More things of the day(s)

(1) Today’s Word of The Day in the OED: afanc, which we learn is

In Welsh mythology: an aquatic monster. Also: an otter or beaver identified as such a monster.

Maybe the Welsh otters, like their rugbymen, are particularly fierce?

(2) Yesterday’s Google doodle, in Switzerland at least, celebrated the 57th birthday of Gaston Lagaffe


I’ve heard that Gaston


is mostly unknown to the US or English, leaving many people with no reaction to the mention of the contrats de Mesmaeker


or to the interjection Rogntudju!.


This lack of enlightenment is a clear illustration of the superiority of the continental mind.

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I am a professor of mathematics at ETH Zürich since 2008.

2 thoughts on “More things of the day(s)”

  1. Why on earth is this filed under “France”? Gaston Lagaffe is just as Belgian as Achille Talon, Pierre Deligne or Lucky Luke.
    The French’s notorious dishonest maneuvers to appropriate these heroes are destined to the dustbin of history: don’t let them mislead you!

    1. I know this indeed, but I have no “Belgium” tag and was too lazy to add one; I will happily add Jacques Brel, Jean Bourgain and the anonymous monks of the Rochefort brewery to a list of Belgian masters…

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