Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Books, Books, Books!

As I mentioned earlier, I had ordered a few books in anticipation of my PhD studies starting next January.  Two of the books in the order arrived today, and I'm quite giddy:

Tow out of four are here.
The Relativity book, as you can see, is Sean Carroll's Spacetime and Geometry, which I hear is awesome and will be putting to the test shortly. And the other book is... wait! You ask: didn't I mention I ordered three books on Relativity? Well yes I did, but I also ordered And yet..., which is a selection of essays by one of my favorite authors of all time, Christopher Hitchens (the anniversary of his death was just this past December 15th).  I have lots and lots of stuff by him, and this latest addition will be the cherry on top of my collection:

Not too bad, huh?
There are a few missing from this anthology. Right now I can think of his book on Palestine co-written with Edward Said, Blaming the Victims; then there's the book on the arguments for the Irak War, A Long Short War; and finally another essay collection, much older than the rest, called For The Sake of Argument (hint: my birthday is in September, in case Christmas is too soon for you).  The man was as eloquent, lean and mean as a writer could get, and he's certainly my top choice for best essayist in the English language, sneaking in before Orwell.  So far, my favorite tome of them all is Love, Poverty, and War.  The writing is absolutely beautiful, and the depth and scope of topics covered is mesmerizing.

But wait, there's more! My wonderful sister, who's also quite a bibliophile, got me this little gem for Christmas:

So it looks like I will be very productive over the Holidays, or at least be very entertained.  Hopefully, I will be up to date on tensors and ready to hit the ground running next semester.  I also have a few academic papers on Causal Dynamical Triangulation that I want to go over, which would be great, since that's what my work will be about.

Speaking of next semester, the folks at admissions rejected my paperwork again... the amount of documentation one has to provide is of a Kafkian scale.  I was livid last Friday when, after the guy had told me on Wednesday that all I needed was one more paper, and having procured it, he looked at the documents once more and said that I still needed even more documentation, and that I had to go three doors down the aisle (again) to begin another transaction.  They're on break for the next two weeks, and I have only two more days, the 7th and 8th of January, to go over there again and finally finish the paperwork for good.  After those dates I'm in trouble, because the admissions results have to be published in the university gazette on the 12th. Just writing about it is putting me in a bad mood, so I'll end here for now.

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