Monday, April 13, 2015

Augury


Birds,     stre eeea      K       ing
                                     across the sky .  .       .            .
Right to left, or left to right?
To the Romans,  that meant something.
But we (O tempora)  have lost the key.

To me, it means  one thing only:
God’s in his Heaven -- all’s right with the world !!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Coraghessanian monostich




~
~         ~

warm as a featherbed  with a good wife and two dogs in it
~        ~
~




[From World’s End.  More, D.V., anon.
Note how the connotation of "good" is subtley altered in this context.]

The Justice Department gets tough


Yep, high time to crack down:

The Justice Department sent a memo to all its employees Friday warning them that eating bananas is a violation of department policy, whether off duty or on. The caution follows recent allegations that Food and Drug Administration agents had “make your own banana split parties” with agricultural laborers hired by local agribusiness cartels in Colombia.


Latina temptress

“Regardless of whether bananas are legal or tolerated in a particular jurisdiction,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. wrote, “consuming bananas or other forbidden fruit creates a greater demand for human trafficking victims and a consequent increase in the number of minor and adult persons trafficked into commercial fruit-picking slavery.”
-- http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/justice-department-warns-employees-Move….Away…from_that_Banana…

An off-duty federal agent


Further details here:  Bananas, scourge of the Americas.

Report all violations to law-enforcement authorities immediately


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Acronym of the Day: UMPS


This is a term used in particular by supporters of the FN (Front National), a blend of UMP (the center-right party of the shady exhibitionist Sarkozy) and PS (the Parti Socialo of the ineffable Francois Hollande).  These have been the traditional adversaries in French national politics  for many years, passing the sceptre of office back and forth from time to time, to little effect as regards such key questions as national identity and unchecked immigration.  The point of the hippogriffic acronym is to suggest, in the immortal phrase of the Le-Pen-ish George Wallace back when he nursed Presidential aspirations, that there wasn’t a “dime’s worth of difference” between the two major parties.   An American analogue to the blend is Republicrat.


This business of never have a practical choice between the two major parties (Democrats & Republicans in USA, UMP and PS in France) is called in French l’altérnance.   In the run-up to the recent départementales,  there has been much disenchantment with the ruling Socialistes, and increasing acrimony between PS and UMP, so that FN chief Marine Le Pen wisecracked that her party might this time enjoy the role of “troisième larron” -- literally ‘third thief’, but meaning tertium gaudens.
But it was not to be:  the FN trailed third, though the PS received a well-deserved thwacking.


~

There is an unfortunate sociohistorical dynamic that repeats itself, whenever there is a swelling elephant in the room, which the major parties studiously ignore;  any allusion to this pachydermal presence  is quickly suppressed.   To ignore the tacit gag order is to risk social and even legal sanctions. In such cases, some percentage of those who wish to found a third party to deal with the problem head-on, are those who  in any case  have little to lose, being marginalized in one way or another -- which reinforces the marginalization of the party as a whole.
In the case of the FN, the policy statements and public presence of Marine herself  have been exemplary, far more adult than those of Taubira or DSK.   But the press can always dig up some Anhänger or other, with louche views, to highlight, and to tar the party with that brush.  Lately, one of the problem children has been Jean-Marie Le Pen himself, who enjoys (in his old age -- a sort of hobby) playing the provocateur.   Alarmed, there have been repeated calls for Marine to expel her father from the Front National -- the very party he founded.  (Uncomfortable echos of Goneril and Lear.)

Daddy ... Daddy ...    One of us has to die ....



[Update 9 April 2015]  So:  The daughter has now publically called her father out.  His riposte:

We shall see, then, whether the upshot prove to be parricide, or filicide.

(For our essay on magistricide (intellectual parricide), click here.)


[Update 11 April]  A WaPo blogger offers a chrestomathy of provocative one-lines by European “Euroskeptic” third-party figures:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/05/24/8-ridiculous-racist-things-actually-said-by-far-right-eu-politicians/

The quote from J-M L-P was a reprise of something he had said before, and thus not something to be dismissed as off-mike or off-the-cuff:

En juin 2014, Jean-Marie Le Pen évoque "Monseigneur Ebola", et explique que le virus, qui a aujourd'hui causé la mort de plus de 4000 personnes, pouvait "régler" la question de la surpopulation mondiale et le "risque de submersion de la France par l'immigration"
-- http://www.metronews.fr/info/jean-marie-le-pen-petain-patrick-bruel-roms-chambres-a-gaz-les-pires-derapages/mnjn!1VdenOMHmUVZU/

What to make of such ejaculations?

Consider the background.  In Europe, there is a heavy lid on public discussion of certain subjects.  It follows from sheer physics  that such jets of steam as manage to escape this iron confinement, will tend to be superheated.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Locked Room Mystery (redivivus)


The caterpillar   with shrivelled skin
in a tent of silk    was laid therein.

This crumpled thing,   shrunk like a shroud,
was laid in silk   white as a cloud.

The sons of men   stood round about
warding the worm   should not get out.

Three days they stood   with solemn face,
never eyes wavering   from that place.

Then did they open   that mute cocoon,
and stood amazed:   the worm was gone !

Then some believed   and some did doubt
how that the worm   could have got out.

Yet to the sky   in spiral rings
the new flew forth   on crystal wings.



For a tale of Paschal miracle:
Murphy Makes a Mitzvah

.

Taylor Swift nude pixxx!


Among the challenges for anyone attempting haute vulgarisation in the exact sciences, is the following phenomenon, epigrammatically summed-up by Stephen Hawking:

“Every equation  halves the number of readers.”

Now, blogspot.com helpfully supplies realtime stats;  so we shall test that proposition experimentally.

This post has been up for twenty minutes now, and … lessee … by the meter, it is presently enjoying roughly a million pageviews, based upon the subject-line alone.  (Were we to add an actual photograph, it would probably crash the server.)

Let us then add one equation, and re-sample:

2 + 2 = 4

[Update, twenty minutes later]  Well, even that proved too much for most:  viewership has plummeted by half.
(Rather a simple repellent, that;  like the storefronts that play classical music to shoo away the teenagers.)

Let’s try again, with something more substantial:


Einstein field equation


Whoa -- overkill!  That one knocked out all but a hardy hundred-thousand!

Okay, let’s dial it back:

Fresnel formula

Aww, c’mon, gang, that’s just trig!  But ninety-percent of Web-surfers to this page have just dropped out, leaving a bare thousand.
 
Probably just a statistical fluke.   Let’s try again:


Klein-Gordan

D-d-dang!  Hawking if anything put it too mildly.   Now there are only a sturdy hundred viewing this page.
 
Well, those formulae were all from physics (Hawking's field).   Let’s try again, with one from number-theory:


Riemann zeta function

Alright, end of experiment.   At this moment, there are only a bare ten readers viewing this page.

But these are the readers we want!

~




For many mathy goodies, click here:


.

Words of Wonder


The Blogstats suggest, that many of you enjoy a fine fifty-dollar word,
relished after dinner,
with a good cigar and an aged brandy.

So here is a ... florilegium, of available vocables; 
simply paste one into the search box (upper left)
and enjoy.

aboutness
aetiological
akribia
algebraic geometry
allochthone
amanuenses
amatory
Amazonomachy
anaetiology
anagnorisis
anagogic
analysand
anastomoses
anathemetized
Anglicè
anomie
antecedently
antinomy
πείρων
apocatastasis
apophatic
apophthegm
apophthegmatic
apotheosis
arachnophilic
aspirated
associativity
asyndetically
atavistic
attritely
autological
axiomatics

beguiling
belletristically
bemusement
beyonden
bibliocide
bijection
bivalences
blivit
bricolage
bushmeat
byword

callipygean

See something you like, sailor?


calque
canted
capewise
capybara
catagogic
catchphrase
categoricity
cathexis
chalking
chary
cherubim
chevaliers
chiral
clausules
cleidoic
clerihew
cloacal
cockades
combinatorialist
commutator
compactification
compartmented
complexus
conjugate space
consciencectomy
consilience
contavenient
CONUS
contrapposto
cordate
cortices
cosmogony
counterintuitive
countertransference
coven
craftily
criticasters
cryppies
cryptomelodia
cryptonym
curating

darkling
definiendum
degeneracies
delphic
deontic
desymmetrized
de-transitively
deverbal
dhimmitude
diabolists
diagonalization
differentia
disjecta membra
disputants
dominical
dominionism
doppelgänger
doxology
draught
duality
ducal
duovirpaternity
dustman
dysphemism
dysphemistic

ecdysiast
elative
emerod
empyrean
enantiosemantics

enantiosemantic

ennoösis
enthymeme
entia
epigones
epigrammatize
epiphanically
equinity
equinoctial
equinumerous
erinnyes
eschatological
Euler characteristic
Eve-teasing
excipient
excursus
exfoliation
exiguous
exordium
explicandum
exudation
eyrie

fideism
filicide

filicide


fingerpost
flayed
fleetful
fleischig
florilegium
fluxions
folie à deux
foolscap 
foredoomed
frequentive
fugue
fuite en avant
Formalists

Gallicism
gallinaceous

gallinaceous


gander
gasper
gat
Gedankenexperiment
gematria
geometer
gewgaw
glossoplastic
glurge
goodthink
grand guignol
graphological
gully-washer
guttersnipe

habitus
handmaiden
hapax
heinie
heliology
hemistich
henodemonist 
heteroglossic
heterological 
hippogriff
hocus-pocus 
holograph
holophrastically
homologous
homology
homomorphic
homomorphism
homoousian
homunculus 
huffy
hydrodynamics
hypermasculinity
hyperpower 
hypertask

ictus
ideation 
idiopathic 
Illuminati
impredicative
incontinently 
incunabula 
infra-theological
inkslinger
intensional
interconfessional
intercrural 
interfertile 
intrabuccal
Intuitionist
invisibilia
ipsigeneric
irredenta
Islamistical
isomelodic 
jongleur 
kinesic

labiodental
lamassu
laryngeals
latitudinarian
lemma 
lemmata
leporiform

leporiform


Levant 
lexicogenesis
limbo stick
logicism
logopoeic
louche 
lucubration
Lumpen

magistricide 
majuscularity
marmotic

marmotic


martingale
masque 
Meinongian 
mentation 
meshugaas
metalanguage
metasilience
metrizable 
mindscape 
mindstock
misandrist 
modularity
modus tollens
monocerous
monoglot
monostich 
monotremes

monotreme
mooncalf
morbido
morphophonemically
morphosemantic
multiverse
musicoidal
myrmecologist
mysterian

nates
necessitarian
necromancy
negentropy
nephrophoric
nilpotent 
nisus
nominalism
nonagenarian
noösphere
nosological
noumenon
nugatory 
nunc dimittis
Oahspe
occultation
Ockhamian
off-kilter
oligophreniac 
oneiric
onomastic 
ontological 
oobleck
op
organon
orismological

orthoëpy
ostensive
overactress
overdetermined
oxytone

palindromic
pangolins
paralogism
paronomasia 
paronyms
parsimony
particularist 
pegasizing
pejoration
penguinity
pharyngealized
phenomenalistic
philology 
phlogiston
piffle 
Pigovian 
Pisgah-glimpse
platonistically
plenum 
plosive 
pluralizable
po-faced
pokey
polyglot
polymath 
polytope
postlapsarian 
precisionism
pre-Conciliar 
pre-tiffen
predicatory
proctoscopic
propitiatory 
psycholytic 
psychotropic
puericulture
pyx
qasida 
Realpolitik

Realpolitik

recherché
refulgence
reknitting
renationalization
reticulated
rictus
Robobaby
samizdat
schadenfroh
schlemassel
schrecklichkeit
sciurine

sciurine

scop
self-dual
semiology
seriatim
sesquipedalian
Shabbos goy
shaveling
shave-pate

shavepate


shibboleth
shibilant
shrills
shrovetide
sirreverence
skald
slammer

"the slammer"

smickling
sniffable
snookered
solifugae
solsticial
sophistical
sortal
sotie
Spheniscidae
sublunary
subspace 
subvocalization


Spheniscidae

 
spinosaurus
starvelings
steganography
Strange Attractor
stress-timed
sublated
sublunary
sullage
supersensible
supervened 
supposititious 
supraluminal
surdity
surveyable
swart
syllogistic
symplectic
syncategorematicity
synsemantic
 
tachyons
taciturnity
tarbaby
taxonomic
tensile
tensor product
tetraglossia
tetrasyllabic
tetrameter
theistic
theologoumenon
theometry
theophobes
theriophilia
thrawn
topoi
transfinite
transgalactic
Triduum
triune
troche
twit
umlauts
valetudinarian
viviparous
vocalic
wazzock

wazzock
whipperginnie
winsome
wordsmithery
zeitgeistlich

zoögraphy

And, some (novel, non-lexicalized, or foreign) phrases:

  Banach-Tarski paradox
  labio-ludic

  lèse-shariah
  mother structures
  multimorphemic wordclump
  obligate-anglophone
  red mercury
  repetition compulsion
  salvâ veritate
  sauber getrennt 
  solipsism-à-deux
  sub specie aeternitatis
  takfiricidal aviatrix
  tentacularly octopodal
  tertium gaudens






[Update 23 February 2015]  My colleague Commander Buckwalter writes in:

mot du jour:  « djoumloukiates » 

Début de la fin des djoumloukiates arabes.(بداية نهاية الجملكيات العربية) Liste des dictateurs arabes... au suivant !
... les «djoumloukiates » des pantins-dictateurs...

The term caught my attention because it appears to be used mostly in Algeria (first used by someone writing for lequotidienalgerie.org, whose article was reposted on other Algerian sites). Evidently the term was coined by Saad Eddin Ibrahim around 2002. Juan Cole got the etymology half right: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/saads_revolution_20110131


Not related, but amusing: To defeat robots, websites post things like:
    Are you Human? 8+9= You must enter the number 17 in the box below. 
which strikes me as something a robot can easily solve.

That last is disturbing.  Such elementary challenges were put to defeat limited webbot intelligence;  but apparently humans themselves can no longer be relied upon to solve things like “8 + 9 =”.