ADJUSTING WATCH BAND - ADJUSTING WATCH
Adjusting Watch Band - Montblanc Watch Review.
Adjusting Watch Band
Sturnus vulgaris sunset
Starlings rise and fall in the sunset's last light, digging for frozen grubs and early rising seasonal beetles.
In Praise Of Limestone
If it form the one landscape that we, the inconstant ones,
Are consistently homesick for, this is chiefly
Because it dissolves in water. Mark these rounded slopes
With their surface fragrance of thyme and, beneath,
A secret system of caves and conduits; hear the springs
That spurt out everywhere with a chuckle,
Each filling a private pool for its fish and carving
Its own little ravine whose cliffs entertain
The butterfly and the lizard; examine this region
Of short distances and definite places:
What could be more like Mother or a fitter background
For her son, the flirtatious male who lounges
Against a rock in the sunlight, never doubting
That for all his faults he is loved; whose works are but
Extensions of his power to charm? From weathered outcrop
To hill-top temple, from appearing waters to
Conspicuous fountains, from a wild to a formal vineyard,
Are ingenious but short steps that a child's wish
To receive more attention than his brothers, whether
By pleasing or teasing, can easily take.
Watch, then, the band of rivals as they climb up and down
Their steep stone gennels in twos and threes, at times
Arm in arm, but never, thank God, in step; or engaged
On the shady side of a square at midday in
Voluble discourse, knowing each other too well to think
There are any important secrets, unable
To conceive a god whose temper-tantrums are moral
And not to be pacified by a clever line
Or a good lay: for accustomed to a stone that responds,
They have never had to veil their faces in awe
Of a crater whose blazing fury could not be fixed;
Adjusted to the local needs of valleys
Where everything can be touched or reached by walking,
Their eyes have never looked into infinite space
Through the lattice-work of a nomad's comb; born lucky,
Their legs have never encountered the fungi
And insects of the jungle, the monstrous forms and lives
With which we have nothing, we like to hope, in common.
So, when one of them goes to the bad, the way his mind works
Remains incomprehensible: to become a pimp
Or deal in fake jewellery or ruin a fine tenor voice
For effects that bring down the house, could happen to all
But the best and the worst of us...
That is why, I suppose,
The best and worst never stayed here long but sought
Immoderate soils where the beauty was not so external,
The light less public and the meaning of life
Something more than a mad camp. 'Come!' cried the granite wastes,
"How evasive is your humour, how accidental
Your kindest kiss, how permanent is death." (Saints-to-be
Slipped away sighing.) "Come!" purred the clays and gravels,
"On our plains there is room for armies to drill; rivers
Wait to be tamed and slaves to construct you a tomb
In the grand manner: soft as the earth is mankind and both
Need to be altered." (Intendant Caesars rose and
Left, slamming the door.) But the really reckless were fetched
By an older colder voice, the oceanic whisper:
"I am the solitude that asks and promises nothing;
That is how I shall set you free. There is no love;
There are only the various envies, all of them sad."
They were right, my dear, all those voices were right
And still are; this land is not the sweet home that it looks,
Nor its peace the historical calm of a site
Where something was settled once and for all: A back ward
And dilapidated province, connected
To the big busy world by a tunnel, with a certain
Seedy appeal, is that all it is now? Not quite:
It has a worldy duty which in spite of itself
It does not neglect, but calls into question
All the Great Powers assume; it disturbs our rights. The poet,
Admired for his earnest habit of calling
The sun the sun, his mind Puzzle, is made uneasy
By these marble statues which so obviously doubt
His antimythological myth; and these gamins,
Pursuing the scientist down the tiled colonnade
With such lively offers, rebuke his concern for Nature's
Remotest aspects: I, too, am reproached, for what
And how much you know. Not to lose time, not to get caught,
Not to be left behind, not, please! to resemble
The beasts who repeat themselves, or a thing like water
Or stone whose conduct can be predicted, these
Are our common prayer, whose greatest comfort is music
Which can be made anywhere, is invisible,
And does not smell. In so far as we have to look forward
To death as a fact, no doubt we are right: But if
Sins can be forgiven, if bodies rise from the dead,
These modifications of matter into
Innocent athletes and gesticulating fountains,
Made solely for pleasure, make a further point:
The blessed will not care what angle they are regarded from,
Having nothing to hide. Dear, I know nothing of
Either, but when I try to imagine a faultless love
Or the life to come, what I hear is the murmur
Of underground streams, what I see is a limestone landscape.
The Rise of Daubenspeck's Zombie-Ninja Conundrum
Some years ago while I lived in Asheville, North Carolina, my merry band of friends were doing what they always did: get into heated and heady geeky discussions.
It was during a session when I believe my good friend Daniel Daubenspeck put forth two bits of information that seemed (in the mind of a former math-lover like myself) to be the beginnings of a proof those two bits of information being (assuming pop-culture hasn't lied to us):
1) Ninja in smaller quantities are a far more formidable force than ninja in larger quantities. Great examples of this could be the Ninja Turtles vs. the Foot Clan, the Bride vs. the Crazy 88, or Batman vs. the League of Shadows. In all cases, the smaller group always wins as the overwhelming numbers of the other group tend towards impeding the flow of combat, even to the point of assisting the "protagonists."
2) Zombies in larger quantities are always more formidable than those in small quantities. This is a scenario that goes without saying. Really you just have to watch George Romero's movies to see this play out. Heck, even "Shawn of the Dead" or "Zombieland" illustrate this point as well. Granted of course you don't get between Woody Harrelson and a Twinkie. The zombies almost ALWAYS take over the world through whatever infection they may have. And they ALWAYS survive.
So given those two bits of information...if pitted against one another...could they conceivably reach a point where the number of ninjas and the number of zombies canceled each other out? Effectively reaching a stalemate?
When I posed what I am now refering to as "Daubenspeck's Zombie-Ninja Hypothesis" to my friend Landon Bellavia, a graduate student with a Bachelor's in Physics, some interesting flaws in the original hypothesis were broached.
In his own words (bare with it now, it gets heady):
"Additionally, not to be a kill-joy, but I believe there may be a flaw in the logic behind such a hypothesis. The argument relies on creating an unstable equilibrium open to perturbation on the local level that impacts the global level. Mathematically speaking, having one direct relationship and one inverse relationship creates a “saddle” probability potential. Think of trying to place a marble on a saddle…yes it has an equilibrium position in the very middle where it will rest indefinitely, but the slightest perturbation sends it plummeting to one side or the other.
To illustrate, if the ninjas manage to destroy a single zombie, the overall zombie power level declines, and assuming ninja group power is dependent on their absolute numbers and not their numbers relative to the enemy, the ninjas gain the advantage and eventually win. Conversely, if the zombies manage to kill a single ninja, this decreases the number of ninjas and increases their strength, again causing the ninjas to win. Assuming both sides hold to the rules of game theory to determine the eventual winner, and assuming such a stalemate could be generated, a single ninja would deliberately sacrifice himself to empower his allies to defeat the zombies.
The only way to prevent a perturbation of the equilibrium is to have a homogeneous distribution of zombies and ninjas at all times interacting so quickly as to disrupt each other’s attacks before they can happen. However, in creating this homogeneity, you deprive the ninjas of one of the key factors in their strength: their mobility. While this could be done in a computer simulation (which would have the zombies win unless the relative strength factor is adjusted to compensate for the ninjas’ loss in power), I challenge you to find any ninja that will just stand still and fight zombies.
Thus, while it may be possible to establish a stalemate of a fashion described by Dan’s Zombie Ninja Hypothesis, mathematically speaking during a dynamic simulation with “realistic” constraints on subject behavior (assuming the reality of zombie movies and TMNT), at one point in time, a perturbation will arise in the system that leads to the inescapably conclusion that ninjas will win."
Thus the Bellavia Corollary to Daubenspeck's Zombie-Ninja Hypothesis is born. Simply stated "...in dynamic systems, unless zombies begin with immediately overwhelming numbers, the ninjas will win." This principle also assumes you can have percentages of either group (though that's not unheard of with zombies really, all missing limbs and stuff).
And so you have Daubenspeck's Zombie-Ninja Conundrum.
I now leave it to the geeks of the world to it duke out. Have fun!
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