A fun pursuit of my ill-spent youth was browsing the encyclopædia — one article would lead to another, which then took me to a third, and so forth. Not a bad way to spend a winter afternoon.

The 'Net is steroids to a butterfly-mind. Recently I scratched a longstanding itch to learn a smidgeon about "Nash Equilibrium", a game-theoretic concept that I had heard tell of but never understood. A Wikipedia article told me that the proof of John Nash's famous result relied on the Kakutani Fixed-Point Theorem, which I glanced at briefly before becoming obsessed by an apparent coincidence of names: my favorite New York Times book critic is the enigmatic Michiko Kakutani.

Looking up Ms. Kakutani revealed that Michiko is in fact the daughter of the eponymous mathematician, and that she occasionally writes a review in the voice of a fictional character. One such faux-critical persona was "Austin Powers", comic spy. The Kakutani-as-Powers essay "Hipoisie and Chic-oisie And London Had the Mojo" appeared on 23 July 2002. Upon perusal of it I was provoked to pursue the term "mojo".

And that's when I achieved enlightenment: the song "L.A. Woman" by The Doors features the lyric Mr. Mojo Risin' — and that phrase is a perfect anagram of Jim Morrison, the late great lead singer of the group! At which point, the butterly landed ...

(cf. ArsMagna (27 Sep 2002), NetWorks (20 Jan 2003), HarmonicMotel (23 Oct 2003), BeautifulMind (10 May 2004), SevenBasicPlots (2 May 2005), ...)

TopicHumor - TopicLearning - TopicPersonalHistory - 2006-08-20

(correlates: BovineMind, ToastyOvaries, SevenBasicPlots, ...)