Friday, February 19, 2016

The Leiber Properties

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:20 AM

See a Log24 search for Leiber + Properties.

Marissa Mayer News

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:45 AM

"Have you ever thought about
 the properties of numbers?"

 — "The Maiden" in Shaw's
 Back to Methuselah , quoted in
 the Fritz Leiber Changewar  story
“No Great Magic” (1963), Part V

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Thursday October 14, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:14 PM

Star Wars,

The Eight

Lest the reader of the previous entry mistakenly take Katherine Neville’s book The Eight more seriously than Fritz Leiber’s greatly superior writings on eightness, here are two classic interpretations of Leiber’s “spider” or “double cross” symbol:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/Trigrams04.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The 4 elements and
the 4 qualities
(On Generation and
Corruption, II, 3


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/Trigrams02A.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Richard Wilhelm:
The 8 trigrams
the I Ching

The Six

Less impressive, but not
completely without interest,
is the six-pointed star:

This symbol consists of
two triangles

male and female,
fire and water,
up and down,
etc., etc., etc.

For some deeper properties
of the number eight, see a
Log24.net entry of 4/4/03.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Wednesday October 13, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 PM

Show Business
according to Fritz Leiber

(Leiber's "Changewar" is my
favorite mythology.)

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/Changewar.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From the Changewar story
"No Great Magic" (1963) Part V:

Even little things are
turning out to be great things
and becoming intensely interesting.
Have you ever thought about
the properties of numbers?

— The Maiden

"I've had this idea– it's just a sort of fancy, remember– that if you wanted to time-travel and, well, do things, you could hardly pick a more practical machine than a dressing-room and a sort of stage and half-theater attached, with actors to man it…."

For the remainder of this section
of Leiber's story, see

Show Business.

Related material:
The previous entry,
The Eight, and
Now We See Wherein
Lies the Pleasure

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Wednesday July 30, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Transcendental Meditation

This week’s
 New Yorker

Transcendental Man
New books on
Ralph Waldo Emerson
for his bicentennial.
by John Updike

This week’s
 Time cover

The bicentennial of Ralph Waldo Emerson was on May 25, 2003.  For a commemoration of Emerson on that date, click on the picture below of Harvard University’s Room 305, Emerson Hall.


This will lead you to a discussion of the properties of a 5×5 array, or matrix, with a symbol of mystical unity at its center.  Although this symbol of mystical unity, the number “1,” is not, pace the Shema, a transcendental number, the matrix is, as perhaps a sort of Emersonian compensation, what postmodernists would call phallologocentric.  It is possible that Emerson is a saint; if so, his feast day (i.e., date of death), April 27, might reveal to us the sort of miraculous fact hoped for by Fritz Leiber in my previous entry.  A check of my April 27 notes shows us, lo and behold, another phallologocentric 5×5 array, this one starring Warren Beatty.  This rather peculiar coincidence is, perhaps, the sort of miracle appropriate to a saint who is, as this week’s politically correct New Yorker calls him, a Big Dead White Male.

 Leiber’s fiction furnishes “a behind-the-scenes view of the time change wars.”

“It’s quarter to three…” — St. Frank Sinatra

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Saturday May 24, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 AM

Mental Health Month, Day 24:

The Sacred Day of
Kali, the Dark Lady

On this day, Gypsies from all over Europe gather in Provence for the sacred day of St. Sarah, also known as Kali.

Various representations of Kali exist; there is a novel about the ways men have pictured her:

From the prologue to
The Dark Lady,

 by Mike Resnick.

She was old when the earth was young.

She stood atop Cemetery Ridge when Pickett made his charge, and she was there when the six hundred rode into the Valley of Death.  She was at Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius blew, and she was in the forests of Siberia when the comet hit.  She hunted elephant with Selous and buffalo with Cody, and she was there the night the high wire broke beneath the Flying Wallendas.  She was at the fall of Troy and the Little Bighorn, and she watched Manolete and Dominguez face the brave bulls in the bloodstained arenas of Madrid….

She has no name, no past, no present, no future.  She wears only black, and though she has been seen by many men, she is known to only a handful of them.  You’ll see her — if you see her at all — just after you’ve taken your last breath.  Then, before you exhale for the final time, she’ll appear, silent and sad-eyed, and beckon to you.

She is the Dark Lady, and this is her story.

The above is one of the best descriptions of Kali I know of in literature; another is in a short story by Fritz Leiber, “Damnation Morning.”   It is not coincidental that one collection of Leiber’s writings is called “Dark Ladies.”

My journal note “Biblical Proportions” was in part inspired by Leiber.

Frank Sinatra may have pictured her as Ava Gardner.  I think I saw her the night Sinatra died… hence my entries of March 31 and April 2, 2003. 

It is perhaps not irrelevant that Kali is, among other things, a mother goddess, and that my entry “Raiders of the Lost Matrix” of May 20 deals with this concept and with the number 24.

The above religious symbol (see “Damnation Morning“) pictures both the axes of symmetry of the square¹ and a pattern with intriguing combinatorial properties².  It also is the basis of a puzzle³ I purchased on August 29, 1997 — Judgment Day in Terminator 2.  Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in that film is an excellent representation of the Dark Lady, both as mother figure and as Death Goddess.

Sarah Connor

Background music: “Bit by bit…” — Stephen Sondheim… See Sondheim and the Judgment Day puzzle in my entry of May 20. The Lottery Covenant.

¹ A. W. Joshi, Elements of Group Theory for Physicists, Third Edition, Wiley, 1982, p. 5

² V. K. Balakrishnan, Combinatorics, McGraw-Hill, 1995, p. 180

³ The Izzi Puzzle

Powered by WordPress