Curious Fellow


Let’s face it: I am a curious fellow. Questions give me great joy: answers, even more joy.

Hatsu Warai (はつ笑) is one of my hangouts. I discovered it by accident, or perhaps I should say ‘misdirection’. My predecessor at my first job informed me there was a great place to eat dinner cheap, “Just around the corner.” All of my best efforts to find a restaurant that met the descriptions she gave me failed. Finally, one day, I poked my nose into a place with no windows, but a warm-looking entry. They had never seen a foreigner’s face inside their doors, so everyone got quiet and stared. Once I spoke Japanese they breathed and went back about their frivolity. Definitely a friendly spot. Frequented by many types of people, it quickly grew on me.

Mostly men hang out there, but a few women with a blend of raucous roughian and elegant lady also make nearly daily appearances. One of them who I regularly share pleasantries with wanted to show me a photo of her grandaughter today. She flipped open her cell phone and was very insistent. When I looked at the photo, I told her, “That’s my student!” Although I have about 1800 students, I can remember most of their faces (not names, mind you) and certain kids really stand out in my memory. More and more, I am finding that my worlds are interconnected.

Finally this leads me to my title. I was going to title the post with something related to Moebius strips, because of the way things fold back into each other. This made me do a little refresher research into the topic, and I got sucked down a rabbit trail learning about Moebius Syndrome – which has no connection, but was discovered around the same time. Getting back on track, I learned that Augustus Ferdinand Moebius and Johann Benedict Listing both discovered the Moebius strip independently and concurrently. Wikipedia showed its weak underbelly by not answering the obvious question begged here: why did it take on Moebius’ name rather than Listing’s? A biography of Listing, made no mention of this discovery at all, but focused on his time working with Gauss; a gloss by his fans, I would guess.

Such a simple action as titling a blog leaves me pondering vaguely related issues. Indeed, curious!


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