Tuesday, August 17, 2021

In Search of . . . E!

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:23 PM

From the above  Essays on the Plays  

"In the first short play of 365 Days  . . . ."

Some will prefer film  with the same title —

Friday, August 7, 2020

Yo, Pickle!

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:49 PM


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Wilford Brimley as Wyoming Rabbi: “Yo, Pickle!

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:07 PM

(Pace  Yosemite Sam.)

Sunday, December 23, 2018


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:40 PM

An exercise in bulk apperception.

IMAGE- Herbert John Ryser, 'Combinatorial Mathematics' (1963), page 1

Thursday, October 27, 2016

“Space Is the Place!

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:44 PM

Or:  Pentagram Meets Counting-Pattern, Continued

Arts & Letters Daily  today links to a Chronicle of Higher Education
piece on philosophy with an illustration by the late Paul Laffoley 

This suggests a review of Laffoley's work. In particular —

For a larger view of the above Laffoley pentagram, click here.
Contrast with Wittgenstein's "counting-pattern" above, which
is, in fact, a hyperspace.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 6:19 PM

Monday, March 16, 2015


Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:26 PM

Twelve years ago on this date —

Monday, July 29, 2013

Papiere, Bitte!

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:25 AM

For a memorable eccentric who reportedly died
on Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Friday, December 9, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:09 PM

Today's showtimes at ArcLight Hollywood—





Related (?) material—

A quote from the 2007 Anthony Hopkins film "Slipstream"—
"We've lost the plot!"—
as it has appeared in this journal

See also the Dec. 7th note on Don Sebastian de Villanueva and…


Happy birthday, Kirk Douglas.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

New Era of Space Exploration

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

See lowroad62.

“If you are a Scottish lord then I am Mickey Mouse!
— The butler at Brunwald Castle (below).

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Unity Game

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

“Old men ought to be explorers.” — T. S. Eliot

“Everybody’s lost but me!” — Young Indiana Jones, quoted
in a book review (“Knox Peden on Martin Hägglund”) in
Sydney Review of Books  on May 26 . . .

” Here I am reminded of the words of
the young Indiana Jones alone in the desert,
decades before the Last Crusade:
‘Everybody’s lost but me.’ “

 Related remarks — Now You See It, Now You Don’t.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

The Grandfather Clock

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:16 PM

“Well, I’ve helped to wind up the clock —
I might as well hear it strike!

— Said to be a quotation from the grandfather
of a “pirate radio” founder who reportedly died
at 79 on April 20.

See as well this journal on the night of April 20 —

Wheel Turnin’ ’Round and ’Round

and a search for “Wheel of Time.”

Thursday, April 25, 2019

For Battle-Epic Fans

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:46 PM

L'Heureux*  Meets  Les Misérables

The above theater is named for a soldier who died on May 14, 2006.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Today’s birthday: George Lucas,
creator of the mother of all battle epics.

STAR WARS continued:

Solar eclipse, March 29, 2006

March 29 eclipse

Star of Venus

Star of Venus
(See March 26-29)

* "… whose novels wrestled with faith… " — NY Times obituary today

Faith! Faith!” cried the husband.
“Look up to Heaven,
and resist the Wicked One!

— "Young Goodman Brown"

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Fashion Story

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:47 PM

A death last Sunday —

Meanwhile . . .

Amy Adams attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party 
at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on
Sunday, February 24, 2019, in Beverly Hills, California.

"Here was finality indeed, and cleavage!

             — Under the Volcano

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Child’s Play Continues — La Despedida

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:03 PM

This post was suggested by the phrase "Froebel Decade" from
the search results below.

This journal a decade ago had a post on the late Donald Westlake,
an author who reportedly died of a heart attack in Mexico on Dec. 31,
2008, while on his way to a New Year's Eve dinner.

One of Westlake's books —

Related material —

"La Despedida " and "Finality indeed, and cleavage!"

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Hat Tip

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:59 PM

"Form the turtle!"
— Rex Harrison, quoted here
on March 12, 2005.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Devil His Due

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 AM

Line from the 1957 cartoon in the previous post

"C'mon in , Eddie!"

Related dramatic monologue —

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Girl’s Guide to Chaos

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:55 AM

The title is that of a play mentioned last night in
a New York Times  obituary .

Related recent film lines —

  • Thor:  How do I escape?
  • Heimdall:  You're on a planet surrounded by doorways.
    Go through one.
  • Thor:  Which one?
  • Heimdall:  The big one!

Related material from this  journal on Jan. 20, 2018 —

The Chaos Symbol of Dan Brown.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Risin’ Meets Oozin’

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:15 PM

For the former, see the previous post.

For the latter, see yesterday's The Unfolding.

Related material —

(Screenshot at 9:08 PM ET)

Heimel on Dating —

She adapted “Sex Tips” and “But Enough About You,” a 1986 collection, into a play, “A Girl’s Guide to Chaos,” which opened later that year off Broadway at the American Place Theater. The play is largely a conversation among four friends, one of whom, Cynthia (played by Debra Jo Rupp in the original production) realizes to her horror that she will have to start dating again.

“Please, God, no, don’t make me do it!” she says. “I’ll be good from now on, I promise! I’ll stop feeding the dog hashish! I’ll be kind, thoughtful, sober, industrious, anything. But please, God, not the ultimate torture of dating!”

— Richard Sandomir tonight in The New York Times 
on an author who reportedly died on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018

<meta property="article:published"
content="2018-02-27T19:37:54-05:00" />

Sunday, January 21, 2018

At Which Point

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:06 PM

"In 'Sophistry,' a new play by Jonathan Marc Sherman
at the Playwrights Horizons Studio, a popular tenured
professor stands accused of sexual harassment
by a male student."

— Frank Rich in The New York Times , theater review
on October 12, 1993

"At which point another play, inchoate but arresting,
edges into view." — Rich, ibid.

"Johansson began acting during childhood,
after her mother started taking her to auditions.
She made her professional acting debut
at the age of eight in the off-Broadway production
of 'Sophistry' with Ethan Hawke, at New York's
Playwrights Horizons."

— IMDb Mini Biography by: Pedro Borges 

" 'Suddenly, I was 19 again and I started to remember
all the men I'd known who had taken advantage of
the fact that I was a young woman who didn't yet have
the tools to say no, or to understand the value of
my own self-worth,' the Avengers star described. 
'I had many relationships both personal and professional
where the power dynamic was so off that I had to create
a narrative in which I was the cool girl who could hang in
and hang out, and that sometimes meant compromising
what felt right for me . . . . ' "

— Scarlett Johansson yesterday at the 2018 Women's March
in Los Angeles, as reported in E! News .

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in 'Lost in Translation'

Image in a Log24 post
of March 12, 2009.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Compare and Contrast

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:40 PM

From an obituary in this afternoon's online New York Times

"Mr. Morris published his autobiography, 
Get the Picture: A Personal History of Photojournalism , in 1998."

The obit suggests a review of posts mentioning the film
"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," starring Kristen Wiig. 

See as well Wiig and the Louvre Banquet Hall in  L.A. —

The book title Get the Picture  above suggests a review of
a different Louvre picture, starring Audrey Hepburn —

"Take  the  picture,  take  the  picture!"

Aesthetic Distance

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:23 AM

In memory of a Disney "imagineer" who reportedly died yesterday.

From the opening scene  of a 2017 film, "Gifted":

Frank calls his niece Mary to breakfast on the morning she is 
to enter first grade. She is dressed, for the first time, for school —

- Hey! Come on. Let's move!
- No!
- Let me see.
- No.
- Come on, I made you special breakfast.
- You can't cook.
- Hey, Mary, open up. 
(She opens her door and walks out.)
- You look beautiful.
- I look like a Disney character.
  Where's the special?
- What?
- You said you made me special breakfast.

Read more: http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/

Cube symmetry subgroup of order 8 from 'Geometry and Symmetry,' Paul B. Yale, 1968, p.21

Sunday, July 16, 2017

An Arousing Quality

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:01 AM

MOVIE REVIEW from The New York Times

'Distance,' Sensitive Film Story


Published: December 22, 1975

Sometimes "Distance" is awkward and sometimes it is misconceived, but it had a central virtue lacking in a number of more elaborate and—to use a horrible word—cinematic films around.

It wants to be made. It believes in itself, in its story, in its characters; and that belief pulls viewers into it. Sometimes they are pulled too hard, or in a certain embarrassment because the sequence is obvious or excessive or telegraphed in advance.

But self-belief is an arousing quality, especially at a time when an extreme of baroque weariness gives movies such as "Three Days of the Condor" or Sam Peckinpah's "Killer Elite" the hopeless feeling that they are meant for an empty theater.

See also Log24 posts on and just after the date of Eder's demise.

A phrase of baroque weariness —

"Pull it Surprise!"

Friday, June 9, 2017

Proprietary Code

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:14 AM

    Quixote Vive!Terry Gilliam, June 4, 2017

Review of a post from March 7, 2017

"The supervisory read-only memory (SROM)
in question is a region of proprietary code
that runs when the chip starts up,
and in privileged mode."

— Elliot Williams at Hackaday , March 4, 2017,
     "Reading the Unreadable SROM"

From a reply to a comment on the above story —

"You are singing a very fearful and oppressive tune.
You ought to try to get it out of your head."

A perhaps less oppressive tune —

Related scene —

Richard Kiley in "Blackboard Jungle," 1955:

IMAGE- Richard Kiley in 'Blackboard Jungle,' with grids and broken records

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Table

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

John Horgan and James (Jim) McClellan, according to Horgan
in Scientific American  on June 1, 2017

Me: "Jim, you're a scholar! Professor! Esteemed historian of science! And yet you don’t really believe science is capable of producing truth."

Jim: "Science is stories we tell about nature. And some stories are better than other stories. And you can compare stories to each other on all kinds of grounds, but you have no access to"— he pauses for dramatic effect— "The Truth. Or any mode of knowing outside of your own story-telling capabilities, which include rationality, experiment, explanatory scope and the whole thing. I would love to have some means of making knowledge about the world that would allow us to say, 'This is really it. There really are goddamn electrons.'" He whacks the table.

See also posts tagged Dirac and Geometry and Glitch.

Monday, February 6, 2017


Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:10 PM

Some notes related to recent posts

"Rilke's insistent quest for a purity associated with primitive origins
took a Russian turning, but could also be seen as an extension of
traditions developed in Europe in the modern era. When Balzac
takes a metaphysical look at modern life, he exclaims: 'There is a
primitive principle! . . . .' "

— The late Dore Ashton,
     "Art Critic Who Embraced and Inhabited Modernism"

Sixteenth-century alchemist in a novel by Balzac —

"If we eliminate God from this world, sire,
what remains? Man! Let us examine our domain.
The material world is made up of elements;
thos elements are resolved into a single one
which is endowed with motion.
The number THREE is the formula of creation:
matter, motion, product!" *
. . . .

"There is a primitive principle!
Let us grasp it at the point where it acts upon itself,
where it is a unit, where it is really a principle,
not a creature, a cause, not an effect —
we shall see it by itself, formless, ready to assume
all the forms which we see it assume in life.  
When we are face to face with this atom, 
when we have surprised motion at its
starting-point, we shall know its laws . . . ."

* "… la Matière, le Mouvement, le Produit!"

Twenty-first century writer on physics —

"Besides the concept of Newtonian force,
the concept of momentum, as defined by
the multiplication of mass m and velocity v,
i.e., mv, is also one of the key concepts in
Newtonian mechanics. Historically, the
concept of momentum can be regarded as
an outgrowth of the impetus concept of the
Middle Ages. But momentum is in fact quite
different from impetus which has no
quantitative definition. In comparison,
momentum is a quantitatively precise and
well-defined mechanical concept."

—  http://www.thecatalyst.org/physics/chapter-two.html.
      No author is named, but a "curriculum vitae" link at
      the bottom of the webpage leads to Kai X. Miao.

"C’était la création elle-même,
qui se servait de la forme de Balzac
pour faire son apparition . . . ."

Auguste Rodin , by Rainer Maria Rilke,
translated from the German by Catherine Caron,
Editions La Part Commune , 2001

See also a version in English, and Rilke's original German

 Aber langsam wuchs Rodin's Vision von Form zu Form. Und endlich sah er ihn. Er sah eine breite, ausschreitende Gestalt, die an des Mantels Fall alle ihre Schwere verlor. Auf den starken Nacken stemmte sich das Haar, und in das Haar zurückgelehnt lag ein Gesicht, schauend, im Rausche des Schauens, schäumend von Schaffen: das Gesicht eines Elementes. Das war Balzac in der Fruchtbarkeit seines Überflusses, der Gründer von Generationen, der Verschwender von Schicksalen. Das war der Mann, dessen Augen keiner Dinge bedurften; wäre die Welt leer gewesen: seine Blicke hätten sie eingerichtet. Das war der, der durch sagenhafte Silberminen reich werden wollte und glücklich durch eine Fremde. Das war das Schaffen selbst, das sich der Form Balzac's bediente, um zu erscheinen; des Schaffens Überhebung, Hochmut, Taumel und Trunkenheit. Der Kopf, der zurückgeworfen war, lebte auf dem Gipfel dieser Gestalt wie jene Kugeln, die auf den Strahlen von Fontänen tanzen. Alle Schwere war leicht geworden, stieg und fiel.

 So hatte Rodin in einem Augenblick ungeheuerer Zusammenfassung und tragischer Übertreibung seinen Balzac gesehen, und so machte er ihn. Die Vision verging nicht; sie verwandelte sich. . . . .

Related material:  Momentum  in this journal.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Primitive Principle

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 12:20 PM

"Rilke's insistent quest for a purity associated with primitive origins
took a Russian turning, but could also be seen as an extension of
traditions developed in Europe in the modern era. When Balzac
takes a metaphysical look at modern life, he exclaims: 'There is a
primitive principle! . . . .' "

— The late Dore Ashton,
     "Art Critic Who Embraced and Inhabited Modernism"

Putting aside the wild inaccuracy of Ashton's remarks,
the words "modernism" and "turning" suggest a review of

Saturday, February 4, 2017

♫ Are You Going to Vanity Fair?

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:00 PM
"In those days, the occult sciences were 
cultivated with ardor well calculated to surprise the 
incredulous minds of our own sovereignly analytical 
age; perhaps they may detect in this historical 
sketch the germ of the positive sciences, widely 
studied in the nineteenth century, but without the 
poetic grandeur which was ascribed to them by the 
audacious investigators of the sixteenth century; 
who, instead of devoting their energy to industry, 
magnified art and made thought fruitful. The 
patronage universally accorded to art by the sov- 
ereigns of that time was justified, too, by the mar- 
vellous creations of inventors who started in quest 
of the philosopher's stone and reached amazing re- 
sults." — Balzac, Catherine de' Medici 

Honoré de Balzac, Sur Catherine de Médicis :

— Hé! bien, sire, en ôtant Dieu de ce monde, que reste-t-il?
L’homme! Examinons alors notre domaine?
Le monde matériel est composé d’éléments, ces éléments
ont eux-mêmes des principes. Ces principes se résolvent 
en un seul qui est doué de mouvement. Le nombre TROIS est
la formule de la création: la Matière, le Mouvement, le Produit!

— La preuve? Halte-là, s’écria le roi.

Illustration by Frederick Alfred Rhead of Vanity Fair,
page 96 in the John Bunyan classic Pilgrim's Progress 
(New York, The Century Co., 1912)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Another Diagnostic Jew

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 PM

"Take that baby,  please! "

See also the previous post.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Perfect Number

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:00 AM

"Ageometretos me eisito."—
"Let no one ignorant of geometry enter."—
Said to be a saying of Plato, part of the
seal of the American Mathematical Society—

For the birthday of Marissa Mayer, who turns 41 today —

VOGUE Magazine,
AUGUST 16, 2013 12:01 AM

"As she works to reverse the fortunes of a failing Silicon Valley
giant, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer has fueled a national debate
about the office life, motherhood, and what it takes to be the
CEO of the moment.

'I really like even numbers, and
I like heavily divisible numbers.
Twelve is my lucky number—
I just love how divisible it is.
I don’t like odd numbers, and
I really don’t like primes.
When I turned 37,
I put on a strong face, but
I was not looking forward to 37.
But 37 turned out to be a pretty amazing year.
Especially considering that
36 is divisible by twelve!'

A few things may strike you while listening to Marissa Mayer
deliver this riff . . . . "

Yes, they may.

A smaller number for Marissa's meditations:

Six has been known since antiquity as the first "perfect" number.
Why it was so called is of little interest to anyone but historians
of number theory  (a discipline that is not, as Wikipedia notes, 
to be confused with numerology .)

What part geometry , on the other hand, played in Marissa's education,
I do not know.

Here, for what it's worth, is a figure from a review of posts in this journal
on the key role played by the number six in geometry —

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cartoon Theology*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

For Evangeline

(Some background — See Limerick in this journal.
See also "He's a mad scientist and I'm his beautiful daughter.")

"There was a young lady named Bright…."

"You read too slow, Daddy," she complained. She was childishly irritable about it. "You say a word. Then I think a long time. Then you say another word."

I knew what she meant. I remember, when I was a child, my thoughts used to dart in and out among the slowly droning words of any adult. Whole patterns of universes would appear and disappear in those brief moments.

"So?" I asked.

"So," she mocked me impishly. "You teach me to read. Then I can think quick as I want."

"Quickly," I corrected in a weak voice. "The word is 'quickly,' an adverb."

She looked at me impatiently, as if she saw through this allegedly adult device to show up a youngster's ignorance. I felt like the dope!

— From  "Star, Bright" by Mark Clifton 

Related material — The Quick and the Dead

* For example, from the Marvel Comics realm

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Joyce’s Wake

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:48 PM

This post is thanks to Nicole Kidman

E! Online  today reminds us that "Bowie's song 'Nature Boy' 
was ... featured in Kidman's 2001 film Moulin Rouge ."

A YouTube video of the Moulin Rouge  "Nature Boy"
was uploaded on April 1, 2011. That date in this journal

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

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

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

James Joyce reportedly died on today's date in 1941.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Take This, Waltz

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

An excerpt from http://yarchive.net/med/middle_ages.html

From: ((Steven B. Harris))
Subject: Re: Problems with sci.med.aids FAQ (section 7) Part II
Date: 09 Jun 1995

David Mertz:

>Ahem....  With all due respect, it seems to me to make no sense
>to criticize a scientist or medical doctor for "a childish
>little schoolboy positivism."

    Well, I think he was referring to the Vienna School, where
the schoolboys shout childish things like "Your mother still
believes in Compte!" and "Well, at least my mother has values and
isn't a logical empiricist like YOUR old man!"  Woody Allen went
there, but says he was expelled during a philosophy test for
looking into the soul of the kid next to him.

Midrash —

"There's a concert hall in Vienna
Where your mouth had a thousand reviews"

— Leonard Cohen lyric, "Take This Waltz"

Here's looking at you, kid.

Synchronicity check:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Space of Art

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:18 PM

"Thinking Outside the Square:
Support for Landscape and Portrait
Formats on Instagram

Related material from March 18, 2015 —

Play Is Not Playing Around

— m759 @ 1:00 PM 

(A saying of Friedrich Fröbel)


See also the previous two posts,
Dude!  and Focus! .

Friday, July 17, 2015

Welcome to the Hotel New Jersey

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Or:  Swan Boat for Kristen

In the recent film "Danny Collins," Al Pacino plays aging
rock star Danny and Christopher Plummer plays his agèd
agent-manager Frank

"… when Danny tells Frank about his burgeoning relationship
with hotel manager Mary (Annette Bening), he declares happily,
'And she's age-appropriate!' 'Not really,' frowns Frank.
'Baby steps,' Danny replies."

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Harvard Cinco de Mayo

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

… And Some Not So Live —

"Here was finality indeed, and cleavage!" — Under the Volcano

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yale Mot

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:01 PM

From a New York Post  review of "Clouds of Sils Maria,"
a film that opened yesterday —

"Assayas [the writer-director] evidently thinks he’s
being daring and original and avant-garde in leaving
so much open-ended. But you can tell what really
interests him isn’t doing the work of a serious artist
but the comfy trappings of one — the swank dining
rooms, the posh cars with drivers always at the ready.
What’s French for bourgeois? Never mind.
'Clouds' isn’t a film but an idea for a film —
unfinished, unsatisfying, undergraduate."

Kyle Smith, Yale '89

From this date last year:

"Here was finality indeed, and cleavage!"

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Play Is Not Playing Around

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

(A saying of Friedrich Fröbel)

See also the previous two posts,      
        Dude!  and Focus! .

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


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

A sequel to Dude!

See also "Triangles are Square."

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Recycled Religion

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:16 PM

The previous post's Kirkridge link leads to
a mention of religious philosopher Parker J. Palmer.

From an Utne Reader  page on Palmer:

See also Theodore Sturgeon's 1949 story "What Dead Men Tell"—

"… He’d read about it in a magazine or somewhere.
He took a strip of scrap film about eighteen
inches long and put the ends together. He turned
one end over and spliced ’em. Now, if you trace
that strip, or mark it with a grease pencil, right up
the center, you find that the doggone thing only
has one side!
The doctor nodded, and the girl said:
“A Möbius strip.”
“That what they call it?” said Hulon. “Well, I figured
this corridor must be something like that. On that
strip, a single continuous line touched both sides.
All I had to do was figure out an object built so that
a continuous line would cover all three of three sides,
and I’d have it. So I sat down and thought it out…."

— and the following mathematical illustration —

Friday, December 5, 2014

Wittgenstein’s Picture

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

From Zettel  (repunctuated for clarity):

249. « Nichts leichter, als sich einen 4-dimensionalen Würfel
vorstellen! Er schaut so aus… »

"Nothing easier than to imagine a 4-dimensional cube!
It looks like this… 

[Here the editor supplied a picture of a 4-dimensional cube
that was omitted by Wittgenstein in the original.]

« Aber das meine ich nicht, ich meine etwas wie…

"But I don't mean that, I mean something like…

…nur mit 4 Ausdehnungen! » 

but with four dimensions!

« Aber das ist nicht, was ich dir gezeigt habe,
eben etwas wie…

"But isn't  what I showed you like

…nur mit 4 Ausdehnungen? » 

…only with four dimensions?"

« Nein; das meine  ich nicht! » 

"No, I don't mean  that!"

« Was aber meine ich? Was ist mein Bild?
Nun der 4-dimensionale Würfel, wie du ihn gezeichnet hast,
ist es nicht ! Ich habe jetzt als Bild nur die Worte  und
die Ablehnung alles dessen, was du mir zeigen kanst. »

"But what do I mean? What is my picture?
Well, it is not  the four-dimensional cube
as you drew it. I have now for a picture only
the words  and my rejection of anything
you can show me."

"Here's your damn Bild , Ludwig —"

Context: The Galois Tesseract.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

View from the Bottom

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

Reality's Mirror: Exploring the Mathematics of Symmetry —

"Here is a book that explains in laymen language
what symmetry is all about, from the lowliest snowflake
and flounder to the lofty group structures whose
astonishing applications to the Old One are winning
Nobel prizes. Bunch's book is a marvel of clear, witty
science writing, as delightful to read as it is informative
and up-to-date. The author is to be congratulated on
a job well done." — Martin Gardner

"But, sweet Satan, I beg of you, a less blazing eye!"

— Rimbaud,  A Season in Hell

"… the lowliest snowflake and flounder…." 
      — Martin Gardner

Thomas Mann on the deathly precision of snowflakes

Britannica article, 'Flounder'

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Christmas Theorem

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:29 PM

From the preface to Introduction to the Construction of Class Fields ,
by Harvey Cohn (Cambridge University Press, 1985):

“It is an elementary observation that an integral right triangle
has an even area. Suppose the hypotenuse is prime.

Q.  How do we determine from the prime value of the hypotenuse
when the area is divisible by 4, 8, 16, or any higher power of 2?

A.  We use class fields constructed by means of transcendental
functions, of course!

The question might have been asked by Pythagoras in about
500 BC….”

The question seems to assume something apparently not known to Pythagoras:

The area is determined uniquely by the prime hypotenuse.

Nontrivial exercise: Prove or disprove this assertion.

Background to the exercise: See Fermat’s Christmas Theorem  on the Web,
and a specific remark about prime hypotenuses in a letter from Fermat to
Mersenne on Christmas Day, 1640, quoted in The Mathematical Career
of Pierre de Fermat, 1601-1665
, by Michael Sean Mahoney (Princeton
University Press, 2nd ed,, 1994), pp. 316-317.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pythagorean Selfie

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 PM

“Rarely is a TV show as brilliant and as terrible as Selfie .”

Kevin Fallon on a new ABC TV show that starts tonight at 8 PM ET

A recent selfie from Josefine Lyche’s Instagram page:

For some remarks related to Lyche’s pentagram, see
Lyche + Mathmagic* and also yesterday’s Michaelmas Mystery.

In today’s previous post, the late Harvey Cohn posed a question that
he said might have been asked by Pythagoras:

“It is an elementary observation that an integral right triangle
has an even area. Suppose the hypotenuse is prime.

Q.  How do we determine from the prime value of the hypotenuse
when the area is divisible by 4, 8, 16, or any higher power of 2?

A.  We use class fields constructed by means of transcendental
functions, of course!

— From the preface to Introduction to the Construction of Class Fields ,
by Harvey Cohn (Cambridge University Press, 1985)


For a related song, see Prime Suspect (Dec. 13, 2007).

Footnote of 12:14 AM Oct. 1, 2014 —

* That search yields a link to…

This Lyche webpage’s pentagram  indicates an interest in Disney rather than
in SatanismOther Lyche webpages have been less reassuring.

Related material — Posts tagged Elegantly Packaged.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Eight Gate

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

From a Huffington Post  discussion of aesthetics by Colm Mulcahy
of Spelman College, Atlanta:

“The image below on the left… is… overly simplistic, and lacks reality:

IMAGE - Two eightfold cubes- axonometric view on left, perspective view on right

It’s all a matter of perspective: the problem here is that opposite sides
of the cube, which are parallel in real life, actually look parallel in the
left image! The image on the right is better….”

A related discussion:  Eight is a Gate.

Monday, March 10, 2014

God’s Architecture

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:19 PM

Part I:

The sermon, “God’s Architecture,” at Nassau Presbyterian
Church in Princeton on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014.  (This is the
“sermon” link in last Sunday’s 11 AM ET Log24 post.)

An excerpt:

“I wonder what God sees when God looks at our church.
Bear with me here because I’d like to do a little architectural
redesign. I look up at our sanctuary ceiling and I see buttons.
In those large round lights, I see buttons. I wonder what would
happen if we unbutton the ceiling, Then I wonder if we were to
unzip the ceiling, pull back the rooftop, and God were to look in
from above – What does God see? What pattern, what design,
what shape takes place?” — Rev. Lauren J. McFeaters

Related material —  All About Eve: 

A. The Adam and Eve sketch from the March 8 “Saturday Night Live”

B. “Katniss, get away from that tree!” —

C. Deconstructing God in last evening’s online New York Times .

Part II:

Heavensbee!” in the above video, as well as Cartier’s Groundhog Day
and Say It With Flowers.

Part III:

Humans’  architecture, as described (for instance) by architecture
theorist Anne Tyng, who reportedly died at 91 on Dec. 27, 2011.
See as well Past Tense and a post from the date of Tyng’s death.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blackboard Jungle

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM


Other Times content — ("O Me!") —

Other non -Times content — ("O Life!") —

The author of the above pairing has suggested a topic she
seems ill-prepared to discuss — poetry and psychosis.

Her background is in grade-school education.
For one possible result when grade-school education
meets psychosis, see Log24 posts tagged Danvers.

For better-informed discussion of the relation of poetry  
to psychological states that are more normal, see (for instance)
Roberts Avens on James Hillman.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Ornaments

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 12:25 AM

Continued from December 25

IMAGE- Count rotational symmetries by rotating facets. Illustrated with 'Plato's Dice.'

A link from Sunday afternoon to Nov. 26, 2012,
suggests a review of one of the above structures.

The Dreaming Jewels  cover at left is taken from a review
by Jo Walton at Tor.com—

"This is a book that it’s clearly been difficult
for publishers to market. The covers have been
generally pretty awful, and also very different.
I own a 1975 Corgi SF Collectors Library
paperback that I bought new for 40p in the later
seventies. It’s purple, and it has a slightly grainy
cover, and it matches my editions of The Menace
From Earth
  and A Canticle for Leibowitz .
(Dear old Corgi SF Collectors Editions with their
very seventies fonts! How I imprinted on them at
an early age!) I mention this, however, because
the (uncredited) illustration actually represents and
illustrates the book much better than any of the other
cover pictures I’ve seen. It shows a hexagon with an
attempt at facets, a man, a woman, hands, a snake,
and stars, all in shades of green. It isn’t attractive,
but it wouldn’t put off people who’d enjoy what’s inside

The "hexagon with an attempt at facets" is actually
an icosahedron, as the above diagram shows.
(The geometric part of the diagram is from a Euclid webpage.)

For Plato's dream about these jewels, see his Timaeus.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Paradise Alley

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 AM

From The Iceman Cometh  (1946, set in 1912) —

HOPE— (calls effusively) Hey there, Larry! Come over
and get paralyzed! What the hell you doing, sitting there?
(Then as Larry doesn't reply he immediately forgets him
and turns to the party. They are all very drunk now, just a
few drinks ahead of the passing-out stage, and hilariously
happy about it.) Bejees, let's sing! Let's celebrate! It's my
birthday party! Bejees, I'm oreyeyed! I want to sing! (He
starts the chorus of "She's the Sunshine of Paradise Alley,"
and instantly they all burst into song. But not the same song.
Each starts the chorus of his or her choice….)

From Paradise Alley  (1978, set in 1946) —

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Blackboard Jungle

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

Continued from Field of Dreams, Jan. 20, 2013.

IMAGE- Richard Kiley in 'Blackboard Jungle,' with grids and broken records

That post mentioned the March 2011 AMS Notices ,
an issue on mathematics education.

In that issue was an interview with Abel Prize winner
John Tate done in Oslo on May 25, 2010, the day
he was awarded the prize. From the interview—

Research Contributions

Raussen and Skau: This brings us to the next
topic: Your Ph.D. thesis from 1950, when you were
twenty-five years old. It has been extensively cited
in the literature under the sobriquet “Tate’s thesis”.
Several mathematicians have described your thesis
as unsurpassable in conciseness and lucidity and as
representing a watershed in the study of number
fields. Could you tell us what was so novel and fruitful
in your thesis?

Tate: Well, first of all, it was not a new result, except
perhaps for some local aspects. The big global
theorem had been proved around 1920 by the
great German mathematician Erich Hecke, namely
​the fact that all L -functions of number fields,
abelian -functions, generalizations of Dirichlet’s
L -functions, have an analytic continuation
throughout the plane with a functional equation
of the expected type. In the course of proving
it Hecke saw that his proof even applied to a new
kind of L -function, the so-called L -functions with
Grössencharacter. Artin suggested to me that one
might prove Hecke’s theorem using abstract
harmonic analysis on what is now called the adele
ring, treating all places of the field equally, instead
of using classical Fourier analysis at the archimedian 
places and finite Fourier analysis with congruences 
at the p -adic places as Hecke had done. I think I did
a good job —it might even have been lucid and
concise!—but in a way it was just a wonderful 
exercise to carry out this idea. And it was also in the
air. So often there is a time in mathematics for 
something to be done. My thesis is an example. 
Iwasawa would have done it had I not.

[For a different perspective on the highlighted areas of
mathematics, see recent remarks by Edward Frenkel.]

"So often there is a time in mathematics for something to be done."

— John Tate in Oslo on May 25, 2010.

See also this journal on May 25, 2010, as well as
Galois Groups and Harmonic Analysis on Nov. 24, 2013.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

"I have now come to the most difficult part of my story."

George MacDonald

"265" — Page number and centered square number

"153" — Triangular number (as noted by St. Augustine)

"265/153" — Object Lesson

An accurate description of such number lore:

"These are odd facts, very suitable for puzzle columns
and likely to amuse amateurs, but there is nothing
in them which appeals much to a mathematician.
The proofs are neither difficult nor interesting—
merely a little tiresome. The theorems are not serious;
and it is plain that one reason (though perhaps not the
most important) is the extreme speciality of both the
enunciations and the proofs, which are not capable of
any significant generalization." — G. H. Hardy

See also some remarks on figurate numbers in this journal.

Nothing went wrong at the back of the north wind
Neither was anything quite right, he thought. 
Only everything was going to be right some day….

"What a queer place it must be!"

"It's a very good place."

"Do you want to go back again?"

"No; I don't think I have left it; I feel it here, somewhere."

"Did the people there look pleased?"

"Yes— quite pleased, only a little sad."

"Then they didn't look glad?"

"They looked as if they were waiting to be gladder some day."

George MacDonald

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bullshit Studies

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:12 PM

The essay excerpted in last night's post on structuralism
is of value as part of a sustained attack by the late
Robert de Marrais on the damned nonsense of the late
French literary theorist Jacques Derrida—

Catastrophes, Kaleidoscopes, String Quartets:
Deploying the Glass Bead Game

Part I:  Ministrations Concerning Silliness, or:
Is “Interdisciplinary Thought” an Oxymoron?

Part II:  Canonical Collage-oscopes, or:
Claude in Jacques’ Trap?  Not What It Sounds Like!

Part III:  Grooving on the Sly with Klein Groups

Part IV:  Claude’s Kaleidoscope . . . and Carl’s

Part V:  Spelling the Tree, from Aleph to Tav
(While  Not Forgetting to Shin)

The response of de Marrais to Derrida's oeuvre  nicely
exemplifies the maxim of Norman Mailer that

"At times, bullshit can only be countered
with superior bullshit."

Sunday, May 19, 2013


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

Best vs. Bester

The previous post ended with a reference mentioning Rosenhain.

For a recent application of Rosenhain's work, see
Desargues via Rosenhain (April 1, 2013).

From the next day, April 2, 2013:

"The proof of Desargues' theorem of projective geometry
comes as close as a proof can to the Zen ideal.
It can be summarized in two words: 'I see!' "

– Gian-Carlo Rota in Indiscrete Thoughts (1997)

Also in that book, originally from a review in Advances in Mathematics ,
Vol. 84, Number 1, Nov. 1990, p. 136:
IMAGE- Rota's review of 'Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups'-- in a word, 'best'

See, too, in the Conway-Sloane book, the Galois tesseract  
and, in this journal, Geometry for Jews and The Deceivers , by Bester.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Joyce Brothers

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 PM

Shem and Shaun present NewsArse!

Part I:  Camp Germania

Part II:  NewsArse

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rota in a Nutshell

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

"The proof of Desargues' theorem of projective geometry
comes as close as a proof can to the Zen ideal.
It can be summarized in two words: 'I see!' "

— Gian-Carlo Rota in Indiscrete Thoughts (1997)

Also in that book, originally from a review in Advances in Mathematics,
Vol. 84, Number 1, Nov. 1990, p. 136:

IMAGE- Rota's review of 'Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups'-- in a word, 'best'

Related material:

Pascal and the Galois nocciolo ,
Conway and the Galois tesseract,
Gardner and Galois.

See also Rota and Psychoshop.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Back to the Present: The Sequel

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

For Rosenhain and Göpel

From Tom Stoppard's play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"

GUIL: Yes, one must think of the future.
ROS: It's the normal thing.
GUIL: To have one. One is, after all, having it all the time now… and now… and now…
ROS: It could go on for ever. Well, not for ever, I suppose. (Pause.) Do you ever think of yourself as actually dead, lying in a box with a lid on it?
ROS: Nor do I, really… It's silly to be depressed by it. I mean one thinks of it like being alive in a box, one keeps forgetting to take into account the fact that one is dead… which should make all the difference… shouldn't it? I mean, you'd never know you were in a box, would you? It would be just like being asleep in a box. Not that I'd like to sleep in a box, mind you, not without any air— you'd wake up dead, for a start, and then where would you be? Apart from inside a box. That's the bit I don't like, frankly. That's why I don't think of it.
(GUIL stirs restlessly, pulling his cloak round him.)
Because you'd be helpless, wouldn't you? Stuffed in a box like that, I mean you'd be in there for ever. Even taking into account the fact that you're dead, it isn't a pleasant thought. Especially if you're dead, really… ask yourself, if I asked you straight off— I'm going to stuff you in this box now, would you rather be alive or dead? Naturally, you'd prefer to be alive. Life in a box is better than no life at all. I expect. You'd have a chance at least. You could lie there thinking well, at least I'm not dead! In a minute someone's going to bang on the lid and tell me to come out. (Banging the floor with his fists.) "Hey you, whatsyername! Come out of there!"
GUIL (jumps up savagely) : You don't have to flog it to death!
ROS: I wouldn't think about it, if I were you. You'd only get depressed. (Pause.) Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where's it going to end? (Pause, then brightly.) Two early Christians chanced to meet in Heaven. "Saul of Tarsus yet!" cried one. "What are you doing here?!"… "Tarsus-Schmarsus," replied the other, "I'm Paul already." (He stands up restlessly and flaps his arms.) They don't care. We count for nothing. We could remain silent till we're green in the face, they wouldn't come.

Related material: Quotes from H. F. Baker in posts from March 2011—

A Many-Sided Theory and Remarks on Reality.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Off the Road

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

Starring Snow White! 

IMAGE- Winter storm; stay off roads, authorities say.

IMAGE- Off the road in 'New in Town' (2009 romantic comedy).

See also Thomas Pynchon’s remark in the previous post.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:45 PM

"Well, I got there!"

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

Sunday, January 6, 2013

True Fury

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 6:29 AM

For the Feast of Epiphany:

A trip back to December 1955

IMAGE- Cowboy magi and star on cover of TRUE, Dec. 1955 IMAGE- Gloria Pall on back cover of FURY, Dec. 1955

Meditations for Three Kings Day (Feast of Epiphany)—

"Show me all  the blueprints." — Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes

"The Tesseract is where it belongs: out of our reach." — Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

"Here was finality indeed, and cleavage!" — Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano  (1947)

Click images for some background.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 6:21 AM

(Continued from Deconstructing Alice)

The Dream of the Expanded Field

Image-- 4x4 square and 4x4x4 cube

"Somehow it seems to fill my head
with ideas— only I don't exactly know
what they are!"

See also Deep Play.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:02 AM

In memory of Copenhagen saxophonist John Tchicai,
who reportedly died last Sunday, October 7, 2012—

IMAGE- John Tchicai album 'Look to the Neutrino'

Quoted in this journal on the reported date of his death

IMAGE- NY Times review of 'Faust in Copenhagen'

But passion ever spins our plots,
And Gretchen is my treasure!

— Wolfgang Pauli character in
     Faust in Copenhagen

Related material—

"Physik als Quelle der Spiritualität:
Ein Weg von 'Gretchen' zurück zu 'Beatrice'?
by Bruno Binggeli

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Count

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:01 PM

… I saw a shadow
sliding around the ropes
to get at me. The referee
moved it back, and then
went over and picked up the count.
"One!" The fog was clearing.

I rose to a knee,
and at "nine" to my feet.

— Louis Simpson, "The Appointment"

Simpson reportedly died on Holy Cross Day.

That day in this journal—

IMAGE- Log24 posts 'Please Mister Please' and 'Plan 9'

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hope and Pope

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 4:59 AM

IMAGE- 'Hope of Heaven,' by John O'Hara, 1947 Avon paperback

Hope of Heaven , by John O'Hara
Avon paperback edition, 1947

   Heaven from all creatures hides the book of Fate,
All but the page prescribed, their present state:
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleased to the last, he crops the flowery food,
And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood.
Oh, blindness to the future! kindly given,
That each may fill the circle, marked by Heaven:
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurled,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
   Hope humbly, then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore.
What future bliss, He gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

— Alexander Pope in An Essay on Man

Monday, August 13, 2012

Something Between

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:07 PM

"I am a skeptic to whom the idea that a benign God 
created us and watches over us is something between
a fairy story and a bad joke." 

— The late art critic Robert Hughes in Things I Didn't Know*

A followup to this afternoon's previous Amy Adams post—

"Here was finality indeed, and cleavage!

             — Under the Volcano

     * Vintage paperback, December 2007, page 7

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Les Incommensurables

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

"Ayant été conduit par des recherches particulières
à considérer les solutions incommensurables, je suis
parvenu à quelques résultats que je crois nouveaux."

— Évariste Galois, "Sur la Théorie des Nombres"

Soon to be a major motion picture!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

For Ash Wednesday

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

"And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word."

— T. S. Eliot, "Ash Wednesday"

This suggested a search for commentary on
Conrad Aiken's phrase "where whirled and well."

Of the nine (Google) search results, one is not  from
my own journal entries—

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
by G Cameron – 1968 – Related articles
well where whirled and well where whirled and well—
-3. The stress on words such as "wing" is expanded for use
in Aiken's musical paragraph as follows: … 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sermon Highlight

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:30 AM

From last night—

Kristen Wiig as Kristen Del Rey

"Here was finality indeed,
 and cleavage!" — Malcolm Lowry

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ockham’s Bubbles–

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

Mathematics and Narrative, continued

"… a vision invisible, even ineffable, as ineffable as the Angels and the Universal Souls"

— Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word , 1975, quoted here on October 30th

"… our laughable abstractions, our wryly ironic po-mo angels dancing on the heads of so many mis-imagined quantum pins."

— Dan Conover on September 1st, 2011

"Recently I happened to be talking to a prominent California geologist, and she told me: 'When I first went into geology, we all thought that in science you create a solid layer of findings, through experiment and careful investigation, and then you add a second layer, like a second layer of bricks, all very carefully, and so on. Occasionally some adventurous scientist stacks the bricks up in towers, and these towers turn out to be insubstantial and they get torn down, and you proceed again with the careful layers. But we now realize that the very first layers aren't even resting on solid ground. They are balanced on bubbles, on concepts that are full of air, and those bubbles are being burst today, one after the other.'

I suddenly had a picture of the entire astonishing edifice collapsing and modern man plunging headlong back into the primordial ooze. He's floundering, sloshing about, gulping for air, frantically treading ooze, when he feels something huge and smooth swim beneath him and boost him up, like some almighty dolphin. He can't see it, but he's much impressed. He names it God."

— Tom Wolfe, "Sorry, but Your Soul Just Died," Forbes , 1996

"… Ockham's idea implies that we probably have the ability to do something now such that if we were to do it, then the past would have been different…"

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"Today is February 28, 2008, and we are privileged to begin a conversation with Mr. Tom Wolfe."

— Interviewer for the National Association of Scholars

From that conversation—

Wolfe : "People in academia should start insisting on objective scholarship, insisting  on it, relentlessly, driving the point home, ramming it down the gullets of the politically correct, making noise! naming names! citing egregious examples! showing contempt to the brink of brutality!"

As for "mis-imagined quantum pins"…
journal on the date of the above interview— February 28, 2008


Illustration from a Perimeter Institute talk given on July 20, 2005

The date of Conover's "quantum pins" remark above (together with Ockham's remark above and the above image) suggests a story by  Conover, "The Last Epiphany," and four posts from September 1st, 2011—

BoundaryHow It WorksFor Thor's Day,  and The Galois Tesseract.

Those four posts may be viewed as either an exploration or a parody of the boundary between mathematics and narrative.

"There is  such a thing as a tesseract." —A Wrinkle in Time

Friday, August 19, 2011

Convoluted Narrative

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

IMAGE- Chilean filmmaker Raul Ruiz died Friday, Aug. 19, 2011.  Known for 'convoluted narratives.'

Related material:  Duende meets Saturday Night Live

IMAGE- Imaginary novel, 'The Pinochet Sudoku,' from Saturday Night Live De Niro sketch

The "duende" link above leads to a post containing the following—

IMAGE- Excerpt from Dec. 11, 2006, post on Pinochet and the Escorial- where Lorca said 'geometry abuts with a dream.'

For the Sudoku part, see this afternoon's Geezer Puzzle and a comment
at Diamond Geezer's weblog this morning by combinatorialist Peter J. Cameron—

This reminds me of an incident a few years ago when Sir Michael Atiyah was interviewed by a journalist, who asked him what he thought of the Sudoku craze. Sir Michael replied that he was delighted to see so many people doing mathematics every day, and was taken to task by the journalist because "there is no mathematics in it: you don't add the numbers or anything".


Anyway, I consider this a mathematical puzzle; I even have some fancy words for it (a Graeco-Latin square with two disjoint diagonals and some entries prescribed). But don't let that scare anyone off trying the puzzle!

Thanks, DG: I put a link to it right away.

See also the Pope's schedule today.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


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."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

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.

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…."


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tony Awards Night

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

Magic Time!


           For fans of Douglas Adams and St. Augustine

Update of 2:20 AM June 13:

For the midday "042" as a reference to Adams, see Wikipedia. The "828" may be interpreted as a reference to St. Augustine's feast day, 8/28… or, for the more secularly minded, a reference to the time 8:28 PM (to go with the evening "0845" as a reference to 8:45 PM). For further details, see Times of the Times . The midday "7286" is more difficult. See midnight's Broadway Cinderella.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

On Art and Magic

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

Two Blocks Short of a Design:

A sequel to this morning’s post on Douglas Hofstadter


Photo of Hofstadter by Mike McGrath taken May 13, 2006

Related material — See Lyche’s  “Theme and Variations” in this journal
and Hofstadter’s “Variations on a Theme as the Essence of Imagination
Scientific American  October 1982

A quotation from a 1985 book by Hofstadter—

“… we need to entice people with the beauties of clarity, simplicity, precision,
elegance, balance, symmetry, and so on.

Those artistic qualities… are the things that I have tried to explore and even
to celebrate in Metamagical Themas .  (It is not for nothing that the word
‘magic’ appears inside the title!)”

The artistic qualities Hofstadter lists are best sought in mathematics, not in magic.

An example from Wikipedia —




The Fano plane block design



The Deathly Hallows  symbol—
Two blocks short of  a design.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Time Travel Poem

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:11 PM

From “This Week’s Hype II,” a post at Peter Woit’s physics weblog this afternoon, a comment—

TedUnger says:
March 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm

“… there’s been nothing from these CERN scientists
except some lousy boring data on physics!
They better at least give us some time travel or else!

You know that is what Joe Public is thinking.”

The commenter’s identity is not clear. Even less clear is the identity of his subject, Joe Public.

For some remarks on time travel from literature rather than science, see “Damnation Morning” in this journal.

Erin O’Connor’s St. Patrick’s Day post this morning says,

“[Roddy] Doyle’s take on the Irish struggle for independence,
A Star Called Henry , has a lovely touch of magical realism.”

Note that the remarks by Henry Baker in this morning’s post here  were dated Thursday, 11 September 1913.

Related material—

Yet they were of a different kind
The names that stilled your childish play,
They have gone about the world like wind,
But little time had they to pray
For whom the hangman’s rope was spun,
And what, God help us, could they save:
Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,
It’s with O’Leary in the grave.

William Butler Yeats, “September 1913

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM
From http://www.douban.com/note/63358774/ —

An Ode to the Unity of Time and Space 

Time, ah, time,
how you go off like this!

Physical things, ah, things,
so abundant you are!

The Ruo’s waters are three thousand,
how can they not have the same source?

Time and space are one body,
mind and things sustain each other.

Time, o time,
does not time come again?

Heaven, o heaven,
how many are the appearances of heaven!

From ancient days constantly shiftling on,
black holes flaring up.

Time and space are one body,
is it without end?

Great indeed
is the riddle of the universe.

Beautiful indeed
is the source of truth.

To quantize space and time
the smartest are nothing.

To measure the Great Universe with a long thin tube
the learning is vast.
                                 By Shing-Tung Yau

时乎时乎 逝何如此
物乎物乎 繁何如斯
弱水三千 岂非同源
时空一体 心物互存
时兮时兮 时不再欤
天兮天兮 天何多容
亘古恒迁 黑洞冥冥
时空一体 其无尽耶
大哉大哉 宇宙之谜
美哉美哉 真理之源
时空量化 智者无何
管测大块 学也洋洋 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Star Quality

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

A search in memory of Gerry Rafferty,
a talented singer-songwriter who died today at 63.

"Here was finality indeed, and cleavage!"
— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano

Monday, December 27, 2010

Church Diamond

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:09 PM

IMAGE- The diamond property

Also known, roughly speaking, as confluence  or the Church-Rosser property.

From “NYU Lambda Seminar, Week 2” —

[See also the parent page Seminar in Semantics / Philosophy of Language or:
What Philosophers and Linguists Can Learn From Theoretical Computer Science But Didn’t Know To Ask)

A computational system is said to be confluent, or to have the Church-Rosser or diamond property, if, whenever there are multiple possible evaluation paths, those that terminate always terminate in the same value. In such a system, the choice of which sub-expressions to evaluate first will only matter if some of them but not others might lead down a non-terminating path.

The untyped lambda calculus is confluent. So long as a computation terminates, it always terminates in the same way. It doesn’t matter which order the sub-expressions are evaluated in.

A computational system is said to be strongly normalizing if every permitted evaluation path is guaranteed to terminate. The untyped lambda calculus is not strongly normalizing: ω ω doesn’t terminate by any evaluation path; and (\x. y) (ω ω) terminates only by some evaluation paths but not by others.

But the untyped lambda calculus enjoys some compensation for this weakness. It’s Turing complete! It can represent any computation we know how to describe. (That’s the cash value of being Turing complete, not the rigorous definition. There is a rigorous definition. However, we don’t know how to rigorously define “any computation we know how to describe.”) And in fact, it’s been proven that you can’t have both. If a computational system is Turing complete, it cannot be strongly normalizing.

There is no connection, apart from the common reference to an elementary geometric shape, between the use of “diamond” in the above Church-Rosser sense and the use of “diamond” in the mathematics of (Cullinane’s) Diamond Theory.

Any attempt to establish such a connection would, it seems, lead quickly into logically dubious territory.

Nevertheless, in the synchronistic spirit of Carl Jung and Arthur Koestler, here are some links to such a territory —

 Link One — “Insane Symmetry”  (Click image for further details)—


See also the quilt symmetry in this  journal on Christmas Day.

Link Two — Divine Symmetry

(George Steiner on the Name in this journal on Dec. 31 last year (“All about Eve“)) —

“The links are direct between the tautology out of the Burning Bush, that ‘I am’ which accords to language the privilege of phrasing the identity of God, on the one hand, and the presumptions of concordance, of equivalence, of translatability, which, though imperfect, empower our dictionaries, our syntax, our rhetoric, on the other. That ‘I am’ has, as it were, at an overwhelming distance, informed all predication. It has spanned the arc between noun and verb, a leap primary to creation and the exercise of creative consciousness in metaphor. Where that fire in the branches has gone out or has been exposed as an optical illusion, the textuality of the world, the agency of the Logos in logic—be it Mosaic, Heraclitean, or Johannine—becomes ‘a dead letter.'”

George Steiner, Grammars of Creation

(See also, from Hanukkah this year,  A Geometric Merkabah and The Dreidel is Cast.)

Link Three – Spanning the Arc —

Part A — Architect Louis Sullivan on “span” (see also Kindergarten at Stonehenge)

Part B — “Span” in category theory at nLab —


Also from nLab — Completing Spans to Diamonds

“It is often interesting whether a given span in some partial ordered set can be completed into a diamond. The property of a collection of spans to consist of spans which are expandable into diamonds is very useful in the theory of rewriting systems and producing normal forms in algebra. There are classical results e.g. Newman’s diamond lemma, Širšov-Bergman’s diamond lemma (Širšov is also sometimes spelled as Shirshov), and Church-Rosser theorem (and the corresponding Church-Rosser confluence property).”

The concepts in this last paragraph may or may not have influenced the diamond theory of Rudolf Kaehr (apparently dating from 2007).

They certainly have nothing to do with the Diamond Theory of Steven H. Cullinane (dating from 1976).

For more on what the above San Francisco art curator is pleased to call “insane symmetry,” see this journal on Christmas Day.

For related philosophical lucubrations (more in the spirit of Kaehr than of Steiner), see the New York Times  “The Stone” essay “Span: A Remembrance,” from December 22—

“To understand ourselves well,” [architect Louis] Sullivan writes, “we must arrive first at a simple basis: then build up from it.”

Around 300 BC, Euclid arrived at this: “A point is that which has no part. A line is breadthless length.”

See also the link from Christmas Day to remarks on Euclid and “architectonic” in Mere Geometry.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:35 AM

A counterbalance to this morning's New York Times  story (see previous post) on a leftist Columbia University seminar might be C.S. Lewis's famous quote "It's all in Plato."  Unfortunately, a search for discussions of this quote yields, as the top result, a typically shoddy Christian polemic.

From a Christian professor at Seattle Pacific University

"Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) can serve us well as a negative example. Nietzsche's 'new morality' was 'mere innovation,' according to [C.S.] Lewis  [Christian Reflections ]. Nietzsche announced through Zarathustra (and numerous other ways) the relativity of all values and moralities, saying that each people had adhered to a different scheme of values worked out solely in connection with local conditions. 'Nothing is true, everything is permitted,' states Nietzsche, quoting one of Dostoevsky's characters."

No source is given for either the Nietzsche quote or the alleged Dostoevky quote.

This is from a web page titled "In Defense of the Permanent Things." The Christian professor is, according to a far better scholar, permanently wrong. See Note 8 on pages 586-587 of Walter Kaufmann's Basic Writings of Nietzsche  (Random House, November 28, 2000).

One hopes that a more capable scholar, such as Lewis himself* was, might at some point attack the Columbia University leftist nonsense— and Nietzsche— by quoting a more damning passage, such as

" 'Everything is false! Everything is permitted!' "

(from Kaufmann's edition of The Will to Power , Random House, 1968, page 326)

This version of the "Everything is permitted" quote is much more directly related to Nietzsche's relativism, as seen in this image of Kaufmann's edition—

   (Click to enlarge.)


* Or Steven Michels of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.
  See his "Nietzsche, Nihilism, and the Virtue of Nature"— in particular, note 29.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:02 AM

"Here was finality indeed, and cleavage!"
— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano

Related— Rosetta Stone, today's Google Doodle, and Rock of Ages.

See also the New York daily numbers in yesterday's lottery.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Better Story —

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

Or, “Get me rewrite!

Today’s New York Times online–

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein imagines a story about academics discussing literary theory—

“Rumors had reached us of a doctrine called Theory emanating from distant corners of the university. We in the Department of Philosophy understood it immediately as a grand hoax. I will not dwell on my particular amusement, in which I was so tragically at odds with my collaborator, Theo Rhee….

… It was at this moment that Hans Furth appeared and ambled over….”

And thanks to Google Books, here he is—

“…I can imagine the decisive evolutionary beginnings of humans and societies… not in an adult version, but in the playful mentality of children…. An unlikely story? Perhaps. I am looking out for a better story.”

Hans G. Furth, Desire for Society: Children’s Knowledge as Social Imagination, published by Springer, 1996, p. 181

As am I. (See previous post.) One possibility, from 1943— “Mimsy Were the Borogoves.”

Another possibility, from 1953—  not Theo Rhee, but rather “Loo Ree.”

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Through the Blackboard

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:07 PM

Or: "Gopnik Meets Oppenheimer in Heaven"

(Or, for those less philosophically minded, "Raiders of the Lost Pussy")

Midrash on "A Serious Man"
by Steven Menashi at
The American Scene

"A Serious Man kicks off with a Yiddish-language frame story that takes place in a 19th-century Eastern European shtetl, where a married couple has an enigmatic encounter with an old acquaintance who may be a dybbuk," recounts Dana Stevens . "The import of this parable is cryptic to the point of inscrutability."

It seems to me that the Coen Brothers’ dybbuk is the Jewish folkloric equivalent of Schrodinger’s Cat .

When we first meet the main character, a physics professor named Larry Gopnik, he’s writing equations on the board: "So if that’s that, then we can do this, right? Is that right? Isn’t that right? And that’s Schrodinger’s paradox, right? Is the cat dead or is the cat not dead?" Likewise, we can’t know whether Fyvush Finkel [the aforementioned old acquaintance] is alive or a dybbuk. We can only evaluate probabilities. When a Korean student named Clive Park complains to Larry that he shouldn’t have failed the Physics midterm because "I understand the physics. I understand the dead cat," Larry says:

You can’t really understand the physics without understanding the math. The math tells how it really works. That’s the real thing; the stories I give you in class are just illustrative; they’re like, fables, say, to help give you a picture. An imperfect model. I mean— even I don’t understand the dead cat. The math is how it really works.

But the fable actually tells us that the math doesn’t capture reality.

The story in images below summarizes a meditation suggested by this parable and by

  1. Tuesday's post "Fish Story"
  2. Today's AP thought:
    "Open-mindedness is not the same as empty-mindedness." –John Dewey
  3. "Zen mind, empty mind."
  4. Today's NY Times obituary for Selma G. Hirsh,
    author of The Fears Men Live By (Harper, 1955).
    Hirsh died on St. Bridget's Day.
  5. A search for the Hirsh book that led to a web page
    with a 1955 review of J. Robert Oppenheimer's book The Open Mind
  6. A search for the Oppenheimer book that led to
    LIFE magazine's issue of Oct. 10, 1949
  7. "Satori means 'awakening.'" — TIME magazine, Nov. 21, 1960


Blackboard in "A Serious Man"–

Physicist accelerated against his blackboard in 'A Serious Man'


Blackboard at the Institute for Advanced Study–

J. Robert Oppenheimer at his blackboard

"Daddy's home! Daddy's home!"

(Click to enlarge.)

Oppenheimer homecoming, with ad for 'Pussy-Footer' alarm clock


Related material–

A Zen meditation from Robert Pirsig
is suggested by the time on the above
alarm clock– 8:20– interpreted,
surrealistically, as a date — 8/20.

Monday, February 1, 2010

For St. Bridget’s Day

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

"But wait, there's more!"
Stanley Fish, NY Times Jan. 28

From the editors at The New York Times who, left to their own devices, would produce yet another generation of leftist morons who don't know the difference between education and entertainment–

A new Times column starts today–


The quality of the column's logo speaks for itself. It pictures a cone with dashed lines indicating height and base radius, but unlabeled except for a large italic x to the right of the cone. This enigmatic variable may indicate the cone's height or slant height– or, possibly, its surface area or volume.

Instead of the column's opening load of crap about numbers and Sesame Street, a discussion of its logo might be helpful.

The cone plays a major role in the historical development of mathematics.

Some background from an online edition of Euclid

"Euclid proved in proposition XII.10 that the cone with the same base and height as a cylinder was one third of the cylinder, but he could not find the ratio of a sphere to the circumscribed cylinder. In the century after Euclid, Archimedes solved this problem as well as the much more difficult problem of the surface area of a sphere."

For Archimedes and the surface area of a sphere, see (for instance) a discussion by Kevin Brown. For more material on Archimedes, see "Archimedes: Volume of a Sphere," by Doug Faires (2001)– Archimedes' heuristic argument from mechanics that involves the volume of a cone– and Archimedes' more rigorous approach in The Works of Archimedes, edited by T. L. Heath (1897).

The work of Euclid and Archimedes on volumes was, of course, long before the discovery of calculus.  For a helpful discussion of cone volumes involving high-school-level calculus, see, for instance,  the following–


The Times editors apparently feel that
few of their readers are capable of
such high-school-level sophistication.

For some other geometric illustrations
perhaps more appealing than the Times's


dunce cap, see the symbol of
  today's saint– a Bridget Cross
and a web page on
visualized quaternions.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Short Story

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:01 PM

Home Delivery

"But wait, there's more!"
Stanley Fish, NY Times today

NY Times 1:43 PM Jan. 28, 2010-- J. D. Salinger has died.

For a larger image, click on The Catcher.

"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.  Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around– nobody big, I mean– except me.  And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.  What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff– I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.  That's all I'd do all day.  I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.  I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be."

— J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 22

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Annals of Literature

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:32 AM

Death and the Apple Tree
continued from January 4

"One evening I went into the back drawing-room in which the priest had died. It was a dark rainy evening and there was no sound in the house. Through one of the broken panes I heard the rain impinge upon the earth, the fine incessant needles of water playing in the sodden beds. Some distant lamp or lighted window gleamed below me. I was thankful that I could see so little. All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves and, feeling that I was about to slip from them, I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled, murmuring: 'O love! O love!' many times.

At last she spoke to me. When she addressed the first words to me I was so confused that I did not know what to answer. She asked me was I going to Araby. I forgot whether I answered yes or no. It would be a splendid bazaar; she said she would love to go.

'And why can't you?' I asked.

While she spoke she turned a silver bracelet round and round her wrist. She could not go, she said, because there would be a retreat that week in her convent. Her brother and two other boys were fighting for their caps, and I was alone at the railings. She held one of the spikes, bowing her head towards me. The light from the lamp opposite our door caught the white curve of her neck, lit up her hair that rested there and, falling, lit up the hand upon the railing. It fell over one side of her dress and caught the white border of a petticoat, just visible as she stood at ease.

'It's well for you,' she said.

'If I go,' I said, 'I will bring you something.'"

— "Araby," by James Joyce.
 Joyce died on this date in 1941.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

That’s Showbiz

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM

New York Times, January 12, 2010, 12:26 PM–

"Spider-Man" Musical Will Refund Tickets

"With… direction by Julie Taymor ['Frida'], 'Spider-Man' has been marred by delays….

The musical’s troubles have unfolded at the same time that the next “Spider-Man” movie has been descending into disarray…."

Related material:

"No Great Magic," by Fritz Leiber–

"The white cosmetic came away, showing sallow skin and on it a faint tattoo in the form of an 'S' styled like a yin-yang symbol left a little open.

'Snake!' he hissed. 'Destroyer! The arch-enemy, the eternal opponent!'"

Ay que bonito es volar  
    A las dos de la mañana
— “La Bruja

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Out of What Chaos

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:28 PM

Mathematics and Narrative, continued…

Out of What Chaos, a novel by Lee Oser

"This book is more or less what one would expect if Walker Percy wrote about a cynical rock musician who converts to Catholicism, and then Nabokov added some of his verbal pyrotechnics, and then Buster Keaton and the Marquis de Sade and Lionel Trilling inserted a few extra passages. It is a loving and yet appalled description of the underground music scene in the Pacific Northwest. And it is a convincing representation of someone very, very smart."

Matt Greenfield in The Valve

"If Evelyn Waugh had lived amid the American Northwest rock music scene, he might have written a book like this."

–Anonymous Amazon.com reviewer

A possible source for Oser's title–

"…Lytton Strachey described Pope's theme as 'civilization illumined by animosity; such was the passionate and complicated material from which he wove his patterns of balanced precision and polished clarity.' But out of what chaos did that clarity and precision come!"

Authors at Work, by  Herman W. Liebert and Robert H. Taylor, New York, Grolier Club, 1957, p. 16

Related material:

Unthought Known

Pearl Jam 'Backspacer' album released Sept. 20, 2009

and the

Catholic Analyst's Couch, White Cube Gallery, 2002

White Cube Gallery, 2002

Monday, November 2, 2009

For All Souls’ Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM

The Interpreter’s House

From Sunday morning’s
October Endgame:

A Korean Christian site–


See Mizian Translation Service for
some background on the seal’s designer.

John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress, The Second Part, “The Interpreter’s House“–

“When the Interpreter had shown them this, He has them into the very best room in the house; a very brave room it was. So He bid them look round about, and see if they could find anything profitable there. Then they looked round and round; for there was nothing there to be seen but a very great spider on the wall: and that they overlooked.

MERCY. Then said Mercy, Sir, I see nothing; but Christiana held her peace.

INTER. But, said the Interpreter, look again, and she therefore looked again, and said, Here is not anything but an ugly spider, who hangs by her hands upon the wall. Then said He, Is there but one spider in all this spacious room? Then the water stood in Christiana’s eyes, for she was a woman quick of apprehension; and she said, Yea, Lord, there is here more than one. Yea, and spiders whose venom is far more destructive than that which is in her. The Interpreter then looked pleasantly upon her, and said, Thou hast said the truth. This made Mercy blush, and the boys to cover their faces, for they all began now to understand the riddle.‌74

Then said the Interpreter again, “The spider taketh hold with their hands (as you see), and is in kings’ palaces’ (Prov. 30:28). And wherefore is this recorded, but to show you, that how full of the venom of sin soever you be, yet you may, by the hand of faith, lay hold of, and dwell in the best room that belongs to the King’s house above!75

CHRIST. I thought, said Christiana, of something of this; but I could not imagine it all. I thought that we were like spiders, and that we looked like ugly creatures, in what fine room soever we were; but that by this spider, this venomous and ill-favoured creature, we were to learn how to act faith, that came not into my mind. And yet she has taken hold with her hands, as I see, and dwells in the best room in the house. God has made nothing in vain.”

Related material:

The spider metaphor in
Under the Volcano

(April 10, 2004) and
an AP obituary
from yesterday.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday September 7, 2009

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

Magic Boxes

"Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas– only I don't exactly know what they are!…. Let's have a look at the garden first!"

— A passage from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass. The "garden" part– but not the "ideas" part– was quoted by Jacques Derrida in Dissemination in the epigraph to Chapter 7, "The Time before First."

 on the passage:

Part I    "The Magic Box,"  shown on Turner Classic Movies earlier tonight

Part II: "Mimsy Were the Borogoves," a classic science fiction story:

"… he lifted a square, transparent crystal block, small enough to cup in his palm– much too small to contain the maze of apparatus within it. In a moment Scott had solved that problem. The crystal was a sort of magnifying glass, vastly enlarging the things inside the block. Strange things they were, too. Miniature people, for example– They moved. Like clockwork automatons, though much more smoothly. It was rather like watching a play."

Part III:  A Crystal Block

Cube, 4x4x4

Four coloring pencils, of four different colors

Image of pencils is by
Diane Robertson Design.

Related material:
"A Four-Color Theorem."

Part IV:

David Carradine displays a yellow book-- the Princeton I Ching.

"Click on the Yellow Book."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday April 23, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:24 PM
Star Quality

Eight-pointed star, background image for the E! Online logo

This deliberately cryptic entry is to thank an anonymous reader in Sweden for the following footprint:

…&uid=37798719 4/23/2009
4:33 PM

“Speedy” is the browser name supplied to the server. The link is to a Columbus Day, 2003, entry with the song phrase “spinnin’ wheel, spinnin’ true.” The time is Eastern Daylight.

Related material:

Vide today’s midday PA lottery number, 177, the 1919 edition of The Oxford Book of English Verse, and the time (interpreted, in a Joycean manner, as a date) of this morning’s first entry.

Happy birthday to Judy Davis
and happy Day of the Book.

Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1900

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday March 24, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

The Child Trap

See E! Online, March 18 — Lindsay Lohan Remembers Parent Trap Mum

See also

For those who like such things, an excellent Marxist analysis of Watchmen from another fan:

Whitson, Roger. “Panelling Parallax: The Fearful Symmetry of Alan Moore and William Blake.” ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies Vol. 3 No. 2 (2007). Dept. of English, University of Florida.

Whitson’s subject, Alan Moore, is the author of the Watchmen graphic novel. Moore’s style seems less suited to the Forth family pictured above than to Lindsay Lohan fans– who may also enjoy another graphic novel by Moore, Lost Girls.

More Lohan material related to her role in “Georgia Rule“–

Damnation Morning Continued (March 16).

Further background:

“The film realizes that if people actually fought crime, they’d most likely be crazy. Take The Comedian for an example. He fights crime, sure. He’s also a raging alcoholic.” –“‘Watchmen’ a flawed masterpiece,” by Ryan Michaels

See also the following expanded version of a link from Sunday morning, March 22:

Watchman, what of the night?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday March 22, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM
Funeral Services Held
for Natasha Richardson

E! Online today, 1 PM PDT:

“Family and friends of Natasha Richardson said their final farewells to the late actress Sunday afternoon during a small, private funeral held near her Millbrook home in upstate New York….

Richardson died on Wednesday [March 18, 2009] at the age of 45 from a head injury she suffered [on Monday, March 16, 2009] while skiing in Canada.

The funeral began after the family arrived in a police-escorted motorcade at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lithgow, where Neeson and her sons are members….”

For what it’s worth…

Background image
for the E! story:

Eight-pointed star, background image for the E! Online logo

Related images —
Midsummer Night
in the Garden of
Good and Evil

See also:

God as Trauma,”
by a former vicar
of the Lithgow church,
and Drunkard’s Walk.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday March 18, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Gallic Clarity

Yesterday’s entry Deep Structures discussed the “semiotic square,” a device that exemplifies the saying “If you can’t dazzle ’em with brilliance, then baffle ’em with bullshit.”

A search today for what the Marxist critic Fredric Jameson might have meant by saying that the square “is capable of generating at least ten conceivable positions out of a rudimentary binary opposition” leads to two documents of interest.

1. “Theory Pictures as Trails: Diagrams and the Navigation of Theoretical Narratives” (pdf), by J.R. Osborn, Department of Communication, University of California, San Diego (Cognitive Science Online, Vol.3.2, pp.15-44, 2005)

2. “The Semiotic Square” (html), by Louis Hébert (2006), professor, Université du Québec à Rimouski, in Signo (http://www.signosemio.com).

Shown below is Osborn’s picture of the semiotic square:


Osborn’s discussion of the square, though more clear than, say, that of Rosalind Krauss (who reverses the bottom two parts of the square– see Deep Structures), fails. His Appendix A is miserably obscure.

On the brighter side, we have, as a sign that Gallic clarity still exists, the work of Hébert.

Here is how he approaches Jameson’s oft-quoted, but seemingly confused, remark about “ten conceivable positions”–

The Semiotic Square,”
  by Louis Hébert


The semiotic square, developed by Greimas and Rastier, is a means of refining oppositional analyses by increasing the number of analytical classes stemming from a given opposition from two (life/death, for instance) to four (for example, life, death, life and death (the living dead), and neither life nor death (angels)) to eight or even ten.


The actantial model, isotopy and the semiotic square are undoubtedly the best-known theoretical propositions that have emerged from the Paris School of semiotics, with Greimas as its central figure. Like the actantial model and the veridictory square, the semiotic square is designed to be both a conceptual network and a visual representation of this network, usually depicted in the form of a “square” (which actually looks like a rectangle!). Courtés defines it as the visual representation of the logical structure of an opposition (cf. Courtés, 1991, 152). The semiotic square is a means of refining oppositional analyses by increasing the number of analytical classes stemming from a given opposition from two (for instance, life/death) to four (for example, life, death, life and death (the living dead), and neither life nor death (angels)) to eight or even ten. Here is an empty semiotic square.

Structure of the semiotic square

5. (=1+2) COMPLEX TERM
1. TERM A  
9. (=1+4)
10. (=2+3)

7. (=1+3)


6. (=3+4) NEUTRAL TERM

The + sign links the terms that are combined to make up a metaterm (a compound term); for example, 5 is the result of combining 1 and 2.


The semiotic square entails primarily the following elements (we are steering clear of the constituent relationships of the square: contrariety, contradiction, and complementarity or implication):

1. terms
2. metaterms (compound terms)
3. object(s) (classified on the square)
4. observing subject(s) (who do the classifying)
5. time (of the observation)

2.1.1 TERMS

The semiotic square is composed of four terms:

Position 1 (term A)
Position 2 (term B)
Position 3 (term not-B)
Position 4 (term not-A)

The first two terms form the opposition (the contrary relationship) that is the basis of the square, and the other two are obtained by negating each term of the opposition.


The semiotic square includes six metaterms. The metaterms are terms created from the four simple terms. Some of the metaterms have been named. (The complex term and the neutral term, despite their names, are indeed metaterms).

Position 5 (term 1 + term 2): complex term
Position 6 (term 3 + term 4): neutral term
Position 7 (term 1 + term 3): positive deixis
Position 8 (term 2 + term 4): negative deixis
Position 9 = term 1 + term 4: unnamed
Position 10 = term 2 + term 3: unnamed

These ten “positions” are apparently meant to explain Jameson’s remark.

Hébert’s treatment has considerably greater entertainment value than Osborn’s. Besides “the living dead” and angels, Hébert’s examples and exercises include vampires, transvestites, the Passion of Christ, and the following very relevant quotation:

“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday March 7, 2009

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

One or Two Ideas
Today's birthday: Piet Mondrian
From James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man:

he hearth and began to stroke his chin.

–When may we expect to have something from you on the esthetic question? he asked.

–From me! said Stephen in astonishment. I stumble on an idea once a fortnight if I am lucky.

–These questions are very profound, Mr Dedalus, said the dean. It is like looking down from the cliffs of Moher into the depths. Many go down into the depths and never come up. Only the trained diver can go down into those depths and explore them and come to the surface again.

–If you mean speculation, sir, said Stephen, I also am sure that there is no such thing as free thinking inasmuch as all thinking must be bound by its own laws.


–For my purpose I can work on at present by the light of one or two ideas of Aristotle and Aquinas.

–I see. I quite see your point.

Besides being Mondrian's birthday, today is also the dies natalis (in the birth-into-heaven sense) of St. Thomas Aquinas and, for those who believe worthy pre-Christians also enter heaven, possibly of Aristotle.

Pope Benedict XVI explained the dies natalis concept on Dec. 26, 2006:

"For believers the day of death, and even more the day of martyrdom, is not the end of all; rather, it is the 'transit' towards immortal life. It is the day of definitive birth, in Latin, dies natalis."

The Pope's remarks on that date
were in St. Peter's Square.
From this journal on that date,
a different square —
The Seventh Symbol:

Box symbol

Pictorial version
of Hexagram 20,
Contemplation (View)

The square may be regarded as
symbolizing art itself.
(See Nov.30 – Dec.1, 2008.)

In honor of
Aristotle and Aquinas,
here is a new web site,
with versions of the diamond shape
made famous by Mondrian

Cover of  Mondrian: The Diamond Compositions

— a shape symbolizing
possibility within modal logic
 as well as the potentiality of
 Aristotle's prima materia.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday January 31, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Catholic Schools Week

Today is the conclusion of
 Catholic Schools Week.

From one such school,
Cullinane College:

Cullinane College school spirit

Cullinane students
display school spirit

Related material:

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man:


He turned to the flyleaf of the geography and read what he had written there: himself, his name and where he was.

Stephen Dedalus
Class of Elements
Clongowes Wood College
County Kildare
The World
The Universe

That was in his writing: and Fleming one night for a cod had written on the opposite page:

Stephen Dedalus is my name,
Ireland is my nation.
Clongowes is my dwellingplace
And heaven my expectation.

He read the verses backwards but then they were not poetry. Then he read the flyleaf from the bottom to the top till he came to his own name. That was he: and he read down the page again. What was after the universe?

Nothing. But was there anything round the universe to show where it stopped before the nothing place began?


Alfred Bester, Tiger! Tiger!:


Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination

"Guilty! Read the Charge!"
— Quoted here on
January 29, 2003

The Prisoner,
Episode One, 1967:
"I… I meant a larger map."
— Quoted here on
January 27, 2009


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday December 14, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Ideas and Steps

“Somehow it seems to
fill my head with ideas
 only I don’t exactly know
what they are!…. Let’s have
 a look at the garden first!”

— A passage from
Through the Looking-Glass

“… it’s going to be
 accomplished in steps,
this establishment of
the Talented
 in the scheme of things.”

Anne McCaffrey

On the seven steps of Charles Williams:

“If we assume Williams was responding to a psychological need to express himself, then we may also assume that Williams wrote these seven steps in compliance with Jung’s theory that an author, who believes strongly enough in some set of ideas, has to write about them.”

— Dennis L. Weeks (a former student of Walter J. Ong, S. J.) in Steps Toward Salvation: An Examination of Coinherence and Substitution in the Seven Novels of Charles Williams (New York, Peter Lang Publishing, 1991), page 9

On the twelve steps of Christmas:

So set ’em up, Joe…

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday December 12, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:24 PM
Back to the Garden
of Forking Paths

“Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas– only I don’t exactly know what they are!…. Let’s have a look at the garden first!”

— A passage from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. The “garden” part– but not the “ideas” part– was quoted by Jacques Derrida in Dissemination in the epigraph to Chapter 7, “The Time before First.”

“‘For you… he… we aren’t meaning…’ She was almost stammering, as if she were trying to say several things at once…. Suddenly she gave a little tortured scream. ‘O!’ she cried, ‘O! I can’t keep up! it keeps dividing! There’s too many things to think of!'”

— A passage from Charles Williams’s The Place of the Lion, Chapter 12.

“He was thinking faster than he had ever done, and questions rose out of nothing and followed each other– what was to will? Will was determination to choose– what was choice? How could there be choice, unless there was preference, and if there was preference there was no choice, for it was not possible to choose against that preferring nature which was his being; yet being consisted in choice, for only by taking and doing this and not that could being know itself, could it indeed be; to be then consisted in making an inevitable choice, and all that was left was to know the choice, yet even then was the chosen thing the same as the nature that chose, and if not… So swiftly the questions followed each other that he seemed to be standing in flashing coils of subtlety, an infinite ring of vivid intellect and more than intellect, for these questions were not of the mind alone but absorbed into themselves physical passion and twined through all his nature on an unceasing and serpentine journey.”

— A passage from The Place of the Lion, Chapter 10.

Do you like apples?

Good Will Hunting

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday November 19, 2008

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

"Through the unknown,
remembered gate…."

Four Quartets

(Epigraph to the introduction,
Parallelisms of Complete Designs
by Peter J. Cameron,
Merton College, Oxford)

"It's still the same old story…."
— Song lyric

The Great Gatsby
Chapter 6:

"An instinct toward his future glory had led him, some months before, to the small Lutheran college of St. Olaf in southern Minnesota. He stayed there two weeks, dismayed at its ferocious indifference to the drums of his destiny, to destiny itself, and despising the janitor’s work with which he was to pay his way through."

There is a link to an article on St. Olaf College in Arts & Letters Daily  today:

"John Milton, boring? Paradise Lost  has a little bit of something for everybody. Hot sex! Hellfire! Some damned good poetry, too…" more»

The "more" link is to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

For related material on Paradise Lost  and higher education, see Mathematics and Narrative.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday October 4, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM
In a Nutshell:

“The Ambition of the Short Story,” the essay by Steven Millhauser quoted here on Tuesday, September 30, is now online.

“Hoo ha!” cries the novel.
Here ah come!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday September 14, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:09 PM
Part I:

by David Foster Wallace

On John McCain’s presidential campaign eight years ago

“He always pauses a second for effect and then says: ‘I’m going to tell you something. I may have said some things here today that maybe you don’t agree with, and I might have said some things you hopefully do agree with. But I will always. Tell you. The truth.’ This is McCain’s closer, his last big reverb on the six-string as it were. And the frenzied standing-O it always gets from his audience is something to see. But you have to wonder. Why do these crowds from Detroit to Charleston cheer so wildly at a simple promise not to lie?

Well, it’s obvious why. When McCain says it, the people are cheering not for him so much as for how good it feels to believe him. They’re cheering the loosening of a weird sort of knot in the electoral tummy. McCain’s resume and candor, in other words, promise not empathy with voters’ pain but relief from it. Because we’ve been lied to and lied to, and it hurts to be lied to. It’s ultimately just about that complicated. It hurts.

We learn this at like age four– it’s grownups’ first explanation to us of why it’s bad to lie (‘How would you like it if…?’). And we keep learning for years, from hard experience, that getting lied to sucks– that it diminishes you, denies you respect for yourself, for the liar, for the world. Especially if the lies are chronic, systemic, if experience seems to teach that everything you’re supposed to believe in’s really just a game based on lies….

… It’s painful to believe that the would-be ‘public servants’ you’re forced to choose between are all phonies… who will lie so outrageously and with such a straight face that you know they’ve just got to believe you’re an idiot.”

Part II:
by William Shakespeare

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Related material:
Log24 last Wednesday

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday July 25, 2008

56 Triangles

Greg Egan's drawing of the 56 triangles on the Klein quartic 3-hole torus

John Baez on
Klein’s quartic:

“This wonderful picture was drawn by Greg Egan with the help of ideas from Mike Stay and Gerard Westendorp. It’s probably the best way for a nonmathematician to appreciate the symmetry of Klein’s quartic. It’s a 3-holed torus, but drawn in a way that emphasizes the tetrahedral symmetry lurking in this surface! You can see there are 56 triangles: 2 for each of the tetrahedron’s 4 corners, and 8 for each of its 6 edges.”

Exercise:The Eightfold Cube: The Beauty of Klein's Simple Group

Click on image for further details.

Note that if eight points are arranged
in a cube (like the centers of the
eight subcubes in the figure above),
there are 56 triangles formed by
the 8 points taken 3 at a time.

Baez’s discussion says that the Klein quartic’s 56 triangles can be partitioned into 7 eight-triangle Egan “cubes” that correspond to the 7 points of the Fano plane in such a way that automorphisms of the Klein quartic correspond to automorphisms of the Fano plane. Show that the 56 triangles within the eightfold cube can also be partitioned into 7 eight-triangle sets that correspond to the 7 points of the Fano plane in such a way that (affine) transformations of the eightfold cube induce (projective) automorphisms of the Fano plane.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday May 29, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:14 AM
The Diadem
of Death

Washington Post Death Notices:

Dead on
St. Sarah’s Day,
May 24 —

Sophie B. Altman

Star of David in Washington Post death notice of Sophie B. Altman

Sophie B. Altman at Christmas 2006 dinner at DeCarlo's

Mother-in-law of
Wonder Woman
Lynda Carter
and founder and
producer of TV’s
It’s Academic

In Memoriam:

Rubén Darío

—Yo soy Gaspar. Aquí traigo el incienso.
Vengo a decir: La vida es pura y bella.
Existe Dios. El amor es inmenso.
¡Todo lo sé por la divina Estrella!

—Yo soy Melchor. Mi mirra aroma todo.
Existe Dios. El es la luz del día.
¡La blanca flor tiene sus pies en lodo
y en el placer hay la melancolía!

—Soy Baltasar. Traigo el oro. Aseguro
que existe Dios. El es el grande y fuerte.
Todo lo sé por el lucero puro
que brilla en la diadema de la Muerte.

—Gaspar, Melchor y Baltasar, callaos.
Triunfa el amor, ya su fiesta os convida.
¡Cristo resurge, hace la luz del caos
y tiene la corona de la Vida!


I am Caspar. I bring with me the myrrh,
And have this to say: Life is pure and beautiful.
There is a God. His love is immense.
I can see all by the divine Star!

I am Melchior. My frankincense perfumes the air.
There is a God. He is the light of day.
The whitest flower has its stem in the mire
And in joy is also found sorrow!

I am Balthasar. I bring the gold. And I
Assure you: There is a God, great and mighty.
And I know this from the pure light
That radiates from the Diadem of Death.

Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar — say no more.
Love is triumphant, and beckons you to His feast:
Christ is born! The Chaos He has turned to light,
And he wears the crown of Life!


Wonder Woman and the Secret of the Magic Tiara

Wonder Woman and the Secret of the Magic Tiara-- The End

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday May 25, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 6:30 PM
Hall of Mirrors

Epigraph to
Deploying the Glass Bead Game, Part II,”
by Robert de Marrais:

“For a complete logical argument,”
Arthur began
with admirable solemnity,
“we need two prim Misses –”
“Of course!” she interrupted.
“I remember that word now.
And they produce — ?”
“A Delusion,” said Arthur.

— Lewis Carroll,
Sylvie and Bruno

Prim Miss 1:

Erin O’Connor’s weblog
“Critical Mass” on May 24:

Roger Rosenblatt’s Beet [Ecco hardcover, Jan. 29, 2008] is the latest addition to the noble sub-genre of campus fiction….

Curricular questions and the behavior of committees are at once dry as dust subjects and areas ripe for sarcastic send-up– not least because, as dull as they are, they are really both quite vital to the credibility and viability of higher education.

Here’s an excerpt from the first meeting, in which committee members propose their personal plans for a new, improved curriculum:

“… Once the students really got into playing with toy soldiers, they would understand history with hands-on excitement.”

To demonstrate his idea, he’d brought along a shoe box full of toy doughboys and grenadiers, and was about to reenact the Battle of Verdun on the committee table when Heilbrun stayed his hand. “We get it,” he said.

“That’s quite interesting, Molton,” said Booth [a chemist]. “But is it rigorous enough?”

At the mention of the word, everyone, save Peace, sat up straight.

“Rigor is so important,” said Kettlegorf.

“We must have rigor,” said Booth.

“You may be sure,” said the offended Kramer. “I never would propose anything lacking rigor.”

Smythe inhaled and looked at the ceiling. “I think I may have something of interest,” he said, as if he were at a poker game and was about to disclose a royal flush. “My proposal is called ‘Icons of Taste.’ It would consist of a galaxy of courses affixed to several departments consisting of lectures on examples of music, art, architecture, literature, and other cultural areas a student needed to indicate that he or she was sophisticated.”

“Why would a student want to do that?” asked Booth.

“Perhaps sophistication is not a problem for chemists,” said Smythe. Lipman tittered.

“What’s the subject matter?” asked Heilbrun. “Would it have rigor?”

“Of course it would have rigor. Yet it would also attract those additional students Bollovate is talking about.” Smythe inhaled again. “The material would be carefully selected,” he said. “One would need to pick out cultural icons the students were likely to bring up in conversation for the rest of their lives, so that when they spoke, others would recognize their taste as being exquisite yet eclectic and unpredictable.”

“You mean Rembrandt?” said Kramer.

Smythe smiled with weary contempt. “No, I do not mean Rembrandt. I don’t mean Beethoven or Shakespeare, either, unless something iconic has emerged about them to justify their more general appeal.”

“You mean, if they appeared on posters,” said Lipman.

“That’s it, precisely.”

Lipman blushed with pride.

“The subject matter would be fairly easy to amass,” Smythe said. “We could all make up a list off the top of our heads. Einstein–who does have a poster.” He nodded to the ecstatic Lipman. “Auden, for the same reason. Students would need to be able to quote ‘September 1939[ or at least the last lines. And it would be good to teach ‘Musee des Beaux Arts’ as well, which is off the beaten path, but not garishly. Mahler certainly. But Cole Porter too. And Sondheim, I think. Goya. Warhol, it goes without saying, Stephen Hawking, Kurosawa, Bergman, Bette Davis. They’d have to come up with some lines from Dark Victory, or better still, Jezebel. La Dolce Vita. Casablanca. King of Hearts. And Orson, naturally. Citizen Kane, I suppose, though personally I prefer F for Fake.”

“Judy!” cried Heilbrun.

“Yes, Judy too. But not ‘Over the Rainbow.’ It would be more impressive for them to do ‘The Trolley Song,’ don’t you think?” Kettlegorf hummed the intro.

Guernica,” said Kramer. “Robert Capa.” Eight-limbed asterisk

“Edward R. Murrow,” said Lipman.

“No! Don’t be ridiculous!” said Smythe, ending Lipman’s brief foray into the world of respectable thought.

“Marilyn Monroe!” said Kettlegorf.

“Absolutely!” said Smythe, clapping to indicate his approval.

“And the Brooklyn Bridge,” said Booth, catching on. “And the Chrysler Building.”

“Maybe,” said Smythe. “But I wonder if the Chrysler Building isn’t becoming something of a cliche.”

Peace had had enough. “And you want students to nail this stuff so they’ll do well at cocktail parties?”

Smythe sniffed criticism, always a tetchy moment for him. “You make it sound so superficial,” he said.

Prim Miss 2:

Siri Hustvedt speaks at Adelaide Writers’ Week– a story dated March 24, 2008

“I have come to think of my books as echo chambers or halls of mirrors in which themes, ideas, associations continually reflect and reverberate inside a text. There is always point and counterpoint, to use a musical illustration. There is always repetition with difference.”

A Delusion:

Exercise — Identify in the following article the sentence that one might (by unfairly taking it out of context) argue is a delusion.

(Hint: See Reflection Groups in Finite Geometry.)

A. V. Borovik, 'Maroids and Coxeter Groups'

Why Borovik’s Figure 4
is included above:

Euclid, Peirce, L’Engle:
No Royal Roads.

For more on Prim Miss 2
and deploying
the Glass Bead Game,
see the previous entry.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/images/asterisk8.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. And now, perhaps, his brother Cornell Capa, who died Friday.

 Related material: Log24 on March 24– Death and the Apple Tree— with an excerpt from
George MacDonald, and an essay by David L. Neuhouser mentioning the influence of MacDonald on Lewis Carroll– Lewis Carroll: Author, Mathematician, and Christian (pdf).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday May 22, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:07 PM
For Indiana Jones
on Skull Day

Cover of Hamlet, Revenge! by Michael Innes

841: Dublin founded by
        Danish [?] Vikings

9/04: In a Nutshell: The Seed

(See also Hamlet’s Transformation.)

Hagar the Horrible and NY Lottery for Thursday, May 22, 2008: Midday 841, Evening 904

The moral of this story,
 it’s simple but it’s true:
Hey, the stars might lie,
 but the numbers never do.

Mary Chapin Carpenter  

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday April 6, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:12 AM
For Sunrise

Charlton Heston as Ben-Hur in the New York Times online obituaries, morning of April 6, 2008

Click image to enlarge.

The above tableau, from this morning's
New York Times obituary page,
suggests the following meditations:

1. "Mickey Mouse will see you dead."
   — Robert Stone, A Flag for Sunrise
2. "Free!"
3. "I graduated in Alabama,
     Alaska, Arizona…."

These three meditations are
consistent with the fable of the
mice and the lion in The Lion,
The Witch, and the Wardrobe

and with the speech of
Aslan at the conclusion of
The Narnia Chronicles:

"The term is over: the holidays
have begun. The dream is
ended: this is the morning."

The rather depressing
"Death Notices" box
that has attracted
Charlton Heston's gaze
in the online obituaries
pictured above might
be replaced as follows:

A Hexagram for Charlton Heston-- Number 35: The sun rises above the earth

The Heston classic pictured
above is, let us recall,
based on a book titled
Ben-Hur: A Tale of
the Christ

"I know this man!"
— Charlton Heston

Time of this entry:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday February 24, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM
Labyrinth of Solitude


Chapel, Cuernavaca, Mexico

“A labyrinthine man never seeks
the truth, but always, only, his Ariadne….
Who besides myself knows what Ariadne is?”

epigraph to Ariadne’s Lives,
by Nina daVinci Nichols
(See yesterday’s entry.)

Related material:

Entries of Feb. 13
and Feb. 19 at Log24
and the entry of Feb. 13 at

Ariachne’s Broken Woof

Troilus and Cressida in Act 5, Scene 2:

“And yet the spacious breadth of this division
Admits no orifex for a point as subtle
As Ariachne’s broken woof to enter.
Instance, O instance! strong as Pluto’s gates;
Cressid is mine, tied with the bonds of heaven:
Instance, O instance! strong as heaven itself;
The bonds of heaven are slipp’d, dissolved, and loosed….”

See also Slipstream: “We’ve lost the plot!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday December 30, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM
The Christmas Tiger

Part I:
The Gauntlet

On Jonah Goldberg's new book Liberal Fascism– an attack on, among others, Woodrow Wilson:

"'… at some point,' Goldberg writes, 'it is necessary to throw down the gauntlet, to draw a line in the sand, to set a boundary, to cry at long last, "Enough is enough."'"

The Goldberg declaration is from a review in today's New York Times titled "Heil Woodrow!"


Part II:
Uncle Duke
Goes to Washington

Today's Doonesbury:


Part III:
A Holiday Tradition

Dialogue from the classic Capra film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"–

SUMMERS: When the country needs men up there who know and have courage as it never did before, he's just gonna decorate a chair and get himself honored.

DARRELL: Oh, but he'll vote! Sure. Just like his colleague tells him to.

DIZ: "Yes, sir," like a Christmas tiger. He'll nod his head and vote…


DIZ: You're not a Senator! You're an honorary stooge! You ought to be shown up!

The film starred
James Stewart,
Class of 1932.

Part IV:
The Tigers of Princeton

The Christmas evening Pennsylvania Lottery 4-digit number was 0666, the Christian "number of the beast." For the beast itself, see the Dec. 3 Log24 entry "Santa's Polar Opposite?" with its link to a discussion of a metaphorical tiger at the South Pole. A more realistic version of the beast appeared in the news on Christmas evening.

The Christmas number may also be interpreted as a reference to 6/6/6, the graduation date of the Class of 2006 at Princeton University.

Part V:
"Heil Woodrow!"

As noted above, this title from a book review in today's New York Times refers to Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States (1913-1921) and President of Princeton University (1902-1910).

A suitable heraldic emblem
to accompany the Goldberg Heil:


The Princeton Shield

For another heraldic emblem
related, if only in this journal,
to Princeton, see
Religious Symbolism
at Princeton:

Goldberg might prefer,
for his Heil,
the following variation:

S. H. Cullinane,
Aug. 15, 2003

Dr. Mengele,
according to

Click on the Fahne (flag)
for further details.

Goldberg might also enjoy

An Unsuitable Santa:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070628-Santa.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Santa from Aaron Sorkin's
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Related material:

Taking Christ to Studio 60

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wednesday December 26, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM
A Wonderful Life

Part I:
Language Games

on December 19:


See also the noir entry on
“Nightmare Alley” for
Winter Solstice 2002,
as well as a solstice-related
commentary on I Ching
Hexagram 41, Decrease.

Part II:

Language Game
on Christmas Day

Pennsylvania Lottery
December 25, 2007:

PA Lottery Christmas Day: Mid-day 041 and 2911, Evening 173 and 0666

Part III:
A Wonderful Life

The Pennsylvania Lottery on Christmas at mid-day paired the number of the I Ching Hexagram 41, “Decrease,” with the number 2911, which may be interpreted as a reference to I Chronicles 29:11

“Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.”

This verse is sometimes cited as influencing the Protestant conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer:

“Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever” (Mt 6.13b; compare 1 Chr 29.11-13)….

This traditional epilogue to the Lord’s prayer protects the petition for the coming of the kingdom from being understood as an exorcism, which we derive from the Jewish prayer, the Kaddish, which belonged at the time to the synagogical liturgy.

World Alliance of Reformed Churches

The Pennsylvania Lottery on Christmas evening paired 173 with the beastly number 0666.  The latter number suggests that perhaps being “understood as an exorcism” might not, in this case, be such a bad thing. What, therefore, might “173” have to do with exorcism?  A search in the context of the phrase “language games” yields a reference to Wittgenstein’s Zettel, section 173:


From Charles L. Creegan, Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard:

Language-games give general guidelines of the application of language. Wittgenstein suggests that there are innumerably many language-games: innumerably many kinds of use of the components of language.24 The grammar of the language-game influences the possible relations of words, and things, within that game. But the players may modify the rules gradually. Some utterances within a given language-game are applications; others are ‘grammatical remarks’ or definitions of what is or should be possible. (Hence Wittgenstein’s remark, ‘Theology as grammar’25 – the grammar of religion.)

The idea of the ‘form of life’ is a reminder about even more basic phenomena. It is clearly bound up with the idea of language. (Language and ‘form of life’ are explicitly connected in four of the five passages from the Investigations in which the term ‘form of life’ appears.) Just as grammar is subject to change through language-uses, so ‘form of life’ is subject to change through changes in language. (The Copernican revolution is a paradigm case of this.) Nevertheless, ‘form of life’ expresses a deeper level of ‘agreement.’ It is the level of ‘what has to be accepted, the given.’26 This is an agreement prior to agreement in opinions and decisions. Not everything can be doubted or judged at once.

This suggests that ‘form of life’ does not denote static phenomena of fixed scope. Rather, it serves to remind us of the general need for context in our activity of meaning. But the context of our meaning is a constantly changing mosaic involving both broad strokes and fine-grained distinctions.

The more commonly understood point of the ‘Private Language Argument’ – concerning the root of meaning in something public – comes into play here. But it is important to show just what public phenomenon Wittgenstein has in mind. He remarks: ‘Only in the stream of thought and life do words have meaning.’27

Investigations, sec. 23.
Investigations, sec. 373; compare Zettel, sec. 717.
Investigations, p. 226e.


Zettel, sec. 173. The thought is expressed many times in similar words.

And from an earlier chapter of Creegan:

The ‘possibility of religion’ manifested itself in considerable reading of religious works, and this in a person who chose his reading matter very carefully. Drury’s recollections include conversations about Thomas à Kempis, Samuel Johnson’s Prayers, Karl Barth, and, many times, the New Testament, which Wittgenstein had clearly read often and thought about.25 Wittgenstein had also thought about what it would mean to be a Christian. Some time during the 1930s, he remarked to Drury: ‘There is a sense in which you and I are both Christians.’26 In this context it is certainly worth noting that he had for a time said the Lord’s Prayer each day.27

Wittgenstein’s last words were: ‘Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life!28

Drury (1981) ‘Conversations with Wittgenstein,’ in Ludwig Wittgenstein: Personal Recollections, pp. 112ff.
Drury, ‘Conversations,’ p. 130.
Drury, ‘Some notes,’ p. 109.
Reported by Mrs. Bevan, the wife of the doctor in whose house Wittgenstein was staying. Malcolm, Memoir, p. 81.

Part IV:

For more on the Christmas evening
number of the beast, see Dec. 3:
  “Santa’s Polar Opposite?” —

Did he who made the Lamb
make thee?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thursday December 20, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

From Drummers for Jesus:

Serpent Cymbal

“Explosive, complex, full and dark. The first cymbal with VIBRATO. Nothing else comes close!

Serpent Cymbals enters the special effects cymbal market with a stunning new cymbal boasting a radical new sound and design. ‘This cymbal sounds like a cross between a china cymbal, crash cymbal, gong and thunder sheet with a stick of dynamite tossed in for fun’….”

  pum pum.”

Devil’s Advocate

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday October 11, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM
The Nobel Prize
in Literature

this year goes to the author
of The Golden Notebook
and The Cleft.

Related material:
The Golden Obituary
and Cleavage —
Log24, Oct. 9, 2007

Art History, 1955: Scenes from Bad Day at Black Rock

Background from 1947:

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

Further details:

WheelThe image “http://www.log24.com/log/images/asterisk8.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Quoted by physics writer
Heinz Pagels at the end of
The Cosmic Code

“For the essence and the end
Of his labor is beauty… one beauty,
the rhythm of that Wheel….”

— Robinson Jeffers

From Holy Saturday, 2004:

The Ferris wheel came into view again, just the top, silently burning high on the hill, almost directly in front of him, then the trees rose up over it.  The road, which was terrible and full of potholes, went steeply downhill here; he was approaching the little bridge over the barranca, the deep ravine.  Halfway across the bridge he stopped; he lit a new cigarette from the one he’d been smoking, and leaned over the parapet, looking down.  It was too dark to see the bottom, but: here was finality indeed, and cleavage!  Quauhnahuac was like the times in this respect, wherever you turned the abyss was waiting for you round the corner. Dormitory for vultures and city of Moloch! When Christ was being crucified, so ran the sea-borne, hieratic legend, the earth had opened all through this country…”

— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano, 1947. (Harper & Row reissue, 1984, p. 15)

Comment by Stephen Spender:

“There is a suggestion of Christ descending into the abyss for the harrowing of Hell.  But it is the Consul whom we think of here, rather than of Christ.  The Consul is hurled into this abyss at the end of the novel.”

— Introduction to Under the Volcano

 Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter XXI

Gibbon, discussing the theology of the Trinity, defines perichoresis as

“… the internal connection and spiritual penetration which indissolubly unites the divine persons59 ….

59 … The perichoresis  or ‘circumincessio,’ is perhaps the deepest and darkest corner of the whole theological abyss.”

 “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.  And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, section 146, translated by Walter Kaufmann

William Golding:

 “Simon’s head was tilted slightly up.  His eyes could not break away and the Lord of the Flies hung in space before him. 

‘What are you doing out here all alone?  Aren’t you afraid of me?’

Simon shook.

‘There isn’t anyone to help you.  Only me.  And I’m the Beast.’

Simon’s mouth labored, brought forth audible words.

‘Pig’s head on a stick.’

‘Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!’ said the head.  For a moment or two the forest and all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of laughter.  ‘You knew, didn’t you?  I’m part of you?  Close, close, close!’ “

“Thought of the day:
You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar… if you’re into catchin’ flies.”

Alice Woodrome, Good Friday, 2004

Anne Francis,
also known as
Honey West:

“Here was finality indeed,
and cleavage!

Under the Volcano

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/images/asterisk8.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. For further details of
the wheel metaphor, see

Rock of Ages

(St. Cecilia’s Day, 2006).

Friday, July 6, 2007

Friday July 6, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM
Mearingstone, or:
“Last to the Lost,”
continued from
July 1, 2007

Finnegans Wake 293:

Vieus Von DVbLIn, ’twas one of dozedeams
a darkies ding in dewood) the Turnpike under
the Great Ulm (with Mearingstone in Fore
ground). 1 Given now ann linch you take enn
all. Allow me! And, heaving alljawbreakical
expressions out of old Sare Isaac’s 2 universal
of specious aristmystic unsaid, A is for Anna
like L is for liv. Aha hahah, Ante Ann you’re
apt to ape aunty annalive! Dawn gives rise.
Lo, lo, lives love! Eve takes fall. La, la, laugh
leaves alass! Aiaiaiai, Antiann, we’re last to
the lost, Loulou! Tis perfect. Now (lens

“with Mearingstone in Fore ground….
we’re last to the lost, Loulou!”

Desconvencida at Blogspot -- Monolito -- Midnight July 1-2, 2007

Midnight, July 1-2, 2007
Click on image for details.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sunday July 1, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:27 PM
by the Numbers

PA Lottery June 30, 2007: Mid-day 221, Evening 127


A Superficial Beauty:

Structural Certainty:

murphy plant, murphy grow, a maryamyria- 10
meliamurphies, in the lazily eye of his lapis, 11

Geometry lesson 13

Uteralterance or Vieus Von DVbLIn, ’twas one of dozedeams 15
the Interplay of a darkies ding in dewood) the Turnpike under 16
Bones in the the Great Ulm (with Mearingstone in Fore 17
Womb. ground). 1 Given now ann linch you take enn 18
all. Allow me! And, heaving alljawbreakical 19
expressions out of old Sare Isaac’s 2 universal 20
The Vortex. of specious aristmystic unsaid, A is for Anna 21
Spring of Sprung like L is for liv. Aha hahah, Ante Ann you’re 22
Verse. The Ver- apt to ape aunty annalive! Dawn gives rise. 23
tex. Lo, lo, lives love! Eve takes fall. La, la, laugh 24
leaves alass! Aiaiaiai, Antiann, we’re last to 25
the lost, Loulou! Tis perfect. Now (lens 26

Finnegans Wake, Book II,
    Episode 2, page 293


“Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours. Beyond a superficial beauty and structural certainty, Mozart has nothing to give to mind or spirit in the 21st century. Let him rest.” —Norman Lebrecht

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday June 21, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:07 PM
Let No Man
Write My Epigraph

(See entries of June 19th.)

"His graceful accounts of the Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Cello illuminated the works’ structural logic as well as their inner spirituality."

Allan Kozinn on Mstislav Rostropovich in The New York Times, quoted in Log24 on April 29, 2007

"At that instant he saw, in one blaze of light, an image of unutterable conviction…. the core of life, the essential pattern whence all other things proceed, the kernel of eternity."

— Thomas Wolfe, Of Time and the River, quoted in Log24 on June 9, 2005

"… the stabiliser of an octad preserves the affine space structure on its complement, and (from the construction) induces AGL(4,2) on it. (It induces A8 on the octad, the kernel of this action being the translation group of the affine space.)"

— Peter J. Cameron, "The Geometry of the Mathieu Groups" (pdf)

"… donc Dieu existe, réponse!"

— Attributed, some say falsely,
to Leonhard Euler
"Only gradually did I discover
what the mandala really is:
'Formation, Transformation,
Eternal Mind's eternal recreation'"

(Faust, Part Two, as
quoted by Jung in
Memories, Dreams, Reflections)


Wolfgang Pauli as Mephistopheles

"Pauli as Mephistopheles
in a 1932 parody of
Goethe's Faust at Niels Bohr's
institute in Copenhagen.
The drawing is one of
many by George Gamow
illustrating the script."
Physics Today


"Borja dropped the mutilated book on the floor with the others. He was looking at the nine engravings and at the circle, checking strange correspondences between them.

'To meet someone' was his enigmatic answer. 'To search for the stone that the Great Architect rejected, the philosopher's stone, the basis of the philosophical work. The stone of power. The devil likes metamorphoses, Corso.'"

The Club Dumas, basis for the Roman Polanski film "The Ninth Gate" (See 12/24/05.)

"Pauli linked this symbolism
with the concept of automorphism."

The Innermost Kernel
 (previous entry)

And from
"Symmetry in Mathematics
and Mathematics of Symmetry
(pdf), by Peter J. Cameron,
a paper presented at the
International Symmetry Conference,
Edinburgh, Jan. 14-17, 2007,
we have

The Epigraph–

Weyl on automorphisms
(Here "whatever" should
of course be "whenever.")

Also from the
Cameron paper:

Local or global?

Among other (mostly more vague) definitions of symmetry, the dictionary will typically list two, something like this:

• exact correspondence of parts;
• remaining unchanged by transformation.

Mathematicians typically consider the second, global, notion, but what about the first, local, notion, and what is the relationship between them?  A structure M is homogeneous if every isomorphism between finite substructures of M can be extended to an automorphism of M; in other words, "any local symmetry is global."

Some Log24 entries
related to the above politically
(women in mathematics)–

Global and Local:
One Small Step

and mathematically–

Structural Logic continued:
Structure and Logic

This entry cites
Alice Devillers of Brussels–

Alice Devillers

"The aim of this thesis
is to classify certain structures
which are, from a certain
point of view, as homogeneous
as possible, that is which have
  as many symmetries as possible."

"There is such a thing
as a tesseract."

Madeleine L'Engle 

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tuesday May 15, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:55 AM
A Flag for Sunrise

The title of the Robert Stone
novel comes from Emily Dickinson:

A Wife -- at daybreak I shall be --
Sunrise -- Hast thou a Flag for me?
At Midnight, I am but a Maid,
How short it takes to make a Bride --
Then -- Midnight, I have passed from thee
Unto the East, and Victory --

Midnight -- Good Night! I hear them call,
The Angels bustle in the Hall --
Softly my Future climbs the Stair,
I fumble at my Childhood's prayer
So soon to be a Child no more --
Eternity, I'm coming -- Sire,
Savior -- I've seen the face -- before!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday May 12, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Artistic Vision

Last night's entry "A Midrash for Hollywood" discussed a possible interpretation of yesterday's Pennsylvania Lottery numbers– mid-day 384, evening 952.

In memory of a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter who died yesterday, here is another interpretation of those numbers.

First, though, it seems appropriate to quote again the anonymous source from "Heaven, Hell, and Hollywood" on screenwriters– "You can be replaced by some Ping Pong balls and a dictionary."  An example was given illustrating this saying.  Here is another example:

Yesterday's PA lottery numbers in the dictionary–

Webster's New World Dictionary,
College Edition, 1960–

Page 384: "Defender of the Faith"
Related Log24 entries:
"To Announce a Faith," Halloween 2006,
and earlier Log24 entries from
that year's Halloween season

Page 952: "monolith"
Related Log24 entries:
"Shema, Israel," and "Punch Line"
(with the four entries that preceded it).

It may not be entirely irrelevant that a headline in last night's entry– "Lonesome No More!"– was linked to a discussion of Kurt Vonnegut's Slapstick, that a film version of that novel starred Jerry Lewis, and that yesterday afternoon's entry quoted a vision of "an Ingmar Bergman script as directed by Jerry Lewis."


See also April 7, 2003:


April is Math Awareness Month.
This year's theme is "mathematics and art."

"Art isn't easy."
— Stephen Sondheim    

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday May 11, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 PM
Today’s Lottery Commentary:

Lonesome No More!

In keeping with the spirit of previous Log24 entries, here is today’s Pennsylvania Lottery commentary.  This afternoon’s entry suggests an interpretation of today’s numbers as comments on the new film “Georgia Rule.”

Pennsylvania Lottery today:
Mid-day 384
Evening 952

Today’s mid-day number, 384, is the number of symmetries of the tesseract, a geometric figure illustrated on the cover of the novel The Gameplayers of Zan (see, for instance, May 10, 2007).  That novel suggests an interpretation of today’s evening number, 952, as addressing (literally) the subject of Life.

See the address mathforum.org/library/view/952.html.

From that address:

“The Game of Life is played on a field of cells, each of which has eight neighbors (adjacent cells). A cell is either occupied (by an organism) or not. The rules for deriving a generation from the previous one are these: Death – If an occupied cell has 0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 occupied neighbors, the organism dies (0, 1: of loneliness; 4 thru 8: of overcrowding). Survival – If an occupied cell has two or three neighbors, the organism survives to the next generation. Birth – If an unoccupied cell has three occupied neighbors, it becomes occupied.”

Relevance to the film “Georgia Rule”: lonesomeness, generations, and the Lord’s name–

Georgia is a “lonesome and decent widow in wholesome Hull, Idaho…. her framed motto is ‘Count Your Blessings’ and she’s ready to ram [a] soap bar into your mouth if you insult the Lord’s name.” –David Elliott, San Diego Union-Tribune, May 11, 2007

There is not universal agreement on just what is the Lord’s name. Perhaps it includes the number 952.

From The Gameplayers of Zan:

“The Game in the Ship cannot be approached as a job, a vocation, a career, or a recreation. To the contrary, it is Life and Death itself at work there. In the Inner Game, we call the Game Dhum Welur, the Mind of God. And that Mind is a terrible mind, that one may not face directly and remain whole. Some of the forerunners guessed it long ago– first the Hebrews far back in time, others along the way, and they wisely left it alone, left the Arcana alone.”

From Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations:

“Nothing can be produced out of nothing.”
— 10th edition, 1919, page 952

See also “Zen and Language Games
and “Is Nothing Sacred?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tuesday December 12, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:22 AM
The State of Grace,
Author of

Today’s Harvard Crimson:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061212-Crimson.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The texts in question are said
to be manuscripts of
Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,”
and “The Library of Babel.”

The latter deals (like
The Mountains of Pi“)
with literature that can
be seen as the result
of a random process–
such as the lottery in
another story by Borges.

A less sinister lottery
is that of Pennsylvania–
known to some as
 “the Keystone State.”
I prefer to think of it as
the State of Grace.”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051016-Mont.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Click on picture for details.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061212-PAlottery.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The “NITE” number 108 leads us
naturally to 1/08:

 Sunday, January 08, 2006

For Stephen Hawking’s Birthday

Epigraphs to the classic novel Cosmic Banditos:

God does not play dice with the universe. –Albert Einstein

Not only does God play dice with the universe, but sometimes he throws them where they cannot be seen. –Stephen Hawking

Today’s Pennsylvania Lottery numbers:

Mid-day 722 7/22, Feast of St. Mary Magdalene.
Evening 399 Page 399, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations of 1919.


This (and yesterday’s “DAY” number 133)
suggests we consult page 133 of
Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations
of 1919.  At the top of this
page we find…

“O day and night,
but this is wondrous strange!

Hamlet, Act I, Scene 5

Another figure from 1/08,
St. Mary Magdalene, might,
adapting the words of Borges,
offer the following observation:

“Shakespeare’s text and the lottery’s
are verbally identical, but the second
is almost infinitely richer.
(More ambiguous, detractors will
  say, but ambiguity is richness.)”

Related material: 11/22.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Monday December 4, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM
180, 932 –
The Musical!

“You gotta be
true to your code.”
— Sinatra

NY Lottery, 2006:

Dec. 3 Mid-day – 180
Dec. 3 Evening – 932

Yesterday’s entry suggested that
the date, December 3, might be
appropriate for some sort of
Broadway production.

Yesterday evening’s NY lottery
number, 932, suggests*
(via Google) that a visit to
the castle Wildeck
is in order.

This castle is now the home
of the Buchdruck-Museum
honoring Johannes Gutenberg.

For an appropriate Broadway
production, see today’s
New York Times:

Gutenberg! The Musical!

Yesterday’s mid-day NY lottery
number, 180, suggests, in the
above context, the German term
Umkehrung.  A casual web search
on this term (+ “reversal,”
then, refining the search,
+ “Theocritus”) leads
to the following material,
which I personally find of
much greater interest than
the above Broadway production.

(Such web searches are made
possible by a technological
revolution comparable to that
of Gutenberg… Broadway may
perhaps look forward to…
Google! The Musical!“)

Google Search 12/4/06
Results 12 of about 14
for umkehrung theocritus. (0.07 seconds) 

JSTOR: Theocritus

I12: on ‘transference’ by Theocritus of refined motifs to uncouth peasants, is in reality a parody, a devastating ‘Umkehrung‘ of the real thing,

JSTOR: A Theophany
in Theocritus

A THEOPHANY IN THEOCRITUS IN a masterly study of the language and motifs of epithet I The completeness and precision of the Umkehrung (for this term cf.

*ZSCHOPAU, a town in the kingdom of Saxony, on the left bank of the Zschopau…. It contains… a castle (Wildeck), built by the Emperor Henry I in 932.” —From the classic 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1911)

(The date 932 may or may not be accurate, but still serves nicely as what has been called elsewhere “an instance of the fingerpost.”)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wednesday August 30, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM


“Research & Ideas” memo from Harvard Business School dated April 17, 2006:

“The word experience comes from the Latin words ex pericolo, which mean ‘from danger.'”

— Etymology by Professor Joseph Badaracco of Harvard University.  Badaracco gives no evidence for his dubious claim.

Related (if only temporally):
Easter Monday, April 17, 2006.


1377, from O.Fr. experience, from L. experientia “knowledge gained by repeated trials,” from experientem (nom. experiens), prp. of experiri “to try, test,” from ex- “out of” + peritus “experienced, tested.” The v. (1533) first meant “to test, try;” sense of “feel, undergo” first recorded 1588.

      — Online Etymology Dictionary

The title of this entry refers to the time it was posted. Related references to seven: April 7, 2003, and today’s previous entry.

See also an entry from 2/29, 2004
(Leap Day and Oscar Night):

Vita Brevis

“In many ways, the arts are the highest achievements of man.”

— Harvard President
   Lawrence H. Summers,
   Feb. 26, 2004 

”We intensively train children in the Arts and ritual because deep down we know that these are the only things that really MATTER. This is what we must share first with the young, in case they DIE.”

— Lucy Ellmann, Dot in the Universe, quoted in today’s [2/29/04] New York Times

Harvard persons from parts of the university that are more scholarly than the Business School may sneer at the above-quoted Online Etymology Dictionary.  They can consult the following:

On “experience”

From J.L. Austin, From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play:

“Scholars, such as Julius Pokorny (Indogermanisches Etymolgisches Worterbuch, 1959), trace ‘experience’ right back to hypothetical Indo-European base or root *per-, ‘to attempt, venture, risk,’ whence the Greek peira,”experience,” the source of our word ’empirical.’ It is also the verbal root which derives the Germanic *feraz, giving rise to Old English faer, “danger, sudden calamity,” whence Modern English ‘fear.’ Already, we see the ‘cognitive’ directions taken by * per-, through the Greek route, and affective ones, through the Germanic — which would have interested Dilthey, one may be sure! But more directly ‘experience’ derives, via Middle English and Old French, from the Latin experientia, denoting ‘trial, proof, experiment,’ itself generated from experiens, the present participle of experiri, ‘to try, test,’ from from ex-, ‘out’ + base per as in peritus, ‘experienced,’ ‘having learned by trying.’ The suffixed extended form of *per is peri-tlo-, whence the Latin periclum, periculum, “trial, danger, peril. Once more, we find experience linked with risk, straining towards ‘drama,’ crisis, rather than bland cognitive learning!”

“… Finally, ‘experiment,’ like ‘experience,’ is derived from Latin experiri “to try or test.” If we put these various senses together we have a ‘laminated’ semantic system focused on ‘experience,’ which portrays it as a journey, a test (of self, of suppositions about others), a ritual passage, an exposure to peril or risk, a source of fear. By means of experience, we ‘fare’ ‘fearfully’ through ‘perils,’ taking ‘experimental’ steps. …” (17-18)

The above is taken from an anonymous weblog entry.  The author of the entry identified the source as From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play.  The author of the entry falsely stated that the author of this book was J. L. Austin.  In fact, the book was written by Victor Turner, apparently the same philosophical sociologist whom we encountered in the previous entry and in the Log24 entry for the recent feast of St. Max Black.  Turner may have been quoting Austin; pages from the book are not available online.  Another author, however, says the quotation is by Turner himself.  See Rena Fraden’s Imagining Medea, pp. 218-219.

Today’s previous entry is a sort of “ritual passage” for a Nobel Prize winner. For a ritual passage more directly related to Professor Badaracco, see the Brookline TAB obituary of his 23-year-old daughter, who died on Monday, August 21, 2006.  According to today’s online Harvard Crimson, “she was walking along Hammond Street in Newton [Mass.] when an 84-year-old driver jumped the curb and struck her.”

From her Brookline TAB obituary of Thursday, Aug. 24, 2006:

“Funeral services will be held Friday [Aug. 25, 2006] at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s of the Assumption Church, at 67 Harvard St.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Centro Romero Community Center in Chicago: 6216 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60660.”

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Saturday August 19, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:14 PM
For Jill St. John
On Her Birthday:
Cleavage Term

“… a point of common understanding between the classic and romantic worlds. Quality, the cleavage term between hip and square, seemed to be it.”

“During his distinguished 17-year tenure as director of the theatre program at Fordham University, Sacharow was recalled by faculty colleagues as ‘exceedingly collegial, understanding, sympathetic and very, very funny.'”

— Obituary of Lawrence J. Sacharow at Fordham University, a Jesuit institution

See also Log24 on August 14,
the date of Sacharow’s death,
and on April 10, 2004:

“Here was finality indeed,
and cleavage!

Under the Volcano  

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress