Thursday, April 30, 2020

Walpurgisnacht Geometry

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

A version more explicitly connected to finite geometry —

For the six synthematic totals , see The Joy of Six.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Father Flynn’s Walpurgisnacht

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:31 AM

Father Flynn in this morning’s post “Hollywood Interpretation
of Quantum Mechanics” suggests a flashback to Tron: Legacy

A search for the above blogger “hilbertthm90”
yields some of his remarks from April 30, 2008
in his weblog “A Mind for Madness.” See as well
this  journal on Walpurgisnacht 2008.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Walpurgisnacht Riddle

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:04 PM

From a search for Absolut Riddle in this  journal —

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Heraldry for Walpurgisnacht

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:05 AM

A problem not only at Harvard.

For instance… A Hollywood anticlerical classic:

Schoolgirl Problem —

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A Walpurgisnacht Death for Dan Brown

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 PM

In memory of Anatole Katok, who reportedly died on Walpurgisnacht,
two readings from a source cited by Dan Brown in his recent novel

Brown is reportedly a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and
of Amherst College.

Those associated with institutions that are more respectable
may prefer Katok on entropy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Walpurgisnacht Death

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 PM

"Kroto is believed to have died on Saturday, April 30.
Responding to the news on Twitter, Prof Brian Cox
tweeted: 'RIP Harry Kroto – brilliant scientist and a
strong, passionate advocate for science as a vital
part of our culture.' — The Guardian

See also Walpurgisnacht 2016 in this  journal.

Update of 10:45 PM — Some related pure  mathematics :

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Lucifer for Walpurgisnacht

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:59 PM

A politician as 'Lucifer in the flesh'

A more impressive Lucifer —

The late theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler,
author of the phrase "it from bit."

Related material —

"The Thing and I" (April 17, 2016) and an essay by
Julian Barbour, "Bit from It."

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Crimson Walpurgisnacht

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

Part I — Unity and Multiplicity
              (Continued from The Talented and Galois Cube)

On Husserl's 'Philosophie der Arithmetik'- 'A feeling, an angel, the moon, and Italy'

Part II — "A feeling, an angel, the moon, and Italy"—

Click for details

Dean Martin and Peter Lawford in Crimson ad for 2011 Quincy House Q-Ball

Happy Walpurgisnacht

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

A film by Julie Taymor,
Across the Universe

Across the Universe DVD

Detail of the
Strawberry Fields Forever
Sacred Heart

Strawberry Fields Sacred Heart from 'Across the Universe'

A song:

Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor

"Shinin' like a diamond,
she had tombstones
in her eyes.

Album "The Dark,"
by Guy Clark

Saturday, August 21, 2021


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:05 AM

A Bon Jovi "Stripped" video released May 1, 2007 —

Synchronology check —

This  journal in the early morning of the above release date —


to put one's back
into something
bei etwas
Einsatz zeigen
to up the ante den Einsatz erhöhen
to debrief den Einsatz
nachher besprechen
to be on duty im Einsatz sein
mil. to be in action im Einsatz sein
to play for
high stakes
mit hohem
Einsatz spielen

"Nine is a very
powerful Nordic number
— Katherine Neville,
The Magic Circle

Happy Walpurgisnacht.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Time and Memory

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:44 PM

From Schicksalstag  2012:

EAST LANSING, Mich.Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/
“The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University,
a new Zaha Hadid-designed contemporary art museum, will open on
Saturday, Nov. 10 . . . .

In Search of Time   (on view through February 10, 2013).
In celebrating the opening of this iconic building at
Michigan State UniversityIn Search of Time  seeks to explore
the longing artists have held for hundreds of years to express
their relationship to time and memory.”

See also, from Log24, posts now tagged Nov. 10, 2012 , and
posts earlier tagged Battlefield Geometry .

Related material to commemorate Walpurgisnacht  2021 (last night) —


Related reading — Notes for Watchmen.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Of Making Many Books There Is No End

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:43 AM

Published today —

Related quotation —

Cover art published today —

Some mathematics related to the The Fixed Stars  cover art,
from a post of May 1, 2020

The Escape from Plato’s Cave to . . .

See also Numberland and Walpurgisnacht Geometry.

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Lexicographic Octad Generator (LOG)*

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 5:43 PM

The lexicographic Golay code
contains, embedded within it,
the Miracle Octad Generator.

By Steven H. Cullinane, July 13, 2020

Background —

The Miracle Octad Generator (MOG)

of R. T. Curtis (Conway-Sloane version) —

A basis for the Golay code, excerpted from a version of
the code generated in lexicographic order, in

Constructing the Extended Binary Golay Code
Ben Adlam
Harvard University
August 9, 2011:


Below, each vector above has been reordered within
a 4×6 array, by Steven H. Cullinane, to form twelve
independent Miracle Octad Generator  vectors
(as in the Conway-Sloane SPLAG version above, in
which Curtis’s earlier heavy bricks are reflected in
their vertical axes) —

01 02 03 04 05 . . . 20 21 22 23 24 -->

01 05 09 13 17 21
02 06 10 14 18 22
03 07 11 15 19 23
04 08 12 16 20 24

0000 0000 0000 0000 1111 1111 -->

0000 11
0000 11
0000 11
0000 11 as in the MOG.

0000 0000 0000 1111 0000 1111 -->

0001 01
0001 01
0001 01
0001 01 as in the MOG.

0000 0000 0011 0011 0011 0011 -->

0000 00
0000 00
0011 11
0011 11 as in the MOG.

0000 0000 0101 0101 0101 0101 -->

0000 00
0011 11
0000 00
0011 11 as in the MOG.

0000 0000 1001 0110 0110 1001 -->

0010 01
0001 10
0001 10
0010 01 as in the MOG.

0000 0011 0000 0011 0101 0110 -->

0000 00
0000 11
0101 01
0101 10 as in the MOG.

0000 0101 0000 0101 0110 0011 -->

0000 00
0101 10
0000 11
0101 01 as in the MOG.

0000 1001 0000 0110 0011 1010 -->

0100 01
0001 00
0001 11
0100 10 as in the MOG.

0001 0001 0001 0001 0111 1000 -->

0000 01
0000 10
0000 10
1111 10 as in the MOG.

0010 0001 0001 0010 0001 1101 -->

0000 01
0000 01
1001 00
0110 11 as in the MOG.

0100 0001 0001 0100 0100 1110 -->

0000 01
1001 11
0000 01
0110 00 as in the MOG.

1000 0001 0001 0111 0010 0100 -->

10 00 00
00 01 01
00 01 10
01 11 00 as in the MOG (heavy brick at center).

Update at 7:41 PM ET the same day —
A check of SPLAG shows that the above result is not new:

And at 7:59 PM ET the same day —
Conway seems to be saying that at some unspecified point in the past,
M.J.T. Guy, examining the lexicographic Golay code,  found (as I just did)
that weight-8 lexicographic Golay codewords, when arranged naturally
in 4×6 arrays, yield certain intriguing visual patterns. If the MOG existed
at the time of his discovery, he would have identified these patterns as
those of the MOG.  (Lexicographic codes have apparently been
known since 1960, the MOG since the early 1970s.)

* Addendum at 4 AM ET  the next day —
See also Logline  (Walpurgisnacht 2013).

Unpoetic License

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

The above novel uses extensively the term “inscape.”
The term’s originator, a 19th-century Jesuit poet,
is credited . . . sort of.  For other uses of the term,
search for Inscape in this journal. From that search —

A quote from a 1962 novel

“There’s something phoney
in the whole setup, Meg thought.
There is definitely something rotten
in the state of Camazotz.”

Addendum for the Church of Synchronology

The Joe Hill novel above was published (in hardcover)
on Walpurgisnacht —April 30, 2013.  See also this journal
on that date.

Friday, May 1, 2020

The H-State

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 9:27 PM

Related pure mathematics —

The Escape from Plato’s Cave to . . .

See also Numberland and Walpurgisnacht Geometry.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 PM

See also a theater review of a Walpurgisnacht 2008
Brooklyn Academy of Music production —

The New York Times  on the Walpurgisnacht production —

"Specifically grim but never merely glum, the production fully taps
the self-conscious theatricality of the play ('I’m warming up for
my last soliloquy,' Hamm announces toward the end) without
letting us forget that its strange figures are appallingly real,
enacting a grotesque pantomime of humanity’s hungry need to
distract itself by wresting order, meaning and a sliver of satisfaction —
just one more sugarplum, please, or maybe a Vicodin — from
the formless, aimless, timeless nothingness of life."

— Charles Isherwood

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Design Abyss

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

Hexagram 29,
The Abyss (Water)

This post was suggested by an August 6, 2010, post by the designer
(in summer or fall, 2010) of the Stack Exchange math logo (see
the previous Log24 post, Art Space Illustrated) —

http://www.8164.org/☵☲/  .

In that post, the designer quotes the Wilhelm/Baynes I Ching  to explain
his choice of Hexagram 63, Water Over Fire, as a personal icon —

"When water in a kettle hangs over fire, the two elements
stand in relation and thus generate energy (cf. the
production of steam). But the resulting tension demands
caution. If the water boils over, the fire is extinguished
and its energy is lost. If the heat is too great, the water
evaporates into the air. These elements here brought in
to relation and thus generating energy are by nature
hostile to each other. Only the most extreme caution
can prevent damage."

See also this  journal on Walpurgisnacht (April 30), 2010 —


Hexagram 29:



Hexagram 30:

"Hates California,
it's cold and it's damp.

Image--'The Fire,' by Katherine Neville

A thought from another German-speaking philosopher

"Die Philosophie ist ein Kampf gegen die Verhexung
unsres Verstandes durch die Mittel unserer Sprache."

See also The Crimson 's abyss in today's 4:35 AM post Art Space, Continued.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bit by Bit

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

In memory of Claude Shannon, who would have turned 100 today.

See "The Matthias Defense" and citations of that page in this journal.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 3:14 PM

Nietzsche in Switzerland —

“In August 1884, he wrote to Resa von Schirnhofer:
‘Here one can live well, in this strong, bright atmosphere,
here where nature is amazingly mild and solemn
and mysterious all at once— in fact, there is no place
that I like better than Sils-Maria.'”

For more about Resa,  see another weblog’s post
of April 30, 2013.

A remark on Nietzsche from the epigraph of that weblog:

“His life’s work was devoted to finding one’s ‘style’
within the chaos of existence. The trick, obviously,
is not to lose your mind in the process.”

A remark from this  weblog on the above date —
Walpurgisnacht 2013 —

Finite projective geometry explains
the surprising symmetry properties
of some simple graphic designs— 
found, for instance, in quilts.

The story thus summarized is perhaps not
destined for movie greatness.

As opposed to, say, Chloe Grace Moretz —

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Castle Rock Entertainment

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:48 AM

(Where Entertainment Is God , continued)

Yesterday's evening numbers in the New York Lottery
were 007 and 3856. You are free to supply your own
interpretation of the former. The latter may, if you like,
be interpreted as post  3856, The Illuminati Stone .

Some context:

(Click for a larger, clearer image.)

I prefer Richard  Brautigan.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dark Humor

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:09 AM

Arts and Letters Daily  today links to a July 17
Washington Post  review of two books on the
occult and the enlightenment. The review, by
Michael Dirda, ends on a cheerful note:

"Happy synchronicity."

In related news, a Walpurgisnacht obituary also
ends cheerfully:

"He was still trying to get out a joke
with his final breath."

That obituary describes a life that reportedly ended
on April 21, 2013. Synchronicity involving that date—

The posts of April 21, 2013 (and related material in
this morning's previous post).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Decomposition Sermon

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

(Continued from Walpurgisnacht 2012)

Wikipedia article on functional decomposition

"Outside of purely mathematical considerations,
perhaps the greatest value of functional decomposition
is the insight it provides into the structure of the world."

Certainly this is true for the sort of decomposition
known as harmonic analysis .

It is not, however, true of my own decomposition theorem,
which deals only with structures made up of at most four
different sorts of elementary parts.

But my own approach has at least some poetic value.

See the four elements of the Greeks in (for instance)
Eliot's Four Quartets  and in Auden's For the Time Being .

Monday, August 13, 2012

Raiders of the Lost Tesseract

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:33 PM

(An episode of Mathematics and Narrative )

A report on the August 9th opening of Sondheim's Into the Woods

Amy Adams… explained why she decided to take on the role of the Baker’s Wife.

“It’s the ‘Be careful what you wish’ part,” she said. “Since having a child, I’m really aware that we’re all under a social responsibility to understand the consequences of our actions.” —Amanda Gordon at businessweek.com

Related material—

Amy Adams in Sunshine Cleaning  "quickly learns the rules and ropes of her unlikely new market. (For instance, there are products out there specially formulated for cleaning up a 'decomp.')" —David Savage at Cinema Retro

Compare and contrast…

1.  The following item from Walpurgisnacht 2012

IMAGE- Excerpt from 'Unified Approach to Functional Decompositions of Switching Functions,' by Marek A. Perkowski et al., 1995

2.  The six partitions of a tesseract's 16 vertices 
       into four parallel faces in Diamond Theory in 1937

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Matrix Problem

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:20 PM

IMAGE- Charlize Theron as Ravenna with raven in poster for 'Snow White and the Huntsman'

Poster from Walpurgisnacht 2012

Raven’s Progressive Matrices problem:

IMAGE- Raven's Progressive Matrices problem based on triangular quarter- and half-diamonds

Click the problem for a related story.

For some related geometry, see Elements Diamond.
See also a post (Dream Time, May 3, 2010)
about geometry and an earlier Walpurgisnacht.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What Then?

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 AM

Last October, Harvard celebrated its 375th anniversary
with Pandemonium. For remarks of a different sort,
see Andrew Cusack on Walpurgisnacht.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What is Truth? (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:01 PM

"There is a pleasantly discursive treatment of
 Pontius Pilate's unanswered question 'What is truth?'"
— H. S. M. Coxeter, 1987

Returning to the Walpurgisnacht posts
Decomposition (continued) and
Decomposition– Part III —

Some further background…


(Not  a Scholastic Aptitude Test)

"In computer sciencesatisfiability (often written
in all capitals or abbreviated 
SAT) is the problem
of determining if the variables of a given 
 formula can be assigned in such a way as to
make the formula evaluate to TRUE."

— Wikipedia article Boolean satisfiability problem

For the relationship of logic decomposition to SAT,
see (for instance) these topics in the introduction to—

Advanced Techniques in Logic Synthesis,
Optimizations and Applications* 

Click image for a synopsis.

* Edited by Sunil P. Khatri and Kanupriya Gulati

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 3:33 AM

A search tonight for material related to the four-color
decomposition theorem yielded the Wikipedia article
Functional decomposition.

The article, of more philosophical than mathematical
interest, is largely due to one David Fass at Rutgers.

(See the article's revision history for mid-August 2007.)

Fass's interest in function decomposition may or may not
be related to the above-mentioned theorem, which 
originated in the investigation of functions into the
four-element Galois field from a 4×4 square domain.

Some related material involving Fass and 4×4 squares—

A 2003 paper he wrote with Jacob Feldman—

(Click to enlarge.)

"Design is how it works." — Steve Jobs

An assignment for Jobs in the afterlife—

Discuss the Fass-Feldman approach to "categorization under
complexity" in the context of the Wikipedia article's
philosophical remarks on "reductionist tradition."

The Fass-Feldman paper was assigned in an MIT course
for a class on Walpurgisnacht 2003.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 AM

This morning's post has the following from Borges—

"Yo sé de un laberinto griego que es una línea única, recta."
 —Borges, "La Muerte y la Brújula"

This suggests a search for "bruja brújula" (witch compass).

The search yields a Facebook page that leads, in turn, to Lhasa de Sela


A search for material in this journal from the date of her death, 1/1/10, yields

The Celestine Dream, with its text on Doctor Parnassus  and its image from Shutter Island

     Click to enlarge this item from Christmas 2009.

All this is by way of commentary on the April-30-to-May-1 Walpurgisnacht-to-May-Day scenes in Disney's Fantasia … which I watched last night.

I had not known anything about Lhasa de Sela until this morning, but in the combined context of Fantasia  and of Russia's Victory Day observances today, her song "Los Peces" seems worth noting.

* For the title, see Celestine Bohlen on the Bolshoi Ballet.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Unity and Multiplicity

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

Continued from Crimson Walpurgisnacht.

EpigraphsTwo quotations from  
Shakespeare's Birthday last year

Rebecca Goldstein
   on first encountering Plato

"I was reading Durant's section on Plato, struggling to understand his theory of the ideal Forms that lay in inviolable perfection out beyond the phantasmagoria. (That was the first, and I think the last, time that I encountered that word.)"

Screenwriter Joan Didion

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live….

We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the 'ideas' with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience."

From Thomas Mann, "Schopenhauer," 1938, in Essays of Three Decades , translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter, Alfred A. Knopf, 1947, pp. 372-410—

Page 372: THE PLEASURE we take in a metaphysical system, the gratification purveyed by the intellectual organization of the world into a closely reasoned, complete, and balanced structure of thought, is always of a pre-eminently aesthetic kind. It flows from the same source as the joy, the high and ever happy satisfaction we get from art, with its power to shape and order its material, to sort out life's manifold confusions so as to give us a clear and general view.

Truth and beauty must always be referred the one to the other. Each by itself, without the support given by the other, remains a very fluctuating value. Beauty that has not truth on its side and cannot have reference to it, does not live in it and through it, would be an empty chimera— and "What is truth?"


Page 376: … the life of Plato was a very great event in the history of the human spirit; and first of all it was a scientific and a moral event. Everyone feels that something profoundly moral attaches to this elevation of the ideal as the only actual, above the ephemeralness and multiplicity of the phenomenal, this devaluation  of the senses to the advantage of the spirit, of the temporal to the advantage of the eternal— quite in the spirit of the Christianity that came after it. For in a way the transitory phenomenon, and the sensual attaching to it, are put thereby into a state of sin: he alone finds truth and salvation who turns his face to the eternal. From this point of view Plato's philosophy exhibits the connection between science and ascetic morality.

But it exhibits another relationship: that with the world of art. According to such a philosophy time itself is merely the partial and piecemeal view which an individual holds of ideas— the latter, being outside time, are thus eternal. "Time"— so runs a beautiful phrase of Plato— "is the moving image of eternity." And so this pre-Christian, already Christian doctrine, with all its ascetic wisdom, possesses on the other hand extraordinary charm of a sensuous and creative kind; for a conception of the world as a colourful and moving phantasmagoria of pictures, which are transparencies for the ideal and the spiritual, eminently savours of the world of art, and through it the artist, as it were, first comes into his own.

From last night's online NY Times  obituaries index—


"How much story do you want?" — George Balanchine

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dream Time

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 9:00 AM

“Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”

William Butler Yeats

From a document linked to here on April 30, Walpurgisnacht

“…the Golden Age, or Dream Time, is remote only from the rational mind. It is not accessible to euclidean reason….”

“The utopia of the Grand Inquisitor ‘is the product of “the euclidean mind” (a phrase Dostoyevsky often used)….'”

“The purer, the more euclidean the reason that builds a utopia, the greater is its self-destructive capacity. I submit that our lack of faith in the benevolence of reason as the controlling power is well founded. We must test and trust our reason, but to have faith  in it is to elevate it to godhead.”

“Utopia has been euclidean, it has been European, and it has been masculine. I am trying to suggest, in an evasive, distrustful, untrustworthy fashion, and as obscurely as I can, that our final loss of faith in that radiant sandcastle may enable our eyes to adjust to a dimmer light and in it perceive another kind of utopia.”

“You will recall that the quality of static perfection is an essential element of the non-inhabitability of the euclidean utopia….”

“The euclidean utopia is mapped; it is geometrically organized, with the parts labeled….”

— Ursula K. Le Guin, “A Non-Euclidean View of California as a Cold Place to Be”

San Francisco Chronicle  today

“A May Day rally in Santa Cruz erupted into chaos Saturday night….”

“Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest,
and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch-meeting?”

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mysteries of Faith

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

From today's NY Times


Obituaries for mystery authors
Ralph McInerny and Dick Francis

From the date (Jan. 29) of McInerny's death–

"…although a work of art 'is formed around something missing,' this 'void is its vanishing point, not its essence.'"

Harvard University Press on Persons and Things (Walpurgisnacht, 2008), by Barbara Johnson

From the date (Feb. 14) of Francis's death–

2x2x2 cube

The EIghtfold Cube

The "something missing" in the above figure is an eighth cube, hidden behind the others pictured.

This eighth cube is not, as Johnson would have it, a void and "vanishing point," but is instead the "still point" of T.S. Eliot. (See the epigraph to the chapter on automorphism groups in Parallelisms of Complete Designs, by Peter J. Cameron. See also related material in this journal.) The automorphism group here is of course the order-168 simple group of Felix Christian Klein.

For a connection to horses, see
a March 31, 2004, post
commemorating the birth of Descartes
  and the death of Coxeter–

Putting Descartes Before Dehors

     Binary coordinates for a 4x2 array  Chess knight formed by a Singer 7-cycle

For a more Protestant meditation,
see The Cross of Descartes


Descartes's Cross

"I've been the front end of a horse
and the rear end. The front end is better."
— Old vaudeville joke

For further details, click on
the image below–

Quine and Derrida at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday September 11, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM
For 9/11

Cover of 'Underworld,' by Don DeLillo, First Edition, Advance Reader's Copy, 1997


Cover of Underworld,
 by Don DeLillo, First Edition,
 Advance Reader's Copy, 1997

"Time and chance
happeneth to them all."
Ecclesiastes 9:11  

Related material:

1. The previous entry, on
  Copenhagen physicist
Aage Bohr, and      
2. Notes from this journal
 from Bohr's birthday,
 June 19th, through  
        Midsummer Night, 2007…
 including notes on   
  Faust in Copenhagen
   3. Walpurgisnacht 2008 and
 Walpurgisnacht 2009

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday April 30, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:07 PM

And an especially Faustian
Walpurgis Night to
Harvard University, home of
Robert Langdon, fictional professor
of Religious Symbology


“That corpse you planted
last year in your garden,
Has it begun to sprout?
Will it bloom this year?
Or has the sudden frost
disturbed its bed?”

— T. S. Eliot, “The Waste Land

From Log24 last September:

Rachel Cobb photo of man returning a crucifix to Huichol village chapel

A man returns a crucifix
to a Huichol village chapel.

Photo by Rachel Cobb
for National Geographic


Wednesday April 30, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:30 AM

Lucy in the Sky
with Diamonds
and Sacred Heart

PARIS — Albert Hofmann, the mystical Swiss chemist who gave the world LSD, the most powerful psychotropic substance known, died Tuesday at his hilltop home near Basel, Switzerland. He was 102.

Related material:

Star and Diamond: A Tombstone for Plato

a film by Julie Taymor,
Across the Universe:

Across the Universe DVD

Detail of the
Strawberry Fields Forever
Sacred Heart:

Strawberry Fields Sacred Heart from 'Across the Universe'

A song:

Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor

Shinin’ like a diamond,
she had tombstones
in her eyes.

Album “The Dark,”
by Guy Clark

For related tombstones,
see May 16-19, 2006,
and April 19, 2008.

Further background:
Art Wars for
Red October.

Wednesday April 30, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Calendar Catechism

Q: If the opposite of Christmas (December 25) is Anti-Christmas (June 25), and the opposite of Halloween (October 31) is May Day (May 1), then what is the opposite of April 30?

A: October 30… Devil’s Night!

Related material:

Walpurgis Night,
the previous entry,
H is for Hogwarts

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Tuesday May 1, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM
May 1, 2007
2:45 AM

I could tell you a lot,
but you gotta be
true to your code.
— Sinatra

At the still point…
— Eliot

George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm

da ist der Tanz;
Doch weder Stillstand noch Bewegung.
Und nenne es nicht Beständigkeit,
Wo Vergangenheit und Zukunft sich sammeln.

IMAGE- Scenes from 'Der Einsatz' with ninefold square

to put one's back
into something
bei etwas
Einsatz zeigen
to up the ante
den Einsatz erhöhen
to debrief den Einsatz
nachher besprechen
to be on duty
im Einsatz sein
mil.to be in action im Einsatz sein
to play for
high stakes
mit hohem
Einsatz spielen

"Nine is a very
powerful Nordic number
— Katherine Neville,
The Magic Circle

Happy Walpurgisnacht.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Sunday October 13, 2002

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:55 PM

Two Literary Classics
(and a visit from a saint)

On this date in 1962, Edward Albee's classic play, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" opened on Broadway.

George and Martha by
Edward Albee

Click to enlarge.
George and Martha by
 St. James Marshall

As I was preparing this entry, based on the October 13 date of the Albee play's opening, after I looked for a picture of Marshall's book I thought I'd better check dates related to Marshall, too.   This is what I was surprised to find:  Marshall (b. Oct. 10, 1942) died in 1992 on today's date, October 13.  This may be verified at

The James Edward Marshall memorial page,

A James Edward Marshall biography, and

Author Anniversaries for October 13.

The titles of the three acts of Albee's play suffice to indicate its dark spiritual undercurrents:

"Fun and Games" (Act One),
"Walpurgisnacht" (Act Two) and
"The Exorcism" (Act Three).

A theological writer pondered Albee in 1963:

"If, as Tillich has said of Picasso's Guernica, a 'Protestant' picture means not covering up anything but looking at 'the human situation in its depths of estrangement and despair,' then we could call Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? a 'Protestant' play. On any other definition it might be difficult to justify its religious significance except as sheer nihilism."
— Hugh T. Kerr, Theological Table-Talk, July 1963

It is a great relief to have another George and Martha (who first appeared in 1972) to turn to on this dark anniversary, and a doubly great relief to know that Albee's darkness is balanced by the light of Saint James Edward Marshall, whose feast day is today.

For more on the carousel theme of the Marshall book's cover, click the link for "Spinning Wheel" in the entry below.

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