Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Temple Bell

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Art suggested by a search in this journal for Bennington, by the Kurt Vonnegut
novel Timequake , and by the works of Eric Temple Bell.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

“Just like a-ringin’ a bell”

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:17 PM

See Temple Bell in this journal.

Related material —

Sunday, July 8, 2018


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

Eric Temple Bell, 'The Development of Mathematics'

See also Solomon's  cube.

* Title suggested by a 2011 dystopian novel.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Like Decorations in a Cartoon Graveyard

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:48 PM

From Sunday evening's In Memoriam post —

The "from Princeton" remark in the previous post came  from
Princeton, but originated with a retired professor in Rochester,
NY, one Joseph Neisendorfer.

Another remark by Neisendorfer, from his weblog —

Those familiar with the chapter on Galois in the
Eric Temple Bell classic Men of Mathematics  
will know that the words quoted above by
Neisendorfer are definitely not  those of Albert Einstein.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Magpie

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:45 AM

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore…."

— Edgar Allan Poe, 1845 (link added)

"The infamous pseudohistorian Eric Temple Bell
begins his book 'The Magic of Numbers' as follows:

The hero of our story is Pythagoras…."

John Baez, June 20, 2006

Related material —

See also "Temple Bell" in this  journal.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Abacus Conundrum…

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:44 AM



Prequel from 1961 (click image for context):

Detail that may be interpreted as the Chinese
3×3 "Holy Field" and a Chinese temple bell

"Ting-a-ling." — Kurt Vonnegut.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday School

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

Galois and Abel vs. Rubik


“Abel was done to death by poverty, Galois by stupidity.
In all the history of science there is no completer example
of the triumph of crass stupidity….”

— Eric Temple Bell,  Men of Mathematics

Gray Space  (Continued)

… For The Church of Plan 9.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympics Special

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

Quoted in some remarks yesterday on geometry—

IMAGE- Eric Temple Bell on 'Solomon's Seal' as a 'highly special topic'

From posts linked to this morning—

IMAGE- 'Jewel in the Crown'- MAA version of the Crown of Geometry

The Source— 

IMAGE- Coxeter as King of Geometry

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Solomon’s Seal

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

(Mathematics and Narrative, continued)


The Ring and The Stone from yesterday’s post, and…

“In Medieval Jewish, Christian and Islamic legends,
the Seal of Solomon was a magical signet ring
said to have been possessed by King Solomon….”

— Wikipedia article, Seal of Solomon


IMAGE- Eric Temple Bell on the mathematics of 'Solomon's Seal' (in his 'Development of Mathematics')

A fact related to the mathematical
“Solomon’s seal” described above by Bell:

IMAGE- J.W.P. Hirschfeld on the mathematics of 'Solomon's Seal', with reference to Edge on the same topic

The reference to Edge is as follows—

[3] Edge, W. L., Quadrics over GF(2) and
their relevance for the cubic surface group
Canadian J. Maths. 11 (1959) ….

(This reference relates Hirschfeld’s remarks
quoted above to the 64-point affine space
illustrated below (via the associated
63-point projective  space PG (5, 2)).

As for the narrative’s Stone… 

See Solomon’s Cube.

IMAGE- 'Solomon's Cube'

Sunday, October 30, 2011


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

Part I: Timothy Gowers on equivalence relations

Part II: Martin Gardner on normal subgroups

Part III: Evariste Galois on normal subgroups

"In all the history of science there is no completer example
 of the triumph of crass stupidity over untamable genius…."

— Eric Temple Bell, Men of Mathematics

See also an interesting definition and Weyl on Galois.

Update of 6:29 PM EDT Oct. 30, 2011—

For further details, see Herstein's phrase
"a tribute to the genius of Galois."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Koan for Larsson

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:09 PM

"On the one-ton temple bell
 a moon-moth, folded into sleep,
 sits still." — Haiku by Buson

From the day author Stieg Larsson died—

The Nine (November 9th, 2004).

See also Pandora's Box (September 16th, 2006).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Counter

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:00 AM

"…as we saw, there are two different Latin squares of order 4…."
— Peter J. Cameron, "The Shrikhande Graph," August 26, 2010

Cameron counts Latin squares as the same if they are isotopic .
Some further context for Cameron's remark—

Cover Illustration Number 1 (1976):


Cover Illustration Number 2 (1991):


   The Shrikhande Graph



This post was prompted by two remarks…

1.  In a different weblog, also on August 26, 2010—

    The Accidental Mathematician— "The Girl Who Played with Fermat's Theorem."

"The worst thing about the series is the mathematical interludes in The Girl Who Played With Fire….

Salander is fascinated by a theorem on perfect numbers—
one can verify it for as many numbers as one wishes, and it never fails!—
and then advances through 'Archimedes, Newton, Martin Gardner,*
and a dozen other classical mathematicians,' all the way to Fermat’s last theorem."

2.  "The fact that the pattern retains its symmetry when you permute the rows and columns
     is very well known to combinatorial theorists who work with matrices."
     [My italics; note resemblance to the Brualdi-Ryser title above.]

     –Martin Gardner in 1976 on the diamond theorem

* Compare Eric Temple Bell (as quoted at the MacTutor history of mathematics site)—

    "Archimedes, Newton, and Gauss, these three, are in a class by themselves
     among the great mathematicians, and it is not for ordinary mortals
     to attempt to range them in order of merit."

     This is from the chapter on Gauss in Men of Mathematics .

Monday, December 8, 2003

Monday December 8, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Happy Rohatsu

“The Buddha was enlightened on the eighth of December when he looked up at the morning star, the planet we call Venus.”

— Shodo Harada Roshi, Dharma Talk

A poem for Rohatsu:

On the one-ton temple bell
a moon-moth, folded into sleep,
sits still.

~by Taniguchi Buson
(translated by X.J. Kennedy)

Commentary on poetry of Buson:

Poetry as an open space
 for lightening of Being

“… a cleft of existence from where the time is to extend to eternity. It is a place where ‘nothing’ crosses with ‘being’ or the ‘clearing’ in Heidegger’s term, the only light place in the dark forest.”

Hiroo Saga

In other words,
From Here to Eternity.

For more on Zen, see the
entry of May 2, 2003.

For more on a Temple Bell, see the
entry of May 1, 2003.

For more on Venus, see the
entry of March 28, 2003.

For more on the morning star, see the
entry of December 8, 2002.

Thursday, May 1, 2003

Thursday May 1, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:13 PM

Rhymes with Puck

Readings for May Day, also known as Beltane.

  I. The Playboy of the Western World

 II.  Beltane

III.  A is for Art


In 1993, The Mathematical Association of America published Constance Reid’s

also known as John Taine.

This is a biography of Eric Temple Bell, a mathematician and writer on mathematics, who also wrote fiction under the name John Taine.

On page 194, Reid records a question Bell’s son asked as a child.  Passing a church and seeing a cross on the steeple, he inquired, “Why is the plus up there?”

For an answer that makes some sort of sense

  • in the context of Part II above, and
  • in the context of last month’s “Math Awareness Month” theme, mathematics and art,

consider the phrase “A is for Art,” so aptly illustrated by Olivia Newton-John in “Wrestling Pablo Picasso,”  then examine the photograph of ballerina Margaret “Puck” Petit on page 195 of Reid’s book.  Puck, as the mother of Leslie Caron (see Terpsichore’s Birthday), clearly deserves an A+.

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