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Gel'fand amazed me by talking of mathematics as though it were poetry. He once said about a long paper bristling with formulas that it contained the vague beginnings of an idea which he could only hint at and which he had never managed to bring out more clearly. I had always thought of mathematics as being much more straightforward: a formula is a formula, and an algebra is an algebra, but Gel'fand found hedgehogs lurking in the rows of his spectral sequences!
Mathematical Notices v. 38, no. 3, March 1991, pp. 185-7.
English gauger's scale
An English gauger’s scale, probably 18th century. The units measured on it are: Hogshead, kilderkin, barrel, etc. It may have been the possession of a tavern keeper employed to measure his wares. Gauging, or measuring the liquid volume in a cask or barrel was an important mathematical activity from the Middle Ages through the 19 th century. Johannes Kepler devoted a book to the subject.