Saturday, March 14, 2015

pi day, tew is home, and the monstrum cracoviae

Today, in the shorthand date format used in the US (mo/day/2-digit year), is 3/14/15. At 9:26:53 this morning, it will be 3/14/15 9:26:53, making a perfect representation of pi (π) out to nine digits to the right of the decimal, the only time this will happen this century. I'm a liberal-arts guy; I know just enough about math to get in over my head, but I'm also just enough of a nerd to find this delightful.

In other news, The Excellent Wife (TEW) arrived back from Poland last night. She found the house in good enough condition that I'm not in trouble. For both of these facts, I give thanks to the god in whom I don't believe.

In other other news, I've got a name for the new bike: the Krakow Monster.

In 1559, the estimable Pierre Boaistuau published Histoires Prodigieuses, one of the first picture books of monsters. In it, he related the story of the Krakow Monster, a beast born in 1547 with heads on all its joints, a sure sign of the work of the devil. It lived only four hours, but before it died, it said, "Watch; the Lord cometh" (whether in Latin, in the Polish vulgate of the time, in Boaistuau's French, or in the archaic English quoted is not made clear). The editor of this page from Strange Science said, "By the time this monster was 'born,' Luther and Philipp Melanchthon had published pamphlets about other monsters engendered by divine displeasure with the papacy. Convictions that heretical beliefs were on the rise likely played a role in the appearance of this beast."

I like this pic better:

In any case, since the new bike was made as a result of TEW's trip to Krakow, and since it's undoubtedly a monster (while it doesn't have heads on all its joints, it does have the ungainly combination of that cheap-ass Altus derailleur and those lovely Nitto bars and IRD cranks), I will henceforth refer to the Crosscheck as the Krakow Monster. Unless, of course, I revert to Latin, when it will be either the Monstrum Cracoviae or the Monstrum Cracoviensis, depending on whether I want to use the real genitive or that johnny-come-lately genitive-of-place ending. (After all, the college I attended was Collegium Cathedrale Immaculatae Conceptionae Brooklyniensis. Brooklyniensis? Really? Come on!)


  1. Looks like an awkward kind of beast. Not sure I'd name a bike I want to ride after it... where would you sit?