Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Wednesday August 18, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 AM

Drunk Bird

T. Charles Erickson
Shizuo Kakutani
in the 1980’s

Kakutani died yesterday.

“A drunk man will find his way home, but a drunk bird may get lost forever.”

— Shizuo Kakutani, quoted by J. Chang in Stochastic Processes (ps), p. 1-19.  Chang says the quote is from an R. Durrett book on probability.


A random walk in d dimensions is recurrent if d = 1 or d = 2, but transient if d is greater than or equal to 3.

From a web page on Kylie Minogue:

Turns out she’s a party girl
who loves Tequila:
“Time disappears with Tequila.  
  It goes elastic, then vanishes.”

Kylie sings

From a web page on Malcolm Lowry’s classic novel Under the Volcano

The day begins with Yvonne’s arrival at the Bella Vista bar in Quauhnahuac. From outside she hears Geoffrey’s familiar voice shouting a drunken lecture this time on the topic of the rule of the Mexican railway that requires that  “A corpse will be transported by express!” (Lowry, Volcano, p. 43).

For further literary details in memory of Shizuo Kakutani, Yale mathematician and father of book reviewer Michiko Kakutani, see

Santa Versus the Volcano.

Of course, Kakutani himself would probably prefer the anti-Santa, Michael Shermer.  For a refutation of Santa by this high priest of Scientism, see

Miracle on Probability Street

(Scientific American, July 26, 2004). 


  1. How many drunk birds can’t find their cars at the end of the night? And how many drunk men could migrate to Argentina without a map?

    Comment by dingus5 — Wednesday, August 18, 2004 @ 6:35 AM

  2. For more on a bird, Argentina, a random walk, death, and eternity, see Feeling in Death.

    Comment by m759 — Wednesday, August 18, 2004 @ 9:59 AM

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