The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

September 22, 2007

[...] would have guessed [...]

"However, notwithstanding this apparent variety, mantras are always regar-
ded as a form of speech differing from language in that, unlike language,
they are not bound by 'conventions' nor associated with objects, but on
the contrary are oriented toward the very origin of the Word and of the

>From Vac, The Concept of the Word in Selected Hindu Tantras, Andre Padoux,
SUNY Press, 1990.

"The pleasure in the act of Venus is the greatest of the pleasures of the
senses; the matching of it with itch is unproper; ahtough that also be
pleasing to the touch. But the causes are profound. First, all the organs
of the senses qualify the motions of the spirits; and make so many several
species of motions, and pleasure or displeasures thereupon, as there be
diversities of organs. The instruments of sight, hearing, taste, and
smell, are of several frame, and so are the parts for generation.
Therefore Scaliger doth well to make the pleasure of generation a sixth
sense; and if there were any other differing organs, and qualified
perforations for the spirits to pass, there would be more than the five
senses; neither do we well know whether some beasts and birds have not
senses that we know not; and the very scent of dogs is almost a sense by

>From Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, 693.

"The spline that is numbered as six defines the top of the breasts. It
curves in to form the hollow of the back and the shoulder blades. This
spline is also the widest of the three, because the area between splines
five and six will overlap into the attached arms.

"Spline number seven outlines the middle of the breasts. Its effect on the
shape of the breasts can be seen the clearest in the top view. The nipples
are modeled separately and attached at the very front and slightly to the
sides of spline number seven.

"The eighth spline [...] profiles the base of the breasts. In the front
view, both splines seven and eight curve around to form the roundness of
the breasts. While seven and eight curve down in the front view, number
six curves up. The middle front vertices of splines seven through nine are
moved up to form the thoracic arch. All three splines curve inward at the
back for the shoulder blades and spine."

>From 3-D Human Modeling and Animation, Peter Ratner, Wiley, 1998.

"Why do all men, both foreign and Greek, count in tens, and not in any
other numbers? For instance, they might count 2,3,4,5, and then repeat
one, five, two five, and so on as now they say eleven, twelve, and so on.
Or why do they not stop at a number beyond ten and repeat from there? For
each number is made by putting a preceding number and one, two, and so on
with another number before them, and hence another number is formed, but
they always count from ten as a limit. For as this is invariably done it
clearly cannot be due to chance; for what is invariable and occurs in
every case cannot be a chance arrangement but must be due to nature. [...]
Or is it because all men have ten fingers? Having then counters of a
natural number, they number all other quantities by this number. The
Thracians are the only race who count in fours, because like children they
cannot remember very far, nor have they any use for any large number."

>From Aristotle, Problems, XV, 3, trans. W. S. Hett, Loeb, 1926.

"Their lives are graced through my reading their works come alive.
Devouring their living works compress their lives into one.
Insolence of their letters directed actions of my own.
Coming into fruition of work and life through my reading of them."

>From Textbook of Thinking, Alan Sondheim, open-lock, 1991.

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