Monday, January 05, 2009

5,500 Mathematicians

I'm in Washington D.C., surrounded by 5,500 mathematicians. Aaron has a conference to attend, and I came along for the ride. So did a lot of knitting.

I finished the "Versatility" shawl just in time, and stayed up late Friday night trying to block it. It's still not as wide as I'd like it to be, but I think it will get me through this trip. Later on, I'll get Aaron to take some pictures while I model it, and I'll show the nifty buttons I found.

After getting in late last night, we spent much of the day getting settled in, and sending Aaron over to take in the conference. I have a guest pass, but I don't know how much I'll be attending - although there's a talk on Mathematics and Fiber Arts coming up, so that may be fun to check out.

We had some time for a bit of sightseeing. I arranged a Capitol tour through My Favorite Senator's office, and we were lucky enough to have a pleasantly warm day for walking through the city. So we got to see the new Visitor's Center, and to tour the Capitol, but we didn't run into the President-Elect or the newly appointed Senator from Illinois - although we noticed a lot of commotion in front of the Senate chambers.

This is probably as close as we'll get to any inaugural activities - the newly-installed President will leave the Capitol via this stairwell when he heads back to the White House. You might notice that this sock isn't on the needles. The Capitol specifically lists knitting needles on their list of Prohibited Pointy Objects, so I had to bind off the sock before it could come. But I'm calling it a work in progress, because I haven't woven in the ends yet.

And here's a better look at the sock with its new friend at Union Station. It's the Year of the Rat sock I started back in February, coming out again to help with my project-finishing plan. Tomorrow I'll start on its counterpart, and go visit some more of the city, I hope.

Would you believe that I spent tonight at a Mathematical Dramatic Presentation? It was more comedy than drama, if that's any more believable - a Presidential debate between the Figure Eight Knot and the Euclidean Algorithm. I don't know if I'm relieved or disappointed that I didn't get most of the jokes.


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