Tuesday, June 11, 2019


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:25 PM

"This was a real nice clam house."
— Adapted from lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein

Monday, March 16, 2020

Mathematics and Narrative* Continues:

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:27 AM

Expanding the Spielraum

Mathematics:  See Tetrahedron vs. Square in this journal
(Notes on two different models of schoolgirl space ).

Narrative:  Replacing the square  from the above posts by
a related cube 

… yields a merchandising inspiration

Dueling Holocrons: 

Jedi Cube vs. Sith Tetrahedron


* See also earlier posts on Mathematics and Narrative.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Speak, Memra

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

The above was suggested by a Log24 review of October 13, 2002,
which in turn suggested a Log24 search for Carousel that yielded
(from Bloomsday Lottery) —

See as well Asimov's "prime radiant," and an illustration
of the number 13 as a radiant prime

"The Prime Radiant can be adjusted to your mind,
and all corrections and additions can be made
through mental rapport. There will be nothing to
indicate that the correction or addition is yours.
In all the history of the Plan there has been no
personalization. It is rather a creation of all of us 
together. Do you understand?"  

"Yes, Speaker!"

— Isaac Asimov, 
    Second Foundation , Ch. 8: Seldon's Plan

"Before time began, there was the Cube."
— Optimus Prime

See also Transformers in this journal.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bloomsday Lottery

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:09 AM


This morning's exercise in lottery hermeneutics is unusually difficult.

Yesterday was Bloomsday (the date described in
James Joyce's Ulysses ) and the New York Lottery numbers were…

Midday  numbers:  3-digit 181, 4-digit 9219.

Evening numbers: 3-digit 478, 4-digit 6449.

For 181 and 9219, see the following—

"With respect to every event, we must ask
 which element has been subjected directly to change."
— Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics
   (New York, The Philosophical Library, Inc., 1959), page 181

That Saussure page number was referenced in the following thesis
on James Joyce's other major novel, Finnegans Wake


The thesis is from the University of Vienna (Universität Wien ).


The word Wien , in the derived form denoting an inhabitant of that city,
figured prominently in yesterday's news.

As for the evening numbers—

478 perhaps signifies the year 478 BC,
cited in Lawrence Durrell's Sicilian Carousel  as the year
the ruler Gelon died.

For the evening 6449, note that the poem by Wallace Stevens quoted
here on June 15 in A for Anastasios deals with "the river of rivers"…
perhaps signifying time.

Interpreting 6449 chronologically yields 6/4/49.

The film artist  John Huston, discussed in an essay from that date,
might appreciate the representation of the ancient Sicilian
river god Gelas as a man-headed bull on a coin from
around the year 478 BC.

For some perceptive remarks about Durrell, see the
article by Nigel Dennis in LIFE magazine's Nov. 21, 1960
issue (with cover noting Kennedy's victory in that year's
presidential election).

All of the above may be viewed as an approach to the aesthetic
problem posed by Dennis in yesterday's Bloomsday post

"The problem that arises with this sort of writing is
one of form, i.e. , how to make one strong parcel
out of so many differently shaped commodities,
how to impose method on what would otherwise
be madness."

"The world has gone mad today…." — Cole Porter

For some related remarks, see page 161 of
Joyce's Catholic Comedy of Language
by Beryl Schlossman (U. of Wisconsin Press, 1985)
and James Joyce in the final pages of The Left Hand of God
by Adolf Holl.

* Update of July 6, 2011—
This title is a correction from the previous title
given here, Moral Language  by Mary Gore Forrester.
Google Books had Schlossman's content previewed
under Forrester's title.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Making a Play

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 AM

From "Deus ex Machina and the Aesthetics of Proof"
(Alan J. Cain in The Mathematical Intelligencer * of September 2010, pdf)—

Deus ex Machina
In a narrative, a deus is unsatisfying for two reasons. The
first is that any future attempt to build tension is undercut if
the author establishes that a difficulty can be resolved by a
deus. The second reason—more important for the purposes
of this essay—is that the deus does not fit with the internal
structure of the story. There is no reason internal to the
story why the deus should intervene at that moment.


Santa in the New York Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving Day, 2010 (November 25), New York Lottery—

Midday 411, Evening 332.

For 411, see (for instance) April 11 (i.e., 4/11) in 2008


NYT obituaries, morning of Friday, April 11, 2008-- Carousel designer and others

For 332, see "A Play for Kristen**" — March 16, 2008

"A search for the evening  number, 332, in Log24 yields a rather famous line from Sophocles…"

Sophocles, Antigone, edited by Mark Griffith, Cambridge University Press, 1999:

Sophocles, Antigone, line 332 in the original Greek

“Many things are formidable (deina ) and none is more formidable (deinoteron ) than man.”

Antigone , lines 332-333, in Valdis Leinieks, The Plays of Sophokles, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1982, p. 62

See also the lottery numbers 411 and 332 in this journal on March 22, 2009— "The Storyteller in Chance ."

“… 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

* It seems Santa has delivered an early gift — free online access to all issues of the Intelligencer .
** Teaser headline in the original version at Xanga.com

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday May 5, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 PM
"All our words from loose using
have lost their edge."
 — Ernest Hemingway    

Look Homeward, Norman

New York Lottery
May 5, 2008:

NY Lottery May 5, 2008: mid-day 098, evening 411

The evening number,
411, may be interpreted
as 4/11. From Log24
on that date:

NYT obituaries, morning of Friday, April 11, 2008-- Carousel designer and family tribute to Norman Mailer

Click on image for further details.

Ride a painted pony
let the spinning
wheel spin.

As for the mid-day number
098, a Google search
(with the aid of, in retrospect,
the above family tribute)
 on "98 'Norman Mailer'"

The Time of Our Time
(Modern Library Paperbacks …

With The Time of Our Time (1998) Norman Mailer has archetypalized himself and in the seven years since publication, within which films Fear and Loathing in


From an unattributed
"editorial review" of
  The Time of Our Time
at Amazon.com:

"Surely this sense of himself
as the republic's recording angel
accounts for the structure
of Mailer's anthology…."

Related material:

From Play It As It Lays,
the paperback edition of 1990
  (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) —

Page 170:

                                             "… In her half sleep
the point was ten, the jackpot was on eighteen, the
only man that could ever reach her was the son of a
preacher man
, someone was down sixty, someone was
up, Daddy wants a popper and she rode a painted
pony let the spinning wheel spin

By the end of a week she was thinking constantly
about where her body stopped and the air began,
about the exact point in space and time that was the
difference between Maria and other. She had the sense
that if she could get that in her mind and hold it for


even one micro-second she would have what she had
come to get."

The number 411 from
this evening's New York Lottery
may thus be regarded as naming the
"exact point in space and time"
sought in the above passage.

For a related midrash
 on the meaning of the
passage's page number,
see the previous entry.

For a more plausible
recording angel,
see Sinatra's birthday,
December 12, 2002.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday April 11, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:35 AM

With thanks to my
anonymous reader(s?)
in France:

NYT obituaries, morning of Friday, April 11, 2008-- Carousel designer and others

Click on image for further details.

Ride a painted pony
let the spinning
wheel spin

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Sunday October 13, 2002

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:55 PM

Two Literary Classics
(and a visit from a saint)

On this date in 1962, Edward Albee's classic play, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" opened on Broadway.

George and Martha by
Edward Albee

Click to enlarge.
George and Martha by
 St. James Marshall

As I was preparing this entry, based on the October 13 date of the Albee play's opening, after I looked for a picture of Marshall's book I thought I'd better check dates related to Marshall, too.   This is what I was surprised to find:  Marshall (b. Oct. 10, 1942) died in 1992 on today's date, October 13.  This may be verified at

The James Edward Marshall memorial page,

A James Edward Marshall biography, and

Author Anniversaries for October 13.

The titles of the three acts of Albee's play suffice to indicate its dark spiritual undercurrents:

"Fun and Games" (Act One),
"Walpurgisnacht" (Act Two) and
"The Exorcism" (Act Three).

A theological writer pondered Albee in 1963:

"If, as Tillich has said of Picasso's Guernica, a 'Protestant' picture means not covering up anything but looking at 'the human situation in its depths of estrangement and despair,' then we could call Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? a 'Protestant' play. On any other definition it might be difficult to justify its religious significance except as sheer nihilism."
— Hugh T. Kerr, Theological Table-Talk, July 1963

It is a great relief to have another George and Martha (who first appeared in 1972) to turn to on this dark anniversary, and a doubly great relief to know that Albee's darkness is balanced by the light of Saint James Edward Marshall, whose feast day is today.

For more on the carousel theme of the Marshall book's cover, click the link for "Spinning Wheel" in the entry below.

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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