Sunday meanderings.

Screen Shot 1.pngIt seems a characteristic of some Anglo-Catholic priests that they feel the need to flay their congregations alive, perhaps for ‘sins of omission’ concerning the use of appropriate prayers and meditations for the day, or their disinclination to turn up for Mass. You can’t really blame them, can you, since many of their Protestant brethren from the enthusiastic antisemite Martin Luther downwards do likewise. Everyone might do well to remember that every time “hamartia” (= “sin”) is used in Luke’s gospel, it is with “apheimi” (= “forgiveness”).
My own views on such silly nonsense are well known to those who are misguided enough to allow me room to express them. I don’t think I could have gone as far as John Bunyan, born an itinerant tinker, whose statue stands proudly in Bedford and who spent twelve years in Bedford jail for his outspokenness. Apart from early propensities to command puddles to ‘be ye dry’, subsequently he wrote in scathing terms against the liturgy of the Church of England. No two things, according to him, had less affinity than the form of prayer and the spirit of prayer. Those who have most of the spirit of prayer are all to be found in jail, and those who have most zeal for the form of prayer are all to be found at the alehouse. H’m.

Leonardo again

Floor van Lamoen, mentioned this on the Geometry Puzzles newsgroup
I think it’s fascinating. The grid shows a red 8×3 triangle a smaller green one and two purple and yellow shapes of area 8 and 7. Rearranging the pattern seems to leave one square missing. I wonder why…? Clever, innit.. The same trick can be applied with other Fibonacci configurations sometimes with one square too many, at other times one square too few

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There’s no place like home….

Home. Mi casa, su casa. I am a little tired of living out of a suitcase, and feel rather like the tortoises in next door’s garden, home being where the legs give way.
The inscription to Psalm 84 is “according to The Gittith” which is thought to be an eight-stringed instrument very much like a guitar. Talented chap, King David. Might have been fun to pick along with, particularly since he seemed so in touch with God. When he talked about the ‘dwelling place’ of God, he meant the Temple, the building in Jerusalem where Shekinah was. The word is feminine..interesting, that. In the holy of holies within the Temple was a strange and mysterious light which marked the presence of God. Back to Holy Fire again. I was with a friend the other day, playing a few riffs on my old guitar, and got quite caught up in a song I hadn’t heard for a long time; ‘Outrageous Grace’.. my small Holy of Holies for that moment, finding the ‘dwelling place’…

Here’s the lyrics, in case you’ve forgotten them. Thanks to Godfrey Birtill

THERE’S A LOT OF PAIN, but a lot more healing
There’s a lot of trouble but a lot more peace
There’s a lot of hate but a lot more loving
There’s a lot of sin but a lot more grace

Oh outrageous grace
oh outrageous grace
Love unfurled by heaven’s hand
Oh outrageous grace
oh outrageous grace
Through my Jesus I can stand

There’s a lot of fear but a lot more freedom
There’s a lot of darkness but a lot more light
There’s a lot of cloud but a lot more vision
There’s a lot of perishing but a lot more life
There’s an enemy
That seeks to kill what it can’t control
It twists and turns
Making mountains out of molehills
But I will call on my Lord
Who is worthy of praise
I run to Him and I am saved

Ah, well. Ramblings over for another night.

The Solent at night.

First spring day of the year, and a gentle eventide amble along the beach, the lights of the Isle of Wight over the water and few pedestrians. Fishermen optimistically set out their tackle on unforgiving shingle and boy racers with low profile tyres and underfloor neon lights practise handbrake turns in the car park, to the annoyance of the local citizenry. Ran across three children of indeterminate preadolescent age wanting to bum cigarettes in exchange for a swig of cider. At the risk of stifling latent entrepreneurial talent, I declined. Passing a totally empty amusement arcade, the weeping buboe on every British seafront, I was glad I wasn’t paying the electricity bill. Loud, presumably inviting music was piped to a waiting multitude of about half a dozen pipistrelles who swooped and wheeled, obviously trying to outfly the noise. It’s sunny in the picture, which is rare.

Brother Leonardo

Leonardo who? No, not him, the Mona Lisa bloke, the other one. Fibonacci, probably the greatest mathematician of the thirteenth century. This is him, a bit girly, but he was only 22. I’m a big fan. Freshly baptised in the ‘new’ Indo-Arabic numerology, him having travelled a bit because his dad was a diplomat, the first thing he did was to think about rabbits.
“Suppose a newly-born pair of rabbits, one male, one female, are put in a field. Rabbits are able to mate at the age of one month so that at the end of its second month a female can produce another pair of rabbits. Suppose that the rabbits live for ever and that the female always produces one new pair (one male, one female) every month from the second month on. How many pairs will there be in one year? “
Counting in months then, we’ve got:
1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34 (September 1st already…),55,89,144,233…
Fascinating, isn’t it.You all can see the pattern and could easily find out the next number in the series.. Dividing the next larger by the previous settles down to a MAGIC number, phi, the Golden Ratio, 1·618034 . More fun here than you can shake a stick at.
I shall return later with some amusing divertimenti around the golden ratio…. In particular, concerning cauliflowers, bees and what not.

Freezing in Portsmouth

Welcome back. When it goes pearshaped the pears are hard and very unripe. For deep, inscrutable and almost labyrinthine reasons, I find myself back in the UK for a season, the season being the British summer. As we speak, the clouds lour (good word), presaging rain. Again. The cheerful young women on the BBC are insouciant and regard daytime temperatures of 13 degrees Celsius as entirely reasonable, which defies comprehension. I have as it is said here, ‘ne’er cast a clout’, May not being out yet; instead have piled on the ‘clouts’ and wish I had more.
Work tomorrow at a somewhat unprepossessing but necessary environment in order to earn a crust, cigarettes being of such a cost that loans and mortgages are required to fund the evil habit. Ergh.
A colder, smaller and less expensive resonance of Dubai, the image is of the Spinnaker Tower ( one ‘n’ or two, dependent on preference, it would seem) from whose lofty heights views over the Solent are incomparable. Except when it rains. I am advised the structure went astronomically over budget, which is comforting. So did the Millennium Bridge, the Channel Tunnel and the Welsh Assembly Building. Give these people calculators. A colleague with a history degree informs me (somewhat loftily) that the Palace of Westminster was similarly afflicted in the nineteenth century. Perhaps calculators are not required, merely a more robust economic worldwiew.