Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category.


Here are some poems of mine, the first written in college, though it sounds as if I could have written it recently. Continue reading ‘Poems’ »

Wulff Shape Isoperimetric

The following old post-publication correspondence provides some information and questions on the original proof that the Wulff shape minimizes anisotropic surface energy for fixed volume, as treated in our paper:

MR1297699 (95g:49080)
Brothers, John E. (1-IN); Morgan, Frank (1-WLMS)
The isoperimetric theorem for general integrands.
Michigan Math. J. 41 (1994), no. 3, 419–431.
49Q20 Continue reading ‘Wulff Shape Isoperimetric’ »

Trained Hawks, Falcons, and Owls

Ocean City, New Jersey, hires hawks, falcons, and owls to ward off the seagulls. Recently seagulls attacked me and my dinner at the Ocean Cafe on the Boardwalk, and they called in a hawk to chase them away. May 25 I found a dead hawk on my beach at 17th Street:

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Books and Movies 2021


Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, Met Opera Stream

Verdi’s Requiem

Hans Christian Andersen

The Professor and the Madman (Netflix)

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Books and Movies 2020

Moonlight (gay black, Netflix)
The First Temptation of Christ (Netflix)
Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn (Meg and Reid)
Star Trek Picard U

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Sea Creatures (Ocean City)

[See also iNaturalist and some more professional, California PHOTOS by my friend Abby Thompson.]

Blue Crab, Laughing Gull









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Third try’s the charm

In a regional online ACBL bridge tournament today, I was sorry to hear my LHO open 1D, my partner Bob Cole overcall 2C, my LHO double, and my RHO pass. Sounded bad, so I tried 2H, P, P, x. Still sounded bad, so I tried 2S, x, P, P, P. This one made for a top.

Scary Endplay

At the LVBA virtual open bridge game with Mike Kohler today, I found myself as North in an unhopeful 3N after East showed Hearts and Spades. After two Heart tricks, two Diamonds, and a Heart, I seemed a trick short. But as I ran the Diamonds West erroneously discarded a Spade. At this point I held A9 of Spades with QJ on the board. I cashed my only Spade stopper, finessed the Club Ten to West’s Q, and held my breath. If East did not have the remaining Spades as her bid promised, West could get out with a Spade to set me a couple of tricks. But here as I hoped West had to return a Club, making my Club J the ninth trick. Jim Berry has pointed out a similar endplay of East by first cashing the Club Ace, which does not depend on any defensive error.

Tournament Bridge class 2020

In January 2020 I taught a Williams College Winter Study course on “Tournament Bridge,” including five days at a regional tournament in Tarrytown NY. All participants came home winner with Master Points. In the pictured board Saturday morning January 25, Jihoon Kim and I held the NS cards. Jihoon passed and West opened 1C. Since the opponents apparently held all the cards, I tried a daring weak jump overcall of 2H. The opponents still reached the optimal contract of 3N, but Jihoon now knew to lead a H, first the K and then the 2 to Declarer’s Ace. (Actually Declarer should have taken the A on the first trick, leaving a stopper in dummy.) My Hs are now good, but with only the slim prospect of getting in with the DQ, and E can easily and safely finesse into South’s hand. But
when Declarer cashed his Spades, I casually threw away my 2 and 6 of Ds, unguarding my Q. The observant Declarer was then so sure that South had the DQ that he immediately took the losing finesse into my hand, allowing us to cash three more Hs and the CA for down 2 for 93 percent.
Roster: Max Everett, Jihoon Kim, Geoffrey Lu, Robert Nielsen, Alex Simons, Xiwen Miranda Wang, guest consultant Jim Berry.

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Much enjoyed Israel in April 2019 with the perfect host, Emanuel Milman, who invited me to give a series of lectures in Haifa at Technion and showed me good restaurants, Akko, and the beach. I spent my third week in Jerusalem at the Imperial Hotel in the Old City, right inside Jaffa Gate. My first explorations took me down narrow cobblestone streets to what Constantine’s mother Helena identified as the spot where Jesus was crucified and buried; she had the Church of the Holy Sepulchre build around it. I similarly loved the alternative Garden Tomb site, attended a Good Friday service there, and entered the tomb (Photo 1). I also loved the Wailing Wall (Photo 2), resolved to overcome suffering, and inserted a slip of paper in a crack. On the other side is the Temple Mount, site of the Solomon’s Temple (destroyed by the Babylonians), Nehmiah’s rebuilding (destroyed by the Romans), and currently two Muslim mosques (Photo 3). The Garden of Gethsemane is nearby (Photo 4). Not far outside the current walls is the City of David, where I ventured through Hezekiah’s long, low, narrow, pitch-dark water tunnel, with the water up to 2-1/2 feet deep, to the Pool of Siloam. I also enjoyed playing bridge in Haifa (at the Carmel Club) and in Jerusalem (at the Bridge Center and once at Wizo). Afterwards I spent a week in Cairo at the Grand Royal Hotel near the Nile (Photo5), on “My Undercover Mission to Find Cairo Tilings.”