SynSyn #39 [Joel / Kenji / Alban]

Videos SS #39: 11/7/18

Facilitated by Michael Ho, Jenn Frohlich, Alban Jago, Antoinette Dumont

Kenji Matsuoka – “The Journey of a Chant” Every day at the San Francisco Zen Center, people recite a monotone chant consisting of a sequence of a few hundred syllables that don’t appear to be in any known language. I was intrigued — what could these strange syllables mean? But when I asked about the meaning of this chant, called the Dai Hi Shin Darani, I was told it had no meaning — it was simply a meditation device. I wasn’t satisfied with that answer, so I started investigating …

Alban Jago – “From a flat world to a quantum one: the adventurous journey of mathematics.” While people have a pretty good idea of what a pizza maker does, they usually have no clue about what a researcher in mathematics spends its days on.  Are there still things to be discovered?  It certainly must be as boring as learning math in high school!  To prove these wrong, I’d like to take you on a short odyssey into the world of some strange geometries…

Joel Pomerantz: A Visit to the Giant Magellan Telescope Mirror Lab I was in Tucson. I rented an AirBNB near the University. The stadium loomed over the whole neighborhood. This felt awkward…until I learned what’s being made under that massive monument to competition. They’re near-halfway done sculpting the eight largest paraboloid glass mirrors EVERrrrr! They figured out some tricks you’ll want to know when you make your Giant Telescope.


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