A dragon of genus one

I just came back from Hong Kong, where I participated in a conference on automorphic forms and all their applications. Among the talks, I especially enjoyed to hearing about the current status of the Jacquet-Langlands correspondance from Badulescu, and also the definition and properties of uniform pro-p-groups in the talk of Jiu-Kang Yu.

I stayed two days after the conference and had time to do some visiting and shopping. My favorite browsing time was in the Yue Hwa Chinese Emporium (the address was suggested by Yuk-Kam Lau, who also suggested the restaurant where we had our best dinner). I couldn’t resist buying the torus-shaped box that I saw there.

Dragon torus box
Dragon torus box

According to my wife, this is certainly intended to hold necklaces and bracelets. It is decorated with a dragon and what I think is a phoenix (maybe representing two elements of a basis of the homology or cohomology of the torus). I haven’t yet measured it to check if it has complex multiplication.

I took a few animal pictures, although the rather oppressive weather made it a bit difficult to spend time walking leisurely outside.


And I saw a rather melancholy piano in a side street…


Musically, I think there is a minor modernist masterpiece to be written based on the rings, whistles and noises of the Octopus card system, recorded at one of the more important exits of the MTR subway at some of its busier hours of operation.

The Spring menagerie

I think readers can legitimately complain that not only have I not added a new post for a long time, but more schockingly, my last animal-related one goes back more than one year. So, to celebrate the recent belated aperçus of spring in Zürich and around, here are some pictures:

The first two are cheating, since they come from the Masoala Hall — but the first one illustrates the beautiful views from the very new canopy walk:

while the second is a rarely-seen lizard

Next comes a well-camouflaged bird, this one from a park in Graz

and another one from the aforementioned canopy

after which come a frog,

a snail,

and more frogs:

Hopefully more animal pictures will come before a year passes!

The rights of frogs of toads

How more considerate of our amphibian cousins can you get?

(Translation: “Amphibian migration / Obere Geerenstrasse / From the beginning of Mars to the end of Mars / 18:00 afternoon to 06:30 morning / Inaccessible”)

For an additional Swiss note, the next panel, which unfortunately I couldn’t photograph in the same frame, was a reminder that their is a votation this Sunday.


I presume that a number of readers are getting tired of my stories of growth and expansion, especially when it seems I can’t keep a value straight for two days in a row. There will be at least one more post about this, but for a relaxing change, here are some recent animal pictures…

First, a raptor looking at me straight in the eyes,

and then a shingleback lizard from the Zürich Zoo being handed his lunch on chopsticks:

he (or she) was very lazy about actually starting eating his (or her) cricket, which makes you wonder how things would go in the wild…

And finally a leaf-fish, still from the Zürich Zoo, which is a species I had never seen before: