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  • feedwordpress 08:01:22 on 2018/03/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Pi Day, ,   

    “All numbers are by their nature correct. Well, except for Pi, of course. I can’t be doing with Pi. Gives me a headache just thinking about it, going on and on and on and on and on…”*… 


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    It’s Pi Day!

    In celebration, a few amusing– and illuminating– links:

    The history of pi

    Pi day magic revealed

    10 stunning images show the beauty hidden in pi

    The history of Pi Day

    How to Memorize Pi if You’re a Word Person (from whence, the image above)

    * Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys

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    As we enumerate endlessly, we might pause for a piece of pi(e)…

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    … in celebration of Albert Einstein’s birthday; he was born on this date in 1879.

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    “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:02 on 2016/03/14 Permalink
    Tags: , Douglas Coupland, , , , Merleau-Ponty, phenomenology, , Pi Day,   

    “To me there is no past or future in art. If a work of art cannot live always in the present it must not be considered at all.”*… 


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    Douglas Coupland, “Slogans for the 21st Century”

    … Evangelical Christians look to the book of Revelations for clues as to what’s to come next; the secular world looks to contemporary art, which seems to operate in a world that has calcified into a self-propagating MFA‑ocracy as orthodox as any extremist religion. But when did making art and foretelling the future become the same thing? What’s the rush? The rush is already coming at us quickly enough. The future of art has to be something that will give us bit of slow. And I hope that it happens quickly…

    From an essay by artist and novelist/essayist Douglas Coupland, “What is the Future of Art?

    * Pablo Picasso

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    As we celebrate, on 3.14.16, both Pi Day and Einstein’s birthday, we might send ontological birthday greetings to Maurice Merleau-Ponty; he was born on this date in 1908.  a phenomenological philosopher who was strongly influenced by Husserl and Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty wrote about perception, art, and politics in the service of understanding the constitution of human experience and meaning.  He served on the editorial board of Sartre’s Les Temps modernes.  His work has been widely influential, from Hubert Dreyfus’s use of Merleau-Ponty’s thought in the seminal What Computers Can’t Do, to the rise of French, then European feminism.  At his death (in 1961) he was working towards an understanding of “Ecophenomenology,” suggesting in notes left behind the need for “a radically transformed understanding of ‘nature'”:  “Do a psychoanalysis of Nature: it is the flesh, the mother… Nature as the other side of humanity (as flesh, nowise as ‘matter’).” 

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:13 on 2015/03/14 Permalink
    Tags: Cat People, , , Jacques Tourneur, , Pi Day, , RKO, , , Val Lewton   

    “It’s funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen”*… 


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    The 70s began with a wave of dystopian sci-fi and culminated with Star Wars and the birth of the modern blockbuster. The British Film Institute has collected some of the decade’s most stunning posters; see them at “The Best 70s Sci-Fi Film Posters.”

    (Then move into the 80s here…)

    * “Alex” (Malcolm McDowell), A Clockwork Orange

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    As we prop our eyes open, we might spare a thought for Vladimir Ivanovich Leventon– or, as he was better known, Val Lewton; he died on this date in 1951.  Having washed out as a journalist as a young man, Lewton wrote a best-selling pulp novel No Bed of Her Own (later used for the film No Man of Her Own, with Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.  He parlayed that success into a job at MGM, where he got close to David O. Selznick, working as Selznick’s assistant (and as an uncredited writer on Gone With the Wind).

    But it at his next job, as head of RKO’s horror department (from 1942-46), that Lewton made his mark.  The job was well-paid, but came with three conditions: each film had to come in under a $150,000 in cost, each was to run under 75 minutes, and his supervisors would supply the film titles.  His first feature was Cat People, released in 1942 (and rooted in Lewton’s own gatophobia).  Directed by Jacques Tourneur, who subsequently also directed I Walked With a Zombie (loosely based on Jane Eyre!) and The Leopard Man for Lewton, Cat People cost $134,000, but earned nearly $4 million– the top moneymaker for RKO that year.

    Lewton’s early horror films were artistic as well as commercial successes; they are now widely-admired classics– almost Jacobean in their skillful cultivation of tension and powerful use of off-screen menace and violence.  But he was a victim of his own success.  Pushed to move on to A films, Lewton floundered, never recovering the artistic (nor the box office) success that he achieved in the looser world of B movies.

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    Happy Pi Day!… 

     

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:34 on 2014/03/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , hole-in-one, , knee, perfect round, , Pi Day, putt, Putt Putt,   

    “You drive for show but putt for dough”*… 


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    “Everybody has their one thing that they’re good at, and if you ever find it, you want to stick with it.”
    —Rick Baird

    On April 9, 2011, at a tournament in Richmond, Virginia, an IT manager named Rick Baird notched 18 straight hole-in-one shots to record a perfect putt-putt score. In more than 50 years of sanctioned competition, it was just the third time that anyone had achieved the feat.

    Putt-putt is different from miniature golf. It’s played only on official courses; there are no pirate ships, no windmills, and no holes that cannot be conquered with one stroke — if you execute the perfect shot. On that day in 2011, Baird executed the perfect shot 18 times in a row.

    Via Grantland

    * Bobby Locke

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    As we address the ball, we might recall that it was on this date in 1997 that president Bill Clinton underwent surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital to repair the quadriceps tendon of his right knee.  An avid golfer, Clinton had injured his knee at 1:20 that morning when he slipped down some stairs at Australian professional golfer Greg Norman’s house.  Clinton’s surgeon later reported that the president’s primary concern after the surgery was when he would again be able to “swing a golf club.”  Upon his return to the links, Clinton continued to improve his game, and once remarked that he was the only president to trim his handicap while in office; it stood at 15 when he left the White House.

    President Clinton on the links in 1995

    source

    Happy 3.14–  Pi Day!

    And Happy Einstein’s Birthday!

     
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