Monday, October 11, 2010

The Starflight Problem

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 AM

"Nabokov's problem, in its simple prettiness and purity, suggests he has just invented starflight himself."

Tim Krabbé, Open Chess Diary, Entry 9— July 1, 1999

Related— New York Lottery on October 10, 2010—

Midday 137,
Evening 701.

Some context for the Halloween season—

137: Jung, Pauli, and the Pursuit of a Scientific Obsession

Skeleton Crew  by Stephen King

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101011-137JungPauli-sm.jpg   http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101011-SkeletonCrew.jpg

See also Saturday evening's post in this journal, Jaunt 701.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Figures of Speech

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

See posts now tagged Starbursts,
and a search for Nabokov + Starflight.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Supplement to Logic

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

For the Janus-Faced Human Race

Related material —

Strange Myths and The Starflight Problem.

Synchronicity check —

"On the afternoon of October 10, 2013,
an unusually cold day, the streets of downtown
Dublin were filled …." — "How Stories Deceive"

See also this  journal on October 10, 2013.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sermon for Nabokov

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM

"In linear algebra, the basis of a vector space
is an alphabet in which all vectors
can be expressed uniquely. The thing to remember
is that there are many such alphabets."

—  "A Vector Alphabet of Interstellar Travel,"
       by Yoon Ha Lee

See also Starflight in this journal.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Heaven’s Gate continues

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:48 AM

In memory of Dutch author Harry Mulisch

The Discovery of Heaven


Mulisch died at his home in Amsterdam on the evening of October 30.

The Discovery of Heaven  was made into a film in 2001 by Jeroen Krabbé,
brother of Tim Krabbé. The latter is the author of the novel The Cave
(1997, first published in English in 2000 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

The Cave  is notable for a phrase, "a hole in time."

See also "starflight" in this journal.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday March 24, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:09 PM

Chess game in The Thomas Crown Affair

For Steve McQueen’s
birthday, three chess links:

A Game of Chess,

Queen’s Gambit,


Monday, October 10, 2005

Monday October 10, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051010-Yul2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“The crème de la crème
of the chess world in a
show with everything
 but Yul Brynner”

One Night in Bangkok

Mate in 2,
 V. Nabokov, 1919,
Starflight” theme

Today is the feast of St. Yul Brynner,
who died on this date in 1985.

“Head bent down over the guitar,
he barely seemed to hum;
 ended “all come home”;
Yule– Yul log for the
Christmas-fire tale-spinner–
of fairy tales that can come true.
 Yul Brynner.”

— Marianne Moore,
“Rescue with Yul Brynner”

Related material:

Starflight, a year ago today

Pleiades, by Ivan Bunin, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1933, whose birthday is today

Natasha’s Dance (Log24, Jan. 8, 2004)

Star! by John Gregory Dunne (NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2004)

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Wednesday March 2, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:22 PM

White Stone

"I have stolen more quotes and thoughts and purely elegant little starbursts of writing from the Book of Revelation than anything else in the English language– and it is not because I am a biblical scholar, or because of any religious faith, but because I love the wild power of the language and the purity of the madness that governs it and makes it music."

— Hunter S. Thompson, Author's Note, Generation of Swine

In memory of Peter Foy,
who died in Las Vegas
on 2/17

The image “http://log24.com/log/pix05/050302-Peter2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Revelation 2:17:

"And I will give him a white stone…."

The image “http://log24.com/log/pix05/050302-Diamond1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material:

2003 2/17: "immortal diamond"
2004 2/17:  "hard core"           
2005 2/17:  "the diamond"       

For an "elegant starburst," see

"Starflight," from 10/10, 2004

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050302-S.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

the date of
Christopher Reeve's death.

See also
Revelation 10:10

"And I took the little book
out of the angel's hand,
and ate it up; and it was in my mouth
sweet as honey: and as soon as I had
eaten it, my belly was bitter."

For the relationship of this verse to
the style of Hunter Thompson, see

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050302-Apo.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From the Department of Justice:
"LSD generally is taken by mouth.
The drug is colorless and odorless
but has a slightly bitter taste."
Among the street terms for LSD
is "Superman."

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Sunday October 10, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:48 PM


In memory of
Jacques Derrida and James Chace,
both of whom died in Paris on
Friday, Oct. 8, 2004, and of
Orson Welles, who died
on this date in 1985


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/041010-Welles.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Orson Welles

Mate in 2 

V. Nabokov, 1919

"The black king has three white flight squares, without mates being provided for these flights, which suggests giving him a fourth. 1. Bg2 therefore presents itself, especially when you notice that it prepares mates for all the flights, and for the king remaining on its original square.

1. Bg2

Kxc6 2. Nfe5 mate
Ke6   2. Nd4  mate
Kc4   2. Nd2  mate  
Ke4   2. Nd4  mate  
fxg3  2. Ng5  mate

The five variations together are the theme,  'starflight.'  (With orthogonal squares it is called plus- or cross-flight.)"

Open Chess Diary, 1999,
   by Tim Krabbé, Amsterdam

See also the entries of
Oct. 8, 2002 and
Oct. 8, 2004, and
related remarks on
the "double cross," or
"king's moves" symbol:

For an appropriate bishop, see


Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Tuesday October 8, 2002

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:08 AM
Starflight Theme

On Graham Greene’s novel
The Human Factor:

“Greene, always the master of economy, never wrote a tighter or more beautifully focused novel.”
Steve Robertson

“The main character is Maurice Castle, the head of the Africa station for a branch of British intelligence….  [the] writing is sparse and neat rather than languid or flowery….”
Kevin Holtsberry 

From Chapter I: 

“Castle could see that telling the truth this time had been an error of judgement, yet, except on really important occasions, he always preferred the truth.  The truth can be double-checked.”

On fiction and truth: 

Here is a short story that is
tight, focused, sparse, and neat.

The story is also true.

Mate in 2 
V. Nabokov, 1919

This problem embodies the “starflight” theme;
for details, see Tim Krabbé’s
 Open Chess Diary, entry 9.

As the example of Nabokov shows, a taste for truth (as in chess or geometry) may accompany a taste for fiction.  This applies also to Krabbé, as shown by the following reviews of his novel The Cave:

New York Times
“Krabbe’s carefully constructed narrative has a geometry so precise that the patterns buried under the surface emerge only in the final pages.”

Library Journal
“A diamond of a book- perfectly proportioned, multifaceted, and containing not one wasted word”

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