Monday, December 31, 2007

Monday December 31, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:25 PM
Happy New Year
from Steven Priest

"… and the girl in the corner
      is everyone's mourner…."

Stevie Nicks to appear on Groundhog Day

The Priest quotation appeared here
on Grammy Night 2003 with
another musical meditation:

"Her wall is filled with pictures,
She gets 'em one by one."

— "Sweet Little Sixteen,"
by Chuck Berry
(Chess Records, January 1958)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday December 30, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM
The Christmas Tiger

Part I:
The Gauntlet

On Jonah Goldberg's new book Liberal Fascism– an attack on, among others, Woodrow Wilson:

"'… at some point,' Goldberg writes, 'it is necessary to throw down the gauntlet, to draw a line in the sand, to set a boundary, to cry at long last, "Enough is enough."'"

The Goldberg declaration is from a review in today's New York Times titled "Heil Woodrow!"


Part II:
Uncle Duke
Goes to Washington

Today's Doonesbury:


Part III:
A Holiday Tradition

Dialogue from the classic Capra film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"–

SUMMERS: When the country needs men up there who know and have courage as it never did before, he's just gonna decorate a chair and get himself honored.

DARRELL: Oh, but he'll vote! Sure. Just like his colleague tells him to.

DIZ: "Yes, sir," like a Christmas tiger. He'll nod his head and vote…


DIZ: You're not a Senator! You're an honorary stooge! You ought to be shown up!

The film starred
James Stewart,
Class of 1932.

Part IV:
The Tigers of Princeton

The Christmas evening Pennsylvania Lottery 4-digit number was 0666, the Christian "number of the beast." For the beast itself, see the Dec. 3 Log24 entry "Santa's Polar Opposite?" with its link to a discussion of a metaphorical tiger at the South Pole. A more realistic version of the beast appeared in the news on Christmas evening.

The Christmas number may also be interpreted as a reference to 6/6/6, the graduation date of the Class of 2006 at Princeton University.

Part V:
"Heil Woodrow!"

As noted above, this title from a book review in today's New York Times refers to Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States (1913-1921) and President of Princeton University (1902-1910).

A suitable heraldic emblem
to accompany the Goldberg Heil:


The Princeton Shield

For another heraldic emblem
related, if only in this journal,
to Princeton, see
Religious Symbolism
at Princeton:

Goldberg might prefer,
for his Heil,
the following variation:

S. H. Cullinane,
Aug. 15, 2003

Dr. Mengele,
according to

Click on the Fahne (flag)
for further details.

Goldberg might also enjoy

An Unsuitable Santa:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070628-Santa.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Santa from Aaron Sorkin's
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Related material:

Taking Christ to Studio 60

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday December 29, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:21 PM


Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday December 28, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 AM
The Gospel according to
Harvard Business School:

Last Temptation
The New York Times today:
NY Times obiturary for Steven T. Florio, 12/28/07

Teen Vogue

From The Harbus, the Harvard Business School independent weekly, a 4/28/03 interview with the late Steven Florio:

HARBUS: It seems you attribute the ability to ‘invest in quality’ and to say ‘we’re going this direction because it’s going to help us be the best’ directly to being a private company.

SF: For the 10 years I’ve been CEO, that has been the marching order I’ve given to my staff, to all the Editors and Publishers, and quite frankly the order that has been given to me by Newhouse. Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t get memos from him saying ‘I noticed that we spent an additional $100,000 last year on Christmas parties, can you please cut this back?’. He’s not a guy who’s just standing on top of the building throwing off $100 bills. He wants the company run efficiently.

On the other hand, if I say to him we really ought to take a hard look at this idea called ‘Teen Vogue’, he’ll smile, as he did, and say ‘The rest of the industry is cutting back, and you want to do a $50 million launch?’.

And I said ‘It’s time. It is time for this magazine, it is time for line extension, and we should do it’. I have a management meeting once a week, which he [Newhouse] attends more often than not, where I presented the new magazine idea to the whole management team, which is only 6 or 7 people. I looked at him and said ‘We’re doing it’, and he said ‘Go ahead, it’s a great idea’.

A Great Idea:

Teen Vogue sidebar: Runway box
Irina Kulikova
Teen Vogue model Irina Kulikova

Related material:

Plato’s “Heaven of Ideas”

Welcome to the Cave
April 22, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday December 27, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:22 AM

“Fullness… Multitude.”

— The missing last words
of Inman in Cold Mountain,
added here on the
Feast of St. Luke, 2004

II Chronicles 1:

7: In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.
8: And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.
9: Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.
10: Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?

On Kirk Varnedoe

“At 42– a professor with no museum experience– he was named curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. It was, and is, the most influential job in the fluid, insular, fiercely contentious world of modern art. Just two decades past his last Amherst game, the lineman from Savannah was sitting in the chair where the most critical decisions in his profession are made– ‘the conscientious, continuous, resolute distinction of quality from mediocrity,’ according to his Olympian predecessor Alfred Barr. The Modern and its chief curator serve the American art establishment as a kind of aesthetic Supreme Court, and most of their rulings are beyond appeal.”

Hal Crowther

On Quality

Varnedoe, in his final
Mellon lecture at
the National Gallery,
quoted “Blade Runner”–
“I’ve seen things
you people wouldn’t believe….”Frank Rich of The New York Times
on the United States of America:”A country where
entertainment is god.”

Rich’s description may or may not
be true of the United States, but
it certainly seems true of
The New York Times:


Click on image to enlarge.

Related material:

Art Wars

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wednesday December 26, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM
A Wonderful Life

Part I:
Language Games

on December 19:


See also the noir entry on
“Nightmare Alley” for
Winter Solstice 2002,
as well as a solstice-related
commentary on I Ching
Hexagram 41, Decrease.

Part II:

Language Game
on Christmas Day

Pennsylvania Lottery
December 25, 2007:

PA Lottery Christmas Day: Mid-day 041 and 2911, Evening 173 and 0666

Part III:
A Wonderful Life

The Pennsylvania Lottery on Christmas at mid-day paired the number of the I Ching Hexagram 41, “Decrease,” with the number 2911, which may be interpreted as a reference to I Chronicles 29:11

“Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.”

This verse is sometimes cited as influencing the Protestant conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer:

“Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever” (Mt 6.13b; compare 1 Chr 29.11-13)….

This traditional epilogue to the Lord’s prayer protects the petition for the coming of the kingdom from being understood as an exorcism, which we derive from the Jewish prayer, the Kaddish, which belonged at the time to the synagogical liturgy.

World Alliance of Reformed Churches

The Pennsylvania Lottery on Christmas evening paired 173 with the beastly number 0666.  The latter number suggests that perhaps being “understood as an exorcism” might not, in this case, be such a bad thing. What, therefore, might “173” have to do with exorcism?  A search in the context of the phrase “language games” yields a reference to Wittgenstein’s Zettel, section 173:


From Charles L. Creegan, Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard:

Language-games give general guidelines of the application of language. Wittgenstein suggests that there are innumerably many language-games: innumerably many kinds of use of the components of language.24 The grammar of the language-game influences the possible relations of words, and things, within that game. But the players may modify the rules gradually. Some utterances within a given language-game are applications; others are ‘grammatical remarks’ or definitions of what is or should be possible. (Hence Wittgenstein’s remark, ‘Theology as grammar’25 – the grammar of religion.)

The idea of the ‘form of life’ is a reminder about even more basic phenomena. It is clearly bound up with the idea of language. (Language and ‘form of life’ are explicitly connected in four of the five passages from the Investigations in which the term ‘form of life’ appears.) Just as grammar is subject to change through language-uses, so ‘form of life’ is subject to change through changes in language. (The Copernican revolution is a paradigm case of this.) Nevertheless, ‘form of life’ expresses a deeper level of ‘agreement.’ It is the level of ‘what has to be accepted, the given.’26 This is an agreement prior to agreement in opinions and decisions. Not everything can be doubted or judged at once.

This suggests that ‘form of life’ does not denote static phenomena of fixed scope. Rather, it serves to remind us of the general need for context in our activity of meaning. But the context of our meaning is a constantly changing mosaic involving both broad strokes and fine-grained distinctions.

The more commonly understood point of the ‘Private Language Argument’ – concerning the root of meaning in something public – comes into play here. But it is important to show just what public phenomenon Wittgenstein has in mind. He remarks: ‘Only in the stream of thought and life do words have meaning.’27

Investigations, sec. 23.
Investigations, sec. 373; compare Zettel, sec. 717.
Investigations, p. 226e.


Zettel, sec. 173. The thought is expressed many times in similar words.

And from an earlier chapter of Creegan:

The ‘possibility of religion’ manifested itself in considerable reading of religious works, and this in a person who chose his reading matter very carefully. Drury’s recollections include conversations about Thomas à Kempis, Samuel Johnson’s Prayers, Karl Barth, and, many times, the New Testament, which Wittgenstein had clearly read often and thought about.25 Wittgenstein had also thought about what it would mean to be a Christian. Some time during the 1930s, he remarked to Drury: ‘There is a sense in which you and I are both Christians.’26 In this context it is certainly worth noting that he had for a time said the Lord’s Prayer each day.27

Wittgenstein’s last words were: ‘Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life!’28

Drury (1981) ‘Conversations with Wittgenstein,’ in Ludwig Wittgenstein: Personal Recollections, pp. 112ff.
Drury, ‘Conversations,’ p. 130.
Drury, ‘Some notes,’ p. 109.
Reported by Mrs. Bevan, the wife of the doctor in whose house Wittgenstein was staying. Malcolm, Memoir, p. 81.

Part IV:

For more on the Christmas evening
number of the beast, see Dec. 3:
  “Santa’s Polar Opposite?” —

Did he who made the Lamb
make thee?

Wednesday December 26, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 AM


Monday, December 24, 2007

Monday December 24, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:21 PM


Monday December 24, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

From Saturday's entry
(Log24, Dec. 22, 2007)
a link goes to–
The five entries of June 14, 2007.

From there, the link
"One Two Three Four,
Who Are We For?"
goes to–
Princeton: A Whirligig Tour
(Log24, June 5, 2007).

From there, the link
"Taking Christ to Studio 60"
goes to–
The five Log 24 entries
prior to midnight Sept. 18, 2006.

From there, the link
"Log24, January 18, 2004"
goes to–
A Living Church.

From there, the link
"click here"
goes to–
In the Bleak Midwinter
(Internet Movie Database)…


The drama. The passion. The intrigue… And the rehearsals haven't even started.

Plot Summary:

Out of work actor Joe volunteers to help try and save his sister's local church
for the community by putting on a Christmas production of Hamlet…

"… were it not that
  I have bad dreams."
— Hamlet

Related material:

The New York Times online
obituaries of December 22,

 Ike Turner's
 "Bad Dreams" album
(see Log24, July 12, 2004),

"Devil Music," a composition
by H. S. M. Coxeter,


King of Infinite Space.

Those desiring more literary depth
may consult the G. K. Chesterton
play "Magic" for which Coxeter
wrote his "Devil Music" and
the Ingmar Bergman film
"The Magician" said to have
been inspired by Chesterton.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday December 23, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM
The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/grid3x3.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

  “Nine is a Vine.”

Sunday December 23, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:48 AM


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday December 22, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 AM

“Gosh, does this movie
have it all or what?”

The Washington Post,
Dec. 21, 2007

PA Lottery Dec. 21, 2007: Mid-day 614, Evening 666


Related material:

The five entries of 6/14

Saturday December 22, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:59 AM

A Story for Aaron

"It has been said that the unexamined life isn't worth living. Nachman wasn't against examining his life, but then what was a life? ….

… As for 'a life,' it was what you read about in newspaper obituaries. He didn't need one. He would return to California and think only about mathematics."

— Leonard Michaels, "Cryptology"

Related material:

Today's online
New York Times

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday December 21, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM
My books are about
Killing God
Philip Pullman  

God was apparently not
available this week;
record producer Joel Dorn,
who died on Monday,
will have to do.


"… when you get the feel of it, and the record actually transports you back to that time, then it's a real explanation of what's going on… of what went on. And here I think you can– it's one thing to get the music, it's another thing to get the place and the people and the interaction. When it's really right, the audience is the fifth member of a quartet." —Joel Dorn


In the garden of Adding,
Live Even and Odd….
The Midrash Jazz Quartet

"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

"Daddy's like
an old knight."

–Allison in "Meet Joe Black"

For Joe Black himself,
see the previous entry.

Friday December 21, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 AM
Soft-Rock Jesus

An entry in memory of…

Dan Folgelberg, Super Hits album

Reflections of a screenwriter:

“I began to doubt the premises
of all the stories I had ever
told myself, a common condition
but one I found troubling.”

Joan Didion in
The White Album

On Fogelberg’s “Leader of the Band”
tribute to his father

“Dan included his father’s arrangement
of ‘The Washington Post March’….
Dan even showed up during the band’s
recording session to play cymbals….”

“Gosh, does this movie
have it all or what?”

The Washington Post,
Dec. 21, 2007

NY Times: Caspian Sea Pipeline Deal (starring Denise Richards)

Such, Denise, is the language of love.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thursday December 20, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

From Drummers for Jesus:

Serpent Cymbal

“Explosive, complex, full and dark. The first cymbal with VIBRATO. Nothing else comes close!

Serpent Cymbals enters the special effects cymbal market with a stunning new cymbal boasting a radical new sound and design. ‘This cymbal sounds like a cross between a china cymbal, crash cymbal, gong and thunder sheet with a stick of dynamite tossed in for fun’….”

  pum pum.”

Devil’s Advocate

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wednesday December 19, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Tutelary Figures

An entry in memory of
Dr. Joseph L. Henderson,
Jungian analyst, who died
on Nov. 17 at 104

(An obituary appears in
today’s New York Times.)

Some remarks by Dr. Henderson

The myth of the hero is the most common and the best known myth in the world… classical mythology… Greece and Rome… Middle Ages… Far East… contemporary primitive tribes. It also appears in dreams… obvious dramatic… profound… importance. P. 101

… structurally very similar… universal pattern… over and over again… a tale of… miraculous… humble birth… early proof of superhuman strength… rapid rise to prominence… triumphant struggle with the forces of evil… fallibility to the sin of pride (hybris)… and his fall through betrayal or a “heroic” sacrifice that ends in his death. P. 101

… another important characteristic… provides a clue… the early weakness… is balanced by… strong “tutelary” figures… who enable him to perform the superhuman tasks that he cannot accomplish unaided. Theseus had Poseidon… Perseus had Athena… Achilles had Cheiron… the wise centaur, as his tutor. P. 101 

And Stan Carlisle had
Dr. Lilith Ritter


See also the noir entry on
“Nightmare Alley” for
Winter Solstice 2002,
as well as a solstice-related
commentary on I Ching
Hexagram 41, Decrease.

Related material:


Dr. Dyane N. Sherwood and
Dr. Joseph L. Henderson, authors
of Transformation of the Psyche
(Routledge, Nov. 7, 2003)

Dr. Henderson is said to
have been, in his youth,
a student of Thornton Wilder
as well as of Dr. Jung.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday December 18, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM


Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday December 17, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM


Monday December 17, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 AM


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday December 16, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:09 PM
Mad Phaedrus
Meets Mad Ezra

“Plato’s Good was a fixed and eternal and unmoving Idea, whereas for the rhetoricians it was not an Idea at all. The Good was not a form of reality. It was reality itself, ever changing, ultimately unknowable in any kind of fixed, rigid way.” –Phaedrus in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

This apparent conflict between eternity and time, fixity and motion, permanence and change, is resolved by the philosophy of the I Ching and by the Imagism of Ezra Pound.  Consider, for example, the image of The Well

as discussed here on All Saints’ Day 2003 and in the previous entry.

As background, consider the following remarks of James Hillman in “Egalitarian Typologies Versus the Perception of the Unique,” Part  III: Persons as Images

“To conceive images as static is to forget that they are numens that move.  Charles Olson, a later poet in this tradition, said:  ‘One perception must immediately and directly lead to a further perception… always, always one perception must must must move instanter, on another.’ 80  Remember Lavater and his insistence on instantaneity for reading the facial image.  This is a kind of movement that is not narrational, and the Imagists had no place for narrative.  ‘Indeed the great poems to come after the Imagist period– Eliot’s The Waste Land and Four Quartets; Pound’s Cantos; Williams’s Paterson– contain no defining narrative.’ 81  The kind of movement Olson urges is an inward deepening of the image, an in-sighting of the superimposed levels of significance within it. 82  This is the very mode that Jung suggested for grasping dreams– not as a sequence in time, but as revolving around a nodal complex.  If dreams, then why not the dreamers.  We too are not only a sequence in time, a process of individuation. We are also each an image of individuality.”

80  The New American Poetry (D. M. Allen, ed.) N.Y.: Evergreen, Grove, 1960, pp. 387-88. from Jones, p. 42.

81  Jones,* p. 40.

82  H. D. later turned narration itself into image by writing a novel in which the stories were “compounded like faces seen one on top of another,” or as she says “superimposed on one another like a stack of photographic negatives” (Jones, p. 42).  Cf. Berry,** p. 63: “An image is simultaneous. No part precedes or causes another part, although all parts are involved with each other… We might imagine the dream as a series of superimpositions, each event adding texture and thickening to the rest.”

    * Imagist Poetry (Peter Jones, ed.) London: Penguin, 1972

    ** The contrast between image simultaneity and narrative succession, and the different psychological effects of the two modes, is developed by Patricia Berry, “An Approach to the Dream,” Spring 1974 (N. Y./Zürich: Spring Publ.), pp. 63, 68-71

Hillman also says that

“Jung’s ‘complex’ and Pound’s definition of Image and Lavater’s ‘whole heap of images, thoughts, sensations, all at once’ are all remarkably similar.  Pound calls an Image, ‘that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time’… ‘the Image is more than an Idea.  It is a vortex or cluster of fused ideas and is endowed with energy’… ‘a Vortex, from which and through which, and into which, ideas are constantly rushing.’ 79 Thus the movement, the dynamics, are within the complex and not only between complexes, as tensions of opposites told about in narrational sequences, stories that require arbitrary syntactical connectives which are unnecessary for reading an image where all is given at once.”

79  These definitions of Image by Pound come from his various writings and can all be found in Jones, pp. 32-41.  Further on complex and image, see J. B. Harmer, Victory in Limbo: Imagism 1908-17, London: Secker & Warburg, 1975, pp. 164-68.

These remarks may help the reader to identify with Ada during her well-viewing in Cold Mountain (previous entry):

“She was dazzled by light and shade, by the confusing duplication of reflections and of frames. All coming from too many directions for the mind to take account of. The various images bounced against each other until she felt a desperate vertigo….”

If such complexity can be suggested by Hexagram 48, The Well, alone, consider the effect of the “cluster of fused ideas… endowed with energy” that is the entire 64-hexagram I Ching.

Related material:St. Augustine’s Day 2006

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saturday December 15, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM


Saturday December 15, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM


Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday December 14, 2007

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

“Well, it changes.”

Nicole Kidman at a press conference
for the London premiere of
“The Golden Compass” on November 27:

Nicole Kidman'-- kittens and tiger

A related Log24 link from
that same date, November 27:

Deep Beauty

See also Zen and the Art of
Motorcycle Maintenance

“Plato hadn’t tried to destroy areté. He had encapsulated it; made a permanent, fixed Idea out of it; had converted it to a rigid, immobile Immortal Truth. He made areté the Good, the highest form, the highest Idea of all. It was subordinate only to Truth itself, in a synthesis of all that had gone before.That was why the Quality that Phaedrus had arrived at in the classroom had seemed so close to Plato’s Good. Plato’s Good was taken from the rhetoricians. Phaedrus searched, but could find no previous cosmologists who had talked about the Good. That was from the Sophists. The difference was that Plato’s Good was a fixed and eternal and unmoving Idea, whereas for the rhetoricians it was not an Idea at all. The Good was not a form of reality. It was reality itself, ever changing, ultimately unknowable in any kind of fixed, rigid way.”

— as well as Cold Mountain

Page 48: “It’s claimed that if
you take a mirror and look
backwards into a well, you’ll
see your future down in the water.”

“So in short order Ada found herself bent backward over the mossy well lip, canted in a pose with little to recommend it in the way of dignity or comfort, back arched, hips forward, legs spraddled for balance.  She held a hand mirror above her face, angled to catch the surface of the water below.

Ada had agreed to the well-viewing as a variety of experiment in local custom and as a tonic for her gloom. Her thoughts had been broody and morbid and excessively retrospective for so long that she welcomed the chance to run counter to that flow, to cast forward and think about the future, even though she expected to see nothing but water at the bottom of the well.

She shifted her feet to find better grip on the packed dirt of the yard and then tried to look into the mirror.  The white sky above was skimmed over with backlit haze, bright as a pearl or as a silver mirror itself.  The dark foliage of oaks all around the edges framed the sky, duplicating the wooden frame of the mirror into which Ada peered, examining its picture of the well depths behind her to see what might lie ahead in her life. The bright round of well water at the end of the black shaft was another mirror.  It cast back the shine of sky and was furred around the edges here and there with sprigs of fern growing between stones.

Ada tried to focus her attention on the hand mirror, but the bright sky beyond kept drawing her eye away.  She was dazzled by light and shade, by the confusing duplication of reflections and of frames. All coming from too many directions for the mind to take account of. The various images bounced against each other until she felt a desperate vertigo, as if she could at any moment pitch backward and plunge head first down the well shaft and drown there, the sky far above her, her last vision but a bright circle set in the dark, no bigger than a full moon.

Her head spun and she reached with her free hand and held to the stonework of the well.  And then just for a moment things steadied, and there indeed seemed to be a picture in the mirror.”

— and Log24 on December 3 —

I Ching Hexagram 48: The Well
The above Chinese character
stands for Hexagram 48, “The Well.”
For further details, click on the well.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday December 13, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:09 AM
Prime Suspect

Well, she was
   just seventeen…

“Mazur introduced the topic of prime numbers with a story from Don Quixote in which Quixote asked a poet to write a poem with 17 lines. Because 17 is prime, the poet couldn’t find a length for the poem’s stanzas and was thus stymied.”

— Undated American Mathematical Society news item about a Nov. 1, 2007, event

You know
   what I mean…

The goddess Durga


“… a spectacular seventh-century figure of the Hindu goddess Durga, whose hip-slung pose and     voluptuous torso, as plush and taut as ripe fruit, combine the naturalism and idealism of the very finest Indian work.” —The New York Times

“The Wu Li Masters know that physicists are doing more than ‘discovering the endless diversity of nature.’ They are dancing with Kali [or Durga], the Divine Mother of Hindu mythology.” –Gary Zukav, Harvard ’64

Yuletide Veronica 


Or do you?

“I think transformation becomes the main word in my life, transformation.

Because you don’t want to just put a mirror in front of people and say, here, look at yourself. What do you see?

You want to have a skewed mirror. You want a mirror that says, you didn’t know you could see the back of your head. You didn’t know that you could… almost cubistic, see all aspects at the same time.

And what that does for human beings is it allows them to step out of their lives and to revisit it and maybe find something different about it.” —Julie Taymor

Related material:

The previous two entries and
readings for the Feast of
the Triumph of the Cross
in 2006 and in 2003.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday December 12, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Found in Translation:
Words and Images

NY Times obituaries, Dec. 12, 2007: Whitney and Mailer

From today’s New York Times:

“Thomas P. Whitney, a former diplomat and writer on Russian affairs who was best known for translating the work of the dissident writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn into English, died on [Sunday] Dec. 2 in Manhattan. He was 90….

During World War II, he was an analyst in Washington with the Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency….

In the late 1960s and afterward, he bred thoroughbred horses….

On one occasion, Mr. Whitney took Mr. Solzhenitsyn to Saratoga Racetrack….”

Margalit Fox

Related material:


Adam Gopnik on C. S. Lewis
in The New Yorker, issue
dated Nov. 21, 2005:

Prisoner of Narnia

“Lewis began with
a number of haunted images….”

“The best of the books are the ones…
where the allegory is at a minimum
and the images just flow.”

“‘Everything began with images,’
Lewis wrote….”


Yesterday’s entry on
Solzhenitsyn and The Golden Compass
and the following illustrations…

from Sunday in the Park with Death,
a Log24 entry commemorating
Trotsky’s birthday–

By Diego Rivera: Frida Kahlo holding yin-yang symbol

–and from Log24 on the date
of Whitney’s death,
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007

Dark and light horses, personal emblem of Harry Stack Sullivan

Personal Emblem
of psychiatrist
Harry Stack Sullivan

The horses may refer to
 the Phaedrus of Plato.

See also Art Wars.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday December 11, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 AM
The Solzhenitsyn Compass

The Golden Compass is a $180 million movie that opens this weekend….

In the book, the golden compass is actually called ‘the alethiometer.’ As any student of Greek would expect, this instrument has to do with alethia— the truth. In the fourth chapter of the book, the Master of Jordan College tells Lyra, the protagonist of the story, that the alethiometer ‘tells you the truth. As for how to read it, you’ll have to learn by yourself.'”

Sermon by Paul Lundberg, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary, Tuesday, December 4, 2007.

“Harvard’s motto is Veritas. Many of you have already found out, and others will find out in the course of their lives, that truth eludes us as soon as our concentration begins to flag, all the while leaving the illusion that we are continuing to pursue it. This is the source of much discord. Also, truth seldom is sweet; it is almost invariably bitter.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, commencement address, Harvard University, June 8, 1978

Solzhenitsyn is 89 today.
Happy birthday.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday December 9, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 AM


Sunday December 9, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 AM


Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday December 7, 2007

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

Reflection Groups in Finite Geometry

Friday December 7, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 6:20 AM

A Reflection Group of Order 168

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thursday December 6, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday December 5, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:19 PM

Zeph Stewart, 86, a classics professor and former Lowell House master at Harvard, died, according to today’s online Crimson, on Saturday.

Related material: Saturday’s Log24 entry “Plato’s Horses” and its link to a Harvard education.

Wednesday December 5, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:19 AM
The New York Review of Songs

NYT obits  Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007: Mailer, Hardwick, Pimp C

“Which one will the fountain bless?”
Sinatra, 1954  

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tuesday December 4, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:26 PM


Tuesday December 4, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:20 AM


Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday December 3, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/071203-IChingResources.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The above logo is from
the I Ching Resources website.


Hexagram 10
Treading (Conduct)

Two Commentaries:

The standard
Princeton University Press
Wilhelm/Baynes text

An idiosyncratic interpretation
from one “Rhett Butler”
at I Ching Resources

Rhett describes his experience
with Hexagram 10 at the South Pole.
This pole, like the abode of Santa,
may serve to illustrate T. S. Eliot’s
remarks on “the still point of
the turning world.”

Related material:

Hitler’s Still Point,

The Still Point of
the Turning World:
Joan Didion and the
Opposite of Meaning

(Harper’s, Nov. 2005),

Chorus from the Rock
(Log24, Dec. 5, 2004).

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunday December 2, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Part I: Matisse

The Wisdom of the Ego, by George E. Vaillant

The Wisdom of the Ego
by George E. Vaillant,
Harvard University Press (1993)

Cover illustration:
“Icarus,” from Jazz, by Henri Matisse

Publisher’s description of author:

George E. Vaillant is Professor of Psychiatry;
Director of the Study of Adult Development,
Harvard University Health Services;
and Director of Research in
the Division of Psychiatry,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

A review:

“This is a remarkable synthesis of the best current thinking on ego psychology as well as a many-faceted picture of what Robert White would call ‘lives in progress.’ It makes on its own not only a highly innovative contribution to ego psychology but an equally original and impressive contribution to longitudinal research. A remarkable and many-faceted work.”

— The late George W. Goethals    
of Harvard University

Part II:
The Hospital

Cached from http://bostonist.com/2007/12/01/boston_blotter_164.php

December 1, 2007

Boston Blotter: More on Harvard Student Found Dead

'Boston Blotter body outline–John Edwards, the Harvard sophomore whose body was found yesterday at Harvard Medical School,* committed suicide. People who knew him, such as a professor and his roommate are mystified. Eva Wolchover lists Edwards’ many accomplishments. He was a top science student (and that’s saying something around here), a stem cell researcher, and a guitar player.

A Facebook group named “In Memory of John Edwards” has already been established.

* Other reports say the body was found at about 11 PM on Thursday, Nov. 29– the presumed date of Edwards’s death.  Edwards was said to have conducted stem cell research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Part III:
Down to Earth

The reviewer in Icarus, Part I, above,
Dr. Goethals, was my teacher in a
1960-61 freshman seminar at Harvard.
He admired the work of
Harry Stack Sullivan.

The cover of the Sullivan book below
may serve to illustrate yesterday’s
“Plato’s Horses” remarks.


The ego defenses of today’s
Harvard students seem to need some
  strengthening. Perhaps Vaillant, Sullivan,
and the philosophies of Pirsig and of Plato
discussed in yesterday’s entry
may be of use in this regard.

Related material:

In the Details and
The Crimson Passion.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Saturday December 1, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM
Rhetoric, 1; Dialectic, 0.
— Robert M. Pirsig,  
Zen and the Art of
Motorcycle Maintenance

(Pirsig is describing the response of Phaedrus to an obnoxious member of the Academy in a discussion of Plato’s figure of the horses and charioteer.)

NY Times: Evel Knievel and Norman Mailer

Wallace Stevens,
opening lines of 
The Necessary Angel:

“In the Phaedrus, Plato speaks of the soul in a figure. He says:

Let our figure be of a composite nature– a pair of winged horses and a charioteer. Now the winged horses and the charioteer of the gods are all of them noble, and of noble breed, while ours are mixed; and we have a charioteer who drives them in a pair, and one of them is noble and of noble origin, and the other is ignoble and of ignoble origin; and, as might be expected, there is a great deal of trouble in managing them. I will endeavor to explain to you in what way the mortal differs from the immortal creature. The soul or animate being has the care of the inanimate, and traverses the whole heaven in divers forms appearing;– when perfect and fully winged she soars upward, and is the ruler of the universe; while the imperfect soul loses her feathers, and drooping in her flight at last settles on the solid ground.

We recognize at once, in this figure, Plato’s pure poetry; and at the same time we recognize what Coleridge called Plato’s dear, gorgeous nonsense. The truth is that we have scarcely read the passage before we have identified ourselves with the charioteer, have, in fact, taken his place and, driving his winged horses, are traversing the whole heaven.”

Stevens, who was educated at Harvard, adds:

“Then suddenly we remember, it may be, that the soul no longer exists and we droop in our flight and at last settle on the solid ground. The figure becomes antiquated and rustic.”

Many who lack a Harvard education to make them droop will prefer to remember Robert Craig Knievel (Oct. 17, 1938 – Nov. 30, 2007) not as antiquated and rustic but as young and soaring.

Related material:
the previous entry
(a story for Gennie).

See also the entries for
last February’s
Academy Awards night:
Hollywood Sermon and
Between Two Worlds.

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