Sunday, July 31, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:09 PM

From a writer's requiem—

"Algis points out that at the end of each story, there should be a moment of validation, a place where a person in authority makes some sort of statement that lets the reader know that the story has reached its conclusion." David Farland, June 9, 2008

Paraphrase of a version by an anonymous reader at Amazon.com (see previous post)—

"… someone who has no other vested interest in the story… steps forward and says 'He's dead, Jim' or 'Who was that masked man?'"

Moments of validation from today's midday NY Lottery4639 and 575.

For "He's dead, Jim," see April 6, 1939* (4/6/39) at St. Joseph's Church in Springfield, Mass.

For "Who was that masked man?," see the Mark of Zorro in Post  575.

* This was a Maundy Thursday, not the Good Friday indicated in the linked narrative.

Short Stories

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:02 AM

An Amazon.com reader review of Algis Budrys's Writing to the Point: A Complete Guide to Selling Fiction

"Mr. Budrys claims to have the secret to writing fiction that will sell. His secret is very useful but short enough to include here:

Beginning: Must consist of introducing a character, in a particular context, with a problem. And if there are important yet unique/unusual aspects of the character that will be revealed later in the story they must be foreshadowed in the beginning.

Middle: Must involve the character attempting to solve the problem and encountering unexpected failure. During this attempt he begins to learn more about the problem and himself. The character must undergo stress which causes hitherto concealed facets of him to be revealed-that must fit in. The character must try to overcome the problem a total of 3 times on a rising scale of effort, commitment, and depth of knowledge of the problem and one's self. At the last possible moment, with maximum effort and staking everything, he achieves victory. This must be done by wagering everything in a do-or-die situation. Conversely the villain, coming closer to his goal experiences defeat snatched from the jaws of victory-because of some flaw in character.

End: Validation and foreclosure by someone who has no other vested interest in the story. They step forward and say 'He's dead, Jim' or 'Who was that masked man?' This serves to close the story in the reader's mind."

Here are two parallel stories suggested by yesterday's New York Lottery numbers:

Evening: 003 and 8997—

From an author born on 8/9/97:


For the 003, see



Midday: 004 and 1931—

From an author born on 1/9/31:


For the 004, see the ideogram


in Beyond the Limits.

See also the day of the author's
death and the next day.

Happy Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Groups and Symmetry

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

"… the best way to understand a group is to
see it as the group of symmetries of something."

— John Baez, p. 239, Bulletin (New Series) of the
American Mathematical Society
, Vol. 42, No. 2,
April 2005, book review on pp. 229–243
electronically published on January 26, 2005

"Imagine yourself as a gem cutter,
turning around this diamond…."

Ibid ., p. 240

See also related material from Log24.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Marshall, Meet Bagger

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

Marshall McLuhan writing to Ezra Pound on Dec. 21, 1948—

"The American mind is not even close to being amenable to the ideogram principle as yet.  The reason is simply this.  America is 100% 18th Century.  The 18th century had chucked out the principle of metaphor and analogy— the basic fact that as A is to B so is C to D.  AB:CD.  It can see AB relations.  But relations in four terms are still verboten.  This amounts to deep occultation of nearly all human thought for the U.S.A.

I am trying to devise a way of stating this difficulty as it exists.  Until stated and publicly recognized for what it is, poetry and the arts can’t exist in America."

"Time for you to see the field." —Bagger Vance

The field — See June 2010.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


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


"Anomalies must be expected along the conceptual frontier
 between the temporal and the eternal."
  – The Death of Adam , by Marilynne Robinson (1998, 2005),
  essay on Marguerite de Navarre


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 AM

From a short story:

One day his mother and his Uncle Oscar came in when he was on one of his furious rides. He did not speak to them.

"Hallo, you young jockey! Riding a winner?" said his uncle.

"Aren't you growing too big for a rocking-horse? You're not a very little boy any longer, you know," said his mother.

But Paul only gave a blue glare from his big, rather close-set eyes. He would speak to nobody when he was in full tilt. His mother watched him with an anxious expression on her face.

At last he suddenly stopped forcing his horse into the mechanical gallop and slid down.

"Well, I got there!" he announced fiercely, his blue eyes still flaring, and his sturdy long legs straddling apart.

"Where did you get to?" asked his mother.

"Where I wanted to go," he flared back at her.

"That's right, son!" said Uncle Oscar. "Don't you stop till you get there. What's the horse's name?"

"He doesn't have a name," said the boy.

— "The Rocking-Horse Winner," by D. H. Lawrence

"In the desert you can remember your name,
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain."


See also June 12, 2005September 11, 2007, and Something Anonymous.

"A New York Jew imitates D. H. Lawrence at his peril."

Magical Realism Revisited

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




The magical part— Synchronicity—

See Roger Cohen in this journal on January 15, 2009 and, on the
same date, Jesse Jarnow on Bob Dylan in  The Jewish Daily Forward .

The realism part— Cohen's "smart power" and IQ tests involving pattern blocks.

The above quilt pattern software (both versions) is by Jarnow's father Al.
For a realistic approach to such patterns, see Blockheads in this journal.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Venus at St. Anne’s

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

The title is that of a chapter in the C.S. Lewis classic  That Hideous Strength .

A search suggested by this afternoon's NY Lottery four-digit number,
8002, yields a forum post at WebOfNarcissism.com—

"a book that changed my life"—

"Here is the book:


Warning.  It is dark.  But it is also lovely."

Whether it is deep as well, the reader may judge.

The quoted review is from a discussion by an anonymous user
of her relationship with someone called N. See also, in this journal,
The Story of N.

Happy St. Anne's Day.

The Case of the Missing Smile

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

In today's online New York Times , Roger Cohen quotes a manifesto—


A more complete excerpt—


Note that Cohen omits the concluding punctuation—
three exclamation points and a smile emoticon


(Compare and contrast with the smile of Hannibal Lecter.)

Related material from this  journal on the following day, Flag Day, June 14


Note that the structure of the central flag above
is not unlike that of the skull and crossbones flag.

See also the remark of author Siri Hustvedt (of Norwegian-American
                      background) that was quoted here Sunday.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Halloween Game

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:12 PM

Continued from this morning's "The Game"—

"Relativism is not always a coherent way of responding to the rejection of a certain class of facts.  When we decided that there were no such things as witches, we didn’t become relativists about witches.  Rather, we just gave up witch talk altogether, except by way of characterizing the attitudes of people (such as those in Salem) who mistakenly believed that the world contained witches, or by way of characterizing what it is that children find it fun to pretend to be on Halloween."

New York Times  philosophy column "The Stone" today

"What you mean we ?" — Tonto, Crossan, Quilty, et cetera

The Game

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

Virginia Heffernan in Sunday's online New York Times

"… In the past, information on paper was something to read. Bricks and mortar were a place to be. But, since the first appearance of the Web in 1990, we have come to accept that information in pixels is something to read— and also a place to be . That familiar and yet still jaw-dropping metaphor takes energy to maintain. The odd shared sense that there’s three-dimensionality and immersion and real-world consequences on the Web as in no book or board game— that’s the Web’s sine qua non. Hence, cyberspace . And 'being on' the Internet….

… The dominant social networks are fantasy games built around rigged avatars, outright fictions and a silent— and often unconscious— agreement among players that the game and its somewhat creaky conceits influence the real world…."

— "The Confidence Game at Google+"

"It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
'Cause that's my funday"
— The Bangles

"Accentuate the Positive"
— Clint Eastwood, soundtrack album
 for "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"


This journal on All Saints' Day, Sunday, November 1, 2009

Suggested by the New York State lottery numbers on All Hallows’ Eve [2009]—

430 (mid-day) and 168 (evening)…

From 430 as a date, 4/30

Beyond Grief and Nothing: A Reading of Don DeLillo , by Joseph Dewey, University of South Carolina Press, 2006, page 123:

“It is as if DeLillo himself had moved to an endgame….”

For such an endgame, see yesterday’s link to a Mira Sorvino drama.

The number 168 suggested by the Halloween lottery deals with the properties of space itself and requires a more detailed exegesis…

For the full picture, consider the Log24 entries of Feb. 16-28 this year, esp. the entries of Feb. 27 and the phrase they suggest—

Flores, flores para los muertos.

      See also Pearly Gates of Cyberspace in this journal.

      For flores para los muertos , see today's Times .

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lottery Royale

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:30 PM

Continuing this afternoon's meditation on Hollywood
endings, recall the ending of the 1966 David Niven
version of Casino Royale

"Eventually, Jimmy's atomic pill explodes, destroying Casino Royale
along with everyone inside…. Sir James and all of his agents then
appear in heaven, with angel wings and harps and Jimmy Bond is
shown descending into the fires of hell." — Wikipedia

This evening's NY Lottery numbers are 169 and 1243.

An occurence of 169 in this journal on June 18, 2008


  As for 1243, see Post  1243 and a recent obituary.

Hollywood Endings

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:01 PM

"Nixon  has no Rosebud."

Master's thesis on an Oliver Stone film
    (Dan B. Butler, May 2006)

New York Lottery this afternoon: 643 and 8974.

Sunday School

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 AM

Venus and Mars Realigned (continued from July 20) …

Mira Sorvino in 'The Last Templar'

A review —

“The story, involving the Knights Templar, the Vatican, sunken treasure,
the fate of Christianity and a decoding device that looks as if it came out of
a really big box of medieval Cracker Jack, is the latest attempt to combine
Indiana Jones derring-do with ‘Da Vinci Code’ mysticism.”

The New York Times

A related Google image search yields more Cracker Jack prizes.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Death Argument

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 6:00 PM

Suggested by Peter J. Cameron's weblog post today on Halmos,
by a July 18 post in this  journal on the Norwegian mathematician Abel,
by a link in the July 18 post to  "Death Proof," and by today's
midday New York Lottery (459 and 7404)—

From July 4, 2004 (7404 interpreted as a date)—

"There are two unfortunate connotations of 'proof' that come from mathe-
matics and make the word inappropriate in discussions of the security of cryp-
tographic systems. The first is the notion of 100% certainty. Most people not
working in a given specialty regard a 'theorem' that is 'proved' as something
that they should accept without question. The second connotation is of an intri-
cate, highly technical sequence of steps. From a psychological and sociological
point of view, a 'proof of a theorem' is an intimidating notion: it is something
that no one outside an elite of narrow specialists is likely to understand in detail
or raise doubts about. That is, a 'proof' is something that a non-specialist does
not expect to really have to read and think about.

The word 'argument,' which we prefer here, has very different connotations."

— "Another Look at 'Provable Security'," 
by Neal Koblitz and Alfred J. Menezes, July 4, 2004
(updated on July 16, 2004; October 25, 2004; March 31, 2005; and May 4, 2005)

As for 459, see Post  459 in this journal.

Related material: The Race, Crossing the Bridge, Aristophanic View, and Story Theory.

Story Theory (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

"We tell ourselves stories…." * — Joan Didion

President Lindberg**


in "The Fifth Element"

Priest Vito Cornelius: I… have… a different theory to offer you, sir.

President Lindberg: You have twenty seconds.

See "Finale."

* See also Friday morning's post.

** Today's New York Times
   "A version of this op-ed appeared in print
   on July 23, 2011, on page A19 of the New York
   edition with the headline: The Great Evil." —


Friday, July 22, 2011

The Aristophanic View

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

"Some mathematicians are birds, others are frogs.
Birds fly high in the air and survey broad vistas of
mathematics out to the far horizon. They delight in
concepts that unify our thinking and bring together
diverse problems from different parts of the
landscape. Frogs live in the mud below and see
only the flowers that grow nearby. They delight in
the details of particular objects, and they solve
problems one at a time. I happen to be a frog, but
many of my best friends are birds. The main theme
of my talk tonight is this. Mathematics needs both
birds and frogs. Mathematics is rich and beautiful
because birds give it broad visions and frogs give it
intricate details. Mathematics is both great art and
important science, because it combines generality
of concepts with depth of structures. It is stupid to
claim that birds are better than frogs because they
see farther, or that frogs are better than birds
because they see deeper. The world of mathematics
is both broad and deep, and we need birds and
frogs working together to explore it.

This talk is called the Einstein lecture…."

— Freeman Dyson, Notices of the American
Mathematical Society
, February 2009

IMAGE- Joan Didion on a naked woman, a fireman in priest's clothing, and a window

The Didion reading was suggested by the "6212" in yesterday evening's New York Lottery.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Crossing the Bridge

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:23 PM

Continued from July 15th



In memory of painter Lucian Freud,
who died last night in London.

IMAGE- Detail of obit photo for game show artist

"Just a flesh wound."  — The Black Knight

For related material, see Crossing the Bridge
 and this morning's post  The Race.

The Race

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:14 AM
IMAGE- From Esther Dyson- Boats on the Charles- 'Race you to the bridge!'

An image related to
the Flesh obituary below—

See "As It Lays" in this journal.

Vegas background for 'Play It As It Lays'

(Not as it lies .)

New York Times 
obituaries today—

Click to enlarge.



     "That's GUY-ler, not GAY-ler."

      See also Time and the River, Number of the Beast, and Story Theory.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Apocalypse for St. Frank

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:12 PM

(For the title, see the previous post.)

Compare and contrast—

Background on the film "The Ninth Gate"—


Click to enlarge:



Pop-sci background, courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures, for the film

"Another Earth"—

Click to enlarge.


Update of 2:48 PM July 20th—

See Peter Woit's July 19th post "Questions About the Multiverse."

Church of St. Frank*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:01 AM

"A New York Jew imitates D. H. Lawrence at his peril."


Frank Langella at Cannes

See also The Ninth Gate and Spider Women.

* For the title, do a search in this journal.

What Was I Thinking?

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:09 AM

An 8:07 AM check of a link in this morning's 8 AM post,
The Misalignment of Mars and Venus, showed an ad—


— that led to the website for the upcoming film "Another Earth."

At that website is an image that might well be titled…

"Mars and Venus Realigned"—


Click to enlarge.

Cover Art

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

The Misalignment of Mars and Venus

A death in Sarasota on Sunday leads to a weblog post from Tuesday
that suggests a review of Dan Brown's graphic philosophy—

From The Da Vinci Code :

Langdon pulled a pen from his pocket.  “Sophie are you familiar with the modern icons for male and female?”  He drew the common male symbol ♂ and female symbol ♀.

“Of course,” she said.

“These,” he said quietly, are not the original symbols for male and female.  Many people incorrectly assume the male symbol is derived from a shield and spear, while the female represents a mirror reflecting beauty.  In fact, the symbols originated as ancient astronomical symbols for the planet-god Mars and the planet-goddess Venus.  The original symbols are far simpler.”  Langdon drew another icon on the paper.




“This symbol is the original icon for male ,” he told her.  “A rudimentary phallus.”

“Quite to the point,” Sophie said.

“As it were,” Teabing added.

Langdon went on.  “This icon is formally known as the blade , and it represents aggression and manhood.  In fact, this exact phallus symbol is still used today on modern military uniforms to denote rank.”

“Indeed.”  Teabing grinned.  “The more penises you have, the higher your rank.  Boys will be boys.”

Langdon winced.  “Moving on, the female symbol, as you might imagine, is the exact opposite.”  He drew another symbol on the page.  “This is called the chalice .”



Sophie glanced up, looking surprised.

Langdon could see she had made the connection.  “The chalice,” he said, “resembles a cup or vessel, and more important, it resembles the shape of a woman’s womb.  This symbol communicates femininity, womanhood, and fertility.”

Langdon's simplified symbols, in disguised form, illustrate
a musical meditation on the misalignment of Mars and Venus—


This was adapted from an album cover by "Meyers/Monogram"—


  See also Secret History and The Story of N.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Charlie Sheen Hamlet

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

See 603 and 3449.*

“The meeting is closed
with the Lord’s Prayer
and refreshments are served.”

* Courtesy of the NY Lottery.

The Devil at Midday

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:42 PM

Posts suggested by the New York Lottery today at midday— 632 and 2750.

Note the song linked to a quotation in the latter post—

Quotation for Pi Day: Boink, Boink

Click on the link or the quote for the song.

Daimon Theory (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Press ReleaseLos Angeles, July 18, 2011

Former Two and a Half Men  star Charlie Sheen is planning his return to series television in Anger Management , a new sitcom loosely based on Revolution Studios’ 2003 hit comedy feature of the same name….

… in the series inspired by the film… a mild-mannered, non-confrontational man is ordered to attend group anger management sessions led by a therapist who could probably use some anger management himself.

“I chose Anger Management  because, while it might be a big stretch for me to play a guy with serious anger management issues, I think it is a great concept,” Sheen said.

See also Daimon in this journal.


Short Story

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:25 PM

Operation Condor

See Tombstones, Crucible, Sunday in the Park, The Condor, and…



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

Continuing yesterday's lottery meditation

The NY evening numbers yesterday were 244 and 2962.

The latter suggests Post  2962

IMAGE- A post on the meaning of 'Voldemort'

There is no Post  244 here, but a search within this journal for 244 yields


    See also Halmos Tombstone and Death Proof.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


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

A Sunday meditation continued from Burning Patrick

IMAGE- Phallic post at Stonehenge with dancing girls, 'The Black Knight,' 1954

For posts of a different sort, see O'Hara's Fingerpost and Cross-Purposes.

(The numbers  of these posts were indicated by today's midday NY Lottery.)

See also "Ready when you are, C.B."

Insane Symmetry

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 AM

Continued from December 28, 2010.


The above RSS version of a quilt enthusiast's obituary contains an ad asking

Flex your brain muscles with the
Ultimate Problem Solver Challenge."

PerhapsPerhaps not.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 PM

Click on images to enlarge.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110716-CoplestonIndex614-353h.jpg http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110716-Wittenberg-AlfalfaStudio-235w.jpg

Friday, July 15, 2011

Crossing the Bridge

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:59 PM

King Arthur and the Deathly Hallows

BLACK KNIGHT: None shall pass.


BLACK KNIGHT: None shall pass.

ARTHUR: I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight,
                but I must cross this bridge.

BLACK KNIGHT: Then you shall die.

ARTHUR: I command you as King of the Britons
                to stand aside!

BLACK KNIGHT: I move for no man.

ARTHUR: So be it!

— Monty Python


Above: Anthony Bushell as King Arthur in 1954.
Bushell died on April 2, 1997 (4/2/97).
"Well, she was just seventeen…."


The Magic of Numbers*

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

NY Lottery this afternoon:


See Post 757— "Release Date"— and The-Numbers.com
on a film with the release date 7/3/85.

* Title of a course at Harvard. See (for instance)
the Harvard page on The Numerology of the Beast

"Now in math the magic is not in special numbers
like 7 or 28, but in the fabric of number systems…."

Sure it is.

Spider Women

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:10 PM

"Of course, the aesthetic program
of cultural modernism
has long been summed up
by the maxim épater la bourgeoisie."

The New York Times
Sunday Book Review
, July 17


"This Extreme and Difficult Sense of Spectacular Representation:
Antonin Artaud's Ontology of 'Live'
," by Deborah Levitt
of the New School (See the noon post of July 13), as well as…


and, from mathematician Ellen Gethner's home page


See also Sunday Dinner, A Link for Sunrise, and Inside CBS News.


Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:16 AM

The Hogwarts saga may be ending, but there's still…

   The Crucible

   Related material:
    Ay que bonito es volar…

Inside CBS News

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 AM


Related material from the June 30 Washington Post

"Wizardly in his abilities and appearance—
he had a scraggly, gray beard—
Mr. Morris was the digital gatekeeper
of the American government’s computer secrets."

See also audience participation features at The New York Times


Thursday, July 14, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 AM

Part I: Literal

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


Part II: Figurative

See Halmos Tombstone in this journal.


Happy Birthday

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

To an investor in disambiguation


Looking for Action—

"To me, the meaning was clear: when people search, they aren't just looking for nouns or information; they are looking for action. They want to book a flight, reserve a table, buy a product, cure a hangover, take a class, fix a leak, resolve an argument, or occasionally find a person, for which Facebook is very handy. They mostly want to find something in order to do something."

Esther Dyson on "The Future of Internet Search,"
    dated August 19, 2010.
    See also that date in this journal.

ART WARS continued:

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

The Bauhaus Dance


See also The Ya Ya Mandorla




Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Holden Scott Revisited

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 PM

Q— What is “Hollywood’s next big thing?”

A— "Holden Scott!"

The Dick Code

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

"Eighteenth century theories of language were often presented as genealogies; instead of looking to the functions or operations of language to describe its 'nature,' they appealed to the story of its origins (with more or less literalist intentions.) The interest in an original 'revealed' language began much earlier, however. Leibniz, for example, searched for a primitive root-language which he felt could be discovered through research into etymology, and asserted that this ur-text, whether its signifiers were natural or conventional, would be composed of rational relations worthy of its original author, or Author, that is, God. He also toyed with the notion that hieroglyphics might be a philosophical language, a kind of meaningful mathematics, whose revelations would be exact and necessary. The debate over the origins of language— and the status of hieroglyphics— as it played out in the eighteenth century was linked to a dispute over metaphor, conceived as a 'primitive' mode of expression which preceded and was less nuanced and precise than the 'arbitrary' modern European languages. What is essential here is not the specifics of the debate on the origins of language (although this would certainly add much to the present inquiry) but rather the link that was thus constituted between hieroglyphics, the primitive ('the savage and the poet speak only in hieroglyphics') and the idea of an archaic language as an original archive of meanings which pre-exists Man and his derivative or arbitrary tongues."

— "This Extreme and Difficult Sense of Spectacular Representation: Antonin Artaud's Ontology of 'Live'," by Deborah Levitt




"In several programming languages, such as C, C++, C#, Java, Perl, and Python, a caret (^) is used to denote the bitwise XOR operator. This is not used outside of programming contexts because it is too easily confused with other uses of the caret." —Wikipedia article on Exclusive Or


See also the above date, July 7, 2010, in this journal.

Philip K. Dick, author of the novel
on which the Harrison Ford film
"Blade Runner" (1982) was based.

"You'd never know it, but buddy
          I'm a kind of poet."

The Sinatra Code

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

From The Da Vinci Code,
by Dan Brown

Chapter 56

Sophie stared at Teabing a long moment and then turned to Langdon.  “The Holy Grail is a person?”

Langdon nodded.  “A woman, in fact.”  From the blank look on Sophie’s face, Langdon could tell they had already lost her.  He recalled having a similar reaction the first time he heard the statement. It was not until he understood the symbology  behind the Grail that the feminine connection became clear.

Teabing apparently had a similar thought.  “Robert, perhaps this is the moment for the symbologist to clarify?”  He went to a nearby end table, found a piece of paper, and laid it in front of Langdon.

Langdon pulled a pen from his pocket.  “Sophie are you familiar with the modern icons for male and female?”  He drew the common male symbol ♂ and female symbol ♀.

“Of course,” she said.

“These,” he said quietly, are not the original symbols for male and female.  Many people incorrectly assume the male symbol is derived from a shield and spear, while the female represents a mirror reflecting beauty.  In fact, the symbols originated as ancient astronomical symbols for the planet-god Mars and the planet-goddess Venus.  The original symbols are far simpler.”  Langdon drew another icon on the paper.




“This symbol is the original icon for male ,” he told her.  “A rudimentary phallus.”

“Quite to the point,” Sophie said.

“As it were,” Teabing added.

Langdon went on.  “This icon is formally known as the blade , and it represents aggression and manhood.  In fact, this exact phallus symbol is still used today on modern military uniforms to denote rank.”

“Indeed.”  Teabing grinned.  “The more penises you have, the higher your rank.  Boys will be boys.”

Langdon winced.  “Moving on, the female symbol, as you might imagine, is the exact opposite.”  He drew another symbol on the page.  “This is called the chalice .”



Sophie glanced up, looking surprised.

Langdon could see she had made the connection.  “The chalice,” he said, “resembles a cup or vessel, and more important, it resembles the shape of a woman’s womb.  This symbol communicates femininity, womanhood, and fertility.”  Langdon looked directly at her now.  “Sophie, legend tells us the Holy Grail is a chalice—a cup.  But the Grail’s description as a chalice  is actually an allegory to protect the true nature of the Holy Grail.  That is to say, the legend uses the chalice as a metaphor  for something far more important.”

“A woman,” Sophie said.

“Exactly.”  Langdon smiled.  “The Grail is literally the ancient symbol for womankind, and the Holy  Grail represents the sacred feminine and the goddess, which of course has now been lost, virtually eliminated by the Church.  The power of the female and her ability to produce life was once very sacred, but it posed a threat to the rise of the predominantly male Church, and so the sacred feminine was demonized and called unclean.  It was man , not God, who created the concept of ‘original sin,’ whereby Eve tasted of the apple and caused the downfall of the human race.  Woman, once the sacred giver of life, was now the enemy.”

“I should add,” Teabing chimed, “that this concept of woman as life-bringer was the foundation of ancient religion.  Childbirth was mystical and powerful.  Sadly, Christian philosophy decided to embezzle the female’s creative power by ignoring biological truth and making man  the Creator.  Genesis tells us that Eve was created from Adam’s rib.  Woman became an offshoot of man.  And a sinful one at that.  Genesis was the beginning of the end for the goddess.”

“The Grail,” Langdon said, “is symbolic of the lost goddess.  When Christianity came along, the old pagan religions did not die easily.  Legends of chivalric quests for the lost Grail were in fact stories of forbidden quests to find the lost sacred feminine. Knights who claimed to be “searching for the chalice” were speaking in codes as a way to protect themselves from a Church that had subjugated women, banished the Goddess, burned nonbelievers, and forbidden pagan reverence for the sacred feminine.”


Happy birthday to Harrison Ford.

One for my baby…



One more for the road.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An Object of Beauty and…

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:23 PM



The Usual Suspects





For some background, click on the diamond above.

See also Harrison Ford in "Harvard Defeats Holy Cross."

Monday, July 11, 2011

And/Or Problem

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:59 PM

"It was the simultaneous emergence
and mutual determination
of probability and logic
that von Neumann found intriguing
and not at all well understood."

Miklós Rédei


Update of 7 AM ET July 12, 2011—

Freeman Dyson on John von Neumann's
Sept. 2, 1954, address to the International
Congress of Mathematicians on
"Unsolved Problems in Mathematics"—

                                     …."The hall was packed with
mathematicians, all expecting to hear a brilliant
lecture worthy of such a historic occasion. The
lecture was a huge disappointment. Von Neumann
had probably agreed several years earlier to give
a lecture about unsolved problems and had then
forgotten about it. Being busy with many other
things, he had neglected to prepare the lecture.
Then, at the last moment, when he remembered
that he had to travel to Amsterdam and say something
about mathematics, he pulled an old lecture
from the 1930s out of a drawer and dusted it off.
The lecture was about rings of operators, a subject
that was new and fashionable in the 1930s. Nothing
about unsolved problems.
Nothing about the

Notices of the American Mathematical Society ,
February 2009, page 220

For a different account, see Giovanni Valente's
2009 PhD thesis from the University of Maryland,
Chapter 2, "John von Neumann's Mathematical
'Utopia' in Quantum Theory"—

"During his lecture von Neumann discussed operator theory and its con-
nections with quantum mechanics and noncommutative probability theory,
pinpointing a number of unsolved problems. In his view geometry was so tied
to logic that he ultimately outlined a logical interpretation of quantum prob-
abilities. The core idea of his program is that probability is invariant under
the symmetries of the logical structure of the theory. This is tantamount to
a formal calculus in which logic and probability arise simultaneously. The
problem that exercised von Neumann then was to construct a geometrical
characterization of the whole theory of logic, probability and quantum me-
chanics, which could be derived from a suitable set of axioms…. As he
himself finally admitted, he never managed to set down the sought-after
axiomatic formulation in a way that he felt satisfactory."

Accentuate the Positive

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 2:02 PM

An image that may be viewed as
a cube with a + on each face—


The eightfold cube


Underlying structure

For the Pope and others on St. Benedict’s Day
who prefer narrative to mathematics—

The Witch of And/Or

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

AND: Logical conjunction, symbolized as… 

OR:    Logical disjunction, symbolized as…  

AND/OR: Logical confusion, symbolized as…  IMAGE- AND and OR symbols combined as Lacanian AND/OR lozenge
according to a woman Lacanian analyst in this journal.

See also another female disciple of Lacan
writing as co-author with a philosophy professor
in Saturday's online New York Times 's "The Stone"—

"Let Be: An Answer to Hamlet’s Question."

Perhaps they thought the question was…




Wikipedia portrait of New School
philosopher Simon Critchley

"To be and/or not to be?"

For a more philosophically respectable approach to
the same shape, see Sunday morning's Wittgenstein's Diamond.

"We're gonna need more holy water." —Hollywood saying

Dark Lady

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


From an obituary of choreographer Roland Petit, who died on Sunday, July 10, 2011—

"Ballerina roles had for more than a century been largely made on pale romantically suffering virgins or royal princesses; Petit’s women were liberated and exciting, modern and tangibly real— and yet archaic femmes fatales . Probably his most popular ballet worldwide is Le jeune homme et la mort , in which a young bloke lazing around in his room is visited by an enigmatic, seductive female— at the end of which brief encounter he hangs himself.

The young man’s role was seized upon by the great ballet stars of the next decades, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov notable among them. As with Carmen, the role of La Mort, the death goddess, has been sought out by a pantheon of great ballerinas, in Paris, Russia and the US as well as in Europe." —Ismene Brown at theartsdesk.com

From the philosophy column "The Stone" in Saturday's online New York Times

July 9, 2011, 4:45 PM: "Let Be: An Answer to Hamlet’s Question"—

"Jamieson Webster is a psychoanalyst in private practice
in New York. She is the author of
'The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis'
forthcoming from Karnac Books.

Related ART WARS material:

  1. An illustrated essay by Webster posted on March 7, 2009 at The Symptom 10 weblog
  2. An illustrated essay by Cullinane posted on March 7,  2009 at the Log24 weblog
  3. Time and Eternity
  4. Lovely, Dark and Deep

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wittgenstein’s Diamond

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

Philosophical Investigations  (1953)

97. Thought is surrounded by a halo.
—Its essence, logic, presents an order,
in fact the a priori order of the world:
that is, the order of possibilities * ,
which must be common to both world and thought.
But this order, it seems, must be
utterly simple . It is prior  to all experience,
must run through all experience;
no empirical cloudiness or uncertainty can be allowed to affect it
——It must rather be of the purest crystal.
But this crystal does not appear as an abstraction;
but as something concrete, indeed, as the most concrete,
as it were the hardest  thing there is
(Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus  No. 5.5563).

— Translation by G.E.M. Anscombe


All propositions of our colloquial language
are actually, just as they are, logically completely in order.
That simple thing which we ought to give here is not
a model of the truth but the complete truth itself.

(Our problems are not abstract but perhaps
the most concrete that there are.)

97. Das Denken ist mit einem Nimbus umgeben.
—Sein Wesen, die Logik, stellt eine Ordnung dar,
und zwar die Ordnung a priori der Welt,
d.i. die Ordnung der Möglichkeiten ,
die Welt und Denken gemeinsam sein muß.
Diese Ordnung aber, scheint es, muß
höchst einfach  sein. Sie ist vor  aller Erfahrung;
muß sich durch die ganze Erfahrung hindurchziehen;
ihr selbst darf keine erfahrungsmäßige Trübe oder Unsicherheit anhaften.
——Sie muß vielmehr vom reinsten Kristall sein.
Dieser Kristall aber erscheint nicht als eine Abstraktion;
sondern als etwas Konkretes, ja als das Konkreteste,
gleichsam Härteste . (Log. Phil. Abh.  No. 5.5563.)

See also

Related language in Łukasiewicz (1937)—


* Updates of 9:29 PM ET July 10, 2011—

A  mnemonic  from a course titled “Galois Connections and Modal Logics“—

“Traditionally, there are two modalities, namely, possibility and necessity.
The basic modal operators are usually written box (square) for necessarily
and diamond (diamond) for possibly. Then, for example, diamondP  can be read as
‘it is possibly the case that P .'”

See also Intensional Semantics , lecture notes by Kai von Fintel and Irene Heim, MIT, Spring 2007 edition—

“The diamond symbol for possibility is due to C.I. Lewis, first introduced in Lewis & Langford (1932), but he made no use of a symbol for the dual combination ¬¬. The dual symbol was later devised by F.B. Fitch and first appeared in print in 1946 in a paper by his doctoral student Barcan (1946). See footnote 425 of Hughes & Cresswell (1968). Another notation one finds is L for necessity and M for possibility, the latter from the German möglich  ‘possible.’”

Barcan, Ruth C.: 1946. “A Functional Calculus of First Order Based on Strict Implication.” Journal of Symbolic Logic, 11(1): 1–16. URL http://www.jstor.org/pss/2269159.

Hughes, G.E. & Cresswell, M.J.: 1968. An Introduction to Modal Logic. London: Methuen.

Lewis, Clarence Irving & Langford, Cooper Harold: 1932. Symbolic Logic. New York: Century.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Gleaming the Cube (continued)

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

The New York Times  has a skateboarder obit with a URL date of July 9.

Here is an earlier version from the LA Times

July 4, 2011

By Keith Thursby, Los Angeles Times

Chris Cahill, one of the original Dogtown Z-Boys
who brought seismic changes to skateboarding
with their style and attitude, has died. He was 54.

Cahill was found June 24 at his Los Angeles home,
said Larry Dietz of the Los Angeles County
coroner's office. A cause of death has not been
determined and tests are ongoing, Dietz said.


Related material from Midsummer Day, June 24, the day Cahill was found dead—

The Gleaming and The Cube.

    An illustration from the latter—

IMAGE- 'The Stars My Destination' (with cover slightly changed)

    The above was adapted from a 1996 cover

IMAGE- PyrE on the 1996 Vintage Books cover of 'The Stars My Destination'

 Vintage Books, July 1996. Cover: Evan Gaffney.

For the significance of the flames,
see PyrE in the book. For the significance
of the cube in the altered cover, see
The 2×2×2 Cube and The Diamond Archetype.

Blessings from the Apollo

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:13 AM

Part I, Midday —

Yesterday's midday NY Lottery "689" suggests (from April 3, 2005)—

689 IMAGE- Chinese character 'Fu' [fú] blessing, good fortune

IMAGE- Strokes of the Chinese Character 'Fu'

   Diagram taken from R. Sing,
  “Chinese New Year’s Dragon Teacher’s Guide”

— and the 4-digit midday number suggests a NASA Picture of the Day
     that was published (not taken) on 7795 (7/7/95)—


Part II, Evening —

Suggested by yesterday's evening NY Lottery "068"
and by Weltschmerz  and the Ursprache


— Walter Benjamin, “On Language as Such and On the Language of Man”  (1916),
Edmund Jephcott, tr., Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings, Volume I:  1913-1926  ,
Marcus Bullock and Michael W. Jennings, eds., Cambridge, MA,
Harvard University Press, 1996, pp. 62-74. The above is page 68.

A more entertaining meditation is suggested by yesterday's 4-digit evening NY number—
a video tribute to a song said to have been released as a single on 7383 (7/3/83)—


Related material— "Dark Side of the Moon" in this journal.

In the Details

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Connecting the dots with Clarke's Last Tale

"The book is about a young Sri Lankan mathematician
who finds a short proof of Fermat's Last Theorem
while an alien invasion of Earth is in progress."

Wikipedia on Arthur C. Clarke's 2008 novel The Last Theorem

Related material—

The May 7, 2006 link from Thursday morning's The 256 Code
and the Tribute link in last night's Your Shiny Friend.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Death and Grand Rapids

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


See also Grand Rapids in this journal.

Baudelaire, Your Shiny Friend

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:48 PM

Google Translate version of a recent Norwegian art review

Josefine Lyche show is working on the basis of crop circles occur in Pewsey, Wiltshire in England for exactly one year ago on 21 June. Three circulars forms of aluminum quote forms from the field in England. With this as a starting point invites Lyche viewer to explore the sacred shapes and patterns through painting, floor work and sculpture. In the monumental painting "Wisdom Luxury Romance" draws Lyche lines to both Matisse and Baudelaire in his poem "L'invitation au voyage ."

From the artist's website, JosefineLyche.com

Click to enlarge



From elsewhere—


Related material

From Antichristmas 2002— Aluminum, Your Shiny Friend.

From Sept. 22, 2004— Tribute… in the context of
today's previous entry  and of the conclusion of the story
that later became Childhood's End


After 759

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:48 AM

Childhood's End

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The 256 Code:

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Earlier Determinations —

IMAGE- Robert L. Griess Jr. on the automorphism group of the 256-word Nordstrom-Robinson code

"I could tell you a lot, but you got
 to be true to your code…." —Sinatra

Update of 4:28 PM ET 7/7—

The above remark by Griess is from a preprint of an article
published in Journal of Combinatorial Theory Series A
Volume 115 Issue 7, October 2008. (A copy dated
April 28, 2006, was placed in the arXiv on May 7, 2006.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nordstrom-Robinson Automorphisms

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

A 2008 statement on the order of the automorphism group of the Nordstrom-Robinson code—

"The Nordstrom-Robinson code has an unusually large group of automorphisms (of order 8! = 40,320) and is optimal in many respects. It can be found inside the binary Golay code."

— Jürgen Bierbrauer and Jessica Fridrich, preprint of "Constructing Good Covering Codes for Applications in Steganography," Transactions on Data Hiding and Multimedia Security III, Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2008, Volume 4920/2008, 1-22

A statement by Bierbrauer from 2004 has an error that doubles the above figure—

The automorphism group of the binary Golay code G is the simple Mathieu group M24 of order |M24| = 24 × 23 × 22 × 21 × 20 × 48 in its 5-transitive action on the 24 coordinates. As M24 is transitive on octads, the stabilizer of an octad has order |M24|/759 [=322,560]. The stabilizer of NR has index 8 in this group. It follows that NR admits an automorphism group of order |M24| / (759 × 8 ) = [?] 16 × 7! [=80,640]. This is a huge symmetry group. Its structure can be inferred from the embedding in G as well. The automorphism group of NR is a semidirect product of an elementary abelian group of order 16 and the alternating group A7.

— Jürgen Bierbrauer, "Nordstrom-Robinson Code and A7-Geometry," preprint dated April 14, 2004, published in Finite Fields and Their Applications , Volume 13, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 158-170

The error is corrected (though not detected) later in the same 2004 paper—

In fact the symmetry group of the octacode is a semidirect product of an elementary abelian group of order 16 and the simple group GL(3, 2) of order 168. This constitutes a large automorphism group (of order 2688), but the automorphism group of NR is larger yet as we saw earlier (order 40,320).

For some background, see a well-known construction of the code from the Miracle Octad Generator of R.T. Curtis—

Click to enlarge:

IMAGE - The 112 hexads of the Nordstrom-Robinson code

For some context, see the group of order 322,560 in Geometry of the 4×4 Square.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Shell Beach

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 AM

"When you have only one way of expressing yourself, you have
limits that you don’t appreciate. When you get a new way to
express yourself, it teaches you that there could be a third or a
fourth way. It opens up your eyes to a much broader universe."
— David Donoho

The above quote appears as the epigraph to Chapter 4,
"Beyond Wavelets," in A Primer on Wavelets  by James S. Walker
(Chapman & Hall/CRC, 1999).  It originally appeared as the
conclusion (p. 234) of "The Mathematical Microscope: Waves,
Wavelets, and Beyond," by Barbara Burke, pp. 196-235 in
A Positron Named Priscilla
, National Academy of Sciences, 1994.

For other ways of expression suitable for today's holiday,
see Shell Beach in this journal.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mexican Hat Dance

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:59 PM


The "232" was suggested by today's evening New York lottery, as
was the work of mathematician David Donoho (born 3/5/57).

Donoho is an expert on wavelets and related functions.

This post's title was suggested by the Mexican Hat wavelet
and by the Wallace Stevens poem "The Pastor Caballero"
quoted in last night's post.

As for today's midday lottery, see a reference to 645
in Imago Creationis and remarks from 3354 (3/3/54)
by Pauli on quantum theory and "small macroscopic spheres"
[for instance, Ping Pong balls].

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:59 PM

Von Neumann's theory…
"tries to make the imponderable ponderable." — Various authors

As does some poetry.




IMAGE- Chris Ferguson, poker, Managua


For further details, click on the hat.

Mass Appeal

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:57 AM

A portrait reproduced here on October 11, 2007

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/071011-vonNeumann.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.



The above was suggested by yesterday's New York Lottery and by
items dated February  8, 1958 (date of receipt of an AMS Bulletin  article)
and February 1, 1953 (newspaper article on applied game theory).

(This covers three of the four relevant lottery numbers.
For the fourth, see 9/19 and recent discussions of
The End of Mr. Y  (Sunday Dinner and A Link for Sunrise)).

See also Saint  John Neumann.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Symmetry Review

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

Popular novelist Dan Brown is to speak at Chautauqua Institution on August 1.

This suggests a review of some figures discussed here in a note on Brown from February 20, 2004

IMAGE- Like motions of a pattern's parts can induce motions of the whole. Escher-'Fishes and Scales,' Cullinane-'Invariance'

Related material: Notes from Nov. 5, 1981, and from Dec. 24, 1981.

For the lower figure in context, see the diamond theorem.

Powered by WordPress