Friday, March 26, 2010


So apparently, this bearded amazement of a man, recently won $1 million in prize money for solving one of the world's most complicated math problems, the one-hundred-year-old Poincaré conjecture. This equation is so complex, in fact, that after posting his proofs in 2002 it took several years for other experts to confirm he was correct. (Which, of course, he was.)

However, Dr. Grigori Perelman is too awesome to accept the money. Notoriously reclusive and living in St. Petersburg Russia with his mother and sister, Grigori has much better things to do than worry about a million dollars cash. Just ask the representative who finally managed to speak with him. Grigori's response to the interruption (notification of awarded money)...?

"You are disturbing me. I am picking mushrooms."

Sounds like my kind of math genius.


  1. I am completely with you on this one, Pally. He cares so much about beauty and truth that he could care less about a million dollars? I love that! [Insert "Ode on a Grecian Urn."] I love that he said, "You are disturbing me. I am picking mushrooms." _LOVE IT!_ And it's not just because I, too, enjoy foraging for mushrooms. I like it because the statement itself prioritizes the search for something small--and relatively calorically insubstantial--over the regurgitated gloating over accomplishment. He has the priorities of an idealist. He plays my favorite instrument--the violin; he probably even plays Air on a G String, which is quite possibly the most moving tune ever conceived. Essentially, this man, may be one of the coolest living human beings. And I think John Keats would have wanted to be friends with him, too.

  2. Everything you just said are all the reasons I love him. All the reasons I joined his official fan club. :) Keats SO would have been best friends forever with our little Grigori.

  3. Best friends. Yup. I agree.