MSG keeps you awake.

August 13, 2002

MSG keeps you awake.

Caffeine keeps you awake.

Nerves, something of a rare phenomenon for me, keeps you awake.

I’ve been on a diet of instant noodles and coffee all week, I’ve
written two exams (Next one, tomorrow morning!), I’ve been working
days, and I’m going to spend Friday and Saturday in Toronto, being
the best man at my oldest friend’s wedding. I can barely
blink, much less sleep. I’m averaging three hours
a night this week, and if anybody out there needs his beauty sleep, it’s me.

That said, I’m pleased – I’ve got some good speech ideas and
some great duds for the occasion, and I’m looking forward to
strutting my stuff. My suit, my one lonely black suit, is Douglas Adams’ classic ship, in
wearable form – it’s so black, light just falls into it. It steers
better, though, and it just came back from the cleaners’ to wait in
my garment bag alongside a spiffy new white button-down, ready
to pounce at any moment.
I tell you this one time – this is a
suit to be feared and respected. The creases are sharp enough to maim
the unwary, the shirt white enough that those same maimed civilians
will be seeking relief by flailing madly for a contrast knob that
is not there.

Heh. It was Admiral Rickover, I think, who said that “Great minds
discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss
people.” I think there might be an even lower grade of mind, though;
people who spend their time talking about themselves. This is not
how I’d intented this to work out. That said, I think I can go one
better – I think I’ve figured out how to find a hamiltonian cycle
of a graph in polynomial time. It’s a big polynomial, for sure,
but it’s still polynomial. E-mail me for details.

UPDATE: It’s a small polynomial, actually. Surprisingly small.

UPDATE 2: It’s a small polynomial because it only works on a specific
kind of graph, making it virtually useless in the general sense, but
nevertheless promising. No glory this week. More news soon.