Thursday, December 29, 2005

Math Made Easy

Everyone's a natural born mathematician

More from Devlin's Math Gene: "Negative numbers were first used by 6th century Indian mathematicians, who denoted a negative quantity by drawing a circle around the number, but negative numbers were not fully accepted by European mathematicians until the early 18th century."

Ambidextrous amblygons amble ambiguously.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bad Math Joke

more excerpts from The Math Gene, by Keith Devlin:

"Our present number system was developed over 2,000 years by the Hindus, reached essentially its present form in the sixth century, and was introduced into the West by Arabic mathematicians in the seventh century."

Instead of a sentence today, I present to you my own made up bad math joke:

Q. What do you get when you have sex with Al Gore?

A. algorithm hehe!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Old Math Problem

This week a math theme; excerpts from The Math Gene, by Keith Devlin:

"...Sumerian accounting tablets are the earliest known writing system, which means that the use of markings to denote numbers preceded the use of markings to denote words."

In summer's murk, a dark murmur, succumbs the mind.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

December activities

December was a fairly active month. Although I suspect that the next week will be a dead-zone, between holiday stupor.

Some fun things I did for December:

12/3- Fungus Fair at the Oakland Museum- this was my second year seeing this. The Oakland Museum is quite fun, but I always forget. The highlight was sniffing some the mushrooms and looking at lichens under the microscope.

12/7- Lecture by Keith Devlin for the Ask-a-scientist series. This was the first time I attended one of these, although I have been quite curious. Mr. Devlin talked about his new book- The Math Instinct-which looks at how animals & humans perform math instinctively. Quite a fascinating subject, plus the place was totally crowded with neighborhood types, geeky types and the generally intellectually curious. I had to stand and drink my red wine.

12/8- Lecture presented by the San Francisco Naturalist Society at the Randall Museum.
John Dillon-The Heydey of Natural History- here's a little description I stole about the lecture:

Never has the status of science been held in higher esteem and the public taken a bigger interest in natural history than during the mid-19th century in America and Britain. This was a time of great voyages of discovery, when fabulous fossil beasts were first unearthed and put on public display. Most of today's renowned science museums, including the California Academy of Sciences, were established amid this enchantment with natural history. No middle- class home was thought complete without a display of butterfly collections or stuffed birds. John Dillon, Science Director at the Randall Museum and President of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers, will explore the nature and extent of this fervor and how Charles Darwin's Origin of Species influenced it.

Overall- interesting- Mr. Dillon's powerpoint presentation was suprisingly good. The vibe was serious and cold- cold basement and metal folding chairs- no wine. The SFNS could have some rockin' events if they liven it up a little. But of course, I plan to attend future lectures.

12/17- Adobe Bookshop- Art opening- Liz Walsh & John Chiara- Music, art, books, cheap wine, how much better can it get? The music was a great counterpoint to my book browsing, and yes I bought a couple of books- Trees of Golden Gate Park and San Francisco and Freud's Vienna & Other Essays - plus I liked the music- events at Adobe are always enjoyable.

12/21- From the darkness, solace- at the Oakland Columbarium, Chapel of the Chimes- Many stages of "experimental and improvisational" music- wander around in the near dark among the ashes of the dead. I've gone the the Summer Solstice events here for the last two years. This event was smaller- but just as enjoyable, between the strange music which floats along this amazing building, and the little encounters one has.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


"I am alone so I dream of the being who has cured my solitude, who would be cured by solitudes. With its life, it brought me the idealizations of life, all the idealizations which give life a double, which lead life toward it summits, which make the dreamer too live by splitting..." -Gaston Bachelard Poetics of Reverie

limbus in,
the clear lacustrine
shines beneath

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Berry Paradox

"Once a street is well equipped to handle strangers, once it has both a good, effective demarcation between private and public spaces and has a basic supply of activity and eyes, the more strangers the merrier." - Jane Jacobs The Death and Life of Great American Cities

more hendecasyllabic "poems"

a replacement for
writing a novel

Monday, December 19, 2005


"Thus on the threshhold of our space, before the era of our own time, we hover between awareness of being and loss of being. And the entire reality of memory becomes spectral." - Gaston Bachelard Poetics of Space

This week, instead of sentences I will present some hendecayllabic "poems";
that is, little writings made of eleven syllables:

of belligerent

Friday, December 16, 2005


"Henceforth, the visionary experience arises from the black and white surface of printed signs, from the closed and dusty volume that opens with a flight of forgotten words; fantasies are carefully deployed in the hushed library, with its columns of books, with its titles aligned on shelves to form a tight enclosure, but within confines that also liberate impossible worlds. The imaginary now resides between the book and the lamp." - Michel Foucault from Forward to the Temptation of St. Anthony - by Flaubert

Rain feigns affection, after disaffected kisses laid dried and bitter on the lips.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


"He was taciturn and dreamy, sombre and gloomy; he had only one idea, one love, one passion: books. And this love, and this passion inflamed him within, consumed his days, devoured his whole life." - Flaubert, from Bibliomania

Embers whitened by the pale reflection of the seething sun.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

art gallery shakedown!

For a moment- away from a sentence- mostly because I have not come up with one today.
Instead I bring a few "reviews" of 3 art openings I 've been to this month. Since I have only gone to each of these shows once- these are more like "first impressions"-

On Fri. Dec. 2

Stephanie Dean- Sleeping Men photography

I actually like Dean’s work a lot and was looking forward to this show. And it did not disappoint. And as the show is called, was what the subject: men (and boys) sleeping.
I find Dean’s fascination with men, well…fascinating. I’ve seen Dean’s work before and I’m impressed with how she captures her subjects so lushly and yet so naturally. Sleeping men may not sound like a wowee! sort of subject, but seeing these men in various vulnerable poses opens a door that you may not see otherwise.

The vibe- Dean’s photos were exhibited in one corner of a very, VERY large studio, and this night there seemed be like a large scale reception. Lots of people milling around looking at lots of art. Unfortunately I didn’t have time, since I had to head out to SFO to meet someone, so I was in and out. I would liked to have stayed and checked out the rest of the art; people looked like they were having fun- oh well.

The following week- 12/10 Sat. in Oakland

Forty Winks: at Ego Park
video art featuring-
Pascual Sisto
Casey Reas
Chris Musgrave
Adam Marks
Barney Haynes
Sue Costabile
Joshua Clayton
Nate Boyce
Dave Berezin
Scott Arford

The Ego Park website doesn’t seem to work- but you can see the flyer for the show here:

The gallery, which is located in an up and coming hipster part of Oaksterdam, constructed white 3-sided single-viewer cubes to watch the videos which ran about 1-5mn in length. The subject material encompassed a wide array from super-abstract (semiconductor’s 200 nanowebbers & arford’s static) to computery (Reas) to more figurative (people sneezing). I enjoyed the overall exhibition and watched all the videos.

The vibe- super rockin’- it was like one of the best parties I’ve been to all year! There were tons of young oaklander hipster, arty types as well as some of the more established artists. The gallery setup allowed conversations among strangers. Live music in the back along with cheap wine all contributed. Also the viewing cubes created some curious social interactions- I myself, ducked into a few cubes with strangers…quite cool!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


"...(a) story suffused with paranoia and a sense of malediction: an obsessive devotion to books can be murderous, as the mysterious epidemic of deaths in Barcelona that seems to afflict bibliophiles suggests." -Germain Greer from the forward to "Memoirs of a Madman" by Flaubert-it is in reference to the story, Bibliomania

No sentence today, instead a line from a poem I wrote:

Lubricate the pulverulent lucubrate of the critically celibate.

Monday, December 12, 2005


"My gaze is focused on the mouldering mosses of the soul." -Flaubert via Mario Vargas Llosa The Perpetual Orgy

also from Llosa's book, on Flaubert: "...he got himself a 'bellyful of colors' in the Orient- contracted syphilis, began to lose his hair, and approached his thirtieth birthday."

and my sentence:

I adore the arbor with its ardous boughs entertwined; and its shadows thrown below.

Yesterday I finished reading Flaubert's Memoirs of a Madman (which included Biliomania). Its a very early work and is quite influenced by the Symbolist style. Mostly internal and very much focused on one image- of a love object. Although this theme will be the same in Madame Bovary, his approach of objectivity is not present in Memoirs. Bibliomania a very short and strange tale. Similar to the stories in Sa-Carneiro which I had read a month earlier.

Friday, December 09, 2005


"Like all fugutive effects, clouds require the presence of a validating observer." -Richard Hamblyn Invention of Clouds (on the life of Luke Howard)

Cascading water washed over a sylvan voluptuary as coruscating color crashed into her silver virtue.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


"... experience becomes interpretation, actions becomes metaphor, and the poem in its final form bears the appearance of an intellectual game or exercise." - Wallace Fowlie Mallarm├ę

My sentence:

Her relentless furtive rivalry leaves me weary.

Yesterday I contemplated how I can distill emotions into one to three sentences. Instead of writing poems, essays or rants; simply compress ideas and feelings into a couple sentences.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

vade mecum

"Combinatorial syntax has been documented only in the songs of oscine passerines and in one nonpasserine, but not in the suboscine passerines." -Daniel Leger (First Documentation of Combinatorial Song Syntax in a Suboscine Passerine Species)

my sentence today is really a "poem"

Lagomorph Haiku

ridiculously cuniculous
ears everywhere

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


"medicine is my legal spouse, whilst literature is my mistress. When I get tired of one, I go and sleep with the other." -Anton Chekhov

"We are left improvising distractedly, unable to discern our own destinies, unconvinced by our own performances, but hoping that we will be seen by other people as more exciting than we know we really are. " - Louis de Bernieres (from the Forward to Chekhov's Story of Nobody)

Monday, December 05, 2005


"...makes its way out of the shadows of feeling into the regions of language and of light." - Stefan Zweig (on Holderlin)

my "carefully drawn sentence" of the day, inspired by the book, Mauve*, which I am currently reading.

A marvelous mauve masquerade parades down mysterious mesonoxian avenues.

*Simon Garfield

Friday, December 02, 2005


"The delicate predator with anemone eyes." - Remy de Gormont (Angels of Perversity)

my sentence for today-

"I disappeared; a lambent memory in the night sky of his remembrance. "

The past week, I've been considering the complications of my previous relationship.
Relationships perplexes life; to love though, should be natural and simple. I found someone easy to love, I feel extremely grateful for this. As for the previous love, it will never be understood, I suspect. And never really resolved, it is what it was.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


" there is a lot of terror in our lives but...then there are these moments, flying over somewhere in the latter Midwest...seeing mountains below covered with snow under a sunset with indescribable layers of colour...

I remember having experiences like this with you"
~ Mic Gendreau


in and of themselves, don't reveal very much- but maybe over a time frame- can say something.
Anyway, lists are a good way to try to structure understanding- perhaps, or least something to write about.

Notable activities for Nov.:

11/14- Joe Colley, Ken Atchley - sound art performance- CCA San Francisco
11/17- 3rd Thursdays - CA Hotspot- Cal. Academy of Science
11/19- MK9, NF Orchestra, C. Musgrave - SF Warehouse
11/23- Konvolve Techno party- SF Warehouse
11/26- Fishtank- "gypsy flavor" band- Mama Buzz Cafe, Oakland
11/30- Artur ┼╗mijewski and Philip Zimbardo- lecture- CCA