This week: the birth of our nation and the validation of our physics. And a couple things of lesser gravity, too, like this picture of John Nash and Tina Fey chatting on Cannon Green.
The most visited posts in
the past two weeks:
Much like the late Kim Jong-il who liked to stare at things (and not unrelated to his son Kim Jon Un clapping at things), our beloved and often incomprehensible mathematician John Nash also likes to look at things. Edit: We realize this is probably not good for any of his lingering paranoia that people are watching him at all times. Apologies to Dr. Nash.
Kudos to the clever Princetonian who came up with this tumblr, as spotting a rare John Nash out in the open is a momentous occasion.
EDIT: They never accepted my submission, “John Nash NOT Looking At Paul Krugman”:
COLONIAL PRESIDENT SUSAN ZHANG WISHES WE COULD ALL BE TEXAN, ADMIRES JOHN NASH’S FOOTWEAR, HAS A TIGER MOM
Name: Susan Zhang
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Club and Residential College Affiliation: Colonial and Butler
What are you doing this summer?
Saving the world one spreadsheet and graph at a time.
Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
John Nash. I like his shoes.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
I’m naturally biased for Colonial food.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
I’m not sure.
Favorite spot in Colonial?
Movie room couches. Those things suck you in and never let go.
What club did you think you’d be in as a freshman and why?
None. I watched too many food channel shows and thought I would make my own food. Needless to say, that thought didn’t go very far…
What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Watching every TV show imaginable on sidereel.com. And SC2 replays on youtube.
If you could change one thing about Princeton, what would it be?
Move it to Texas.
What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed?
Nothing of particular interest.
What is your biggest fear?
Disappointing my Tigermom.
The canon of popular books set in Princeton is small, but nevertheless well-read by students so jonesing for the thrill of recognition that they’ll happily slog through dozens of pages on game theory (or obscure Venetian manuscripts) for some passing references to campus landmarks.
It turns out that Princetonians have been engaging in this kind of literary navel-gazing since even before the days of F. Scott’s This Side of Paradise — if anything, our self-obsessive tendencies were worse back when there were no cars or phones connecting Princeton to the real world.
This, at least, is the conclusion I draw from Princeton Stories, an 1895 collection of largely mediocre, absolutely fascinating short fiction from Princeton’s own Jesse Lynch Williams ’92. (You can, and should, read the whole thing here — thanks, Google Books!)
There’s something really charming about the idea of a scrappy, marginally talented young alum becoming a bestseller (by 1906, Princeton Stories had gone through 10 printings) on the strength of Princetonians’ willingness to read any and all manner of dreck — so long as it was connected to their school.