On Thursday someone pointed out to me that it was Alexander Grothendieck’s 85th birthday. Hopefully he is well and celebrating appropriately. Coincidentally I just heard the following rumor. Supposedly a couple months ago the librarian at the IHES got a phone call from a man who said his name is Alexander Grothendieck, that he needed a specific book from the library and asked if he/she could mail it to him at a certain address somewhere in the south of France.
The librarian said that books are lent only to IHES members and no books are sent by mail. The man on the phone said something and the librarian said that he/she must consult with the director. The director then went ahead and had the book sent.
Perhaps someone can confirm this rumor. Of course the first question that comes to mind is: “What book was it???” (And yes, if I do find out, I suppose I shouldn’t blog the answer, to respect Grothendieck’s privacy…)