Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mass Communication

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

Suggested by the phrase "graphic resonance"
in last night's post

From Type and Image: The Language of Graphic Design,
by Philip B. Meggs, published by Wiley, 1992,
"Chapter Four: Graphic Resonance"–

"In Chapter One, graphic resonance  was defined as a term borrowed from music. It means a reverberation or echo, a subtle quality…. Graphic designers bring a resonance to visual communications through… color, shape, texture, and the interrelations between forms in space. Mass communication is given an aesthetic dimension…."

For instance…



Graphic design
from yesterday




Elaine Woo in today's LA Times  on the death yesterday of a famous teacher–

"Escalante's dramatic success raised public consciousness of what it took to be not just a good teacher but a great one. One of the most astute analyses of his classroom style came from the actor who shadowed him for days before portraying him in 'Stand and Deliver.'

'He's the most stylized man I've ever come across,' Olmos, who received an Oscar nomination for his performance, told the New York Times  in 1988. 'He had three basic personalities– teacher, father-friend and street-gang equal– and he would juggle them, shift in an instant. . . . He's one of the greatest calculated entertainers.'"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Eightfold Symmetries

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

Harvard Crimson headline today–
Deconstructing Design

Reconstructing Design

The phrase “eightfold way” in today’s
previous entry has a certain
graphic resonance…

For instance, an illustration from the
Wikipedia article “Noble Eightfold Path” —

Dharma Wheel from Wikipedia

Adapted detail–

Adapted Dharma Wheel detail

See also, from
St. Joseph’s Day

Weyl's 'Symmetry,' the triquetrum, and the eightfold cube

Harvard students who view Christian symbols
with fear and loathing may meditate
on the above as a representation of
the Gankyil rather than of the Trinity.

Lie Groups for Holy Week

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:01 PM

Great line reading in 'Angels and Demons'- 'The God PARTICLE?'

Deep Down Things: The Breathtaking Beauty of Particle Physics, by Bruce A. Schumm, Johns Hopkins University Press, hardcover, Oct. 20, 2004, pp. 94-95–

"In the early 1960s, a physicist at the California Institute of Technology by the name of Murray Gell-Mann interpreted the patterns observed in the emerging array of elementary particles as being due to a symmetry….

Gell-Mann's eightfold way was perhaps the first conscious application of the results of the pure mathematical field of group theory and, in particular, the theory of 'Lie groups,' to a problem in physics."

From the preface–

"I didn't come up with the title for this book. For that, I can thank the people at the Johns Hopkins University Press…. my only reservation about the title is that… it implies a degree of literacy to which I can't lay claim."


Remedial reading for those who might have fallen for Schumm's damned nonsense–

 "Quantum Mechanics and Group Theory I," by Dallas C. Kennedy

Group Theory and Physics, by Shlomo Sternberg

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Palm at the End of the Mind

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:12 AM

"Democrats– in conclusion– Democrats in America
were put on earth to do one thing— Drag the
ignorant hillbilly half of this country into the next
century, which in their case is the 19th."

Bill Maher on Friday


Happy Palm Sunday
to Appalachia and
Happy Birthday, Reba

Friday, March 26, 2010

ART WARS: Hooligan

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 AM

You Can't Make This Stuff Up


Art review by Holland Cotter in The New York Times this morning–

"Although Confucius initially escaped severe censure by Mao, in the early 1970s he became 'No. 1 hooligan,' the embodiment of the hated 'four olds' (old culture, old ideology, old customs and old habits), a symbol of ruling-class oppression."

For another hooligan fond of old customs, see yesterday's post and Sterling Hayden in "The Asphalt Jungle"–

James Whitmore and Sterling Hayden in 1950-- Year of the Hooligan

Related material:

China's Cultural Revolution portrayed Confucius as the 'number one hooligan' (Yale U. Press, 2001)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Marshall, JC, and…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Southern Comfort


"Jim’s appetite for booze and drugs was legendary. In fact, one of the secrets of his success was that he kept taking pictures after all the other photographers went to bed.

What’s most striking about his photographs is how even in the most chaotic moments he finds clarity and candor. Jim’s photographs are remarkable for the ease with which they convey something deep and real about their subjects….

What comes across is a deep empathy for the musicians he photographed, and an ability to capture their pride and sense of purpose, even when circumstances were less than ideal. I love the shot of… Johnny Cash, heavy and brooding before his 1968 performance at Folsom Prison, with the guard tower looming over his shoulder."

Unauthorized copy from Marshall's gallery


"Recently, over scotches in one of Jim’s favorite New York bars, I asked what he sees in this collection of his work. 'How the fuck should I know?' he said. 'I was there. I took some photographs. This is them….'"

In Memoriam… The classic film Asphalt Jungle and a hymn for Hunter S. Thompson that will do as well for Sterling Hayden, Marshall, and Cash.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 PM

At the Still Point…

Headline from a weblog at
the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

8:07 AM March 24, 2010–

Obama, Netanyahu doing
a complicated little dance

Related recent quotation here–


See also

A Dance Results,

St. Augustine's Day 2006, and

Religious Symbolism at Harvard

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050807-Howard.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Turning Point

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 PM

"'The Google affair is both catalyst and evidence of change,' said Arthur Kroeber, managing director of Dragonomics, a Beijing-based economics firm. 'We are at a turning point.'"

Washington Post, 3:16 PM ET today

"Inside the game people are asking each other whether they were right about something they encountered in it– 'When you entered the dungeon did you see that dragon in the fireplace or did I imagine it?' But someone observing them from the outside wants to shout: 'You’re not dealing with anything real. You’ve just got a silly virtual reality helmet on.' External nominalists say the same thing, if more politely, to mathematical practitioners."

— David Corfield, March 2010 European Mathematical Society Newsletter, quoted here on 3/16

Other "silly virtual reality helmets"–
The Bible
  and The I Ching  (The Change Classic).

See also Sunday's entry.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Galois Field of Dreams

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:01 AM

It is well known that the seven (22 + 2 +1) points of the projective plane of order 2 correspond to 2-point subspaces (lines) of the linear 3-space over the two-element field Galois field GF(2), and may be therefore be visualized as 2-cube subsets of the 2×2×2 cube.

Similarly, recent posts* have noted that the thirteen (32 + 3 + 1) points of the projective plane of order 3 may be seen as 3-cube subsets in the 3×3×3 cube.

The twenty-one (42 + 4 +1) points of the (unique) projective plane of order 4 may also be visualized as subsets of a cube– in this case, the 4×4×4 cube. This visualization is somewhat more complicated than the 3×3×3 case, since the 4×4×4 cube has no central subcube, and each projective-plane point corresponds to four, not three, subcubes.

These three cubes, with 8, 27, and 64 subcubes, thus serve as geometric models in a straightforward way– first as models of finite linear spaces, hence as models for small Galois geometries derived from the linear spaces. (The cubes with 8 and 64 subcubes also serve in a less straightforward, and new, way as finite-geometry models– see The Eightfold Cube, Block Designs, and Solomon's Cube.)

A group of collineations** of the 21-point plane is one of two nonisomorphic simple groups of order 20,160. The other is the linear group acting on the linear 4-space over the two-element Galois field  GF(2). The 1899 paper establishing the nonisomorphism notes that "the expression Galois Field is perhaps not yet in general use."

Coordinates of the 4×4×4 cube's subcubes can, of course, be regarded as elements of the Galois field GF(64).

The preceding remarks were purely mathematical. The "dreams" of this post's title are not. See…

Number and Time, by Marie-Louise von Franz

See also Geometry of the I Ching and a search in this journal for "Galois + Ching."

* February 27 and March 13

** G20160 in Mitchell 1910,  LF(3,22) in Edge 1965

— Mitchell, Ulysses Grant, "Geometry and Collineation Groups
   of the Finite Projective Plane PG(2,22),"
   Princeton Ph.D. dissertation (1910)

— Edge, W. L., "Some Implications of the Geometry of
   the 21-Point Plane," Math. Zeitschr. 87, 348-362 (1965)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Field Theory

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:29 PM

Parker’s Wake

A continuation of Wednesday’s “Field of Dreams” link

Internet Movie Database comment

“The Kid From Left Field” is a wonderful baseball film made in the early fifties and breathes the nostalgia of that time period. Child actor Billy Chapin becomes a batboy for the woeful Bisons (a copy of the old St. Louis Browns) and proceeds to inform the players of how they can correct their individual problems. Unbeknownst to the team, Chapin’s wisdom is from his father, a washed-up player who has become a peanut vendor and lacks confidence and courage– in spite of his obvious baseball knowledge. Pretty soon, Chapin becomes the nine year old manager of the team with dramatic results that bind father to son; you can’t help but root for the Bisons! A baseball fantasy– but filled with much innocence and charm.

“…dramatic results that bind father to son….”

Not to mention the Holy Ghost. See Fess Parker, who died Thursday, in the “Left Field” film and in an essay by Roger Cooke in the April Notices of the American Mathematical Society

Life on the Mathematical Frontier: Legendary Figures and Their Adventures


Fess Parker in
“The Kid from Left Field,” 1953

Possible associative links between recent Log24 posts and the baseball theme of the April AMS Notices

  1. The film “Field of Dreams” mentioned above is a resurrection story.
  2. Wednesday’s link to simultaneous multiple-level associations leads to the Gameplayers of Zan cover that also appears in Thursday’s post. That cover deals with a resurrection myth in Gameplayers.
  3. The Finnegans Wake resurrection myth is mentioned in Wednesday’s post “Spring Training.”

Associative links, though entertaining, have of course their limitations in logical argument.

A notable recent example– Jon Stewart’s parody of Glenn Beck.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Garden of Forking Paths

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:18 AM

For Alyssa


 An Old Magic Symbol


… and for Dan Brown —

Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks) and a corner of Solomon's Cube

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cubist Tune

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:29 AM

For Desconvencida

Blue tesseract cover art, blue crystals in 'Bleu,' lines from 'Blue Guitar'

See also Wallace Stevens,
"The Relations between Poetry and Painting"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Prime Directive

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:01 PM


“317 is a prime, not because we think so,
or because our minds are shaped in one way
rather than another, but because it is so,
because mathematical reality is built that way.”

 – G. H. Hardy,
A Mathematician’s Apology

The Ratzinger brothers in Germany, Sept. 11, 2006

The above photo is taken from
a post in this journal dated
March 10, 2010.

This was, as the Pope might say,
the dies natalis  of a master gameplayer–

New York Times, March 16, 2010–

Tim Holland, Backgammon Master,
Dies at 79


Tim Holland, who was widely considered the world’s greatest backgammon player during that ancient board game’s modern heyday, in the 1960s and ’70s, died on March 10 at his home in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 79. <<more>>

In Holland's honor, a post
from Columbus Day, 2004

Tuesday October 12, 2004

11:11 PM

 Time and Chance

Today’s winning lottery numbers
in Pennsylvania (State of Grace):

Midday: 373
Evening: 816.

New Yorker cartoon-- Heavenly chessboard-- Man peering over the edge sees backgammon board

A quote from Holland on backgammon–

"It’s the luck factor that seduces everyone
into believing that they are good,
that they can actually win,
but that’s just wishful thinking."

For those who are, like G.H. Hardy,
suspicious of wishful thinking,
here is a quote and a picture from
Holland's ordinary  birthday, March 3

"The die is cast." — Caesar

Group of 8 cube-face permutations generated by reflections in midplanes parallel to faces

Spring Training

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

A search for previous mentions of Alexandre Borovik in this journal (see previous entry) yields the following–

In Roger Rosenblatt's academic novel Beet, committee members propose their personal plans for a new, improved curriculum:

“… Once the students really got into playing with toy soldiers, they would understand history with hands-on excitement.”

To demonstrate his idea, he’d brought along a shoe box full of toy doughboys and grenadiers, and was about to reenact the Battle of Verdun on the committee table when Heilbrun stayed his hand. “We get it,” he said.

“That’s quite interesting, Molton,” said Booth [a chemist]. “But is it rigorous enough?”

At the mention of the word, everyone, save Peace, sat up straight.

“Rigor is so important,” said Kettlegorf.

“We must have rigor,” said Booth.

“You may be sure,” said the offended Kramer. “I never would propose anything lacking rigor.”

This passage suggests a search for commentary on rigor at Verdun. Voilà

d) The Great War: a study in systematic rigor

… Because treaties had been signed, national pride staked, hands shaken, and honor pledged, two thousand years of civilization based on energetic, creative sacrifice and belief in every person’s sacred spark dissolved in smoldering ruins.  Europe’s leaders played at the “game” of honor without duly considering whether their ends were honorable.  The old boys incited their children— others’ children, and often their own— to volunteer for the slaughterhouse because “death for the fatherland is sweet and fitting.” 7

     If men will thus fling their own sons into the fiery furnace in an obsession with making the system go, what hope is there that a mere game— a true game, a joyful pastime— will liberate itself from systematic rigor to increase the quality of play or to allow more players on the field?

7 Wilfrid Owen borrowed this line from the Roman elegist Horace to mock bitterly the European Old Guard’s staunch support of the War.  The poem was one of Owen’s last: he was killed one week before the Armistice.

— "A  Synthetic Meditation on Baseball, Racism, Closed Systems, and Spiritual Rigor Mortis," by John R. Harris

The Beet excerpt is from a post of Sunday, May 25, 2008– "Hall of Mirrors."

Related material on death and rigor appears in a 1963 commentary by Thornton Wilder on a novel by James Joyce–

"… Joyce's interest is not primarily in the puns but in the simultaneous multiple-level associations which they permit him to pursue. Finnegans Wake appears to me as an immense poem whose subject is the continuity of what is Living, viewed under the guise of a resurrection myth. This poem is conducted under the utmost formal rigor controlling every word and in a style that enables the author through apparently preposterous incongruities to arrive at an ultimate unification and harmony."

"Build it and they will come." — Field of Dreams

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Variations on a Theme

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:29 PM

Today's previous entry was "Gameplayers of the Academy."

More on this theme–

David Corfield in the March 2010
European Mathematical Society newsletter

    "Staying on the theme of games, the mathematician
Alexandre Borovik* once told me he thinks of mathematics
as a Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. If
so, it would show up very clearly the difference between
internal and external viewpoints. Inside the game people
are asking each other whether they were right about
something they encountered in it– 'When you entered
the dungeon did you see that dragon in the fireplace or
did I imagine it?' But someone observing them from the
outside wants to shout: 'You’re not dealing with anything
real. You’ve just got a silly virtual reality helmet on.' External
nominalists say the same thing, if more politely, to
mathematical practitioners. But in an important way the
analogy breaks down. Even if the players interact with
the game to change its functioning in unforeseen ways,
there were the original programmers who set the bounds
for what is possible by the choices they made. When they
release the next version of the game they will have made
changes to allow new things to happen. In the case of
mathematics, it’s the players themselves who make these
choices. There’s no further layer outside.
    What can we do then instead to pin down internal reality?"

*See previous references to Borovik in this journal.

Related material:

The Diamond Theory vs. the Story Theory of Truth,

Infantilizing the Audience, and

It's Still the Same Old Story…God of War III

Gameplayers of the Academy

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

New Game

In memory of a Jesuit who died on February 22 (see yesterday's "For the Ides of March")–

“The Game in the Ship cannot be approached as a job, a vocation, a career, or a recreation. To the contrary, it is Life and Death itself at work there. In the Inner Game, we call the Game Dhum Welur, the Mind of God."

— M. A. Foster, The Gameplayers of Zan

"… for Othello, no less than his creator Shakespeare, death without speechmaking is almost unthinkable."

"Walter Ong," by Jeet Heer (Book & Culture, July/August 2004)

"This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood…."

— Jesuit quote at David Lavery's weblog today

See also this journal on February 22, the date of the Jesuit death. A post on that date mentions Ong and his teacher McLuhan, and displays a McLuhan figure related to the "joke" quote above–

McLuhan 'tetrad' figure with four diamonds surrounding a fifth, the medium

Click figure for background.

Ong discussed "agonistic" culture.
See "Sunday's Theater" and a film
based on the novel discussed there–

Menin... First line, in Greek, of the Iliad

Classics 101

IMAGE- Anthony Hopkins in 'The Human Stain'

Prof. Coleman Silk introduces
freshmen to academic values

For academic gameplayers who prefer
less emotionally challenging subjects,
there is Othello Online —


"New Game. You May Pass for White to Start."

Monday, March 15, 2010

But Seriously…

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


"You are retracing your steps."
— Jacques Derrida



See also today's update (scroll down)
to Half-Circle Patterns as well as
Angels and Demons and Symbology.

For the Ides of March

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM

A Funny Thing Happened…


"Beware the Jabberwock!" — Joshua


Alice and Joshua in Central Park

(See "He Ain't Heavy," March 10)

"Do you like movies about gladiators?"

The Craft, continued

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:25 AM

Phoebe Halliwell of 'Charmed'

Phoebe Halliwell of "Charmed"

Review of a new film — "She’s Out of My League has moments of humor and insight, but it’s bogged down by excessive vulgarity and cartoonishness."

Sometimes that's what it takes

Janis Joplin sings 'Ball and Chain', illustrated by R. Crumb

Click to enlarge.

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
Gravity's Rainbow   

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 14–A Very Important Date

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 PM

Graves Takes the Red Pill

NY Times announces the death of Mission Impossible actor Peter Graves

Joplin at the Lapin Blanc

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 PM

For Alyssa

From Google News this evening–

Now Showing- “Alice in Wonderland”

Red and Black – Michael Prochaska
Tim Burton receives praise for his imaginative constructions
(“Nightmare Before Christmas” was inspired by a dream),
but if you analyze his work on adaptations of classic
children-oriented escapism, whimsical surrealism bears
a ball and chain.


A serenade for Einstein's birthday–

Ball and Chain– Janis Joplin

If you got it today you don't want it tomorrow, man,
'cause you don't need it, 'cause as a matter of fact,
as we discovered in the train,
tomorrow never happens, man.
It's all the same fucking day, man.

ART WARS: Sunday’s Theater

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 PM

Yesterday's post on Sabbath's Theater, the 1995 novel by Philip Roth, posed the problem of why Roth would make his friend, painter R. B. Kitaj, the model for the novel's obnoxious protagonist. (See Wikipedia's claim, below, that this happened.)


Here is a possible explanation for the Wikipedia claim–

Sunday's Theater

Saturday, March 13, 2010

ART WARS continued…

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

Remember the Sabbath Day

Wikipedia states that painter R.B. Kitaj (see previous references) was the model for the protagonist of the Philip Roth novel Sabbath's Theater.

A Google search shows that the article (no longer online) on Kitaj cited as a source by Wikipedia does indeed make this claim– 

In-Your-Face Outsider | Jerusalem Report | Jerusalem Post
By MATT NESVISKY not least, Philip Roth, who modeled
the protagonist of the 1995 novel "Sabbath's Theater" largely after Kitaj.

The rest of Nesvisky's article may or may not support his claim. It is available by subscribing to HighBeam.

Related material–

The New York Times on Oct. 24, 2007–

R. B. Kitaj, Painter of Moody Human Dramas, Dies at 74

Ileana Sonnabend, Art World Figure, Dies at 92

Ileana Sonnabend’s eye, shrewdness and lasting alliance with her first husband, Leo Castelli, made her one of the most formidable contemporary art dealers of her time.

"Sonnabend" means "Saturday" in German.

Some say the Sabbath is Saturday, others say Sunday.

Here is the Log24 entry for the day that
Kitaj and Sonnabend died– a Sunday

Sunday October 21, 2007

10:31 AM


continued from
October 31, 2005

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/Gameplayers12.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From The Gameplayers of Zan

“The Game in the Ship cannot be approached as a job, a vocation, a career, or a recreation. To the contrary, it is Life and Death itself at work there. In the Inner Game, we call the Game Dhum Welur, the Mind of God. And that Mind is a terrible mind, that one may not face directly and remain whole. Some of the forerunners guessed it long ago– first the Hebrews far back in time, others along the way, and they wisely left it alone, left the Arcana alone.”

The New York Times on Sonnabend:

… Also talked about was the Sonnabend 1991 show of Jeff Koons’s “Made in Heaven” series of paintings and sculptures that showed the artist engaged in sexual acts with his wife, Ilona Staller.

Mrs. Sonnabend was variously described as “an iron marshmallow” and “a cross between Buddha and Machiavelli.” Short and plump, she was grandmotherly in appearance from a relatively early age due in part to an illness that necessitated a wig.

Her genteel, old Europe manner belied an often imperious yet bohemian and self-deprecating personality. Her soft, fluty voice often left a listener unprepared for the force of her comments, which she could deliver in at least five languages.

Happy Women's History Month.

Ideas of Reference

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

Thanks to David Lavery for the following–


See also references in Log24 to "Hitler Plans Burning Man," as well as…

"Imagine a multidimensional spider's web…."
— Alan Watts in Wikipedia article on Indra's Net.


"the Burning Man Evolution of
 Spider Robinson's Cross-Time Saloon."

The paranoid schizophrenics among us might also enjoy what they may, if they like, view as a coded reference to today's date, 3/13–

Page 313 in Robert Stone's classic novel
A Flag for Sunrise  (Knopf hardcover, 1981).

Space Cowboy

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

From yesterday's Seattle Times

According to police, employees of a Second Avenue mission said the suspect, clad in black and covered in duct tape, had come into the mission "and threatened to blow the place up." He then told staffers "that he was a vampire and wanted to eat people."

The man… also called himself "a space cowboy"….

This suggests two film titles…

Plan 9 from Outer Space

Rebecca Goldstein and a Cullinane quaternion

and Apollo's 13

The 13 symmetry axes of the (Euclidean) cube–
exactly one axis for each pair of opposite
  subcubes in the (Galois) 3×3×3 cube–

The 13 symmetry axes of the cube

Friday, March 12, 2010

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 PM

Alyssa's Wonderland

Google News at about 4:50 PM ET today–

Vampire Scare in Seattle-- Google News about 4:50 PM ET 3/12/2010

Related material:

Alyssa Milano stars in
Embrace of the Vampire

See also March 6, "Alyssa Is Wonderland,"
today's previous post, and (for fans
of Seattle films and Lewis Carroll)
"Deep Play: Mimzy vs. Mimsy."

Catholic Tastes, continued

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM

For young Andrew Cusack, should he ever care to read this journal.

Bertrand Russell and T. S. Eliot: their dialogue

"The window of the room in which Eeldrop and Appleplex talk opens to a view which includes a police station. Again Eliot delineates the two men on the basis of thought– the divided mind. Eeldrop is entranced by 'the smoky smell of lilac, the gramophones, the choir of the Baptist chapel, and the sight of three small girls playing cards on the steps of the police station.'"

The story from which this is taken is "Eeldrop and Appleplex," by T.S. Eliot.

The "three small girls playing cards" suggest the three Fates. For a less subtle illustration, see William Blake's "Hecate, or the Three Fates"–


For a more cheerful (and Catholic)
Hecate figure, see the oeuvre  of
Alyssa Milano.

Meanwhile, back in 1963…

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:29 PM

Today’s Harvard Crimson

Lowell House alumni include novelists John H. Updike ’54 and Michael Crichton ’64. Lowell House can also count several famous actors as alumni—Natalie Portman ’03 and Matt P. Damon (formerly ’92) both resided in Lowell House as undergraduates. Several Lowell alumni—such as Nicholas D. Kristof ’81 and Chris Wallace ’69—have pursued careers in journalism. Other famous names include former Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter ’61 and Japenese [sic] Crown Princess Masako ’85.

Group Characters

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Steve Pond on “Crazy Heart”

“… this gentle little movie… is, after all, a character study– and in an alcoholic country singer named Bad Blake, we’ve got one hell of a character.”

And then there’s Baaad Blake–

Group Characters, from 'Symmetry,' Pergamon Press, 1963

Related material:

This journal on the president of
London’s Blake Society
Wikipedia on the founder of
Pergamon Press

Setting the Bar

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 AM

The Redfern Report

'Could you possibly set the bar any lower?'-- Redfern in Doonesbury

Damon in 'Green Zone,' with European markets report

Click for background.

Annals of Diplomacy

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 AM

Operation Dinner Out
(continued from Jan. 11, 2010)

"David Kimche, who died on March 8 aged 82, was a British-born Israeli spy and diplomat…."



"…moving a conversation along…"

I'm goin' honky tonkin' get as tight as I can
And maybe by then you'll 'preciate a good man
Tell me why baby why baby why baby why
You make me cry baby cry baby cry baby cry
I can't help but love you till the day that I die
But tell me why baby why baby why baby why

(Suggested by a post from
the day that Kimche died)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

He Ain’t Heavy

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Serious Men, or
Alarm Bells for the Goys
(A Sequel to Household Name)

The Coen brothers in Toronto, 2009

The Ratzinger brothers in Germany, Sept. 11, 2006

(Also on 11 Sept 2006– Sontag's Sermon)

German Catholic sex abuse scandals draw link to Pope

Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:03pm IST

By Tom Heneghan, Reuters Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters)–

"… The alarm bells are tolling all the more urgently in Rome, where tenuous links run from Bavarian boarding schools all the way to the German-born Pope Benedict. Critics are asking what he knew and did then and what he will do now.

His brother, Rev. Georg Ratzinger, has admitted to slapping boys in his Regensburg choir repeatedly."

For some background on the brother's admission, see today's Belfast Telegraph.

Related material: "Beware the Jabberwock!" — Joshua


Alice and Joshua in Central Park

"You are retracing your steps."
Jacques Derrida

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Real and Imaginary continued

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:10 AM

Page 1  Page 2  Page 3  Page 4
Page 5  Page 6  Page 7  Page 8

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Complex Number

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

Winners: Real and Imaginary

From the archives of the Boot:

(Click to enlarge)

Hank Locklin and Jeff Bridges at the Boot

See this morning's post and
this afternoon's New York Times
headline "The Academy Smiles
With Both Faces" (5:26 PM)

See also 5/26.

Mathematics and Narrative continued

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 AM

The Magic Lyre

NY Times epiphany, morning of March 8, 2010

(Click image for context.)

See also Saturday's post

Lyre illustrating a review of the novel 'Angelology' by Danielle Trussoni

as well as Solemn Dance
   and Mazur at Delphi.

(This last is apparently based on
a talk given by Barry Mazur at Delphi
in 2007 and may or may not appear in
a book, Mathematics and Narrative,
to be published in 2010.)

Suggested tune for the lyre–

"Send me the pillow
  that you dream on,"

in memory of Hank Locklin,
who died on this date last year.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

For Oscar Morning

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Meanwhile, back at the AMS–

Ready for His Closeup

American Mathematical Society home page March 7, 2010, starring Ron Howard


Ron Howard discusses videos promoting science literacy

For instance…

Tom Hanks in 'Angels & Demons' on the God particle

"You're talking about…
the moment of creation!"

See also
Rebecca Goldstein
and the Number 36

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Symbology continued

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:23 PM

The Magic Lyre

The front page of tomorrow's New York Times Book Review is devoted to a new novel titled Angelology.

Detail of the front page, top right corner–

Lyre illustrating a review of the novel 'Angelology' by Danielle Trussoni

"…this will be popular for fans of such historical thrillers as… Katherine Neville's The Eight." —Library Journal

The New York Times review is more flattering– "a terrifically clever thriller– more Eco than Brown…."

Related historical remarks–

the symbology novels of Dan Brown and…

TIME Magazine cover, issue dated March 15, 2010- 'History Maker- How Tom Hanks is redefining America's past

TIME magazine cover, issue
dated March 15, 2010–
"History Maker: How Tom Hanks is
redefining America's past"

For some theological background to
this post and today's noon post,
see the use of the word "harrowing"
in this journal — particularly on
April 19, 2003– Holy Saturday.

Deconstructing Alice

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

Alyssa is  Wonderland

Manohla Dargis in The New York Times  yesterday

“Of course the character of Carroll’s original Alice is evident in each outrageous creation she dreams up in ‘Wonderland’ and in the sequel, ‘Through the Looking-Glass,’ which means that she’s a straight man to her own imagination. (She is  Wonderland.)”

Alyssa Milano as a child, with fork

From Inside the White Cube

“The sacramental nature of the space becomes clear, and so does one of the great projective laws of modernism: as modernism gets older, context becomes content. In a peculiar reversal, the object introduced into the gallery ‘frames’ the gallery and its laws.”

From Yogi Berra–

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

Related material:  For Baron Samedi and…

Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks) and a corner of Solomon's Cube
Jacques Derrida on the Looking-Glass garden, 'The Time before First,' and Solomon's seal

Friday, March 5, 2010

Space Case

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:48 AM

Large ad, front page top, for Tom Brokaw's 'Boomers' in NY Times of March 4th, 2010

"And there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space…"
— Don McLean, "American Pie

    Cybill Shepherd (born 1950) and Jeff Bridges (born 1949) in 'The Last Picture Show'

Today's NY Times says Robert T. McCall, space artist, died at 90 on Feb. 26.

"His most famous image may be the gargantuan mural, showing events from the creation of the universe to men walking on the Moon, on the south lobby wall of the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington. More than 10 million people a year pass it.

Or it might be his painting showing a space vehicle darting from the bay of a wheel-shaped space station, which was used in a poster for Stanley Kubrick’s landmark 1968 film, '2001: A Space Odyssey.'"

Space station image by Robert T. McCall for '2001'

Cover art by McCall, with autograph dated
8/19/05, from a personal web page

Hal in "2010"– "Will I dream?"

Log24 on the day that McCall died

"Which Dreamed It?"
– Title of final chapter,Through the Looking Glass

"Go ask Alice… I think she'll know."
– Grace Slick, 1967  

Related material: James Joyce in this journal–

"Space: what you damn well have to see."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Against Stupidity

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM

""Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain."
Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.")
Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) German poet, playwright, critic,
Die Jungfrau von Orleans [The Maid of Orleans], Act III, sc. vi (1801)

To be fair and balanced, we also offer a contrary view–

"Weird Science—Why Editors Must Dare to be Dumb,"
by K.C. Cole, Columbia Journalism Review, 2006

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Plato’s Ghost

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Jeremy Gray, Plato's Ghost: The Modernist Transformation of Mathematics, Princeton, 2008–

"Here, modernism is defined as an autonomous body of ideas, having little or no outward reference, placing considerable emphasis on formal aspects of the work and maintaining a complicated— indeed, anxious— rather than a naïve relationship with the day-to-day world, which is the de facto view of a coherent group of people, such as a professional or discipline-based group that has a high sense of the seriousness and value of what it is trying to achieve. This brisk definition…."

Brisk? Consider Caesar's "The die is cast," Gray in "Solomon's Cube," and yesterday's post

Group of 8 cube-face permutations generated by reflections in midplanes parallel to faces

This is the group of "8 rigid motions
generated by reflections in midplanes"
of Solomon's Cube.

Related material:

"… the action of G168 in its alternative guise as SL(3; Z/2Z) is also now apparent. This version of G168 was presented by Weber in [1896, p. 539],* where he attributed it to Kronecker."

— Jeremy Gray, "From the History of a Simple Group," in The Eightfold Way, MSRI Publications, 1998

Here MSRI, an acronym for Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, is pronounced "Misery." See Stephen King, K.C. Cole, and Heinrich Weber.

*H. Weber, Lehrbuch der Algebra, Vieweg, Braunschweig, 1896. Reprinted by Chelsea, New York, 1961.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Symmetry and Automorphisms

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

From the conclusion of Weyl's Symmetry

Weyl on symmetry and automorphisms

One example of Weyl's "structure-endowed entity" is a partition of a six-element set into three disjoint two-element sets– for instance, the partition of the six faces of a cube into three pairs of opposite faces.

The automorphism group of this faces-partition contains an order-8 subgroup that is isomorphic to the abstract group C2×C2×C2 of order eight–

Order-8 group generated by reflections in midplanes of cube parallel to faces

The action of Klein's simple group of order 168 on the Cayley diagram of C2×C2×C2 in yesterday's post furnishes an example of Weyl's statement that

"… one may ask with respect to a given abstract group: What is the group of its automorphisms…?"

Monday, March 1, 2010

Visual Group Theory

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

The current article on group theory at Wikipedia has a Rubik's Cube as its logo– 

Wikipedia article 'Group theory' with Rubik Cube and quote from Nathan Carter-- 'What is symmetry?'


The article quotes Nathan C. Carter on the question "What is symmetry?"

This naturally suggests the question "Who is Nathan C. Carter?"

A search for the answer yields the following set of images…

Labelings of the eightfold cube

Click image for some historical background.

Carter turns out to be a mathematics professor at Bentley University.  His logo– an eightfold-cube labeling (in the guise of a Cayley graph)– is in much better taste than Wikipedia's.

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