November 13th, 2006

krazy koati

There's just two songs in me and I just wrote the third

I'm ... published. As in, the textbook I'd been working on for roughly forever has made it through the production process to the point that my co-author has a copy in his hand and my author's copies are to be sent to me soon. (Please don't ask for free copies. I only get a few, and between my parents, my aunts, my barber, and my need for one, I'm already over-subscribed.) The price was a surprise -- we expected it to be under US$50, but it came out to be nearly double that. But, still, in a little bit of delivery time I'll have the thing in tangible fixed form. Wow.

In meandering events, I made it over to Singapore Management University, one of the Biennale venues. I wasn't sure where it was, but a security guard on campus was happy to walk me a third of the way there. It was just one exhibit, and an outdoor one, which is probably what threw me: Ban Shigeru's ``Paper House''. This was a small, wall-less space in the middle of a lawn, with the structure of the house made up of rolled paper tube cylinders, which the guide at the exhibit explained was as important part of the artist's vision and was important in refugee housing. The guide explained this a few times, without me quite getting it, but the diorama label made it clearer -- this sort of structure, being cheap to make and quick to assemble, has been used for short-term refugee housing. It's hard to say whether the idea of making buildings out of wood will catch on, but stranger things have happened. (All right, it's recycled paper rather than lumber, which is novel, but the novel idea could have been presented better.) The site also had some rickshaws made of recycled materials.

Outside that, I spent a bit of time looking different directions and deciding where to go. A man walked up to me, and said, ``Where you go? Where you going? Orchard? Where you going?'' (Orchard would be Orchard Road, the start of which was nearby.) I finally got myself together enough to say I wasn't going anywhere, and he was fine with that. The thing is, he never stopped walking. He asked ``Where you go?'' while approaching me, but after that he was walking farther away, without waiting for my answer. I guess it was friendly, but in an odd way.

Trivia: Isaac Greenwood of Harvard College wrote what may be the first English book on arithmetic written in North America, in 1729. Source: Yankee Science in the Making, Dirk J Struik.

Currently Reading: A History of Money, Glyn Davies.