During the winter term, Stephan Herminghaus has been appointed as a guest professor of Université Paris VI, at the Institut Pierre et Marie Curie, hosted by Prof. F. Brochard. The appointment was started with a one month stay at the Paris institute, where some joint work on Nucleation and Dewetting was completed (S. Herminghaus and F. Brochard-Wyart, 'Dewetting through nucleation', Comptes Rendus Physique 7 (2006) 1073-1081).
It is interesting to contemplate about the combinatorics of the wrought-iron window balustrade ornaments. Given the complexity many of them exhibit, one may estimate that it is well possible that there is not a single duplicate (aside from those at the same house, of course) among all of the mid-nineteenth century Paris as designed by Haussmann in the typical renowned style. I do not know if somebody investigated this seriously. Most probably so!
The elevator is quite expensive, so I decided to walk up. Unfortunately, you cannot go all the way up! The stairs ends at the second platform, and the elevator from there to the top does not only ask for exactly the same price as the one from the bottom, but the queues are also just as long. I decided to go down again, but the view was nice on platform two, already!
I just love the architecture of this city! The sublime balance between regularity and variety makes it all so pleasant; and sometimes you think you can feel that the rock they built it all from comes directly from the place. It all adds up to that awe-inspiring optical harmony. But, of course, you can read all that in the tons of books which have been written before by much more educated persons than me.
Yes, this is point zero! You find it in front of famous Nôtre Dame, on the Ile de la Cité. It is not quite the axle of the earth, nor the point where the big bang was ignited, but it is, after all, the point from which the kilometers on all french long distance roads are measured.
See below a few scans from Stephan's Moleskine: