the Nina Simone experience

For a time i have not had a ‘the chord that struck’ post and in the recent days i have simply become inebriated by Nina Simone’s body of work, her accomplishments, her choices, her activism but most of all her authentic musical soul.

However she managed to imbue her music with such truth, revelation and pain as to move a crowd even decades later to a complete and utter breakdown is the gift that keeps giving. As an African woman the lessons and dedications in her music ring painfully with every chord more so because not only because it is true but because it is continuous, every so often the repression of black individuals around the world like a snake sheds its skin and takes on a life anew.

In the 19th century it was slavery, in the 20th it was colonialism and now the behemoth we face has donned a new face of neo-colonialism and in the west systematic incarceration and indiscriminate extra-judicial killing of blacks. The pill is hard to swallow, allow Nina to transport you to the water, because as always swallow it we will and rise again and again as we always do.

Do enjoy!

 

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planetarium

BY ADRIENNE RICH

Thinking of Caroline Herschel (1750—1848)
astronomer, sister of William; and others.

A woman in the shape of a monster
a monster in the shape of a woman
the skies are full of them

a woman ‘in the snow
among the Clocks and instruments
or measuring the ground with poles’

in her 98 years to discover
8 comets

she whom the moon ruled
like us
levitating into the night sky
riding the polished lenses

Galaxies of women, there
doing penance for impetuousness
ribs chilled
in those spaces of the mind

An eye,

‘virile, precise and absolutely certain’
from the mad webs of Uranusborg

encountering the NOVA

every impulse of light exploding

from the core
as life flies out of us

Tycho whispering at last
‘Let me not seem to have lived in vain’

What we see, we see
and seeing is changing

the light that shrivels a mountain
and leaves a man alive

Heartbeat of the pulsar
heart sweating through my body

The radio impulse
pouring in from Taurus

I am bombarded yet I stand

I have been standing all my life in the
direct path of a battery of signals
the most accurately transmitted most
untranslatable language in the universe
I am a galactic cloud so deep so invo-
luted that a light wave could take 15
years to travel through me And has
taken I am an instrument in the shape
of a woman trying to translate pulsations
into images for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind.

you take my breath away

I wish it was September because that was his birthday, by him i mean Freddie Mercury, 25 years after his tragic demise.He really was the stuff of legend, legendary in his performances, legendary personal life and most of all a legendary death.

I of course had the misfortune of being birthed after his death and even i know of his greatness, his lyrics and music though ridiculously complex and befuddling many at times have a piercing power that i have yet to encounter again.

His style is definitely an acquired taste but once acquired quickly turns into an incorrigible addiction, he even made an appearance in Kurt Cobain’s suicide note.

I certainly wish him all the nirvana he gave all of us wherever he may be, he certainly took my breath away.

Do enjoy!

he rocked my world

I mean sometimes it actually hits me, the king of pop died.

Michael was more than a living legend he was a god of music,to music what the gods were to the Greeks, unmatched talent, amazing choreography and just that magical stage presence.

I am not even a particularly hardcore fan and even i can see that we can only hope to ever hear such great music ever again, but at what cost?

However lovely the video above is,was it not obvious that his health had most certainly taken a nosedive. He looked malnourished, neglected and miserable.Did we really love the music so much so as to ignore the man behind it?

I only hope that the next Michael we get,we care for.

Do enjoy nonetheless!

 

what is an Erdős number?

oldcore

After studying Actuarial mathematics for 3 years now you would imagine that by now i have an inkling as to what an erdős number is. But alas my ignorance shall astonish you time and time again so be ready.

Finding out about this was a real treat for me, seeing as i hope to get into the paper-writing academic sphere soon enough.Thing is i am not at all an ordinary mathematician as you would have it.I don’t have the brightest brain,won all the mathematical awards that have come my way and neither do i fantasize about numbers all 24 hours of the day, maybe a solid 8.

In fact happenstance  landed me at the door of mathematics as you may have already gathered i am most certainly more obsessed with poetry than i am with numbers.But then again mathematics has offered me a more profound view of everything i thought i knew and turned it on its head,revealed truths and unmasked dogmas that i hadn’t imagined before.But if anything, I have found in this craft it is certainly better to practice it with colleagues if only to propel you further when the fuel of perseverance runs out or to contain and share the enthusiasm on the discovery of yet another solution.

So imagine my utter elation when i heard of this Erdős number that is a metric for that very part of mathematics i love the most, collaboration.It started with renown 20th century Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős who wrote an impressive number of mathematical papers and worked on an outstanding number of problems with his peers throughout his mathematical career.

Since he co-authored so many of his works(it is estimated that he had circa 511 collaborators throughout his mathematical career.)The Erdős number was created mainly as  tribute to the fallen giant measuring the collaborative distance between anyone and him.

As he has the Erdős number 0,all his direct collaborators have the number 1, and all the direct collaborators’ collaborators have the number 2, and so on and so on.What was just a fun metric measure of how many mathematicians a mathematician has encountered professionally has now transformed the field of all sciences entirely.

The progress of mathematical thought can now be easily documented, tracking down the path of research even that without the confines of mathematics because a considerable number of scholars in other fields too have Erdős numbers.This spirit of collaboration has enticed me even more to my prior mission of writing academically because what two minds can uncover in a second one may never be able to even fathom in an eternity .After all with research its all about more knowledge not self-aggrandizement.

(Thank you abyssbrain for the latter’s recommendation,what a great read.)

inventor or discoverer?

For a while now I have marveled at the works, formulas and axioms laid out by the likes of Euler, Cantor, Ramanujan, Weibull, Archimedes, Plato and Aristotle you name it, some without even realizing it. The immaterialness of these sciences of physics, philosophy and most notably mathematics are my poison of choice.
The most frequented method used to uncover the laws and truths of these sciences is mostly induction whereby instead of using the observatory tool then concluding. The process begins with the conjuring of rational thought regarding a specific occurrence that is then tried and tested and if it holds the previously regarded hypothesis transcends to universal law or truth hopefully for eternity or some other universal will be realized effectively upending the era of the old truth.
My query has to do with those who ‘conjure up these ideas’ are they the creators of these axioms or are they just like geologists who after spending much time with the rocks, rocks in these cases being the concepts that are even if not known stumble upon these truths and transmit them to the rest of us.
Are they the fountains of creation for these truths that exist only by their command or are they just like Fleming accidentally bumping into treasure troves of knowledge hiding in plain sight? Truths that have their existence quite separate from their discoverers and whose revelation would come by whichever hand sooner or later.
The subject matter most of them deal with only serves to further spoil the broth for example mathematics and philosophy whose practicality is very observable but in their purest forms cannot belong to this corporeal world of ours. They belong to the world that Plato refers to as the ‘world of generals’ for they encompass the most perfect forms of their earthly instances, that which can only be grasped by the perfection of the mind. So I guess what I am really asking is whether these concepts exist naturally or not?
That appears to be a rather obvious question with an indefatigable yes for an answer but without us and even more importantly these scientists would they not lose all their utility for even if they exist if we who are the only ones who can comprehend them are not around to use them then do they really exist?
So are they our masters or are we theirs?

It is quite difficult to describe the exact role of these terribly intelligent persons, yet it is such a necessity for they did us and generations to come so much due diligence it’s time we repay them with their well-deserved reverence.

the chord hath struck

hope when you take that jump you don’t feel the fall,

hope when the water rises you built a wall.

hope when  the crowd screams out they’re screaming your name,

hope if everybody runs you choose to stay,

i hope that you fall in love and it hurts so bad

i hope that you don’t suffer but take the pain,

hope when the moment comes,

you’ll say,

i did it all,

with every broken bone I swear I lived

(glee cast)

This show took the better part of my teenage years and taught me so much,magical lessons of both music and life.Guiding many through the transformative power of restoration.Despite some of the more ludicrous episodes and ridiculous humor the beating heart of the show was both spectacular as it was truthful.Cheers to having eyes that not only see the world as it is but that also see it as it should be and are open to the possibility.THANK YOU for the music Ryan Murphy,Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk.

Adios old friend.