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April 11th, 2011

An MIT bit, and a bit of writing news

This morning, I had a visit from a person I'd met at a talk several years ago... a journalist in her early 30s, with a background from MIT; as she was in Rome, she'd asked to drop by for a chat (and to set up future media/science journalism stuff). Pleasant visit, interesting person.

We were comparing our various MIT lives. Turns out, when she went there she'd lived in Bexley, the same dorm I'd lived in. It's a dorm with a sordid reputation, much maligned -- and because we worked hard to get that reputation, I will not deny here that it is based at least a little on truth! I do enjoy the jolts I give other MIT alums when they learn that this "Religious Brother who works at the Vatican" was once a notorious Bexleyite; she, having lived there, understood. (It is a converted apartment house, so if you live there you have a lot of privacy. As a result, it attracts its share of people who are unconventional even by MIT standards, of all stripes. Actually, I am probably wilder now than I was then, but the folks I am shocking don't have to know that...)

The kicker, however, came when she mentioned that her father had also been at the 'Tute, living in Senior House (another filthy den of ill-repute). "We would go visit it when I was growing up, and it always frightened me when I was little kid..." Her dad, it transpires, had entered as class of '72, and finally graduated in '79. Which makes her dad almost exactly my age. Indeed, if he'd hung on two more years, I could have taught him.

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled...

Meanwhile... this evening, after taking several hours, my computer finally finished uploading to Cambridge Press all 2 gigabytes of the final, final, ultimate revised and corrected Turn Left 4.0. This book has consumed my life (and that of my co-author) since March 2010. It is still full of mistakes. I don't care. Something to do for the fifth edition...

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