I’ve got a bunch of sad and/or angry posts waiting to be written, but I’ve got enough melancholy and rage to fill a Liberty Ship* and I just want to take a break from my inner madness for a bit. So back to the American Grotesque tomorrow, and for now, here’s something purely fun.
In order not to do a bit of academic admin that fell to my plate today, I browsed over to an interesting interview with Valeria Pettorino, a cosmologist who works on problems raised by the mysterious status of dark matter and dark energy.
As the introduction to the Quanta conversation explains, back in 2004, Pettorino was doing her doctoral research, and found time, and perhaps the mental need, to pursue another pleasure as well:
As a side project, she translated the opening lines of Dante’s Divine Comedy into a geometry problem.
“I felt there was mathematics already within Dante’s writing,” Pettorino said recently.
Here’s an English version of the original Pettorino set out to rewrite:
Midway along the journey of our life
I woke to find myself in a dark wood,
for I had wandered off from the straight path.
And here’s Pettorino’s take:
Given a line segment AB of size equal to our life path, consider its midpoint M. If D is a man called Dante, D shall be coincident with M.
The segment AB shall be contained in a dark field DF.
Assuming that a circumference C exists, circumscribed to the dark field DF, verify that the straight line r is external to such circumference.
Proof positive that there is poetry in mathematics, but that, perhaps, not all poems map to the math.
Oh — and if you want to know what the post title has to do with all this, have a listen.
Any literary exuberances y’all want to share in what is otherwise an open thread?
*Go visit. And marvel at its three cylinder, triple expansion marine engine — still operational!
Image: William Blake, The Ancient of Days, frontspiece to Europe a Prophecy, 1794
Tom Lehrer “Lobachevsky” reference FTW!!
“I am never forget the day….”
On several occasions I’ve led a concert band on the deck of the SS Jeremiah O’Brien Liberty Ship when it cruises around the San Francisco Bay. One time was for the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. We were playing “Happy Birthday To You” while crossing under the bridge — and secretly that was to celebrate my own birthday that day as well.
gawd I love Tom Lehrer. I m so sad he was such a good mathematician, It stole some great songs from us
Dark matter, like a lot of ideas, isn’t right and looks more and more, wrong – experiment after experiment is null or proves countering evidence. Even some galaxies have been found with no dark matter when that is, by the theory, impossible. Best conclusion, there is none. Dark energy, maybe – the jury is still out
I have a friend (actually, I think, also a mutual friend of Tom Levenson) who had lunch with Tom Lehrer a year or so ago. What I would give for an opportunity like that!
For your next trick, please go to “Explain xkcd” and tell them how the last two lines in the cartoon refer to The Name Game, because apparently the math-heads there are so obsessed with finding proof errors in a cartoon that they’ve forgotten all the novelty songs they’ve ever heard.
Mike in NC
We took a cruise on the other surviving Liberty ship, SS John Brown in Baltimore, about ten years ago. It was fabulous.
I was told there would be no math.
That Blake pic was reproduced in the Night Gallery episode “Return of the Sorcerer” as well as for the band Ithaca’s album “A Game For All Who Know”
I am never forget day you are sadly misinformed, Komrad Mariya.
@Mike in NC: My buddy’s grandfather had one named after him. “3023 Hadley F Brown 18-Mar-44 29-Apr-44 15-May-44 20 Mar 1945, struck mine in North Sea. No fatalities. US
reserve fleet.” This guy was something, he had honorable discharges from the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force and his family disowned him because he didn’t go in the Navy.
I was told there would be cake.
@raven: Yes, because what this thread needs is yet another argument over Israelis vs Palestinians. //s
@TenguPhule: You see anything there that mentions Palestinians? Fuckers killed Americans and knew exactly what they were doing.
@raven: My mistake, you wanted just a thread of Israeli bashing. So you really want to get started on fucked up military shit when our navy shot down a civilian Iranian commercial passenger plane?
Katie Porter (who I volunteered for a bit) has passed Mimi Walters in CA45! 116,732 to 116,471! Add another House seat to the blue wave, and Martin now has a Democratic rep!
@TenguPhule: I’m still lamenting the lack of the taco trunks on every corner we were promised if Hillary had won.
@TenguPhule: Fuck you asshole, post what you want to and I’ll goddamn sure post what I want to.
@TenguPhule: And fuck Israel while I’m at. Fucking fascists.
You have interesting taste in luggage.
So collective guilt is your thing. I’m sure that’ll be fun when its our nation’s turn.
@TenguPhule: You’re a moron, it’s been “our nation’s turn” for decades.
@Cermet: do you have any citations to “dark matter is wrong”? As I recall, a recent Nature paper reporting a (nearly) dark matter dwarf galaxy has been disputed. Evidence for dark matter is everywhere, from flat rotation curves for spiral galaxies, X-ray observations of galaxy clusters, and gravitational lensing.
The cake is a lie.
WaPo has a new report about how cranky Twitler was all weekend:
Also, too, says a bunch of aides are trying to talk him out of replacing Kelly with Nick Ayers.
Jesus, Mary, & Joseph. That is both funny and depressing at the same time.
@TenguPhule: Old Goon Show gag:
SEAGOON: Now, which room is this piano in?
GRYTPYPE-THYNNE: It’s erm… It’s in the Louvre.
SEAGOON: Strange taste you have.
he’s focused on Iran while the intelligence agencies are eyeballing North Korea.
Does not make for sound sleeping.
Trump will never be happy with any chief of staff he appoints, because he’s the problem. He doesn’t want to do the work his job entails. Any chief of staff who’s actually up to doing the job will piss him off because they’re forcing him to work, and anyone who’s a spineless toady will let the rest of the government run him over. What he really wants is a subservient, non-feckless clone of himself who will do the hard work of presidenting exactly as he wishes it done while he goes out and enjoys the glory.
I see Teresa May achieved the impossible with Brexit negotiations.
A deal everyone else in Great Britain hates.
Raven,. That guy is a jackass he is the Kanye of BJ.
Dorothy A. Winsor
Flag of surrender going up:
@Immanentize: Yea fuck him. . .or her!
@Immanentize: Asshole decides to bring a “Fuck Israel” into the thread out of the blue and I’m supposed to be the one in the wrong here?
I think he would be a fascinating dinner partner. My only fear is I would bore him
An ancient SNL reference!
Let’s see who gets it
I’m glad Trump took Macron’s remarks as a personal attack. It’s about time he got something right.
A Ghost To Most
I’m glad to hear I am not alone in that opinion.
As to the math, my brain is rejecting it after 10 months of retirement. My suppressed artistic side is taking over. Finally.
@TenguPhule: Eat shit motherfucker, I didn’t “bring” shit out of the blue. You want to cheerlead the fucking Izzy government you go right ahead. Enjoy the pie fuck face.
@A Ghost To Most: Who with a pulse supports that shit? I’m reading a book about Vietnam and the author talks about how stunning it was that France, after being occupied by the Nazi’s, did the same shit to their colonies. Fuck Israel and whoever that dopey motherfucker is.
A Ghost To Most
I’ve been puzzling over that. It’s like the child victim of a sexual predator growing up and becoming a predator. Or something.
Interesting take on the role of Hypotenuse via Wikipedia:
“In this early version, Ingrid Bergman is named to star in the role of “Hypotenuse” in The Eternal Triangle, a film purportedly based on the narrator’s book. It was recorded again for Revisited (Tom Lehrer album), with Brigitte Bardot as Hypotenuse. A third recording is included in Tom Lehrer Discovers Australia (And Vice Versa), a live album recorded in Australia, featuring Marilyn Monroe as Hypotenuse. A fourth recording was made in 1966 when Songs by Tom Lehrer was reissued in stereo, with Doris Day playing Hypotenuse.”
@A Ghost To Most: I’ve got plenty of Jewish friends who feel the same way, they know the score.
I wish I could find a video of the bit where “Ford” did a PSA demonstrating how to use a voting booth. “Umm, where’s the toilet paper?”
@Mary G: That’s what the kid said when I started explaining the 500 rule*.
The “500 rule” is what you use to calculate the exposure time so you don’t get star trails in astrophotography. It’s 500/focal length and then divide the result by the crop factor.
I’m with you and your friends, and not just about the present situation. If I were speaking to any of them, I could make my brothers’ heads explode just by telling them Israel died the day Yitzak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish settler.
A Ghost To Most
That’s good to know. I despise the very concept of religion, but I don’t think of Israel as Jewish, but fascist.
Politico has their own article up on anger at the White House with another great quote:
So what’s the final tally in the House now?
Why does every Tom Lehrer song sound exactly the same? He’s like the Wesley Willis of political satire.
Mike in NC
@raven: Several years ago I was getting processed for my annual training pay at NAB Little Creek, VA. The disbursing clerk — a DK2, I think — was wearing ‘working blues’ and I couldn’t help but notice his ribbons included both the Army and Air Force Good Conduct Medals. Glutton for punishment, maybe?
This asshole says – “My latest Op-Ed: Will Dems work with us, or simply put partisan politics ahead of the country?” The man who stole a supreme court justice and is the fucking master of partisan politics is declaring whether Democrats will play ball. Go fuck yourself, you turtled faced, shit eater!
@Schlemazel: I gets it, from the fall (pun intended) of 1976.
Newest concern trolling from the media.
She had plenty of help from the fucking DUP.
P.S. a Jewish apartheid state is no better than a Boer apartheid state.
As mentioned earlier, Katie Porter has edged ahead in CA-45. Gil Cisneros will likely go ahead some time tomorrow in CA-39. He’s at 49.8% and is getting about 56% of the late count, so it shouldn’t be too long until he’s made up his 700 vote deficit.
This will give Democrats a net +6 from California bringing the delegation to 45-8 from 39-14. The Republican party was hit hard in New York, New Jersey, and California. They lost 13 of their 28 seats.
@Mike in NC: We had a major in Vietnam who also had been in the Corps.
@Mike in NC:
Even when I was in the navy, what 3 or 4 hundred years ago, there were a few lifers that had done say 10 in another branch and were now trying the navy to see what it was like. So Yeah, I’d go with glutton.
@schrodingers_cat: I think it’ll end up +38. The Democrat will probably win in Maine but lose in Utah as more votes come in. The two remaining uncalled seats in California should go to the Democrats. There are a Texas, Georgia, and New Jersey seat still uncalled. I suspect the first two will go to the Republicans and the New Jersey seat to the Democrats.
FWIW, the final 538 Classic prediction had the Democrats at +39. The Democrats will have won every seat 538 gave them a >50% chance of winning except MN-01.
I will go you one better. Reagan was bashed by California reporters for being cruel to the poor, out of touch and insensitive when he was governor. And yet he went on to be elected president.
Trump ain’t Reagan, and the past is not always prologue to the future. There is no reason to pay attention to prophetic punditry. Things are never that simple.
@guachi: Superintendent of Public Instruction has flipped too – Thurmond leads the race with 3,628,650 votes, or about 50 percent. Tuck trails with 3,626,650 votes, or about 50 percent.
@Mary G: Is that a Democrat vs. Democrat race? I’m a California voter but I’ll admit I don’t actually know. My excuse is I’m in the military and not actually living in California.
State delegations are not really that important by themselves. One question might be whether there are conservative Democrats who might vote with the Republicans and whether the House Majority Leader can still rally enough Democrats to offset this.
@guachi: It’s allegedly nonpartisan, but it was the rich white guy who loves charter schools and vouchers against the black guy who wants all education in CA to be good.
Cecily Strong did sterling work on SNL as the White House intern.
Sorry, but for too long Israel has become a rogue state that flaunts international conventions and devotes itself to repressing minorities within its borders and doing all it can to steal lands it has no legal claim to, by supporting its right wing radicals and their settlements. Its use of excessive force in response to attack is so reminiscent of Nazi atrocities. Its a real shame to see a people who suffered so much at the hands of the Nazis adopt so many of the same practices and tactics themselves against the Palestinians.
I know that these policies are not supported by all the citizens of Israel, and it is my hope that those who support peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians will take charge and negotiate a just peace.
@guachi: It’s technically non-partisan.
So do you feel better now? Man, you had me on the ledge that night.
I mention the state delegations as an indicator of the type of seats that flipped – upscale suburban type seats in otherwise heavily Democratic areas.
It’s hard to say whether Trump will be weaker or crazier as he tries to deal with these self-inflicted wounds.
The right wing media bubble doesn’t help. They are dedicated to ignoring any problems, falsely believing that lies are the same thing as loving protection.
Lots of whining from Mimi and Young Kim how the libtards are stealing the election by counting votes
California Rep. Mimi Walters’ campaign accuses Democrats of planning to ‘steal’ her seat as her lead shrinks in tough reelection bid
That’s sad. It’s not like it isn’t widely known that mail-in and provisional votes heavily tilt towards Democrats.
Both candidates were flawed. Tuck has some good ideas, but is not a skilled in dealing with school politics at a state level.
Thurmond cares about students, has great ideas about helping those who traditionally were left behind, but might have in to the teachers unions.
Wasn’t there an early Trump aide who impregnated his secret girlfriend and then fired her, and she sued him?
IOW, I think the paternity test already happened.
Site is (what’s the technical term?) el fukkoed.
Stupid, stupid stackpathcdn. Aiain.
Meant to type “Again,” but the typo works too.
Jason Miller, the original communications director!
i guess that was one way to communicate
He gets bonus points for his wife being pregnant at the same time as his mistress.
I heartily recommend The Thread: A Mathematical Yarn (1983), by mathematician Philip J. Davis. (Out of print, sadly, but copies still available on Amazon, of course.) He starts with a letter from a reader of his tome Interpolation and Approximation complaining about his transliteration of the Russian mathematician Pafnuty Chebyshev’s name as “Tschebyscheff”—“barbaric, Teutonic, non-standard orthography,” in the reader’s words.
Davis describes his dismay at having labored to produce a large, serious work and receiving mostly complaints about typos and trivia, muses on the problems of Cyrillic transliteration, then gradually takes flight into a stream of digressions, each one connected ephemerally to the one before, all of them interesting and often very funny.
One review dismissed the book as “a prodigious mind playing solitaire.” That fits, but I think in a good way. My copy is long lost; now I’m thinking about getting another one.
Steve in the ATL
Uh huh. Sure you do.
Steve in the 407
Had not been following, great news if this holds. Last thing we need in that office is a charter school shill.
Lost 2 of 7 in Illinois as well. Those are the high-tax high-property-value states where the tax “cut” helped the filthy rich but screwed the merely well off. Not that I’m bitter.
Maybe in Balloon Juice 9.1 we’ll get upvotes,
Until then, ?
Gin & Tonic
@Steeplejack: That is barbaric orthography.
Well, I was impressed reading Dante’s Paradiso, that he had the idea of what it would be like to travel on the beam of light that corresponds to what you are seeing. At least that is how I looked at, knowing that Einstein had also wondered what the world looked like if you are traveling on a beam of light.
The imagery in Paradiso is mostly vision related.
@Brachiator: Reagan also had a huge recession his first two years caused by paul Volcker bringing down inflation from 15%? to more reasonable values, and the economy was booming in 1984 – thanks to unpaid for tax cuts and massive militray spending, plus recovery from the recession.
Trump has had very good economic times his first two years.
@Gin & Tonic:
I report, you decide. It has been probably 30 years since I read the book, but I think part of Davis’s meditation on the topic was about variations in source materials (in several languages) and changes in academic style (as in everything else). Perhaps similar to Pekin/Peking/Beijing, etc.
You have to admit…