Thursday, March 28, 2024

Annunciation rescheduled to coincide with eclipse

I just saw this on Ann Barnhardt's blog:

March 25th is the fixed date of the great Feast of the Annunciation… BUT since March 25th falls inside Holy Week this year, Holy Mother Church defers the Great Feast to the first day outside of Eastertide, which is Monday, April 8th this year.

I'm not quite sure how the math works -- I was under the impression that Eastertide lasted from Easter Sunday to Pentecost and would end on May 19 this year -- but I'm sure Ann Barnhardt knows the Catholic calendar better than some random Mormon does. Interesting to see so many things lining up on that date.

In anticipation, here's some Yeats:

The threefold terror of love; a fallen flare
Through the hollow of an ear;
Wings beating about the room;
The terror of all terrors that I bore
The Heavens in my womb.
Had I not found content among the shows
Every common woman knows,
Chimney corner, garden walk,
Or rocky cistern where we tread the clothes
And gather all the talk?
What is this flesh I purchased with my pains,
This fallen star my milk sustains,
This love that makes my heart's blood stop
Or strikes a Sudden chill into my bones
And bids my hair stand up?

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Rationalized whim

On March 24, I posted "Turning suns into black holes," about syncs that had drawn my attention to The Peyote Dance, Helen Weaver's English translation of Antonin Artaud's Au pays des Tarahumaras (1947). That night, I dreamed of seeing a blog post with a particular title, and the next day (yesterday, March 25) I created a post with that title, "I am the wizard Lion." I proposed several possible interpretations of that phrase, but the one I ended up running with was that it was an anagram of rationalized whim.

Today, having been influenced by the syncs of two days ago, I picked up The Peyote Dance and started reading. When I got to the section called "The Mountain of Signs," which begins on p. 12, I was astonished to find that it dealt with the idea of rational whims. I quote the first few paragraphs (italics are the author's; bold is mine):

The land of the Tarahumara is full of signs, forms, and natural effigies which in no way seem the result of chance -- as if the gods themselves, whom one feels everywhere here, had chosen to express their powers by means of these strange signatures in which the figure of man is hunted down from all sides.

Of course, there are places on the earth where Nature, moved by a kind of intelligent whim, has sculptured human forms. But here the case is different, for it is over the whole geographic expanse of a race that Nature has chosen to speak.

And the strange thing is that those who travel through the region, as if seized by an unconscious paralysis, close their senses in order to remain ignorant of everything. When Nature, by a strange whim, suddenly shows the body of a man being tortured on a rock, one can think at first that this is merely a whim and that this whim signifies nothing. But when in the course of many days on horseback the same intelligent charm is repeated, and when Nature obstinately manifests the same idea; when the same pathetic forms recur; when the heads of familiar gods appear on the rocks, and when the theme of death emanates from them, a death for which man obstinately bears the expense -- when the dismembered form of man is answered by the forms of the gods who have always tortured him, become less obscure, more separate from a petrifying matter -- when a whole area of the earth develops a philosophy parallel to that of its inhabitants; when one knows that the first men utilized a language of signs, and when one finds this language formidably expanded on the rocks, then one surely cannot continue to think that this is a whim, and that this whim signifies nothing.

He doesn't actually use the word rationalized, but whim is repeated again and again -- and again and again is expressed the idea that these whims are "intelligent," that they signify something, that they constitute a "language" and express a "philosophy." Clearly the idea of rationality is implied in all this.

For Artaud, it is the repetition of the same patterns that makes the whims begin to appear rational -- that rationalizes them. This is essentially the idea of synchronicity: that any sufficiently striking coincidence implies meaning.

And so this post's title turns out to be as self-referential as that of "I am the wizard Lion." Deciding to read that phrase as an anagram of rationalized whim was nothing if not whimsical, but now, reinforced by this coincidence, the whim seems to have been at least partially rationalized.

Her prophets are light

I read light as a noun at first, until I saw it was followed by “and treacherous persons” (Zephaniah 3:4). I love little tricks like that, even, or perhaps especially, when they are serendipities of translation.

The light leads you home, but the light lead you astray.

Don’t be blinded by the light.

To be light is to be insufficiently affected by “the Love that moves the sun and the other stars.” It is caused by — or causes — or is indistinguishable from — a lack of inner substance.

Easy to confuse lightness with spirituality. The wind bloweth where it listeth, yes, but only the heavier planets can hold onto an atmosphere.

Monday, March 25, 2024

I am the wizard Lion

Last night I dreamed that I saw a blog post with that title (including the odd capitalization), though I wasn't sure whether it was on my own blog or someone else's. I didn't read the post; I only saw the title.

By posting this, I am making my dream come true.

In the dream, I thought it was an allusion to Jim Morrison's "The Celebration of the Lizard," with its famous lines "I am the Lizard King / I can do anything." Wizard sounds like lizard, and the lion is the king of beasts -- ergo, Wizard Lion = Lizard King.

Immediately upon waking, I thought, no, the wizard/lizard lion is the chameleon, a lizard with a lion in its name and with the "magical" ability to change color.

Not until this evening did I get around to looking up "The Celebration of the Lizard." Like most Gen-X Mormons, I am a half-assed Doors fan at best and only knew a few lines -- "Is everybody in? / The ceremony is about to begin," plus the Lizard King bit. As it turns out, the very first word of the poem is lions, which would seem to confirm my in-dream interpretation.

I was sync-posting about "The invincible Lizard King" back in January 2023.

Given Mr. Mojo Risin's penchant for anagrams, I thought "I am the wizard Lion" might be one. It's an anagram of "rationalized whim," which seems like a phrase people might use on occasion, so I tried googling it. Only four results -- but the first one was very recent: a March 1, 2024, article for The Lamp by Jude Russo, called "Whim All the Way Down" -- about, of all things, the watches owned by dictators. The key phrase occurs in the first paragraph:

Most Americans, I think, fancy themselves collectors of something or other. It is the natural consequence of our superabundant material culture; with the specter of famine having shuffled almost out of our living memory, people are free to devote a decent portion of their earnings to whim. Collecting is just rationalized whim.

I am no exception. I have my little whims -- books, guns, watches -- but . . .

Note that though the rest of the article is about watches, early on he pairs them with guns.

Scrolling down a bit, I noticed a "colonel" reference:

Col. Muammar Gaddhafi kept up a steady stream of inexpensive quartz watches bearing his likeness at every stage of his fashion sensibility . . .

This led me to the colonel's Wikipedia article, where I found this:

Colonel Gaddafi's golden gun caught my eye because, due to recent Corn Flakes syncs, I had been thinking about songs that mention that cereal: "I Am The Walrus," "Punky's Dilemma" by Simon & Garfunkel, and of course Tori Amos's "Cornflake Girl" -- which has the repeated line "And the man with the golden gun thinks he knows so much."

I hadn't listened to any of those songs or even searched for them -- I had just been thinking about them -- when I opened up the YouTube Music on my phone and found that the first song it had queued up in my "Supermix" was called "Gold Guns Girls":

After that, running into a real-life Colonel with a Golden Gun -- found by searching for an anagram of a line from a dream! -- was quite the coincidence.

Working out with Bones, and Colonel West

Cleaning out some old files, I found this meme from years ago:

DeForest Kelley, who plays Bones, was in my sync stream back in June 2022 and in William Wright's just last month. Bones have been in my sync stream more recently, for example in the March 18 post "Eclipse skull and crossbones." In the March 23 post "Hay fever," I included a Pogo strip referencing "Straw, that bone building beloved cereal favored by young and old." In a comment on that post, I added:

When I posted this, I had a vague feeling that the "bone" reference in the Pogo strip was significant. Just now I read this in Strange But True by Colin Wilson:

"[French psychometrist Alexis] Didier was given a small leather case belonging to a certain Colonel Llewellyn. Didier placed the case against his stomach, and was then able to tell the owner that it contained a piece of bone — the colonel’s own bone."

This morning's post "Corn Flakes 311" included a reference to the raised fist as a Black Power symbol, and also discussed the words colonel and kernel, the latter of which "comes from the root of corn . . . plus the diminutive suffix -el." That etymology, in a Black Power context, made me think of racial activist (and 2024 presidential candidate) Cornel West. I had the impression that the word west had come up in one of the synchromystic posts I reference there, but a word-search showed that I was mistaken, so I didn't end up referencing Dr. West in the post.

The Kirk and Bones meme made me wonder, given that so many Star Trek characters have military titles, whether there were any colonels among them. It turns out that there is actually a character called Colonel West, who appears in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. William Wright posted about that movie exactly a month ago, in "The Undiscovered Country, flying into stars, Neverland, and NUVO." He doesn't mention the Colonel West character, but he does analyze the NUVO in the title as meaning "West son" in Elvish.

Apparently, the Colonel West character was a thinly-veiled dig at Colonel Oliver North. As it turns out, the Cornel West photo above, which I chose because it was the closest I could find to him with a raised fist, was taken on Colonel North's birthday.

One of the most important colonels in the current sync-stream has been Colonel Sanders. Guess who Cornel West supported before he decided to run for office himself?

Corn Flakes 311

Last night I checked Richard Arrowsmith's Black Dog Star blog -- which is updated very infrequently, and which I check with corresponding infrequency -- and found a new post (well, about a month old), the first in over a year and a half: "Waking from a dream." In the post, he links to an old 2009 post by Jake Kotze, the granddaddy of Internet synchromysticism: "Robin: '11:11, Time For Ascension!'" Richard highlights this image from Jake's post:

Richard's interest was in the theme of the raised fist, which he connects with the "woke" BLM salute and other things. My own interest is in the fact that it's a box of Corn Flakes. In my March 8 post "Hidden Treasures, the super cereal," I also posted a picture of a Corn Flakes box in the context of waking from a dream:

Following the link back to the Jake Kotze post, I found that it also includes this photo:

Jake's focus is on the "Crisis? 911" part, but 311 is much more prominently displayed. This number has come up a lot recently, for example in my March 21 post "Fake colonel 3:11." Debbie has repeatedly pointed out that colonel and kernel are homonyms. Kernel comes from the root of corn (German Kern, plural Kerne) plus the diminutive suffix -el. Moving the l can transform fake kernel to flake Kerne.

Both Richard and Jake focus on 11:11 in their respective posts. Checking my own blog comments this morning -- after reading Richard and Jake's posts but before posting this -- and found that Debbie had left this comment on "She's so rocky, shisa star":

Do recall my 2003 dream/esoteric experience I shared with you titled: 11:11. 11:11 are twins, as are all master numbers.

Although now in 2024, the 11:11 experience is pervasive on the internet that wasn't the case in 2003 as the internet (at least to the public) was in its infancy. Youtube wasn't launched until 2005, and there was next to none information about 11:11 that I could find online in 2003 after I had the 11:11 dream/experience. Marshall and I only got our computer in 1998. I DID NOT KNOW about 11:11 before the dream.

The post Debbie was commenting on was about the 2000 Britney Spears song "Lucky," which begins thus:

Early morning, she wakes up
Knock, knock, knock on the door
It's time for make-up, perfect smile

These lyrics had reminded me of Rebecca Black's 2011 anti-hit "Friday," which begins this way:

Seven a.m., waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal

The idea of waking up and eating Corn Flakes obviously reinforced this connection, which made me look up "Friday." It was released on February 10 and went viral on March 11 -- 3/11.

A lot of people say it was a terrible song, but it's got the Leo Moracchioli seal of approval, which is good enough for me:

Fun, fun, think about fun. You know what it is.

Update (7:15 p.m. same day): Unreal. Keep in mind that that Jake Kotze post with the Michael Phelps Corn Flakes box was from 15 years ago and that Phelps himself retired in 2016. Today, less than 11 hours after posting it, I checked America's Flagship Meme Post and found this:

With Colonel Sanders, too, no less.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Turning suns into black holes

I have pinched my title (only changing the capitalization so as to conform to the FTND style guide) from William Wright's February 29 post "Turning Suns into Black Holes." The post included this photo William's son had taken, in which "Through the magic of the VTech Kidizoom camera, the sun was transformed into either a black hole or a solar eclipse":

This evening I was trying to declutter my desk a bit, sorting through some stacks of books, and I ended up picking up and flipping through an old paperback I had found at a junk shop in Taichung some months ago: a 1976 English edition of Antonin Artaud's The Peyote Dance, published by The Noonday Press at 19 Union Square West, New York. (In the Tarot, 19 is the number of the Sun.)

I discovered something I hadn't noticed when I bought the book: Glued to the inside of the back cover was a little handmade envelope made of folded blue paper, and inside it turned out to be a Fujifilm Instax photo on a rather familiar theme:

Nothing is written on the photo or envelope or in the book, so we will never know who took this photo, made a special envelope for it, and glued it to the back cover of The Peyote Dance, or why.

A further coincidence is that on March 20 I myself had stuck a photo inside this very book. The ophthalmologist (see "Eye drops on 113/3/20") had given me a photo of my own bloodshot eye to take home, and not knowing what else to do with it, I had stuck it between the pages of one of the many books on my desk, figuring it could serve as a bookmark if and when I got around to reading it. Unbeknownst to me, the book I chose just happened to be the one that already had a photo hidden inside.

The last pages of The Peyote Dance, just before the envelope with the "black hole sun" photo, are devoted to a poem by the author, composed in Ivry-sur-Seine on February 16, 1948, called "Tutuguri: The Rite of Black Night." The opening lines are as follows:

Dedicated to the eternal glory of the sun Tutuguri is a black rite.
The Rite of black night and of the eternal death of the sun.
No, the sun will never come back

Is it this poem, with its blackened-sun imagery, that inspired the book's previous owner to provide it with a little pocket for a photo of a blacked-out sun? There's no way to know, but it seems as good a guess as any.

She’s so rocky, shisa star

Last Tuesday, March 19, I happened to hear on the radio somewhere the 2000 Britney Spears song "Lucky." (Looking the song up on Wikipedia just now to get the correct date, I find that the duration of the song is 3:24 -- and here I am posting this on 3/24.) I've never had the slightest scintilla of interest in Spears or her music, but it's been stuck in my head ever since. It's a pretty catchy melody, I guess, by that one Swedish guy who was writing all the American hits at that time. Here's the music video -- full of the bog-standard subtly-in-your-face stuff that Monarch Mind Control types like to analyze (did you notice the inverted pentagrams on her wallpaper?), but otherwise pretty uninteresting:

The weird thing is that what's been stuck in my head is not the original but rather a version that has rocky in place of lucky, as if making fun of a stereotypical Japanese accent. I have this free-floating memory -- likely an anecdote from my brother Joseph's time in Japan -- of a Japanese person reading a children's story with the recurring line "'I'm so lucky,' says Ladybug" but mispronouncing the two key words as rocky and Radybug. For whatever inscrutable reason, my subconscious mind decided to splice that comical error into the Britney Spears song.

It's getting kind of annoying, actually. Time and again, here I am minding my own business only to catch myself singing under my breath, "She's so rocky, she's a star / But she cry-cry-cries in her lonely heart." (For some reason, the word lonely slipped through the Japanese-accent filter unscathed.)

Stars, sensu stricto, are not rocky. In the word's broader sense, though, embracing all heavenly bodies, we could call Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars "rocky stars." This rocky star is a "she," though, which rules out the masculine Mercury and Mars. Venus doesn't look "so rocky," with its thick cloud cover, so that leaves the Moon as the strongest candidate.

"She cry-cry-cries in her lonely heart . . . why do these tears come at night?" This made me think of my May 2019 post "Lacrimae lunae" ("tears of the moon"). This had featured John Opsopaus's version of the Moon card of the Tarot, in which "glowing tear drops . . . fall . . . from the recumbent crescent" of the Moon:

In the 2019 post, Opsopaus's card was paired with this image from a phonics textbook. The sync was that one of my students had colored half of the water drops in the picture red, as in the card:

The picture above shows twin girls in red tops. The music video repeatedly shows Spears as "Lucky" -- the white-gowned sacrificial starlet -- sharing the screen with her alter ego, Britney the wholesome girl-next-door, who wears a red top. Although we never see two red-topped Britneys in the same frame, there are clearly two of them. In the sequence below, we see Lucky striding through a room, with Britney on her right in the foreground, immediately after which she walks past another Britney seated on a sofa on her left in the background:

We also see a waxing crescent moon in the video, the same phase shown on the Tarot card:

There is also a rectangular skyscraper to either side of the Moon, suggesting the two towers of the Tarot card.

The persistent Japanizu of rocky made me wonder whether "she's a" could actually be a Japanese word, maybe shiza or shisa. A search confirms that shisa is the Okinawan version of the Chinese guardian lions which appear in pairs outside temples and such. While the Chinese originals are just lions, their Okinawan counterparts are considered to be "a cross between a lion and a dog." (Notice that Google suggests "half dog" as a related search term. I'm cereal.)

This is an extremely strong sync with the Moon card of the Tarot. Traditional versions of the card show two dogs, one on either side of the Moon, likely representing the constellations of Canis Major and Canis Minor.

In December 2020, the Grateful Dead released a new music video for their 1970 song "Ripple." It was full of modified imagery from the Tarot, including this take on the Moon card:

That's right, the two dogs have been replaced with a pair of Chinese guardian lions. That's why I say that shisa -- half dog, half guardian lion -- is such an extremely strong sync.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Hay fever

My March 22 post "Eye drops on 113/3/20" documented syncs largely centered around Bruce Charlton's "Why should I care if a mouse has hay fever?" post, which was about a brand of eye drops with a name that implied it was intended for mice. Eye drops and mice entered into the sync stream, but hay fever as such did not -- until now.

Last night I taught a high-school level EFL class, and a vocabulary exercise in the students' textbook included the sentence "Hay fever is an allergy to pollen":

Then this morning I read William Wright's latest, "Thomas B. Marsh, Peter, Alma (the Elder), and Uriel the Archangel," in which it is proposed that the four characters in the title are incarnations of the same being. Thomas B. Marsh has been connected with the word bucket -- see "Thomas B. Bucket, the bucket of story -- oh, you know, the thing!" -- and in "Je suis Charlie Bucket," I went on to connect the bucket theme with Aaron Smith-Teller's Kabbalistic analysis of "There's a Hole in My Bucket" in Scott Alexander's novel Unsong. Since the Archangel Uriel is one of the main characters in Unsong, William's post sent me back to reread that chapter again.

Hay, it turns out, plays a key role in Smith-Teller's exegesis:

And Liza replies: "With straw, dear Henry."

Straw is a kind of hay. Hay is the Monogrammaton, the shortest Name of God. The universe can only be made whole through divine intervention.

But the straw is too long; even the shortest Name of God is too big to fit. Any dose of God would burn the universe to ashes; that’s how this whole problem started. With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, dear Liza? How can God be channeled and applied to the universe safely?

Hay -- or rather its homophone, the Hebrew letter He -- is the shortest Name of God, but even that "would burn the universe to ashes." Fever derives from an Indo-European root meaning "to burn." The problem Smith-Teller is describing is Hay fever.

Scrolling down to the comments on the Unsong chpater, I found that a reader with hayseed (or possibly strawseed) pretensions had, predictably, taken exception to the city-slicker ignorance of Smith-Teller's claim that "straw is a kind of hay":

Aaron may be the divil an’ all for brains when it comes to kabbalah, but he knows nothing about fodder.

Straw and hay are different (as in the old joke about the army sergeant trying to teach country recruits to march. Since they weren’t able to tell their right foot from their left, teaching them “Left, right, left, right, left!” wasn’t working. So he got them to tie a wisp of hay to one foot, and a sop of straw to the other, and then he was able to get them all to march by saying “Hay foot, straw foot, hay foot, straw foot!”)

Straw is the dry stalks of cereal plants left after the grain has been thrashed out. You can feed it to animals, but it serves the same purpose as fibre in a human diet: as roughage, not as something to live on.

Hay is dried grasses (or legumes, like alfalfa). It is fodder (that is, food) for animals. Though nowadays, farmers have gone to silage rather than hay as stored animal feed.

So Aaron’s exegesis drops stone dead at that point where he goes “Straw is a kind of hay”. In the same fashion as a hat is a kind of a bucket, dear Aaron (ten-gallon hats, anyone?)

The line I have bolded -- saying that straw is no more hay than a hat is a bucket -- jumped out at me because some of William Wright's Thomas B. Bucket material has in fact equated hats with buckets. His post "There's a hole in my bucket-face! AND Harry Marsh and the Sorcerer's Stone" -- taking my own post about the Unsong chapter as a starting point -- devotes a few paragraphs to the idea of a "bucket hat."

This afternoon, I taught a different English class, for junior-high level students, and their vocabulary for the day included this:

It's the word straw, and the very first example sentence is about a hat. The second sentence, "I need a straw for drinking," also ties in with the bucket song since, ultimately, the reason Henry needs a straw is so that he can mend his bucket and fetch some water.

The idea of Hay as a divine name made me think of how Yah -- Hay backwards -- is also a divine name. In the bucket song, Harry wants to cut the straw -- and wouldn't you know it, the most famous divine name of all is hew hay (i.e. cut straw) spelled backwards.

Straw backwards is warts, which made me think of an old Pogo strip by Walt Kelly. It's a crying shame that no one has yet devised a Pogo counterpart to the Calvin & Hobbes Search Engine, but I was eventually able to track down the strip in question, from July 12, 1958:

"Warts spelled backwards is 'Straw', that bone building beloved cereal favored by young and old." Cereal has been a recurring sync theme, and it is also a word emphasized by the straw-isn't-hay commenter, who insists that "straw is the dry stalks of cereal plants."

My "Eye drops on 113/3/20" post referenced a comment by Debbie which referenced the number 113 in connection with the "fake colonel" concept. I introduced the latter theme in "Merry, Pippin, Mary Poppins, secret names, golden straw, square heads, and fake colonels," a post which, as the title suggests, also makes prominent reference to straw. The golden straw syncs were old ones, from November 2015. Debbie's dream about the number 113 is also an old one, from December 2015.

Another adjacent-lines error

I think -- though of course the accuracy of introspection in these matters is limited -- that when I read, I tend to get a quick gestalt sense of each paragraph before reading through it word by word. When I gestalted this paragraph on William Wright's blog last night, I got the false impression that it contained my surname, Tychonievich, but uncapitalized. The red underlining I've added shows where that impression likely came from:

Undulating between lines 4 and 5, we hit almost all the letters needed, and in the correct order: ty-ck-on-i-e-i-ch. We have a k instead of the visually similar h, there’s no v, and the final i is a bit too far to the right, but overall it’s awfully close.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Eye drops on 113/3/20

On March 20, Bruce Charlton posted "Why should I care if a mouse has hay fever?" -- a short, whimsical reaction to seeing Murine brand eye drops for sale at a pharmacist's. (If you didn't know that murine means "of or pertaining to mice," don't feel like the Lone Ranger. No less a literary light than George Bernard Shaw apparently thought the adjectival form of mouse was musque, as can be seen in the Lamarckian essay that serves as the preface to Back to Methuselah.) I smiled and thought no further of it.

On the same day, March 20, William Wright posted "The Pi-ed Piper," which begins with the sentence, "Two nights ago I had a dream about a mouse." He later noted the sync with Bruce's post and posted about it the next day in "Children as Mice, and rescuing the Lost."

I read all these posts with mild interest but didn't think they had anything to do with my own sync stream until my lunch break today, when I finished eating and then got out the eye drops I'm supposed to use after meals and before going to bed. In Taiwan, prescription medication is always given in a little plastic bag with the patient's name and the date written on it. The date caught my eye:

I got these eye drops on March 20, the same day Bruce posted about eye drops for mice and William posted about mice. I almost never have problems with my eyes and hadn't seen an ophthalmologist in well over a decade. One of my eyes has been red for several days -- no itching or discomfort, just red -- and my wife had been bugging me to see a doctor about it. March 20 just happened to be the day I finally got around to doing so.

Taiwan -- and only Taiwan -- uses the Gregorian calendar for months and days but counts years from the founding of the Republic of China in 1912. Thus the date is written as 民國113年3月20日 -- the 20th day of the 3rd month of the 113th year of the Republic.

The number 113 was introduced into the sync stream by Debbie in her comments on "Skeletor, hieroglyphic-bearing arthropods, and the Judgement" in what were the early hours of March 21 here in Taiwan but still March 20 in Ohio, where she lives. The second part of her comment begins thus:

Today (March 20) when I read that the totality will start in Wilmington at 3:11, again, that sparked my interest because of information I found in 2015 including info about the company Pixar and the number 113 (see link)

She explicitly draws attention to the fact that it's March 20 and then goes on to talk about the number 113. The comment was addressed to me in Taiwan, where -- unbeknownst to Debbie, I'm sure -- it is currently the year 113.

Equilibrium marshes

Yesterday I was reading Courtney Brown's Remote Viewing: The Science and Theory of Nonphysical Perception. Like J. W. Dunne before him, Brown accepts the very strong evidence for the reality of precognition and retrocognition (the direct perception of future and past states of affairs) and attempts a theoretical explanation. While Dunne adds additional dimensions of time, Brown takes the opposite tack of suppressing time altogether. He demonstrates how this might be done with the following phase diagram of two interacting populations, which was created by dividing one equation by another so as to eliminate time as a variable:

I'd seen phase diagrams before but had never seen equilibria referred to as "marshes." A Google search seems to confirm that this terminology is virtually unique to Brown, since all I can find are diagrams dealing with the ecology of actual wetlands, publications by people named Marsh, and other books by Courtney Brown. Here's how the term is defined in Brown's Differential Equations: A Modeling Approach:

Especially with social science topics in which change is slow, differential equation systems often do not have a chance to evolve to the point where the system trajectories actually arrive at an equilibrium. In reality, the trajectories "bog down" when they pass anywhere near the equilibrium in what is called an "equilibrium marsh." Placing the equilibrium marshes in the phase diagram is a useful way to identify those areas where trajectory velocity is so slow that the system essentially comes to a near halt even though equilibrium has not been achieved (p. 56).

A similar explanation is given in Serpents in the Sand: Essays in the Nonlinear Nature of Politics and Human Destiny, in the essay "Anatomy of a Landslide," where Brown plots support for the Democratic and Republican parties in the early 1960s and, as in Remote Viewing, uses stippling to indicate equilibrium marshes:

I post this here for possible sync relevance, since marshes -- Thomas B. Marsh, Pokélogan, etc. -- have been a recent theme.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

You're, like, reading that wrong.

For some time now I've been documenting instances of a common (for me) reading error in which text from an adjacent line interposes itself into the line I am reading. Yesterday I experienced two instances of this, both with like as the intruding word.

This past Monday (March 18), Bruce Charlton posted "Some aphorisms on How To Proceed from a baseline in materialistic modernity." This reminded me that he had briefly maintained an all-aphorism blog called "The Baron of Jesmond's Aphorisms," but when I tried to find it, I discovered that the Baron of Jesmond blog is now a set of lecture notes from a course on Abnormal Psychiatry and Psychology. The notes turned out to be pretty interesting, though, and I skimmed quite a bit. At around 11:00 yesterday morning I read this in the notes on the SSRI family of psychiatric drugs:

I at first read this as "Chemical structure -- likely derived from antihistamines" and found that a very odd thing to say. We're talking about manmade products of relatively recent vintage; why would we have to speculate about what their chemical structure was "likely" derived from? Then I noticed my error, corrected it, and moved on -- but not before taking a screenshot for documentation. The word like obviously intruded from the line below, and I think the -ly suffix may have come from the visually similar hy in Diphenhydramine in the line below that.

That night, I used a phone app to set an alarm before going to bed and saw this:

I read this as "If you like alarm bell ringtones, try like 8 more ringtones" -- which my half-asleep brain understood as a sarcastic commentary on the fact that I had set two alarms for the next morning: "Wow, you really like setting alarms. Why don't you set like eight more of them? In fact, since you love alarm bell ringtones so much, why don't you marry one?"

Fake colonel 3:11

At around 6:40 this morning, I checked for new comments on this blog and found a long two-part comment from Debbie (Ra1119bee). She opened with:

Once again speaking of the eclipse, fake colonels and Ohio . . .

"Fake colonels" is a reference to my March 15 post "Merry, Pippin, Mary Poppins, secret names, golden straw, square heads, and fake colonels," in which one of the coincidences noted was "a non-colonel being addressed as a colonel" in two different narratives I had just encountered. The most famous "fake colonel" -- possibly the most famous "colonel," full stop -- is undoubtedly Colonel Sanders of KFC, who bore the title "Kentucky colonel" but did not hold the military rank of colonel.

Much of the rest of Debbie's comment deals with a dream she had about the number 113, and she also repeatedly mentions 3:11 -- the same number in reverse -- as the time when the upcoming solar eclipse will come closest to totality (99%) in the Ohio town where she lives. Then, on the rather insubstantial grounds that the Hebrew word for "falsehood" appears exactly 113 times in the Bible, she links that number and its mirror-image with the "fake colonel" idea:

I now think the odd connection of Willimington's totality timing (3:11) and the 'fake colonel in Twilight Zone's The Parallel and the Carbon Copy (Carbondale)s syncs have connections to my Number 113 dream.

Okay, that's not the most convincing connection ever, but the sync fairies apparently liked it. Right after reading Debbie's comment, I decided to check the Google News feed. This is something I essentially never do, but I had a sudden whim. Near the top of the feed was this:

Google News feeds are personalized, and its quite possible that the high ranking of a "colonel" story was influenced by the recent comment on my Google-run blog and thus not a true coincidence. It's still quite a coincidence, though, that a news story about a doubly-fake colonel -- a "Kentucky colonel," not a real colonel, and a statue, not a real person -- was published just 18 hours before I read the comment. Also, the next item in the feed is about an upcoming rare astronomical event, the sort of thing Debbie had tied the fake colonel to. The real coincidence, though, came when I clicked on the "Curse of the Colonel" story and saw this:

The statue of Colonel Sanders was dredged from the Dotonbori River on March 11, 2009 -- 3/11 or 11/3, depending on where you're from.

Note added (10:15 a.m.): This is insane. In a comment below, Debbie gives more details about her 311 dream:

I went to a young couples home. The women was youngish but her husband was a bit older. She was Asian, I think, and he was a white man with blonde hair . . . I recall I kissed him and he held his right hand out to me and I clutched his hand. For some reason as he got up to leave, his right arm came off !! and I was still holding his hand and his arm!!!!!

The statue of Colonel Sanders was missing a hand when it was recovered from the river. Why was it thrown into the river in the first place? Back in 1985, Japanese baseball fans were celebrating a big win. They called the name of each player on the team, and then a fan who resembled that player would jump into the river. When they got to the MVP, American (now an Oklahoma State Senator) Randy Bass, there were no look-alikes among the fans, so they grabbed the only bearded White guy they could find -- a plastic statue standing outside a KFC -- and threw that into the river to represent him.

The White man in Debbie's dream was blond and was living with an Asian. Randy Bass has dirty blond hair and lived among Asians for many years, becoming the most famous American player in Japanese baseball. (This story of a successful baseball player who was a different race from all his teammates is perhaps a nod to the recent Jackie Robinson sync theme.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Skulls, crescents, twins

Yesterday I posted "Eclipse skull and crossbones," continuing the theme of "The eclipsing moon as a skull." In the comments, Debbie introduced the theme of twins -- though it had, I thought, only a rather tenuous connection to what I had posted. (The post discussed the "eclipse crossroads" city of Carbondale, from which Debbie free-associated to carbon paper, carbon copies, and twins.)

Yesterday evening, approximately six and a half hours after Debbie's comment, I saw this on /x/, illustrating a thread dedicated to the astrological analysis of "evil people":

I guess this was just intended as a sinister-looking representation of the sign of Gemini, but the details are quite synchy. The twins have skull heads, and above each skull is a crescent, synching with the idea of the moon as a skull. Centered above them is a cross, suggesting the "eclipse crossroads" in Southern Illinois, where the paths of the 2017 and 2024 eclipses intersect. The two crescents, besides representing the moon, could also represent solar eclipses just before or after the moment of totality. (Only very thin crescents, like those in the image, would have this ambiguity. A wider crescent moon is quite distinct in shape from a partially eclipsed sun.)

The constellation of Gemini represents Castor and Pollux, whose "white skullcaps" (and connection with the "second moon," Basidium) I discussed in my December 2 post "They are the eggmen."

This afternoon I ran across this image on /pol/ and clicked on it because it said "The Story of Gog And Magog" -- Gog came up in the March 6 post "Baggu ash-ni fire-dwell a gog ifluaren bansil este repose" -- but the rest of it turned out to have nothing to do with that title:

All nonsense, in case you were wondering. The white and black crescents in Éliphas Lévi's iconic image represent mercy and justice, not anything racial, and the Goat itself shares nothing but a name with the alleged idols of the Knights Templar. Their "Baphomet" -- most likely a corruption of the name Mahomet -- was usually described as a severed human head, a head with three faces, or -- most notably -- a human skull.

Also interesting is the reappearance of the twin crescents from the Gemini image, together with the "Gog and Magog." My uncle William John used to say that Gog and Magog were "the apocalyptic equivalent of Tweedledee and Tweedledum" -- meaning that both sides in the Battle of Armageddon would consist mostly of evil clowns, morally indistinguishable -- so there's the twin theme again.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Skeletor, hieroglyphic-bearing arthropods, and the Judgement

Some unmanned untethered free association here. It's a constitutional right, after all.

My last post, "Eclipse skull and crossbones" called up a vague memory of a meme in which He-Man's arch-enemy Skeletor was standing with the sun directly behind his head, making it look as if he had a halo -- or an eclipse with a skull instead of a moon. I tried and failed to track it down. One of the search prompts I tried, though, skeletor halo, did turn up eclipse imagery:

In addition to the skull imagery, we have crossed bandoliers, suggesting the X-marks-the-spot of the 2017 and 2024 eclipse paths, centered on Makanda, Illinois. My post "Makanda" is about the coincidence of seeing Makanda on an eclipse map shortly after reading about a giant spider named Makanda in a Colin Wilson novel.

This giant spider connection made me take notice when -- casting my net a bit wider and just searching for skeletor meme -- I found this:

Skulls and spiders led me to the black-and-yellow garden spiders that are common in much of the United States: I've seen a few in North Carolina with markings that make the cephalothorax look like a death's-head. I can't find a great example of this online, but here's something to give you the general idea:

Besides the vaguely skull-like cephalothorax (much better examples exist but apparently not on the Internet), note the posture, typical of this family of spiders, with the legs arranged in an X and the death's-head at the center. (Incidentally, I used a similar garden spider photo to illustrate a post about giant spiders: "Whitley Strieber with between two and four giant spiders.")

The spider pictured above has a fairly uninteresting bumblebee-type pattern, but many garden spiders have much more intricate designs. When I lived in Maryland, I used to make detailed sketches of their markings in a notebook, thinking of them as "hieroglyphics" and imagining that they might mean something, though I never made any attempt to crack the code.

That memory of copying down "hieroglyphics" off the backs of spiders reminded me of something I'd read about several months ago in the Cultural History of the Book of Mormon: a fringe Mormon called Goker Harim who claimed to have translated the writings of the Brother of Jared off the back of an insect of some sort -- a beetle? a spider, even? I found the reference in the Cultural History -- it was a cicada -- and tried to track down the source document online for more details, but to no avail. (I'm not going to pay $9.99 to download it, sorry.) Though I failed to find any details of the story of how the cicada was found and "translated," I did finally find a Word document with a picture of the cicada's markings and an accompanying essay:

It's called "The Judgement Tablet" -- with the British spelling of judgement, even though the author is (I think) American. The essay begins thus:

The Judgement Tablet, also called the Covenant Tablet of the Gentiles, is an advanced style tablet. It has a base and top section in addition to the usual four glyphs. It was written by Achee [i.e., the Brother of Jared] and preserved on a cicada. Written on it is the whole course of history from before creation till after the Final Judgement.

One of the coincidences noted in my last post was the use of the phrase "judgement day" -- British spelling -- by two different Americans in connection with the skull-moon theme. The cicada tablet essay doesn't actually use the phrase "judgement day," but "Final Judgement" is close enough.

Eclipse skull and crossbones

Besides Makanda, the "eclipse crossroads" in Southern Illinois also includes Carbondale -- which has an interesting city logo:

That design looks a little too perfect to be a coincidence, and sure enough, it's not. It was introduced months after the 2017 eclipse and explicitly references the two eclipse paths:

[Carbondale Mayor Mike] Henry said the logo is an abstract crossroad, which fits with Carbondale being the "eclipse crossroads of America." In the middle of the design, it looks like a keyhole, which Henry said suggests the door is always open in the city.

He may think it looks like a keyhole, but to me a round white shape superimposed on a white X looks like a skull and crossbones, a theme that came up in "Human skull on the ground, turn around":

In a comment on that post, I added, "The motorcyclist’s jacket shows a star (like the sun) being eclipsed by a dead white object (like the moon)," a link reinforced by "The eclipsing moon as a skull."

Notice the phrase "judgement day" there -- spelled the British way even though it was posted from America.

The article about the Carbondale logo said that a lot of people had been mocking the logo on social media -- some of them stooping so low, the mayor is shocked to report, as to "draw vulgar things on it on Facebook" -- so I wondered if any of these cowardly basement-dwelling idiot anonymous troll-demons had worked the Jolly Roger angle. An image search for carbondale illinois skull and crossbones turned up further confirmation that the moon is a skull:

That image came from the 2013 archive page for a blog called Skull-A-Day. The image itself is from a December 7 post of skull art by Justin Ferreira; and on the same archive page is a December 29 post in which a reader from Carbondale, Illinois, submitted a photo of milk in a sink forming a skull-like shape.

The crescent moon skull design -- with the face on the concave surface of the crescent, and with dark orbits suggesting dark glasses -- reminded me of the old Moon Man meme.

This led me to look up and reread A. T. L. Carver's proposal that, just as Pepe the Frog is the ancient Egyptian god Kek, Moon Man is Thoth. The last bullet point got my attention:

Okay, so both Moon Man and Thoth:
  • Are associated with the moon
  • Have a crescent moon aspect to their heads
  • Deal with words and vocalizing
  • Are “judgement day” figures who lay down the law and establish an order

The eclipsing moon as a skull

This theme came up in "Human skull on the ground, turn around." Today I ran across it again on /pol/:

This was posted 22 days before the upcoming eclipse on April 8, 2024, so that's what it's referring to. My recent post "Makanda" showed how the path of that eclipse crosses that of the August 21, 2017, eclipse at the town of Makanda, Illinois.

Exactly halfway between these two eclipses -- 1,210.73 days after the 2017 eclipse and 1,210.73 days before the 2024 eclipse -- was the eclipse of December 14, 2020, the Galahad Eridanus eclipse. (This is the hepton eclipse cycle of 3.5 draconic years. The 3.5-year period -- "a time and times and half a time," "forty and two months," etc. -- is important in the books of Daniel and Revelation.)

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Russian AI, the Pokémon dragon calendar, and a game you can play in your living room with your pet gorilla

I dreamed that I visited Francis Berger’s blog and found that he had posted a long series of images tiled in a grid layout. These consisted of maybe 8 to 12 unique images, which occurred again and again in an unpredictable sequence like the digits of an irrational number. If the same image occurred two or three times in a row, this was represented with a larger rectangular version of the image, occupying the same space as two or three ordinary square tiles.

The images were colored line drawings of fantastic creatures, mostly somewhat dragon-like. There was a red dragon which seemed to me to be the most important one, and a few of the other creatures were pale blue or cyan. I think one of them looked a bit like my Pokélogan, and there was another that was like a mermaid but less human-looking. Overall, the images suggested the Pokémon aesthetic.

I understood that the grid of images was a calendar of the future, and that whenever there was a long red dragon series, that was a time period when something big could be expected to happen.

I wondered where Frank had gotten the images themselves and figured that they were AI-generated. I refreshed his blog and found a new post gushing about this fantastic new AI service. It was Russian and accepted only Russian-language prompts, but all the cool kids were using it anyway because it was totally uncensored and had no coded-in diversity. Frank also seemed very impressed with its capabilities and wrote that it “may well be the first AI to become an EI.” I didn’t know what EI stood for, but I took it to mean that he thought it had the potential to become literally intelligent, like a human being. (This is of course totally inconsistent with the real Frank’s views on so-called AI.) I can’t remember the name of the Russian AI except that it began with the letter Pi (which is used in Russian as well as in Greek).

As examples of the AI’s amazing capabilities, Frank had posted an image of the mermaid creature and a short video of soldiers on horseback with the word Russia in Russian behind them. I thought both of these were of mediocre quality and couldn’t see what he was so excited about.

Later I saw a commercial for a game based on the group of creatures from Frank’s calendar post. There were some plastic objects about the size and shape of bottle caps, each with a different creature on it, and you could stick these on various surfaces around your living room. These would light up in an unpredictable sequence, and if you had the whacker (which looked like a hand towel), you had to whack the lit-up object before the light went out and then throw the whacker to another player. The commercial said you could even play it with your pets, and it showed a toddler and a silverback gorilla playing together, tearing around a living room and jumping and diving like baseball players to whack all the lit-up objects in time. Both child and ape seemed to be having a great time, but I couldn’t help wondering who would want something like that going on in their living room.

Friday, March 15, 2024


In my last post, I quote the passage in Colin Wilson's Shadowland where Typhon tells Niall that he plans to introduce him as Colonel Niall despite the fact that he is not a colonel. A few paragraphs later, Niall's spider companion -- heretofore known only as "the captain," reveals his name for the first time:

Typhon placed his mouth close to Niall's ear. "If you don't mind, I'll introduce you as Colonel Niall. Most of the men here have military rank."

"Of course. Whatever you think best."

"And I'll describe you simply as an envoy from the spider city. Telling them the truth would make everyone ask you how it came about. Or would you prefer that?"

"Of course not." Niall was only too glad to avoid attention.

Typhon asked the captain: "Do you have a name we could use?"

"Among my own people I was known as Makanda."

"Then let it be Captain Makanda."

Today I clicked on an /x/ thread about the upcoming solar eclipse and found this:

Merry, Pippin, Mary Poppins, secret names, golden straw, square heads, and fake colonels

A recent post by William Wright, "March 12 and 13 timelines: Shelob's Lair and a change in the wind," mentions both the Tolkien characters Merry and Pippin and the P. L. Travers character Mary Poppins, but without noting the similarity of the names. I had a vague memory of having posted something about that similarity and wrongly thought that it must have been a comment on William's blog or a post on my own blog inspired by something he had written -- I mean, when else have I had occasion to write about those characters? A search of my blog turns up no mentions of Pippin, and the only Mary Poppins reference is in passing, as an example of a movie I had seen that had Dik [sic] Van Dyke in it. It was on March 14 that I ran the search and found the Dik Van Dyke post. In the comments, Debbie mentions "an episode of the Twilight Zone released on March 14, 1963 called The Parallel."

I finally found what I was looking for, not in anything connected with William Wright, but in a heretofore unpublished sync note from 2015, a time when I was not blogging. Here is the note in question:

Reluctance to reveal one’s name before the time is right (also: M-ry P-pp-n, straw is gold)

2015 Nov 18 (Wed) – I had been reading The Two Towers but took a break for a week or so to read What the Bee Knows by P. L. Travers. Today I finished the last four or five pages of Travers (I had almost finished last night) and immediately after finishing picked up Tolkien again.

This passage is from page 301 of Travers’s 303-page book:

This idea of the secrecy of the name, the taboo against making it known, goes back to man’s very early days, to the time, perhaps, when he had no name. During the war I spent two summers with the Navaho Indians and when they gave me an Indian name they warned me that it would be bad luck both for me and for the tribe if I ever disclosed it to anyone. And I never have. For one thing, I do not want to receive or give bad luck, and for another I have a strong atavistic feeling –– one, I think, that is strongly shared by unlettered people all over the world –– that to disclose one’s name, or take another’s before the time is ripe –– well, it’s dangerous. I tremble inwardly and withdraw when my Christian name is seized before I have given it, and I have the same hesitancy about using that of another person. An Indian –– or a gypsy –– would understand this very well. It is a very ancient taboo and I relate it –– though I don’t suggest that anyone else relate it –– to the earliest times when men built altars ‘To the Unknown God.’ If I were ever to build an altar, I would put that inscription above it.

When I opened up Tolkien, my bookmark was between pages 606 and 607. The very first line:

Here it is with some context from pp. 605-606:

‘Nobody else calls us hobbits; we call ourselves that,’ said Pippin.

‘Hoom, hmm! Come now! Not so hasty! You call yourselves hobbits? But you should not go telling just anybody. You’ll be letting out your own right names if you’re not careful.’

‘We aren’t careful about that,’ said Merry. ‘As a matter of fact I’m a Brandybuck, Meriadoc Brandybuck, though most people call me just Merry.’

‘And I’m a Took, Peregrin Took, but I’m generally called Pippin, or even Pip.’

‘Hm, but you are hasty folk, I see,’ said Treebeard. ‘I am honoured by your confidence; but you should not be too free all at once. There are Ents and Ents, you know; or there are Ents and things that look like Ents but ain’t, as you might say. I’ll call you Merry and Pippin, if you please – nice names. For I am not going to tell you my name, not yet at any rate.’ A queer half-knowing, half-humorous look came with a green flicker into his eyes. ‘For one thing it would take a long while: my name is growing all the time, and I’ve lived a very long, long time; so my name is like a story. Real names tell you the story of the things they belong to in my language, in the Old Entish as you might say. It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time to say anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.

As a second, related sync, the next page of What the Bee Knows (i.e., page 302, the penultimate page) refers to the book Mary Poppins in the Park and the character Mary Poppins (who, of course, is P. L. Travers’s creation). The Tolkien passage features the phonetically similar “Merry and Pippin.”

As a third ancillary coincidence, the paragraph immediately before the one quoted at the beginning of this entry (beginning on page 300) tells the story of Rumpelstiltskin, beginning thus:

‘Rumpelstiltzkin’ was another of my favourites, for its meaning lay very close to me. Everyone knows the story of how the miller’s daughter, in order to become a queen, promises the little old man her first child if he will spin her straw into gold. Of course he does it. It is no problem. To him they are one and the same.

The very first words of page 622 of The Two Towers are “When straw is gold” –– from the song with the Ent and the Entwife.

The fact that two of the syncs feature the very first words of one of Tolkien’s pages is itself a noteworthy coincidence, I suppose.

I looked up this old sync note yesterday, March 14, 2024. It is part of a sync log file consisting of a series of such notes in reverse chronological order, like a blog. Immediately after the note quoted above (and therefore written immediately before it) was this brief one:

Square heads and hairy bodies

2015 Nov 16 (Mon) – Skype. Amber asked me about an alleged trend in Taiwan where people cut a dog’s fur so that its head will be a perfect square.

2015 Nov 17 (Tue) – Read in P. L. Travers’s What the Bee Knows: “the wild women of ancient Russia with square heads and hairy bodies”

This got my attention because I am currently reading Shadowland by Colin Wilson, in which there are several mentions of human beings who have been genetically engineered to have square heads. The first such reference is on p. 342:

Niall . . . blinked with astonishment, suspecting that his eyes were deceiving him. The man seemed to have a square head. Niall pointed to him.

"Is there something wrong with him?"

"No. That is one of the karvasid's experiments. He thought that a man with a different-shaped head could be made more intelligent, but he proved to be wrong. They are very stupid."

Recall that before finding these old sync notes, I had searched this blog for Mary Poppins and found an old post where the March 14, 1963 Twilight Zone episode "The Parallel" was mentioned. Since finding that on March 14 was a bit of a sync, I read the summary of that episode on Wikipedia. An astronaut returns to Earth and slowly realizes that he has slipped into a subtly different parallel universe. One of the first clues is that everyone addresses him as Colonel even though in the universe he knows, he never held that rank. Later that same day, March 14, I read this in Shadowland:

Typhon placed his mouth close to Niall's ear. "If you don't mind, I'll introduce you as Colonel Niall. Most of the men here have military rank."

People with square heads, and a non-colonel being addressed as a colonel. Two pretty specific and unusual themes!

Loaves of gold

(Not to be confused with " Leaves of gold .") Wherever these bread syncs are going, the sync fairies seem intent on connecting all...