Arcadian Functor

occasional meanderings in physics' brave new world

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Location: New Zealand

Marni D. Sheppeard

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Oxford Continued

Having been here long enough now to know the good cheap eating places, the quietest college gardens, and to have met the world's worst hair cutter, I have been making the most of my annual pass to the spectacular Blenheim Palace, which is a short bus ride away. I tend to avoid the palace itself, which is usually jam packed with people, and instead explore the extensive parks. And I have discovered a difficult topological dilemma, not unlike the bridge problem.

Certain areas of the grounds are barred to the public, but the boundaries of these areas are unclear, since they are only marked out with intermittent Private signs. I diligently obey all the Private signs, out of a genuine respect for people's privacy. However, to my horror, yesterday I found myself coming upon a large Private sign from behind! Moreover, I was then forced to retrace my steps, since the alternative was to take another path right around the palace, many kilometers long. Now at no point did I ignore a Private sign going forward. They had simply neglected to place any signs at all at the start of the meagre path that I had followed into the forest (and this was not in the region covered by the large do not stray from paths sign).

In other words, boundaries defined by points rather then lines turn islands in a river into buoys in the sea.


Blogger L. Riofrio said...

The palace and grounds must have been thrilling. The history of the Churchill family is fascinating too. It is great that you have interests in addition to maths. I have seen multiple palaces in France.

It will be sad if you leave the UK because of Home Office nonsense. The Michael Savage affair shows how capricious their decisions are. With the Home Secretary leaving in disgrace, that regime should be thoroughly discredited by now.

July 27, 2009 1:59 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Without a university job, the UK visa rules force me to leave the country as soon as my contract expires. Fortunately, the idea of returning to beautiful Aotearoa is not so bad.

July 27, 2009 2:04 AM  

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