I know you read this blog for its hip cultural commentary, so let me take you to the very cutting edge of 2015 and tell you about this musical Hamilton…
Yes, OK, I’m not breaking new ground here. But after picking up some spare tickets from Jason back in August (thanks!) I finally got to see it for myself tonight, and it was totally worth the wait. It’s enormous fun, full of life and takes aim at (highly overrated) Thomas Jefferson… what more do you want from a night out? I highly recommend extending some Hamilton-style credit to secure a ticket and then passing the following months by reading up on The Federalist before you go. (Or you could just listen to the songs like everyone else does.)
Oh, and George III has great dress sense.
Last Friday night I also saw A Disappearing Number, a play about the (entirely self-taught) Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and his collaboration with G.H. Hardy at Cambridge in the 1910s. I haven’t seen such a celebration of pure mathematics since Mr. Bauer jumped on the table of our GCSE class, and it was wonderful. Ramanujan’s most famous equation demonstrates that the infinite sum of 1+2+3… etc. is ‘equal’ to –1⁄12, and I found this baffling enough to
do some extensive research ask Katie for help. She pointed me to a controversial Numberphile video, and naturally I shared this with Jason and Carrie the next day (poor things had no idea what they were letting themselves in for). Jason took offence at some of the mathematical slights of hand, and before you know it I had to summon Katie onto Skype and hold up bits of paper with equations written out for her to judge.
If you’re out there, theatre people, you should feel very proud of the reaction you caused.
Finally, on Saturday night it was a pleasure to watch The Godfather at Todd and Carolyn’s in a much overdue Salon with Robert and Julie plus the much-missed Shelby and Benno. Todd served us up a delicious meal beforehand, as we sat around a proper table drinking proper wine and talking about proper adult things. And while my main memory of The Godfather from six years ago (I checked) is that it’s a bloody long film, Randi and I both enjoyed it much more than we expected this time around, and we’re already agitating for the sequel.
Some late-night blogging was necessary yesterday in order to jot this all down before flying off to <mystery destination> tonight. Unfortunately, this also introduced a few errors. Not only did I misstate the sum of Ramanujan’s infinite series (now corrected) but I also neglected our weekend trip with Randi’s mum to the Starved Rock state park. We stayed overnight at an AirBnB in the ‘city’ of Henry, Illinois… you can tell it’s not a real city because the owner told us that we were free to lock the front door at night if we wanted to, as if it were a foreign superstition she was happy to indulge but didn’t really understand. Oh, and the park was sunny! Sunny and warm and full of people, only a few of whom choosing to play music out loud from speakers as they walked around.
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