A ghost co-authored a mathematics paper in 1990. When Pierre Cartier edited a Festschrift in honor of Alexander Grothendieck’s 60th birthday, Robert Thomas contributed an article that was co-signed by his recently deceased friend Thomas Trobaugh. He explained:
The first author must state that his coauthor and close friend, Tom Trobaugh, quite intelligent, singularly original, and inordinately generous, killed himself consequent to endogenous depression. Ninety-four days later, in my dream, Tom’s simulacrum remarked, ‘The direct limit characterization of perfect complexes shows that they extend, just as one extends a coherent sheaf.’ Awaking with a start, I knew this idea had to be wrong, since some perfect complexes have a non-vanishing K0 obstruction to extension. I had worked on this problem for 3 years, and saw this approach to be hopeless. But Tom’s simulacrum had been so insistent, I knew he wouldn’t let me sleep undisturbed until I had worked out the argument and could point to the gap. This work quickly led to the key results of this paper. To Tom, I could have explained why he must be listed as a coauthor.
Thomason himself died suddenly five years later of diabetic shock, at age 43. Perhaps the two are working again together somewhere.
(Robert Thomason and Thomas Trobaugh, “Higher Algebraic K-Theory of Schemes and of Derived Categories,” in P. Cartier et al., eds., The Grothendieck Festschrift Volume III, 1990.)
If we think of the aphorism a dead form, I would argue that we do it only because the best-known aphorisms tend to be the oldest.Read the rest
Here's something you don't see every day: An ultra-HD time-lapse of Earth, as seen in infrared.
The Peruvian TV show "Harassing Your Mother" performs secret makeovers on the mothers of habitual catcallers, then uses hidden cameras to record catcallers shouting sexual remarks at their own mothers, who furiously upbraid them in the middle of the busy streets of Lima. (more…)
A new $500 emblem rug sat in the entrance of the Pinellas County, Florida Sheriff's Office for two months before a deputy finally noticed that it said "In Dog We Trust." (more…)
CineFix has been reimagining all the recent action movies as pixellated videogames, but few movies translate so perfectly as Guardians of the Galaxy. Now we want to play this game for real — especially with that soundtrack.
The map of the continental United States contains an elf making chicken.
He’s known as Mimal, after the states that make him up: Minnesota (hat), Iowa (head), Missouri (shirt), Arkansas (pants), and Louisiana (boots).
Fittingly, the chicken is Kentucky and the tin pan is Tennessee.
"Tim is patient, Tim is kind. Tim does not envy, Tim does not boast, Tim is not proud. Tim is not rude, Tim is not self-seeking, Tim is not easily angered, Tim keeps no record of wrongs." Some Guy Named Tim Edits The Book Of Corinthians To Replace All Instances Of "Love" With "Tim."
These aren't the first pieces of Lego to break the surly bonds of gravity, but they're some of the coolest - as part of New Year celebrations aboard the ISS, the current crew of station were gifted three custom-made Astronaut figures.
Theology nerd side of Tumblr, reporting for duty!
There are roughly five and a half fucktillion extracanonical gospels out there. For the first couple centuries after Jesus bit it, his followers wrote a ridiculous amount of fanfic. There were a gajillion different headcanons floating around about exactly who and what he even was (God pretending to be human? human who got possessed by God at his baptism? human who got promoted to demigod after his death? simultaneously God and human all along??) and lots of early Christian communities ~conveniently~ discovered a Totally 100% Authentic Eyewitness Account that supported their pet theory (and also, proved that their fave disciple was clearly the best).
Big Name Fans argued about all the major disagreements, periodically throwing conventions specifically to bicker until they reached some sort of consensus (more or less – sometimes the hold-outs ended up saying “screw you guys, we’re gonna go form our own church!”) Toward the end of the second century, a guy named Irenaeus wrote a meta arguing that there were four fics worth reading – no more, no less – and they were ones that folks somewhere along the line started to claim were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This idea caught on as a popular bit of fanon, and over the next couple of centuries it gained so much support that it was declared canon.
So, what’s the point of this Jesus fandom history lesson? Basically, that the discovery of yet another extracanonical text isn’t particularly earth-shattering. Headlines like “Ancient Bible changes everything! Pope freaking out!” are bullshit, but that’s how it’s always framed cause more accurate headlines like “Old manuscript discovered – Historians say ‘Ooh, nifty!’” aren’t very good click-bait.
The actual history and politics of the various gospel texts are really fascinating though (if you’re a huge fucking nerd, like me). In the Gospel of Judas, he’s the only disciple who really understands Jesus, who told Judas to “betray” him. Also, God’s a Glow Cloud. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas has kid!Jesus smite other kids for being little shits. The Gospel of Peter is hella anti-Jewish, but has one cool bit with a character that’s literally a walking, talking cross. There’s a whole book called “Q” which has never even been found, but scholars are pretty sure exists cause Matthew and Luke copied a lot from it.
Seriously, leaning about this stuff made me go “woah, this is freaking awesome – why the hell did my parents’ church make the Bible seem so damn boring??” Well, probably cause all those white upper middle class folks didn’t want us kiddies to dig too deep and find out what a radical, anti-establishment bamf Jesus really was, but that’s another rant for another time…
Reblogging because this is what I live for. As a medieval history major, I got taught first and foremost that we’d be spending four years reading lies and biased half-truths and mythologies. Our job was to find the places they agreed and work the rest out from there. “Do the edge pieces first, Maggie.” I took an entire seminar on forgeries, because so many of the sources historians use to piece together the past are known fakes, but the best they can do is read between the lines or have no lines at all. There’s a reason why medieval historians read farm reports featuring travel descriptions and saints’ lives involving demons-living-in-buckets with the same attention to detail. Every dry history text you’ve read in your life comes from a pile of sources like this, bits of maybe-truth cobbled together with toothpaste and narwhal horn dust.
The moral of the story is be curious, and look for the lies in truth and the truth in lies. It’s pretty great: hello, history, riddle me this.