There was a young man from Clyde
who fell down an out house and died
His unfortunate brother
fell down another
Now they're interred side by side
This limerick was a favourite of a reverend. It's to be feared that he did not get the pun in the last line...
Lots of limericks in The Lure of the Limerick, by William Stuart Baring-Gould. It goes in and out of print, but it might be in your local library. Yes, even in this day of the Internet, there are still gems to be found at the library.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The Fifth International
is the name given to a socialist model, still under elaboration. The Fourth was developed by Leon Trotsky. Some say the call for a fifth implies a Trotskyite basis, while others say the fifth is a rejection of the fourth and Trotskyism. As the late capitalist organ Punch would say, "You pays your money, you takes your choices". Of course, art continued to exist under the socialists and is still available for viewing. Naturally they wouldn't allow anything decadent or counter-revolutionary, although this didn't stop the subversives. Are you looking at things we don't want you to look at? Are you thinking what we don't want you to think? What about fractals, they ok? I got my mind right, boss!
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Many galaxies await. Just like for Arthur C. Clarke's "Star Child". It's all there for you to see and cross once more of your own volition... Clarke hosted a special on fractals a few years ago which included commentary from many well known scientists and mathematicians, Benoit Mandelbrot and Stephen Hawking among them.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Year of the Rat
2008, the Year of the Rat. The story is that the Jade Emperor invited the animals for a party. The first 12 to arrive were the Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and lastly, the Pig. Why was the rat first? The animals had to cross a celestial river, and the Rat asked the Ox to ferry him across. When they arrived on the other side, the Rat jumped down off the Ox's head, touching ground first, and that's how he gained first spot in the order of the Chinese zodiac, much to the Ox's chagrin.
In a similar vein, can you imagine if the second man on the moon had pushed past the first to take top spot in the history books?! Most unseemly. Not that there's much room to do anything on those lunar vehicles. I saw one at a museum and the occupants have very little space to maneuvre.
In this fractal, the rat is looking at you over his shoulder. You can make out his eyes and ears and nose, with a little imagination, and his hind quarters, as though he's just jumped down off the Ox's head and is looking back.
Happy New Year to all!