Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday April 30, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:35 AM

— Joseph Dewey,
Beyond Grief and Nothing:
A Reading of Don DeLillo
Chapter 4,
“Narratives of Redemption,”
page 123

Dewey is discussing

Cover of 'Underworld,' by Don DeLillo, first edition, Advance Reader's Copy, 1997

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday April 29, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 AM
Are you up to
the moment?

Online New York Times
this morning, about 9:18 AM EDT:

NY Times obituaries, morning of April 29, 2009

Related material:

Click for background

Title page of 'Anastasis,' by George Bush

and the meditation on
the word “Anastasia”
in this morning’s
previous entry.

Wednesday April 29, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 AM
Requiem for
John King:

WW meets AA

Wonder Woman and the Secret of the Magic Tiara
Anastasia Ashley for Airwalk in the Village Voice

Click on images for details.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday April 28, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:15 AM
For Jenny



The above symbol
does not stand for
"Walter Winchell."

Oct. 15, 2008 

From the link
at the end of
yesterday's entry:

Noah: Jenny, what's troubling you?

Jenny: Sigh. I was reading this book, but the words stopped in mid-sentence at the bottom! What… what do I do, Noah?

Noah: Turn the page.

Turns page.

Falls in love amidst turmoil.

The King and the Corpse, pp. 265-266:

"… the goddess at last bodily appeared to him, dark and slender, hair hanging free, and standing on the back of her tawny lion. He gave her greeting. And Kali, 'The Dark One,' addressed him with the voice of a



cloud of thunder: 'For what reason have you called? Make known your wish. Though it were unattainable, my appearance would guarantee its fulfillment.'"

Turmoil and cloud of thunder

courtesy of

United States Air Force.

Tuesday April 28, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday April 27, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:12 PM
Taymor’s Ten

(continued from yesterday)

Julie Taymor's 10 golden rules of directing

Click on image for details.

“Points all her own
way up high.”

Bob Seger   

Monday April 27, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:50 AM

On Location
with Julie Taymor

“On the producer side,
you may be working with
people you did not
  hand-pick. Do the research.”
— Julie Taymor

— First of all we are in the country now, so no more black.
— No more black? Are you insane?
— You heard me. Only high-powered, neurotic, castrating, Manhattan career bitches wear black. Is that what you want to be?
— Ever since I was a little girl.

— Dialogue from remake of The Stepford Wives

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday April 26, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Language Game

Julie Taymor directing a film

Mirrors on the ceiling…

U. of California edition of Wittgenstein's 'Zettel'-- pink cover, white tesseract in background

pink champagne on ice   

— The Eagles  

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday April 25, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:22 PM
State of Play

Russell Crowe in 'State of Play'

The Russell Crowe
Hotel Puzzle

by John Tierney

"Russell Crowe arrives at the Hotel Infinity looking tired and ornery. He demands a room. The clerk informs him that there are no vacancies…."

Footprints from California today
(all by a person or persons using Firefox browsers):

7:10 AM
Concepts of Space: Euclid vs. Galois

8:51 AM
Art Wars continued: Behind the Picture

1:33 PM
A Riff for Dave: Me and My Shadow

2:11 PM
A Death of Kings: In Memory of Bobby Fischer

2:48 PM
Art Wars in review– Through the Looking Glass: A Sort of Eternity

3:28 PM and
Annals of Philosophy: The Dormouse of Perception

4:28 PM
Epiphany for Roy, Part I

6:03 PM
At the Still Point: All That Jazz

6:22 PM
Where Entertainment is Not God: The Just Word

7:14 PM
Happy New Yorker Day– Class Galore

7:16 PM
The Politics of Change: Jumpers

"Relax," said the night man.
"We are programmed to receive."
— Hotel California

Saturday April 25, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:09 AM
April is Awareness Month

for both

Mathematics and Autism.

Welcome to the
Black Hole Café

"Our lifelong friendship made me not only an admirer of the depth, scholarship, and sheer energy of his mathematical work (and of his ceaseless activities as an editorial entrepreneur on behalf of mathematics) but one in awe of his status as the ultimate relaxed sophisticate."

The late Jacob T. Schwartz 
  on Gian-Carlo Rota


by Alfred Bester
and Roger Zelazny:

His manner was all charm and grace; pure café society….

He purred a chuckle. "My place. If you want to come, I'll show you."

"Love to. The Luogo Nero? The Black Place?"

"That's what the locals call it. It's really Buoco Nero, the Black Hole."

"Like the Black Hole of Calcutta?"

"No. Black Hole as in astronomy. Corpse of a dead star, but also channel between this universe and its next-door neighbor."

"After Davis and Hersh,
it will be hard to uphold
the Glasperlenspiel
view of mathematics."
— Gian-Carlo Rota  

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



Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday April 24, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 AM
Dark Passage

Anakin Skywalker, otherwise known
 as Darth Vader, is arguably
the central character in
     George Lucas’s ‘Star Wars’….

Amazon.com review   

Ken Annakin, classic action
filmmaker, dies at 94

“Annakin’s last name
was the source
of the name for
   Anakin Skywalker.”

Entertainment Weekly  

Dennis McLellan in today’s Los Angeles Times:

“Contrary to previous reports that George Lucas named the ‘Star Wars’ character Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) after Annakin, Lucas said via his publicist Thursday that he did not.”

Mike O’Sullivan, Voice of America LA bureau chief, in 2007:

“Annakin inadvertently gave his own name to a film character, although the spelling is slightly different, when the actor Alec Guinness suggested the name to director George Lucas for a character in the Star Wars films.

At a screening of the film, Annakin asked Lucas about it.

‘He was running his picture with Anakin Skywalker in it, and I went over to him and said, “you know, you never got permission for this.” He said, “but I dropped an ‘n’ and therefore I got away with it,”‘ Annakin said.”

This morning’s NY Times
 obituaries include…

The British-born Annakin
 (best known for war epics),
British cinematographer Jack Cardiff,
and Santha Rama Rau (author
of a 1960 play based on the
novel A Passage to India) —

NY Times 4/24/09 obituaries for Jack Cardiff, Ken Annakin, Santha Rama Rau

Passage O soul to India!

Eclaircise the myths Asiatic,
the primitive fables.

Not you alone proud truths of the world,

Nor you alone ye facts of modern science,

But myths and fables of eld,
Asia’s, Africa’s fables,

The far-darting beams of the spirit,
the unloos’d dreams,

The deep diving bibles and legends….

Walt Whitman

Judy Davis in the David Lean film of 'A Passage to India'

Ready when you are, C. B.

For Cardiff, cinematographer
of “A Matter of Life and Death
and of “Black Narcissus” —

Happy Birthday
to a Dark Lady

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday April 23, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:24 PM
Star Quality

Eight-pointed star, background image for the E! Online logo

This deliberately cryptic entry is to thank an anonymous reader in Sweden for the following footprint:

…&uid=37798719 4/23/2009
4:33 PM

“Speedy” is the browser name supplied to the server. The link is to a Columbus Day, 2003, entry with the song phrase “spinnin’ wheel, spinnin’ true.” The time is Eastern Daylight.

Related material:

Vide today’s midday PA lottery number, 177, the 1919 edition of The Oxford Book of English Verse, and the time (interpreted, in a Joycean manner, as a date) of this morning’s first entry.

Happy birthday to Judy Davis
and happy Day of the Book.

Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1900

Thursday April 23, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:00 AM


The Geometry
of Language

(continued from April 16)


Professor Arielle Saiber with chess set

Click on the image for an
interview with the author of
Giordano Bruno and
the Geometry of Language

Related material:

Joyce on language —

The sigla of 'Finnegans Wake'

Bruno, Joyce, and coincidentia oppositorum

Cullinane on geometry —

Geometry of the I Ching (for comparison to Joyce's 'sigla')

Click on images for details.

Thursday April 23, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:22 AM
Theology for Holst

“Timothy J. Holst, who joined the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus as a lowly Keystone Kops clown, rose to the role of singing ringmaster, and ultimately became the show’s talent czar, died April 16 in São Paulo, Brazil, during a visit to sign up circus acts. He was 61.”

Tiene angel.

Timothy J. Holst, who died April 16, 2009
But seriously…. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday April 19, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM
The Crimson Passion

 Truth and Style)

“We are here in the
Church of St. Frank,
where moral judgments
permit the true believer
to avoid any semblance
of thought.”
Marjorie Garber on  
Frank Kermode

Today’s sermon is a
link to a London publication
where one can purchase
 Kermode’s excellent review
of the following:

Cover of Vermes's 'The Resurrection' - Picture of the Resurrection by Piero della Francesca

Those who prefer
Garber’s Harvard sneer
may consult
The Crimson Passion
and the following
 resurrection figure:

The Harvard Jesus, by Nancy K. Dutton in the Harvard Crimson

The Harvard Jesus     
Crimson/Nancy K. Dutton    

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday April 17, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:31 AM

Begettings of
the Broken Bold

Thanks for the following
quotation (“Non deve…
nella testa“) go to the
weblog writer who signs
himself “Conrad H. Roth.”

of Goethe

(Vol. II, London, Bell & Daldy,
1868, at Google Books):

… Yesterday I took leave of my Captain, with a promise of visiting him at Bologna on my return. He is a true


representative of the majority of his countrymen. Here, however, I would record a peculiarity which personally distinguished him. As I often sat quiet and lost in thought he once exclaimed “Che pensa? non deve mai pensar l’uomo, pensando s’invecchia;” which being interpreted is as much as to say, “What are you thinking about: a man ought never to think; thinking makes one old.” And now for another apophthegm of his; “Non deve fermarsi l’uomo in una sola cosa, perche allora divien matto; bisogna aver mille cose, una confusione nella testa;” in plain English, “A man ought not to rivet his thoughts exclusively on any one thing, otherwise he is sure to go mad; he ought to have in his head a thousand things, a regular medley.”

Certainly the good man could not know that the very thing that made me so thoughtful was my having my head mazed by a regular confusion of things, old and new. The following anecdote will serve to elucidate still more clearly the mental character of an Italian of this class. Having soon discovered that I was a Protestant, he observed after some circumlocution, that he hoped I would allow him to ask me a few questions, for he had heard such strange things about us Protestants that he wished to know for a certainty what to think of us.

Notes for Roth:

Roth and Corleone in Havana

The title of this entry,
“Begettings of the Broken Bold,”
is from Wallace Stevens’s
“The Owl in the Sarcophagus”–

This was peace after death, the brother of sleep,
The inhuman brother so much like, so near,
Yet vested in a foreign absolute,

Adorned with cryptic stones and sliding shines,
An immaculate personage in nothingness,
With the whole spirit sparkling in its cloth,

Generations of the imagination piled
In the manner of its stitchings, of its thread,
In the weaving round the wonder of its need,

And the first flowers upon it, an alphabet
By which to spell out holy doom and end,
A bee for the remembering of happiness.

Peace stood with our last blood adorned, last mind,
Damasked in the originals of green,
A thousand begettings of the broken bold.

This is that figure stationed at our end,
Always, in brilliance, fatal, final, formed
Out of our lives to keep us in our death....

Related material:

  • Yesterday’s entry on Giordano Bruno and the Geometry of Language
  • James Joyce and Heraldry
  • “One might say that he [Joyce] invented a non-Euclidean geometry of language; and that he worked over it with doggedness and devotion….” —Unsigned notice in The New Republic, 20 January 1941
  • Joyce’s “collideorscape” (scroll down for a citation)
  • “A Hanukkah Tale” (Log24, Dec. 22, 2008)
  • Stevens’s phrase from “An Ordinary Evening in New Haven” (Canto XXV)

Some further context:

Roth’s entry of Nov. 3, 2006–
Why blog, sinners?“–
and Log24 on that date:
First to Illuminate.”

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday April 16, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:00 PM
Happy Birthday,
Benedict XVI:

A Game for Bishops
continued from April 3

Professor Arielle Saiber with chess set

Click on the image for an
interview with the author of
Giordano Bruno and
the Geometry of Language

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday April 13, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Happy Ending

For the birthday of
red-haired revolutionary
Thomas Jefferson

'The Man Who Was Thursday'-- the conclusion

Reba McEntire, illustration for her Palm Sunday, 2009, single 'Strange'

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday April 12, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:09 AM
Where Entertainment
Is God
, continued

Dialogue from the classic film Forbidden Planet

"… Which makes it a gilt-edged priority that one of us gets into that Krell lab and takes that brain boost."

— Taken from a video (5:18-5:24 of 6:09) at David Lavery's weblog in the entry of Tuesday, April 7.

(Cf. this journal on that date.)

Thanks to Professor Lavery for his detailed notes on his viewing experiences.

My own viewing recently included, on the night of Good Friday, April 10, the spiritually significant film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The mystic circle of 13 aliens at the end of that film, together with Leslie Nielsen's Forbidden Planet remark quoted above, suggests the following:

"The aim of Conway’s game M13 is to get the hole at the top point and all counters in order 1,2,…,12 when moving clockwise along the circle." —Lieven Le Bruyn



The illustration is from the weblog entry by Lieven Le Bruyn quoted below. The colored circles represent 12 of the 13 projective points described below, the 13 radial strokes represent the 13 projective lines, and the straight lines in the picture, including those that form the circle, describe which projective points are incident with which projective lines. The dot at top represents the "hole."

From "The Mathieu Group M12 and Conway’s M13-Game" (pdf), senior honors thesis in mathematics by Jeremy L. Martin under the supervision of Professor Noam D. Elkies, Harvard University, April 1, 1996–

"Let P3 denote the projective plane of order 3. The standard construction of P3 is to remove the zero point from a three-dimensional vector space over the field F3 and then identify each point x with -x, obtaining a space with (33 – 1)/2 = 13 points. However, we will be concerned only with the geometric properties of the projective plane. The 13 points of P3 are organized into 13 lines, each line containing four points. Every point lies on four lines, any two points lie together on a unique line, and any two lines intersect at a unique point….

Conway [3] proposed the following game…. Place twelve numbered counters on the points… of P3 and leave the thirteenth point… blank. (The empty point will be referred to throughout as the "hole.") Let the location of the hole be p; then a primitive move of the game consists of selecting one of the lines containing the hole, say {p, q, r, s}. Move the counter on q to p (thus moving the hole to q), then interchange the counters on r and s….

There is an obvious characterization of a move as a permutation in S13, operating on the points of P3. By limiting our consideration to only those moves which return the hole to its starting point…. we obtain the Conway game group. This group, which we shall denote by GC, is a subgroup of the symmetric group S12 of permutations of the twelve points…, and the group operation of GC is concatenation of paths. Conway [3] stated, but did not prove explicitly, that GC is isomorphic to the Mathieu group M12. We shall subsequently verify this isomorphism.

The set of all moves (including those not fixing the hole) is given the name M13 by Conway. It is important that M13 is not a group…."

[3] John H. Conway, "Graphs and Groups and M13," Notes from New York Graph Theory Day XIV (1987), pp. 18–29.

Another exposition (adapted to Martin's notation) by Lieven le Bruyn (see illustration above):


"Conway’s puzzle M13 involves the 13 points and 13 lines of P3. On all but one point numbered counters are placed holding the numbers 1,…,12 and a move involves interchanging one counter and the 'hole' (the unique point having no counter) and interchanging the counters on the two other points of the line determined by the first two points. In the picture [above] the lines are represented by dashes around the circle in between two counters and the points lying on this line are those that connect to the dash either via a direct line or directly via the circle. In the first part we saw that the group of all reachable positions in Conway's M13 puzzle having the hole at the top position contains the sporadic simple Mathieu group M12 as a subgroup."

For the religious significance of the circle of 13 (and the "hole"), consider Arthur and the 12 knights of the round table, et cetera.

But seriously…
Delmore Schwartz, 'Starlight Like Intuition Pierced the Twelve'

Sunday April 12, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 AM

From a professor’s weblog:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Quote of the Day (4/11/09) (Elias Canetti Week)

“The novel should not be in any hurry. Once, hurry belonged to its sphere, now the film has taken that over; measured by the film, the hasty novel must always remain inadequate. The novel, as a creature of calmer times, may carry something of that old calm into our new hastiness. It could serve many people as slow-motion; it could induce them to tarry; it could replace the empty meditations of their cults.”

–Elias Canetti, The Human Province

Posted by David Lavery at 1:00 AM

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday April 11, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 AM


Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday April 10, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:57 PM


Friday April 10, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:35 PM


Friday April 10, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 AM

Pilate Goes
to Kindergarten

“There is a pleasantly discursive
 treatment of Pontius Pilate’s
unanswered question
‘What is truth?’.”

— H. S. M. Coxeter, 1987,
introduction to Trudeau’s
 remarks on the “Story Theory
 of truth as opposed to the
Diamond Theory” of truth in
 The Non-Euclidean Revolution

Consider the following question in a paper cited by V. S. Varadarajan:

E. G. Beltrametti, “Can a finite geometry describe physical space-time?” Universita degli studi di Perugia, Atti del convegno di geometria combinatoria e sue applicazioni, Perugia 1971, 57–62.


“Can a finite geometry describe physical space?”

Simplifying further:

“Yes. VideThe Eightfold Cube.'”

Froebel's 'Third Gift' to kindergarteners: the 2x2x2 cube, in 'Paradise of Childhood'

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday April 9, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 PM
Rhetorical Question

“What wine does one drink?
What bread does one eat?”

Wallace Stevens

Image from April 4, 2007:
the key date in The Eight
and the date that year of
Spy Wednesday:

Baugin: Bread, Wine, Chessboard

Nature morte à l’échiquier
 (les cinq sens),
“vers 1655, une narration
à valeur symbolique…”
Huile sur bois, 73 x 55 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Thursday April 9, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:12 AM
Bright Star
continued from
March 28, 2003

Mathematician Leonard Gillman, co-author of 'Rings of Continuous Functions,' died on April 7, 2009

Related material:

One Ring to
Rule Them All

(Sept. 2, 2003)
Indiana Jones and the
Diadem of Death

(May 29, 2008)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday April 8, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:00 PM
Where Entertainment
Is God

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

“Since 1963, when Pynchon’s first novel, V., came out, the writer– widely considered America’s most important novelist since World War II– has become an almost mythical figure, a kind of cross between the Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis’s) and Caine in Kung Fu.”

Nancy Jo Sales in the November 11, 1996, issue of New York Magazine

A Cross Between

(Click on images for their
  source in past entries.)

In a Nutshell:

Plato’s Ghost evokes Yeats’s lament that any claim to worldly perfection inevitably is proven wrong by the philosopher’s ghost….”

— Princeton University Press on Plato’s Ghost: The Modernist Transformation of Mathematics (by Jeremy Gray, September 2008)

“She’s a brick house…”
 — Plato’s Ghost according to   
Log24, April 2007 

“First of all, I’d like
to thank the Academy.”
Remark attributed to Plato

Jerry Lewis Wins an Oscar at Last-- TIME magazine

David Carradine displays a yellow book-- the Princeton I Ching.

Click on the Yellow Book.”

Wednesday April 8, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 12:12 AM

Good’s Singularity

Irving John “I.J.” Good died Sunday, April 5, 2009.

The date of his death was also Palm Sunday and the day of the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Information from Wikipedia:

Good, 92, was a cryptanalyst at Bletchley Park during World War II.

“He was born as Isidore Jacob Gudak to a Jewish family in London. In his publications he was called I. J. Good. He studied mathematics at Jesus College, Cambridge, graduating in 1938. He did research work under G.H. Hardy and Besicovitch before moving to Bletchley Park in 1941 on completing his doctorate.

At Bletchley Park, he was initially in Hut 8 under the supervision of Alan Turing…”

[Related material: the death of Turing (a major fan of the Evil Queen in Snow White) and yesterday’s entry]

Wikipedia states that “I. J. Good’s vanity car license plate, hinting at his spylike wartime work, was ‘007 IJG’…. He played chess to county standard, and helped to popularise Go, an Asian boardgame, through a 1965 article in New Scientist (he had learned the rules from Turing). In 1965, he described a concept similar to today’s meaning of technological singularity, in that it included in it the advent of superhuman intelligence:

Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make….
— Good, I. J. (1965). ‘Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine‘, Advances in Computers, Vol. 6.”
“Some say the symbol
of Apple Computers,
the apple with a bite out of it,
is a nod to Alan Turing.”– from “Alan Turing and
the Apple
at Flickr, uploaded
on Epiphany 2006 by guano

Alan Turing and the Apple


Above: Composite by “guano” at Flickr

Will: Do you like apples?
Clark: Yeah.
Will: Well, I got her number.
How do you like them apples?

— “Good Will Hunting

Happy Spy Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday April 7, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:10 PM


Tuesday April 7, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 PM

Bright Star and Dark Lady

on July 26, 2003

“Mexico is a solar country — but it is also a black country, a dark country. This duality of Mexico has preoccupied me since I was a child.”

Octavio Paz,
quoted by Homero Aridjis

Bright Star



Dark Lady

The same story on
May 11, 2005

 with a different
dark lady:


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday April 5, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:35 AM
Reba's Widget

Click to enlarge.

Reba McEntire to host Academy of Country Music Awards Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday April 5, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:01 AM

About the People:
Race to Witch Mountain

"As Robert Kennedy once told a crowd of students in South Africa, it is a revolutionary world that we live in and, thus, it is young people who must take the lead– [applause]– because young people are unburdened by the biases or prejudices of the past."

President Obama in Strasbourg on Friday, April 3, 2009

"George Bernard Shaw once wrote, 'Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?'"

— Robert Kennedy, University of Kansas, March 18, 1968

George Bernard Shaw:

THE SNAKE. I can talk of many things. I am very wise. It was I who whispered the word to you that you did not know. Dead. Death. Die.

EVE [shuddering] Why do you remind me of it? I forgot it when I saw your beautiful hood. You must not remind me of unhappy things.

THE SERPENT. Death is not an unhappy thing when you have learnt how to conquer it.

EVE. How can I conquer it?

THE SERPENT. By another thing, called birth.

EVE. What? [Trying to pronounce it] B-birth?

THE SERPENT. Yes, birth.

EVE. What is birth?

THE SERPENT. The serpent never dies. Some day you shall see me come out of this beautiful skin, a new snake with a new and lovelier skin. That is birth.

EVE. I have seen that. It is wonderful.

THE SERPENT. If I can do that, what can I not do? I tell you I am very subtle. When you and Adam talk, I hear you say 'Why?' Always 'Why?' You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?' I made the word dead to describe my old skin that I cast when I am renewed. I call that renewal being born.

EVE. Born is a beautiful word.

THE SERPENT. Why not be born again and again as I am, new and beautiful every time?

EVE. I! It does not happen: that is why.

THE SERPENT. That is how; but it is not why. Why not?

EVE. But I should not like it. It would be nice to be new again; but my old skin would lie on the ground looking just like me; and Adam would see it shrivel up and–

THE SERPENT. No. He need not. There is a second birth.

EVE. A second birth?

THE SERPENT. Listen. I will tell you a great secret….

"Listen, I tell you a mystery…."
Saul of Tarsus   

About the People
(with apologies to
Zenna Henderson):

'Spaceships, Toddlers, Model T Cars, and Jars of Beer'

"We've got to stop meeting like this."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday April 4, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:48 PM
Angels & Demons

Los Angeles Times, April 1:
obituary for the green demon of
  Joss Whedon‘s TV series “Angel“–

LA Times obituary from April 1, 2009, for Andy Hallett, who played a green demon in the Joss Whedon TV series 'Angel'

“As you read,
watch for patterns.”

— “Pattern in The Defense,”
apparently by Jeff Edmunds

Related material:

Today’s previous entries
Force Field of Dreams
(which contains the
above quotation)
in this journal on
Sept. 22, 2002

Saturday April 4, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:01 PM
Steiner Systems

"Music, mathematics, and chess are in vital respects dynamic acts of location. Symbolic counters are arranged in significant rows. Solutions, be they of a discord, of an algebraic equation, or of a positional impasse, are achieved by a regrouping, by a sequential reordering of individual units and unit-clusters (notes, integers, rooks or pawns). The child-master, like his adult counterpart, is able to visualize in an instantaneous yet preternaturally confident way how the thing should look several moves hence. He sees the logical, the necessary harmonic and melodic argument as it arises out of an initial key relation or the preliminary fragments of a theme. He knows the order, the appropriate dimension, of the sum or geometric figure before he has performed the intervening steps. He announces mate in six because the victorious end position, the maximally efficient configuration of his pieces on the board, lies somehow 'out there' in graphic, inexplicably clear sight of his mind…."

"… in some autistic enchantment,http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif pure as one of Bach's inverted canons or Euler's formula for polyhedra."

— George Steiner, "A Death of Kings," in The New Yorker, issue dated Sept. 7, 1968

Related material:

A correspondence underlying
the Steiner system S(5,8,24)–


The Steiner here is
 Jakob, not George.

http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif See "Pope to Pray on
   Autism Sunday 2009."
    See also Log24 on that
  Sunday– February 8:

Memorial sermon for John von Neumann, who died on Feb. 8,  1957


Saturday April 4, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 AM
Annual Tribute to
The Eight

Katherine Neville's 'The Eight,' edition with knight on cover, on her April 4 birthday

Other knight figures:

Knight figures in finite geometry (Singer 7-cycles in the 3-space over GF(2) by Cullinane, 1985, and Curtis, 1987)

The knight logo at the SpringerLink site

Click on the SpringerLink
knight for a free copy
(pdf, 1.2 mb) of
the following paper
dealing with the geometry
underlying the R.T. Curtis
knight figures above:

Springer description of 1970 paper on Mathieu-group geometry by Wilbur Jonsson of McGill U.


Literature and Chess and
Sporadic Group References



Adapted (for HTML) from the opening paragraphs of the above paper, W. Jonsson's 1970 "On the Mathieu Groups M22, M23, M24…"–

"[A]… uniqueness proof is offered here based upon a detailed knowledge of the geometric aspects of the elementary abelian group of order 16 together with a knowledge of the geometries associated with certain subgroups of its automorphism group. This construction was motivated by a question posed by D.R. Hughes and by the discussion Edge [5] (see also Conwell [4]) gives of certain isomorphisms between classical groups, namely


where A8 is the alternating group on eight symbols, S6 the symmetric group on six symbols, Sp(4,2) and PSp(4,2) the symplectic and projective symplectic groups in four variables over the field GF(2) of two elements, [and] PGL, PSL and SL are the projective linear, projective special linear and special linear groups (see for example [7], Kapitel II).

The symplectic group PSp(4,2) is the group of collineations of the three dimensional projective space PG(3,2) over GF(2) which commute with a fixed null polarity tau…."


4. Conwell, George M.: The three space PG(3,2) and its group. Ann. of Math. (2) 11, 60-76 (1910).

5. Edge, W.L.: The geometry of the linear fractional group LF(4,2). Proc. London Math. Soc. (3) 4, 317-342 (1954).

7. Huppert, B.: Endliche Gruppen I. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York: Springer 1967.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday April 3, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:15 PM

Notes on Finite Geometry

The web pages at finitegeometry.org are currently down, but most of them are still available at the Internet Archive.

Friday April 3, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:24 AM
Knight Moves

“Lord, I remember”
Bob Seger 

“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 of Monday, May 20, 1996

Yesterday’s afternoon entry cited philosopher John Holbo on chess. This, together with Holland’s remark above and Monday’s entries on Zizek, suggests…

Holbo on Zizek
(pdf, 11 pages)

In this excellent analysis,
Holbo quotes Kierkegaard:

“… the knight of faith
‘has the pain of being unable to
make himself intelligible to others'”

(Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling)

For some material that may serve to illustrate Kierkegaard’s remark, see Log24 on Twelfth Night and Epiphany this year.

“… There was a problem laid out on the board, a six-mover. I couldn’t solve it, like a lot of my problems. I reached down and moved a knight…. I looked down at the chessboard. The move with the knight was wrong. I put it back where I had moved it from. Knights had no meaning in this game. It wasn’t a game for knights.”

— Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

Perhaps a game for bishops?

Henry Edward Cardinal Manning

Cardinal Manning

Click on the cardinal
for a link to some remarks
related to the upcoming film
 “Angels & Demons” and to
a Paris “Sein Feld.”

Context: the five entries
ending at 9:26 AM
on March 10, 2009…
and, for Kierkegaard,
Diamonds Are Forever.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday April 2, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM
Time and Chance

Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, and clock in 'High Noon'

for the late
    Pope John Paul II

Numbers from the
State of Grace:

PA Lottery April 2, 2009-- midday 692, evening 377

Lottery Hermeneutics

Thursday April 2, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 12:25 PM


In memory of
physics historian
Martin J. Klein,
(June 25, 1924-
March 28, 2009)

"… in physics itself, there was what appeared, briefly, to be an ending, which then very quickly gave way to a new beginning: The quest for the ultimate building-blocks of the universe had been taken down to the molecular level in nineteenth-century kinetic theory… and finally to the nuclear level in the second and third decades of the twentieth century. For a moment in the 1920s the quest appeared to have ended…. However… this paradise turned out to be, if not exactly a fool's paradise, then perhaps an Eden lost."

No Truth Except in the Details: Essays in Honor of Martin J. Klein, introduction by A.J. Kox and Daniel Siegel, June 25, 1994

New York Times obituary dated April 1, 2009:

"Martin J. Klein, a historian of modern physics…. died Saturday, [March 28, 2009] in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was 84 and lived in Chapel Hill."

Klein edited, among other things, Paul Ehrenfest: Collected Scientific Papers (publ. by North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1959).

"It seems, as one becomes older,
 That the past has another pattern,
 and ceases to be a mere sequence…."


— T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

A Walsh function and a corresponding finite-geometry hyperplane

"Note that at first, you can see
 the 'arrow of time.'
 After a long period, however,
 the direction of time
 is no longer evident."

— "The Ehrenfest Chains,"
     by Kyle Siegrist, ex. 16

Related material:

"Almost every famous chess game
is a well-wrought urn
in Cleanth Brooks’ sense."

— John Holbo,
Now We See
Wherein Lies the Pleasure

"The entire sequence of moves in these… chapters reminds one– or should remind one– of a certain type of chess problem where the point is not merely the finding of a mate in so many moves, but what is termed 'retrograde analysis'…."

— Vladimir Nabokov, foreword to The Defense

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday April 1, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM
Dinner at Eight
on TNT

'Underworld,' starring Kate Beckinsale

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

Wednesday April 1, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 PM
The Cruelest Month

Fictional Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon, as portrayed by Tom Hanks

“Langdon sensed she was
      toying with him….”

Dan Brown

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