George Donner vs. Modular curve

George Donner

Alright, George Donner and the tragic fate of his expedition to California are not actually a good thing. So what are we doing here? The story of the Donner party (you all know it, right? On their way to California in the mid 1800s, Donner and his family were delayed by a broken axle and got caught in an unexpected snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada, ran out of provisions, ate all their animals, and may or may not have resorted to cannibalism) is haunting even 164 years after their ill-fated expedition. The story has inspired many works of fiction, including this short story by one of my favourite living writers (full disclosure: I am always, always looking for an excuse to talk about Kelly Link, which is the main reason I traded subjects with Justin this morning).

Obviously, my argument is not “freezing to death! Possible cannibalization! AWESOME!” No. The Donner party was brave and did what they needed to to survive. Attempting that pioneer trail to California in the first place indicates a strength of character that I’m not sure we can relate to in our modern world of airplanes and internet. And it’s stories like that which inspire great literature, isn’t it?


Modular Curve

Mmmmmmm...modular curves...

It’s one of those days where we do a Tournament trade. Alison was so excited that I got George Donner that I really didn’t feel like I could do it enough justice. Plus, it’s early Wednesday morning. I don’t really want to talk about cannibalism. While it’s true that one can marvel at the hardships that the Donner family had to endure, I’ll say it’s also pretty mind-blowing to know that some people can actually understand what the fuck a modular curve is. This, for instance, seems to be a detailed description of the answer to a problem involving the modular curve. Of course, I don’t even understand the question. I’ll admit, I’m totally lost here. But for someone to be able to decipher this stuff is pretty awesome. I just hope they use it towards good things and not evil. OK, me headache now. Go rest, eat.

Published in: on April 21, 2010 at 9:02 am  Leave a Comment  

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