austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

And sent an airmail special too

Incidentally I'm relieved to get word that a little package I sent a friend arrived. It was a couple of first-day covers, Singapore stamps commemorating the centennial of the founding of the National University of Singapore. It was founded as the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School, and we can only wonder why the name didn't stick. It was odd buying an envelope and stamps to mail an envelope with stamps on it, and I wonder what real collectors do. I'm not a stamp collector, but I sympathize with the hobby.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, plans to open a Singapore branch next year, offering professional degrees in hotel and gambling management as at its William Harrah's College (see earlier comments about planned gambling casinos). There's been an outpost of the University of Chicago here for years, and I believe somewhere is a branch of the University of New South Wales. There are branches of the National University of Singapore in Shanghai, Silicon Valley, and Philadelphia. I think I'd feel less weird about this globalization of universities if they didn't all have locations so prominently in their names. It'd be less odd to have a Rutgers University, Canberra Campus, which doesn't exist, but give them time. But it will give me the chance to visit NUS, UNLV, UNSW, and the University of Chicago all in one day.

Trivia: In 17th and 18th century Holland, placing the square root sign after a number was taken to represent squaring the number. Source: A History of Mathematical Notations, Florian Cajori.

Currently Reading: Commune 2000 AD, Mack Reynolds. On the basis of 25-minute interviews with spokesmen for two-and-a-half communes (the last ends with the gang giving him LSD and putting him in his car), stupid alleged anthropologist Ted Swain concludes there's no book to be written about the commune phenomenon, since they're all the same except for superficial details. Just to be sure he hopes to conduct a detailed investigation of several days of interviews at one place. There are cabbages who are better anthropologists than this guy. Some of the commune folks bill themselves as libertarian-anarchists, but they're just trying to make themselves look good.


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