September 28 2000

On the bus

Tonight, I rode the bus home from the University. On the opposite side of the aisle sat a mother with her six-year-old daughter, who Рjudging by her brand new satchel Рwas in first grade. The mother looked a bit tired, and she just sat there and looked out of the window while the daughter was browsing through her satchel. She came up with a Pokémon comic book and begged her mom to read it for her. Judging by their accent, they were Americans.

Daughter:“Mom, read it to me!”
Mother:“No. I don’t want to read on the bus. I get a headache.”
Daughter:“Aw, Mom, read it!”
Mother:“No. It’s all in German anyway.”
Daughter:“Mom, read it!”
Mother:“Just look at the pictures.”

The daughter looked at the pictures for a while, than handed it to her mother and asked what was going on in the story.

“There’s this blue thing, and then there’s a purple thing, and there’s some stuff happening.”

She hands it back to her daughter, who continues to look at the picture in the book.

Next to them sat an older lady, at least 80 years old. She asked someone if they could please close the little window in the bus because she was cold. The mother closed the other window so the poor woman didn’t have to freeze any more. The daughter however, who was wearing just a t-shirt, was not freezing.

Daughter:“Mom, open the window!”
Daugher:“Mom, open it!”
Daughter:“Why not?”
Mother:“Because Germans’d rather stink.”

At this point, I could hardly keep a straight face.

Daughter:“Open it!”
Daughter:“Open it!”
Mother:“No, they’d rather stink than have fresh air.”
Daugter:“Open it!!”
Mother:“They’d rather stink.”
Daughter:“Open the window, you butt!!”

The mother opened the window.

The man sitting opposite me raised his eyebrows and grinned, shaking his head, and I grinned back.

When mother and daughter got off at the next stop, the man said to me: “I bet she had a hard day!”


English system conversions

Susan shares these cool measurement units with us: bananosecond, lite year, hoarsepower…


Craig has lots of interesting and usefull stuff, as always. How come I totally missed his flipping yesterday? I just went there and found two new days. Hmmm…

Thanks for the link to the Cornell University Library Math Book Collection:

“The Cornell University Math Collection consists of 571 books that were scanned from originals held by the Cornell University Library. All books disbound and all pages scanned.”

I’ll check it out!

And I love Sherlock Holmes. Must have a look at Sherlock Holmes on the web tonight, when I have more time…

Beautiful sun

Look at today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day! It features the solar coronal loops from the CNN article from yesterday.

And once more, I have to thank Daniel for pointing it out to me. By the way, he’s a expert in this field; he’s working on his PhD in Astronomy at the Max-Planch-Institut in Heidelberg.


Whoa, I got more hits yesterday than array?!

Und angeblich doppelt so viele wie der Schockwellenreiter. grins:

Geht das alles mit rechten Dingen zu?

2 thoughts on “September 28 2000

  1. Jan-Willem Swane

    What a great story about the bus. Do you think the mother thought that noone understood English?

    groeten, Jan-Willem

  2. Andrea Frick

    Do you think the mother thought that noone understood English?

    I’m not sure. I thought about it while on the bus, but I can’t tell for sure.

    I think that she was of course aware that not everybody on the bus would understand her. Since her daughter with the satchel suggested that they live in Germany, I think she could have guessed that there might be a few people whose English was good enough to follow the conversation. She surely realized this when the man and I started grinning…

    Maybe she was so exhausted while on the bus that she didn’t really care. At least she seemed like she had had a stressful day and now was happy to finally go home and get that kid into bed…

    I was also wondering if she was being serious or just totally sarcastic, but I couldn’t tell from her face. Her six- or seven-year-old daughter surely took her serious, kids at that age don’t understand irony.

    For a second or two I was tempted to join their conversation in English, but then I decided not to say anything. Instead, I just waited to see where the conversation between mother and daughter would lead. It sure was more fun that way!

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