## I’m Out of New York for a Week

Surprisingly, there’s a lot less acrimony between my parents now than there was when I lived with them. Fortunately for family tradition, there’s just developed a drama situation between my sister and my parents. For now, I’ll just leave you with the following observations:

1. The US is one of very few countries in the world whose cellphones don’t work anywhere else (except Canada, which is really just the northernmost 13 US states).

2. I only remember to bring my cellphone charger on trips to places where I can’t use said cellphone.

3. On the plane, I finally understood the basic idea of modular forms. It says a lot about the subject that you have to be up in the sky to understand it.

4. The version of The Blind Watchmaker I got from the library and read on the plane had notes in the margin written by a presumably Gouldian reader. At a few points it had notes in the margin responding to the Gouldian’s notes. I didn’t write anything, but if I had, it could’ve started the written equivalent of a comment thread.

5. Being obese isn’t the only thing that will make people make fun of your weight.

6. Is there any place in the developed world outside France where customs agents at international airports don’t speak English?

### 25 Responses to I’m Out of New York for a Week

1. sirix says:

“3. On the plane, I finally understood the basic idea of modular forms. It says a lot about the subject that you have to be up in the sky to understand it.”

Share Your thoughts then. Few years ago I read Jean Pierre Serre’s “A course in arithmetics” . I didn’t understand at all why modular forms are interesting (I understood basic definitions, etc.)

2. Alon Levy says:

I’m not sure whether it helps in any way, but the basic idea is that they’re functions on elliptic curves, regarded as lattices in C. The simplest examples of modular forms/functions come from invariants of elliptic curves, like the j-invariant (of course, for an elliptic curve to be modular means something completely different…).

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