Log24

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Welcome

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:44 PM

Make that Gorham .

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Review

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:18 AM

From a news article featured on the American Mathematical Society
home page today

A joint Vietnam-USA mathematical meeting in Vietnam on
June 10-13, 2019:

This  journal on June 12, 2019:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Osterman Haiku

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:32 PM Edit This

Click on the book cover below for posts tagged "Haiku."

'Point Omega' by DeLillo

See also the Twentieth of May, 2008 —

Welcome to the Garden Club, Pilgrim.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Melbourne Noir

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

 March 8, 2018, was the date of death for Melbourne author Peter Temple.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Identity Crisis

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 PM

(Continued from 12 AM Sept. 4)

New York Times
Editors’ Choice
11 New Books We Recommend This Week

Sept. 6, 2018

Identity — whatever that even means — has been having a moment, lately. The political climate forces us all to decide grimly what bunker will welcome us, and the new culture wars spur people to define themselves before somebody else does it for them to possibly violent effect. Identity may be abstract and elusive, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have real-world consequences. So our recommended titles this week turn a spotlight on the subject, from Francis Fukuyama’s “Identity” to Kwame Anthony Appiah’s “The Lies That Bind” to two books about identity politics on college campuses: “The Splintering of the American Mind,” by William Egginton, and “The Coddling of the American Mind,” by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt. (Those similar titles are no coincidence: Both books hark back to Allan Bloom’s classic “The Closing of the American Mind.”) We also have a book about the Spanish man who for decades falsely claimed to be a Holocaust survivor, and a joint biography of the mother and daughter who gave their names to the Myers-Briggs personality test. In other realms, there’s a biography of the tennis legend Arthur Ashe; new fiction from Gary Shteyngart, Ben Marcus and Tsitsi Dangarembga; and an essay collection about the role of the “dead girl” in popular culture, which posits that — in that case, anyway — the absence of identity is the whole point.

Gregory Cowles
Senior Editor, Books

See also  Identity + Paz  in this  journal.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

In Other News…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:14 AM

A check of this morning's newsfeed suggests 
a search in this journal for America + Welcome
in memory of Daniel Berrigan.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mystery

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

"Welcome to America." — Harrison Ford in "The Devil's Own"

America  (current issue):

On readings at Mass on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014 —

"Isaiah 55:8-9: 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.'

The Gospel reading… was a perfect complement to
the passage from Isaiah…."

The America  piece quoting Isaiah was titled "The Mystery of God."

The author "currently works at Xavier College Preparatory
in Palm Desert, CA, where he teaches theology…."

Related material: This  journal that Sunday morning:

See also "The Mystery of God, Part II" —

Other secular stand-ins for "the thing one doesn't know"—
The mysteries of the late Joseph D. McNamara.

Star Wars

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:16 AM

Welcome to America.” — Harrison Ford in “The Devil’s Own” (1997)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Class by Itself

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

The American Mathematical Society yesterday:

Harvey Cohn (1923-2014)
Wednesday September 10th 2014

Cohn, an AMS Fellow and a Putnam Fellow (1942), died May 16 at the age of 90. He served in the Navy in World War II and following the war received his PhD from Harvard University in 1948 under the direction of Lars Ahlfors. He was a member of the faculty at Wayne State University, Stanford University, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Arizona, and at City College of New York, where he was a distinguished professor. After retiring from teaching, he also worked for the NSA. Cohn was an AMS member since 1942.

Paid death notice from The New York Times , July 27, 2014:

COHN–Harvey. Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and member of the Society since 1942, died on May 16 at the age of 90. He was a brilliant Mathematician, an adoring husband, father and grandfather, and faithful friend and mentor to his colleagues and students. Born in New York City in 1923, Cohn received his B.S. degree (Mathematics and Physics) from CCNY in 1942. He received his M.S. degree from NYU (1943), and his Ph.D. from Harvard (1948) after service in the Navy (Electronic Technicians Mate, 1944-46). He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa (Sigma Chi), won the William Lowell Putnam Prize in 1942, and was awarded the Townsend Harris Medal in 1972. A pioneer in the intensive use of computers in an innovative way in a large number of classical mathematical problems, Harvey Cohn held faculty positions at Wayne State University, Stanford, Washington University Saint Louis (first Director of the Computing Center 1956-58), University of Arizona (Chairman 1958-1967), University of Copenhagen, and CCNY (Distinguished Professor of Mathematics). After his retirement from teaching, he worked in a variety of capacities for the National Security Agency and its research arm, IDA Center for Computing Sciences. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Bernice, of Laguna Woods, California and Ft. Lauderdale, FL, his son Anthony, daughter Susan Cohn Boros, three grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

— Published in The New York Times  on July 27, 2014

See also an autobiographical essay found on the web.

None of the above sources mention the following book, which is apparently by this same Harvey Cohn. (It is dedicated to "Tony and Susan.")

From Google Books:

Advanced Number Theory, by Harvey Cohn
Courier Dover Publications, 1980 – 276 pages
(First published by Wiley in 1962 as A Second Course in Number Theory )

Publisher's description:

" 'A very stimulating book … in a class by itself.'— American Mathematical Monthly

Advanced students, mathematicians and number theorists will welcome this stimulating treatment of advanced number theory, which approaches the complex topic of algebraic number theory from a historical standpoint, taking pains to show the reader how concepts, definitions and theories have evolved during the last two centuries. Moreover, the book abounds with numerical examples and more concrete, specific theorems than are found in most contemporary treatments of the subject.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I is concerned with background material — a synopsis of elementary number theory (including quadratic congruences and the Jacobi symbol), characters of residue class groups via the structure theorem for finite abelian groups, first notions of integral domains, modules and lattices, and such basis theorems as Kronecker's Basis Theorem for Abelian Groups.

Part II discusses ideal theory in quadratic fields, with chapters on unique factorization and units, unique factorization into ideals, norms and ideal classes (in particular, Minkowski's theorem), and class structure in quadratic fields. Applications of this material are made in Part III to class number formulas and primes in arithmetic progression, quadratic reciprocity in the rational domain and the relationship between quadratic forms and ideals, including the theory of composition, orders and genera. In a final concluding survey of more recent developments, Dr. Cohn takes up Cyclotomic Fields and Gaussian Sums, Class Fields and Global and Local Viewpoints.

In addition to numerous helpful diagrams and tables throughout the text, appendices, and an annotated bibliography, Advanced Number Theory  also includes over 200 problems specially designed to stimulate the spirit of experimentation which has traditionally ruled number theory."

User Review –

"In a nutshell, the book serves as an introduction to Gauss' theory of quadratic forms and their composition laws (the cornerstone of his Disquisitiones Arithmeticae) from the modern point of view (ideals in quadratic number fields). I strongly recommend it as a gentle introduction to algebraic number theory (with exclusive emphasis on quadratic number fields and binary quadratic forms). As a bonus, the book includes material on Dirichlet L-functions as well as proofs of Dirichlet's class number formula and Dirichlet's theorem in primes in arithmetic progressions (of course this material requires the reader to have the background of a one-semester course in real analysis; on the other hand, this material is largely independent of the subsequent algebraic developments).

Better titles for this book would be 'A Second Course in Number Theory' or 'Introduction to quadratic forms and quadratic fields'. It is not a very advanced book in the sense that required background is only a one-semester course in number theory. It does not assume prior familiarity with abstract algebra. While exercises are included, they are not particularly interesting or challenging (if probably adequate to keep the reader engaged).

While the exposition is *slightly* dated, it feels fresh enough and is particularly suitable for self-study (I'd be less likely to recommend the book as a formal textbook). Students with a background in abstract algebra might find the pace a bit slow, with a bit too much time spent on algebraic preliminaries (the entire Part I—about 90 pages); however, these preliminaries are essential to paving the road towards Parts II (ideal theory in quadratic fields) and III (applications of ideal theory).

It is almost inevitable to compare this book to Borevich-Shafarevich 'Number Theory'. The latter is a fantastic book which covers a large superset of the material in Cohn's book. Borevich-Shafarevich is, however, a much more demanding read and it is out of print. For gentle self-study (and perhaps as a preparation to later read Borevich-Shafarevich), Cohn's book is a fine read."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Merit vs. Meritocracy

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:02 AM

The New York Times  online opinion today

"Merit has been traditionally equated with intelligence, industriousness, educational attainment, creativity and competency. In a meritocracy, formal qualifications provide opportunity, position is no longer ascribed by birth, and rewards flow to those who excel.

The rise of meritocratic competition as the preeminent means of social stratification in America has been hailed as a welcome advance because it replaced a society dominated by an upper class dependent on inherited wealth and status. The transition to meritocracy has, however, had unintended consequences. In the business sector, particularly, other less benign qualities emerge as essential to meritocratic success: aggressiveness, ruthlessness, dominance-seeking, victimizing behavior, acquisitiveness and the disciplined pursuit of self-interest." 

Journalism professor Thomas B. Edsall discussing remarks last December by Mitt Romney

Note the subtle shift here from "merit" to "meritocracy." Romney used the former word, not the latter.

Note also this sentence, aimed particularly at meritocratic New York Times  readers—

"In a meritocracy, formal qualifications provide opportunity… and rewards flow to those who excel."

Edsall lies. In a meritocracy, rewards flow to those who rubber-stamp "formal qualifications." See particularly Walter Kirn on meritocracy.

Edsall is pandering to Times  readers. Romney was pandering to a different group—

IMAGE- Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks to Republican Jewish Coalition

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Leap Day of Faith

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:48 AM

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday, April 2, 2012—

"I think there is in this country a war on religion.
 I think there is a desire to establish a religion
 in America known as secularism."

Nancy Haught of The Oregonian  on Leap Day, Feb. 29, 2012

IMAGE- Theologian William Hamilton at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, February 10, 1950

William Hamilton, the retired theologian who declared in the 1960s that God was dead, died Tuesday [Feb. 28, 2012] in his downtown Portland apartment at 87. Hamilton said he'd been haunted by questions about God since he was a teenager. Years later, when his conclusion was published in the April 8, 1966, edition of Time Magazine, he found himself in a hornet's nest.

Time christened the new movement "radical theology" and Hamilton, one of its key figures, received death threats and inspired angry letters to the editor in newspapers that carried the story. He encountered hostility at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, where he had been teaching theology,  and lost his endowed chair in 1967.

Hamilton moved on to teach religion at New College in Sarasota, Fla.

(See also this  journal on Leap Day.)

From New College: The Honors College of Florida

History Highlights

Oct. 11, 1960: New College is founded as a private college

1961: Trustees obtain options to purchase the former Charles Ringling estate on Sarasota Bay and 12 acres of airport land facing U.S. 41 held by private interests. The two pieces form the heart of the campus

Nov. 18, 1962: the campus is dedicated. Earth from Harvard is mixed with soil from New College as a symbol of the shared lofty ideals of the two institutions.

See also, in this journal, "Greatest Show on Earth" and The Harvard Crimson

The Harvard Crimson,
Online Edition
Sunday,
Oct. 8, 2006

POMP AND
CIRCUS-STANCE


CRIMSON/ MEGHAN T. PURDY

Friday, Oct. 6:

 

The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus has come to town, and yesterday the animals were disembarked near MIT and paraded to their temporary home at the Banknorth Garden.

OPINION

At Last, a
Guiding Philosophy

The General Education report is a strong cornerstone, though further scrutiny is required.

After four long years, the Curricular Review has finally found its heart.

The Trouble
With the Germans

The College is a little under-educated these days.

By SAHIL K. MAHTANI
Harvard College– in the best formulation I’ve heard– promulgates a Japanese-style education, where the professoriate pretend to teach, the students pretend to learn, and everyone is happy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday January 15, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 PM
Harvard, Magic,
and The New York Times

The New York Times Magazine for next Sunday:

The Edge of the Mystery, by Matt Bai–

“Weeks before the election of 1960, Norman Mailer, already an accomplished novelist, sat down to write his first major work of political journalism, an essay for Esquire in which he argued that only John F. Kennedy could save America… the only kind of leader who could rescue it, who could sweep in an era of what Mailer called ‘existential’ politics, was a ‘hipster’ hero– someone who welcomed risk and adventure, someone who sought out new experience, both for himself and for the country….

… Mailer essentially created a new genre for a generation of would-be literary philosophers covering politics….  By 1963, Mailer and other idealists were crushed to discover that Kennedy was in fact a fairly conventional and pragmatic politician, more Harvard Yard than Fortress of Solitude.”

The New York Times today:

Magic and Realism, by Roger Cohen–

“… what I want from the Obama administration is something more than Harvard-to-the-Beltway smarts. I want magical realism.”

Mailer and Cohen, taken together, suggest I should review two authors– Picard and Hesse– I encountered as a Harvard freshman in 1960.

Max Picard:

“In the ‘Prologue in Heaven’ in Goethe’s Faust a powerful silence is produced by the powerful word after each verse. There is an active, audible silence after every verse. The things that were moved into position by the word stand motionless in the silence, as if they were waiting to be called back into the silence and to disappear therein. The word not only brings the things out of silence; it also produces the silence in which they can disappear again.”

Goethe:

DER HERR:
Kennst du den Faust?

MEPHISTOPHELES:
Den Doktor?

DER HERR:
Meinen Knecht!

Online Etymology Dictionary:

knight
O.E. cniht “boy, youth, servant,” common W.Gmc. (cf. O.Fris. kniucht, Du. knecht, kneht “boy, youth, lad,” Ger. Knecht “servant, bondsman, vassal”), of unknown origin. Meaning “military follower of a king or other superior” is from c.1100. Began to be used in a specific military sense in Hundred Years War, and gradually rose in importance through M.E. period until it became a rank in the nobility 16c. The verb meaning “to make a knight of (someone)” is from c.1300. Knighthood is O.E. cnihthad M.H.G. “the period between childhood and manhood;” sense of “rank or dignity of a knight” is from c.1300. The chess piece so called from c.1440.

Further background on the word “Knecht”–

'Magister Ludi,' or 'The Glass Bead Game,' by Hermann Hesse

Epigraph to Magister Ludi
(Joseph Knecht’s translation):


“… For although in a certain sense and for light-minded persons non-existent things can be more easily and irresponsibly represented in words than existing things, for the serious and conscientious historian it is just the reverse. Nothing is harder, yet nothing is more necessary, than to speak of certain things whose existence is neither demonstrable nor probable. The very fact that serious and conscientious men treat them as existing things brings them a step closer to existence and to the possibility of being born.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday May 20, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 PM

The China Candidate

In honor of the 100th birthday of actor James Stewart,
Turner Classic Movies is now showing
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

In light of an ABC News story tonight,
Report: U.S. Soldiers Did 'Dirty Work' for Chinese Interrogators,
the following film seems more relevant:

Welcome to the Garden Club, Pilgrim

http://www.log24.com/log/pix08/080520-GardenClub2.jpg

Related material:

The Dictatorship of Talent, by David Brooks
in The New York Times of December 4, 2007—

"When you talk to Americans, you find that they have all these weird notions about Chinese communism. You try to tell them that China isn’t a communist country anymore. It’s got a different system: meritocratic paternalism. You joke: Imagine the Ivy League taking over the shell of the Communist Party and deciding not to change the name. Imagine the Harvard Alumni Association with an army."

— and Harvard mathematician

Professor Yau of Harvard

See also Sylvia Nasar's 2006 New Yorker article on Yau
and the screenplay of The Manchurian Candidate:

A long pause.
Finally, Yen Lo laughs.

YEN LO With humor, my dear Zilkov.
Always with a little humor.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sunday March 12, 2006

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

A Circle of Quiet

From the Harvard Math Table page:

“No Math table this week. We will reconvene next week on March 14 for a special Pi Day talk by Paul Bamberg.”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060312-PaulBamberg21.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Paul Bamberg

Transcript of the movie “Proof”–

Some friends of mine are in this band.
They’re playing in a bar on Diversey,
way down the bill, around…

I said I’d be there.

Great.
They’re all in the math department.
They’re good.
They have this song called “i.”
You’d like it. Lowercase i.
They just stand there.
They don’t play anything for three minutes.

Imaginary number?

It’s a math joke.
You see why they’re way down the bill.

From the April 2006 Notices of the American Mathematical Society, a footnote in a review by Juliette Kennedy (pdf) of Rebecca Goldstein’s Incompleteness:

4 There is a growing literature in the area of postmodern commentaries of [sic] Gödel’s theorems. For example, Régis Debray has used Gödel’s theorems to demonstrate the logical inconsistency of self-government. For a critical view of this and related developments, see Bricmont and Sokal’s Fashionable Nonsense [13]. For a more positive view see Michael Harris’s review of the latter, “I know what you mean!” [9]….

[9] MICHAEL HARRIS, “I know what you mean!,” http://www.math.jussieu.fr/~harris/Iknow.pdf.
[13] ALAN SOKAL and JEAN BRICMONT, Fashionable Nonsense, Picador, 1999.

Following the trail marked by Ms. Kennedy, we find the following in Harris’s paper:

“Their [Sokal’s and Bricmont’s] philosophy of mathematics, for instance, is summarized in the sentence ‘A mathematical constant like The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060312-Char-pi.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. doesn’t change, even if the idea one has about it may change.’ ( p. 263). This claim, referring to a ‘crescendo of absurdity’ in Sokal’s original hoax in Social Text, is criticized by anthropologist Joan Fujimura, in an article translated for IS*. Most of Fujimura’s article consists of an astonishingly bland account of the history of non-euclidean geometry, in which she points out that the ratio of the circumference to the diameter depends on the metric. Sokal and Bricmont know this, and Fujimura’s remarks are about as helpful as FN’s** referral of Quine’s readers to Hume (p. 70). Anyway, Sokal explicitly referred to “Euclid’s pi”, presumably to avoid trivial objections like Fujimura’s — wasted effort on both sides.32 If one insists on making trivial objections, one might recall that the theorem
that p is transcendental can be stated as follows: the homomorphism Q[X] –> R taking X to The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060312-Char-pi.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. is injective.  In other words, The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060312-Char-pi.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. can be identified algebraically with X, the variable par excellence.33

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060312-X.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

More interestingly, one can ask what kind of object The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060312-Char-pi.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. was before the formal definition of real numbers. To assume the real numbers were there all along, waiting to be defined, is to adhere to a form of Platonism.34  Dedekind wouldn’t have agreed.35  In a debate marked by the accusation that postmodern writers deny the reality of the external world, it is a peculiar move, to say the least, to make mathematical Platonism a litmus test for rationality.36 Not that it makes any more sense simply to declare Platonism out of bounds, like Lévy-Leblond, who calls Stephen Weinberg’s gloss on Sokal’s comment ‘une absurdité, tant il est clair que la signification d’un concept quelconque est évidemment affectée par sa mise en oeuvre dans un contexte nouveau!’37 Now I find it hard to defend Platonism with a straight face, and I prefer to regard the formula

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060312-pi.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

as a creation rather than a discovery. But Platonism does correspond to the familiar experience that there is something about mathematics, and not just about other mathematicians, that precisely doesn’t let us get away with saying ‘évidemment’!38

32 There are many circles in Euclid, but no pi, so I can’t think of any other reason for Sokal to have written ‘Euclid’s pi,’ unless this anachronism was an intentional part of the hoax.  Sokal’s full quotation was ‘the The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060312-Char-pi.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. of Euclid and the G of Newton, formerly thought to be constant and universal, are now perceived in their ineluctable historicity.’  But there is no need to invoke non-Euclidean geometry to perceive the historicity of the circle, or of pi: see Catherine Goldstein’s ‘L’un est l’autre: pour une histoire du cercle,’ in M. Serres, Elements d’histoire des sciences, Bordas, 1989, pp. 129-149.
33 This is not mere sophistry: the construction of models over number fields actually uses arguments of this kind. A careless construction of the equations defining modular curves may make it appear that pi is included in their field of scalars.
34 Unless you claim, like the present French Minister of Education [at the time of writing, i.e. 1999], that real numbers exist in nature, while imaginary numbers were invented by mathematicians. Thus The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060312-Char-pi.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. would be a physical constant, like the mass of the electron, that can be determined experimentally with increasing accuracy, say by measuring physical circles with ever more sensitive rulers. This sort of position has not been welcomed by most French mathematicians.
35 Cf. M. Kline, Mathematics The Loss of Certainty, p. 324.
36 Compare Morris Hirsch’s remarks in BAMS April 94.
37 IS*, p. 38, footnote 26. Weinberg’s remarks are contained in his article “Sokal’s Hoax,” in the New York Review of Books, August 8, 1996.
38 Metaphors from virtual reality may help here.”

* Earlier defined by Harris as “Impostures Scientifiques (IS), a collection of articles compiled or commissioned by Baudouin Jurdant and published simultaneously as an issue of the journal Alliage and as a book by La Découverte press.”
** Earlier defined by Harris as “Fashionable Nonsense (FN), the North American translation of Impostures Intellectuelles.”

What is the moral of all this French noise?

Perhaps that, in spite of the contemptible nonsense at last summer’s Mykonos conference on mathematics and narrative, stories do have an important role to play in mathematics — specifically, in the history of mathematics.

Despite his disdain for Platonism, exemplified in his remarks on the noteworthy connection of pi with the zeta function in the formula given above, Harris has performed a valuable service to mathematics by pointing out the excellent historical work of Catherine Goldstein.   Ms. Goldstein has demonstrated that even a French nominalist can be a first-rate scholar.  Her essay on circles that Harris cites in a French version is also available in English, and will repay the study of those who, like Barry Mazur and other Harvard savants, are much too careless with the facts of history.  They should consult her “Stories of the Circle,” pp. 160-190 in A History of Scientific Thought, edited by Michel Serres, Blackwell Publishers (December 1995).

For the historically-challenged mathematicians of Harvard, this essay would provide a valuable supplement to the upcoming “Pi Day” talk by Bamberg.

For those who insist on limiting their attention to mathematics proper, and ignoring its history, a suitable Pi Day observance might include becoming familiar with various proofs of the formula, pictured above, that connects pi with the zeta function of 2.  For a survey, see Robin Chapman, Evaluating Zeta(2) (pdf).  Zeta functions in a much wider context will be discussed at next May’s politically correct “Women in Mathematics” program at Princeton, “Zeta Functions All the Way” (pdf).

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Wednesday June 25, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

In memory of Staige D. Blackford

Introibo ad Altare Dei

“…they [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

Thomas Jefferson

“Stately, thin Thomas Jefferson came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed…. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:
Introibo ad altare Dei.
Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called out coarsely:
Come up, Staige! Come up, you fearful editor!”

With apologies to the University of Virginia, to the Virginia Quarterly Review, and to James Joyce.

“Man, it’s long…
It’s a long, long, long road.”

Frank Sinatra

See also memorials to George Axelrod and Leon Uris, both of whom died at the summer solstice, June 21.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Wednesday February 26, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:40 AM

He Ain’t Heavy

Songwriter Tom Glazer, 88, died Friday, February 21, 2003.  From his New York Times obituary:

“Tom Glazer occasionally speculated about meeting St. Peter at the Pearly Gates and being asked what he accomplished in music.”

Glazer:

From the official Department of Defense
Korean War Commemoration website:

Title

Composer

America the Beautiful

W: Katherine Lee Baker,
M: Samuel A. Ward

The Battle Hymn
of the Republic

W: Julia Ward Howe,
M: Traditional

The Marine’s Hymn

W: Anonymous,
M: Jacques Offenbach

My Country ‘Tis of Thee

W: Samuel Francis Smith
M: Traditional

Old Soldiers Never Die

Tom Glazer

Sound Off

Willie Lee Duckworth

Stars and Stripes Forever

John Philip Sousa

Washington Post March

John Philip Sousa

West Point Suite

Darius Milhand

You’re a Grand Old Flag

George M. Cohan

Also from the New York Times:

“In 1957 he composed songs and background music for ‘A Face in the Crowd,’ a film directed by Elia Kazan.”

His brother, who spelled his name Sidney Glazier, died in December. He produced the 1968 movie version of ‘The Producers.'”

St. Peter: 

Welcome to The Music Staff.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

Saturday October 12, 2002

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:26 PM

She's a…
Twentieth Century Fox

Columbus Day
Dinner Dance

Date: Sat Oct 12, 2002
Time: 6:30pm-???
Italian American Club
of Southern Nevada

2333 East Sahara Ave.,
Las Vegas, NV 89104
Live music by Boyd Culter's 5-Piece band, prime rib dinner, and dancing at the Italian-American Club of Southern Nevada. All are welcome to attend. Tickets are only $25 and must be purchased in advance.
Cost: $25.00
For More information
Call 457-3866  or visit  
Web Site

In honor of this dance, of Columbus, and of Joan Didion, this site's music for the weekend is "Spinning Wheel."  For the relevance of this music, see Chapter 65 (set in Las Vegas) of Didion's 1970 novel Play It As It Lays, which, taken by itself, is one of the greatest short stories of the twentieth century.

The photograph of Didion on the back cover of Play It (taken when she was about 36) is one of the most striking combinations of beauty and intelligence that I have ever seen.

She's the queen of cool
And she's the lady who waits.
The Doors, "Twentieth Century Fox," Jan. 1967

Play It As It Lays is of philosophical as well as socio-literary interest; it tells of a young actress's struggles with Hollywood nihilism.  For related material, see The Studio by Didion's husband, John Gregory Dunne.  A review of Dunne's book:

"Not since F. Scott Fitzgerald and Nathanael West has anyone done Hollywood better."

High praise indeed.

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