Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday August 31, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 5:24 PM

Ask a Stupid Question

continued from   
last Wednesday…

 Log24 on August 26

"Did you see more glass?"


Wednesday, August 26,
was the date of death
for Hyman Bloom.

Bloom, described in
today's New York Times
as "a painter of the
 mystical," died at 96.
Bloom often painted portraits of imaginary rabbis; an article titled "American Mystic" describes
"… the mesmerizing paradox at the heart of the rabbi portraits– they remember keepers of a tradition in a method that tradition expressly forbids. As Bloom explains, age and illness endowing his voice with a hoarse, prophetic quality, 'Jewish culture has nothing to do with painting. That’s a rule, "Thou shalt not make an image of anything in the air or on the earth."'"
– Stephen Vider, Tablet Magazine, February 28. 2007

Related material:

An entry in this journal linked to twice on the date of Bloom's death–
Art and Man at Yale

and an illustrated entry from this journal on the date of the "Mystic" article–
Elements of Geometry.

"So, there is one place
where modernism triumphs.
As in the cases of the pyramids
and the Taj Mahal, the Siegfried line
 and the Atlantic wall, death always
 calls on the very best architects."
 – J. G. Ballard,
"A Handful of Dust"

Monday August 31, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

A Crown for Varnedoe

Oh, and while the King
    was looking down
The Jester stole
   his thorny crown….

Don McLean

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday August 30, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 PM
by Doctorow

“And crown thy good
  with brotherhood….”

Farewell Aug. 29, 2009, to Sen. Edward Kennedy on Capitol steps

Click image to enlarge.

according to Doctorow:

The Collyer Brothers
Meet Flower Power

 Related material —

Blame It On Toby:

Toby Ziegler of 'West Wing'

Sunday August 30, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Nine is
a Vine

Sunday August 30, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:07 AM
“‘Soul’ of a Party
   Is Memorialized”

NY Times online
front page, 7:37 AM

Personally, I prefer
 the life of the party:

“Oh, children,
 catch me if you can!”

— Aslan in
 The Chronicles of Narnia

“We haven’t had
    that spirit here since…”

Hotel California 

   Click to enlarge

NY Times online 8/30/09: 'Catch Me If You Can'

Sunday August 30, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Working Backward

Continued from
December 10, 2005:

“Death itself would start
  working backward.”

— Aslan in  
 The Chronicles of Narnia

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday August 29, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM
Continued from
Father’s Day
  last year–

Shoe cartoon, detail, Sunday, June 15, 2008

I Ching hexagram 48, The Well

“For further details,
 click on the well.”

From the above link:

James Hillman

“The kind of movement Olson urges is
 an inward deepening of the image,
an in-sighting of the superimposed
 levels of significance within it.
This is the very mode that Jung
suggested for grasping dreams–
 not as a sequence in time,
but as revolving around
 a nodal complex.”

And from Feb. 29, 2008:


and the following day:

Heraclitus: '...so deep is its logos'

— Heraclitus

Saturday August 29, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 AM

Ba Gua = 8 Sections.
Gua Ba = Section 8.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday August 28, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:09 AM
Rites of Passage

“Things fall apart;
   the centre cannot hold….

Part I:

“Inside the church, the grief was real. Sen. Edward Kennedy’s voice caught as he read his lovely eulogy, and when he was done, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg stood up and hugged him. She bravely read from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest‘ (‘Our revels now are ended. We are such stuff as dreams are made on‘). Many of the 315 mourners, family and friends of the Kennedys and Bessettes, swallowed hard through a gospel choir’s rendition of ‘Amazing Grace,’ and afterward, they sang lustily as Uncle Teddy led the old Irish songs at the wake.”

Newsweek magazine, issue dated August 2, 1999

Part II:

The Ba gua (Chinese….) are eight diagrams used in Taoist cosmology to represent a range of interrelated concepts. Each consists of three lines, each either ‘broken’ or ‘unbroken,’ representing a yin line or a yang line, respectively. Due to their tripartite structure, they are often referred to as ‘trigrams’ in English. —Wikipedia

Part III:

3x3 array of symbols, cover of 'Dorm Room Feng Shui'

Above: detail from the cover of…

Bagua in Brief, from 'Dorm Room Feng Shui'
Figures explaining 'Dorm Room Feng Shui'

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday August 27, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:09 PM
The Shining
of Lucero

For John Cramer’s
daughter Kathryn

(continued from
September 24, 2002)

“Mathematical relationships were
enough to satisfy him, mere formal
relationships which existed at
all times, everywhere, at once.”

Broken Symmetries, 1983


See also Art Wars at
The New Criterion

(Jan. 19, 2007) and the
 four entries preceding it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday August 26, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 PM

"Did you see more glass?"

Proposed holocaust memorial-- nine large glass blocks in a 3x3 array-- by Louis I. Kahn

1. "Jesus's Response to Dishonor"
2.  For Stephen King, August 11, 2009
3.  Art and Man at Yale

Wednesday August 26, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM
A Puritan Settlement
in memory of
Sen. Edward Kennedy

“When New Haven was founded, the city was laid out into a grid of nine squares surrounded by a great wilderness.
Last year [2000] History of Art Professor Emeritus Vincent Scully said the original town plan reflected a feeling that the new city should be sacred.
Scully said the colony’s founders thought of their new Puritan settlement as a ‘nine-square paradise on Earth, heaven on earth, New Haven, New Jerusalem.'”

Yale Daily News, Jan. 11, 2001

“Real and unreal are two in one:
New Haven
Before and after one arrives….”

— Wallace Stevens,
“An Ordinary Evening
in New Haven,” XXVIII

See also Art and Man at Yale.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday August 25, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM
(continued from
  January 10th)

Equilateral triangle, each side's length equal to the square root of two

"Boo, boo, boo,
  square root of two.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday August 23, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Inside NY Times 8/23/09-- images of Brooklyn Bridge, poets Frost and Stevens

Click on image for further details.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday August 22, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:48 AM
Death on the Feast
of the Assumption

(Continued from
 August 15th)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday August 20, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:00 PM


From David Lavery’s weblog today

Kierkegaard on Sophists:

“If the natural sciences had been developed in Socrates’ day as they are now, all the sophists would have been scientists. One would have hung a microscope outside his shop in order to attract customers, and then would have had a sign painted saying: Learn and see through a giant microscope how a man thinks (and on reading the advertisement Socrates would have said: that is how men who do not think behave).”

— Søren Kierkegaard, Journals, edited and translated by Alexander Dru

To anyone familiar with Pirsig’s classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the above remarks of Kierkegaard ring false. Actually, the sophists as described by Pirsig are not at all like scientists, but rather like relativist purveyors of postmodern literary “theory.” According to Pirsig, the scientists are like Plato (and hence Socrates)– defenders of objective truth.

Pirsig on Sophists:

“The pre-Socratic philosophers mentioned so far all sought to establish a universal Immortal Principle in the external world they found around them. Their common effort united them into a group that may be called Cosmologists. They all agreed that such a principle existed but their disagreements as to what it was seemed irresolvable. The followers of Heraclitus insisted the Immortal Principle was change and motion. But Parmenides’ disciple, Zeno, proved through a series of paradoxes that any perception of motion and change is illusory. Reality had to be motionless.

The resolution of the arguments of the Cosmologists came from a new direction entirely, from a group Phædrus seemed to feel were early humanists. They were teachers, but what they sought to teach was not principles, but beliefs of men. Their object was not any single absolute truth, but the improvement of men. All principles, all truths, are relative, they said. ‘Man is the measure of all things.’ These were the famous teachers of ‘wisdom,’ the Sophists of ancient Greece.

To Phaedrus, this backlight from the conflict between the Sophists and the Cosmologists adds an entirely new dimension to the Dialogues of Plato. Socrates is not just expounding noble ideas in a vacuum. He is in the middle of a war between those who think truth is absolute and those who think truth is relative. He is fighting that war with everything he has. The Sophists are the enemy.

Now Plato’s hatred of the Sophists makes sense. He and Socrates are defending the Immortal Principle of the Cosmologists against what they consider to be the decadence of the Sophists. Truth. Knowledge. That which is independent of what anyone thinks about it. The ideal that Socrates died for. The ideal that Greece alone possesses for the first time in the history of the world. It is still a very fragile thing. It can disappear completely. Plato abhors and damns the Sophists without restraint, not because they are low and immoral people… there are obviously much lower and more immoral people in Greece he completely ignores. He damns them because they threaten mankind’s first beginning grasp of the idea of truth. That’s what it is all about.

The results of Socrates’ martyrdom and Plato’s unexcelled prose that followed are nothing less than the whole world of Western man as we know it. If the idea of truth had been allowed to perish unrediscovered by the Renaissance it’s unlikely that we would be much beyond the level of prehistoric man today. The ideas of science and technology and other systematically organized efforts of man are dead-centered on it. It is the nucleus of it all.

And yet, Phaedrus understands, what he is saying about Quality is somehow opposed to all this. It seems to agree much more closely with the Sophists.”

I agree with Plato’s (and Rebecca Goldstein’s) contempt for relativists. Yet Pirsig makes a very important point. It is not the scientists but rather the storytellers (not, mind you, the literary theorists) who sometimes seem to embody Quality.

As for hanging a sign outside the shop, I suggest (particularly to New Zealand’s Cullinane College) that either or both of the following pictures would be more suggestive of Quality than a microscope:

Alfred Bester covers showing 'primordial protomatter' (altered here) from 'Stars' and Rogue Winter from 'Deceivers'

For the “primordial protomatter”
in the picture at left, see
The Diamond Archetype.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday August 19, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:00 PM
From Visualizing GL(2,p)
to Visualizing GL(2,Z)

A note from 1985 leads,
via today’s earlier entry,
to an article from 1993:

Visualizing Toral Automorphisms-- The opening paragraphs
See also
 Arnold’s Cat Map.

Wednesday August 19, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:30 AM

Group Actions, 1984-2009

From a 1984 book review:

"After three decades of intensive research by hundreds of group theorists, the century old problem of the classification of the finite simple groups has been solved and the whole field has been drastically changed. A few years ago the one focus of attention was the program for the classification; now there are many active areas including the study of the connections between groups and geometries, sporadic groups and, especially, the representation theory. A spate of books on finite groups, of different breadths and on a variety of topics, has appeared, and it is a good time for this to happen. Moreover, the classification means that the view of the subject is quite different; even the most elementary treatment of groups should be modified, as we now know that all finite groups are made up of groups which, for the most part, are imitations of Lie groups using finite fields instead of the reals and complexes. The typical example of a finite group is GL(n, q), the general linear group of n dimensions over the field with q elements. The student who is introduced to the subject with other examples is being completely misled."

— Jonathan L. Alperin,
   review of books on group theory,
   Bulletin (New Series) of the American
   Mathematical Society
10 (1984) 121, doi:

A more specific example:

Actions of GL(2,3) on a 3x3 coordinate-array

The same example
at Wolfram.com:

Ed Pegg Jr.'s program at Wolfram.com to display a large number of actions of small linear groups over finite fields

Caption from Wolfram.com:
"The two-dimensional space Z3×Z3 contains nine points: (0,0), (0,1), (0,2), (1,0), (1,1), (1,2), (2,0), (2,1), and (2,2). The 48 invertible 2×2 matrices over Z3 form the general linear group known as GL(2, 3). They act on Z3×Z3 by matrix multiplication modulo 3, permuting the nine points. More generally, GL(n, p) is the set of invertible n×n matrices over the field Zp, where p is prime. With (0, 0) shifted to the center, the matrix actions on the nine points make symmetrical patterns."

Citation data from Wolfram.com:

"GL(2,p) and GL(3,3) Acting on Points"
 from The Wolfram Demonstrations Project,
 Contributed by: Ed Pegg Jr"

As well as displaying Cullinane's 48 pictures of group actions from 1985, the Pegg program displays many, many more actions of small finite general linear groups over finite fields. It illustrates Cullinane's 1985 statement:

"Actions of GL(2,p) on a p×p coordinate-array have the same sorts of symmetries, where p is any odd prime."

Pegg's program also illustrates actions on a cubical array– a 3×3×3 array acted on by GL(3,3). For some other actions on cubical arrays, see Cullinane's Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday August 18, 2009

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

Prima Materia

(Background: Art Humor: Sein Feld (March 11, 2009) and Ides of March Sermon, 2009)

From Cardinal Manning’s review of Kirkman’s Philosophy Without Assumptions

“And here I must confess… that between something and nothing I can find no intermediate except potentia, which does not mean force but possibility.”

— Contemporary Review, Vol. 28 (June-November, 1876), page 1017


Cardinal Manning, Contemporary Review, Vol. 28, pages 1026-1027:

The following will be, I believe, a correct statement of the Scholastic teaching:–

1. By strict process of reason we demonstrate a First Existence, a First Cause, a First Mover; and that this Existence, Cause, and Mover is Intelligence and Power.

2. This Power is eternal, and from all eternity has been in its fullest amplitude; nothing in it is latent, dormant, or in germ: but its whole existence is in actu, that is, in actual perfection, and in complete expansion or actuality. In other words God is Actus Purus, in whose being nothing is potential, in potentia, but in Him all things potentially exist.

3. In the power of God, therefore, exists the original matter (prima materia) of all things; but that prima materia is pura potentia, a nihilo distincta, a mere potentiality or possibility; nevertheless, it is not a nothing, but a possible existence. When it is said that the prima materia of all things exists in the power of God, it does not mean that it is of the existence of God, which would involve Pantheism, but that its actual existence is possible.

4. Of things possible by the power of God, some come into actual existence, and their existence is determined by the impression of a form upon this materia prima. The form is the first act which determines the existence and the species of each, and this act is wrought by the will and power of God. By this union of form with the materia prima, the materia secunda or the materia signata is constituted.

5. This form is called forma substantialis because it determines the being of each existence, and is the root of all its properties and the cause of all its operations.

6. And yet the materia prima has no actual existence before the form is impressed. They come into existence simultaneously;

[p. 1027 begins]

as the voice and articulation, to use St. Augustine’s illustration, are simultaneous in speech.

7. In all existing things there are, therefore, two principles; the one active, which is the form– the other passive, which is the matter; but when united, they have a unity which determines the existence of the species. The form is that by which each is what it is.

8. It is the form that gives to each its unity of cohesion, its law, and its specific nature.*

When, therefore, we are asked whether matter exists or no, we answer, It is as certain that matter exists as that form exists; but all the phenomena which fall under sense prove the existence of the unity, cohesion, species, that is, of the form of each, and this is a proof that what was once in mere possibility is now in actual existence. It is, and that is both form and matter.

When we are further asked what is matter, we answer readily, It is not God, nor the substance of God; nor the presence of God arrayed in phenomena; nor the uncreated will of God veiled in a world of illusions, deluding us with shadows into the belief of substance: much less is it catter [pejorative term in the book under review], and still less is it nothing. It is a reality, the physical kind or nature of which is as unknown in its quiddity or quality as its existence is certainly known to the reason of man.

* “… its specific nature”
        (Click to enlarge) —

Footnote by Cardinal Manning on Aquinas
The Catholic physics expounded by Cardinal Manning above is the physics of Aristotle.

For a more modern treatment of these topics, see Werner Heisenberg’s Physics and Philosophy. For instance:

“The probability wave of Bohr, Kramers, Slater, however, meant… a tendency for something. It was a quantitative version of the old concept of ‘potentia’ in Aristotelian philosophy. It introduced something standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between possibility and reality.”

Compare to Cardinal Manning’s statement above:

“… between something and nothing I can find no intermediate except potentia…”

To the mathematician, the cardinal’s statement suggests the set of real numbers between 1 and 0, inclusive, by which probabilities are measured. Mappings of purely physical events to this set of numbers are perhaps better described by applied mathematicians and physicists than by philosophers, theologians, or storytellers. (Cf. Voltaire’s mockery of possible-worlds philosophy and, more recently, The Onion‘s mockery of the fictional storyteller Fournier’s quantum flux. See also Mathematics and Narrative.)

Regarding events that are not purely physical– those that have meaning for mankind, and perhaps for God– events affecting conception, birth, life, and death– the remarks of applied mathematicians and physicists are often ignorant and obnoxious, and very often do more harm than good. For such meaningful events, the philosophers, theologians, and storytellers are better guides. See, for instance, the works of Jung and those of his school. Meaningful events sometimes (perhaps, to God, always) exhibit striking correspondences. For the study of such correspondences, the compact topological space [0, 1] discussed above is perhaps less helpful than the finite Galois field GF(64)– in its guise as the I Ching. Those who insist on dragging God into the picture may consult St. Augustine’s Day, 2006, and Hitler’s Still Point.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday August 17, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:48 PM
Design Theory,

“… Kirkman has established an incontestable claim to be regarded as the founding father of the theory of designs.”

— “T.P. Kirkman, Mathematician,” by N.L. Biggs, Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society, Volume 13, Number 2 (March 1981), 97-120.

This paper is now available online for $12.

For more about this subject, see Design Theory, by Beth, Jungnickel, and Lenz, Cambridge U. Press, Volume I (2nd ed., 1999, 1120 pages) and Volume II (2nd ed., 2000, 513 pages).

For an apparently unrelated subject with the same name, see Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field, by Helen Armstrong (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009).

For what the two subjects have in common, see Block Designs in Art and Mathematics.

Monday August 17, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 AM
Garden Prize

Teasers from today’s
online New York Times:

NY Times teasers, morning of Monday, Aug. 17, 2009

High Line specialty:

“In spite of ourselves
 We’ll end up a’sittin’ on a rainbow
 Against all odds
 Honey, we’re the big door prize”

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday August 16, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 PM


Sunday August 16, 2009

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

(Title of a New Yorker
essay dated June 2, 2008)

Kenneth Bacon, an advocate for refugees, died yesterday at 64 on the Feast of the Assumption.

In his honor, we may perhaps be justified in temporarily ignoring the wise saying “never assume.”

From a defense of the dogma of the Assumption:

“On another level, the Assumption epitomizes the reconciliation of the material and spiritual world, as the human Mary enters ‘body and soul to heavenly glory.’ Carl Jung, the transpersonal psychologist, concluded that the doctrine of the Assumption reflected an acceptance of the physical world.”

For other such reconciliations, see

  • The New Yorker on Milton meeting Galileo: “Though Milton was the much younger man, in some ways his world system seems curiously older than the astronomer’s empirical universe.”
  • This journal on Milton’s world system: the four qualities “hot, cold, moist, and dry” and the four elements “Sea, Shore, Air, and Fire.”

    But all these in thir pregnant causes mixt
    Confus’dly, and which thus must ever fight,
    Unless th’ Almighty Maker them ordain
    His dark materials to create more Worlds….

  • This journal’s “For Galois on Bastille Day” reconciles, if only in a literary way, physical and non-physical worlds. The work of Evariste Galois allows us to depict an analogue of Milton’s (and Philip Pullman’s) physical world of dark materials within the purely mathematical world of finite groups. (For a less literary connection between physical and mathematical worlds, see this journal on Bastille Eve.)

Sunday August 16, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:29 AM

In memory of
Kenneth H. Bacon, dead at 64
on August 15th, 2009.

Bacon was an advocate for refugees.

"Even blue-blooded WASPs were refugees at one time; mine came over from England in 1630, fleeing debts for all I know," he said.

Today's New York Times

The Expulsion from Eden

Click cover to enlarge.

Milton by Sorel

Click for details.

Bacon turned 64
last year on November 21.

Log24 on that date:

From a story in the November 21
 Chronicle of Higher Education
on a recent St. Olaf College
reading of Paradise Lost:

"Of man's first disobedience,
     and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree,
     whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World,
     and all our woe….

A red apple made the rounds,
each reader tempting the next."


"Do you like apples?"
Good Will Hunting    

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday August 15, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:00 PM

For St. Willard
Van Orman Quine

                          " ... to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint"
-- Four Quartets


Quine receives
Kyoto Prize

The Timeless:



(64 years,
and more):

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Aug. 15, the 227th day of 2009. There are 138 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 15, 1945, Japanese Emperor Hirohito announced to his subjects in a prerecorded radio address that Japan had accepted terms of surrender for ending World War II.

On this date:

In 1057, Macbeth, King of Scots, was killed in battle by Malcolm, the eldest son of King Duncan, whom Macbeth had slain.


"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
 That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."


“I really have nothing to add.”
— Quine, quoted
on this date in 1998.

Saturday August 15, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:09 AM

An Honest Question:

“Did the Catholic Church just jump the shark by electing Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger? This is an honest question… not a slam.”

— Anonymous user at an online forum on April 19, 2005

A Munificent Answer:

No. That leap of faith was taken long before, on November 1, 1950. See the note below.

Catholic Encyclopedia:

“The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 15 August….

…has a double object: (1) the happy departure of Mary from this life; (2) the assumption of her body into heaven. It is the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin….

Note: By promulgating the Bull Munificentissimus Deus, 1 November, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared infallibly that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was a dogma of the Catholic Faith.”

Also on today’s date (AP, Today in History)–

“In 1998, 29 people were killed by a car bomb that tore apart the center of Omagh, Northern Ireland; a splinter group calling itself the Real IRA claimed responsibility.”

On the same day in 1998, The New York Times published Sarah Boxer’s century-end summary:

Think Tank: At the End of
a Century of Philosophizing,
the Answer Is Don’t Ask

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday August 14, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 AM

Week Seven – Imagine…

Friday, August 14, 2009 @ 10:45 a.m.

“Amphitheater – George Kembel

George Kembel is a co-founder and currently the executive director of the Stanford d.school, also known as the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University….”


Plattner is said to be the 11th richest man in Germany with an estimated fortune of 5 billion USD, according to Forbes….

Plattner is a major owner of the San Jose Sharks hockey team….”

Related material:

San Jose Sharks hockey team logo


See also recent Log24 entries.
Kessler died of a wasp sting
on Monday, August 10, 2009.

Some philosophical background
for those who prefer Native American
religions to the Abrahamic religions
promoted at Chautauqua:

On the Gleaming Way,
by John Collier.
Chapter One:
 “Native American Time.”

Friday August 14, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:10 AM


Escher's 'Metamorphosis II,' the conclusion

Metaphor for Morphean morphosis,
Dreams that wake, transform, and die,
Calm and lucid this psychosis,
Joyce’s nightmare in Escher’s eye.

Steven H. Cullinane, Nov. 7, 1986

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday August 12, 2009

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


The Shining,
1977, page 162:

“A new headline, this one
 dated April 10….”

“The item on the next page
 was a mere squib, dated
 four months later….”


April 10— Good Friday– See
The Paradise of Childhood.

Four months later– Aug. 10

“When he thought of the old man
  he could see him suddenly
  in a field in the spring,
  trying to move a gray boulder.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday August 11, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Online NY Times
at 10:10 AM today:
“Founder of
 Special Olympics was 88″

Ask a Stupid Question…

Details, online NY Times front page-- Death of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and 'Oh, Sting, Where Is Thy Death?'

Related material from
this journal, July 30:

'There's a small hotel....'

In the room the women come and go

— Stephen King, The Shining:
The Wasps’ Nest

NY Times today:

NY Times, Aug. 11, 2009-- Wasps' nest illustrating humorous essay 'Oh, Sting, Where Is Thy Death?'

Related material:

Actual Being
(Oct. 25, 2008)

and The Shining
 (reissue, 1977 1st ed.),
page 162:


Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday August 10, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:29 PM
For Maine Preacher
Stephen King

Union colonel Joshua Chamberlain, on the way to the battle at Gettysburg, remembers his boyhood.

"Maine… is silent and cold.

Maine in the winter: air is darker, the sky is a deeper dark. A darkness comes with winter that these Southern people don't know. Snow falls so much earlier and in the winter you can walk in a snowfield among bushes, and visitors don't know that the bushes are the tops of tall pines, and you're standing in thirty feet of snow. Visitors. Once long ago visitors in the dead of winter: a preacher preaching hell-fire. Scared the fool out of me. And I resented it and Pa said I was right.


When he thought of the old man he could see him suddenly in a field in the spring, trying to move a gray boulder. He always knew instinctively the ones you could move, even though the greater part was buried in the earth, and he expected you to move the rock and not discuss it. A hard and silent man, an honest man, a noble man. Little humor but sometimes the door opened and you saw the warmth within a long way off, a certain sadness, a slow, remote, unfathomable quality as if the man wanted to be closer to the world but did not know how. Once Chamberlain had a speech memorized from Shakespeare and gave it proudly, the old man listening but not looking, and Chamberlain remembered it still: 'What a piece of work is man… in action how like an angel!' And the old man, grinning, had scratched his head and then said stiffly, 'Well, boy, if he's an angel, he's sure a murderin' angel.' And Chamberlain had gone on to school to make an oration on the subject: Man, the Killer Angel. And when the old man heard about it he was very proud, and Chamberlain felt very good remembering it."

— Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels: A Novel of the Civil War


Monday August 10, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Pictures Within Pictures

"The Chinese language is written in ideograms, pictures. Think of a DO NOT ENTER pictogram, a circle with a diagonal slash, a type of ideogram. It tells you what to do or not do, but not why. The why is part of a larger context, a bigger picture. Such is the nature of the Chinese language. Simple yet complex. Pictures within pictures."

Customer review at Amazon.com

See also the pictures in this journal on today's date five years ago.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday August 9, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 PM
WIVB TV Buffalo, 2:56 PM ET Aug. 9, 2009, Severe Weather Statement accompanied by Instant Action 'Ace of Aces' aerial dogfight game


See also "Chautauqua"
at Stormfront.org and
 the five entries ending with
"Unfriendly Persuasion"
this morning.

"Today's Sinner"

Sunday August 9, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:11 AM

Unfriendly Persuasion

"What disturbs Americans of all ideological persuasions is the fear that almost everything, not just government, is fixed or manipulated by some powerful hidden hand…."

Frank Rich in today's New York Times

Franz Liebkind (played by Kenneth Mars) in 'The Producers,' with helmet and pigeon

Author! Author!

Sunday August 9, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:45 AM

On the Waterfront

"On the Hoboken waterfront, people scattered as pieces of debris fell from the sky. A wheel from one of the aircraft lay on Hoboken's Sinatra Drive." —Associated Press, August 8, 2009

So set 'em up, Joe…

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday August 7, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

Angel and Beast

Screenwriter Frank Pierson spoke at
Chautauqua Institution this morning.

The gist of his remarks may be found
in an undated graduation speech
at WarnerSisters.com.

His suggested motto for filmmakers:
   "To reach and touch
     the angel in the beast."

The Chautauquan Daily
Friday, August 7, 2009
by Sara Toth, staff writer —

"Pierson listed his favorite movies as
the Italian and French films that, after
World War II, captivated him and his
'Those movies were overwhelmingly
fascinating to us, and changed the way
in which we saw movies, and the way we
saw our lives and what we wanted to do
with ourselves,' he said. 'There were so
many that were absolutely marvelous.'
Such movies are not made any
more, Pierson said, and the quality
of the movies now pale in comparison
to those of the 1970s and 1980s.
About once a year, the Coen brothers
release a movie, and Woody Allen
'occasionally' makes a good film,
Pierson said. But the mainstream movies
that are shown in the multiplexes now
are geared toward only one audience:
young men with disposable incomes.
'That's really catering so extensively
to a rather limited audience-- a mentally
retarded and emotionally stunted
audience at that-- that there's not a lot left
over for the rest of us,' Pierson said."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday August 6, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:44 PM
A Fisher of Men
Cover, Schulberg's novelization of 'Waterfront,' Bantam paperback
Update: The above image was added
at about 11 AM ET Aug. 8, 2009.

Dove logo, First United Methodist Church of Bloomington, Indiana

From a webpage of the First United Methodist Church of Bloomington, Indiana–


Dr. Joe Emerson, April 24, 2005–

"The Ultimate Test"

— Text: I Peter 2:1-9

Dr. Emerson falsely claims that the film "On the Waterfront" was based on a book by the late Budd Schulberg (who died yesterday). (Instead, the film's screenplay, written by Schulberg– similar to an earlier screenplay by Arthur Miller, "The Hook"–  was based on a series of newspaper articles by Malcolm Johnson.)

"The movie 'On the Waterfront' is once more in rerun. (That’s when Marlon Brando looked like Marlon Brando.  That’s the scary part of growing old when you see what he looked like then and when he grew old.)  It is based on a book by Budd Schulberg."


Emerson goes on to discuss the book, Waterfront, that Schulberg wrote based on his screenplay–

"In it, you may remember a scene where Runty Nolan, a little guy, runs afoul of the mob and is brutally killed and tossed into the North River.  A priest is called to give last rites after they drag him out."


Hook on cover of Budd Schulberg's novel 'Waterfront' (NY Times obituary, detail)

New York Times today

Dr. Emerson flunks the test.


Dr. Emerson's sermon is, as noted above (Text: I Peter 2:1-9), not mainly about waterfronts, but rather about the "living stones" metaphor of the Big Fisherman.

My own remarks on the date of Dr. Emerson's sermon

The 4x6 array used in the Miracle Octad Generator of R. T. Curtis

Those who like to mix mathematics with religion may regard the above 4×6 array as a context for the "living stones" metaphor. See, too, the five entries in this journal ending at 12:25 AM ET on November 12 (Grace Kelly's birthday), 2006, and today's previous entry.

Thursday August 6, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 6:00 AM

The Running

"Budd Schulberg, who wrote the award-winning screenplay for 'On the Waterfront' and created a classic American archetype of naked ambition, Sammy Glick, in his novel What Makes Sammy Run?, died on Wednesday. He was 95…."

Running man with blue background on the cover of 'Eye of Cat,' by Roger Zelazny

Log24, Dec. 16, 2003:

See, too, Blue Matrices, and
a link for Beethoven's birthday:

Juliette Binoche with musical score from Kieslowski's 'Blue'

Song for the
Unification of Europe

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday August 5, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:30 AM


Word and Image

NYT obituary summaries for Charles Gwathmey and Edward Hall, morning of Aug. 5, 2009

From Hall's obituary

"Edward T. Hall, a cultural anthropologist
who pioneered the study of nonverbal
 communication and interactions between
members of different ethnic groups,
 died July 20 at his home in
 Santa Fe, N.M. He was 95."

NY Times piece quoted here on
 the date of Hall's death:

"July 20, 1969, was the moment NASA needed, more than anything else in this world, the Word. But that was something NASA's engineers had no specifications for. At this moment, that remains the only solution to recovering NASA's true destiny, which is, of course, to build that bridge to the stars."

— Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff, an account of the Mercury Seven astronauts.

The Word according to St. John:

Jill St. John, star of 'Diamonds are Forever'


From Hall's obituary:

"Mr. Hall first became interested in
space and time as forms of cultural
 expression while working on
Navajo and Hopi reservations
 in the 1930s."

Log24, July 29

Changing Woman:

"Kaleidoscope turning…

Juliette Binoche in 'Blue'  The 24 2x2 Cullinane Kaleidoscope animated images

Shifting pattern within   
unalterable structure…"
— Roger Zelazny,  
Eye of Cat  

"We are the key."
Eye of Cat  

Update of about 4:45 PM 8/5:

Paul Newall, "Kieślowski's Three Colours Trilogy"

"Julie recognises the music of the busker outside playing a recorder as that of her husband's. When she asks him where he heard it, he replies that he makes up all sorts of things. This is an instance of a theory of Kieślowski's that 'different people, in different places, are thinking the same thing but for different reasons.' With regard to music in particular, he held what might be characterised as a Platonic view according to which notes pre-exist and are picked out and assembled by people. That these can accord with one another is a sign of what connects people, or so he believed."

The above photo of Juliette Binoche in Blue accompanying the quotations from Zelazny illustrates Kieślowski's concept, with graphic designs instead of musical notes. Some of the same designs are discussed in Abstraction and the Holocaust (Mark Godfrey, Yale University Press, 2007). (See the Log24 entries of June 11, 2009.)

Related material:

"Jeffrey Overstreet, in his book Through a Screen Darkly, comments extensively on Blue. He says these stones 'are like strands of suspended crystalline tears, pieces of sharp-edged grief that Julie has not been able to express.'….

Throughout the film the color blue crops up, highlighting the mood of Julie's grief. A blue light occurs frequently, when Julie is caught by some fleeting memory. Accompanied by strains of an orchestral composition, possibly her husband's, these blue screen shots hold for several seconds while Julie is clearly processing something. The meaning of this blue light is unexplained. For Overstreet, it is the spirit of reunification of broken things."

Martin Baggs at Mosaic Movie Connect Group on Sunday, March 15, 2009. (Cf. Log24 on that date.)

For such a spirit, compare Binoche's blue mobile in Blue with Binoche's gathered shards in Bee Season.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday August 4, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:59 PM
Due Deference

The New York Times today
on architect Charles Gwathmey,
who died Monday:

"Mr. Gwathmey's Astor Place
condominium tower drew
criticism from those who
said it was insufficiently
deferential to its

Astor Place tower
(click to enlarge):

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/090804-GwathmeyTowerSm.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.



The above sculpture,
popularly known as
The Borg Cube,
appeared here on


Photo by Jesse Chan-Norris

The Borg Cube, with
Cooper Union at left

For deferential remarks, see
Annals of Collective Consciousness.

See also the link
from noon today to
Nobel Prize Day, 2006,
and the link there to
J. G. Ballard on modernism.

"So, there is one place
where modernism triumphs.
As in the cases of the pyramids
and the Taj Mahal, the Siegfried line
 and the Atlantic wall, death always
 calls on the very best architects."

— J. G. Ballard,
"A Handful of Dust"

Tuesday August 4, 2009

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

Images from Log24 on
December 10, 2006
Nobel Prize Day, and
the day after
  Kirk Douglas’s birthday

Kirk Douglas promoting his film 'Diamonds'

Kirk Douglas ad for
the film “Diamonds”

Motto of Plato's Academy: 'Let no one ignorant of geometry enter'

The 3x3 grid

Images from
Google News
   at noon today —

(Click for details.)

3x3 array of Cameron Douglas images from Google News, August 4, 2009

“The serpent’s eyes shine
    as he wraps around the vine…”

Don Henley on a California hotel

Tuesday August 4, 2009

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

Just What We Need

Thomas Pynchon's new novel
Inherent Vice comes out today.

Title of a review in
The New York Times:
Another Doorway to the
Paranoid Pynchon Dimension

More interesting doorways:

Doorway to 'The Aleph Sanctuary,' by Mati Klarwein

An Aleph for Pynchon (July 9)

Click on the doorway for details.

Rabbi Ephraim Oshry

Abstract Aleph

The Aleph (July 8)

Click on the aleph for details.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday August 3, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 AM
For Your Consideration

The Police, 'Synchronicity' album, detail of cover

LA Times yesterday:

Steven Miessner, keeper
of the Academy’s Oscars,
died of a heart attack at 48
on Wednesday, July 29, 2009:

LA Times obit for Steven Miessner, 'Keeper of the Oscars,' who died July 29, 2009

Click the above to enlarge.

Steve Miessner, keeper of the Oscars, on Feb. 21, 2009

Steve Miessner, the keeper of the Oscars,
packages the statues for transport

to Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles
in preparation for the 81st
 Academy Awards ceremony held
on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009
(Chris Carlson/AP).

From the date of
Miessner’s death

Adam and God (Sistine Chapel), with Jungian Self-Symbol and Ojo de Dios (The Diamond Puzzle)

From the following day:

Log24 on Thursday, July 30, 2009

Annals of Aesthetics, continued:

Academy Awards
for Cambridge

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

Arrest of Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., in Cambridge, Mass.

“A poem cannot exhaust reality,
  but it can arrest it.

At War with the Word:
   Literary Theory and
   Liberal Education
   by R. V. Young,
   Chapter One

“Who knows where madness lies?”

— Quoted here July 29, 2009
(the day the keeper of
the Oscars died)

Possible clues:

From Google News at about
7 AM ET Mon., Aug. 3, 2009:

Henry Louis Gates Jr. mulls moving over death threats

Boston Herald – Susan MiltonJessica Van Sack – ‎6 hours ago‎
CHILMARK – Black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. has received numerous death threats since he accused a white officer of

Death threats may make Gates move

The Daily Inquirer – ‎4 hours ago‎
Henry Louis Gates Jr. said yesterday that Harvard University suggested he move after receiving numerous death threats since he accused a white officer of

Gates: I’ve received death threats

NECN – ‎9 hours ago‎
Gates spoke at a book signing on Martha’s Vineyard. He also said that he has received death and bomb threats after the incident at his Cambridge home.

Black scholar says he’s able to joke about arrest

The Associated Press – Denise Lavoie – ‎17 hours ago‎
Gates said he received numerous threats after the incident, including an e-mail that read, “You should die, you’re a racist.” Gates has changed his e-mail

Gates grateful for island haven

Cape Cod Times – Susan Milton – ‎4 hours ago‎
As a result of death threats and bomb threats, he hasn’t returned to his Cambridge home, leased from Harvard University. The university has encouraged him

Gates makes public appearance after race debate

Worcester Telegram – Denise Lavoie – ‎20 hours ago‎
Gates, who spoke at a book signing on Martha’s Vineyard Sunday, says there also have been some serious moments. He says he received death and bomb threats

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday August 2, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:20 PM

Spider Girl

"The 'magico-religious' tarantella
 is a solo dance performed
supposedly to cure…
 the delirium and contortions
 attributed to the bite of a spider
at harvest (summer) time."


Mira Sorvino in 'Tarantella,' with film's motto-- 'Life's a dance'

Garfield on Sunday, August 2, 2009: Spider gets tail-slap learned from Jersey cow, says 'Those Jersey girls are TOUGH.'


Life's a dance
   (and Jersey girlshttp://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif
are tough).

http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif For Mira Sorvino, star of "Tarantella,"
    who was raised in Tenafly, New Jersey–

    Bull on Sacred Cows:

"Poor late nineteenth-century, poor early twentieth-century! Oh, brave new world that had such people in it: people like Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Kurt Gödel. Seven people who did more than all the machine-guns and canons of the Somme Valley or the Panzer divisions of Hitler to end the old world and to create– if not the answers– at least the questions that started off the new, each one of them killing one of the sacred cows on which Western consciousness had fed for so long…."

— Apostolos Doxiadis, "Writing Incompleteness-– the Play" (pdf).

See also Mathematics and Narrative.

Sunday August 2, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:32 AM
The Dance
at Lughnasa

Jean Butler dances  'On Dangerous Ground'

Related material:

Actual Being
Happy Mate Change,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday August 1, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:26 AM
And the Tony
   goes to…

The New York Times

“Tony Rosenthal, who created ‘Alamo,’ the eternally popular revolving black cube in Astor Place in the East Village, and many other public sculptures, died on Tuesday [July 28, 2009] in Southampton, N.Y. He was 94.”

The Astor Place sculpture, near Cooper Union, is also known as The Borg Cube:


The Borg Cube, with
Cooper Union at left

Wikipedia on The Borg Queen:

“The Borg Queen is the focal point within the Borg collective consciousness.”

Possible Borg-Queen candidates:

Helen Mirren, who appeared in this journal on the date of Rosenthal’s death (see Monumental Anniversary), and Julie Taymor, who recently directed Mirren as Prospera in a feminist version of “The Tempest.”

Both Mirren and Taymor would appreciate the work of Anita Borg, who pioneered the role of women in computer science. “Her colleagues mourned Borg’s passing, even as they stressed how crucial she was in creating a kind of collective consciousness for women working in the heavily male-dominated field of computer technology.” —Salon.com obituary


Anita Borg

Borg died on Sunday, April 6, 2003. See The New York Times Magazine for that date in Art Wars: Geometry as Conceptual Art


(Cover typography revised)

I would award the Borg-Queen Tony to Taymor, who seems to have a firmer grasp of technology than Mirren.

Julie Taymor directing a film

See Language Game,
Wittgenstein’s birthday, 2009.

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