Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Ultimate Proof - A Mathematician's Tribute

" Proof (2005) ".

Let X equal the quantity of all quantities of X. Let X equal the cold. It is cold in December. The months of cold equal November through February. There are four months of cold, and four of heat, leaving four months of indeterminate temperature. In February it snows. In March the Lake is a lake of ice. In September the students come back and the bookstores are full. Let X equal the month of full bookstores. The number of books approaches infinity as the number of months of cold approaches four. I will never be as cold now as I will in the future. The future of cold is infinite. The future of heat is the future of cold. The bookstores are infinite and so are never full except in September...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Conception Of Saint John The Baptist

The Conception Of Saint John The Baptist.

Rejoice, O barren one, who formerly did not bear a child, for you have conceived the Lamp of the Sun, who is to illumine the whole universe darkened by blindness. Rejoice, O Zachariah and cry out with boldness: “The prophet of the Most High desires to be born !”

Podoben: “The angelic choir ...
Great Zachariah rejoices with his wife, the far-famed Elizabeth, for she has fittingly conceived John the Forerunner, whom an angel announced in gladness; and whom we rightly honor as an initiate of the grace of God.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Queen Millennia

Queen Millennia - Opening Credits.

Queen Millennia - Last Episode - First Part.

Queen Millennia - Last Episode - Middle Part.

Queen Millennia - Last Episode - Last Part.

Queen Millennia - Closing Credits.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Uplifting Of The Holy And Life-Giving Cross

Before Your Cross, we bow down in worship, O Master,
and Your Holy Resurrection, we praise and glorify.

Troparion - Tone 1

O Lord, save Your people, and bless Your inheritance. Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries. And by virtue of Your Cross, Preserve Your habitation.

Kontakion - Tone 4

As You were voluntarily raised upon the cross for our sake, grant mercy to those who are called by Your Name, O Christ God; make all Orthodox Christians glad by Your power, granting them victories over their adversaries, by bestowing on them the Invincible trophy, Your weapon of Peace.

Exodus 15:22 ¶So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. 23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 25 And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. 27 And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters. 16:1 ¶And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

On the 14th day of the Seventh month (September), we celebrate the Uplifting of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross. The choosing of the date is completely random. Any similarities with any other celebration, of this or any other religion, are completely coincidental ...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 And The Twin Towers

Exactly half-way between the Birth of the Holy Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, on one hand, and the Elevation of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross, on the other, three days following the first Feast, and precisely the same number of days preceding the second, the unthinkable happened, while two people-loaded planes crashed full-speed ahead, each in one of the two once-mighty and populated Towers overlooking the Manhattan bay area. All Hell brake loose, while the brutally savage carnage and monstrously macabre massacre which followed just shortly thereafter took on some unspeakable proportions: not only did those poor people have to die by their thousands: men, women, ... and children; but also the dire manner in which they died was of a most gruesome kind, ending their short-lived lives in a grisly fashion, having to make the horrid choice between either being burned alive in a dreadful, all-devouring, fiery inferno, ... or being smashed against the hard, concrete floor after a horrific hundred-yards-jump into the void ... "with no strings attached" (who has ever thought that an expression like this might one day sound so grim and grey ?). I guess it was the American way, after all; ... I mean, maintaining one's options open even at times like that: ... it seems like death is "pro-choice", after all ...

The Two glorious Towers, once splendidly rising their faces to the heavens, with their fore-heads crowned by clouds, like emperors adorned with laurels, now lay abased in ashes; their ruins: pulverized to dust.

But the power of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross and the fervent intercessions of the Holy Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary are two towers which no enemy shall ever tear down and defeat or put to shame.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Godly Grand-Parents Joachim And Anna

The Holy, Righteous, Godly Grand-Parents Joachim And Anna.

Since you were righteous under the law of grace, O Joachim and Anna, you gave birth to the God-given infant for our sake. Therefore, the divine Church radiantly keeps feast today, joyfully celebrating your honorable memory and giving glory to God who has raised up a horn of salvation from the house of David.

Podoben: “Seeking the highest ... ”
Anna is now no longer barren and nurses the All-Pure One! She rejoices and calls us all to sing a hymn of praise to Christ, who from her womb gave mankind the only ever Virgin Mother.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Birth Of The Holy God-Birth-Giver

The Birth Of The Holy Mother Of God
and Ever-Virgin Mary.

Troparion - Tone 4

Your Nativity, O Virgin, has proclaimed joy to the whole Universe! The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, has shone from You, O Theotokos! By annulling the curse, He bestowed a blessing. By destroying death, He has granted us eternal Life.

Kontakion - Tone 4

By Your Nativity, O Most Pure Virgin, Joachim and Anna are freed from barrenness; Adam and Eve, from the corruption of death. And we, your people, freed from the guilt of sin, celebrate and sing to you: The barren woman gives birth to the Theotokos, the nourisher of our life!

Second Vesperal Reading

Ezekiel 43:27 And when these [seven] days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD. 44:1 ¶Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. 2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. 3 It is for the Prince; the Prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same. 4 ¶Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face.

And so the New Church Year begins, with the Birth of the Theo-Tokos on September 8, and the Conception of Saint John the Baptist on September 23; and ends with the Falling-Asleep of the Mother of Life on August 15, and the Beheading of the Fore-Runner on August 29.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Tora! Tora! Tora!

Creator of the universe, setting times and seasons by Your sole authority, bless the cycle of the year of Your grace, O Lord, guarding our rulers and Your nation in peace, at the intercession of the Theotokos, and save us.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone

You who created all things in Your infinite wisdom, and set the times by Your own authority, grant Your Christian people victories. Blessing our comings and goings throughout this year, guide our works according to Your divine will.

Gospel reading

Luke 4:15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. 22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?

Though the creation of the world took place in the month of April, and thus at the beginning of Spring (Exodus 12:1-20, 51), the years began to be counted only after Adam’s expulsion from Paradise, because -the Garden of Eden being ‘Heaven on Earth’- it was impossible to measure time while standing in the all-encompassing presence of the transcendent Lord and eternal God. But, with mankind’s subsequent fall – which probably took place in the Fall, since the Fathers make repeating, recursive references to man sojourning a number of ‘seven’ days, maybe years, or perhaps decades, -some say even centuries (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8)- in the Garden – the seventh month of the year was chosen for marking the beginning of counting time. Thus, September 1 became the Ecclesiastical New Year (Leviticus 23:23-44), the Old Covenant bestowing sanctity and holiness upon the seventh day and seventh month, while the New Testament hallowed the first day and month, thus expressing its belief in, and reminding us of, Christ’s restoring, redeeming and recapitulating mission, through His saving messianic work.

As we read our way through the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, we witness a gradual increase of temporality, as well as materiality, happening before our very eyes. On the first day, the ethereal light comes into existence, only to be followed on the second by the fluids, through the separation of the gaseous atmosphere from the liquid hydrosphere, and, on the third, by the earth’s solid crust emerging from below the great, dark surface of the all-engulfing primordial ocean.

At the same time, we see the immeasurable eternity slightly unfolding itself by the gradual appearance of clockwise mechanisms, capable of dividing and quantifying the before-then ungraspable essence of its primordial Chaos, into which the Same divine Logos plunged as into a deep, vast sea of darkness, crying out aloud to the inert, disordered Nothingness: ‘Let there be light !’ ... ‘and it was light’ – thus the first day ever came into being: the first and smallest natural way of counting time, by the repetitive and undisturbed succession of days and nights: ‘and it was evening, and it was morning – day one’.

Three days later, on the fourth of the week of creation, the luminaries came into existence, ‘to divide the day from the night’ – thus reinforcing the power of the before-made distinction; and to ‘be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years’ – thus not only increasing the strength to what has been previously made, but also adding new elements of temporality: for the Moon does not only measure the night, but also the months; and the Sun, in its turn, measures not the day only, but also the years ... and not only that, but, by creating the Sun on the fourth day, while letting the Moon achieve its fullness only on its fifteenth day, He shows us His great Wisdom, by revealing before-hand to us the eleven day difference between the Solar and Lunar years.

The number of the fourth day, chosen for the creation of the time-measuring celestial bodies, is not taken merely by accident, but is meant to reveal unto us the fourfold division of each of the dimensions of our threefold Universe, thus reminding us of the Priestly breastplate of judgment, consisting of four rows of three stones each: the four seasons which crown the yearly cycle: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter; the four corners of the earth: North, South, East and West, -or the four spatial directions: forth, back, left and right-; and the four elements, created on the first three days: light, air, water and earth.

But the year is not the only fourfold time-unit: the day itself consists of four such periods: morning, day, evening and night. Thus the parallel between each of the four day-periods and the four seasons of the year becomes suddenly clear: Spring is as morning, Summer as day-light, Autumn as evening, and Winter as night. The last consists of three months: December, January and February, making the second analogical to midnight. Autumn, on the other hand begins with September. The Gregorian calendar counts the days from midnight till midnight and the years from January to January, whereas the Julian one, on the other hand, counts the days from evening till evening and the years from September to September. – A perfect parallelism!