologists. Or mosquitoes.

Or, as happened the other day, Rajinikanth joke tellers.

You're probably familiar with the first two. The astro-palmo-taroto-numerologist is usually an erudite looking gentleman or a serene school-marm-ly woman who looks like she should have been the ex-Maharani of Cooch Behar who will ask you for your date of birth, add all the digits till they are divisible by nine and tell you your character. It's an impressive science, with societies and chapters and what not but due to a perverse streak in my character, caused possibly by the fact that my date of birth is not naturally divisible by nine, I don't believe in it and I tend to reveal this disbelief by making sarcastic observations.

I know. You have sucked in your breath in disbelief that one so apparently a nice-guy can be capable of villainy of this order but it is true. I do not believe and I display it.

And the poor gentleman or school marm, as the case may be, retreats with an eyebrow raised, as one might from a Bufo toad or a member of the legal profession, and I don't blame them. I would do the same under the circs, if I were them.

Mosquitoes too, are passionate about N Shenoy. They look upon me as a vast buffet table, sampling here an ear salad or there a neck au-gratin till they can take no more and stagger off to the balcony to smoke a cigarette. But these I have bested with a new bug-spray someone got from America which works superlatively.

It is the last named group that I find my self helpless against. The Rajini joke tellers. They spot me from a mile away and approach me with a steely glint in their eye.

"Hi, Naren!"

"Hi! How are things?"

"Couldn't be better! And you?"

"Oh, getting by, getting by"

"So heard the latest Rajini Joke?"

"Er, I have to get going.."

"Here", says the person, holding my sleeve with their right hand while they whip out their cellphone with their left, scrolling down the SMS list

"here it was.... just a minute...."

"I really do need to get going.."

"Hang on.. dammit where is.. ah, got it..Rajinikanth once killed a terrorist in Pakistan via blue tooth"

"Really?"

"Dude, it's a joke. A JOKE!" and then, mumbling "Don't suppose you know what a joke is" under his or her breath, potters off to spread the news that N Shenoy is the most humorless man in this hemisphere. These things sting. I know they shouldn't. You are no doubt soothingly saying "There, there, Naren, don't personalize these things. They happen" but it is very well for you to say so. You are not the affected party.

No, what I need is an antidote and my pleas, which I aired on Twitter, did not go unheeded. The plan is, broadly, to tell deeply abstruse Rajini jokes to the Rajini joke teller, who has walked up intending to tell you that a Tata Nano was a Tata truck that ran into Rajinikanth, and watch the blighter's face.

Here are a select few.

Rajinikanth knows a number smaller than 1729 which can be expressed as the sum of two cubes in two different ways [1]

Rajinikanth knows the position and momentum of a particle simultaneously [2]

From the inimitable @i_r_squared

Rajinikanth can change the temperature and pressure of a substance at its triple point without changing its physical state [3]

Rajinikanth can find the eigenvalue and eigenvectors for a non-square matrix. [4]

Rajinikanth can solve for n unknowns using only n-1 equations. [5]

From @utprekshaa

Rajinikanth can compute the inverse of a matrix with determinant zero [6]

From @sribkain

Rajnikanth can turn a sphere into a doughnut and disprove the Poincare conjecture. [7]

From @techrsr

Rajinikanth can actually exist in 26 dimensional Calabi Yau space. [8]Apologies if I'm missed out some. Gotta go to work, so in a hurry.

Cheers and have a great day, remembering that Rajinikanth knows an effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic which is both consistent and complete [9]

Footnotes:

[1] Famous anecdote where the mathematician G H Hardy remarked to Ramanujan that he came by a cab which had a boring number - 1729. To which Ramanujan instantly replied "No, no, Hardy! On the contrary, it's a most interesting number. It's the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of two cubes in two different ways!" (12^3+1^3 and 10^3+9^3).

In his honour, we have the Ramanujan cocktail, which is the smallest drink that can be made with two ice cubes in two different ways

[2] This is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which states that the position and momentum of a particle cannot be known simultaneously. Cannot? CANNOT?? Not for Rajini

[3] This is a physical property of a substance where the three phases of that substance coexist in thermodynamic equilibrium. It is also the kind of thing engineers whisper into other engineers' ears with whom they hope to have a romantic relationship

[4] An eigenvector of a square matrix is a non-zero vector that, when multiplied by the matrix, yields a vector that differs from the original at most by a multiplicative scalar

[5] Cannot be done. N unknowns need N equations. Unless you are Rajini

[6] Again, cannot be done unless you are Rajini

[7] As above

[8] As above

[9] The famous Godel incompleteness theorem. Messrs Russel and Northhead expended large amounts of cerebral effort to write a monumental work called Principia Mathematica in which derived all mathematical truths from a well-defined set of axioms and inference rules in symbolic logic when along came Godel and demolished all of that with his elegantly worded theorem which was paraphrased by my son when I attempted to upgrade my old phone to a new Android Operating System. He used the words "Dude, it can't be done" which is precisely Godel's first Incompleteness Theorem

## 4 comments:

So glad your post is once again back to its usual fine form...didn't get the mathjani/ramath jokes though:(

Yayyyy ... First comment. Mr.Shenoy if I make say so I believe u do attract a lot more than the above painstakingly listed creatures.... fellow bloggers, wine lovers, traffic-situation complainers to start off the list

Loved your post as usual.

Very rarely we get to see people enjoying and sharing the finer side of life. In a chaotic world engrossed with materialistic pursuits and the entanglements they get enmeshed into in the process, autobiographies and blogs like this are strong reminders and wake up calls showing that life is beautiful and can still be celebrated to the hilt if we have the right spirit.

Very rarely we get to see people enjoying and sharing the finer side of life. In a chaotic world engrossed with materialistic pursuits and the entanglements they get enmeshed into in the process, autobiographies and blogs like this are strong reminders and wake up calls showing that life is beautiful and can still be celebrated to the hilt if we have the right spirit.

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