Notes on the space-time continuum

Published on Thursday November 4th, 2010

I’m now fairly certain our most prominent scientists are overlooking some very compelling evidence that time is not as linear as we’d like to believe. This is either because not enough of them live with three-month-olds or because a three-month-old creates its own event horizon, within which it’s impossible to do science or anything else that could later be duplicated or even accurately recalled. But here are a few shards of the past few weeks that have somehow endured.

– My daughter can laugh and crow like Peter Pan, she’s been to her first cyclo-cross race (not as a competitor yet; we were just cheering for Uncle Daniel), and she makes a pretty irresistible ladybug. She can also grow stinky cheese in the folds of her fat little neck, which is somewhat less appealing.

– There’s been knitting, mostly with this:

Luster (1 of 1)

Yum. It’s Luster — 75% Bluefaced Leicester and 25% tussah silk — a yet-to-be-released yarn from A Verb for Keeping Warm and the first installment of their Pro-Verbial 2010-11 club, to which I treated myself. It came with a new pattern by Stephen West; I hardly need to tell you how exciting those are. The Luster is like nothing else I’ve knit. It’s unusually grippy on the needles (this may be partly due to the indigo dye, which doesn’t finish fixing itself until it’s been knit and stains one’s fingers a bit in the process) and its two-ply structure creates a stippled, textural fabric with a high sheen from the BFL and the silk. The result is an intriguing blend of luxe and rustic that’s a perfect expression of AVFKW’s aesthetic. It’s verby and I love it.

– There was this comical episode with a poached egg. In my most inept kitchen moment since the time I used warm tap water to make tea for my sick mother (I was five or six), I cooked breakfast for my visiting parents. Having botched the timing of the toast and the eggs, I ladled the eggs onto the plates and tried to carry them to the toaster rather than bringing the toast to the stove to await the eggs. Nothing is more slippery than a poached egg. One of them promptly flew off the plate and splattered all over the floor, whereupon I stepped right in it. Thank goodness we have dogs.

– I’ve done a fair amount of seventh-grade algebra text work during baby naps. If you like logic puzzles, you can take a crack at this one and tell me whether you think it’s any good:

Six knights gathered for a jousting tournament. Work out the ranking of the knights, the color of each man’s horse and lance, and the Order he represents.

1. Sir Palamon did better than Charles the Bald.
2. The knight who rides a gray horse carries a purple lance.
3. Charles the Bald placed two spots below Don Quixote, who was not as good as the knight on the chestnut horse.
4. The knight who rides a white horse finished just above the knight who carries a green lance.
5. The knight with the roan horse finished last.
6. The Black Prince finished higher than the knight from the Order of the Barking Deer but lower than the knight with the purple lance.
7. The knight from the Order of the White Bear rides a chestnut horse.
8. The knight from the Order of the Chafing Garter placed third, which was better than the knight with the striped lance.
9. The knight on the white horse finished two spots below the knight from the Order of the Silver Parrot.
10. The knight on the black horse (who is not The Black Prince) finished second.
11. Sir Roland carries a blue lance.
12. The knight on the bay horse finished above the knight from the Order of the Armored Codpiece but below the knight with the red lance.
13. The knight with the red lance was not the champion.
14. Sir Bedevere finished two places below the knight from the Order of the Golden Fleece.
15. The knight from the Order of the White Bear was better than the knight on the gray horse, who was better than the knight with the yellow lance.
16. The knight with the yellow lance finished behind Charles the Bald.

11 Comments to “Notes on the space-time continuum”

  1. Mia Comment Says:

    You are funny. I’m so sleep deprived I can’t even read the problem without becoming more tired. Did I tell you Walter seems to have a dairy sensitivity? I am now back to beig pseudo vegan but eating eggs and actually trying to avoid soy as well–anything to get more sleep and less nights of sad, gassy baby wakings!

  2. Lynn Comment Says:

    I love logic puzzles. I’ll work on this one this weekend, when I’ve partially caught up my sleep deficit. Right now I am giggling like a 7th grader at the Order of the Armored Codpiece. Wonder how many of them are going to think it’s a fish?

  3. Nina Comment Says:

    Is it a spoiler if I say what I came up with?

  4. Tanya Comment Says:

    I think that yarn looks to die for, and I LOVE logic puzzles. I’m working on yours now. 🙂

  5. Libby Comment Says:

    My co-worker and I have been working on your problem (at the yarn shop of course) and keep bumping into the same issue. I took a picture of our attempt and will send it to you, maybe you’d be willing to explain? Anyway, we agree, it’s hard! Especially for 7th grade!


  6. Wendolene Comment Says:

    I love the idea of a 3-month-old generating an event horizon. Hang in there!

  7. thea Comment Says:

    Ow. My head hurts from the knights, but I love your comments about 3 year olds and time and that yarn is GORGEOUS.

  8. Seanna Lea Comment Says:

    I love logic problems! I am definitely interested in solving this one when I have a bit more time (and I put together one of the standard grids for solving it if anyone wants to use it).

  9. Fiona Comment Says:

    I love the puzzle. I love that once you get a few it doesn’t suddenly become easy – I was checking the clues right up to the last one. Puzzles containing knights appear to be one of my favourite things 🙂

  10. minnie Comment Says:

    don’t feel bad, it’s the curse of all fat babies to grow stinky cheese in their neck creases. my eldest actually had to have a special cream from the doctor to help it. All 4 of my kids had it (and the eldest still shows signs of the creases and she’d 26! andnot fat!)

  11. Jason Comment Says:

    Please tell me you’re going to post the solution… I have to know if I got it right! It was pretty tough, but definitely solvable. I would suggest finding another horse color other than bay, I like to abbreviate all the variables and black & bay colored horses made it a little fiddly. Otherwise, I think it’s great!