Fourier Analysis is a mathematical tool which can do a number of things: separate out signals from noise; help identify patterns or trends in data; filter out all unwanted data and focus on a single signal; use approximations to make generalizations; make approximations of real world signals (think electronic music); combine harmonics to get a stronger signal. That's what I'll be trying to do here!! Won't you join me with your comments?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Beauty is in the Ear of the Listener

A German, an Italian, a Spaniard, a Frenchman and an American were at a meeting together and during the break they decided to enjoy the lovely summer weather in a local outdoor cafe. As they sat drinking their wine and beer, a butterfly landed on the table where they were sitting.

They all were still for a moment, observing it, when the Frenchman was suddenly inspired. "Ze French language, she is so poeteek! We call zis delicate creature 'Papillion'! (pronounced pa-pi-on). Is eet not a wonderful name?"

His companions agreed that indeed this was a beautiful word for the insect. They all toasted "Papillion!"

The Spaniard, not to be outdone, said, "De Spanish language is also very descreepteeve. We say 'Mariposa' which is also a very bootiful word." And of course this was received and praised and toasted by all present.

And the Italian, in some false modesty, admitted that while his language was also very beautiful, the word "Farfalla" did not quite do justice to the loveliness of the being currently gracing their table. His companions were quick to disagree and another round of drinks was bought to toast this lovely language.

The American, knowing that English did not have the same poetry compared to the other names, defended the sound of "Butterfly" that while nonsensical in translation, still managed to roll off the tongue and was a fitting tribute to this wondrous masterpiece of Mother Nature. And his companions agreed and they all tried out their new words "Butterfly, Mariposa, Papillion, Farfalla" and with every utterance the others cheered and toasted and drank their beers.

Their German companion, however, had become increasingly silent during this discussion. When they all slowly noticed this, they became quiet and drank their beers with introspection. Finally, the German slammed his drink down on the table and asked " Und vat is wrong vit SCHMETTERLING ?!"

I laugh every time I read/hear/think of this joke. My husband has never been able to get it! And I think that's even funnier!


anno said...

I LOVE this! Another one to print & tell!

Jen said...

I agree with you... that DOES make it even funnier! And yes, it's very funny!

Scribbit said...

I had to read this to my daughter. We're sitting here and I speak French (somewhat), my husband speaks fluent Spanish and my daughter is taking German and loving it in junior high. We thought it was a cute joke :)

Robin said...

I love it!

Leslie said...

Very funny. And your husband makes it even funnier.