Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Cosmos Review

"A galaxy is composed of gas and dust and stars—billions upon billions of stars."
-Carl Sagan
Weeks after it had opened, we finally wandered the whole family into Jamison Rogayan and Cinnamon Berg's new venture: The Cosmos Bistro. Because, our now vigourous three  and 1/2 year old boy runs our life, we all sat at the counter with him.  I had no idea that Jamison was a space and astronomy buff. It didn't occur to me that there would be a Star Wars Falcon in the top corner of the very high ceilinged, very spaciously remodeled bistro at 1151 North State Street in Bellingham, WA.
The space theme was timely for us. I was just asking my ten year old to verify some data she had given me about the projected number of vertices in four and five dimensional hybercubes. "Isabel, are you sure there are sixteen vertices in a four dimensional hybercube?" "Positive Dad. I looked it up on Google!," the kiddo told me between bites of a Cosmos grilled cheese sandwich. "I had no idea they would serve me so many vegetables," my math champion said, pointing to the grilled multi-colored squash, eggplant, and assorted delicacies on her plate. In between explaining to me why four dimensional hypercubes have sixteen vertices and five dimensional hybercubes have thirty-two vertices, Isabel made pretty good work of her Cosmos grilled cheese.

"Did you see Interstellar?", I asked Jamison. "Oh, so many times." Jamison went on to tell me that he has redesigned the coming place mats with an astronomy buff friend  to include multiple views of Earth from the moons of Venus. "Goodness, this Royal Burger is good!", I thought while I listened to Jamison talk about space place mats. My 3 and 1/2 year old son Rory grabbed my glasses and tore off an arm before I could stop him. "Could you pour me some water?", asked my wife as a I simultaneously removed my eyeglasses from Rory's clutches on my right while discussing hypercube dimensionality on with my daughter on my left. My wife must have been enjoying her 'Croque Moinseur'  quite a bit, because I was clearly captaining most of our ship from my high stool at the moment. Fortunately, my first lieutenants were busy with their Cosmos grilled cheeses. Meanwhile, Jamison drew some draft champagne for his customers. "This has been very popular this morning!" he exclaimed. Had I not had two children with me, I would have ordered it as well, I thought.

I have a theory about people who have wide and deep interests in life. People like Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, John Von Neumann, Jamison Rogayan, and Cinnamon Berg. My theory is that intelligent people seek depth of understanding in many fields because they believe in the vitality of the rest of their society. To those of us who wonder as we wander, the world is a vast expanse of many interests and diverse intelligences. Our own humanity convinces us that understanding and promoting many fields of science, art and humanities contributes compassion and empathy back to the world for the greater growth and good of all. A mathematician named Morris Kline convinced me that this ethic pervaded ancient Greek civilization and thought.

Morris Kline loved the Greeks. Morris Kline would also have loved the Cosmos Bistro. The menu is simple yet inspiring, filling yet not over rich, innovative without being overly engineered.  The Cosmos Bistro serves food fit for an Athenian family and at reasonable prices as well. "Explain to me exactly how there are thirty-two vertices in a five dimensional hypercube, Isabel," I commanded, Kirk like from my counter stool. "The vertices double in amount with every new dimension. It's something our minds have difficulty imagining", my ten year old science officer told me with confidence. A brief look at the section on tesseracts in a Clifford Pickover book she gave me for Christmas confirmed this when I arrived home.  Meanwhile, Jamison brought Rory a dish of vanilla ice cream, while my wife tried to keep Rory from falling off his stool.

The Cosmos Bistro looks no small amount  like a multidimensional hypercube,  I thought to myself later. It has a great spot in the orbit of the Bellingham planetary field of restaurants becoming popular on State Street. As we were near finishing, I asked my wife to take the kids home in her hybrid spaceship. I stayed a little bit to talk more with Jamison about the difficulties of small business people in successfully managing the business part of their enterprises after they had mastered their skillsets. "We built this place for all of you!", he said.

Then I walked out of the Berg-Rogayan Tesseract into a bright portal of sunlight on State Street and pondered the multi-dimensionality of this galaxy we all live in called Bellingham, WA. Which vertices would would our starship visit next?

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