Log24

Monday, October 31, 2005

Monday October 31, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 10:23 AM

Halloween
Meditations

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"They don't understand
what it is to be awake,
To be living
on several planes at once
Though one cannot speak
with several voices at once."

— T. S. Eliot,
The Family Reunion

"Multispeech is
a mode of communication…
which facilitates
direct idea transference
at high speed
and with 'multiple channels'
like a kind of
 multidimensional speech –
described in contrast to
normal language
which is, of course, strictly
linear and one-dimensional."

langmaker.com on
The Gameplayers of Zan

"Examples are the
stained-glass windows
of knowledge."

Vladimir Nabokov

"necess yet again from bridge of brainbow oyotecraven stare decesis
on landaway necessity timeslast the arnings ent and tided turn yet
beastfall nor mindstorms neither in their canceling sarved cut the line
that binds ecessity towarn and findaway twill open pandorapack
wishdearth amen amenusensis opend the mand of min apend the pain
of durthwursht vernichtung desiree tolight and eadly dth cessity sesame

We are the key."

— Roger Zelazny,
Eye of Cat

See also Finnegans Wake.

Monday October 31, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:00 AM
Balance

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"An asymmetrical balance is sought since it possesses more movement. This is achieved by the imaginary plotting of the character upon a nine-fold square, invented by some ingenious writer of the Tang dynasty. If the square were divided in half or in four, the result would be symmetrical, but the nine-fold square permits balanced asymmetry."

— Chiang Yee, Chinese Calligraphy,
   
quoted in Aspen no. 10, item 8

"'Burnt Norton' opens as a meditation on time. Many comparable and contrasting views are introduced. The lines are drenched with reminiscences of Heraclitus' fragments on flux and movement….  the chief contrast around which Eliot constructs this poem is that between the view of time as a mere continuum, and the difficult paradoxical Christian view of how man lives both 'in and out of time,' how he is immersed in the flux and yet can penetrate to the eternal by apprehending timeless existence within time and above it. But even for the Christian the moments of release from the pressures of the flux are rare, though they alone redeem the sad wastage of otherwise unillumined existence. Eliot recalls one such moment of peculiar poignance, a childhood moment in the rose-garden– a symbol he has previously used, in many variants, for the birth of desire. Its implications are intricate and even ambiguous, since they raise the whole problem of how to discriminate between supernatural vision and mere illusion. Other variations here on the theme of how time is conquered are more directly apprehensible. In dwelling on the extension of time into movement, Eliot takes up an image he had used in 'Triumphal March': 'at the still point of the turning world.' This notion of 'a mathematically pure point' (as Philip Wheelwright has called it) seems to be Eliot's poetic equivalent in our cosmology for Dante's 'unmoved Mover,' another way of symbolising a timeless release from the 'outer compulsions' of the world. Still another variation is the passage on the Chinese jar in the final section. Here Eliot, in a conception comparable to Wallace Stevens' 'Anecdote of the Jar,' has suggested how art conquers time:

       Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness."

— F. O. Matthiessen,
   The Achievement of T.S. Eliot,
   Oxford University Press, 1958,
   as quoted in On "Burnt Norton"

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sunday October 30, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:56 PM
Recommended Reading
for
Hogwarts Students
on Devil’s Night:


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Click on the above for details.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Saturday October 29, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:07 PM
Aquarius Jazz

Adapted from Matisse
Adapted from Matisse

“The Jazz Age spirit flared
in the Age of Aquarius.”
— Maureen Dowd, essay
for Devil’s Night, 2005:
    What’s a Modern Girl to Do?

“I hope she’ll be a fool —
that’s the best thing a girl can be
in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
— Daisy Buchanan in Chapter I
of The Great Gatsby

“Thanks for the tip,
American Dream.”
Spider-Girl, in
Vol. 1, No. 30, March 2001

(Excerpts from
Random Thoughts
for St. Patrick’s Eve)

Saturday October 29, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:17 PM

Aion

From AP’s “Today in History” for October 29:

On this date:
In 1967, the counter-culture musical “Hair” opened off-Broadway.

Related material:

Jung on Pisces and Aquarius in Aion

The Da Vinci Code and Symbology at Harvard

“This is the turning point
Funny
But by the end
Bitter and serious and deadly”

— Jill O’Hara singing “The Climax
    in “Hair”
    (original cast recording)

Saturday October 29, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

For Kate Jackson on her birthday:
 
Drop-Dead Gorgeous

I need a photo-opportunity
I want a shot at redemption
Don’t want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard
— Paul Simon

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051029-Cameron2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“The idea that this Sad Geezer may fancy a cartoon character is, of course, ludicrous (even if she is drop-dead gorgeous…).”

Aeon Flux – An Introduction

“Dr. Cameron was also interested in how chemical elements are formed inside stars, a field known as nucleosynthesis.”

Today’s New York Times.

We are stardust
    (billion year-old carbon)
We are golden
    (caught in the Devil’s bargain)

Joni Mitchell,
lyrics on the album
“Ladies of the Canyon

Related material:

The upcoming film
of Aeon Flux

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and

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as well as…

Dark Ladies

and

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Kate Jackson in
Satan’s School
for Girls
.

The association
is the idea.

The Third Word War

Saturday October 29, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:23 AM
Flux Redux

“I remember how the darkness doubled
I recall lightning struck itself
I was listening, listening to the rain
I was hearing, hearing something else

Life in the hive puckered up my night
The kiss of death, the embrace of life
There I stand neath the Marquee Moon
Just waiting”

Tom Verlaine, “Marquee Moon”

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In memory of Michael Gill,
producer and director of the
1969 TV series “Civilisation,”
who died on October 20:

Two descriptions of “Aeon Flux,”
a story featured in the Log24 entry
 on the day that Gill died —

“The title character is a tall, sexy, scantily-clad secret agent from the country of Monica…. Her mission is to infiltrate the strongholds of the neighboring country of Bregna, which is led by her sworn enemy, and sometimes lover, Trevor Goodchild.  Monica represents a dynamic anarchist society while Bregna embodies a centralized scientific planned state.”

Wikipedia

“After Aeon is done, Trevor decides that she knows too much, so he has a underling propose a plan to kill her. The plan, quite strangely, is to implant a bunch of nanites (microscopic robots) in Trevors seminal duct so he has sex with Aeon and the nanites tear her apart from the inside.  But Aeon was prepared because she had some weird, mean, spiky, device in her uterus(!?!!) that eats the nanites (that part is kinda weak), she blows up a wall then and escapes leaving Trevor standing there naked and confused.”

The Sad Geezers Guide
    to Aeon Flux Cultures

In memory of Richard Smalley,
advocate of nanotechnology,
who died yesterday at 62:

The Incredible Shrinking Man
(Wired Magazine, October 2004)

See also yesterday’s entry on Scientism.

In memory of
Thomas Wootton Masland,
brother of
Richard Harry Masland, Harvard ’64,
the Log24 entries of October 25.

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Tom Masland

Funeral services for Masland will be held Sunday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 113 Engle Street, Englewood, N.J. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the Jazz Foundation of America, 322 West 48th Street, New York, N.Y. 10036. The group helps elderly and ailing jazz and blues musicians with medical care, housing and other services.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday October 28, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:30 PM

Skeptics’ Anniversary

From AP’s “Today in History” for Oct. 28:

“On this date:
In 1636, Harvard College was founded in Massachusetts.”

In the spring of 1960, Harvard sent to all incoming freshmen a reading list consisting, as I recall, of two books:

1.  Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, by Martin Gardner (Dover, 1957), and

2.  A book on evolution, whose title I do not recall.  Perhaps it was Apes, Angels, and Victorians, by William Irvine (McGraw-Hill, 1955).

I found in later years that Gardner was not to be trusted (certainly not on the subject of mathematics– he never had even one college course in the subject). Darwin, however, still seems eminently reasonable.

For my own views on the religion of Scientism advocated by many at Harvard and by those who admire Gardner, see

Hitler’s Still Point:
A Hate Speech for Harvard.

For a musical version of some related views, see

Wednesday’s entries
on the 10,000 Maniacs.

For an update on the religion of Scientism, see yesterday’s Newsday:

Skeptics converge to take on religion and morality

“The congress coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Council for Secular Humanism, the arm of the center dedicated to promoting a nonreligious philosophy.”

The word “nonreligious” here should,  since Scientism itself amounts to a religion, be viewed with a great deal of skepticism.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thursday October 27, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:48 PM

Final Arrangements, continued…

They Might Be Giants

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wednesday October 26, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:56 PM
Human Conflict
Number Five

(Album title, 10,000 Maniacs)

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This album contains
Planned Obsolescence:

science
is truth for life
watch religion fall obsolete
science
will be truth for life
technology as nature
science
truth for life
in fortran tongue the
answer

with wealth and prominence
man so near perfection
possession
it’s an absence of interim
secure no demurrer
defense against divine
defense against his true
image
human conflict number five
discovery
dissolved all illusion
mystery
destroyed with conclusion
and illusion never restored

any modern man can see
that religion is
obsolete

piety
obsolete
ritual
obsolete
martyrdom
obsolete
prophetic vision
obsolete
mysticism
obsolete
commitment
obsolete
sacrament
obsolete
revelation
obsolete

Secrets of the I Ching

(Album title, 10,000 Maniacs)

Time of this entry: 2:56:37

Question suggested by the
lottery in the state of Grace
(Kelly) on the night Sinatra died:

What is 256 about?

Answer: 37.

In other words…

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37. The Family (The Clan)

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For details, see Log24,
11 AM Sunday, October 16:

Philadelphia Stories.

Wednesday October 26, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:48 AM
Today’s Birthday:
Natalie Merchant

From Wikipedia:

Hope Chest:
The Fredonia Recordings 1982-1983

is a 1990 album by 10,000 Maniacs.
It compiles tracks from their early releases
Human Conflict Number Five and
Secrets of the I Ching.”

For Natalie,
a new web page summing up the
benefits of a Fredonia education:
Certified Crank

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tuesday October 25, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:59 PM

And for the Halloween season…

Darkness Doubled

“The mixolydian mode is one of the authentic ‘church modes’ of the Middle Ages….  On the white notes of a piano, the mixolydian scale runs from G to G.”

Mixolydian Mode weblog

“I remember how the darkness doubled.”
Song in the Mixolydian Mode


The Harvard Crimson:
Lulu

Friday, Oct. 21–Saturday, Oct. 29…. Tickets available at the Harvard Box Office and Loeb Drama Center Box Office, 64 Brattle St.

The film version:

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Related material:

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Click on pictures for details.

Tuesday October 25, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM
Brightness Doubled

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From Log24 on October 7, 2005,
the day that Dr. Michael Ward died:

Seven is Heaven

“Love is the shadow that ripens the vine.
Set the controls for the heart of the Sun.

Witness the man who raves at the wall
Making the shape of his questions to Heaven.
Knowing the sun will fall in the evening,
Will he remember the lessons of giving?
Set the controls for the heart of the Sun.
Set the controls for the heart of the Sun.”

— Roger Waters, quoted in
    Allusions to Classical
    Chinese Poetry in Pink Floyd

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Saturday October 22, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:12 PM
North Country Outrage

In memory of Barrington Moore Jr.,
Harvard observer of social folly,
who died on Sunday, October 16

Barrington Moore Jr. in 1978 On Moral Outrage:

“People’s organizations, loudspeakers, newspapers, the secret police, and the courts all swing into action and the campaign is launched. A reasonably intelligent person, particularly the educated product of Chinese civilization, which for centuries has stressed the nuances of moral indignation in a setting of intrigue and bureaucratic protocol, will know at once just how to adjust facial expressions and tones of voice in showing the correct degree of indignation for each degree on the official set of priorities that ranks all possible varieties of the execrable behavior of the enemies of the people. A poor peasant or worker cannot be expected to do as well.

Worse still, a peasant or a worker may have trouble understanding why this year’s enemies of the people include some of last year’s heroes, and why it is necessary to have another exhausting campaign so soon if the last one was as successful as everybody said it was. But since socialism is a workers’ and peasants’ state that belongs to the people, there are lots of people to explain such matters to workers and peasants, and indeed to anybody else who cares to listen. Furthermore just about everybody must care to listen. Woe to the person who stubbornly refuses to listen to the right noises or to try to make the right noises under socialism, since a socialist state is very efficient in its allocation of human as well as material resources.”

“Come gather ’round friends
And I’ll tell you a tale of when
the red iron pits ran plenty….

My children will go
As soon as they grow.
Well, there ain’t nothing
here now to hold them.”

— Robert Zimmerman,
North Country Blues,” 1963

“Well, if you’re travelin’
in the north country fair,
Where the winds hit heavy
on the borderline,
Remember me to
one who lives there.
She once was
a true love of mine.”

— Robert Zimmerman,
Girl of the North Country,” 1963

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051022-Poster2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Click to enlarge.

Above: propaganda poster of
the 2005 October revolution.

The title of the current film
North Country
was taken from Zimmerman’s
second song above.

Apparently Zimmerman’s first lament, about the iron pits being idle, is not currently in favor with leftists.  It still has validity, however.  See

 Where the Rivers Run North,
by Diane Alden.

Alden, who has lived in northern Minnesota, is perhaps more familiar with its problems than is the New Zealand feminist Niki Caro (director of “Whale Rider,” as well as “North Country”).

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Thursday October 20, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:25 PM
North Country Flux

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“The story centers on
Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron),
the top operative in the underground
‘Monican’ rebellion– led by
The Handler (Frances McDormand).”

— http://www.aeonflux.com

“She once was a true love of mine.”

— “Girl of the North Country,”
by Robert Zimmerman
of Hibbing, Minnesota

Sure she was, Bob
.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Wednesday October 19, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:00 PM

#

“Beauty therefore is a relation.”
— Gerard Manley Hopkins

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Leo Bogart,
dead on Oct. 15.

No relation.

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See entry of
11 AM Sunday.

“Leo Bogart is surely the Grand Master of social research in the world of the newspaper and the mass media in general.”

Sociologist
Robert K. Merton,
“father of
the focus group,”

born in Philadelphia as
Meyer R. Schkolnick,
dead on Feb. 23, 2003-
Grammy night.

More on media:

Bogart’s last book and

Log24 on Goebbels’s birthday:

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tuesday October 18, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:07 AM

11:07:16

“Serious numbers
will always be heard.”
— Paul Simon (64 on Oct. 13)

“Her wallet’s filled with pictures.”
— Chuck Berry (79 today)

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051018-Atrani2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Collegiate Church of
St. Mary Magdalene,
Atrani, Amalfi Coast, Italy:
 
“An interior made exterior”
— Wallace Stevens

See In the Details
(Log24, April 7, 2005)
and Endgame
 (Log24, Nov. 7, 2002).

Picture sources:
Interior: Amalfi Coast
Exterior: Amalfi-kysten

Monday, October 17, 2005

Monday October 17, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Place

“Critics have compared Mr. Stone to Conrad, Faulkner, Hemingway, Graham Greene, Malcolm Lowry, Nathanael West; all apt enough, but there’s a James T. Farrell, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett strain as well – a hard-edged, lonely intelligence that sets bright promise off against stark failure and deals its mordant hand lightly. In A Flag for Sunrise (1981), an anthropologist observes: ‘There’s always a place for God. . . . There is some question as to whether He’s in it.'”

—  Jean Strouse on Robert Stone

“When times are mysterious
Serious numbers will always be heard
And after all is said and done
And the numbers all come home
The four rolls into three
The three turns into two
And the two becomes a
One”

— Paul Simon,
    “When Numbers Get Serious,” from
    “Hearts and Bones”  album, 1983

“Hickory Dickory Dock….”

Anonymous folk tune

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sunday October 16, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Philadelphia Stories

 
for John O’Hara


How does one stand
To behold the sublime,
To confront the mockers,
The mickey mockers
And plated pairs?

— Wallace Stevens, 1936

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On the left, a Catholic answer.
On the right, a Protestant answer.

Pictured:

“High Society,” “The Philadelphia Story,”
“Rocky” statue,  Robert Scott

These are familiar parts of popular culture except for Scott, who died on Thursday.  According to the New York Times, Scott’s mother, “the former Helen Hope Montgomery, was said to be the model for Tracy Lord, Katharine Hepburn’s character in ‘The Philadelphia Story.'”  “High Society” is, of course, a rather Catholic version of that story, starring Grace Kelly, also of Philadelphia.

It is perhaps not entirely irrelevant
that Scott died on, or shortly after,
Yom Kippur— which ended at
sundown on Thursday, October 13..

(See Log24 entry for Rosh Hashana.)

From today’s online Philadelphia Inquirer,
a story first posted on October 13:

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“Mickey Mouse will see you dead.”
Robert Stone

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Saturday October 15, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:28 AM

Canon

A brief note to place Edward Bennett Marks, who died either on Saturday, October 8, 2005 (Washington Post), or on Monday, October 10, 2005 (New York Times), in my personal canon of saints.  Today’s New York Times says that Marks spent his career “aiding refugees as an executive of American and international agencies, both official and volunteer.”  This alone was commendable, but not miraculous.  The miraculous is contained in three words from the Log24 entry of October 10, the date of death of Orson Welles, of Yul Brynner, and perhaps of Marks: “All come home.”

For a rather different perspective on St. Yul Brynner, see “Shall We Dance?”–  a profile by Calvin Tomkins in this week’s New Yorker (issue dated 2005 10/17, posted 10/10) of an artist raised in Bangkok.  It is perhaps not irrelevant that the chess enthusiast Marcel Duchamp plays a prominent role in this piece.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051015-Duchamp2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
 
Marcel Duchamp
 
Some other remarks on chess and art:

From Introduction to Aesthetics
(Log24, October 10, 2004) —

G. H. Hardy on chess problems:

“It is essential… (unless the problem is too simple to be really amusing) that the key-move should be followed by a good many variations, each requiring its own individual answer.”

According to the New York Times, Marks died on Oct. 10 (see related entry).

According to the Washington Post, Marks died on Oct. 8 (see related entry).

For some remarks on art by St. Edward, see UN Chronicle, Issue 4, 1998.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday October 14, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM
At Degreeless Noon:
A Still, Small Voice
(12:00:02 PM EDT Oct. 14, 2005)
For Richard Roth, senior United Nations
correspondent for CNN, a card:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051014-Tick.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

For the religious significance
of this brief poem, see
Log24 High Holy Days entries
and yesterday’s entries.

For the relevance to the United Nations,
see the illustration in Wednesday’s entry:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051012-MyCard40.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Click to enlarge.

“My card.”

For the relevance of “Tick Tick Hash”
to Roth and the High Holy Days, see
the obituary of Jerome Roth
from today’s New York Times,
the Log24 entry for Monday,
a philosophical note- Elegance
and a poem by Wallace Stevens,
Asides on the Oboe.”

(Today, by the way, is the feast of
Saint Leonard Bernstein.)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thursday October 13, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Thursday October 13, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 PM

A Poem for Pinter

The Guardian on Harold Pinter, winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature:

“Earlier this year, he announced his decision to retire from playwriting in favour of poetry,”

Michael Muskal in today’s Los Angeles Times:

“Pinter, 75, is known for his sparse and thin style as well as his etched characters whose crystal patter cuts through the mood like diamond drill bits.”

Robert Stone, A Flag for Sunrise  (See Jan. 25):

“‘That old Jew gave me this here.’  Egan looked at the diamond….  ‘It’s worth a whole lot of money– you can tell that just by looking– but it means something, I think.  It’s got a meaning, like.’

‘Let’s see,’ Egan said, ‘what would it mean?’  He took hold of Pablo’s hand cupping the stone and held his own hand under it.  ‘”The jewel is in the lotus,” perhaps that’s what it means.  The eternal in the temporal….'”

Notes on Modal Logic:

“Modal logic was originally developed to investigate logic under the modes of necessary  and possible  truth.  The words ‘necessary’ and ‘possible’ are called modal connectives , or modalities .  A modality is a word that when applied to a statement indicates when, where, how, or under what circumstances the statement may be true.  In terms of notation, it is common to use a box [] for the modality ‘necessary’ and a diamond <> for the modality ‘possible.'”

A Poem for Pinter

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051013-Waka.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Commentary:

“Waka” also means Japanese poem or Maori canoe.

(For instance, this Japanese poem and this Maori canoe.)

For a meditation on “bang splat,” see Sept. 25-29.

For the meaning of “tick tick,” see Emily Dickinson on “degreeless noon.”

“Hash,” of course, signifies “checkmate.”  (See previous three entries.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wednesday October 12, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Don’t Know Much About
History

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Click to enlarge.

“My card.”

Sources:
Today’s online New York Times
and Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman
in “The Interpreter”
“Is Heart of Darkness the story of Kurtz or the story of Marlow’s experience of Kurtz?  Was Marlow invented as a rhetorical device for heightening the meaning of Kurtz’s moral collapse, or was Kurtz invented in order to provide Marlow with the centre of his experience in the Congo?  Again a seamless web, and we tell ourselves that the old-fashioned question ‘Who is the protagonist?’ is a meaningless one.”
— Wayne C. Booth, p. 346 in
The Rhetoric of Fiction
(1961),
as quoted by Paul Wake in
The Storyteller in Chance
The dates of death for the two men
pictured in the Times clipping were
October 9 and October 10.

Log24 entries for those dates contain allusions
to games of chance and games of skill.
See also yesterday’s entry.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tuesday October 11, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:00 PM

x

Tuesday October 11, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:08 PM
Storytelling
and Game Theory

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Click on picture for details.

“Game theory is no doubt wonderful for telling stories.  However, it flunks the main test of any scientific theory: The ability to make empirically testable predictions.”

— “A Nobel Letdown in Economics,”
     by Michael Mandel in Business Week

Monday, October 10, 2005

Monday October 10, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:00 AM
Starflight

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“The crème de la crème
of the chess world in a
show with everything
 but Yul Brynner”

One Night in Bangkok


 
Mate in 2,
 V. Nabokov, 1919,
“Starflight” theme

Today is the feast of St. Yul Brynner,
who died on this date in 1985.

“Head bent down over the guitar,
he barely seemed to hum;
 ended “all come home”;
….
Yule– Yul log for the
Christmas-fire tale-spinner–
of fairy tales that can come true.
 Yul Brynner.”

— Marianne Moore,
“Rescue with Yul Brynner”

Related material:

Starflight, a year ago today

Pleiades, by Ivan Bunin, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1933, whose birthday is today

Natasha’s Dance (Log24, Jan. 8, 2004)

Star! by John Gregory Dunne (NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2004)

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Sunday October 9, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Today’s Sermon:
Magical Thinking

On this date– “In 1936,
the first generator at Boulder
(later Hoover) Dam began
transmitting electricity to Los Angeles.”
— Today in History, Associated Press

“Brightness doubled
   generates radiance.”
— Hexagram 30

“I know what nothing means.”
— Maria Wyeth in Play It As It Lays

“Nothing is random.”
— Mark Helprin in Winter’s Tale

Maria Wyeth in Las Vegas:

“… She thought about nothing.  Her mind was a blank tape, imprinted daily with snatches of things overheard, fragments of dealers’ patter, the beginnings of jokes and odd lines of song lyrics.  When she finally lay down nights in the purple room she would play back the day’s tape, a girl singing into a microphone and a fat man dropping a glass, cards fanned on a table and a dealer’s rake in closeup and a woman in slacks crying and the opaque blue eyes of the guard at some baccarat table.  A child in the harsh light of a crosswalk on the Strip.  A sign on Fremont Street.  A light blinking.  In her half sleep the point was ten, the jackpot was on eighteen, the only man that could ever reach her was the son of a preacher man, someone was down sixty, someone was up, Daddy wants a popper and she rode a painted pony let the spinning wheel spin.

By the end of a week she was thinking constantly about where her body stopped and the air began, about the exact point in space and time that was the difference between Maria and other.  She had the sense that if she could get that in her mind and hold it for even one micro-second she would have what she had come to get.  As if she had fever, her skin burned and crackled with a pinpoint sensitivity.  She could feel smoke against her skin.  She could feel voice waves.  She was beginning to feel color, light intensities, and she imagined that she could be put blindfolded in front of the signs at the Thunderbird and the Flamingo and know which was which.  ‘Maria,’ she felt someone whisper one night, but when she turned there was nobody.

She began to feel the pressure of Hoover Dam, there on the desert, began to feel the pressure and pull of the water.  When the pressure got great enough she drove out there.  All that day she felt the power  surging through her own body. All day she was faint with vertigo, sunk in a world where great power grids converged, throbbing lines plunged finally into the shallow canyon below the dam’s face, elevators like coffins dropped into the bowels of the earth itself.  With a guide and a handful of children Maria walked through the chambers, stared at the turbines in the vast glittering gallery, at the deep still water with the hidden intakes sucking all the while, even as she watched, clung to the railings, leaned out, stood finally on a platform over the pipe that carried the river beneath the dam.  The platform quivered.  Her ears roared.  She wanted to stay in the dam, lie on the great pipe itself, but reticence saved her from asking.

‘Just how long have you been here now,’ Freddy Chaikin asked when she ran into him in Caesar’s.  ‘You planning on making a year of it?  Or what?'”

Related material

The front page of today’s
New York Times Book Review

and Log24, July 15, 2004:

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A quotation that somehow
seems relevant:

O the mind, mind has mountains,
   cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man fathomed.
   Hold them cheap
May who ne’er hung there.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Saturday October 8, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:48 PM
News for Mina Le

Saturday October 8, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:49 AM
Therefore Choose Life

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Today’s birthday: Matt Damon, 35.

Saturday October 8, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:08 AM

In memory of Jacques Derrida,
who died one year ago today:

A History of Death

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References:

1. Fire in the Lake, by Frances FitzGerald
2. A History of Violence, a film by
    David Cronenberg
3. The Gift of Death, by Jacques Derrida

Related material:

Derrida on Giving,
Last-Minute Shopping

Friday, October 7, 2005

Friday October 7, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Seven is Heaven

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“Love is the shadow that ripens the vine.
Set the controls for the heart of the Sun.

Witness the man who raves at the wall
Making the shape of his questions to Heaven.
Knowing the sun will fall in the evening,
Will he remember the lessons of giving?
Set the controls for the heart of the Sun.
Set the controls for the heart of the Sun.”

— Roger Waters, quoted in
    Allusions to Classical
    Chinese Poetry in Pink Floyd

Friday October 7, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Oslo Connection

Today is the birthday of Oystein Ore (1899-1968), Sterling Professor of Mathematics at Yale for 37 years, who was born and died in Oslo, Norway.  Ore is said to have coined the term “Galois connection.”  In his honor, an excerpt dealing with such connections:

From Ferdinand Börner, Martin Goldstern, and Saharon Shelah,
Automorphisms and strongly invariant relations (pdf)

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Krasner.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Click to enlarge.

(Excerpt was added to Pattern Groups.)

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Thursday October 6, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:24 AM
Freedom of the Press

From about 7:00 AM EDT today:

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Thursday October 6, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:00 AM
A Voice

In memory of Harold Leventhal,
  folk-music concert producer,
who died on Tuesday
(Rosh Hashana, 2005)

Leventhal recently appeared in the American Masters Bob Dylan documentary on PBS.  According to today’s NYT obituary, “Mr. Leventhal was… widely, if tacitly, acknowledged to have been the inspiration for Irving Steinbloom, the folk impresario whose memorial concert sets in motion the plot of the 2003 film comedy ‘A Mighty Wind.'”

From a Rosh Hashana sermon by Devra Felder Noily:

“Throughout these Holy Days we will chant Unetaneh Tokef, a liturgical poem more than a thousand years old. In it we find the words:

U-ve shofar gadol yi-ta-ka. V’ kol d’ma-ma da-kah yi-shama. The great shofar is sounded. And a still small voice is heard….

The prayer quotes from the book of Kings. There, the prophet Elijah has reached his breaking point, and God reaches out to him. The text tells us:

Then the Eternal passed by. There was a great and mighty wind, splitting mountains and shattering rocks by the power of God, but God was not in the wind. After the wind, an earthquake– but God was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, fire– but God was not in the fire. And after the fire, a still small voice.”

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Wednesday October 5, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:00 PM

New Page for Harvard’s President

From today’s Harvard Crimson:

“University President Lawrence H. Summers said yesterday that he will marry his longtime partner, Professor of English Elisa New.”

“I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose”

— Emily Dickinson, quoted in
    The Regenerate Lyric:
    Theology and Innovation
    in American Poetry, by
    Elisa New, page 162

Related material:
Log24 entries for Jan. 24 and 25, 2005.

Wednesday October 5, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:00 AM

New Page on Geometry

See Pattern Groups, which now has a link to an interesting Nov. 2003 preprint on A6.

Today is the birthday of Sir Thomas L. Heath, a saint of geometry whose feast day is March 16.

Monday, October 3, 2005

Monday October 3, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:00 AM
On This Date

“In 1955, 50 years ago, ‘Captain Kangaroo’
and ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’
premiered on CBS and ABC, respectively.”
— Today in History, Associated Press

Part I

For a Christian meditation on Captain Kangaroo, see the Log24 entries of Jan. 24, 2004.

Part II

“Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins at sunset.”
— Today in History, Associated Press

A Rosh Hashana catechism:

    Question

(See Chorus from the Rock.)

How does one stand
To behold the sublime,
To confront the mockers,
The mickey mockers
And plated pairs?
— Wallace Stevens,
   “The American Sublime”

    Answer

“Spear Daddy!” in yesterday’s entry,
Happy Birthday, Wallace Stevens

Sunday, October 2, 2005

Sunday October 2, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:06 PM

Happy Birthday, Wallace Stevens

Readings for today:

At the Wallace Stevens online concordance, search for X and for primitive.

In the e-book edition of Bester’s  The Deceivers,  search for X.

    “We seek
Nothing beyond reality. Within it,

Everything, the spirit’s alchemicana
Included, the spirit that goes roundabout
And through included, not merely the visible,

The solid, but the movable, the moment,
The coming on of feasts and the habits of saints,
The pattern of the heavens and high, night air.”

Wallace Stevens,
Oct. 2, 1879 – Aug. 2, 1955,
“An Ordinary Evening in New Haven”
IX.1-18, from The Auroras of Autumn,
Knopf, NY (1950)

Related material:

(Added Monday, Oct. 3, 8:45 AM)

“What if Shakespeare had been born in Teaneck, N.J., in 1973?

He would call himself Spear Daddy. His rap would exhibit a profound, nuanced understanding of the frailty of the human condition, exploring the personality in all its bewildering complexity: pretension, pride, vulnerability, emotional treachery, as well as the enduring triumph of love.

Spear Daddy would disappear from the charts in about six weeks.”

Gene Weingarten in the Washington Post,
    Sunday, Oct. 2, 2005

Presenting…

Spear Daddy!

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Continuing Bester’s Maori theme,
students from Cullinane College:

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(See Literature and Geography.)

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