Saturday, April 30, 2011

Crimson Walpurgisnacht

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:30 PM

Part I — Unity and Multiplicity
              (Continued from The Talented and Galois Cube)

On Husserl's 'Philosophie der Arithmetik'- 'A feeling, an angel, the moon, and Italy'

Part II — "A feeling, an angel, the moon, and Italy"—

Click for details

Dean Martin and Peter Lawford in Crimson ad for 2011 Quincy House Q-Ball

Sabato Tombstone

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 PM

IMAGE- Sabato on his own tombstone in 'Angel of Darkness'

Related material:
  (Click images for details) —

IMAGE- The number 11 formed by twin switchblades, '12 Angry Men'

Exhibit B

IMAGE- Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor

  IMAGE- Hexagram 11: PEACE
Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star

Happy Walpurgisnacht

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

A film by Julie Taymor,
Across the Universe

Across the Universe DVD

Detail of the
Strawberry Fields Forever
Sacred Heart

Strawberry Fields Sacred Heart from 'Across the Universe'

A song:

Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor

"Shinin' like a diamond,
she had tombstones
in her eyes.

Album "The Dark,"
by Guy Clark

Friday, April 29, 2011

Times Square Church

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 PM

"For Mr. Lumet, location mattered deeply."

April 9th online New York Times

"That old Jew gave me this here."

A Flag for Sunrise



Larger image (1.5 MB)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bridal Birthday

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:02 PM

The Telegraph , April 29th

Catherine Elizabeth "Kate" Middleton, born 9 January 1982,
will marry Prince William of Wales on April 29th, 2011.

This suggests, by a very illogical and roundabout process
of verbal association, a search in this journal.

A quote from that search—

“‘Memory is non-narrative and non-linear.’
— Maya Lin in The Harvard Crimson , Friday, Dec. 2, 2005

A non-narrative image from the same
general time span as the bride's birthday—

IMAGE- 'Solid Symmetry' by Steven H. Cullinane, Dec. 24, 1981

For some context, see Stevens + "The Rock" + "point A".
A post in that search, April 4th's Rock Notes, links to an essay
on physics and philosophy, "The Discrete and the Continuous," by David Deutsch.

See also the article on Deutsch, "Dream Machine," in the current New Yorker 
(May 2, 2011), and the article's author, "Rivka Galchen," in this journal.

Galchen writes very well. For example —

Galchen on quantum theory

"Our intuition, going back forever, is that to move, say, a rock, one has to touch that rock, or touch a stick that touches the rock, or give an order that travels via vibrations through the air to the ear of a man with a stick that can then push the rock—or some such sequence. This intuition, more generally, is that things can only directly affect other things that are right next to them. If A affects B without  being right next to it, then the effect in question must be in direct—the effect in question must be something that gets transmitted by means of a chain of events in which each event brings about the next one directly, in a manner that smoothly spans the distance from A to B. Every time we think we can come up with an exception to this intuition—say, flipping a switch that turns on city street lights (but then we realize that this happens through wires) or listening to a BBC radio broadcast (but then we realize that radio waves propagate through the air)—it turns out that we have not, in fact, thought of an exception. Not, that is, in our everyday experience of the world.

We term this intuition 'locality.'

Quantum mechanics has upended many an intuition, but none deeper than this one."

26 Today

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:29 PM

Click to enlarge


For some background, see a search here for Octad Generator.

Crimson Tide…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:59 PM

A sequel to Wednesday afternoon's post on The Harvard Crimson ,
Atlas Shrugged (illustrated below) —


Related material found today in Wikipedia—

A defense of Rubik by 'Pazouzou'

See also Savage Logic (Oct. 19, 2010), as well as
Stellan Skarsgård in Lie Groups for Holy Week (March 30, 2010)
and in Exorcist: The Beginning (2004).

Hard Bargain

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:31 AM

Continued from Good Friday

Emmylou Harris and Rivka Galchen in the May 2, 2011 New Yorker

The New Yorker , in the above excerpt, says of David Deutsch that
"his books have titles of colossal confidence
('The Fabric of Reality,' 'The Beginning of Infinity')."

The Fabric of Reality — A post from Good Friday

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hard Bargain

m759 @ 11:01 PM

In memory of Hazel Dickens, two links —
Unique Figure and Hello Stranger .

Weepin' like a willow, mournin' like a dove
Weepin' like a willow, mournin' like a dove
There's a girl of the country
That I really love

The Beginning of Infinity — Another Good Friday death—

Sidney Michaels, adapter of the 1962 play "Tchin-Tchin."

"At play's end they are Chaplinesque waifs living in the charmed circle
of innocents that includes saints, children, drunkards and madmen.
Subliminally, Tchin-Tchin is a Christian existential fable." — TIME

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Atlas Shrugged

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:48 PM

The title refers to an article in The Harvard Crimson , "Atlas to the Text," on March 8, 2011.


"Atlas to the Text," by Nicholas T. Rinehart —

"… a small set of undergraduates culminate their academic careers with a translation thesis. Ford is one such student, currently completing her edition of Euripides’ 'The Bacchae,' a Greek tragedy centered on the god Dionysus’ revenge against his mortal family."

Wikipedia on " The Bacchae"

"The guards return with Dionysus himself, disguised as his priest and the leader of the Asian maenads. Pentheus questions him, still not believing that Dionysus is a god. However, his questions reveal that he is deeply interested in the Dionysiac rites, which the stranger refuses to reveal fully to him. This greatly angers Pentheus, who has Dionysus locked up. However, being a god, he is quickly able to break free and creates more havoc, razing the palace of Pentheus to the ground in a giant earthquake and fire."

The illustration for the Crimson  article formed part of a post in this journal, Paradigms Lost, on March 10—


Block That Metaphor–

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 AM

A Note on Galois Geometry

 Simple groups as the
"building blocks of group theory"

(Click image to enlarge.)


 Points,  lines,  etc., as the
"building blocks of geometry"


Related material —

(Click images for some background.)

Building blocks and
a simple group—



Building blocks and


The Meadow

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 AM

From Nabokov's The Gift


Click for more about the Pushkin verse.

See also Trevanian + meadow and Congregated Light.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

25 Years Ago Today

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:02 PM

Picturing the smallest projective 3-space

       Click to enlarge.

The above points and hyperplanes underlie the symmetries discussed
in the diamond theorem. See The Oslo Version  and related remarks
for a different use in art.

Unity and Multiplicity

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:48 PM

Today's earlier post mentions one approach to the concepts of unity and multiplicity. Here is another.

The 3×3×3 Galois Cube

Ed Pegg Jr.'s program at Wolfram demonstrating concepts of a 1985 note by Cullinane


One of a group, GL(3,3), of 11,232
natural transformations of the 3×3×3 Cube

See also the earlier 1985 3×3 version by Cullinane.

The Talented

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 AM

"It's going to be accomplished in steps, this establishment of the Talented in the scheme of things."
— Anne McCaffrey, Radcliffe ’47, To Ride Pegasus

"Character, as we have stated, is revealed through action.
We are not yet telepathic; we must embody even the most intellectual traits
and express them physically."
The Craftsmen of Dionysus: An Approach to Acting  by Jerome Rockwood


Dionysus Meets Apollo
in "Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould"—

Step I — Tiny Dancer in My Hand (0.48.46)


Step II — The Bridge (0.52.46)


Step III — Liftoff (1.27.37)


Monday, April 25, 2011

The Kristen Effect

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 PM

From the author of The Abacus Conundrum


Harlan Kane's sequel to The Apollo Meme


IMAGE- Kristen Wiig, 'Cock and Bull Story'

"Thus the universal mutual attraction between the sexes is represented."
Hexagram 31

The Apollo* Meme

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

In the May Smithsonian  magazine— "What Defines a Meme?"

Related — Seven is Heaven

Seven is Heaven...

* For the connection to Apollo, see Oct. 9, 2006.

Poetry and Physics

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

One approach to the storied philosophers' stone, that of Jim Dodge in Stone Junction , was sketched in yesterday's Easter post. Dodge described a mystical "spherical diamond." The symmetries of the sphere form what is called in mathematics a Lie group . The "spherical" of Dodge therefore suggests a review of the Lie group Ein Garrett Lisi's poetic theory of everything.

A check of the Wikipedia article on Lisi's theory yields…


       Diamond and E8 at Wikipedia

Related material — Eas "a diamond with thousands of facets"—


Also from the New Yorker  article

“There’s a dream that underlying the physical universe is some beautiful mathematical structure, and that the job of physics is to discover that,” Smolin told me later. “The dream is in bad shape,” he added. “And it’s a dream that most of us are like recovering alcoholics from.” Lisi’s talk, he said, “was like being offered a drink.”

A simpler theory of everything was offered by Plato. See, in the Timaeus , the Platonic solids—

Platonic solids' symmetry groups

Figure from this journal on August 19th, 2008.
See also July 19th, 2008.

It’s all in Plato, all in Plato:
bless me, what do  they
teach them at these schools!”
— C. S. Lewis

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Romancing the Metaphor

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:24 PM

Background —

From a 1990 novel —

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM

"The Easter Vigil is the most important liturgy on the church's calendar, when the faithful mark the passage from Christ's death to his resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is rich with symbols: fire and light signifying Jesus' resurrection, and the water used to baptize people into the faith….

This year, students of the Legion of Christ, the conservative order undergoing a major Vatican-mandated overhaul, provided the liturgical service at the vigil. The Vatican took over the Legion last May 1 after confirming its founder was a pedophile."

AP story

See also Naples in this journal.

Damnation Morning (continued)

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:24 AM

Background— Why Me? and the Fritz Leiber story "Damnation Morning."

The story, about the afterlife of a dead drunk, contains an intriguing dark lady.

Related material — Search for the Spider Woman.

See also Julie Taymor in an interview published last Dec. 12 —

“I’ve got two Broadway shows, a feature film, and Mozart,’’ she said.
“It’s a very interesting place to be and to be able to move back and forth,
but at a certain point you have to be able to step outside and see,’’
and here she dropped her voice to a tranquil whisper, “it’s just theater.
It’s all theater. It’s all theater. The whole thing is theater.’’

— and search for Taymor + Spider in this journal.

Happy Shakespeare's Birthday.

The Harrowing

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:28 AM

"Oh Death oh Death please let me see
If Christ has turned his back on me
When you were called and asked to bow
You wouldn’t take heed
And it’s too late now

Oh Death oh Death please give me time
To fix my heart and change my mind
Your mind is fixed
Your heart is bound
And I have the shackles to drag you down

Farewell, farewell
To all farewell
My doom is fixed
I’m summoned to hell
As long as God
In heaven shall dwell
My soul my soul shall scream in hell"

— Sung by Hazel Dickens in "Songcatcher"

The rest of the lyrics, and a video, may be found
at PaganSpace.net — "The Meeting Place for the Occult Community."

See also Harrowing in this journal.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hard Bargain

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:01 PM

In memory of Hazel Dickens, two links — Unique Figure and Hello Stranger .

Weepin' like a willow, mournin' like a dove
Weepin' like a willow, mournin' like a dove
There's a girl of the country
That I really love

Romancing the Hyperspace

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:59 PM

For the title, see Palm Sunday.

"There is a pleasantly discursive treatment of
Pontius Pilate's unanswered question 'What is truth?'" — H. S. M. Coxeter, 1987

From this date (April 22) last year—

Image-- examples from Galois affine geometry

Richard J. Trudeau in The Non-Euclidean Revolution , chapter on "Geometry and the Diamond Theory of Truth"–

"… Plato and Kant, and most of the philosophers and scientists in the 2200-year interval between them, did share the following general presumptions:

(1) Diamonds– informative, certain truths about the world– exist.
(2) The theorems of Euclidean geometry are diamonds.

Presumption (1) is what I referred to earlier as the 'Diamond Theory' of truth. It is far, far older than deductive geometry."

Trudeau's book was published in 1987. The non-Euclidean* figures above illustrate concepts from a 1976 monograph, also called "Diamond Theory."

Although non-Euclidean,* the theorems of the 1976 "Diamond Theory" are also, in Trudeau's terminology, diamonds.

* "Non-Euclidean" here means merely "other than  Euclidean." No violation of Euclid's parallel postulate is implied.

Trudeau comes to reject what he calls the "Diamond Theory" of truth. The trouble with his argument is the phrase "about the world."

Geometry, a part of pure mathematics, is not  about the world. See G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology .

Romancing the Symmetry

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

From a story about mathematician Emmy Noether and 1882, the year she was born—

"People were then slowly becoming 'modern'— fortunately they had finally discovered not just that there are no Easter bunnies and Santa Claus, but also that there probably never were women who were led to evil ways by their curiosity and ended up, depending on their level of education, as common witches, as 'wiccans,' or as those particularly mysterious 'benandanti.'"

"… in the Balkans people believe that the souls of the dead rise to heaven in the guise of butterflies."

— "The Fairytale of the Totally Symmetrical Butterfly," by Dietmar Dath, in Intoxicating Heights  (Eichborn AG, Frankfurt 2003)

An insect perhaps more appropriate for the afternoon of Good Friday— the fly in the logo of Dath's publisher


Related material— Holy Saturday of 2004 and Wittgenstein and the Fly Bottle.

(After clicking, scroll down to get past current post.)

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110422-WittgensteinFly.jpg http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110422-DTfly.gif

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spaghetti Junction

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM

Literary remarks for Maundy Thursday—

IMAGE- 'It was a perfectly ordinary night at Christ's high table....'

      — C. P. Snow, foreword to G. H. Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology

Related material—

Emory University press release of January 20th, 2011:

"In 1937, Hans Rademacher found an exact formula for calculating partition values. While the method was a big improvement over Euler's exact formula, it required adding together infinitely many numbers that have infinitely many decimal places. 'These numbers are gruesome,' Ono says….

… The final eureka moment occurred near another Georgia landmark: Spaghetti Junction. Ono and Jan Bruinier were stuck in traffic near the notorious Atlanta interchange. While chatting in the car, they hit upon a way to overcome the infinite complexity of Rademacher's method. They went on to prove a formula that requires only finitely many simple numbers.

'We found a function, that we call P, that is like a magical oracle,' Ono says. 'I can take any number, plug it into P, and instantly calculate the partitions of that number….'"

See also this journal on April 15 and a Google Groups [sage-devel] thread, Ono-Bruinier partition formula. That thread started on April 15 and was last updated this morning.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ART WARS continued

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

Part I— A Naples, Florida obituary for artist Robert Vickrey, who died Sunday.
            (See also this evening's earlier post Soul Art.)

Part II— "Stairway to Heaven," by Vickrey

Part III— Definition of "cornette"

Part IV— Recent photo of artist Josefine Lyche

Soul Art

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:16 PM


Picture by Robert Vickrey.
Vickrey died Sunday.
See Sunday School.

Ready When You Are, C.B.

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

This journal at 5:48 PM EST on Thursday, March 10, 2011—

Paradigms Lost

(Continued from February 19)

The cover of the April 1, 1970 second edition of
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
, by Thomas S. Kuhn—

IMAGE- Cover of second edition of Kuhn's 'Structure of Scientific Revolutions'

Note the quote on the cover—

"A landmark in intellectual history."— Science

This afternoon's online New York Times


Google today, asked to "define:landmark," yields—

  • A boundary line indicated by a stone, stake, etc.
    (Deu 19:14; Deu 27:17; Pro 22:28; Pro 23:10; Job 24:2).
    Landmarks could not be removed without incurring the severe displeasure of God.

Romancing the Cube

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 AM

It was a dark and stormy night…


— Page 180, Logicomix

“… the class of reflections is larger in some sense over an arbitrary field than over a characteristic zero field.”

– Julia Hartmann and Anne V. Shepler, “Jacobians of Reflection Groups

For some context, see the small cube in “A Simple Reflection Group of Order 168.”

See also the larger cube in “Many Dimensions” + Whitehead in this journal (scroll down to get past the current post).

That search refers to a work by Whitehead published in 1906, the year at the top of the Logicomix  page above—


A related remark on axiomatics that has metaphysical overtones suitable for a dark and stormy night

“An adequate understanding of mathematical identity requires a missing theory that will account for the relationships between formal systems that describe the same items. At present, such relationships can at best be heuristically described in terms that invoke some notion of an ‘intelligent user standing outside the system.'”

— Gian-Carlo Rota, “Syntax, Semantics, and…” in Indiscrete Thoughts . See also the original 1988 article.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Romancing the Omega

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

Today's news from Oslo suggests a review—

Image- Josefine Lyche work (with 1986 figures by Cullinane) in a 2009 exhibition in Oslo

Click for further details.

The circular sculpture in the foreground
is called by the artist "The Omega Point."
This has been described as
"a portal that leads in or out of time and space."

Some related philosophical remarks—

Oslo Connection and some notes on Galois connections.


Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:01 AM

Q— Why is this night different from all other nights?



Click on Hebrew for commentary.

See also a simpler Christian midrash—

"Who Was the Mysterious Death Angel?"

Q— Why is Leaving Las Vegas  different from all other movies?



Hotel bedroom in Leaving Las Vegas  (1995)

Midrash— Romancing the Junction and Damnation Morning

"… this woman with the sigil on her forehead looked in on me from the open doorway of the hotel bedroom where I'd hidden myself and the bottles and asked me, 'Look, Buster, do you want to live?'"

Monday, April 18, 2011

Romancing the Junction

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM


From Thomas Pynchon's 1997 Introduction to Stone Junction

"He takes the Diamond, and then the Diamond takes him. For it turns out to be a gateway to elsewhere, and Daniel's life's tale an account of the incarnation of a god, not the usual sort that ends up bringing aid and comfort to earthly powers, but that favorite of writers, the incorruptible wiseguy known to anthropologists as the Trickster, to working alchemists as Hermes, to card-players everywhere as the Joker. We don't learn this till the end of the story, by which point, knowing Daniel as we've come to, we are free to take it literally as a real transfiguration, or as a metaphor of spiritual enlightenment, or as a description of Daniel's unusually exalted state of mind as he prepares to cross, forever, the stone junction between Above and Below— by this point, all of these possibilities have become equally true, for we have been along on one of those indispensable literary journeys, taken nearly as far as Daniel— though it is for him to slip along across the last borderline, into what Wittgenstein once supposed cannot be spoken of, and upon which, as Eliphaz Levi advised us— after 'To know, to will, to dare' as the last and greatest of the rules of Magic— we must keep silent."

"The devil likes metamorphoses." —The Club Dumas

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Annals of Search

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 6:29 PM

The following has rather mysteriously appeared in a search at Google Scholar for "Steven H. Cullinane."

[HTML] Romancing the Non-Euclidean Hyperspace
AB Story – Annals of Pure and Applied Logic, 2002 – m759.net

This turns out to be a link to a search within this weblog. I do not know why Google Scholar attributes the resulting web page to a journal article by "AB Story" or why it drew the title from a post within the search and applied it to the entire list of posts found. I am, however, happy with the result— a Palm Sunday surprise with an eclectic mixture of styles that might please the late Robert de Marrais.

I hope the late George Temple would also be pleased. He appears in "Romancing" as a resident of Quarr Abbey, a Benedictine monastery.

The remarks by Martin Hyland quoted in connection with Temple's work are of particular interest in light of the Pope's Christmas remark on mathematics quoted here yesterday.

Sunday School

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 AM

Apollo and the Tricksters

From The Story of N (Oct. 15, 2010)—

Roberta Smith on what she calls "endgame art"—

"Fear of form above all means fear of compression— of an artistic focus that condenses experiences, ideas and feelings into something whole, committed and visually comprehensible."

Margaret Atwood on tricksters and art—

"If it’s a seamless whole you want, pray to Apollo."

Here is some related material In memory of CIA officer Clare Edward Petty, who died at 90 on March 18—

A review of a sort of storyteller's MacGuffin — the 3×3 grid. This is, in Smith's terms, an "artistic focus" that appears  to be visually comprehensible but is not as simple as it seems.

The Hesse configuration can serve as more than a sort of Dan Brown MacGuffin. As a post of January 14th notes, it can (rather fancifullly) illustrate the soul—


" … I feel I understand
Existence, or at least a minute part
Of my existence, only through my art,
In terms of combinational delight…."

— Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire

Saturday, April 16, 2011

State of Grace

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:28 PM

Today's lottery in the state of Grace (Kelly, of Philadelphia)—

Pennsylvania numbers: mid-day 226, evening 045.



For 226, see 2/26 this year— The Pope's Speech

If the truth were a mere mathematical formula,
in some sense it would impose itself by its own power.

For 045, see not the date (March 7, 2007), but the content  of Comfort and Joy.


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

For Pope Benedict XVI and the late Al Sears

Today is the Pope's birthday. Another date of interest—

Al Sears, composer of "Castle Rock," is said to have died at 80 on March 23, 1990. If Sears were a saint, March 23 would be his saint's day— his dies natalis  (day of birth into heaven).

For Al—

This morning's post linked to a picture of Alicia Keys's hands at a piano keyboard. Some background from March 23 this  year— "Well, she was just 17" and The Heroic Finger.

For the Pope—

IMAGE- book cover- 'Secret of the Golden FLower'

Click, as the instructions say,
to look inside.

Castle Rock

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:33 AM

Jeremy Bernstein on jazz composer Al Sears

"One of his more successful songs was a jive tune called Castle Rock. I asked him what the title meant."

See also Claves Regni Caelorum  here on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels last year.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Enchanted Sequel

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

Today's mid-day NY lottery number was 407. See April 7 in this journal.

The sequel—Today's evening NY lottery number was 930. See Castle Rock.


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 PM

Today's noon post included a search result from a website titled "Enchanted Mind."

Related thoughts:

Today's New York Times  on Julie Taymor's "Spider-Man"

"Gone, when the show resumes performances on May 12 after a three-week overhaul, will be the Geek Chorus of narrators…."

A theatrical alternative—

National Catholic Reporter  in 1995 on "Mighty Aphrodite"—

"Woody's neuroticism may be wearing thin, but he has invented a comic Greek chorus to comment on his problems…."

For a less comic Greek chorus, see The Quiet Customer (August 10, 2010).

"Hello, are you my 3 o'clock?"


See also Spider Girl (August 2, 2009).

Spider Notes

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


Some connotations of the word "eightfold" —

IMAGE- Google search for 'eightfold geometry,' April 15, 2011

See also Damnation Morning and today's New York Times

A Final Bow for Julie Taymor's 'Spider-Man' Vision.


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:00 AM

The April Scientific American  on the partition function p (n )

"… in January, Ono and another collaborator [Bruinier] described the first formula that directly calculates p (n ) for any n, a feat that had eluded number theorists for centuries."

Exercise: Is this remarkable claim true or false?

For commentary here, see Jan. 27, "Indiana Jones and the Magical Oracle."

For further comments (the most recent from March 11), see mathoverflow.net, "Exact formulas for the partition function?"

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 AM

Ay que bonito es volar…


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 PM



Compass Detail:

(See 8 PM and Whirligig.)   

Tiger Beat

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM


Related material: Canon Avril in TIger in the Smoke .

Moral Compass

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

"The southwest furthers."


See A View from the
Bottom Left-Hand Corner

At the bottom left-hand corner
of that web page is a date—
19th January 2005 . Quod vide.

Salem News

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM


Click on the logo for a story about
witches' response to Charlie Sheen's
"warlock" campaign.

Related material—

Dennis Overbye on the manipulation
of science news.

(Link thanks to Not Even Wrong .)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

History: The Nightmare Continues

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

From the AP "Today in History" column for April 12—

On this date:

In 1606, England's King James I decreed the design of the original Union Flag, which combined the flags of England and Scotland.


The 1606 Union Flag incorporated the crosses of St. George (England) and St. Andrew (Scotland).
This suggests some notes on graphic design.

See The Double Cross.

Hellgate Joke

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:07 PM

The title refers to this afternoon's previous post.

Some context for that post from Friday, April 8—
Hello Note (3:33 AM EDT) and Windows (Noon EDT (6 AM Hawaii time)).


Related material—

Paranormal Jackass and Roll Credits.

The Hawaiian fireworks bunker's resemblance to
the gate of Hell of course does not imply anything
about the afterlife of those who died there.

From the "Roll Credits" link above—

Click to enlarge


In the above image, the name beneath Will Hunting's license plate suggests
a search for Collinge in this journal (scroll down) that yields, at its end, some music
more appropriate for a wake than "Afternoon Delight."


Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:30 PM

An image from Wikipedia


"Verging on invisibility or immateriality, these works can provoke, mystify, or even go unnoticed. The very difficulty of seeing them demands an extraordinary patience in viewing them. Some emphasize the basic properties of their medium, be it photography, drawing, or sculpture, while others make it difficult to tell just what the medium is. Still others play with the distinction between language and image. And yet, in a world inundated with visual information, these works all revive the act of close looking as a source of meaning."

— National Gallery of Art, description of a current exhibition titled "There is nothing to see here."

See also Leslie Nielsen's rendition of this phrase.

The Monolith Epiphany

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Continued from March 7, 2011

" One for my baby, and one more… "


See also this morning's previous posts "Unique Figure" and "One of a Kind."

One of a Kind

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:44 AM

This morning's online New York Times  obituaries—


For the story of the woman at the head of the class,
see Sarah Boxer in The New York Review of Books .

See also Boxer on the Feast of the Assumption, 2009.

Unique Figure

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 AM


National Gallery of Art

In the landscape of minimalism, John McCracken cuts a unique figure. He is often grouped with the “light and space” artists who formed the West Coast branch of the movement. Indeed, he shares interests in vivid color, new materials, and polished surfaces with fellow Californians enamored of the Kustom Kar culture. On the other hand, his signature works, the “planks” that he invented in 1966 and still makes today, have the tough simplicity and aggressive presence of New York minimalism….

“They kind of screw up a space because they lean,” McCracken has said of the planks. Their tilting, reflective surfaces activate the room, leaving the viewer uncertain of traditional boundaries. He notes that the planks bridge sculpture (identified with the floor) and painting (identified with the wall)….

His ultimate goal, as with all mystics, is unity— not just of painting and sculpture, but of substance and illusion, of matter and spirit, of art and life. Such ideas recall the utopian aspirations of early modernists like Piet Mondrian and Wassily Kandinsky.

Related Art —



Roman numeral I
as well as capital I

For a related figure, see a  film review by A. O. Scott at The New York Times  (September 21, 2010)—

“You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” begins with an unseen narrator— Zak Orth, sounding a lot like Woody Allen— paraphrasing Shakespeare. You may remember the quotation from high school English, about how life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The observation is attributed to the playwright himself (“Shakespeare once said”), rather than to Macbeth, whose grim experience led him to such nihilism, but never mind. In context, it amounts to a perfectly superfluous statement of the obvious.

If life signifies nothing, perhaps the tall dark figure above signifies something . Discuss.

Related Art Criticism —

For more on light and space, see this journal on the date of McCracken’s death


Note planks.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:30 PM

From tonight's online New York Times

John McCracken, Sculptor of Geometric Forms, Dies at 76

McCracken died in Manhattan on Friday, April 8.

From Christopher Knight in tonight's online LA Times

… the works embody perceptual and philosophical conundrums. The colored planks stand on the floor like sculptures….

McCracken was bedeviled by Stanley Kubrick's famously obscure science-fiction epic, "2001: A Space Odyssey," with its iconic image of an ancient monolith floating in outer space. The 1968 blockbuster was released two years after the artist made his first plank.

"At the time, some people thought I had designed the monolith or that it had been derived from my work," he told art critic Frances Colpitt of the coincidence in a 1998 interview.

Two photos of McCracken's 1967 Black Plank  seem relevant—

November 28, 2010 (Click to enlarge)


December 28, 2010 (Click to enlarge)


Material that an artist might view as related, if only synchronistically—

Two posts in this journal on the dates the photos were taken—
The Embedding on November 28 and Dry Bones on December 28.

The photos are of an exhibition titled "There is nothing to see here" at the
National Gallery of Art, October 30, 2010-April 24, 2011 —

Click to enlarge.


For related nihilism from the National Gallery, see "Pictures of Nothing" in this journal.

Some less nihilistic illustrations—

The Meno  Embedding

Plato's Diamond embedded in The Matrix

A photo by one of the artists whose work is displayed above beside McCracken's—


"Accentuate the Positive."
 — Clint Eastwood

The Ninth Engraving

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 PM

For the fictional Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon,
a commentary on the favicon in today's noon post



This is from a novel that was filmed as "The Ninth Gate."

The book and film concern a series of nine engravings.
For all nine, see an excellent analysis by Michael S. Howard in
his journal "Gnostic Essays" on November 20, 2006.

A summary of the engravings—

Click to enlarge.


See also this  journal on that date.

Finishing Up at Noon

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

From last October—

Friday, October 8, 2010

m759 @ 12:00 PM

Starting Out in the Evening
… and Finishing Up at Noon

This post was suggested by last evening's post on mathematics and narrative and by Michiko Kakutani on Vargas Llosa in this morning's New York Times .


Above: Frank Langella in
"Starting Out in the Evening"

Right: Johnny Depp in
"The Ninth Gate"


"One must proceed cautiously, for this road— of truth and falsehood in the realm of fiction— is riddled with traps and any enticing oasis is usually a mirage."

– "Is Fiction the Art of Lying?"* by Mario Vargas Llosa,
    New York Times  essay of October 7, 1984

* The Web version's title has a misprint—
   "living" instead of "lying."

"You've got to pick up every stitch…"

A stitch in time…


Related material—

    This journal on April 8

See also "Putting Mental Health on the Map at Harvard"—

Harvard Crimson , Friday, April 8, 2011, 2:09 AM—

They're outside the Science Center with their signs, their cheer, and their smiles. They've been introducing themselves over House lists, and they want you to ask questions. They're here for you. They're the Student Mental Heath Liaisons.

Harvard's SMHL crewthey pronounce it smilehave recently launched a new website and recruited more members in their effort to foster an informed and understanding environment on campus….

Mental Health Services, SMHL said, are not meant for "students who are really 'crazy.'" Everyone is entitled to a little help smiling.


Rite of Spring

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:20 AM

Last night's Saturday Night Live


Related material— See  Cleavage.

Background— Yesterday evening's Star Quality as well as earlier posts on Horseness and Mysteries of Faith.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Star Quality*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Helen, meet Scarlett… (PG-13)


Scarlett, meet Helen… (R)


* Dame Helen Mirren hosts Saturday Night Live  tonight.
  Some background— Harrison Ford's Birthday, 2008

Makom Kadosh

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Click to enlarge.


See also "Jammer + space" in this journal.

"For Mr. Lumet, location mattered deeply." — Today's online New York Times

Friday, April 8, 2011

Concepts of Space

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:35 PM

Part I — Roberta Smith in today's New York Times

"… the argument that painting may ultimately be about
little more than the communication of some quality of
light and space, however abstract or indirect."

– Review of "Rooms With a View" at the Met

Box symbol

Pictorial version
of Hexagram 20,
Contemplation (View)


Space: what you damn well have to see.
– James Joyce, Ulysses

Part II — Window from A Crooked House

"Teal lifted the blind a few inches. He saw nothing, and raised it a little more—still nothing. Slowly he raised it until the window was fully exposed. They gazed out at—nothing.

Nothing, nothing at all. What color is nothing? Don't be silly! What shape is it? Shape is an attribute of something . It had neither depth nor form. It had not even blackness. It was nothing ."

Part III — Not So Crooked: The Cabinet of Dr. Montessori

An April 5 Wall Street Journal  article on Montessori schools, and…


A cabinet from Dr. Montessori's own
explanation of her method

Part IV — Pilate Goes to Kindergarten and The Seven


Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Roberta Smith in today's New York Times

"… the argument that painting may ultimately be about
little more than the communication of some quality of
light and space, however abstract or indirect."

— Review of "Rooms With a View" at the Met

Lowry —


Malcolm Lowry, author of Under the Volcano

Hollywood —


Related material —

Friday, October 8, 2010

m759 @ 12:00 PM

Starting Out in the Evening
… and Finishing Up at Noon

This post was suggested by last evening's post on mathematics and narrative and by Michiko Kakutani on Vargas Llosa in this morning's New York Times .


Above: Frank Langella in
"Starting Out in the Evening"

Right: Johnny Depp in
"The Ninth Gate"


"One must proceed cautiously, for this road— of truth and falsehood in the realm of fiction— is riddled with traps and any enticing oasis is usually a mirage."

– "Is Fiction the Art of Lying?"* by Mario Vargas Llosa,
    New York Times  essay of October 7, 1984

* The Web version's title has a misprint—
   "living" instead of "lying."

"You've got to pick up every stitch…"

Hello Note

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:33 AM

(Continued from yesterday's Brightness at Noon, Afternoon Delight, and Goodbye Note.)

"The Catholic Church, through the Holy Office, has declared it is not lawful 'to take part in spiritualistic communications or manifestations of any kind, whether through a so-called medium or without one, whether hypnotism is used or not, even with the best of intentions among the participants, whether for the purpose of interrogating the souls of the departed or spiritual beings, whether by listening to their responses or even in idle curiosity, even with the tacit or express protestation of not having anything to do with the evil spirits' (Denzinger 3642*).

Behind the church's attitude toward Spiritualism is the concern that a Catholic would expose himself to the risk of actually dealing with the evil spirit. The assumption is that if fraud or deception are excluded, and manifestations occur that are beyond natural explanation, the active agent in these cases is neither God nor any one of the good spirits (whether angelic or human) but demonic forces that are sure to mislead the Catholic and endanger the integrity of his faith."

Modern Catholic Dictionary

* 3642 2182 Qu.: An liceat per Medium, ut vocant, vel sine Medio, adhibito vel non hypnotismo, locutionibus aut manifestationibus spiritisticis quibuscumque adsistere, etiam speciem honestatis vel pietatis praeseferentibus, sive interrogando animas aut spiritus, sive audiendo responsa, sive tantum aspiciendo, etiam cum protestatione tacita vel expressa, nullam cum malignis spiritibus partem se habere velle. Resp.: (cfirm. a S. P'ce, 26 avril): Negative in omnibus.

See also The Ecclesiastical Review , Volume 57,
by Catholic University of America, page 186.
This volume, from Harvard University, was digitized on June 19, 2008.

IMAGE-- Matt Damon stands where a door opens in 'Hereafter'

Katherine Neville, The Eight

"Continue a search for thirty-three and three.
Veiled forever is the secret door."

See Combinational* Delight.

See also The Maker's Gift.

* Corrected Dec. 14, 2014, from "Combinatorial."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Goodbye Note

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

Roll credits!

Afternoon Delight

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:01 PM

"A cover of the song 'Smooth Operator' (Sade) from the EP Goodbye Note , by Asaro and Wolcott"


Asaro is the author of Diamond Star .

Awake in Seattle

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM

From University Book Store, Seattle, Washington—


Related material—

The Use and Abuse
of Donnie Darko


Scene from a film based on the old SF story 'Mimsy Were the Borogoves'

From a page on Reality Hunger: A Manifesto  at DavidShields.com—

"The book's epigraph is a statement from Picasso: 'All art is theft.'"

Update of 3 PM EDT April 7—

"… we get inspiration from everywhere, and there's a bright line between inspiration and slavish imitation. (I was going to throw in the Picasso quote 'All art is theft' here, but I've looked that up in both the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (and the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations, just in case) and in the new Yale Book of Quotations, and can't find it. So I'll just have to steal without the glamour of Picasso having said it was okay.)"

Weblog post by Erin McKean

Brightness at Noon (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Raiders of the Lost Tree— See Spelling the Tree,  by Robert de Marrais.

See also "Bee Season" in this journal.


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

De Marrais Memorial

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:11 PM

In memory of Robert de Marrais, an excerpt from an obituary at Legacy.com—

(Click to enlarge.)


Robert “Bob” Paul de Marrais died April 4, 2011 in Boston, Mass. One measure of a life is those that grieve our absence. Bob is dearly missed. He is survived by his 92 year old mother Yvette (nee Pétronille) in NY, his brother John A. in NY, his Aunt Mae in NJ; three children Luc, Sylvie, and Nathalie in Mass, and his devoted wife Dali (nee Zangurashvili) from Georgia of the ex-Soviet-Union. Bob was born Nov. 30, 1948, grew up in Cresskill, NJ, made life-long friends during some of his happiest days at MIT in Mass., and did not wander far from there for the rest of his life. He had a lifelong interest in history, his French heritage, music, history of science, and multidimensional algebras. His wife, friends Izzy and Mitch, brother John (and wife Caroline), little nephew Louis J., and two of his own children got to say goodbye. He found the energy to reward us with a smile. Bob has now joined his loving dad Louis J., Uncle Jack, Aunt Ginny, Uncle Gil, et. al.

For some details of de Marrais's life, see a separate biography from Legacy.com.

Related material—  A search for "deMarrais" in this journal. (The name often occurs only within links.)
Cached copies of the 5-part "Kaleidoscopes" work by de Marrais referred to in the search can be found here.

A more personal note, from a quotation linked to here on the date of de Marrais's death

… and who shall ever tell the sorrow of being on this earth,
lying, on quilts, on the grass, in a summer evening, among the sounds of the night.

May God bless my people, my uncle, my aunt, my mother, my good father,
oh, remember them kindly in their time of trouble;
and in the hour of their taking away.

After a little I am taken in and put to bed.

— James Agee, "Knoxville: Summer of 1915"

Harvard Hicks

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:40 PM

Austin Considine on a Tennessee tourist trap

"It would be easy for a city slicker to assume this place misses its own punch lines."

It probably doesn't, but a certain academic  tourist trap does .

A trio of Harvard hicks—

1. The chairman of the Harvard philosophy department, Sean D. Kelly—

"Football can literally bring meaning to life."

(See also Garry Wills on Kelly, Rite of Spring, and Heisman Trophy.)

2. A professor of English at Harvard, Marjorie Garber, in a deconstructive meditation—

Garber notes that the word "literature" has two meanings– the English department's meaning, and that of other departments' references to "the literature."

"Whenever there is a split like this, it is worth pausing to wonder why. High/low, privileged/popular, aesthetic/professional, keep/throw away. It seems as if the category of literature in what we might inelegantly call the literary sense of the word is being both protected and preserved in amber by the encroachment, on all sides, of the nonliterary literature that proliferates in professional-managerial culture. But literature has always been situated on the boundary between itself and its other."

The Use and Abuse of Literature , published by Pantheon on March 29, 2011

3. The president of Harvard, Drew Faust—

A comment recently made to Faust—

“[A] tyrant wanted a crimson-tinged report that he was running a democracy, and for a price, a Harvard expert obliged…."

Her response—

"Faust replied that for her to say anything about this would make her 'scold in chief.'"

—  University Diaries  today. See the excellent commentary there.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ART WARS continued

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

Escape from Kitsch Mountain

"Why you gotta be so mean?" — Taylor Swift (see last night)

This song includes, as part of the hook, the recurring phrase

"Someday I'll be livin' in a big ol' city."

From a big ol' city


A Return to Kitsch Mountain


Published in The New York Times  on January 16, 2009

As my girlfriend, Larissa, and I approached Gatlinburg, Tenn., this fall, I did my best to prepare her. She hadn’t been to Gatlinburg before, but I had. I understood the town’s complicated reputation both as a gateway to some of the most beautiful country in the United States— the Great Smoky Mountains National Park— and as a flamboyant capital of kitsch….

… It turned out that by 8 or 9 p.m., it was way too late to find a dinner show. The next morning, we had the opposite problem. By the time we woke up and wandered into Gatlinburg, it was noon. All the pancake houses were closed, and I was desolate. I had been thinking about those pancakes since the night before. So we did a little more sightseeing on foot.

Looking at Gatlinburg’s strip with adult eyes, I wondered how much self-awareness was at work there. It would be easy for a city slicker to assume this place misses its own punch lines. In truth, I decided, it merely embraces that special brand of conscious kitsch that forms its own American kind of authenticity. With all its absurdities, Gatlinburg knows what it is and proclaims it loudly, from one flashing signboard to the next….

From Gatlinburg—

(Click to enlarge.)


For Ned*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

(A sequel to last night's "For Taylor")

On Joan Tewkesbury, who wrote the script for the 1975 film "Nashville"—

She urges writers to continue to generate new ideas
and new material. "Keep writing. The hardest thing
is to sell one script and not have another to follow it with."

One script— Yesterday's link titled "An Ordinary Evening in Tennessee"

Another— "A Point of Central Arrival"

Related material from last October—

Friday, October 8, 2010

m759 @ 12:00 PM

Starting Out in the Evening
… and Finishing Up at Noon

This post was suggested by last evening's post on mathematics and narrative and by Michiko Kakutani on Vargas Llosa in this morning's New York Times .


Above: Frank Langella in
"Starting Out in the Evening"

Right: Johnny Depp in
"The Ninth Gate"


"One must proceed cautiously, for this road— of truth and falsehood in the realm of fiction— is riddled with traps and any enticing oasis is usually a mirage."

– "Is Fiction the Art of Lying?"* by Mario Vargas Llosa,
    New York Times  essay of October 7, 1984

* The Web version's title has a misprint—
   "living" instead of "lying."

"You've got to pick up every stitch…"

* A former governor of Tennessee who died at 80 yesterday in Nashville

Monday, April 4, 2011

For Taylor

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:32 PM

Best Set Design, Vegas ACM Awards, Sunday Night—


Related literature— Knoxville: Summer of 1915

"The stars are wide and alive, they seem each like a smile of great sweetness, and they seem very near."

Rock Notes

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

An Ordinary Evening in Tennessee

"The rock is the habitation of the whole,
Its strength and measure, that which is near, point A
In a perspective that begins again

At B….." — Wallace Stevens

Related material:  The Discrete and the Continuous

Poetry Month

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Where Entertainment is God (continued)

MTV.com on an event last night in Chicago—

"He ended the night with a poem, which read,
 'I stand before you oh captain oh captain
 to most humbly praise you for this radical ripple
 this single cast stone….'"

Related material:

Today's New York Times  obituaries
and Ed Harris in "The Rock"—



See also in this journal "The Rock" and "Time in the Rock."

"'It is always
Nice to see you'
Says the man
Behind the counter"

– Suzanne Vega, "Tom's Diner"

IMAGE- Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen in 'A History of Violence'

Getting There

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

"Get there fast. Get there first."

— Motto in New York Times  ad (obituaries section).



"Right through hell
 there is a path."
Under the Volcano ,
quoted here on the day
a religious historian died.



Sunday, April 3, 2011

On to Chicago!

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Commentary on last night


Tonight: The After-Party.

In related news


"The yarns of seamen have a direct simplicity, the whole meaning of which
lies within the shell of a cracked nut. But Marlow was not typical
(if his propensity to spin yarns be excepted), and to him the meaning
of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside, enveloping the tale
which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze, in the likeness of
one of these misty halos that sometimes are made visible by
the spectral illumination of moonshine."

– Joseph Conrad in Heart of Darkness , quoted here in
   Cold Open (Saturday night, January 29, 2011)

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 PM

"Center loosens, forms again elsewhere…"

— Zelazny, quoted here for Women's History Month.

"I know it's not much but it's the best I can do.
My gift is my song and this one's for you."

— Elton John song.  John hosts SNL tonight.

IMAGE- Kristen Wiig in blue jeans

Blue Jean Baby…

IMAGE- Kristen Wiig at L.A. premiere

LA Lady…

Glory Road (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM


Related material: Object Lesson.

See also For the Pope in Scotland.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Kulturkampf,  (German: “culture struggle”), the bitter struggle
(c. 1871–87) on the part of the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck
to subject the Roman Catholic church to state controls.

Kulturkampf at The New York Times


"Bismarck: 13 blocks short of a design."


Mathematics Awareness Month

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 AM

April is Mathematics Awareness Month.
This year's theme is "Unraveling Complex Systems."

From Log24 during Women's History Month 2006—

March 3

Images related to the film "Proof"

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060117-Globe.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Some friends of mine
 are in this band….

In related education news—


Some other material related to women (quilt patterns) and mathematics—


Click for higher quality.

For those who prefer drama from a more masculine point of view—

A film released on the above date— March 3, 2006—

16 Blocks.


A midrash for Paltrow—

The last New York Lottery number
of Women's History Month 2011 was 146.

"…every answer involves as much of history
and mythology as Joyce can cram into
remarks which are ostensibly about
popular entertainment…."

James S. Atherton, The Books at the Wake:
A Study of Literary Allusions
in James Joyce's FINNEGANS WAKE
Southern Illinois University Press,
Carbondale and Edwardsville
(1959. Arcturus Books Edition 1974), p. 146.

Powered by WordPress