Thursday, March 30, 2023

Differences and data displays

Grim's recent post included a "heatmap" data plot showing the differences between what conservatives and liberals value (as measured in the Nature article.

It's pretty dramatic--it suggests political groups are living in almost completely different psychological worlds.

However, there are other ways to display the data, as seen in Figures 1 and 2 from the same article:

The heat map doesn't emphasize the commonality between groups. Even when the differences are huge, there's still a background love of the local or the distant in both.

He got half of it

For the old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether.

At any street corner we may meet a man who utters the frantic and blasphemous statement that he may be wrong. Every day one comes across somebody who says that of course his view may not be the right one. Of course his view must be the right one, or it is not his view. We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table. We are in danger of seeing philosophers who doubt the law of gravity as being a mere fancy of their own.

He underestimated what could be doubted, and overlooked the possibility of a reaction in which some are instead persuaded that their transient fashions are the immutable law of god, to be rigorously enforced on all doubters.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

A few curiosities

Recent reading turned up a number of odd, and not always very nice, characters.

Harold Davidson, the "Prostitute's Padre", was killed by a lion. He did a great deal to help young women trapped in prostitution and otherwise isolated and poor, but was, let's say, eccentric, and not very good at "avoiding the appearance of evil." Retrospective analyses propose that he was actually well-meaning and not molesting anybody, but his superiors didn't think so at the time and he was defrocked.

To pay his resulting legal bills he went back into show business with gimmicks like "being roasted in a glass-fronted oven while a mechanised devil prodded him with a pitchfork". His "Daniel in a modern lion's den" went awry one evening.


J.F.C. "Boney" Fuller was a British theorist of armored warfare: his "ideas on mechanised warfare continued to be influential in the lead-up to the Second World War, ironically less with his countrymen than with the Nazis". He had strong Nazi sympathies, but apparently was able to persuade the authorities that he was nevertheless a patriotic Brit--he wasn't imprisoned. "Fuller spent his last years believing that the wrong side had won the Second World War... he announced his belief that Hitler was the saviour of the West against the Soviet Union and denounced Churchill and Roosevelt for being too stupid to see so".

I could almost see somebody thinking that early on in WWII, before the Nazi mass murder machine got into high gear. After the war, though... Bottom line was that the Nazis attacked the West, so it's kind of hard to see what other choices the West had.

He was also heavily into the occult (that seems to go along with Nazis for some reason), and wikipedia says that his most useful military theories "originally derived from a convergence of Fuller's mystical and military interests".


Maurice Hankey didn't think the Allies had the right to try German and Japanese leaders for war crimes. He believed this so strongly that he lobbied on behalf of the Wehrmacht generals, helping to create the myth that the army wasn't involved with (and by extension the German population was kept in the dark about) the crimes and exterminations.

Since the West faced an enemy almost as deadly as Hitler, higher-ups went along with it because we needed Germany to help resist the Soviets. Yes, it's a bit more complicated. But Hankey wasn't a Nazi sympathizer--more of a realpolitik type who seems to have really thought that soldiers shouldn't be blamed for political directions. Just following orders...

Sometimes history turns on, or is written by, some strange people.

Note about links

I've always had a taste for providing surprises--from the jack in the box toy to replacing the LP in the sleeve of my sister's favorite album with one my father and I liked, which he was reluctant to have stopped.

Sometimes I use web links the same way, though I sometimes try to leave clues that the link might not be entirely serious. Unfortunately undependable web sites sometimes mutate the links into "double-blind" surprises. Please accept my apologies in advance for any confusion.


I'd been demonstrating fluorescence using a UV flashlight and a Walgreens eye drops bottle, when it occured to me that the same phenomenon has to occur at other frequencies too; ones we can't see. How about infra-red?

Yep. Visible light can be absorbed to spur IR emission (so can UV, of course), and if you filter out the visible light you can see the IR fluorescence. It turns out to be useful in identifying certain pigments like Egyptian Blue.

And, perhaps not surprisingly, one common chemical that absorbs visible (blue and red) and emits infrared is chlorophyll.

If you want to get into the infrared game, you can modify your camera.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Questions before dinner

led to another rabbit hole: The Great American Novel seems like a concept designed to keep critics employed. Our effective motto seems to be e pluribus rixae(*), from the Albion's Seed era through today. External enemies unite us for a while, but not very long (I remember the 60's and 70's)--too many people see advantage in leveraging divisions, and quite a number of us find joy in being against things. It's fashionable to be against the fashion? Popular media don't seem quite the uniting force either--as soon as people found ways of getting non-monopoly news they did, and how many channels of music does siriusxm carry?

I have no clear idea what "American" means in this context."

Of course great art can be universal, but then how is it specifically American--aside from its provenance? Is Don Quixote The Great Spanish Novel?

(*) So says google translate.

Headlines mislead

"Police Use Tear Gas to Disperse Members of CDC Youth League in a Bid to Stop Them from Registering in District 10"

The third paragraph explains it:

While parading through the main streets on the Old Road, around the Total Gas Station, the police ordered that the group be dissolved to avoid a clash with supporters of Yekeh Kolubah, a lawmaker of the district.

Invidious reporting isn't just an American thing.

Jesus of Nazareth, Vol 1

After Benedict died I decided to read his trilogy on Jesus. So far I'm just through volume 1. I recommend it. I learned quite a bit. I had no idea that one Jewish tradition at the time held that though Elijah had escaped the murder that was the fate of so many other prophets, when Elijah returned he would have to endure martyrdom.

Bear in mind that Benedict XVI was a scholar, and he analyses a number of different interpretations. This may confuse the careless reader. (Amazon says "Reading age: 1 and up" Must be a very precocious 1)

Benedict was also the Pope--but there's little or nothing in the book that a Southern Baptist (of the types I once knew) would object to. For example, he doesn't bring up the Council of Trent's definitions when talking about the Eucharist--he keeps it Jesus-focussed. He assumes, of course, that Peter had a special ministry. The book ties together themes in Jesus life and ministry--up through the Transfiguration--in ways simultaneously logical and mystical.

Friday, March 24, 2023

The history of a project

Way back in grad school, when I was learning about Clebsch–Gordan coefficients and the finite tools used to study continuous groups, I wondered if there was a symmetry that went the other way: could one find continuous symmetries from mixing the elements of a finite group? And could one use the mixing field theory formalism we were studying to represent particle interactions as a finite group?

I gave it a try, and after an embarrassing false start, found that there could be. More detailed inspection showed that it wasn't a very plausible physics model, but there was something interesting (to me) going on. I managed to publish what I had, but I had enough on my plate to make essentially no progress for years. The question I wanted to answer was: given a finite group, can I predict what its continuous symmetries (of this obscure type) will be?

In one of my spurts of activity, I found that another grad student had a textbook I wanted for the study, and went to buy it. He insisted on selling two books as a bundle, so I wound up with Theory of Group Representations as well, which I hadn't wanted. Worse, the book I did want didn't help me much.

The project lay idle again for a while, until I decided to BFI tackle a simple family of groups in a systematic way--and I got a result. I wrote it up, but wanted to supply some tools for study to go with it before I tried to publish it.

Back burner again.

So I retired, and had some free time. I created the tools for finding the interesting quantities given a finite group, loaded them into GitHub, and did a deep dive literature search one more time--reading years worth of abstracts and skimming a promising paper now and then. I didn't find anything--was this really a new result? That would be cool.

But that day I noticed something for the first time--the symmetry I described was actually much more general than I had been claiming--it was an isomorphism of a group algebra onto itself. No way this was unknown--this is the sort of thing mathematicians are always looking at. And, in an ironic loop back to the begining of it all (Clebsh-Gordon coefficients arise from group representations), I realized I should have been looking at the group representations.

And so, "the stone the builders rejected", Naimark and Stern, Theory of Group Representations page 97, Chapter 2, Section 2.9, Theorem 1, Corollary 1. "The group algebra of a finite group is symmetrically isomorphic to the direct sum of complete matrix algebras."

If I had attacked the problem harder earlier, I'd have learned the answer to my question decades ago. So no, there's nothing new in my work. And no, $SU(3)\times SU(2)\times U(1)$ doesn't pop out.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Non-state tribunals

First Things has an article on the conflict between "Jewish" and "democratic". It says a new proposal expands "the reach of the country's religious tribunals".

The devil is in the details, but from the linked site:

It is proposed to stipulate that rabbinical courts will have arbitration authority in a civil matter on which an agreement can be reached, if the involved parties have expressed their consent to this. As part of exercising its authority, the rabbinical court is entitled to hear [the cases] and rule according to Jewish law

At first glance this seems rather straightforward, but three issues come to mind--a lawyer might think of more.

  • Can all parties consent? If a city ordinance says I can't rent or buy without pre-consenting, I haven't really consented; I'm compelled.
  • Does this give a blank check to the tribunals: rule as you please and we'll send policemen to enforce it? What exactly will be a "civil matter"?
  • Who determines when a tribunal has become corrupt and is perverting their own law?

Will they continue on to the rest of millet system, and provide for Christian and Muslim tribunals as well?

If their jurisdiction is restricted, and there's no compulsion, it seems a relatively harmless approach; little different from submitting to binding arbitration. I gather that is already the case at some level, so--the devil is in the details. It probably needs a lawyer trained in Israeli law to tell.

Heroes and Villains

God doesn't seem to always draw from the same group when He sends His reformers and prophets and saints. I suspect He doesn't want any group to start assuming that their power is from themselves and their wonderful paradigms and organization. If you church is a hand this year, it may be an ear next decade. A hero in one era, a villain in the next.

At one point monasteries were funded and controlled by the local nobility, and made into comfortable homes for retirement or superfluous heirs. Other revenues for abbey or church were often taxed away--no doubt originally on reasonable grounds (common defense in dangerous eras) but eventually taken as a customary entitlement.

The abbey at Cluny spearheaded reforms (esp independence of church institutions), but after a while they got rich themselves: so that Matthew Paris could write "The above-mentioned special clerk of the lord king, whose wealth attained to episcopal heights". Francis and his example helped reform some of the greed of the church of his era, but the Franciscans have been involved in some deeply uncharitable quarrels.

Last century some of the more--shall we say--conservative churches in the US had little interest in helping deal with the invidious discrimination suffered by blacks in the US (some did), and the most well known Christian civil rights proponents were more theologically liberal. Some of the churches had accomodated themselves to the spirit of the age(s)

This century saw almost the opposite (neither conservative nor liberal seem to have had great success in persuading the youth of the value of chastity), as the liberal churches have welcomed abortion and tried to normalize perversion, while the conservative churches continue to call these evil. (On the whole; exceptions are easily found.) The paradigm of "rights" helped stop unChristian prejudice, but the same paradigm now promotes unChristian sexual immorality and killing.

The above introduction will doubtless annoy some readers.

In the early church the pressure to burn incense to the genius of the emperor could be intense, and a number gave in. When they wanted to return to the church afterwards, Novatianists said no, the lapsed members were barred. The Church said yes, they could return. The Donatists went farther later, and created their own purer bishops--creating a kind of rival denomination. Eventually they compromised, but the split endured for over a century. At least it eventually ended.

Almost a hundred years ago there developed in Germany a "German Christian" movement, accomodating the racial (decidedly non-catholic) spirit of the age, and in reaction a "Confessing Church" which opposed Nazi control of the church. (The majority didn't take either side.) I was told that at some point there were meetings of repentence and reconciliation, but I haven't found anything that clearly supports the story--all I have seen is stories of direction from outside. That's disappointing. I'd love to read that the majority church repented of their go-along and reconciled, and even more that the "German Christian" groups repented.

I suppose that once there has been a division, even after the reasons are gone, mundane concerns (like new bureaucracies) militate against reuniting--even though we praise unity. Especially if each group has historical reasons to despise the other as unfaithful to the faith.

Even having a common enemy, such as the Soviet authority, didn't seem to encourage a lot of long-term reconciliation between different denominations--although perhaps it looked different on the ground, as opposed to in the hierarchies.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

No confidence

"It was found that the democracy could not always be intimidated even by the threat of consulting them about the choice of a Government." A "no confidence" vote in Britain shakes things up a smidgeon(*). I wonder how we could construct one in the US: chuck everybody and make them all stand for re-election. Combine it with a binding None Of The Above slot for extra fun. It'd be easier to try on the state level first.

(*) The unelected are, unfortunately, still safe.


At this time of year the neighborhood bulletin boards accumulate posts of "When the snow melted we found X. Does it belong to you?"

Probably hurricane-prone regions have their own versions of this.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023


"He never insisted on seeing facts wrongly, though he did a busy best to persuade the facts to arrange themselves according to his personal preference." Charles Williams

Sunday, March 19, 2023

0 G

We wondered what could be different about dance in 0-G. You don't get more than about 90 seconds for a routine (I don't think the space station has room, or priority), and you'd have to practice in water, which has very different viscosity from air.

Of course whatever we wonder about, somebody else has already tried.

Eventually dancers will want to use fans for maneuvering, especially for non-solo routines. This looks fun (aside from the racket), but not a lot like dance.

Friday, March 17, 2023


It's 25F with a damp breeze, and every scraped windshield is framed with frozen slush. Their bumper-sticker reads "Life is better outdoors."

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Return of Don Quixote

"I say," she said rising in wrath, "that I never met a man who saw both sides of a question without wanting to clout him on both sides of the head."

I'd read The Return of Don Quixote so long ago that I'd forgotten all but the gist of one scene--and certainly didn't remember some of the now-coarse language of the intro and early chapters. It isn't Chesterton's finest. It feels a bit disjoint as it follows the different characters, and the Arbiter's judgment, though expressing Chesterton's judgment quite well, runs a little long for the humorous situation. And many of the topical themes may not seem as dramatic as they once did.

Give it a whirl.

"A taste for low company doesn't make people thieves," said Murrel, "it's generally a taste for high company that does that." And he proceeded to decorate a vivid violet pillar with very large orange stars, in accordance with the well-known style of the ornamentation of throne-rooms in the reign of Richard the First.


I heard decades ago that there had been a kind of reconciliation between the Confessing Church and -- either the silent rest of the church or the German Church (the ones that were all in for Mein Kampf on the altar). It sounded powerful, and a few days ago I started looking around for descriptions of this event/process.

Um. So far I haven't turned up much that matches that description, but I did find this about Karl Barth:

"in April 1940, at the age of 53, Barth enlisted as a soldier in the Swiss armed auxiliary; he refused office duty because he desired to serve his nation as any ordinary Swiss soldier, not as a protected, famous theologian, and he volunteered to stand watch along the Rhine in defense of Switzerland"

He lived in Germany during the Nazi years, and wrote against it from the start. After the war, trying to justify not reacting to Communism with equal strength, he wrote this about Nazism:

what made it interesting from the Christian point of view was that it was a spell which notoriously revealed its power to overwhelm our souls, to persuade us to believe in its lies and to join in its evil-doings. It could and would take us captive with ‘strong mail of craft and power.’ We were hypnotized by it as a rabbit by a giant snake. We were in danger of bringing, first incense, and then the complete sacrifice to it as to a false god.

Some of my readers will see parallels to modern Christian Nationalism (No doubt it is around somewhere, but I haven't seen it myself. Maybe I just hang out with a different crowd-- Rushdoony is not on our radar.) and others with those preachers revising morals and paradigms to match the elite culture.

I'm wondering about that reconciliation. Did it really happen?

Tuesday, March 14, 2023


I don't think it is just a "presentism" bias; it seems as though I interacted with more reckless drivers this past year or so--and I'm driving less (except for the trip south we just came back from). I recall back in mid 2020 that the roads were about as empty in the daytime as they'd been before at midnight. Perhaps some people learned a casual entitlement about traffic control that was almost appropriate when nobody else was visible for blocks, and are having problems unlearning it that now that the roads are full again.

Or maybe some people are taking a kind of revenge on the world for the diffuse oppressiveness of the pandemic years...

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Cold fusion

Some years ago I read an overview of cold fusion research. It gave the history and the various experiments current and completed. Some were variations on the "try to dissolve deuterium in palladium", while others used different metals--in one case powdered nickel. That wanted high temperature, with a small amount of heat released--which would result in a quite inefficient heat engine. (The survey was pre-Rossi and his infamous E-CAT.)

I wanted to see what more recent work said, and began poking around. After a while I noticed that I'd have to write a brand new survey myself to cover the material, and I think I'll leave that to experienced nuclear physicists.

There's not a lot of evidence for the $d + d \rightarrow He^{*}$ reaction. The Navy funded $d + Li$ research, but I didn't find any results published. (Why $Li$? Because it was present as a hydride to introduce the $d$ in some of the experiments.)

Some fancy schemes have been invoked--to try to see if the effective electron mass could be increased so you could get something akin to muon-catalyzed fusion. Atomic physicists have looked at how much hydrogen actually dissolves deep into the metal and how much is superficial, and into ways of loading more hydrogen in, and so on. I wondered if $d + Pd^{n} \rightarrow p + Pd^{n+1}$ would work, but that would probably produce $\gamma$'s also (2?) from excited $Pd$--not detected, and anyhow the potential barrier is higher than for $d + d$.

Doing the experiments right is hard, and some give tantalizing results. Some see neutrons--at energies that don't make a lot of sense, except that: well, it turns out that when you dissolve hydrogen in palladium, certain preparations are susceptible to cracking. Cracking can produce microscopic local high voltages, and those can accelerate $d^{+}$ to high enough energies to dissociate the deuterium on collision and release neutrons. Not many, but detectable. Who'd have guessed? FWIW, one survey article (on the positive side) claimed that the non-cracking preparations of palladium were the ones that provided anomalous energy.

I don't believe in cornucopias, but you can get room temperature fusion with $\mu^{-}$ particles, and I won't swear there aren't other ways. I'm not convinced any of these other things are the hoped-for fusions, but there are certainly some odd things going on. And, I'm afraid, there's some carelessness, and dishonesty (Rossi).

UPDATE: Remember that lightning can produce antimatter.

The unofficial DMV

in California: rely on your tribe to survive.

Early intervention

I'm pretty sure that Head Start doesn't do much of anything to improve academic performance.

But do such interventions have any other benefits? Suppose they encouraged students to stay in school, and not get involved in crime? From 2001:

" children who participated in the preschool intervention for 1 or 2 years had a higher rate of high school completion (49.7 % vs 38.5%; P = .01); more years of completed education (10.6 vs 10.2; P = .03); and lower rates of juvenile arrest (16.9% vs 25.1%; P = .003), violent arrests (9.0% vs 15.3%; P = .002), and school dropout (46.7% vs 55.0%; P = .047).

Not exactly a silver bullet, but if this reproduces (and since this is a longitudinal study that takes time), it would help. It's 20 years old, with hundreds of citations.

Another group used their data to study the effect of "Adverse Childhood Experiences" (they make things worse), and 37% of these high-risk youngsters had none from birth to 17. (Things like abuse were measured from police records, not self-reporting.) Somehow that number seems both horribly low, and surprisingly high.

I wonder what sorts of facilities would be required to do this sort of early intervention on a large enough scale. In a big enough district you could set aside whole buildings for the project, but in a small one you're duplicating a lot. If you got rid of a lot of administrators and consultants you'd get some of the way to affording it--and that's not happening. Maybe there are some non-public options.


"The discovery makes it possible to translate any word written in Sanskrit."

That's a provocative headline. What does it really mean? "Rishi Rajpopat decoded a rule taught by Pāṇini, an Indian grammarian" of the 5th century BC.

Rajpopat decoded a 2,500-year-old algorithm that can accurately use Pāṇini’s “language machine” for the first time. Pāṇini’s system consists of 4,000 rules and is detailed in the Aṣṭādhyāyī. Considered his greatest work, Aṣṭādhyāyī is believed to have been written around 500 BCE. It is meant to work like a machine, where the base and suffix of a word are fed in and a step-by-step process should turn them into grammatically correct words and sentences.

"Pāṇini had a metarule to help the user decide which rule should be applied if a rule conflict occurred, but it has been misinterpreted by scholars for the last 2,500 years. ... Rajpopat argues that Pāṇini meant that between rules applicable to the left and right sides of a word respectively, Pāṇini wanted us to choose the rule applicable to the right side."

Rajpopat found the ancient scholar’s language machine produced grammatically correct words consistently and with almost no exceptions.

The headline was clickbait--people had been reading and writing Sanskrit already; this just had to do with being machine-like systematic about it.

But I'd bet that the ancient system was at least partly aspirational rather than descriptive, and that the ancient Sanskrit wasn't as systematic as the "language machine" describing it. (4000 rules?!)

Sunday, March 05, 2023

Acts warnings

In Acts 21 Paul is warned several times that going to Jerusalem will be terrible for him. But Paul believes that he is supposed to go, no matter what. Was the Spirit warning him not to go through the voices of the people, or were the people warning him not to go in light of what the Spirit had revealed? I think our preacher missed a bit: John 16:4: "I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them."

I gather from Ephesians that Paul could do with a little encouragement himself now and then, and knowing, when the disasters hit, that it was part of the plan and not a screw-up on his part, was probably encouraging.

Still true

"All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies." John Arbuthnot (thanks to Anecdotal Evidence)

Saturday, March 04, 2023

Long yams

Dr. Boli mentioned that the Metropolitan Museum of Art was making some of its coffee-table books freely available. In the book on art of Oceania, page 65, it says: "The Abelam recognize and cultivate two distinct categories of yams, a small variety used as ordinary food and long yams--massive tubers that commonly attain lengths of six to nine feet and, in exceptional cases, can be up to twelve feet long. An Abelam man's social standing is determined not only by his abilities as an orator and, formerly, a warrior; it is also, quite literally, measured by his success in growing long yams."

UPDATE: For more details there's an Abelam culture web site.

Grimm's Law

Is there an analog to Grimm's Law in Chinese language families?

Ask and you shall receive: kind of. " The application of a Grimm's-like law comes later and differently in different languages, e.g. where the -p -t -k endings became -ʔ in Wu and -ø in Mandarin, or the /g/ initial was palatalised in certain situations so what in Korean is /ga/ is likely /tɕiɑ/ in Mandarin."

Don't ask me what those sounds are, but people seem to have noticed sound shifts in the languages in question. "But there's no single rule to explain all of them. They each developed in different ways."

It is fascinating what sorts of answers to random questions are easily available to us these days. Of course the answer has nothing to do with my life, and too much 'satiable curtiosity can get your nose pulled...

Thursday, March 02, 2023

Fun little oddity

I was doing a literature search and my eyes started glazing over. I took a break by skimming through a journal I'd never heard of before: Elemente der Mathematik "publishes survey articles and short notes about important developments in the field of mathematics; stimulating shorter communications that tackle more specialized questions; and papers that report on the latest advances in mathematics and applications in other disciplines. The journal does not focus on basic research." In other words, suited for both more applied and more random stuff. The discussion section is in German, unfortunately.

"The irrationality measure of $\pi$ as seen through the eyes of $\cos(n)$. A student asked: "What's the limit of $\cos(n)^n$?" Since it's always less than 1 in absolute value, as n becomes large, the result should go to zero. Except it doesn't. In fact, it "oscillates", because larger and larger fractions come closer and closer to approximating $\pi$. They go on to discuss qualitative irrationality, but that's more for specialists.

I suppose one conclusion to draw from this is: pay attention to student questions. Sometimes there's something weird hiding that nobody noticed before.

Drat. The article is too recent to qualify for the open access. I could read the paper in the library, but not from home. In order to cut down on the number of points, I didn't draw anything with abs() less than .01--pretend there's a line across the middle. Done with python, and I'm trusting that their $\cos$ function handles large numbers well.

You can't unsee it

Naomi Wolf says the old gods have returned. It has been accelerating lately, but I've seen signs of this for more than the three years she thinks--Moloch has been feeding since '73, for example. But there is a greater power than the old gods.

Mental diabetes

We have at our fingertips food enough, easy to prepare and digest enough, to push a number of us into diabetes. We have at our fingertips amusements enough that even ancient emperors might have been satiated: 24/7/365/umpteen channels/feeds. Two hundred years ago if you wanted music, you made it yourself or asked a neighbor to join, or once in a while went to the fair or a show.

There's an obvious analogy here, though endorphins don't work quite the same as insulin. If we try to process too many jokes at a sitting, the incremental funniness decreases--and so on, you can fill in examples as well as I.

So, before I tried to write up the idea, I checked to see if somebody else had already done it. Yes. Oh well. Bottom line: is the latest national news going to make a difference? Or the clickbait video? No? Abstain for a while and do something you might actually look back on with satisfaction. And when you do sit back for an amusement, you'll probably enjoy it more.

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Who is she referring to?

Reading Luke 1: I think we can assume that when Zacharias went home, he wrote down what had happened to tell Elizabeth why he couldn't speak and what the angel had said. When Elizabeth mets Mary later, she blessed Mary and Jesus in v42, and then in v45 says "blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord." Is she talking about Mary again, or using a circumlocution to talk about herself and what Zacharias had told her he had been told?

Changing my routine

I'll wipe down the equipment at the athletic club twice now: before and after. I watched a man lick his fingers before grabbing the bar on a machine.