Saturday, October 20, 2001

Today the sun came out around noon and with it a lunch invitation to the Mayor's house. That may sound more impressive that it is, as the Mayor is one of my closest friends and was so, long before he became Mayor. At 1 p.m. I drove to City Hall and from there together we drove to his house. His mother, whom, indecently, I also call Mom (I have a few mothers who have adopted me as their own, but this is the only one I actually call Mom), had lunch ready for us. We ate and talked over the usual topics, which included what we need to do to stimulate the economy and make this place more attractive in terms of business opportunities for native and Diaspora investors. I won�t get into details on the web as to what was said, since the conversation I would categorize as confidential, right up there with military strategic planning and how much our reserve of mulberry vodka is. All should be treated as topics of national security. So after lunch, we returned to City Hall where we continued our discussion. At 5 p.m. we were invited to a lecture being presented by a man named Artyom Sarkis Sarkisyan. Mr. Sarkisyan was born in the village of Jardar (the largest village in the Martuni region) in 1926 and after attending the institute in Baku, he worked to become an Academic in the field of Oceanography. He started out his lecture in Karabaghian-Armenian, giving us some general background information about himself. He then went on to tell us about how five years ago he was lecturing in someplace to some Armenians in Russian and at the end of his lecture, a man walked up to him to tell him how much he enjoyed the lecture, but since he didn�t understand Russian, he didn�t understand a thing he was saying. All the people in the room laughed. Then he said that he knows that the Armenians of Karabagh are educated and understand Russian. He then proceeded to talk in Russian. Well, I admit I�m educated and know some Russian, but only words that relate to car parts, road directions and the more practical things like underwear and socks. So here I was sitting in this room with Academic Sarkisyan talking up a storm. To make the most of it, I decided to see how much I could understand and you know, I actually understood about 10 words, which was 10 words more than I was expecting to understand, but that was because I thought I heard some car part names (maybe he was talking about parts on a boat?). So when the lecture ended, I wanted to go up to him and tell him how much I enjoyed his lecture and didn�t understand a thing, but thought that maybe he would feel bad for making the same assumption twice (it�s like not learning from your mistake the first time, which I personally hate to do). I did ask the Mayor to fill me in on what was said, and when he did, I then kinda wished that the lecture had been in Armenian. For those of you that want to be impressed, check this out. Academic Sarkisyan was able to locate and document where in the Atlantic Ocean water flows in two directions. Yea, you heard me right, he found a place the current breaks one of the laws of physics!!! People knew this could exist, but didn�t quite understand how to prove it. This means that the surface water goes in the direction of the wind and about 50 meters below, the water flows in the opposite direction. For those of you that don�t understand what I�m trying to say, let me put it in terms that some of you should relate with. It�s kind of like if you flush a toilet in the Northern hemisphere and it swirls clockwise. In the Southern hemisphere, it swirls counter-clockwise. But if the toilet were in the middle of the Atlantic at that spot, Academic Sarkisyan found, after swirling clockwise for 50 meters down into the ocean, it would change direction. Well, maybe that�s not a good comparison, but it�s one of those puzzles of physics that even I don�t understand. Please don�t make me try to explain how you would get out there to flush it to see for yourself, let alone install it way out there. Oh, and for that discovery, he got some big prize of money (Armenians love to talk about money, and I would guess that got the attention of those people sitting there in the room dozing off and also thinking about how they were going to stay warm this winter). The other thing Academic Sarkisyan was known for was for disproving some hypothesis, which he really didn�t give details on, but said that he almost ended up in Siberia over. It had something to do with challenging three leading American and one leading Russian scientists who didn�t want to admit to their mistake. Well those were the highlights of my day. Let�s see what tomorrow has to offer.

No comments:

Post a Comment