Typos, bad links, functorial frustration, and mercury makeup

It’s been one of those days.

I’ve updated the corrections list for Beginning Mathematical Logic, which is getting to be long enough to raise the issue of whether to update the paperback before the next edition planned for next year. On the one hand almost all the typos are quite trivial — repeated words or obvious omissions (the sort of thing the eye so easily skips over). On the other hand it increasingly bugs me to know that they are all there. Annoying.

I’ve also had to correct some of the links on the Book Notes page, as I unaccountably didn’t check the page properly before putting it online a couple of days back. Annoying again.

But I’ve mostly been chewing away again at the early pages on functors in Category Theory II finding it frustratingly difficult to make things run smoothly. More annoyance (to add to the considerable irritation of finding I’d made a careless slip in Category Theory I).

Ah well. It’s very nice, then, to be able to hit a cheering note. Here’s a book recommendation. I’ve just finished the very enjoyable  How to be a Renaissance Woman by the art-historian Jill Burke. As the blurb says “The Renaissance was an era obsessed with appearances. And beauty culture from the time has left traces that give us a window into an overlooked realm of history — revealing everything from sixteenth-century women’s body anxieties to their sophisticated botanical and chemical knowledge.  [Burke] allows us to glimpse the world of the female artists, artisans and businesswomen carving out space for themselves, as well as those who gained power and influence in the cut-throat world of the court.” And as a reviewer puts it “Terrific … Drawing on early published beauty pamphlets, letters, poems, songs, diaries and recipe books, not to mention treatises by both men and women and the rich material of Renaissance art, [Burke] has emerged with enough knowledge to open her own Renaissance Body Shop …” (for the book ends with some recipes for lotions and potions ….: but not the ones for makeup with mercury or arsenic, you’ll be glad to know).  A fun read, and illuminating too — it will change the way you see some Renaissance portraits.

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