The Mystery of 3-Manifolds - William Thurston (by PoincareDuality)

Very sad to say, but Twitter informs me that Bill Thurston recently died. He was an amazing teacher and mathematician. I never was able to take courses with him at Cornell, but one of my professors was very influenced by his thinking and pedagogy. 

Why would someone learn 20 or 50 languages?

Alexander Arguelles (…) wants to explore his consciousness, to encounter a language as a living entity, and to collect the esoteric knowledge of these encounters. “Most of the languages I’ve studied I’ve never spoken, and I probably never will,” he told me. “And that’s okay with me. That’s nice if you can do that, but it’s rare that you have an interesting conversation in English. Why do I think it would be any better in another language?”