Adventures in Mathematics

For some reason, I decided to find out something utterly random yesterday.

I thought that, if there were a value \displaystyle d for which \displaystyle d^a = a, that would be really neat. It looked simple (it is), but I decided to see how neat a result I’d get. So first I took the natural logarithm (because whenever you do anything with \displaystyle e, you can’t fail to be neat), for which I got:

\displaystyle a\ln d = \ln a

Dividing both sides by \displaystyle a (if \displaystyle a = 0, \displaystyle d = 0, which is trivial), you get \displaystyle\ln d = \frac{\ln a}{a}. Now, by the definition of a logarithm, we can get

\displaystyle d = e^{\frac{\ln a}{a}}

at which point I really thought I was onto something. At this point, all reason left me and I felt I was at the brink of finding out something really neat that people hadn’t bothered trying to. It was just exciting seeing an \displaystyle e with a nice exponent that had \displaystyle e in it. That’s neat, right? RIGHT?

Anyway, \displaystyle\frac{1}{a}\ln a = \ln (a^{\frac{1}{a}}), meaning

\displaystyle d = e^{\ln (a^{\frac{1}{a}})}

Woah. I’ve got e as the base and a natural logarithm as the exponent. This is good news, everyone:

\displaystyle d = a^{\frac{1}{a}}

OH MY GOD! That’s pretty dang neat, that’s, well … that’s … obvious. At this point I felt my excitement deflate like a balloon. \displaystyle a^1 = a, yes, that’s stupidly obvious. I even called a result “trivial” while finding out a trivial result. Thank you, math, for being such a smart ass.

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Chocolate Currency

This post a collection of various random things that I’ve thought about this week:

  1. In India, chocolates are currency. In Bangalore, at least. If the cashier doesn’t have enough change or is too lazy to make change, you get a few candies and a chocolate. One of the shopkeepers near my house literally keeps chocolates in a bowl to give as change. As when you need to buy something, you’re more than welcome to give it back. The most common chocolate they give you is the Nestle Éclair, which has remained at the  same price for at least the past 10 years (during which several prices have nearly doubled), so I’m not sure if it would be good if we all switched from the Rupee to the Éclair. Also, paying for more expensive things might be a bother, since you’d have to lug a truck of Éclairs along with you, which Nestle anyway does for us.
  2. Interesting classes at my university:

    Er

  3. They’re and they are. I find it fascinating that there are cases you can say “they are”, and it’s perfectly fine, but saying “they’re” is just odd. For instance,
    “Éclairs are awesome!”
    “They’re”
    “Their?”
    “They’re”
    “They’re?”
    “There!”
  4. For some reason, when women die before their husbands, people are happy. In India. I have a feeling that adding those two words at the end of any sentence could make it seem reasonable.
  5. Things are, in general, fucked up. But I guess we knew this already.
  6. Things are, in general, thoroughly fucked up in one particular way that I’m thinking of right now. In the United States, the minimum minimum wage (states can set minimum wages higher than this, but not lower. For instance, in Washington, it’s $9.19, and other states have anything in between, but most people seem to be earning at the minimum wage and not higher, meaning that the most populated states (or a great number of non-most-populated states (like Alaska or the Dakotas) or perhaps a mix) keep their minimum wage at the federal minimum wage requirement, which is interesting, since I’d think the minimum wage in a state with a high cost of living like California would be really high (relatively), but it’s only $8) is $7.25 per hour. Let’s take a person earning at minimum wage, working for 8 hours a day and 5 days a week. A person earning at minimum wage is quite likely to be working multiple jobs, and working through weekends, but let’s ignore all that. That’s 7.25\times 8 dollars a day, which is 58\times 5 dollars a week, which is 290\times 52 dollars a year, which is 15080 bucks. But in India, that’s 929682 bucks, because of the buck to buck conversion rate of 61.65 the day I looked it up. That’s the salary you’d get in India if you were fresh out of an MBA. Comparing it to Computer Science-related jobs (because, honestly, who gives a damn about business majors?) makes the whole thing even weirder. This salary from a minimum wage beat the salary you’d get if you completed a BSc and were a Web Designer, Software Engineer, Developer, anything except Project Manager and Senior Software Engineer, jobs which you’d doubtfully get without a few years of experience in the industry.Of course, McDonald’s in India doesn’t give you Rs. 446.962 per hour, no. They give you $0.46, which is Rs. 28.359. There data revealed in the data in the linked website is even more insteresting: in the US, if you worked for an hour, you’d have enough money to buy two Big Macs. In India, if you worked for 3 hours, you’d have enough to buy one.So if you’re a minimum wage earner in the US, stay tight. Be conservative with your money, stay in ramshackle places for a couple of years, then move to India, converting all your money to rupees. You’ll have a more-than-comfortable life. And all you need to do is flip burgers.
  7. Things are, in general, genuinely fucked up in another way that I’m thinking of right now, which is similar to what I was thinking of right them (then being a references to the time frame during which I wrote the previous point. I guess that was obvious, meaning this aside is completely and totally  redundant).  A Footlong Subway (which is technically only 11 inches, according to an exciting new research) in the US costs $6, which isn’t much. But in India, that same amount translates to a rather expensive meal, around Rs. 350, for which you get a complete meal at a decent restaurant. You can get 4-6 dishes of food in Adigas, which is also a really good place to eat. A costliest large Dominoes pizza in India costs Rs 500-ish, which is $8.33, for which you’d get the most basic large pizza with barely any toppings in the US. There’s something terribly wrong with this. Especially with the next point, about MRIs.An MRI scan in the US costs a few thousand bucks. And MRI scan in India costs a few thousand bucks too, but the former refers to American bucks and the latter to Indian bucks. In the US, a MRI machine costs a million bucks, as it does in India – but remember the thing I said about American and Indian bucks. They’re different.

    An American Buck

    And Indian buck

    An Indian buck

    But that’s a difference that scales the cost by 60, and that number isn’t small, unless you’re talking about the number of stars in a galaxy. It’s huge for the number of stars in a star system, it’s huge for a number of libraries you can have in one room, it’s huge for the number of sensible pages in a book by Ayn Rand or L Ron Hubbard, and it’s huge in this case.Oh, and the minimum wage in India? At most $3.4.

    A packet of chips that costs $1 in the US costs $0.2 in India. Honestly, CEOs of multi-nationals who go to the US converting rupees into dollars will be well below the poverty line.

  8. Things are, in general, majorly fucked up in yet another may that I’m thinking of right now, but it isn’t related to the previous ones. Unfortunately, I have no idea what it is.
  9. Today was my grandma’s Vaikunta Samaradne (apparently the day the apparent soul apparently goes to apparently heaven). Holy shit, it was so boring. I’ve been to other’s Vaikunta Samaradnes, but I’ve never had to stay for the whole thing. I had to wait for two and a half hours for the pooja and the mantras to finish and only then food was served. All that time, they just kept chanting, pouring water, pouring oil and puring flowers. Some shastri who wasn’t even part of the original group just randomly came in and sat down and did nothing. I was staring at him, and whenever he caught my gaze, he pretended to chant a line or two and made a complexicating-looking hand movement. So basically he’s like Lockhart without the likability factor, or the elaborate dresses. But it’s amazing that someone can make bullshit last longer than Michael Bay.Later, I had to wash a vessel that had the water that had been used to wash the devru vaigraha, and while I was doing that, told a woman nearby, “This was used to wash the god idols, so it’s filthy.” She gave me a nice long stare that made me feel very good about myself.
  10. My excessively pretentious friend (very, very, very, pretentious. Infinitely pretentious) …

    More pretentious than him

    … thinks that I’ve begun transcribing my conversations into blog posts. Unfortunately, this very point (and this very sentence) is also a transcription of a conversation I’ve had with him, but … who cares? Fight because you know it’s the right thing to do. Anyway, if we’re wrong, we don’t lose much, but if we turn out to be right, we lose a lot. Just fight because I told you so without any reason. This is a very familiar situation, right?

  11. I was able to carry an ice tray filled to the brim with water all the way from the tap to the fridge without spilling a drop. Thank you, surface tension. And the math that allows us to understand it, along with any other phenomenon that can be modeled in a similar way, or can be used just for the heck of it.

Also, awesome link of the week.

==== WARNING: JOKE ====

I’m sitting in front of idiot \odot. Looks like my little physics knowledge actually has some practical use. On the other hand, I use math every single day.

Death

When I was deistic and stupid, I used to believe that life was caused by some supernatural force that couldn’t be explained by science, and that death is mysterious. Death fascinated me. I wondered how it felt, what those last few moments made you think and feel. Would you be able to feel life going away from you? Could you feel your consciousness slowly getting away from you, or was it abrupt?

After I became atheistic (very strongly so), I started to reason that what we interpret as life is a set of several chemical reactions occurring synchronously. Just like how a single-cell organism can be entirely described by a few reactions, except that we have billions of tissues, each doing their job, using their own sets of chemical reactions. And that made me think that death was the stopping of these essential reactions. Which makes me wonder if, while you’re dying, you can feel these reactions stopping. Can you feel sudden changes? Can you feel that you’re missing something that you need, in order to live? Same questions. different context.

My grandmother died a couple days back at noon. We were talking to my brother and sister, and she called us. She’s rather weak, so me and my mother went to help her. While supporting her, she suddenly became extremely weak, and it became difficult to hold her. We put her on her bed, and she did not have any response. We thought she had passed out, so we opened the windows and turned the fan on, and my mother told me to call my father and an ambulance. While I was calling, my mother came up and said “I think she’s expired”. Her hands were shaking so much she couldn’t even use the phone.

My mind jumped to several thoughts at once. My grandmother hasn’t had a great past few years – she’s required too much assistance, she’s had several small problems, she has very mobility, she found it difficult to maintain hygiene, and her memory and ability to follow what was happening around her were reducing drastically. She’d watch a movie on TV, and when advertisements came, she wouldn’t be able to recollect what had happened just before. So I felt glad she didn’t have to continue deteriorating and struggling more and more. I also felt guilty and upset at myself for thinking that. I wondered what my mother was thinking.

The ambulance took 40 minutes to come. Sure, it’s goddamn Bangalore, but do you take 40 minutes to bring an ambulance? That too one without a paramedic and completely devoid of any medical apparatus, spare one oxygen tank? We realized it would’ve been much faster (and safer) to take her ourselves. When we reached the hospital, she was pronounced dead, though it most probably wasn’t the ambulance’s fault.

Death is an unusual thing to witness.

She’d already started becoming cold, so once we got her death certificate, we rushed home and called an eye hospital and our relatives. The eye donation procedure is really fascinating – it’s neat and fast, and interesting to watch. Brain and heart surgeries are the most amazing, though.

Relatives starting flowing in, each with different reactions and different levels of sorrow depending on how well they knew her. My grandfather took it all very, very, well, saying that it was good she went before she had to suffer any serious problems (like a stroke). He even laughed a few times. A genuine laugh of happiness, not a laugh of sorrow or madness.

So did my mother, till the time came to cremate her. They put her on a stretcher, and mother suddenly broke down and started crying like I’d never anyone cry before. It was so intense that all I could do was cry with her, and didn’t know what to do. I felt rather like Gavir in Powers. Some other relatives told her she’d done a very good job taking care of her, and that she’d lived a nice long life (nearly 90. My grandfather’s nearly 100. They’ve been married for 65 years). I didn’t know what to say. It was a kind and intensity of grief I didn’t now how to respond to.

I felt like the fish in my living room that was witnessing all that was happening. I looked at it and asked “Fish, what do you make of all this?”. It gave a few bubbles. I surmised as much: that’s how I felt, too. Even today, when my mother hugs me and tells me that she’s feels grateful that I was there to help, all I can do is hug back and say nothing.

It’s interesting what people remember in such a situation. Some remember good things (“She was such a good violinist”, “She was so selfless”), some remember times at which she irritated them, but remembered them in a positive way (“Who will be there to wake me up in the middle of the night and ask to go for a stroll through the neighborhood?”). Some remember the smallest things which I’m sure they wouldn’t have remembered if not for the situation (“We’d gone for a movie and we enjoyed it so much”).

Throughout that time, I observed what my relatives were doing. Some of them were talking about how good she was, and laughing at some stories. I didn’t know if that was the right thing to do. Some were consoling my mother – that was something I didn’t know how to do. Some were talking to my grandfather, who was telling them what had happened. Some were silent, and didn’t say anything. I think I, for the most part, was the last category. I tried to smile at relatives as they came in, but my face seemed frozen. Time jumped around. At one moment, it was noon, and a few minutes later, it was evening. I didn’t even realize that I hadn’t eaten for nearly 24 hours.

This wasn’t how I had expected my day to proceed. Not at all. I was thinking that once I finished helping her, I’d try and do something for my dad’s birthday. Considering he had gone to work, it would’ve be easy to organize what we needed to do. Instead, I had my grandmother die while I was holding her. I only knew two other who died, and I didn’t know either of them very closely. And both died far away from me, so I didn’t see people’s immediate reactions. This … this was just too intense.

My mother barely slept. I did, though it took time. The next day, we informed my brother and sister, who were completely surprised, considering we were talking to them moments before all this happened. We made an obituary and sent it to the newspaper. One of the Jumble solutions was “GRAVE”. It also happened to be my father’s birthday, so we wished him. My grandfather said “I’m going to put all this aside for now, and wish you a Happy Birthday.” My grandfather is amazing. He’s very healthy, physically and mentally. He’s extremely positive. He reads the newspaper every evening, even on that day. I do hope he lives as long as he can – while being happy, light-hearted, and intelligent.

What was rather interesting is that there are several times I’ve been worried about my grandmother. Several times something serious happened to her and I thought she would die, but she didn’t. This time, it didn’t even occur to me that it was time. Not even when she passed out. I thought the air and some time would get her back (this has happened before), but then …

It was the only time I spent 12 hours away from the Internet and didn’t miss it.

KDE and Ubuntu

KDE’s had great development over the years. The community is getting larger and more involved, and it’s getting more attention (with GSoC and Akademy). Unfortunately, it isn’t close enough to being perfect, like Ubuntu is.

For one, KDE just isn’t as stable. It doesn’t “just work”, as Ubuntu nearly does. It creates small problems now and then, and kind of loses consistency while changing themes. Installing plasmoids and widgets isn’t the most comfortable thing, and there are tons of dependencies. While installing software, it requires loads of other libraries to be installed, and while uninstalling, it takes other pieces of software with it – though this seems to be improving already.

For two, KDE isn’t consistent with its theme. Applications like Firefox, Chromium, and Skype (ugh) are written for GTK, and look completely off. Installing the required engines will get it very close, but there are small problems. The dialog boxes will still be drawn in GTK, rather than Qt, for instance. This, too, can be fixed, but trying to get everything to look the same and seamless is a huge amount of work.

For three, KDE has some unnecessary features that are actually a hindrance. The cashew, for instance (which enough people have complained about). Or the new lock screen, which is really neat, but also has a cashew that makes access kind of hard (for instance, the cashew has options that will prevent you from just moving your mouse and then typing the password). When you show the desktop grid, there’s a black background that doesn’t look very nice, and there are two big ugly buttons to add/remove virtual desktops. I’m guessing most people spend more time switching between desktops rather than adding or removing them, so that should be restricted to System Settings.

Ubuntu’s Unity, on the other hand, nearly “just works”. Using it out of the box is not a problem at all, and very rarely do you have crashes, even in non-LTS releases. Because nearly everything third-party companies write for Linux is written with GTK, it integrates well and blends in perfectly with the theme. I’m not a fan of the Launcher or the Dash or the HUD, so I keep them hidden and disable all related shortcuts (I use Alt-Tab to switch and I use Synapse, which not only combines the Dash and the HUD, but has several other features as well and is quicker).

The HUD can becoming annoying when using Alt for other reasons – for example, after pressing Alt-Left twice to go back in your browser, the HUD shows up. Alt just seems like a key used way too often to be used as a shortcut. Though, of course, this can be changed. In displaying the desktop grid, it doesn’t do a Spread Windows, which is rather important. Also, it allows windows to overlap workspaces, which is a stunningly horrible feature, and ruins productivity while switching desktops or arranging windows. The Grid (snapping windows to the sides or maximizing) is neat, but with multiple desktops, snapping to the sides is a few pixels off – there is a few pixels (maybe 2 or 3) gap between windows snapped on opposite faces, and the right-side windows goes over to the next desktop by those few pixels.

KDE is just brilliant when you need to customize. It has enough options to last a life time. It has great new software coming up and improving rapidly (Calligra Suite, Krita) and the bugs are reducing. But it just isn’t there yet, and has a long way to go – I’m sure my KDE 5 it would definitely be in my consideration again.

The customization can also be brought in Ubuntu by installing CCSM (compizcnfig-settings-manager), which is even more extensive. I still discover new plugins and options today, after using it for more than a month. It has developed mature software that is stable (Libreoffice, GIMP) which look perfect in Ubuntu, but not quite in KDE.

Some of Ubuntu’s greatest new features is being strict with system tray indicators, ensuring that they have a common interface and behavior so that clicking on something doesn’t do something you don’t expect it to. It makes it more uniform and beautiful. Also, now that I use the global menubar (like in Mac), I can never, ever, go back to having a useless taskbar with the windows. KDE, on the other hand, has a rather uniform panel. The system tray icons all behave differently, an since you can’t make it very thin, some icons get blurred because some applications don’t provide large enough icons (since they’re designed for Ubuntu).

On Kubuntu, I had very few system tray icons since I needed the space. But I realize how much I’ve been missing:

This.

The icons are uniformly colored, have transparent backgrounds and almost all of them are spaced evenly. The ones that aren’t are from software that isn’t written by Ubuntu or Ayatana, but they’re close enough. All just a few pixels off, which will hopefully be fixed (or can be fixed using GIMP, which I’m too lazy to do).

Also, KDE’s Oxygen theme, which I used to love, doesn’t compare with Ambiance.

So I have nearly no incentive to switch back to KDE, though who knows? I never thought I’d leave KDE and use Unity. In KDE, I rejoiced because I could customize nearly anything. In Ubuntu, I realize I really don’t need to. I’m seeing a ridiculous amount of development going on in Akademy, so I’m going to make sure to check out KDE 4.11 and Kubuntu 13.10 when they release.

The biggest problem with KDE is the kerning. Ubuntu’s font rendering is simply beeeeeautiful. It’s perfect. The kerning is perfect (except in Libreoffice, but that’s their problem which they say they’re fixing soon), and weight is perfect, it’s smooth, and the font itself is so … comfortable. Sometimes I just close everything, type some random letters and just stare at them. They’re hypnotizingly wonderful. I find it hard to believe that I used Lucida Grande (Mac OS X’s default font) while I was in KDE since it didn’t render Ubuntu (Ubuntu’s default font) perfectly.

And Libreoffice improving drastically. What used to be clunky, memory hungry, and slow is now neat, judicious, and lightning quick (compared to other Office suites, anyway (including MSO))

And that’s today’s haphazardly written article with an abrupt ending.

New Girl, Same Songs

a poem by Rand “Jithub” Um

(title inspired by the album “Same Girl, New Songs“)

He wrote a poem for each girl he loved
Or so he claimed
He actually gave the same poem to each one
All that happened was the poem was put into a new sheet, a word changed, and the dedication renamed

It was a wond’rous one, be not it doubted
Filled with passion and ingenuity
One of hope and celebration
But not of personalization or integrity

He felt he had accomplished all he needed with that single piece of paper
(For it was no more than a verse or two)
But within those bounds were contained the poems of whose kind none had been seen before
It wasn’t obfuscated, in fact it was all too

Simple, but it was odd
Paragraphs broke in the middle of stanzas
Sentences weren’t very smooth and were rather awkward
The number of syllables hardly matched, it had grammatically and spallingly mistakes, and it was devoid of any comprehensible meter (but it at least used the Oxford comma), and sometimes it didn’t even rhyme

Nevertheless, it was a poem
One that comes only once a century or so
Perhaps less, but this poem isn’t about the poem
It’s about the boy, and now the story goes –

Once while chopping down a tree, our protagonist falls asleep
And in a dream he hears a series of words that no-one else has used together
He goes home and writes it all down
And spends nights arranging them, throwing them hither and thither

And slowly sentences form
There weren’t many, but they told a lot
They were dense, and told feelings in an efficient way
Not his feelings, mind you, but the poor slop

Who spilled his poem into this man’s dreams
He lost them, he had found these right words ‘midst the vast jungles of convention
And to find them again would be nearly impossible
Back to the boy then: he look’d on with admiration

(Of himself, for having composed the beauty of a poem)
And realized that it might help him in his unsuccessful attempts to woo. Unsuccessful, oh my, yes.
But it did not.
Oh my, no.

But after he did finally succeed in getting a girl to love him
He showed her this poem
(They already had something in common –
They both loved him)

He showed her this poem and spoke his first lie
Though it would be the truest of his lies
(And though he did not know it wasn’t true)
“I wrote this poem for you,” he began “I hope you forever prize

“This in your heart, because it says what I think about you”
She was astonished, the words were beautiful and only confirmed her thoughts of his love for her
But pity her for not realizing that his “love” for her was but a growing love for himself
In being able to woo a woman and having becoming a successful poetry entrepreneur

And of course, when this dawned on her, she tried to change him
But she could not, and his narcissism only did worsen
So she left him
Which of course, was a big blow to our protagonist – he lost confirmation that he was a likeable person

But soon (relatively speaking – I am the universe) he was able to woo yet another
He clung to her like a Hirudinean leech
How he came to find her, I do not know
Actually I do, but that was a figure of speech

But once they were rather comfortable with each other
And had decided that he “loved” her and vice versa
He told her about how he wanted to stay with her forever
And something abount an immense amount of inertia

And then produced a piece of paper from his pocket
And gave it to her, explaining
“A sonnet is a poem with 14 lines and ABAB rhyming,
And usually has iambic pentameter metering

“Mine has none – it is a new type of sonnet”
She was confused: “if your poem doesn’t conform at all to
The definition of a sonnet, how is it one?
Is ‘Venus and Adonis’, in that case, one too?”

He was furious – someone had criticized him
“You don’t understand art,” quoth he,
“Had you my literary talents, you would have discovered a new realm of expression
Bah! and you call this a ‘not a sonnet’? See, it even rhy … er … rhyee …”

And so ended his second relationship
Two women had come forth and loved him, but neither did he love
Though he pretended he did, with his wond’rous poem
He never did discover that love was something he was completely devoid of

All his life, he fooled himself
A different name in the poem, a different rhyme
That is all his life was –
A continuously altered poem that was once supremely sublime

For “Danielle” there was “Belle”
For “Shirley”, he had “Me”
(Among several other corny pairs)
Always making the poem worse than it was previously

Finally, he’d replaced so many words that it was unrecognizable
From the grandeur it once contained in its pages
Now it only had a shamble of words that made not sense
And sounded like something from the Dadaist ages

Several years later, he lived alone with the piece of paper
Scratch upon scratch, scratched unneatly
Upon his death, he left nothing behind, not even a memory
He came, he was gone, his life ended abruptly

Weird Body Parts – Parts 1.5, 3, and 4

1.5 and 3. My weird mouth:

My mouth is too darn small. It’s just slightly wider than my nose. My jaws are also too small, and that contributed even more to my weird teeth. So before I got braces, I had to get something called an “expander” or “extender”, I don’t remember, that would basically push the sides of my jaw to make it wider. It as bulky, and it made eating anything hard. I got the great idea of grinding everything before eating. First on the list – roti with beetroot. Not the best thing that I’ve thought of. Definitely not the worst, either. Oh my, no.

So I lived off of very soft rice products for three months, kind of sucking the food in like a vacuum cleaner. Each day, we had to tighten it a bit, which would push my jaws apart with more force. Usually, my mother did it for me because it’s kind of hard to reach, but one day I thought it would be nice to do it myself. After 15 minutes, I finally got the key in the hole. Then I turned. nothing happened. I turned again, and it turned partially, so I turned it again. This time it went the remaining half of the turn and decided to slip two more turns. The result: my jaws were being ripped apart, you couldn’t turn it the other way around to make it loose, and it was all my fault. Another time, once I decided I had gotten the hang of it, I tried it again and again it turned only fucking half the way! I didn’t try turning it anymore, but it made finding the hole a pain in the ass because half the hole was covered by the inside mechanism or whatever. And we had to pay for this stuff.

So I basically paid to torture myself. No, thank you.

4. My stupid feet:

They’re way to flat. Just too much. My feet are more flat than magenta is a color. It’s as arched as pop lyrics are the epitome of philosophical discourse. My parents even tried to find several solutions:

  • The first was densely packed cotton. I don’t think anyone expected it to work, but we were just hoping something simple would do. We stuck it to the inside of my shoe, where my arch should be, but it just completely sank under my weight, no matter how densely it was packed. My mother even applied this weird red thing (not blood, judging from the smell and taste) to my foot and asked me to stand on a newspaper, and the imprint basically looked like a weird trapezium.
  • Then we went to this foot medical center, and they made an arch insole that was as big as a big insole-sized model of the Eiffel Tower. It was uncomfortable as hell, and was so huge and wide that it distorted the shape of my shoes, which were already distorted enough because of my flat feet – every single shoe I’ve work just becomes weak on the side and starts to sag. Onwards, then …
  • This one actually looked like a good solution – Foot Solutions. They made custom arches designed for your feet. The entire process of computerized and pretty cool. I don’t know how much of it was bullshit in order to make people feel that the expense was worth it, but it seemed legitimate. The resulting arch support was neat, elegant, small and seemed sturdy enough to not collapse and soft enough not to pain the shit out of me. I used it without a problem until my shoe began to tear. I kept that show aside, and without realizing …… threw it away because it was torn (nearly in half). I lost it. After that, I went back to normal shoes.

And it feels like my feet have only gotten worse after that. They now seem to completely tilt inwards instead of just being flat, and when my sister told me to put more pressure on the exterior regions of my foot, I couldn’t take five steps without experiencing pain. The shoes that I bought couldn’t even withstand the extreme pressure I exerted in the region my arch should have been that the sole completely eroded and there were small holes that corresponded to where I put the most pressure. I didn’t buy a new pair of shoes, mainly because I felt guilty for having ruined a perfectly good pair. My parents told I should have bought new shoes, and made me wear some spare ones they had – but I realized that they, too, soon started eroding.

5. My goddamn allergy to dust

I’m terribly allergic to dust. I small teensy bit, and I start sneezing. My house has three floors, and once my mom swept the 1st, and I started sneezing on the 3rd. Every morning when I wake up, I sneeze and have an extremely runny nose until I take some allergy tablet – and for some reason, only one company’s thing works for me, even thought I’ve tried multiple companies, with the same chemicals (levocetirizine) and the same dosage. If I don’t want to spend the rest of the day as a useless heap of flesh and boogers, I have to take it, or go outside. Which means on days I have school, everything’s fine, but on holidays (and especially summer, like it is now) I’m completely wasted. But on boogers. Ugh.

Right now, I wake up and spend more than half the day a miserable slop, after which things get better and my nasal tract clears up. The situation is so bad that instead of napkins, my mom gives me this huge cloth which is about 2 feet by 2 feet and I use that to blow my nose. It’s much softer than any napkin and more comforting to have.

Diwali, therefor, is the worst festival ever.

A miserable slop

So that’s me – glasses, braces, arch supports and continuously popping allergy pills.

COMING UP BEFORE: MY STUPID EYES (or maybe not)

OK, I Lie

None of these posts were written anytime near when they were posted. I had a summer to myself, and started writing posts without posting them for various reasons. I decided to start posting them once I came back to college. As a result, there will be a weird shift in time and anachronisms where you’ll wonder if what I’m writing is possible at that point of time. It probably isn’t, but it still happened because it didn’t happen at that point of time. Even this post, and some future ones, willian haven bien writotten (read Dr. Dan Streetmentioner for details) during summer and willian haven bee maya-post when I getten back to college.

OK, I lie even more. I decided to start posting right now. The good thing is:

  • No anachronisms. Though considering that I’ll be mayan onpost reonposting posts from Facebook that I’ve made a few months ago, there might be some
  • I can stop having to use the Future Semi-conditionally Modified Subinverted Subjunctive Intentional tense.
  • I can use a bulleted list for enumerating the good things about this.

OK, yet another lie. I’m not posting these posts right now. I’m making drafts of them and publishing them after some interval of time that I see fit. I’ll inform you again if I end up lying any further. This post will be updated when I decide to lie more.

And now that I’m publishing this, I can finally say: the previous thing was partly a lie. Some of them were written and published, but I have drafts of 8 posts (including this one) waiting to be trimmed and published. That previous sentence was a lie. I’m planning to publish this a week for now, but I don’t intend to add on to it any further.

And that wasn’t a lie.

So I’m going to posting it now. Feel free to figure out whether that was a lie.

“Lies on top of lies on top of lies” – Skyler from Breaking Bad