What is God?

“The relationship between our knowledge and God is the same as that between a polygon and the circumference into which it is drawn: as the sides of the polygon gradually increase, it comes closer and closer to circumference, but the polygon and the circumference will never be the same. God, said Nicholas (of Cusa), is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.”

…excerpts from Inventing the Enemy by Umberto Eco

the book I’m now reading.

I just finished reading Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson


Recently Cheri and I have been watching movies almost every night. I borrow the movies from our county library.

We have seen foreign films from Lebanon, Korea, Mongolia, Bangladesh.

2 weeks ago we saw Summer Interlude by Ingmar Bergman. A long, long ago on our first date I took Cheri to see The Silence, one of Bergman’s earlier movies.
This past week for the first time we saw Citizen Kane and Casablanca.
3 nights ago we saw the film,Wit, with Emma Thompson in the leading role. Cheri described Wit as very difficult to watch.
Last night we watched The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.  “Depressing,” Cheri said. I thought the movie was sad but inspiring.
(photo: I took the photo from the rainforest in the California Academy of Sciences in SF in 2010)
for more photos see: Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books.

Wednesday article

Gina Kolata in her NY Times Health blog wrote about: Training Insights From Star Athletes. She discussed: Stay focused, Manage your ‘energy pie’,Structure your training, Taking risks, The other guy is hurting too. I can apply these ideas to my daily living.


“Fire can be a light too strong to look at, like the sun. But properly harnessed, as in in the light of a candle, it flickers and casts shadows, accompanying our night vigils, during which a solitary flame takes hold of our imagination, with its rays that spread out into  darkness, and the candle symbolizes a source of life and, at the same time, a sun that dies away.”

…excerpts from Inventing the Enemy (Essays)  by Umberto Eco

I just got this book of essays by Umberto Eco from our county library. The other book I’m reading is The Fractal Geometry of Nature by Benoit Mandelbrot. I thought it will be a good follow-up of The Fractalist.


“A memoir is a lesson in humility… The Great Depression dominated the earliest world that i recall…My survival was continually threatened, but my dreams ran free and seeded my future.

…When I turned thirty-five, I questioned my life. Had I, in my dreams of leaving my mark on science, really ‘missed the boat.’ I am keenly aware that this fear led me to reinvent myself surprisingly late in life, when I did my best-known work…

But events proceeded differently, I was expelled to resume my wandering intellectual life…

What has attracted me to problems that science either had never touched or long left aside-continually making me feel like a fossil? perhaps a deficit in regular formal education. My adolescence during wartime occupation of France was illuminated by obsolete books, ancient problems long abandoned without solution, and timeless interrogations. The form of geometry I increasingly favored is the oldest, most concrete, and most inclusive, specifically empowered by the eye and helped by the hand and, today, also by the computer.”

excerpts from: The Fractalist, A Memoir of a Scientific Maverick by Benoit Mandelbroit.

Hokusai’s Great Wave, some of Kandinsky’s paintings, and Claude Lorrain’s landscapes are examples of fractals. Some music composers use the concept of fractals in their compositions  wrote Mandelbrot.

I finished reading The Fractalist today (307 pages) today.

“Bottomless wonders spring from simple rules…repeated without end.”-Benoit Mandelbrot