Wednesday, June 29, 2011

School, the Turkish way

ITAP, Turunç
JoeI am in Turunç, Turkey this week, attending a constraint programming summer school. I've never been to Turkey before, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. Of course, I still haven't been to most of Turkey, but I can say that the Mediterranean coast is really nice. Turunç is tiny (pop. 2400), and I'm actually not in the village so much as above it—the school is at ITAP, a sort of retreat for Turkish physicists, where they can stare at the sea and think deep thoughts at the state's expense. How did a bunch of constraint programmers wind up here for the week? Couldn't tell you, but I'm not complaining.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beer and brats and Brits

JenniferBack in spring of 2008, a fika conversation at work had turned to Sweden's princess Viktoria and her betrothal to a fellow named Daniel Westling, who had been her personal trainer at the gym. The Swedes didn't seem to like him too much, and I remembered that they said he "looks like a brat" (brat, with a short 'a', as in spoiled child, not brat with a longer 'a' as in bratwurst). "What's a 'brat', and how can you tell"? I asked, which led to a long discussion of it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Boston, Rain

JoeI'm attending a summer school in Boston for this coming week, and I just arrived in Boston this evening, after a week spent visiting my family in north Alabama. The past week has been fabulous—great food, visits with family I haven't seen in years, and lots of tennis and golf (a first for me) in 95°F heat—and frankly, Boston is going to have a hard time competing.