Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Bright Star

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:15 AM

See instances of the title in this journal.

Material related to yesterday evening's post
"Bright and Dark at Christmas" —

The Buddha of Rochester:

See also the Gelman (i.e., Gell-Mann) Prize
in the film "Dark Matter" and the word "Eightfold"
in this journal.

" A fanciful mark is a mark which is invented
for the sole purpose of functioning as a trademark,
e.g., 'Kodak.' "

"… don't take my Kodachrome away." — Paul Simon

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bright Star

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 PM

(Continued. For the title, see Lucero  in this journal.)

See Newton in several works of literary art:

The date, Nov. 23, 2010, of the Westminster Abbey remarks
in the second Newton link above suggests a quite different church 
​from that date.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

For Bright Star*

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

* See Title.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bright Star

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 PM

An earlier (noon) version of this post showed a photo of a
heartbreakingly beautiful young woman I encountered on
the Web today by chance. Perhaps it is best if she remains
anonymous here.

A detail taken today from her Facebook page:

IMAGE- Facebook 'places' nightclub location dated 'about 3 weeks ago'

Location of a nightclub in Bucharest

Related material: Shining Forth by myself and Malcolm Lowry,
and Lucifer  by Mihai Eminescu.

See also this journal "about 3 weeks ago."

Friday, August 13, 2010

For a Bright Star

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:14 AM

The Hunt for Blue August

From Wikipedia's timeline for 1991—


"CQ, CQ!" — Jodie Foster's character in Contact


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bright Star

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 PM

"Ya la ronda llega aquí."

A room by the architect Luis Barragán.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bright Star (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

From Epiphany 2010

The more industrious scholars will derive considerable pleasure from describing how the art-history professors and journalists of the period 1945-75, along with so many students, intellectuals, and art tourists of every sort, actually struggled to see the paintings directly, in the old pre-World War II way, like Plato's cave dwellers watching the shadows, without knowing what had projected them, which was the Word."

– Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word

Pennsylvania Lottery yesterday—

Saturday, June 26, 2010: Midday 846, Evening 106


Yesterday's morning post, Plato's Logos
Yesterday's evening post, Bold and Brilliant Emergence

Poem 846, Oxford Book of English Verse, 1919:
"bird-song at morning and star-shine at night"

Poem 106, Oxford Book of English Verse, 1919:
" All labourers draw home at even"

The number 106 may also be read as 1/06, the date of Epiphany.

Posts on Epiphany 2010—

9:00 AM    Epiphany Revisited
12:00 PM  Brightness at Noon
9:00 PM    The Difference

Related material—


Star and Diamond: A Tombstone for Plato

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bright Star

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:31 PM

… Todo lo sé por el lucero puro
que brilla en la diadema de la Muerte.

– Rubén Darío

Thursday, October 3, 2013


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

“ ‘A babbled of green fields
— Phrase attributed to Shakespeare
quoted here on September 15th

From a New York Times  piece online today,
a quote promoting science and technology,
and a quote on aptitude :

the   STEM fields   (“STEM” being the current shorthand
for “science, technology, engineering and mathematics”),
which offer so much in the way of job prospects, prestige,
intellectual stimulation and income….

… scientific and mathematical aptitude at
the very highest end of the spectrum ….

From a post of June 9, 2013 :

… the MAA Spectrum  program —

Related material — yesterday’s posts  

  1. Post-Production
  2. Color News
  3. Noon News
  4. Knock, Knock, Knockin’
  5. Spectral Theory
  6. Bright Star

and today’s previous post.

See as well Mood Indigo.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Crying of Bucharest

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:02 PM

From a reported interview with Terry Gilliam:

Question: "You said in an interview that The Zero Theorem
was very influenced by Bucharest. In what way?"

Some related material from Log24:

IMAGE- 'Bright Star,' from March 30, 2013

See also a Google search from this evening—

— and the beginning of the Zero Theorem  screenplay —

A rim of swirling light appears, circling helplessly into a
gigantic BLACK HOLE. It spirals inward…

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM

Google search result at 1 PM ET April 24, 2013:

New York Stage and Film 2013 Musicals – EPA – Playbill
14 hours ago – BRIGHT STAR
Casting: Howie Cherpakov
Music by Edie Brickell and Steve Martin
Lyrics by Edie Brickell Book by Steve Martin…

The musical is set in North Carolina.

From Howie Cherpakov:

IMAGE- Tabletop obelisk, Casting Society of America symbol

From North Carolina:

Archibald Henderson monument, Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Salisbury, NC

Henderson died in 1963 on the Feast of St. Nicholas.
Related material: Santa vs. the Obelisk.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lucky Star

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

Evening numbers for the New York lottery
yesterday were 182 and 8691.

One interpretation of the latter number is
8/6/91, birth date of the WWW—

Friday, August 13, 2010
For a Bright Star
m759 @ 2:14 AM

The Hunt for Blue August

From Wikipedia's timeline for 1991—

August 6 – Tim Berners-Lee announces
the World Wide Web project and software
on the alt.hypertext newsgroup.

For one interpretation of the former number,
see Random Reference.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Odin’s Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Today is Wednesday.

O.E. Wodnesdæg  "Woden's day," a Gmc. loan-translation of L. dies Mercurii  "day of Mercury" (cf. O.N. Oðinsdagr , Swed. Onsdag , O.Fris. Wonsdei , M.Du. Wudensdach ). For Woden , see Odin  . — Online Etymology Dictionary


Above: Anthony Hopkins as Odin in the 2011 film "Thor"

Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt in the related 2011 film "Captain America"—

"The Tesseract* was the jewel of Odin's treasure room."


Weaving also played Agent Smith in The Matrix Trilogy.

The figure at the top in the circle of 13** "Thor" characters above is Agent Coulson.

"I think I'm lucky that they found out they need somebody who's connected to the real world to help bring these characters all together."

— Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Coulson in "Thor," at UGO.com

For another circle of 13, see the Crystal Skull film implicitly referenced in the Bright Star link from Abel Prize (Friday, Aug. 26, 2011)—


Today's New York Times  has a quote about a former mathematician who died on that day (Friday, Aug. 26, 2011)—

"He treated it like a puzzle."

Sometimes that's the best you can do.

* See also tesseract  in this journal.

** For a different arrangement of 13 things, see the cube's 13 axes in this journal.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Abel Prize

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:57 PM

The previous posts, Design and Solomon's Labyrinth,
refer, respectively,  to concepts of Tits ("buildings") and
of Thompson (imagining a future Origin of Groups ).

This suggests a review of Norway's 2008 Abel Prize,
presented to Thompson and Tits on May 20, 2008.

Poster display before the 2008 Abel Prize ceremony—

Click to enlarge.


A poster of sorts in this journal on the same day, May 20, 2008—

Bright Star

Todo lo sé por el lucero puro
que brilla en la diadema de la Muerte

– Rubén Darío  

Bright Star and Crystal Skull

Image adapted from
Blue Star Traders

Related material— Epiphany Revisited, Four Winds,
and Where Entertainment is God (continued).

Monday, May 9, 2011

Brightness at Noon (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Bright Star pictures (1 megabyte)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Mind Spider*

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:29 PM

On a conference at the New School for Social Research on Friday and Saturday, December 3rd and 4th, 2010—

"This conference is part of the early stages in the formation of a lexicon of political concepts. It will be the 5th in a series of conferences started in Tel Aviv University. The project is guided by one formal principle: we pose the Socratic question "what is x?", and by one theatrical principle: the concepts defined should be relevant to political thought…."

[The conference is not unrelated to the New York Times  philosophy series "The Stone." Connoisseurs of coincidence— or, as Pynchon would have it, "chums of chance"— may read the conclusion of this series, titled "Stoned," in the light of the death on December 26th (St. Stephen's Day) of Matthew Lipman, creator of the "philosophy for children" movement. Many New York Times  readers will, of course, be ignorant of the death by stoning of St. Stephen


   Beloit College Nuremberg Chronicle

commemorated on December 26th. They should study Acts of the ApostlesChapter  6 and Chapter 7.]

Meanwhile, in this  journal—

Click to enlarge


For some background on the Dec. 4th link to "Damnation Morning," see "Why Me?"

For some political background, see "Bright Star"+"Dark Lady" in this journal.

* The title refers to a story by Fritz Leiber.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Passion of the Beast

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:10 AM

A thought from yesterday by David Brooks:

“Life is a struggle to push back against the evils of the world without succumbing to the passions of the beast lurking inside.”

Associated Press Thought for Today:

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

— British science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke (born this date in 1917, died in 2008).

Photo by Amy Marash

Arthur C. Clarke at his home office
in Sri Lanka, 28 March 2005

A search for that date
in this journal yields…

Bright Star and Happy Six.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday April 9, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:12 AM
Bright Star
continued from
March 28, 2003

Mathematician Leonard Gillman, co-author of 'Rings of Continuous Functions,' died on April 7, 2009

Related material:

One Ring to
Rule Them All

(Sept. 2, 2003)
Indiana Jones and the
Diadem of Death

(May 29, 2008)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday April 7, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 PM

Bright Star and Dark Lady

on July 26, 2003

“Mexico is a solar country — but it is also a black country, a dark country. This duality of Mexico has preoccupied me since I was a child.”

Octavio Paz,
quoted by Homero Aridjis

Bright Star



Dark Lady

The same story on
May 11, 2005

 with a different
dark lady:


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday March 28, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:28 PM
The Dance
of Chance

Today’s midday

NY 378
PA 726


The 378 pages of
a book on Pauli and Jung,
The Innermost Kernel

The date, 7/26, of
birth for Jung and for
Kate Beckinsale,
star of

See also today’s previous entry
and “Bright Star and Dark Lady”
from 7/26, 2003.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday May 20, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM
The Unembarrassed Peddler

(For readers of
the previous entry
who would like to
know more about
purchasing the
Brooklyn Bridge)

From yesterday’s New York Times, in an obituary of a teacher of reporters:

“He was a stickler for spelling, insisting that students accurately compose dictated sentences, like this one: ‘Outside a cemetery sat a harassed cobbler and an embarrassed peddler, gnawing on a desiccated potato and gazing on the symmetry of a lady’s ankle with unparalleled ecstasy.'”

Spelling Your Way
To Success

Chapter I:
“gnawing on a  
  desiccated potato”

From the website
Blue Star Traders:
How the ancient crystal skull Synergy came to the Western World…

This skull first came to light when it was acquired about two and a half decades ago by a European businessman and avid hiker, as he traveled around Central and South America.  He acquired the skull from a very old native man, in a tiny village in the Andes, near the borders of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. He was just passing through, and had come upon the small settlement while looking for a place to stay for the night.  He wandered into the village and was greeted with smiles and an invitation to share a meal.

This gentleman, George, speaks several languages, and he usually has at least a few words in common with most of the people he meets in his travels– enough to get by, anyway.  Although he didn’t speak the same language as most of the people in this isolated village, there was an instant connection between them, and they managed with the smattering of Spanish and Portuguese that a few of them knew. In need of shelter for the night, George was offered a spot for his sleeping bag, near the fire, in the dwelling of an elderly man.

After a peaceful evening in the old man’s company, George gratefully accepted a simple breakfast and got ready to take his leave.  As he thanked the man for his generous hospitality, the elder led George to an old chest. Opening the crumbling wooden lid, he took out the crystal skull, touched it reverently, and handed it to George.  Awed by an artifact of such obvious antiquity, beauty and value, yet uncertain what he was expected to do with it, George tried to hand it back.  But the old man urged it upon him, making it clear that he was to take it with him. 

Curious about the history of such a thing, George tried to find out what the villagers knew about it. One young fellow explained in halting Spanish that  the skull had come into the possession of a much loved Catholic nun, in Peru.  She was quite old when she died in the early 1800’s, and she had given it to the old man’s “Grandfather” when he was just a boy.  (Note: It’s hard to say if this was really the man’s grandfather, or just the honorary title that many natives use to designate an ancestor or revered relative.)  The nun told the boy and his father that the skull was “an inheritance from a lost civilization” and, like the Christian cross, it was a symbol of the transcendence of Soul over death.  She said that it carried the message of immortal life and the illumination that we may discover when we lose our fear of death.  She gave it to the boy and his father, asking them to safeguard it until the “right” person came to get it– and share its message with the world.  It had been brought to that land from “somewhere else” and needed to wait until the right person could help it to continue its journey. “Your heart will know the person,” she said. 

“What a strange story,” thought George.

From elespectador.com:

“… ‘Supercholita’  tiene sobre todo una clara vocación divulgadora de la cultura andina. No en vano Valdez recibió su primer premio por explicar mediante este personaje cómo se cocina el ‘chuño,’ una típica patata deshidratada muy consumida en el altiplano boliviano.”

Chapter II:
“gazing on the symmetry
 of a lady’s ankle”

From “Sinatra: A Man
and His Music, Part II”
(reshown. prior to
“It Happened in Brooklyn,”
by Turner Classic Movies
on Sunday, May 11, 2008):

“Luck, be a lady tonight.”

From wordinfo.info:

astragalo-, astragal-
(Greek: anklebone, talus ball of ankle joint; dice, die [the Greeks made these from ankle bones])

astragalomancy, astragyromancy
Divination with dice, knuckle bones, stones, small pieces of wood, or ankle bones which were marked with letters, symbols, or dots. Using dice for divination is a form of astragalomancy.

Chapter III:
“unparalleled ecstasy”

Bright Star

Todo lo sé por el lucero puro
que brilla en la diadema de la Muerte

— Rubén Darío  

Bright Star and Crystal Skull

Image adapted from
Blue Star Traders

Related material:

The New York Lottery
  mid-day number yesterday–
719– and 7/19.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday January 31, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 AM
From G. K. Chesterton,
The Black Virgin
As the black moon
of some divine eclipse,
As the black sun
of the Apocalypse,
As the black flower
that blessed Odysseus back
From witchcraft; and
he saw again the ships.

In all thy thousand images
we salute thee.

Earlier in the poem….
Clothed with the sun
or standing on the moon
Crowned with the stars
or single, a morning star,
Sunlight and moonlight
are thy luminous shadows,
Starlight and twilight
thy refractions are,
Lights and half-lights and
all lights turn about thee.

From Oct. 16, 2007,
date of death of Deborah Kerr:

"Harish, who was of a
spiritual, even religious, cast
and who liked to express himself in
metaphors, vivid and compelling,
did see, I believe, mathematics
as mediating between man and
what one can only call God."
R. P. Langlands

From a link of Jan. 17, 2008
Time and Eternity:

Abstract Symbols of Time and Eternity

Jean Simmons and Deborah Kerr in Black Narcissus
Jean Simmons (l.) and Deborah Kerr (r.)
in "Black Narcissus" (1947)

and from the next day,
Jan. 18, 2008:

… Todo lo sé por el lucero puro
que brilla en la diadema de la Muerte.

Rubén Darío,
born January 18, 1867

Related material:

Dark Lady and Bright Star,
Time and Eternity,
Damnation Morning

Happy birthday also to
the late John O'Hara.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Monday August 6, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 AM
The Divine Universals

"The tigers of wrath          
 are wiser than                
 the horses of instruction."

— William Blake,
Proverbs of Hell

From Shining Forth:

  The Place of the Lion, by Charles Williams, 1931, Chapter Eight:

"Besides, if this fellow were right, what harm would the Divine Universals do us? I mean, aren't the angels supposed to be rather gentle and helpful and all that?"

"You're doing what Marcellus warned you against… judging them by English pictures. All nightgowns and body and a kind of flacculent sweetness. As in cemeteries, with broken bits of marble. These are Angels– not a bit the same thing. These are the principles of the tiger and the volcano and the flaming suns of space."

 Under the Volcano, Chapter Two:

"But if you look at that sunlight there, then perhaps you'll get the answer, see, look at the way it falls through the window: what beauty can compare to that of a cantina in the early morning? Your volcanoes outside? Your stars– Ras Algethi? Antares raging south southeast? Forgive me, no." 

 A Spanish-English dictionary:

lucero m.
morning or evening star:
any bright star….
hole in a window panel
     for the admission of light….

Look at the way it
falls through the window….

— Malcolm Lowry

How art thou fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
— Isaiah 14:12

For more on Spanish
and the evening star,
see Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star.

 Symmetry axes
of the square:

Symmetry axes of the square

(See Damnation Morning.)

From the cover of the
 Martin Cruz Smith novel
Stallion Gate:

Atom on cover of Stallion

"That old Jew
gave me this here."

Dialogue from the
Robert Stone novel
A Flag for Sunrise.

Related material:

A Mass for Lucero,

Log24, Sept. 13, 2006

Mathematics, Religion, Art

— and this morning's online
New York Times obituaries:

Cardinal Lustiger of Paris and jazz pianist Sal Mosca, New York Times obituaries on August 6, 2007

The above image contains summary obituaries for Cardinal Lustiger, Archbishop of Paris, 1981-2005, and for Sal Mosca, jazz pianist and teacher. In memory of the former, see all of the remarks preceding the image above. In memory of the latter, the remarks of a character in Martin Cruz Smith's Stallion Gate on jazz piano may have some relevance:

"I hate arguments. I'm a coward. Arguments are full of words, and each person is sure he's the only one who knows what the words mean. Each word is a basket of eels, as far as I'm concerned. Everybody gets to grab just one eel and that's his interpretation and he'll fight to the death for it…. Which is why I love music. You hit a C and it's a C and that's all it is. Like speaking clearly for the first time. Like being intelligent. Like understanding. A Mozart or an Art Tatum sits at the piano and picks out the undeniable truth."

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sunday August 5, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM


Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry, 1947, Chapter VI:

“What have I got out of my life? Contacts with famous men… The occasion Einstein asked me the time, for instance. That summer evening…. smiles when I say I don’t know. And yet asked me. Yes: the great Jew, who has upset the whole world’s notions of time and space, once leaned down… to ask me… ragged freshman… at the first approach of the evening star, the time. And smiled again when I pointed out the clock neither of us had noticed.”

To Ride Pegasus, by Anne McCaffrey, 1973: 

“Mary-Molly luv, it’s going to be accomplished in steps, this establishment of the Talented in the scheme of things. Not society, mind you, for we’re the original nonconformists…. and Society will never permit us to integrate. That’s okay!” He consigned Society to insignificance with a flick of his fingers. “The Talented form their own society and that’s as it should be: birds of a feather. No, not birds. Winged horses! Ha! Yes, indeed. Pegasus… the poetic winged horse of flights of fancy. A bloody good symbol for us. You’d see a lot from the back of a winged horse…”

From Holt Spanish and English Dictionary, 1955:

lucero m Venus
(as morning or evening star);
bright star
star (in forehead of animal)….

Scarlett Johansson and friend in The Horse Whisperer

Scarlett Johansson and friend
in “The Horse Whisperer” (1998)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wednesday January 24, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 AM
The Dead Shepherd
starring E. Howard Hunt
and James Jesus Angleton

From this morning’s
New York Times:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070124-Hunt.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Tim Weiner in today’s New York Times:

“Mr. Hunt was intelligent, erudite, suave and loyal to his friends….

Everette Howard Hunt Jr. was born in Hamburg, N.Y., on Oct. 9, 1918, the son of a lawyer and a classically trained pianist who played church organ. He graduated from Brown University in June 1940 and entered the United States Naval Academy as a midshipman in February 1941.

He worked as a wartime intelligence officer in China, a postwar spokesman for the Marshall Plan in Paris and a screenwriter in Hollywood. Warner Brothers had just bought his fourth novel, ‘Bimini Run,’ a thriller set in the Caribbean, when he joined the fledgling C.I.A. in April 1949.

Mr. Hunt was immediately assigned to train C.I.A. recruits…. He moved to Mexico City, where he became chief of station in 1950. He brought along another rookie C.I.A. officer, William F. Buckley Jr., later a prominent conservative author and publisher, who became godfather and guardian to the four children of Mr. Hunt and his wife, the former Dorothy L. Wetzel.

In 1954, Mr. Hunt helped plan the covert operation that overthrew the elected president of Guatemala….

By the time of the coup, Mr. Hunt had been removed from responsibility. He moved on to uneventful stints in Japan and Uruguay. Not until 1960 was Mr. Hunt involved in an operation that changed history.

The C.I.A. had received orders from both President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his successor, President John F. Kennedy, to alter or abolish the revolutionary government of Fidel in Cuba. Mr. Hunt’s assignment was to create a provisional Cuban government that would be ready to take power once the C.I.A.’s cadre of Cuban shock troops invaded the island…. 

He retired from the C.I.A. in 1970 and secured a job with an agency-connected public relations firm in Washington. Then, a year later, came a call from the White House….

Mr. Hunt’s last book, ‘American Spy: My Secret History in the C.I.A., Watergate and Beyond,’ written with Greg Aunapu, is to be published on March 16 with a foreword by his old friend William F. Buckley Jr.

Late in life, he said he had no regrets, beyond the Bay of Pigs.”

Related Material:

Game Boy,
Philosophy Wars,
and the following:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070124-Solomon.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Andre Furlani, quoted in
Log24 on January 19:

“In his study of The Cantos,
Davenport defines the Poundian
ideogram as ‘a grammar of images,
emblems, and symbols, rather than
a grammar of logical sequence….
An idea unifies, dominates, and
controls the particulars that make
the ideogram’.”

For such an ideogram,
see Bright Star and the
(clickable) symbol from
Philosophy Wars:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070103-DoubleCross.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070124-Pound2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Photo from Miami University site

Monday, September 4, 2006

Monday September 4, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Happy Six

continued from

Click on picture
for details.

See also Saturday’s entry
and Sunday’s Pennsylvania
mid-day lottery:

Related material:

Bright Star

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050312-Spider.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

(Monday, March 28, 2005),
the Log24 entries
for the following Friday
(April 1, 2005), and
the Pennsylvania lottery
evening number for that
Friday, April Fools’ Day:

Today’s birthday:
the late Joan Aiken,
author of
The Shadow Guests.
(See Devil’s Night, 2005.)

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Thursday July 6, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:12 AM

What Song the Sirens Sang

“Wake you up in the
 middle of the night
 just to hear them say…”

“Suitcases filled with cash had changed hands in the four-star Hotel Hassler in Rome.”

F. Mark Wyatt, recently deceased
   career CIA officer,
   quoted in this morning’s
   New York Times

The New York Times, with its usual lack of clarity about dates, says Wyatt died “on Thursday.”  Presumably this was Thursday a week ago– June 29, 2006, the Feast of Saint Peter.

Related material:

Welcome to the Hotel Hassler
(3/23/06) and
Bright Star.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Saturday June 24, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM
In memory of
Aaron Spelling

"Let the midnight special
shine her light on me."

For more on the
eight-point star of Venus,
see Bright Star.

Related material:
April 21-22, 2003.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Monday June 5, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:06 AM


A farewell address
in the form of a sermon
delivered to a graduating class.

"Stuff comes up,
weird doors open,
people fall into things."
— David Sedaris,
baccalaureate address
at Princeton yesterday

"The truth is that man's capacity for symbol-mongering in general and language in particular is so intimately part and parcel of his being human, of his perceiving and knowing, of his very consciousness itself, that it is all but impossible for him to focus on the magic prism through which he sees everything else."

Walker Percy, The Message in the Bottle: How Queer Man Is, How Queer Language Is, and What One Has to Do with the Other. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1975, page 29.

Review: ART WARS
on Sept. 12, 2002:

Und was für ein Bild des Christentums 
ist dabei herausgekommen?


The image �http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060604-Primitive.gif� cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material:
Bright Star.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday May 19, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:07 PM
Meeting at Princeton

From May 15 through May 26, there is a women-only meeting on zeta functions at the  Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.  Today’s activities:

8:00- 9:45 a.m. Breakfast (Dining Hall)
9:00- 9:30 a.m. T-shirt Sale, Harry’s Bar – Dining Hall
9:30-10:00 a.m. Depart for Princeton University (talks, lunch, campus and art museum tour, and dinner)

No movie?

From Log24, July 27, 2003:

“…my despair with words as instruments of communion is often near total.”

— Charles Small, Harvard ’64 25th Anniversary Report, 1989 (See 11/21/02).

Perhaps dinner and a movie?
The dinner — 
at Formaggio in Cuernavaca.
The movie —

(Bright Star),
portrayed by
Megan Follows


Hoc est enim
corpus meum…

See also
A Mass for Lucero.

Related material:

Women’s History Month–
Global and Local: One Small Step

Friday, April 7, 2006

Friday April 7, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM
Bright Star

From 7/14/04:

Today’s birthday:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/040714-BrightStar.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Esther Dyson

To be continued…

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wednesday November 23, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Also on Saint Cecilia’s Day
(Release date: 11/22/2005)…

Bright Music

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051123-Reba.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Reba #1’s
Reba McEntire
Album Length Compact Disc

For Reba,
a very bright star,
the symbol of Venus
always shines:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051123-Star.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Saturday June 25, 2005

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

Religious Symbolism
at Midnight:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05A/050625-Star.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material:

Star Wars 6/13/05,
Dark City 6/14/05,
and De Arco, as well
as the following from
July 26, 2003:

Bright Star and Dark Lady

"Mexico is a solar country — but it is also a black country, a dark country. This duality of Mexico has preoccupied me since I was a child."

Octavio Paz,
quoted by Homero Aridjis

Bright Star



Dark Lady

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Tuesday May 24, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM
Final Arrangements, continued:

Two Poles

From today’s New York Times:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050524-NYT.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From erraticimpact.com on Paul Ricoeur:

“Ricoeur reserves his greatest admiration for
the narratologist Algirdas-Julien Greimas.
[See below.]
Ricoeur also explores the relationship
between the philosophical and religious
domains, attempting to reconcile
the two poles in his thought.”

From today’s NYT obituary of Sol Stetin:

“Mr. Stetin, who emigrated from Poland at the age of 10 and dropped out of high school in the ninth grade, was fond of saying he got his education in the labor movement.”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050524-JP2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“… it is not in isolation that the rhetorical power of such oppositions resides, but in their articulation in relation to other oppositions. In Aristotle’s Physics the four elements of earth, air, fire and water were said to be opposed in pairs. For more than two thousand years oppositional patterns based on these four elements were widely accepted as the fundamental structure underlying surface reality….

The structuralist semiotician Algirdas Greimas introduced the semiotic square (which he adapted from the ‘logical square’ of scholastic philosophy) as a means of analysing paired concepts more fully….”

Daniel Chandler, Semiotics for Beginners

Related material:

Poetry’s Bones and
Theme and Variations.

Other readings on polarity:

Log24, May 24, 2003, and
from July 26, 2003:

Bright Star and Dark Lady

“Mexico is a solar country — but it is also a black country, a dark country. This duality of Mexico has preoccupied me since I was a child.”

Octavio Paz,
quoted by Homero Aridjis

Bright Star


Dark Lady

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Wednesday July 14, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:25 PM
Bright Star

From Robert A. Heinlein‘s
classic novel, Glory Road:

    “I have many names. What would you like to call me?”

    “Is one of them ‘Helen’?”

    She smiled like sunshine and I learned that she had dimples. She looked sixteen and in her first party dress. “You are very gracious. No, she’s not even a relative. That was many, many years ago.” Her face turned thoughtful. “Would you like to call me ‘Ettarre’?”

    “Is that one of your names?”

    “It is much like one of them, allowing for different spelling and accent. Or it could be ‘Esther’ just as closely. Or ‘Aster.’ Or even ‘Estrellita.’ ”

    ” ‘Aster,’ ” I repeated. “Star. Lucky Star!”

Today’s birthday:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/040714-BrightStar.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Esther Dyson

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Thursday March 11, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:28 PM


From an entry of July 27, 2003…

Catholic Tastes, Part I:

“…my despair with words as instruments of communion is often near total.”

— Charles Small, Harvard ’64 25th Anniversary Report, 1989 (See 11/21/02).

Perhaps dinner and a movie?
The dinner — 
at Formaggio in Cuernavaca.
The movie —

(Bright Star),
portrayed by
Megan Follows

Hoc est enim
corpus meum…

See also
A Mass for Lucero.

Catholic Tastes, Part II:

A Catholic priest on “The Passion of the Christ”:

“By the time it’s over, the make-up artists give his skin the texture of spaghetti marinara.”

— The Rev. Richard A. Blake, S.J., professor of fine arts and co-director of the film studies program at Boston College, in America magazine, issue dated March 15, 2004.

Related material:

“I’m waiting for Mel’s sequel:

‘He’s back. Christ Almighty!
The Resurrection.
This time, it’s personal.’ “

Bruce Feirstein in The New York Observer

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Sunday October 26, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:17 AM


Trotsky’s Birthday

Part I:

From my entry of July 26, 2003, in memory
of Marathon Man director John Schlesinger:

Bright Star and Dark Lady

“Mexico is a solar country — but it is also a black country, a dark country. This duality of Mexico has preoccupied me since I was a child.”

Octavio Paz,
quoted by Homero Aridjis

Bright Star


Dark Lady

For the meaning of the above symbols, see
Kubrick’s 1x4x9 monolith in 2001,
the Halmos tombstone in Measure Theory,
and the Fritz Leiber Changewar stories.

No se puede vivir sin amar.

Part II:
Sunday in the Park with Death

  To Leon from Diego —
Details of a mural,
A Dream of a Sunday Afternoon
in Alameda Park,
Fresco, 1947-48,
Alameda Hotel, Mexico City:

Three’s a Crowd:


Sunday, July 27, 2003

Sunday July 27, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:59 PM

Catholic Tastes

In memory of New York Times music critic Harold C. Schonberg, who died Saturday, July 26, 2003:

Nous Voici Dans La Ville – A Christmas song from 15th century France (midi by John Philip Dimick).

In memory of my own youth:

Address Paseo del Conquistador # 144 Food Type Italian Dress Casual Tel 777-313-0584
Comment Chef Lorenzo Villagra is formally trained in Italian Cuisine. Great food and views of the valley of Cuernavaca.

In memory of love:

Volverán del amor en tus oídos

Las palabras ardientes a sonor;

Tu corazón de su profundo sueño

Tal vez despertará;

Pero mudo y absorto y de rodillas,

Como se adora a Dios ante su altar,

Como yo te he querido…desengáñate,

¡Así no te querrán!

— from Rima LIII
    by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Translation by Young Allison, 1924:

Burning words of love will come
Again full oft within thine ears to sound;
Perchance thy heart will even be aroused
From its sleep profound;

But mute and prostrate and absorbed,
As God is worshipped in His holy fane,
As I have loved thee…undeceive thyself:
Thou wilt not be thus loved again!

The Robert Lowell version of
the complete poem by Bécquer:

Will Not Come Back

Dark swallows will doubtless come back killing
the injudicious nightflies with a clack of the beak:
but these that stopped full flight to see your beauty
and my good fortune… as if they knew our names–
they’ll not come back. The thick lemony honeysuckle,
climbing from the earthroot to your window,
will open more beautiful blossoms to the evening;
but these… like dewdrops, trembling, shining, falling,
the tears of day–they’ll not come back…
Some other love will sound his fireword for you
and wake your heart, perhaps, from its cool sleep;
but silent, absorbed, and on his knees,
as men adore God at the altar, as I love you–
don’t blind yourself, you’ll not be loved like that.

“…my despair with words as instruments of communion is often near total.”

— Charles Small, Harvard ’64 25th Anniversary Report, 1989 (See 11/21/02).

Perhaps dinner and a movie?
The dinner — 
at Formaggio in Cuernavaca.
The movie —

(Bright Star),
portrayed by
Megan Follows


Hoc est enim
corpus meum…

See also
A Mass for Lucero.

See, too, my entry for the feast day of
Saint Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer,
which happens to be
December 22.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Saturday July 26, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:29 AM

Funeral March

John Schlesinger dead at 77;
‘Midnight Cowboy’ director

Anthony Breznican
Associated Press
Jul. 26, 2003 12:00 AM

LOS ANGELES – Oscar-winning director John Schlesinger, who daringly brought gay characters into mainstream cinema with Midnight Cowboy and tapped into nightmares with the teeth-drilling torture of Marathon Man, died Friday at 77.

The British-born filmmaker…. died about 5:30 a.m….

Schlesinger also directed The Day of the Locust, based on a novel by Nathanael West.

See Heaven, Hell, and Hollywood and

Dogma Part II: Amores Perros.

From the latter:

“Then you know your body’s sent,
Don’t care if you don’t pay rent,
Sky is high and so am I,
If you’re a viper — a vi-paah.”

The Day of the Locust,
    by Nathanael West (1939),
    New Directions paperback,
    1969, page 162

This song may be downloaded at

Pot Culture, 1910-1960.

That same site begins with a traditional Mexican song…

La cucaracha, la cucaracha,
 ya no puede caminar,
 porque no quiere,
 porque le falta
 marihuana que fumar.

(“The cockroach, the cockroach,
 can’t walk anymore,
 because he doesn’t want to,
 because he has no
 marihuana to smoke.”)

This suggests an appropriate funeral march for John Schlesinger:

“Ya murió la cucaracha, ya la llevan a enterrar…”La Cucaracha

Those attending Schlesinger’s wake, as opposed to his funeral, may wish to perform other numbers from the Pot Culture page, which offers a variety of “viper” songs.

Bright Star and Dark Lady

“Mexico is a solar country — but it is also a black country, a dark country. This duality of Mexico has preoccupied me since I was a child.”

Octavio Paz,
quoted by Homero Aridjis

Bright Star



Dark Lady

For the meaning of the above symbols, see
Kubrick’s 1x4x9 monolith in 2001,
the Halmos tombstone in Measure Theory,
and the Fritz Leiber Changewar stories.

No se puede vivir sin amar.

Concluding Unscientific Postscript:

Oh, yes… the question of
Heaven or Hell for John Schlesinger… 

Recall that he also directed the delightful
Cold Comfort Farm and see
last year’s entry for this date.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Monday April 21, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:23 PM

This world is not conclusion;
  A sequel stands beyond,
Invisible, as music,
  But positive, as sound.
It beckons and it baffles;         
  Philosophies don’t know,
And through a riddle, at the last,
  Sagacity must go.

Emily Dickinson

From an obituary of a biographer of Emily Dickinson, Richard B. Sewall, who died on Wednesday, April 16, 2003:

"Descended from a line of Congregational ministers dating back to the Salem of the witch trial era, Mr. Sewall was known for infusing his lectures with an almost religious fervor."


What is the hardest thing to keep?

For one answer, see my entry of April 16, 2003.   For commentary on that answer, see the description of a poetry party that took place last April at Sleepy Hollow, New York.

See, too, the story that contains the following passages:

"As to the books and furniture of the schoolhouse, they belonged to the community, excepting Cotton Mather's History of Witchcraft, a New England Almanac, and book of dreams and fortune-telling….

The schoolhouse being deserted soon fell to decay, and was reported to be haunted by the ghost of the unfortunate pedagogue, and the plough-boy, loitering homeward of a still summer evening, has often fancied his voice at a distance, chanting a melancholy psalm tune among the tranquil solitudes of Sleepy Hollow."

Washington Irving

Update of 11:55 PM April 21, 2003,

in memory of
Nina Simone:

See also the last paragraph of this news story,
this website, and this essay,
or see all three combined.

From the entry of midnight, October 25-26, 2002:

Make my bed and light the light,
I'll arrive late tonight,
Blackbird, Bye-bye.

Nina Simone

For more on the eight-point star of Venus,
see "Bright Star," my note of October 23, 2002.

Thursday, April 3, 2003

Thursday April 3, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:12 PM

Musical Metaphysics

Some background for my journal entries of  April 2, 2003 (Symmetries), of March 31, 2003 (Sunday Lottery), and of March 28, 2003 (Bright Star):

In memory of

Today’s site music (see midi console at top right of screen) is “All or Nothing at All.”

In view of the Sunday Lottery entry of March 31 and of Starr’s hits,  this song might be retitled “007 or 256.”

In view of Draper’s hit

“Tell all the folks that
  this life’s a game of poker….”

the following article is of interest:

“GOD MAY PLAY DICE with the universe, as Einstein once feared, but serious gamblers, scorning metaphysical crapshoots and the casino’s house edge, prefer no-limit Texas hold’em poker….”

— James McManus, Boston Globe, Sunday, March 30, 2003

Two other quotes, epigraphs to the classic novel Cosmic Banditos, seem relevant:

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

Those who prefer Jewish metaphysics can consult the related book

Seinfeld and Philosophy:
A Book about Everything and Nothing

Friday, March 28, 2003

Friday March 28, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:16 AM

Bright Star

From a Spanish-English dictionary:

lucero m. morning or evening star: any bright star….

 Today is Reba McEntire’s birthday.

” ‘I know what it is you last saw,’ she said; ‘for that is also in my mind. Do not be afraid! But do not think that only by singing amid the trees, nor even by the slender arrows of elven-bows, is this land of Lothlórien maintained and defended against the Enemy. I say to you, Frodo, that even as I speak to you, I perceive the Dark Lord and know his mind, or all his mind that concerns the Elves. And he gropes ever to see me and my thought. But still the door is closed!’

      She lifted up her white arms, and spread out her hands towards the East in a gesture of rejection and denial. Eärendil, the Evening Star, most beloved of the Elves, shone clear above. So bright was it that the figure of the Elven-lady cast a dim shadow on the ground. Its ray glanced upon a ring about her finger; it glittered like polished gold overlaid with silver light, and a white stone in it twinkled as if the Even-star had come to rest upon her hand. Frodo gazed at the ring with awe; for suddenly it seemed to him that he understood. 

      ‘Yes’, she said, divining his thought, ‘it is not permitted to speak of it, and Elrond could not do so. But it cannot be hidden from the Ring-Bearer, and one who has seen the Eye. Verily it is in the land of Lórien upon the finger of Galadriel that one of the Three remains. This is Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, and I am its keeper.’ “

— J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Related material on telepathy:

Shining Forth and Naturalized Epistemology

Related material on rings, and another musical Reba:

Leonard Gillman interview, Part I and Part II

Gillman, a pianist, is co-author of Rings of Continuous Functions.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Monday January 20, 2003

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

Shine On, Robinson Jeffers

"…be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, 
      a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits,
     that caught — they say — God, when he walked on earth."
Shine, Perishing Republic, by Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers died at Big Sur, California, on January 20, 1962 — a year to the day after Robert Frost spoke at the Kennedy inauguration.

"The poetry of Robinson Jeffers shines with a diamond's brilliance when he depicts Nature's beauty and magnificence.   His verse also flashes with a diamond's hardness when he portrays human pain and folly."
Gary Suttle  

"Praise Him, He hath conferred aesthetic distance
Upon our appetites, and on the bloody
Mess of our birthright, our unseemly need,
Imposed significant form. Through Him the brutes
Enter the pure Euclidean kingdom of number…."
— Howard Nemerov, 
   Grace To Be Said at the Supermarket 

"Across my foundering deck shone 
A beacon, an eternal beam. | Flesh fade, and mortal trash 
Fáll to the resíduary worm; | world's wildfire, leave but ash: 
In a flash, at a trumpet crash, 
I am all at once what Christ is |, since he was what I am, and 
Thís Jack, jóke, poor pótsherd, | patch, matchwood,
    immortal diamond, 
Is immortal diamond."
— Gerard Manley Hopkins,
    That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Resurrection

"In the last two weeks, I've been returning to Hopkins.  Even in the 'world's wildfire,' he asserts that 'this Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,/Is immortal diamond.' A comfort."
— Michael Gerson, head White House speechwriter,
    in Vanity Fair, May 2002, page 162

"There's none but truth can stead you.  Christ is truth."
— Gerard Manley Hopkins

"The rock cannot be broken.  It is the truth."
— Wallace Stevens 

"My ghost you needn't look for; it is probably
Here, but a dark one, deep in the granite…."
— Robinson Jeffers, Tor House

On this date in 1993, the inauguration day of William Jefferson Clinton, Audrey Hepburn died.

"…today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully…."
Maya Angelou, January 20, 1993

"So, purposing each moment to retire,
She linger'd still. Meantime, across the moors,
Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire"
— John Keats, The Eve of St. Agnes (January 20), IX

Top view of

Top view of
Hearts On Fire

Advertising Copy:

What you see with a Hearts On Fire diamond is an unequalled marriage of math and physics, resulting in the world's most perfectly cut diamond.


"Eightpointed symmetrical signs are ancient symbols for the Venus goddess or the planet Venus as either the Morning star or the Evening star."

"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.  Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame."
Song of Solomon

"The last words from the people in the towers and on the planes, over and over again, were 'I love you.'  Over and over again, the message was the same, 'I love you.' …. Perhaps this is the loudest chorus from The Rock:  we are learning just how powerful love really is, even in the face of death."
The Rev. Kenneth E. Kovacs

"Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again."
The Who 

See also my note, "Bright Star," of October 23, 2002.


Sunday, December 8, 2002

Sunday December 8, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:48 PM

From a Spanish-English dictionary:

lucero m. morning or evening star:
any bright star….
2. hole in a window panel for the
admission of light….
Sal a tu ventana,
que mi canto es para ti….
Lucero, lucero, lucero, lucero

— “Ya la ronda llega aquí

Cross Window Ex Cathedra
See In Mexico City, a Quiet Revelation,
in the New York Times of December 5.
The photo, from a different website, is
   of a room by the architect Luis Barragán.

From the Nobel Prize lecture of Octavio Paz on December 8, 1990 — twelve years ago today:

“Like every child I built emotional bridges in the imagination to link me to the world and to other people. I lived in a town on the outskirts of Mexico City, in an old dilapidated house that had a jungle-like garden and a great room full of books. First games and first lessons. The garden soon became the centre of my world; the library, an enchanted cave. I used to read and play with my cousins and schoolmates. There was a fig tree, temple of vegetation, four pine trees, three ash trees, a nightshade, a pomegranate tree, wild grass and prickly plants that produced purple grazes. Adobe walls. Time was elastic; space was a spinning wheel. All time, past or future, real or imaginary, was pure presence. Space transformed itself ceaselessly. The beyond was here, all was here: a valley, a mountain, a distant country, the neighbours’ patio. Books with pictures, especially history books, eagerly leafed through, supplied images of deserts and jungles, palaces and hovels, warriors and princesses, beggars and kings. We were shipwrecked with Sindbad and with Robinson, we fought with d’Artagnan, we took Valencia with the Cid. How I would have liked to stay forever on the Isle of Calypso! In summer the green branches of the fig tree would sway like the sails of a caravel or a pirate ship. High up on the mast, swept by the wind, I could make out islands and continents, lands that vanished as soon as they became tangible. The world was limitless yet it was always within reach; time was a pliable substance that weaved an unbroken present.”

Today’s site music is courtesy of the Sinatra MIDI Files

Saturday, October 26, 2002

Saturday October 26, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Midnight in the Garden

From a Nina Simone Lyrics site:

Pack up all my cares and woe,
here I go, singing low,
Bye-bye Blackbird.
Where somebody waits for me,
sugar’s sweet, so is she,
Bye-bye Blackbird.
No one here can love and understand me.
Oh, what hard-luck stories they all hand me.
Make my bed and light the light,
I’ll arrive late tonight,
Blackbird, Bye-bye.

Nina Simone

For more on the eight-point star of Venus,
see “Bright Star,” my note of October 23.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Wednesday October 23, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

Bright Star

From the website of Karey Lea Perkins:

“The truth is that man’s capacity for symbol-mongering in general and language in particular is…intimately part and parcel of his being human, of his perceiving and knowing, of his very consciousness…”

Walker Percy, The Message in the Bottle, Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1975

Today’s New York Times story on Richard Helms, together with my reminiscences in the entry that follows it below, suggest the following possibility for symbol-mongering:

Compare the 16-point star of the C.I.A.

with the classic 8-point star of Venus:

This comparison is suggested by the Spanish word “Lucero” (the name, which means “Bright Star,” of the girl in Cuernavaca mentioned two entries down) and by the following passage from Robert A. Heinlein‘s classic novel, Glory Road:

    “I have many names. What would you like to call me?”

    “Is one of them ‘Helen’?”

    She smiled like sunshine and I learned that she had dimples. She looked sixteen and in her first party dress. “You are very gracious. No, she’s not even a relative. That was many, many years ago.” Her face turned thoughtful. “Would you like to call me ‘Ettarre’?”

    “Is that one of your names?”

    “It is much like one of them, allowing for different spelling and accent. Or it could be ‘Esther’ just as closely. Or ‘Aster.’ Or even ‘Estrellita.’ ”

    ” ‘Aster,’ ” I repeated. “Star. Lucky Star!”

The C.I.A. star above is from that organization’s own site.  The star of Venus (alias Aster, alias Ishtar) is from Symbols.com, an excellent site that has the following variations on the Bright Star theme:

Ideogram for light Alchemical sign
Greek “Aster” Babylonian Ishtar
Phoenician Astarte Octagram of Venus
Phaistos Symbol Fortress Octagram

See also my notes The Still Point and the Wheel and Midsummer Eve’s Dream.  Both notes quote Robinson Jeffers:

“For the essence and the end
Of his labor is beauty…
one beauty, the rhythm of that Wheel,
and who can behold it is happy
and will praise it to the people.”

— Robinson Jeffers, “Point Pinos and Point Lobos,”
quoted at the end of The Cosmic Code,
by Heinz Pagels, Simon & Schuster, 1982

Place the eightfold star in a circle, and you have the Buddhist Wheel of Life:

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Tuesday September 24, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:33 PM

The Shining of Lucero

From my journal note, “Shining Forth“:

The Spanish for “Bright Star” is “Lucero.”

The Eye of the Beholder:

When you stand in the dark and look at a star a hundred light years away, not only have the retarded light waves from the star been travelling for a hundred years toward your eyes, but also advanced waves from your eyes have reached a hundred years into the past to encourage the star to shine in your direction.

— John Cramer, “The Quantum Handshake

From Broken Symmetries, by Paul Preuss, 1983:

He’d toyed with “psi” himself…. The reason he and so many other theoretical physicists were suckers for the stuff was easy to understand — for two-thirds of a century an enigma had rested at the heart of theoretical physics, a contradiction, a hard kernel of paradox….   

Peter [Slater] had never thirsted after “hidden variables” to explain what could not be pictured.  Mathematical relationships were enough to satisfy him, mere formal relationships which existed at all times, everywhere, at once.  It was a thin nectar, but he was convinced it was the nectar of the gods.


Those so-called crazy psychics were too sane, that was their problem — they were too stubborn to admit that the universe was already more bizarre than anything they could imagine in their wildest dreams of wizardry. (Ch. 16)

From Secret Passages, by Paul Preuss, 1997:

Minakis caught up and walked beside him in silence, moving with easy strides over the bare ground, listening as Peter [Slater] spoke. “Delos One was ten years ago — quantum theory seemed as natural as water to me then; I could play in it without a care. If I’d had any sense of history, I would have recognized that I’d swallowed the Copenhagen interpretation whole.”

“Back then, you insisted that the quantum world is not a world at all,” Minakis prompted him. “No microworld, only mathematical descriptions.”

“Yes, I was adamant. Those who protested were naive — one has to be willing to tolerate ambiguity, even to be crazy.”

“Bohr’s words?”

“The party line. Of course Bohr did say, ‘It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature.’ Meaning that when we start to talk what sounds like philosophy, our colleagues should rip us to pieces.” Peter smiled. “They smell my blood already.”

Peter glanced at Minakis. “Let’s say there are indications — I have personal indications — not convincing, perhaps, but suggestive, that the quantum world penetrates the classical world deeply.” He was silent for a moment, then waved his hand at the ruins. “The world of classical physics, I mean. I suppose I’ve come to realize that the world is more than a laboratory.”

“We are standing where Apollo was born,” Minakis said. “Leto squatted just there, holding fast to a palm tree, and after nine days of labor gave birth to the god of light and music….”

From my journal note, “A Mass for Lucero“:

To Lucero, in memory of
1962 in Cuernavaca

From On Beauty, by Elaine Scarry,
Princeton University Press, 1999 —

“Homer sings of the beauty of particular things. Odysseus, washed up on shore, covered with brine, having nearly drowned, comes upon a human community and one person in particular, Nausicaa, whose beauty simply astonishes him. He has never anywhere seen a face so lovely; he has never anywhere seen any thing so lovely….

I have never laid eyes on anyone like you,
neither man nor woman…
I look at you and a sense of wonder takes me.

Wait, once I saw the like —
in Delos, beside Apollo’s altar —
the young slip of a palm-tree
springing into the light.”

From Secret Passages, by Paul Preuss, 1997:

“When we try to look inside atoms,” Peter said, “not only can we not see what’s going on, we cannot even construct a coherent picture of what’s going on.”

“If you will forgive me, Peter,” Minakis said, turning to the others. “He means that we can construct several pictures — that light and matter are waves, for example, or that light and matter are particles — but that all these pictures are inadequate. What’s left to us is the bare mathematics of quantum theory.”

…. “Whatever the really real world is like, my friend, it is not what you might imagine.”


Talking physics, Peter tended to bluntness. “Tell me more about this real world you imagine but can’t describe.”

Minakis turned away from the view of the sunset. “Are you familiar with John Cramer’s transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics?”

“No I’m not.”


“Read Cramer. I’ll give you his papers. Then we can talk.” 

 From John Cramer, “The Quantum Handshake“:

Advanced waves could perhaps, under the right circumstances, lead to “ansible-type” FTL communication favored by Le Guin and Card…. 

For more on Le Guin and Card, see my journal notes below.

For more on the meaning of “lucero,” see the Wallace Stevens poem “Martial Cadenza.”

Thursday, September 5, 2002

Thursday September 5, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:36 AM

Birthdate of film producer Darryl F. Zanuck

Among Zanuck’s films were “All about Eve” and “Viva Zapata!”

Bright Star

I do not have a photograph of Lucero Hernandez, the subject of my journal notes

Shining Forth and

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

In keeping with Zanuck’s commandment that “The kid stays in the picture!” —

The photo at left, of a very young actress, captures some of Lucero’s beauty.

Center for Global Education,
Augsburg College

Semester-abroad Program in Mexico

“The program is based in Cuernavaca, a city known for its perennial springtime (70-80 degrees). Cuernavaca, the capital of the state of Morelos, is about 50 miles south of Mexico City. Both the city and the state are important in Mexican history: the palace of the conqueror Hernan Cortez borders the central plaza in Cuernavaca and Morelos is known as “the cradle of the Mexican revolution” of 1910 led by Emiliano Zapata, who was born in a small town near Cuernavaca. A city of more than one million, Cuernavaca is also known for its innovative grass-roots education programs, economic cooperatives, and base Christian communities inspired by liberation theology.” 

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