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."

Friday, April 25, 2014


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:25 AM

For John Milton at the Cervecería XX —

Related material: Peter J. Cameron on Bertrand Russell
in A Midnight Exorcism.

To El Farolito*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:01 AM

See also “Six Cuban Families Celebrate Kids’ Law Degrees.”
Feliz Cumpleaños  to Al Pacino.

* “The Lighthouse,” in Spanish.  See Under the Volcano .

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Art Wars

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Frederick Hart’s 1982 sculpture “Ex Nihilo” for Washington’s National Cathedral—

Related material — Tom Wolfe on Frederick Hart, said to have been
published in The New York Times Magazine  of Sunday, Jan. 2, 2000—

In 1982, Ex Nihilo  was unveiled in a dedication ceremony. The next day, Hart scanned the newspapers for reviews… The Washington PostThe New York Times… nothing… nothing the next day, either… nor the next week… nor the week after that. The one mention of any sort was an obiter dictum in The Post ‘s Style (read: Women’s) section indicating that the west facade of the cathedral now had some new but earnestly traditional (read: old-fashioned) decoration. So Hart started monitoring the art magazines. Months went by… nothing. It reached the point that he began yearning for a single paragraph by an art critic who would say how much he loathed Ex Nihilo… anything, anything at all!… to prove there was someone out there in the art world who in some way, however slightly or rudely, cared.

The truth was, no one did, not in the least. Ex Nihilo  never got ex nihilo  simply because art worldlings refused to see it.

Art worldings are one thing, Hollywood another.

Al Pacino’s moving wall sculpture in “The Devil’s Advocate” (1997)—

“After the film’s initial release, sculptor Frederick Hart sued Warner Bros.
claiming that a large sculpture prominently featured in the film
(on the wall of Al Pacino’s penthouse apartment) is an unauthorized copy
of his work ‘Ex Nihilo,’ displayed at the entrance of Washington’s Episcopal
National Cathedral.” — IMDb

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Hallowed Crucible

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 PM


A meditation suggested by the April 20 post Complex Reflection
and by the life and April 20 death of a scientist who worked
at Los Alamos (home of the Monte Carlo method) and at
the Santa Fe Institute (home of complexity theory).

IMAGE- The NY lottery results for midday April 20, 2012, were 0286 and 823.

A search for 286 in this journal yields "Yet Another Cartoon Graveyard."

That June 1, 2008, post linked to poem  286 in a 1919 anthology.

Here is that poem, together with poem 823.

Together, these poems may be regarded as a meditation on
Simone Weil and her brother André Weil or, 
more abstractly, on Love and Death.

Happy birthday to Al Pacino.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Lost Plot

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

Daredevil work—


For Dan Brown, author of The Lost Symbol


Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves in Devil's Advocate
(Syfy channel, 9 PM tonight)

"Klaatu barada nikto."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Paradigms Lost

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:20 AM

Continued from March 10, 2011 — A post that says

"If Galois geometry is thought of as a paradigm shift
from Euclidean geometry, both… the Kuhn cover
and the nine-point affine plane may be viewed…
as illustrating the shift."

Yesterday's posts The Fano Entity and Theology for Antichristmas,
together with this morning's New York Times  obituaries (below)—


—suggest a Sunday School review from last year's
    Devil's Night (October 30-31, 2010)

Sunday, October 31, 2010


m759 @ 2:00 AM

                                …    There is a Cave
Within the Mount of God, fast by his Throne,
Where light and darkness in perpetual round
Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Heav'n
Grateful vicissitude, like Day and Night….

Paradise Lost , by John Milton


Click on figure for details.


Al Pacino in Devil's Advocate
as attorney John Milton

See also Ash Wednesday Surprise and Geometry for Jews.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 AM

Keanu vs. the Devil, continued

IMAGE- Still from 'Devil's Advocate' (also starring Charlize Theron)

Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves in Devil's Advocate

For Keanu —

IMAGE- 'Cambridge Tracts in Mathematics 168: The Cube'

(Click for some background.)

For Keanu's mentor —

                                  …    There is a Cave
Within the Mount of God, fast by his Throne,
Where light and darkness in perpetual round
Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Heav'n
Grateful vicissitude, like Day and Night….

Paradise Lost , by John Milton


Click on figure for details.


Al Pacino in Devil's Advocate
as attorney John Milton

Monday, August 30, 2010

Beer Summit

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM


Dos Equis is a lager that was originally brewed by the German-born Mexican brewer Wilhelm Hasse in 1897. The brand was named "Siglo XX" ("20th century") to commemorate the arrival of the new century, and the bottles were marked with the Roman numerals "XX", or "Dos Equis" (two Xs).

A rival for the Dos Equis "most interesting" title—



See also Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate… "It happened in Monterrey, a long time ago…."


Actually, according to some sources, the Dos Equis brand began in or near Veracruz.

"On April 22, 1519, Hernan Cortez disembarked on Chalchihuecan beach, where he decided to found a village and form the first colonial settlement in Mexico. That day was Good Friday, the day of Holy Week known as the day of La Vera Cruz (True Cross)— hence he chose the name of La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz." — Ad copy

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday November 24, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:06 AM

“The undermining of
standards of seriousness
is almost complete.”
Susan Sontag

Doonesbury 11/23/07:

For standards of comedy,
see Angels in Arabia.

For standards of tragicomedy,
see Molly Ivins on the owner
of Condé Nast Publications:

Murray Kempton once observed,
‘I think Si Newhouse has
lost his moral compass
since Roy Cohn died.'”
Molly Ivins

Just lovely.”



Devil’s Advocate

Happy Holidays from Roy Cohn,
Mike Nichols, Al Pacino, and Elvis:


“Thousands have impersonated Elvis Presley over the years. Now, Bill Murray offers his own indelible tribute to the king of rock ‘n’ roll– on the cover of Condé Nast’s new music/movie magazine, Movies Rock.

The magazine, which covers music and its impact on filmmaking, launches in November as a supplement in the December subscriber issues of 14 Condé Nast publications.”

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Saturday December 20, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 5:00 PM

White, Geometric, and Eternal

This afternoon's surfing:

Prompted by Edward Rothstein's own Fides et Ratio encyclical in today's NY Times, I googled him.

At the New York Review of Books, I came across the following by Rothstein:

"… statements about TNT can be represented within TNT: the formal system can, in a precise way, 'talk' about itself."

This naturally prompted me to check what is on TNT on this, the feast day of St. Emil Artin.  At 5 PM this afternoon, we have Al Pacino in "The Devil's Advocate" — a perfect choice for the festival of an alleged saint.

Preparing for Al, I meditated on the mystical significance of the number 373, as explained in Zen and Language Games: the page number 373 in Robert Stone's theological classic A Flag for Sunrise conveys the metaphysical significance of the phrase "diamonds are forever" — "the eternal in the temporal," according to Stone's Catholic priest.  This suggests a check of another theological classic, Pynchon's Gravity's RainbowPage 373 there begins with the following description of prewar Berlin:

"white and geometric."

This suggests the following illustration of a white and geometric object related to yesterday's entry on Helmut Wielandt:

From antiquark.com

Figure 1

(This object, which illustrates the phrase "makin' the changes," also occurs in this morning's entry on the death of a jazz musician.)

A further search for books containing "white" and "geometric" at Amazon.com yields the following:

Figure 2

From Mosaics, by
Fassett, Bahouth, and Patterson:

"A risco fountain in Mexico city, begun circa 1740 and made up of Mexican pottery and Chinese porcelain, including Ming.

The delicate oriental patterns on so many different-sized plates and saucers [are] underlined by the bold blue and white geometric tiles at the base."

Note that the tiles are those of Diamond Theory; the geometric object in figure 1 above illustrates a group that plays a central role in that theory.

Finally, the word "risco" (from Casa del Risco) associated with figure 2 above leads us to a rather significant theological site associated with the holy city of Santiago de Compostela:

Figure 3

Vicente Risco's
Dedalus in Compostela.

Figure 3 shows James Joyce (alias Dedalus), whose daughter Lucia inspired the recent entry Jazz on St. Lucia's Day — which in turn is related, by last night's 2:45 entry and by Figure 1, to the mathematics of group theory so well expounded by the putative saint Emil Artin.

"His lectures are best described as
polished diamonds."
Fine Hall in its Golden Age,
by Gian-Carlo Rota

If Pynchon plays the role of devil's advocate suggested by his creation, in Gravity's Rainbow, of the character Emil Bummer, we may hope that Rota, no longer in time but now in eternity, can be persuaded to play the important role of saint's advocate for his Emil.

Update of 6:30 PM 12/20/03:


The Absolutist Faith
of The New York Times

White and Geometric, but not Eternal.

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