Archive for February, 2009

09w09:1 Shakespeare's Blog Part X

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February 25th
Money money. My presents are not enough (the bolt of silk, the dress of taffetas, the mask encrusted with brilliants). WS, prospering man of affairs, gives gold. Prices are so high, she says. It is on account of the crops failing last year. What does she like best to eat? Mutton stewed tender in spices, coughing with pepper. Odi et amo. Her smell, rank and sweet, repels my sense and drives me to madness. (And all the time poor Richard jogs on toward his foul death. Roan Barbary I have called her: that horse that thou so often hast bestrid, that horse that I so carefully have dressed. Then I see the twoness. She harps still on Burbage, a proper man. Well, that Bolingbroke shall never ride her).

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p. 151)

09w07:2 Shakespeare's Blog Part IX

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February 14th

This is St Valentine’s Day, twittering feast of the low-bending blessing bird-bishop. Tawny bird with white bird on couch close-lying. Ah God, what fluttering tweeting tricks she has already taught me, lore and crissum and alula aflame. We fly, I swear we have flown, I swear we have taken wing and soared through a ceiling that has become all jellied air and floated then among puce and auriferous nebulae. It is the glorification of the flesh, the word made flesh. She calls down strange gods with strange names: Heitsi-eibib and Gunputty and Vitzilipuztli and four archangels surrounding the god of the Musulmans. In a fever I take to my play-making and theatre business. I write my few lines of Richard in despair of the power of words. I force myself to a mood of hatred of her and of what we do together, making myself believe that I am brought low and soon must come to ruin. I cleave my brain, writing of England’s past, a cold chronicler that sees how all this will fit the nation’s present temper, and at the same time a silken Turk on a divan. Her servants leer at me, my growing thinness, the black shadows below my eyes. I ask her to come to my lodgings, it is better so. In her bedchamber (I remember that past August) I am too aware of padding feet without, fancy the locked door not truly locked or full of eyes in knotholes. She says she will come.

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p. 150-51)

09w07:1 The Cdn Banks

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What I remember seeing on the news a decade ago is the crowd at the corner of Bay and King with protest-signs, demanding that Chrétien’s government (through his Finance Minister Paul Martin) allow Canadian banks to merge. What I remember thinking was that this crowd was merely the office minions ordered out to the street by their superiors, and found it appalling. Chrétien and Martin turned them down. A decade later, this has worked out to our advantage. – Timothy

Worthwhile Canadian Initiative | Fareed Zakaria
“Canada has done more than survive this financial crisis. The country is positively thriving in it. Canadian banks are well capitalized and poised to take advantage of opportunities that American and European banks cannot seize. The Toronto Dominion Bank, for example, was the 15th-largest bank in North America one year ago. Now it is the fifth-largest. It hasn’t grown in size; the others have all shrunk. So what accounts for the genius of the Canadians? Common sense.”

Bank Mergers | The Council of Canadians
“In 1998, four of Canada’s biggest banks proposed to merge. The deals would have meant the loss of thousands of Canadian jobs and the closure of hundreds of local branches across the country. The Council launched a well-publicized cross-country campaign to convince federal Finance Minister Paul Martin to reject the proposed mergers and bring greater accountability to the banking industry. The Finance Minister ruled against the mergers on December 14, 1998.”

Canadian Bank Mergers Decision: Finance Minister Rejects Bank Merger Proposals: Dateline: 12/14/98
“It’s official. Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin has rejected the proposed mergers of the Royal Bank with the Bank of Montreal and CIBC with the Toronto-Dominion Bank. […] The four banks have been using the line ‘the status quo is not acceptable’ to push their case for mergers. Martin has turned that around to say the status quo must be changed before bank mergers are considered. To that end, the government plans to develop a new policy framework for the financial sector in Canada. It will probably take at least a year. The new framework is expected to include a new review process for major bank merger proposals. It is likely the new process will require merger proposals to meet the same conditions though.”

The ‘new framework of above’ resulted in a 2003 report, in which the Progressive Conservatives (later enveloped by the Reform to become The Conservatives and Canada’s present government under Stephen Harper) argued that the Liberals should allow the mergers to go ahead:

Large Bank Mergers in Canada: Safeguarding the Public Interest for Canadians and Canadian Businesses: Report of the Standing Committee on Finance: Depoliticization of Bank Mergers Must Occur: Supplementary Opinion of the Progressive Conservative Party
Link March 2003
“The Progressive Conservative Party calls on the Liberal government to stop delaying and to stop playing politics with this very important issue; failing to do so will further disrupt the ability of Canada’s financial institutions to develop and execute sound business strategies that will allow them to grow and expand, creating opportunity and prosperity for Canadians. -Scott Brison, M.P. Progressive Conservative Finance Critic”

Postscript: Scott Brison is now a member of the Liberal Party.

09w06:4 Shakespeare's Blog VIII

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February 6th
At work on this new play of Richard II and have Holinshed and Marlowe’s Edward before me. Ah, dead Kit, long rotted, long worm-eaten. How long has any one of us? By the Minories this morning was found, thrown into the kennel, bloody, stripped, robbed, a man I have seen oft about, a decent merchant called Gervis or some such name, now dead and his poor body dishonoured. I take to the drinking of a little sweet wine to dispel the vapours that clouds my brains. Soon I am on my way to her, determined on boldness. The little wine has become much. I am come, I tell her, to read verse to her. She is in a loose lawn gown, her arms and shoulders bare to the great seacoal fire. She will listen. Listen, then. Here is the Roman poet Catullus. You know no Latin but I will English it. Let us live, my Lesbia, and love (who is dis Lesvia? – She is the poet’s mistress.)…Suns may set and rise again. For us, when once the brief light has set, there is left for our sleeping the sleep of one endless night. Ah, the horror of that, Lesbia (Fatimah, I would say), is in the very sound of the Latin: nox est perpetua una dormienda. She shudders. So what den do dey do? Oh, he asks for a thousand kisses, then a hundred, then another thousand, then a second hundred, then another thousand again, then a hundred. Mx Cx Mx Cx Mx Cx. Thousands and hundreds of kisses in sweetest alternation. Dat is a many kisses.

-Do you kiss in your country?

-We kiss not as you do. We have what is called de chium. It is done wid de nose.

-Show me.

-Nay, dat I may not.

-I beseech you.

She shyly places her delicate splay-nose on my left cheek and ploughs up once and down once, as she were new-making the furrow already there.

-Ah, that is good, but an English kiss is better.

So saying, I seize her in mine arms and place my lips on hers. It is like no English kiss I have ever known: her lips are neither a rosebud nor a thin predatory line; they are full and fleshy, like some strange fruit or flower of her Indies. Her teeth are well forward, set like a palisade to forbid the melting of a close kiss. I bring my mouth away from hers and set it to kissing the cool-warm brown smoothness of her shoulder. But she will have none of this and yet she will; she pushes and pulls me toward-away from her. So now it is to me to say:

-I love thee, by God I do. My love my love I love thee.

-I love not dee.

And then she thrusts me away with more power and strength than I had thought possible to reside in such slenderness. But now I am whetted and will not desist. I clasp her and she batters me with little golden fists, crying at me in her own tongue. She cannot prevail and so she bites toward me, her tiny white teeth snapping at the air. So it is needful that I bear down upon her, drawing, as it were, the teeth of her biting in a great disabling kiss, the while I hold her to me as I would engraft her on to my body. And so soon she yields.

Soon? Very soon. I see soon that she knows all. She is no tyro in this game. I feel that disappointment that all men know when they discover they are not the first, and disappointment makes a kind of anger which makes a kind of savagery. But I possess her in a terrible joy, the appetite growing with the act of feeding, which astonishes me. And in the end I coldly see that I have a mistress. And a very rare one.

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p. 148-50)

09w06:3 Shakespeare's Blog Part VII

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February 2nd
It is the birthday of Hamnet and Judith and I have not been home this long time. But I have sent news and also money. I am busy here, I am much occupied, I am working for them, am I not? Aye, much occupied; be true to thyself if not to others. I ask her about her present life but she will tell me little. What does she seek, what does she wish from this life? She does not know. Surely love, I say; surely we all wish love, the pleasure of love and the strong fort of love’s protection. She does not know. I ask what name I may call her by now, for I cannot madam her so in perpetuity. Her true name, she says, is Fatimah. Kissing both her hands in leaving I let my lips linger. She does not draw her hands away.

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p. 148)

09w06:2 Each pixel is a world of memory

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Each dark pixel is a world of memory, each a funneled singularity responsible for the regulated geometrical structures that surround them. – Timothy


09w06:1 We are quantum interactions on the edges of the universe

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Personally I just think we’re mathematical equations provided with the delusion of sensory experience to perceive ourselves as three dimensional beings delimited by physicalities. But that’s just me. – Timothy

Our world may be a giant hologram | Marcus Chown
15 January 2009 New
“For many months, the GEO600 team-members had been scratching their heads over inexplicable noise that is plaguing their giant detector. Then, out of the blue, a researcher approached them with an explanation. In fact, he had even predicted the noise before he knew they were detecting it. According to Craig Hogan, a physicist at the Fermilab particle physics lab in Batavia, Illinois, GEO600 has stumbled upon the fundamental limit of space-time – the point where space-time stops behaving like the smooth continuum Einstein described and instead dissolves into “grains”, just as a newspaper photograph dissolves into dots as you zoom in. ‘It looks like GEO600 is being buffeted by the microscopic quantum convulsions of space-time,’ says Hogan. If this doesn’t blow your socks off, then Hogan, who has just been appointed director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics, has an even bigger shock in store: ‘If the GEO600 result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram.'”

A comment & write-up:

The Resolution of the Reality Hologram | The Daily Galaxy (22 Jan)
“In intellectual terms, though, this should raise so many fascinating questions you’ll never need TV again. While in the extreme earliest stages, with far more work to go before anyone can draw any conclusions, this is some of the most mind-bending metaphysical science you’ll ever see. Are we real, or are we quantum interactions on the edges of the universe – and is that just as real anyway?”


Atoms of Space and Time | Lee Smolin (Jan 2004 Scientific American)