I’m in Calgary now, at the CMS meeting. This morning’s session was very interesting, but so far I’ve learnt more from chatting with the other participants. The Sydneyites tell me that Ross Street thinks he has found a good way of thinking about my compact closed biproducts theorem. Unfortunately none of them can remember the details! I’m surprised at how many (very clever) people claim to have had trouble understanding that paper: I thought I’d made it really, really simple, but maybe I’ve confused people by putting in too much detail!
I’m drinking A&W root beer, which I am assured is a famous Canadian delicacy and tastes of sugary toothpaste. Earlier I was stopped by two burly policemen on mountain bikes, who asked me very sternly why I had crossed the (untrafficked) street. I resisted the temptation to give the obvious answer, and engaged the hapless foreigner defence. It seemed to have the desired effect, though the policeman made it clear that only thanks to his boundless magnanimity was I to be spared the $172 fine. North America is a strange place, where pedestrians are forbidden to impede the hypothetical progress of imaginary cars.
I’m speaking at 8:30 tomorrow morning, so I’d better get back to figuring out what to say. (The fear of the unknown has evaporated now I’m here, so I only have to worry about making it comprehensible and engaging…)