Sunday, December 14, 2008

Maps and Topology

1. "There are two long runs I have to do from Elmhurst next time I'm there, because even though they go through similar areas seeing all the places I want to would probably make it close to 20 miles." And then I realized that one of them, the new eastern end of the Prairie Path at the Forest Park L terminal, isn't that much farther from my apartment than from my parents' house. About 7.5 miles from their house (according to, and probably just short of 9 from mine according to the street grid. One of the things I love about running and biking is that it fills in the gaps in my mind between places I know. And a lot of parts of the near-west suburbs and the west side of Chicago have yet to be really filled in (I've only biked west out of the city by three different roads: Washington, Lake, and 26th). I think I should do a Forest Park run from both sides.

2. But as much as I like doing this, I never would without having good maps and satellite images of... pretty much everywhere. I did set out in search of Heart of Chicago without a great idea of where it was, but that's practically in my back yard. I'm too risk averse to just set out west and hope. I live on Google Maps. It feels like cheating.

3. Wikipedia's description of the proof that the Cantor Set is uncountable is ridiculously intuitive. I think I've lost pretty much forgotten all my math terminology since I finished up with math classes pretty early in college, and I never even studied numerical topology. That is, I shouldn't have any advantages in understanding this over any of you guys. And not only do I understand that, but I have a better understanding of what numerical topology is, and what countability is, just from reading that one section. Kudos to whomever wrote it!


Ren said...

Dear Al Dimond,
I was reminiscing the other day about all the good old times on the xkcd fora, with all the good old people who are no longer there, and I remembered you, and stalked your profile, and ended up here.

So I thought I would leave you a comment. It is not the same there without you, but many things are not the same. How are you?

Ren said...

That sounds healthy! I, too, have been avoiding the obsessive-addictive internet world, but the black hole of a music faculty keeps me from scratching other surfaces. Maybe when I go to grad school I'll become a real person and interact with my community and stuff!

Well, it's a thought. I should warn you that the fora is not easy to come back to or get back involved in; I don't go back very often.
I would very much like to hear this album you are making, though! Keep me posted. :)

the wretched harmony said...

i couldn't understand it at. all. but that's on me, not the writer. ;)

also, Ren, you said: "Maybe when I go to grad school I'll become a real person and interact with my community and stuff!" oh, Ren. poor, poor Ren. my heart hurts for you and your oncoming disappointment. :p it's okay. grad school ends eventually. THEN you become a real person and interact with your community and stuff. just wanna level with you :)