Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday November 28, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

“Christmas markets have been part of this festive time for centuries in Germany. They were usually held in front of churches and were looked at as part of a church visit. The oldest recorded market dates to 1310 in Munich, Germany. It was called Nikolausdult and was very different from the markets of today. It was an opportunity for farmers to come to town, do some shopping and at the same time, offer their wares.

The reformation of the church in the 16th century brought changes to the Christmas markets. Nikolaus was replaced by the Christkindl (Christchild) as the gift giver and the Nikolaus markets became Christkindl markets. This custom began in the Protestant areas of Bavaria with Nuremberg being the first city to call its market Christkindlesmarkt. Munich, a Catholic city, changed its Nikolausdult to Christkindlmarkt in 1805.”

Background for Christkindl Market in Kitchener, Ontario

This will also serve as background for today’s New York Times story on Chicago’s Christkindlmarkt:

“The Christkindl, the Christmas Fairy, is a cherished highlight during the Holiday Tree Lighting. The Christmas Fairy proclaims the opening of Christkindlmarket Chicago.”

Also from the official Chicago Christkindl website:

On the “Christkindl,” the Christmas Fairy & our sister-market visit

  • www.christkindlesmarkt.de

    The famous “Christkindl,” the Christmas Fairy, is the trademark of Christkindlmarket Chicago and its sister-market Christkindlesmarket Nürnberg, Germany

In its English version, the Nuremberg website calls the alleged “Christmas Fairy” an angel:

“The Nuremberg Christmas Angel with her white and golden dress, long blond curls and her golden crown, has been the symbol for the Christmas Market for many decades. During Advent time, the Christmas Angel is the most important representative of the city and of the traditional Christmas Market.

Every year, on the Friday before the first Advent Sunday, the Nuremberg Christmas Angel opens the Nuremberg Christmas Market by reciting a solemn prologue.”

The German version of the Nuremberg site calls the Christmas Angel the Christkind (Christ Child).  This confusion of the Christ Child with a supernatural bringer of gifts– hence, later, an angel, and, in Chicago, a fairy– is said to have originated with Martin Luther.

From a Radio Deutsche Welle website–

Nuremberg, City of Angels

The making of a myth


The Christkind was originally introduced in the 16th century by religious reformer Martin Luther.  Until then, it was always Saint Nicholas who brought gifts on Dec. 6.  But as Protestants can’t have saints, Luther needed a new Christmas tradition for his followers. “Luther wanted to move the gift-giving away from the Catholic holiday on Dec. 6,” said Nuremberg tourism manager Michael Weber. “So he reinvented the tradition for Protestants by moving it to Christmas Eve and making the Christkind— really, the baby Jesus– the person who brought the gifts.”


It was under the rule of the National Socialists that the image of today’s Christkind was ultimately anchored in the collective German mind.  They built on Nuremberg’s tradition of producing tinsel angels, and in 1933, had a young girl in an angel costume open the city’s Christmas Market for the first time.  After the second World War, Nuremberg’s tinsel angels became simply the Nuremberg Christkind, and the figures were sold nation-wide. 

Here is the banner for the Nuremberg site:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061128-Nuremberg2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

  The banner reads:
Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt–
Where the Christ Child
is at home


Monday, November 27, 2006

Monday November 27, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM
The Poetry
of Philosophy

“What on earth is
   a ‘concrete universal’?”

Said to be an annotation
by Robert M. Pirsig of
A History of Philosophy,
by Frederick Copleston,
Society of Jesus

For an answer, see
The Structure of the
‘Concrete Universal’
in Literature
by W. K. Wimsatt, Jr.,
PMLA, Vol. 62, No. 1
(March, 1947), pp. 262-280.

This is reprinted in Wimsatt’s
The Verbal Icon:
Studies in the
Meaning of Poetry

The final chapter of
The Verbal Icon
is titled
“Poetry and Christian Thinking.”
For more on Wimsatt
and this topic, see
Reclaiming the Bible
as Literature,”
by Louis A. Markos.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sunday November 26, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:26 AM

Rosalind Krauss
in "Grids," 1979:

"If we open any tract– Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art or The Non-Objective World, for instance– we will find that Mondrian and Malevich are not discussing canvas or pigment or graphite or any other form of matter.  They are talking about Being or Mind or Spirit.  From their point of view, the grid is a staircase to the Universal, and they are not interested in what happens below in the Concrete.

Or, to take a more up-to-date example…."

"He was looking at
the nine engravings
and at the circle,
checking strange
between them."
The Club Dumas,1993

"And it's whispered that soon
if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us
to reason."
Robert Plant,1971

The nine engravings of
The Club Dumas
(filmed as "The Ninth Gate")
are perhaps more an example
of the concrete than of the

An example of the universal*–
or, according to Krauss, a
"staircase" to the universal–
is the ninefold square:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/grid3x3.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"This is the garden of Apollo,
the field of Reason…."
John Outram, architect    

For more on the field
of reason, see
Log24, Oct. 9, 2006.

A reasonable set of
"strange correspondences"
in the garden of Apollo
has been provided by Ezra Brown
in a mathematical essay (pdf).

Unreason is, of course,
more popular.

* The ninefold square is perhaps a "concrete universal" in the sense of Hegel:

"Two determinations found in all philosophy are the concretion of the Idea and the presence of the spirit in the same; my content must at the same time be something concrete, present. This concrete was termed Reason, and for it the more noble of those men contended with the greatest enthusiasm and warmth. Thought was raised like a standard among the nations, liberty of conviction and of conscience in me. They said to mankind, 'In this sign thou shalt conquer,' for they had before their eyes what had been done in the name of the cross alone, what had been made a matter of faith and law and religion– they saw how the sign of the cross had been degraded."

— Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, "Idea of a Concrete Universal Unity"

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
— Thomas Pynchon   

Sunday November 26, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:25 AM
The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/SmallSpaces.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material from March 2004:
Anschaulichkeit (3/16) and
Readings for St. Patrick’s Day.

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”
— Thomas Pynchon,
Gravity’s Rainbow

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday November 25, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:25 PM

Today’s birthdays:

Bob Lind, composer of “Elusive Butterfly,” and General Augusto Pinochet.

Also today:

Stones tour rolls into Vancouver.

These events prompt fond memories of a Log24 entry from the Feast of the Transfiguration in 2002 and of more recent entries from this date last year– Buckley and Pinochet and Rehearsing Hell.

Perhaps the afterlife will include, for some, a Mick Jagger rendition of the Lind tune (along with the Percy Faith rendition of “Satisfaction” mentioned in The Last Samurai.)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday November 24, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:06 PM
Galois’s Window:

from Point
to Hyperspace

by Steven H. Cullinane

  Euclid is “the most famous
geometer ever known
and for good reason:
  for millennia it has been
his window
  that people first look through
when they view geometry.”

  Euclid’s Window:
The Story of Geometry
from Parallel Lines
to Hyperspace
by Leonard Mlodinow

“…the source of
all great mathematics
is the special case,
the concrete example.
It is frequent in mathematics
that every instance of a
  concept of seemingly
great generality is
in essence the same as
a small and concrete
special case.”

— Paul Halmos in
I Want To Be a Mathematician

Euclid’s geometry deals with affine
spaces of 1, 2, and 3 dimensions
definable over the field
of real numbers.

Each of these spaces
has infinitely many points.

Some simpler spaces are those
defined over a finite field–
i.e., a “Galois” field–
for instance, the field
which has only two
elements, 0 and 1, with
addition and multiplication
as follows:

+ 0 1
0 0 1
1 1 0
* 0 1
0 0 0
1 0 1
We may picture the smallest
affine spaces over this simplest
field by using square or cubic
cells as “points”:
Galois affine spaces

From these five finite spaces,
we may, in accordance with
Halmos’s advice,
select as “a small and
concrete special case”
the 4-point affine plane,
which we may call

Galois's Window

Galois’s Window.

The interior lines of the picture
are by no means irrelevant to
the space’s structure, as may be
seen by examining the cases of
the above Galois affine 3-space
and Galois affine hyperplane
in greater detail.

For more on these cases, see

The Eightfold Cube,
Finite Relativity,
The Smallest Projective Space,
Latin-Square Geometry, and
Geometry of the 4×4 Square.

(These documents assume that
the reader is familar with the
distinction between affine and
projective geometry.)

These 8- and 16-point spaces
may be used to
illustrate the action of Klein’s
simple group of order 168
and the action of
a subgroup of 322,560 elements
within the large Mathieu group.

The view from Galois’s window
also includes aspects of
quantum information theory.
For links to some papers
in this area, see
  Elements of Finite Geometry.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wednesday November 22, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM
Rock of Ages

“Who knows where madness lies?”
— Rhetorical question
in “Man of La Mancha”
(See previous entry.)

Using madness to
seek out madness, let us
  consult today’s numbers…

Pennsylvania Lottery
Nov. 22, 2006:

Mid-day 487
Evening 814

The number 487 leads us to
page 487 in the
May 1977 PMLA,
The Form of Carnival
in Under the Volcano

“The printing presses’ flywheel
marks the whirl of time*
    that will split La Despedida….”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061122-Flywheel.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


From Dana Grove,
A Rhetorical Analysis of
Under the Volcano
page 92:

“… In this way, mystical as well as psychological dimensions are established.  Later on, the two pass by a printer’s shop window and curiously stop to inspect, amidst wedding portraits and well in front of the revolving flywheel of the printing machines, ‘a photographic enlargement purporting to show the disintegration of a glacial deposit in the Sierra Madre, of a great rock split by forest fires.’  Significantly the picture is called ‘La Despedida,’ the Parting.  Yvonne cannot help but see the symbolic significance of the photograph and wishes with all of her might ‘to heal the cleft rock’ just as she wishes to heal the divorce….”

Some method in this madness
is revealed by the evening
lottery number, 814, which
leads to an entry of 8/14:

Cleavage Term

“… a point of common understanding
between the classic and romantic worlds.
Quality, the cleavage term between
hip and square, seemed to be it.”
Robert M. Pirsig 

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061122-Goldstein.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Rebecca Goldstein

The 8/14 entry also deals with
Rebecca Goldstein, who
seems to understand
such cleavage
very well.

(See also today’s previous entry.)

* Cf. Shakespeare’s “whirligig of time
linked to in the previous entry.)

Wednesday November 22, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Windmill and Diamond

From “Today in History,”
by The Associated Press:

On this date:

In 1965, the musical
“Man of La Mancha”
opened in New York.

In 1975, Juan Carlos
was proclaimed
King of Spain.

Today’s birthdays:

… Movie director
Arthur Hiller is 83….

Hiller directed the 1972 film
of “Man of La Mancha.”

A quotation from that film:

“When life itself seems lunatic,
who knows where madness lies?”

Adapted from Log24 entries of
Jan. 5, 2003, and Feb. 1, 2003:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061122-TimeEternity.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

One can approach these symbols in either a mathematical or a literary fashion. For a mathematical discussion of the symbols’ structure, see Theme and Variations. Those who prefer literary discussions may make up their own stories.

“Plato is wary of all forms of rapture other than reason’s. He is most deeply leery of, because himself so susceptible to, the literary imagination. He speaks of it as a kind of holy madness or intoxication and goes on to link it to Eros, another derangement that joins us, but very dangerously, with the gods.”
Rebecca Goldstein in
    The New York Times,
    December 16, 2002 
“It’s all in Plato, all in Plato;
bless me, what do they
teach them at these schools?”
— C. S. Lewis in
The Narnia Chronicles

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tuesday November 21, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:07 AM
The Great Beyond

“Beyond Belief”:

This was the name of a
Nov. 5-7 conference on
the religion of Scientism
described in today’s
New York Times

Beyond Despair:

Doonesbury 11/21/06
Doonesbury 11/21/06

For some, art serves as
an alternative to both
traditional religion and
the religion of Scientism.

See, for instance, the Log24
entries on All Hallows’ Eve
in both 2005 and 2006.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday November 20, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:20 PM


Yesterday's link to a Log24 entry for the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross led to the following figure:

Primitive roots modulo 17
(Based on Weyl's Symmetry)

Today, an entry in the The New Criterion's weblog tells of Hilton Kramer's new collection of essays on art, The Triumph of Modernism.

From a Booklist review:

Kramer "celebrates the revelations of modern art, defining modernism as nothing less than 'the discipline of truthfulness, the rigor of honesty.'"

Further background: Kramer opposes

"willed frivolity and politicized vulgarization as fashionable enemies of high culture as represented in the recent past by the integrity of modernism."


— "25 Years of The New Criterion"

Perhaps Kramer would agree that such integrity is exemplified by "Two Giants" of modernism described by Roberta Smith in The New York Times recently (Nov. 3– birthdate of A. B. Coble, an artist of a different kind). She is reviewing an exhibit, ''Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From the Bauhaus to the New World,'' that continues through Jan. 21 at the Whitney Museum of American Art,

945 Madison Avenue: '945' as an 'artist's signature'

Madison Avenue.

This instance of the number 945 as an "artists' signature" is perhaps more impressive than the instances cited in yesterday's Log24 entry, Signature.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday November 19, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM


From AP’s “Today in History,” Nov. 19, 2006:

Today’s birthdays: … Actress-director Jodie Foster is 44….

Thought for Today: “My theology, briefly, is that the universe was dictated but not signed.” –[Attributed to] Christopher Morley, American author and journalist (1890-1957).

A different story: Carl Sagan, Contact, Chapter 24– “The Artist’s Signature.”

Yet another story:  The Pennsylvania lottery yesterday, November 18, 2006– mid-day 914, evening 945. For interpretations, see 9/14 (Feast of the Triumph of the Cross) and also the following “signature” (i.e., “denominator”):

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061119-Zeta6.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Number theorists may prefer to
think of 945 as the smallest
odd abundant number
(Al-Baghdadi, ca. 980-1037).

Neither of these occurrences
 of 945 in mathematics seems
 particularly divine; perhaps there
are some other properties of
 this number that make it more
credible as a divine signature–
other, that is, than its occurrence
in a lottery just in time for
Jodie Foster’s birthday.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday November 18, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:09 AM
Animated diamond theorem

Copyright © 2006 Steven H. Cullinane

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday November 16, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM
PA lottery Nov. 16, 2006: Mid-day 602, Evening 041

See Ursprache (6/02)
and Decrease.

Thursday November 16, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM
“Let all thy words be counted.”
Dante, Inf., canto X.

G. Robert Crowningshield,
a developer of the

International Diamond
Grading System

According to a
press release,
died on
November 8.

See Grave Matters,
an entry of that date,
and its links to
Geometry’s Tombstones,
Birth, Death, and Symmetry
Religious Symbolism
at Princeton

Dante, Inferno, Canto X, 37-39:

E l’animose man del duca e pronte
mi spinser tra le sepulture a lui,
dicendo: “Le parole tue sien conte.”

And the bold and ready hands
    of my Leader
pushed me between the tombs to him,
saying: “Let thy words be fitting”.

“Make your words count,”
 Virgil instructs Dante:
“Speak aptly, make what you say
 appropriate to the situation.”

Perhaps Crowningshield’s
Leader will be…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061116-Niemoller.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Niemoller is noted for his role in
the movement that led to the
Barmen Declaration, discussed in
Presbyterian Creedal Standards
linked to in the above-cited
Religious Symbolism
at Princeton

(…that lay in the house
that Jack built).

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/Jack.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Thursday November 16, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 AM

G. Robert Crowningshield, 87,
Who Set Diamond Grading System, Dies

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wednesday November 15, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:10 AM
Raiders of the
 Lost Stone

Continued from 3/10.

Arcadian Functor:

“Many modern Grail stories have a root in the early romances of von Eschenbach….

They live from a Stone whose essence is most pure. If you have never heard of it I shall name it for you here. It is called Lapsit exillis.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061110-Stone588.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Click on picture for details.
CA lottery Nov. 14, 2006: Mid-day 588, Evening 715

For an interpretation
of 588, see

Guy Fawkes Day: Twilight Kingdom,
Grail: The Hermeneutics of Chance,
Camelot: The Legend Continues,
A Case for Indiana Jones,
Spots of Time Revisited.

For an interpretation
of 715, see
7/15, Ein Bild

“Und was fur
ein Bild des Christentums 
ist dabei herausgekommen?”

The number 588 above
is clearly a MacGuffin.
Whether it represents
any deeper reality is
an open question.

 “It is a very difficult
philosophical question,
 the question of

  what ‘random’ is.”

Herbert Robbins, co-author
   of What is Mathematics?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday November 13, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:23 PM
Cognitive Blend:

Casino Royale
Time in the Rock

PA lottery Nov. 13, 2006: Mid-day 726, Evening 329
In today’s cognitive blend,
the role of Casino Royale
is played by the
Pennsylvania Lottery,
which points to 7/26,
Venus at St. Anne’s
(title of the closing chapter
of That Hideous Strength).

The role of
Time in the Rock
is played by a
Log24 entry of 3/29,
Diamond Theory in 1937.

There is such a thing
as a tesseract.

Monday November 13, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Prime Suspect: 007

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061113-Mirren.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Left:   An ad from a page     
             on the new Bond film    
   Right:  From PBS last night,      
   “Prime Suspect 7

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday November 12, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM
Time in the Rock

… “Well,” said the inmate, “down in the prison library there’s only one joke book. We’ve all read the book so many times that we don’t waste time telling the joke, we just call out its number.”

PA Lottery Nov. 12, 2006: Mid-day 361, Evening 217

Related material:

August 25 and 26

(and, of course, 2/17).

Sunday November 12, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:10 PM
Today in History, by
The Associated Press

On this date:

“In 1929, Grace Kelly–
the future movie star
and Princess of Monaco–
was born in Philadelphia.”

Today’s mid-day lottery
in the State of Grace:


Google search for 361: Corpus Christi area code

Grace Kelly and Corpus Christi

Happy birthday.

No se puede vivir
sin amar.

Sunday November 12, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM
The Height

PA lottery Nov. 11, 2006: Mid-day 762, Evening 206

An interpretation:

762 feet is the height
of Honolulu’s
Diamond Head.

2/06 is the date of
a Log24 entry quoting
Indiana Jones:

“Legend says that when the
stones are brought together
 the diamonds inside of them
will glow.”

Related material:
“… in search of a
well-needed vacation,
he is unprepared for this
zany package tour
from Hell….”
Library Journal review
    of the David Lodge novel
 Paradise News
The Shining —
The five entries
ending at 2 AM
Jan. 4, 2006



Sunday November 12, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:25 AM


Log24, Feb. 25, 2004:

From a review by Adam White Scoville of Iain Pears’s novel titled An Instance of the Fingerpost:

“Perhaps we are meant to see the story as a cubist retelling of the crucifixion, as Pilate, Barabbas, Caiaphas, and Mary Magdalene might have told it. If so, it is sublimely done so that the realization gradually and unexpectedly dawns upon the reader. The title, taken from Sir Francis Bacon, suggests that at certain times, ‘understanding stands suspended’ and in that moment of clarity (somewhat like Wordsworth’s ‘spots of time,’ I think), the answer will become apparent as if a fingerpost were pointing at the way.”

Another instance:

The film “Barabbas” (1962) shown on Turner Classic Movies at 8 PM Friday, Nov. 10.

Compare and contrast–

  • Barabbas emerging from prison as if from Plato’s cave, and Barabbas’s vision of Christ in blinding sunlight: “Flung into the sunlight, he stands blinking at a young man in white robes; is it merely the unaccustomed light that dazzles his eyes, or does he really see a radiance streaming from the young man’s face?” —TIME Magazine, 1962
  • 1 Peter 2 on Christ as the “living stone”
  • The cover of the novel Stone 588 shown in Friday’s 11:20 PM entry

The film is based on the novel by Par Lagerkvist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Lagerkvist novel may be of more enduring interest than Stone 588, but, as Friday’s lottery numbers indicate, even lesser stories have their place.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday November 10, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:20 PM

PA lottery Nov. 10, 2006: Mid-day 588, Evening 004

Today is the day that
Stanley found Livingstone.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061110-Stone588.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Click on picture for details.

“Stone 588,
   I presume?”

Related material:

This afternoon’s entry
on color symmetry


The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Elements-Head.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Click on picture for details.

See, too, the following from
  a Log24 entry of last Monday–

“To von Eschenbach, the Grail
was never really a material cup,
but a jewel like the
jewel in the lotus,

a symbol of enlightenment,
of something intangible
and always
beyond reach.”
Arcadian Functor

— in this context:

“Philosophers ponder the idea
of identity: what it is to give
something a name
on Monday
and have it respond
to that name
  on Friday….”
  — Bernard Holland in
  The New York Times
  Monday, May 20, 1996

Friday November 10, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061110-Veterans.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Jack Palance as Jesus Raza,
Lee Marvin as Henry “Rico” Fardan
in “The Professionals” (1966).

Both Palance and Marvin
were World War II veterans.
Palance died today.

Friday November 10, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:31 PM


On this date:

In 1871, journalist-explorer Henry M. Stanley found Scottish missionary David Livingstone, who had not been heard from for years, near Lake Tanganyika in central Africa.

— AP “Today in History,” Nov. 10

Related material:

The history
of Princeton’s
Witherspoon Street
Presbyterian Church

1 Peter 2, on the
“living stone.”
NIV Bible

“Counter-change is
sometimes known as
Robbing Peter to Pay Paul.”
 — Helen Kelley Patchwork

Paul Robeson in
King Solomon’s


See also Wednesday’s
Grave Matters.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Thursday November 9, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:20 PM
Tao Te Ching
Chapter 31:

“A victory should be celebrated
with funeral ceremonies.”


“… Only a few fishermen
help the boat people ashore.
We joined in….”


Thursday November 9, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 AM

Hour of the Wolf

Today is Schicksalstag, the “day of fate” in German history.

This entry’s time slot, 3:00 AM ET– which some say is the beginning of “the hour of the wolf*”– was reserved earlier for some entry appropriate to the day. (Actual time of this entry: about 12:48 PM ET).

Markus Wolf,
East German Spymaster,
Dies at 83


Published: Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006

Filed at 11:16 a.m. ET

BERLIN (AP) — Markus Wolf, the ”man without a face” who outwitted the West as communist East Germany’s long-serving spymaster, died Thursday [Nov. 9, 2006]. He was 83.

Wolf died in his apartment in Berlin, his stepdaughter Claudia Wall said in a statement. The cause of his death, on the 17th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, was not released.

Related material
from Aug. 6, 2006:

 Game Boy


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060806-Einsatz.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Click on picture for details.
Nine is a very
powerful Nordic number
— Katherine Neville

to put one’s back
into something
bei etwas
Einsatz zeigen
to up the ante
den Einsatz erhöhen
to debrief den Einsatz
nachher besprechen
to be on duty
im Einsatz sein
mil.to be in action im Einsatz sein
to play for
high stakes
mit hohem
Einsatz spielen

* “Wolf” — See the etymological notes
in The Shining of May 29.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Wednesday November 8, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:00 PM
Grave Matters

See Log24 four years ago
on this date:
Religious Symbolism
at Princeton

Compare and contrast
with last month’s entries
related to a Princeton
Coxeter colloquium:

Geometry’s Tombstones
Birth, Death, and Symmetry.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Tuesday November 7, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM
“What is called ‘losing’ in chess
may constitute winning
in another game.”
— Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Remarks on the
Foundations of Mathematics,
rev. ed., MIT Press, 1978–
Appendix III, paragraph 8,
said to have been written
on September 23, 1937
PA lottery Nov. 7, 2006: Mid-day 023, Evening 666

For clues to interpreting
today’s Keystone State
mid-day lottery number,
023, see
The Prime Cut Gospel.

For clues to interpreting
today’s Keystone State
evening lottery number,
666, see
the “Apocalypse Now”
quotations on
All Saints’ Day, 2006.

Tuesday November 7, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM
A Game of Chess

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061107-McQueen.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"And these chessmen are men and women as they appear to themselves and to one another in this world. And the silver table is Time. And those who stand and watch are the immortal souls of these same men and women."

— C. S. Lewis,
The Great Divorce

I Ching chessboard

I Ching chessboard

Related material:

"At the still point,
there the dance is


Number and Time, by Marie-Louise von Franz

Monday, November 6, 2006

Monday November 6, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Today’s Birthdays:
Mike Nichols,
director of “Spamalot,”
and Maria Shriver

Yesterday evening’s entry, “Grail,” continued:

“To von Eschenbach, the Grail was never really a material cup, but a jewel like the jewel in the lotus, a symbol of enlightenment, of something intangible and always beyond reach.

I must confess that the reason I know this is because I’m a bit of an opera fan. The work of von Eschenbach was a source for Wagner….”

— From the weblog Arcadian Functor, Nov. 6, 2006

West Coast Story:
A musical adaptation of
Romeo and Juliet

“A Girl Named Maria”

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“Bring Us Together”

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(Official inaugural ball
theme of Richard M. Nixon)

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Sunday November 5, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM
The Hermeneutics
of Chance

“… as Genevieve W. Foster has shown in her Jungian analysis, the eyes, the rose, and the star are equivalent to the ‘Grail’ of The Waste Land.”

—  Grover Smith, T.S. Eliot’s Poetry and Plays: A Study in Sources and Meaning. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956

The Grail also appears in legend as a stone–

From a Nov. 6, 2006, entry in the New Zealand weblog Arcadian Functor:

“Many modern Grail stories have a root in the early romances of von Eschenbach….

They live from a Stone whose essence is most pure. If you have never heard of it I shall name it for you here. It is called Lapsit exillis.

A search on “lapsit exillis” leads to “Cubic Stones from the Sky“…

These stones are often seen as the Holy Grail….

PA lottery Nov. 5, 2006: Midday 804 Evening 008

For 804, see
   8/04 —
The Presbyterian Exorcist
(in part a tribute to
Wallace Stevens).

For 008 and a
“cubic stone,”
Christmas 2005.

A poetic connection between the star
  of “The Hollow Men” and Christmas
is furnished by the remarks of
Wallace Stevens linked to in
the previous entry from
  the word “information.”

Sunday November 5, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Twilight Kingdom

"What he cannot contemplate is the reproach of

    … that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom,

when at length he may meet the eyes…."

On "The Hollow Men"

" … unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom"

Related readings from unholy scripture:

  The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/040604-Feeling.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A.  The "long twilight struggle" speech of JFK

B.  "The Platters were singing 'Each day I pray for evening just to be with you,' and then it started to happen.  The pump turns on in ecstasy.  I closed my eyes, I held her with my eyes closed and went into her that way, that way you do, shaking all over, hearing the heel of my shoe drumming against the driver's-side door in a spastic tattoo, thinking that I could do this even if I was dying, even if I was dying, even if I was dying; thinking also that it was information.  The pump turns on in ecstasy, the cards fall where they fall, the world never misses a beat, the queen hides, the queen is found, and it was all information."

— Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis, August 2000 Pocket Books paperback, page 437

  "I will show you, he thought, the war for us to die in, lady.  Sully your kind suffering child's eyes with it.  Live burials beside slow rivers.  A pile of ears for a pile of arms.  The crisps of North Vietnamese drivers chained to their burned trucks…. Why, he wondered, is she smiling at me?"

— Robert Stone, A Flag for Sunrise,  Knopf hardcover, 1981, page 299

The image and A, B, C are from Log24 on June 4, 2004.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Saturday November 4, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:15 PM

Links to some applications of finite geometry to quantum information theory have been added to finitegeometry.org.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Friday November 3, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 AM

First to Illuminate

From the History of a Simple Group” (pdf), by Jeremy Gray:

“The American mathematician A. B. Coble [1908; 1913]* seems to have been the first to illuminate the 27 lines and 28 bitangents with the elementary theory of geometries over finite fields.

The combinatorial aspects of all this are pleasant, but the mathematics is certainly not easy.”

* [Coble 1908] A. Coble, “A configuration in finite geometry isomorphic with that of the 27 lines on a cubic  surface,” Johns Hopkins University Circular 7:80-88 (1908), 736-744.

   [Coble 1913] A. Coble, “An application of finite geometry to the characteristic theory of the odd and even theta functions,” Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 14 (1913), 241-276.

Related material:

Geometry of the 4x4x4 Cube,

Christmas 2005.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Thursday November 2, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:28 PM
John Huston and two of his films

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Wednesday November 1, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:48 PM
The Method

… "What did they tell you?"

"They told me that you had
gone totally insane and that
 your methods were unsound."

"Are my methods unsound?"


"I don't see
any method at all, sir."

Apocalypse Now, The Cage

Karl Rove
"Perfect, genuine,
complete, crystalline, pure."

Wednesday November 1, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:24 AM

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061101-Geertz2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Clifford Geertz 

Professor Emeritus,
Institute for Advanced Study

Savage Logic

"Savage logic works like a kaleidoscope whose chips can fall into a variety of patterns while remaining unchanged in quantity, form, or color. The number of patterns producible in this way may be large if the chips are numerous and varied enough, but it is not infinite. The patterns consist in the disposition of the chips vis-a-vis one another (that is, they are a function of the relationships among the chips rather than their individual properties considered separately). And their range of possible transformations is strictly determined by the construction of the kaleidoscope, the inner law which governs its operation. And so it is too with savage thought. Both anecdotal and geometric, it builds coherent structures out of 'the odds and ends left over from psychological or historical process.'

These odds and ends, the chips of the kaleidoscope, are images drawn from myth, ritual, magic, and empirical lore. (How, precisely, they have come into being in the first place is one of the points on which Levi-Strauss is not too explicit, referring to them vaguely as the 'residue of events… fossil remains of the history of an individual or a society.') Such images are inevitably embodied in larger structures– in myths, ceremonies, folk taxonomies, and so on– for, as in a kaleidoscope, one always sees the chips distributed in some pattern, however ill-formed or irregular. But, as in a kaleidoscope, they are detachable from these structures and arrangeable into different ones of a similar sort. Quoting Franz Boas that 'it would seem that mythological worlds have been built up, only to be shattered again, and that new worlds were built from the fragments,' Levi-Strauss generalizes this permutational view of thinking to savage thought in general."

— Clifford Geertz, "The Cerebral Savage: the Structural Anthropology of Claude Levi-Strauss," in Encounter, Vol. 28 No. 4 (April 1967), pp. 25-32.

Today's New York Times
reports that
Geertz died on Monday,
October 30, 2006.

Related material:

Kaleidoscope Puzzle,

Being Pascal Sauvage,

and Up the River:


The Necessity For Story

by Frederick Zackel

While it's a story that's never been written, a suggested title– Indiana Jones Sails Up The River Of Death–

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shows how readily we as individuals or we as a culture can automatically visualize a basic story motif. We may each see the particular elements of the story differently, but almost instantaneously we catch its drift.

The hero sails up the river of death to discover what lies within his own heart: i.e., how much moral and physical strength he has.

Indiana Jones sails up the River of Death.

We are following Indiana Jones up the River of Death. We're going to visit with Colonel Kurtz. (You may not want to get off the boat.)

No, I am not mixing up metaphors.

These are the Story.



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