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31 May 2010

Memorial Day 2010 / "Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know / It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?" / "It is easy to be dead."

Click on image to enlarge.
Memorial Day in the United States is a holiday to honor the military dead of all our wars. It falls on the last Monday of May.
I guess so that we will not run out of war dead to honor, we are currently waging two wars in Asia. To date 4400 men and women in U.S. military uniforms have been killed in combat in Iraq, 1007 killed in the war in Afghanistan; for a total to date of 5407.
Both wars were started by President George W. Bush. President Barack Obama has shifted combat operations from Iraq and is ratcheting up combat operations in Afghanistan.
The flag-draped coffins from these wars are flown back to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. These heartbreaking returns home are shown above. Under a new policy, families of the dead may choose to invite the press to Dover AFB to witness and film and photograph the arrival ceremonies; some families have so chosen.
The dead children of my neighbors -- their troubles are ended. Memorial Day asks Americans to honor only the dead.
Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
We have no similar holiday to honor -- and help -- the thousands of other soldiers and Marines who have returned home wounded, neurologically and emotionally damaged, legs and arms lost, blind, deaf, alcoholic, addicted, and who will spend the rest of their lives -- much shorter than lives who have not served in combat --  struggling to re-integrate into civilian life.
Charles Hamilton Sorley, a Scot from Aberdeen, was shot in the head and died instantly at the Battle of Loos, in France, on Wednesday 13 October 1915.  His body was never found, but  his kit bag was found and sent home to his family. Inside it they found this poem.
Sorely was the first World War One soldier poet to use the word "millions" -- accurately -- to count the carnage.
Bring our troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq immediately, bring them back alive, safe, whole. As commander-in-chief, President Obama can do this with the stroke of a pen -- the same power Bush used to start these disasters and doom my neighbors' children.
~ ~ ~
When You See Millions
of the Mouthless Dead

Charles Hamilton Sorley (1895-1915)

When you see millions of the mouthless dead
Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
Say not soft things as other men have said,
That you'll remember. For you need not so.
Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
Say only this, "They are dead." Then add thereto,
"Yet many a better one has died before."
Then, scanning all the o'ercrowded mass, should you
Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
Great death has made all his for evermore.
Original text: Charles Hamilton Sorley. Marlborough and other Poems. 4th edition. Cambridge: University Press, 1919: 78 (no. XXXIV). First publication date: 1916. Composition date: 1915. Form: sonnet. Rhyme: ababbabacdcdcd

27 May 2010

slightly prettied stamp from the All-Women Planet Mollyringwald / Men are pigs / Seduced & Abandoned / haunted / drinking turpentine

Click image to enlarge.
The Zeta Beam is working again! So I hastily packed my backpack, made my rendezvous with the ZB at the Laundry Club (the most fun it's possible to have doing your laundry), and once again I am in my holiday time-share in Ciudad Vleeptron, around the corner from the Shoe Mirrors Underway station.
Awaiting me in my mailbox, by accident, or by some forbidden criminal act, was a piece of mail from the All-Women Planet Mollyringwald, with a slightly prettier stamp based on the 18th-century barracks ballad "Miss Bailey's Ghost, or The Unfortunate Miss Bailey," who was seduced and abandoned by the wicked English Army officer Captain Smith, serving in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
On Mollyringwald this is not considered a funny or a vulgar song, but rather a Cautionary Tale of the vile proclivities of nasty men. Vleeptron's xenoastroanthropologists believe that the women of Mollyringwald sing "The Unfortunate Miss Bailey" at their religious ceremonies.
I don't know who sent me the stamp. It was on an envelope with just this note:
I like Halifax a lot. I particularly love the Halliburton House Inn, a small, intimate hotel, with a delicious gourmet restaurant, just a few blocks from the Harbor remarkable as the site of the world's biggest man-made explosion before the invention of the atomic bomb. Two ships collided, and the one packed with high explosives on its way to World War One in France caught fire, and within an hour exploded, devastating Halifax. A blizzard followed, killing more people than the blast.
Do ghosts exist? Do they haunt us? Here is a perfectly convincing story of what happens when a military officer and gentleman uses a maiden ungenteely, and how she extracts her Revenge Beyond the Grave -- which, in this case, was in unconsecrated ground, Miss Bailey having hanged herself one morning in her garters.
Let's face it: Men are pigs. Look at John Edwards and Mark Souder. Look at that Mark Sanford guy in South Carolina who hiked the Appalachian Trail all the way to Buenos Aires.
Military gentlemen have been getting drunk and singing this bawdy song for centuries. I like to sing it myself when I'm driving to town. I have a rather competent, even pleasing voice, but it is best suited to slightly comical or perverse songs. In amateur and college theater, I used to get the 2nd comedic lead (with a solo) because I'm loud -- a great musical virtue when there's no electronic amplification. Boys with much lovelier voices who couldn't be heard beyond the fifth row would not get these roles.
"Avaunt!" is an antiquated word which means: Begone! Go Away!
sound ON
right click: Open in New Tab
A Captain bold in Halifax
Who dwelt in country quarters
Seduced a maid who hanged herself
One morning in her garters
His wicked conscience smited him
He lost his stomach daily
He took to drinking turpentine
And thought upon Miss Bailey.
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
One night, betimes he went to bed
For he had caught a fever
Said he, "I am a handsome man
And I'm a gay deceiver."
His candle just at twelve o'clock
Began to burn quite palely
A ghost stepped up to his bedside
And said, "Behold Miss Bailey!"
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
"Avaunt, Miss Bailey!" then he cried,
"You cannot fright me really."
"Dear Captain Smith," the ghost replied,
"You've used me ungenteely!
The Coroner's quest was hard with me
Because I've acted frailly
And parson Biggs won't bury me
Though I'm a dead Miss Bailey."
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
"Dear Ma'am," said he, "since you and I
Accounts must once for all close,
I have a one pound note within
my Regimental small clothes
'Twill bribe the Sexton for your grave."
The ghost then vanished gaily,
Crying, "Bless you wicked Captain Smith!
Remember poor Miss Bailey!"
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!

21 May 2010

fiddleheads! Pick 'em right! Stop rusting! Live forever (if you're not hit by a bus)! / fiddlehead recipes!

Click image, bigger.

Tierra de los Sueños
First Day Issue: fiddlehead
(Matteuccia struthiopteris)

Fiddlehead season has just come and gone, and to our great surprise & delight we find ourselves in the middle of a metric shitload of fiddleheads.

1 metric shitload = 0.8973 English shitload

Fiddleheads are a wild and delicious fern. When they're ready around this moment, you pick and steam them -- not too little and not too much -- and they make a delicious vegetable or salad addition.

Wikipedia says fiddleheads have more antioxidants than blueberries. If you could eat fiddleheads all year round, and not be struck by a bus, you would live forever. 

All living things are like burning candles or rusting iron -- they age, and decay, by the process of oxidation.

Eat blueberries and other berries, and fiddleheads, and (so the theory goes) your oxidation rate slows down. This antioxidant stuff traces back to 2-time (chemistry, peace) Nobel prizewinner Linus Pauling, who, late in life, came to the conclusion that the best way to stop your body from rusting was to gobble enormous amounts of Vitamin C. 

Now it's a little more complicated, and a large group of food molecules called antioxidants will keep you healthy to age 120 (if you're not struck by a bus, or shot in a domestic incident).


... In rural areas, fiddleheads are harvested by individuals in early spring. When picking fiddleheads, three tops per plant is the recommended harvest. Each plant produces seven tops that turn into fronds; over-picking will kill the plant. Maintaining sustainable harvesting methods is important in the propagation of any non-farmed food species.

Culinary uses

Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Fiddlehead Ferns and Sauce Supreme.
Fiddleheads have been part of traditional diets in much of Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as among Native Americans for centuries.

Asian cuisine

In Indonesia, young fiddlehead ferns are cooked in a rich coconut sauce spiced with chilis, galangal, lemongrass, turmeric leaves and other spices. This dish is called Gulai Pakis, sometimes gulai paku, a dish which originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia.

In East Asia, fiddleheads of bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) are eaten as a vegetable, called warabi (蕨) in Japan, gosari (고사리) in Korea, and juécài (蕨菜) in China and Taiwan. In Korea, a typical banchan (small side dish) is gosari-namul (고사리나물) that consists of prepared fernbrake fiddleheads that have been sauteed. It is a component of the popular dish bibimbap. In Japan, bracken fiddleheads are a prized dish, and roasting the fiddleheads is reputed to neutralize any toxins in the vegetable.

In Japan, fiddleheads of flowering fern (Osmunda japonica), known as zenmai (薇) in Japanese, as well as those of the ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), known as kogomi (コゴミ), are commonly eaten in springtime. Fiddleheads in Japan are considered sansai, or wild vegetables.

In the Indian subcontinent, it is found in the Himalayan wilderness. In Kullu valley in Himachal, it is known locally as "lingri" and is famously used to make a pickle "lingri ka achaar".In Kangra velly of Himachal it is called 'Lungdu' in Local Kangri pahari language.

North American cooking

Ostrich ferns are also known as fiddlehead ferns. Fiddleheads are a traditional dish of northern New England (predom. Maine) in the United States, and of Quebec and the Maritimes in Canada. The Canadian village of Tide Head, New Brunswick, bills itself as the Fiddlehead Capital of the World.

When cooking fiddleheads, first remove all the yellow/brown skin, then boil the sprouts twice with a change of water between boilings. Removing the water reduces the bitterness and the content of tannins and toxins. The Center for Disease Control associated a number of food-borne illness cases with fiddleheads in the early nineties. Although they did not identify a toxin in the fiddleheads, the findings of that case suggest fiddleheads should be cooked thoroughly before eating. The cooking time recommended by health authorities is ten minutes if boiled and twenty if steamed. The cooking method recommended by gourmets is to spread a thin layer in a steam basket and steam lightly, just until tender crisp.

Fiddleheads are available in the market for only a few weeks in springtime, and are fairly expensive. Pickled and frozen fiddleheads, however, can be found in some shops year-round.

Health effects – pros

Agriculture Canada reports that scientists are just discovering how nutritious fiddleheads are — even better than blueberries, the gold standard for antioxidants. They have found that fiddleheads are twice as strong as blueberries with regard to antioxidant activity.

Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals linked to the development of a number of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's.

Test results also showed that fiddleheads are packed with the nutrient omega-3 fatty acids.

Fiddleheads are a good source of dietary fibre. They are low in sodium, and contain vitamins A and C, niacin, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium.[1]

Health effects – cons

Some ferns contain carcinogens, and Bracken has been implicated in stomach cancer.[citation needed] Despite this, most people can eat ostrich and cinnamon fern fiddleheads without any problems.

In 1994, there were several instances of food poisoning associated with raw or lightly cooked fiddleheads in New York state and Western Canada. No definitive source of the food poisoning was identified, and authorities recommended thorough cooking of fiddlehead ferns to counteract any possible unidentified toxins in the plant.[2][3][4][5]

Many ferns also contain the enzyme thiaminase, which breaks down thiamine. This can lead to beriberi and other vitamin B complex deficiencies if consumed to excess or if one's diet is lacking in these vitamins.[6]


  • Lyon, Amy, and Lynne Andreen. In a Vermont Kitchen. HP Books: 1999. ISBN 1-55788-316-5. pp 68–69.
  • Strickland, Ron. Vermonters: Oral Histories from Down Country to the Northeast Kingdom. New England Press: 1986. ISBN 0-87451-967-9.

External links

18 May 2010

Glory Hallelujah! Holy Joe Mark Souder (R-Indiana) confesses to adultery, resigns from US Congress! / Happy Days Are Here Again! / The Devil made him do it / Hit the road Jack & dontcha come back no more no more no more no more

Click image & it may get bigger.

Republic of Gilead
Commemorative Issue:
U.S. Representative Mark Souder resigns

U.S. Congressman Mark Souder, Republican from Indiana's 3rd District, the biggest right-wing Holy Joe Jesus-Loving gay-bashing racist xenophobe paranoiac creep in recent American politics, has just announced his resignation!

Happy Days Are Here Again!

Looks as if the Holy Promise Keeper, married father of two children, was sticking his schwantz into A Female Not His Wife. The Female Not His Wife appears also to be married.

Souder was elected to Congress 8 times -- he's been sickening America for about 15 years. In his Fort Wayne district of Indiana, the voters have proved, over and over again, that you CAN fool most of the people all of the time.

I can honestly say I hated nobody in the US Congress worse than Souder. Nobody did more damage to America than Souder. Nobody forced fundamentalist right-wing Caucasian Christianity on American public life more sleazily and ferociously than Souder. He was the living political embodiment of the creepy near-future vision of the USA which Margaret Atwood envisioned as "The Republic of Gilead" in her novel "The Handmaid's Tale" -- read it or rent the movie.

I don't think this creep would have ever confessed to his peccadillo on his own, spontaneously. My guess is a cloud of some sort of pressure was darkening his day and setting a doomsday date, or some truly aggressive journalist had sniffed out this story, and Souder had to blab on himself before it leaked to the whole wide world and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

This is a Great Day  
for America!

Here's Souder's resignation announcement, as posted on his Congressional website. Amen! Hallelujah!


* * *

Contact: Renee Howell, 2022254436

Souder's Resignation 

from Congress

It is with great regret I announce that I am resigning from the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as resigning as the Republican Nominee for Congress in this fall’s election.

I believe it is the best decision for my family, the people of northeast Indiana, and our country.  I will submit my resignation to Speaker Pelosi effective this Friday.

I can never fully thank all those who have worked so hard, given so much and supported me through eight contested primaries and eight general elections.  Only when you have been the recipient can you really feel the humbling power of such generosity.

It has been a privilege to be a part of the battle for freedom and the values we share.

It has been a great honor to fight for the needs, the jobs, and the future of this region where my family has lived for 160 years.

It has been all consuming for me to do this job well, especially in a district with costly, competitive elections every two years.  I do not have any sort of “normal” life –for family, for friends, for church, for community.

To serve has been a blessing and a responsibility given from God.  I wish I could have been a better example.

I sinned against God, my wife, and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff.

In the poisonous environment of Washington D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain.

I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process.

Diane and my family were more than willing to stand here with me.

We are a committed family.

But the error is mine and I should bear the responsibility.

Not only am I thankful for a loving family but for a loving God.  My comfort is that God is a gracious and forgiving God to those who sincerely seek his forgiveness as I do.

But I am so ashamed to have hurt those I love.

I am so sorry to have let so many friends down, people who have fought so hard for me.

The ideas we advocate are still just and right.

America will survive and thrive when anchored in those values.

Human beings, like me, will fail, but our cause is greater than individuals.

It is based upon eternal truths.

By stepping aside, my mistake cannot be used as a political football in a partisan attempt to undermine the cause for which I have labored all my adult life.

I love this area.

This is my home.

It has been such an honor to serve you.

For sixteen years, my family and I have given our all for this area the toll has been high.

As I leave public office, my plans are focused upon repairing my marriage, earning back the trust of my family and my community, and renewing my walk with my Lord.

I humbly ask you, for the sake of my family that you respect our privacy in this difficult time.

[ - 30 - ]


The Goshen News
Goshen, Indiana USA
Tuesday 18 May 2010


Alleged Souder 
mistress identified


SYRACUSE, Indiana -- Both and the Washington Post are reporting that Tracy Meadows Jackson, a part-time staffer in Mark Souder’s Indiana office, is the congressman’s alleged mistress.

The Washington Post reports that Jackson, who is in her early to mid-40s, has worked part-time for the 3rd District U.S. Rep. since 2004.

There is a Tracy Meadows Jackson who lives and works in Syracuse. She is a registered Mary Kay consultant with the Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce. She is also married to Kosciusko County Commissioner Brad Jackson.

A Goshen News reporter went to the Jackson home in Syracuse, but was asked to leave the property immediately.

- 30 -

16 May 2010

PizzaQ! Wazzis? Huh? / also: it's FIDDLEHEAD season!

Click image, maybe it grows.

Okay, this one's easy -- at least for 1 regular Vleeptron Commenter / Reader. 

But the rest of you should be able to figure it out with a little Sherlock Holmes-ing or C. Auguste Dupin-ing.

What is this?

3 slices with genuine Gouda and fiddleheads! (It's fiddlehead season!)

15 May 2010

"Bach's Concerto No. 1 in C-Minor" by Turkish poet Nâzim Hikmet

Bach's Concerto No. 1 in C-Minor

by Nâzım Hikmet (1902 – 1963)


Fall morning in the vineyard:
       in row after row the repetition of knotty vines,
       of clusters on the vines,
       of grapes in the clusters,
       of light on the grapes.

At night, in the big white house,
       the repetition of windows,
       each lit up separately.

The repetition of all the rain that rains
       on earth, trees, and the sea,
       on my hands, face, and eyes,
       and of the drops crushed on the glass.

The repetition of my days
               that are alike,
               my days that are not alike.

The repetition of the thread in the weave,
          the repetition in the starry sky,
          and the repetition of "I love" in all languages,
          and the repetition of the tree in the leaves,
          and of the pain of living, which ends in an instant
          on every deathbed.

The repetition in the snow -
                the light snow,
                the heavy wet snow,
                the dry snow,
the repetition in the snow that whirls
in the blizzard that drives me off the road.

The children are running in the courtyard;
in the courtyard the children are running.
An old woman is passing by on the street;
on the street an old woman is passing by;
passing by on the street is an old woman.

At night, in the big white house,
               the repetition of windows,
               each lit up separately.

In the clusters, of grapes,
on the grapes, of light.

To walk toward the good, the just, the true,
to fight for the good, the just, the true,
to seize the good, the just, the true.

Your silent tears and smile, my rose,
your sobs and bursts of laughter, my rose,
the repetition of your shining white teeth when you laugh.

Fall morning in the vineyard:
       in row after row the repetition of knotty vines,
              of clusters on the vines,
              of grapes in the clusters,
              of light on the grapes,
              of my heart in the light.

My rose, this is the miracle of repetition -
to repeat without repeating.

Warsaw, 23 February 1958
translated from Turkish
by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk

14 May 2010

Gelfond's Conjecture (1968) is proved! / The Sum of digits of Primes is evenly distributed! Half even, half odd (on average) / bouillabaisse

Click on table, gets bigger.

Peut-etre notre Homme-sur-le-Terre de Helvetia knows better than the Beloved Nasty Seegar-Smoking Editor for Agence-Vleeptron Presse (A-VP), but I think this-here CNRS / Université de la Méditerranée is in Marseille.

Marseille has long been celebrated throughout Planet Earth and the Milky Way Galaxy for its revolutionary breakthroughs in pure mathematics. Also they make really delicious bouillabaisse. 

As one of the Earth's busiest ports, Marseille appears to have been founded by the great sailors of the ancient Mediterranean, the Phoenicians. (Necho II, or Wehimbre Nekao, Pharaoh from 610 to 595 BCE, hired Phoenician sailors to make the first circumnavigation of Africa, starting in Egypt, sailing west beyond the Pillars of Hercules into the Atlantic, ending 3 years later in Egypt.) Food historians think bouillabaisse was originally a Phoenician dish. So they could cook, too.

(I personally discount the ancient slur against the Phoenicians and Carthaginians that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians threw babies into the mouth-oven of their god Molok. Rome won The Big Fight, and thus got to write the history of their enemy and its evil ways. Everybody studies Latin in school. Nobody studies Phoenician and reads their version.)

Here's what the Marseille Mathematicians
Christian Mauduit and Joël Rivat have PROVEN. Since 1968, this Truth of Number Theory has just been a guess. Now and forever, it's Known With Certainty. (If Mauduit and Rivat didn't make any embarrassing boo-boos.)

Table 1 at the top shows 11 sequential Prime Numbers, then the sum of their decimal digits.

It's just been proven that throughout the set of Primes, on average, half these sums will be even (and the other half odd).

* * *

Paris, May 12, 2010

The sum of digits of prime numbers is evenly distributed

On average, there are as many prime numbers for which the sum of decimal digits is even as prime numbers for which it is odd. This hypothesis, first made in 1968, has recently been proven by researchers from the Institut de Mathématiques de Luminy (CNRS / Université de la Méditerranée).

A prime number is an integer greater than or equal to 2 that has exactly two distinct natural number divisors, 1 and itself. For example,

2, 3, 5, 7, 11 ... 1789 ... etc.

are prime numbers, whereas 9, divisible by 3, is not a prime number.

Numerous arithmetical problems concern prime numbers and most of them still remain unresolved, sometimes even after several centuries. For example, it has been known since Euclid that the sequence of prime numbers is infinite, but it is still not known if an infinity of prime numbers p exists such that p+2 is also a prime number (problem of twin prime numbers). In the same way, it is not known if there exists an infinity of prime numbers, the decimal representation of which does not use the digit 7.

Two researchers from the Institut de Mathématiques de Luminy (CNRS / Université de la Méditerranée) have recently made an important breakthrough regarding a conjecture formulated in 1968 by the Russian mathematician Alexandre Gelfond concerning the sum of digits of prime numbers. In particular, they have demonstrated that, on average, there
are as many prime numbers for which the sum of decimal digits is even as prime numbers for which it is odd.

The methods employed to arrive at this result, derived from combinatorial mathematics, the analytical theory of numbers and harmonic analysis, are highly groundbreaking and should pave the way to the resolution of other difficult questions concerning the representation of certain sequences of integers.

Quite apart from their theoretical interest, these questions are directly linked to the construction of sequences of pseudo-random numbers and have important applications in digital simulation and cryptography.


Paris, 10 mai 2010

La somme des chiffres des nombres premiers est bien répartie

l y a en moyenne autant de nombres premiers dont la somme des chiffres décimaux est paire que de nombres premiers pour lesquels elle est
impaire. Cette hypothèse formulée en 1968 vient d'être démontrée par des chercheurs de l'Institut de mathématiques de Luminy (CNRS / Université de la Méditerranée).

Un nombre premier est un nombre entier supérieur ou égal à 2 dont les seuls diviseurs entiers sont 1 et lui-même. Par exemple,

2, 3, 5, 7, 11 ... 1789 ...

sont des nombres premiers, alors que 9, divisible par 3, n'est pas un nombre premier.

De nombreux problèmes arithmétiques concernent les nombres premiers et la plupart d'entre eux sont sans réponse, parfois depuis plusieurs siècles. Par exemple, on sait depuis Euclide que la suite des nombres premiers est infinie, mais on ne sait toujours pas s'il existe une
infinité de nombres premiers p tels que p+2 est aussi un nombre premier (problème des nombres premiers jumeaux). De même on ne sait pas s'il existe une infinité de nombres premiers dont la représentation décimale n'utilise pas le chiffre 7.

Deux chercheurs de l'Institut de mathématiques de Luminy (CNRS / Université de la Méditerranée) viennent de faire une percée importante sur une conjecture formulée en 1968 par le mathématicien russe Alexandre Gelfond concernant la somme des chiffres des nombres premiers. Ils ont démontré en particulier qu'il y a en moyenne autant de nombres premiers dont la somme des chiffres décimaux est paire que de nombres premiers pour lesquels elle est impaire.

Les méthodes mises en oeuvre pour obtenir ce résultat, issues de la combinatoire, de la théorie analytique des nombres et de l'analyse harmonique, sont très novatrices et devraient ouvrir la voie à la résolution d'autres questions difficiles concernant la représentation de certaines suites de nombres entiers.

En complément de leur intérêt théorique, ces questions sont directement liées à la construction de suites de nombres pseudo-aléatoires et ont des applications importantes en simulation numérique et en cryptographie.


Sur un problème de Gelfond: la somme des chiffres des nombres premiers, C. Mauduit, J. Rivat, Annals of Mathematics, Vol. 171 (2010), No. 3, 1591–1646, mai 2010

Consulter le site web

Chercheurs l
Christian Mauduit l T 04 91 26 96 65 l
Joël Rivat l T 04 91 26 95 78 l

Presse CNRS l Elsa Champion

l T 01 44 96 43 90 l

2 old fart superannuated US Army veterans rap about The Issue That Dare Not Speak Its Name

The other night, NBC-TV Nightly News anchor Brian Williams warned viewers to send their little kids out of the room before a horrible story about a murderous attack on schoolchildren in China.

So Vleeptron wants to warn you that if the subject of Bringing Back The Draft -- universal military conscription -- makes you go ballistic (or schoolyard, or postal), you might want to leave the room.

Vleeptron probably wins the Blogosphere Award for Courage & Bravery -- we'll post Anything if we find it interesting. We're not even scared to post about mathematics, despite how it sends 98 percent of the world into an Ennui Allergy Coma Fugue.

Controversy is Mother's Milk to Vleeptron.

But in 37 years of Blogging, the Hottest Button turns out to be The Draft, and bringing it back to the USA military.

And Vleeptron sincerely apologizes to those readers whom we've upset or offended by our call to Bring Back the Draft.

But I just can't wimp out about this topic for fear of pissing off or distressing nice people.

I'm convinced, more and more every year, that ending the Draft in 1972 was the worst, most dangerous, and most unjust mistake in American political life. America -- and the whole wide world -- are still paying for this catastrophic mistake, more and more every year.

We're not paying for it with money. The USA is the most prosperous nation on the planet. If it's just a question of bucks, we can keep affording the "All-Volunteer Military."

But instead of $$$, the USA is paying for this catastrophic mistake with the lives, the legs, the arms, and the lifelong psychiatric and neurological torment of my neighbors' kids.

We can always earn (or print) more money.

But a young man's life or a young woman's life -- we need to decide how important or how trivial the war death or maiming of an American soldier or Marine or sailor is, and make that importance, or that triviality, the First Principle of our national defense policy.

The USA body politic needs to face this issue, and not keep sweeping it under the rug because it's such a Hot Button political issue.

Fuck every Member of Congress who's such a whore that he or she will do anything to make sure he or she gets re-elected.

And the quickest way to make yourself vulnerable to losing your seat in Congress is to call for Bringing Back The Draft. We've let The Draft become the Poison Pill of elected politics, and no one in our national political life -- no senator, no member of Congress, no potential presidential candidate -- has the guts to even mention or whisper The Issue That Dare Not Speak Its Name.

We can't even objectively study or rationally analyze the effect the "All-Volunteer" policy has on our military effectiveness. Has it made the US military stronger?

Or has it crapped up and seriously weakened our military effectiveness?

We dare not even ask out loud: Did The Draft accomplish our military's mission better?

* * *

Okay, so I've been relapsing back to Internet Relay Chat.

Particularly to a chatroom that talks about USA politics 24/7/365, and most of the chatters are from a very right-wing superpatriotic Fox News Channel (and superbigotted) perspective. 

I get booted out regularly. The easiest way to get kicked out is to type:

{Droog4} I voted Obama, you betcha! and I'm gonna do it again in 2012

* Droog4 has been kicked from #usarightwingpolitics for being a traitor and a filthy drug-addict homo kike liberal who should leave the USA or die horribly of some loathsome disease

{insecti} is a regular on this very popular chatroom, but I'd never had much direct conversation or nasty fistfighting with him. He's an Old-Style Conservative gent -- his politics are 180° from mine, but in a decent, honorable sort of way, with no taint of bigotry, cruelty or Fox News Channel irrationality. When we notice one another at all, we politely "agree to disagree."

The other night he posted something quite surprising: 

He's a US Army veteran from the Korean War (1949-1952)!

And he also served during My War, the Vietnam War (finally ended 1974).

For obvious natural reasons, you don't run into a lot of Korean War vets on IRC ... or anywhere.

So I private-chatted him. What a very interesting chat that turned out to be.

~ ~ ~

{Droog4} sincerity: ON    thanks for serving

{insecti} Same to you.

{insecti} I understand that you must have volunteered for the draft, right?

["volunteering for the draft" was an option with certain advantages. Many guys who knew the draft was going to catch them inevitably anyway, and who got tired of waiting in limbo for it to happen, volunteered to be drafted, and received certain job-training benefits.]

{Droog4} nah, a clean grab by the Selective Service ... i'd dropped out of college and got tired of fighting it

{Droog4} i hated the war, i hated the draft, i hated the Army -- but I wish they'd bring the Draft back immediately

{insecti} LOL.  Same deal since you gave up

{Droog4} oh yes, i guess i could have done the Canadian Plan B

{insecti} I have mixed feelings about the draft.  It allows SO much graft

{Droog4} but i wasn't letting psychos chase me out of the land of my birth

{insecti} not good, Canadian plan

{insecti} right

{insecti} Lots of people avoid the draft

{Droog4} for me, it's all about sharing the risk, all classes, all ethnicities, every American

{Droog4} otherwise we play War Poker with somebody else's chips

{insecti} I agree and it should be leakproof, mandatory training at least for everyone

{Droog4} and during WW2, NOBODY wanted to dodge the draft ... it was a kind of suicide for the rest of your life to spend the war at home in civvies

{Droog4} you design the new leakproof draft, i will sign off on it

{insecti} When I returned from Vietnam, I was a USAR [United States Army Reserve] unit advisor in WV [West Virginia].  Damned waiting list to get into Reserve and avoid was corrupt.

{insecti} I started the list over, bound ledgers, numbered pages, all entries in  indelible ink.  no changes except with one line thru the prior entry.

{Droog4} well (and I'm speaking about my Air Force Reserve firefighter brother) ... if the Reserves and NG would take you, it was a form of serving and sacrifice -- and any Reserve unit can be sent to the war zone with the stroke of a pen

{insecti} Same with my brother.  He was in Infantry Reserve for six years, and some of those units were activated to do training for the Army at Fort Polk [Louisiana]

{insecti} Right on WWII. 

{Droog4} at Benning, the XO of a National Guard battallion called up for active duty hanged himself with his bootlaces

{insecti} not surprised.  I liked Benning.  Good old historic post

{Droog4} well the WWII thing is instructive -- when you have a draft, and every man is vulnerable to it, presidents and Congress tend to make wiser choices of our wars

{insecti} 194 Brigade deployed from there

{insecti} sure do.

{Droog4} i was 197th [Infantry Brigade], it was changing to Air Mobile [helicopters], and deployed for Desert Storm

{insecti} 197.  at Benning?

{Droog4} yes, in my Vietnam era, 197th was the largest brigade in the Army, but then it just did training missions

{insecti} where was it?   Benning?

{Droog4} yes, Benning, not Main Post, the area called Kelley Hill -- a long drive from Main Post

{Droog4} one of 197th training missions was to be "the enemy" against the OCS cadets {Droog5} yes, Benning, not Main Post, the area called Kelley Hill -- a long drive from Main Post

{insecti} Kelley Hill? 

{insecti} Harmony Church area?

{Droog4} no ... Harmony Church was also 197th Brigade -- but even loster lonelier deeper in the godforsaken woods

{insecti} It must have come back to Benning after Vietnam

{insecti} Been to those. 

{insecti} When I was in basic there, 1955 and early 56, we were all over those areas.  Lived in barracks near [parachute training] jump towers

{Droog4} i felt sorry for myself on Kelley Hill, but I REALLY pitied anybody who ended up (without wheels) in Harmony Church -- a lot of those guys walked around with concealed firearms, it was the Wild West

{insecti} I know.

{Droog4} hahaha Main Post had 2 movie theaters, and the smaller one would show "art cinema" flix, that was a fun crowd

{insecti} bet so

{Droog4} that's another thing about the draft -- the Army finds itself with some really goofy very highly educated talented guys it doesn't get with the All-Volunteer

{insecti} I was there again about 1963 for a school. I liked Benning except the outlying areas.

{Droog4} the A-bomb scientist Serber, one of his jobs at Los Alamos was to teach ordinary drafted soldiers with Big IQs about A-bomb science

{insecti} That is the part of the draft I loved.  We got lots of smart guys to do work requiring some smarts

{Droog4} oh yes, Columbus [Georgia, the town adjacent to Fort Benning] -- when i had bucks and wanted to celebrate, the finest restaurant was I-HOP [International House of Pancakes]

{insecti} That was where we got training clerks, electronics guys etc

{Droog4} but Phenix City [Alabama] was worse -- our sergeant strenuously warned us to keep away

{insecti} what was that one near the traffic circle?  black steer or something

{insecti} good idea.

{Droog4} oh yeah the steakhouse -- you remind me there WAS gourmet dining in Columbus

{insecti} was the Chickimauga (sp) Club in Columbus then?  Prolly already closed

{insecti} LOL

{insecti} Right uptown

{Droog4} no recollection of the Chickimauga Club

{insecti} Right uptown.  Mighta been a different name.  Wild place. 

{Droog4} BUT ... Atlanta was pretty close and a lot of fun ... and i had a motorcycle and Benning was actually near Andersonville and the biggest Civil War cemetery I ever saw, through gorgeous countryside

{insecti} Later met the guy and his wife in Florida.  She owned it.  She was married to a General at Benning.  My friend was a GS-11 [high rank job in federal civil service] in Florida

{insecti} He took her away from the General and was riffed out for it and retired in grade of MSG [Master Sergeant], with captain rank in his hip pocket

[rif = RIF = Reduction In Force, buzzword for a mass forced retirement of career soldiers]

{insecti} Those were the days.

{Droog4} okay, here's the kind of jerk the draft drags in -- apparently i held the Third Army high-score on the D-LAT, the Esperanto language talent test

{insecti} I know that.  Smart people needed by the Army and that is now lost

{Droog4} yeah, my office boss at Benning was an SSG {Staff Sergeant], the day he retired he showed up in his Korea-era Major's uniform

{insecti} Plus we got lots of immigrants working out citizenship for military and some of those people were really smart too

{insecti} Right.  There was a lot of that.  Guy like that got riffed and held his reserve commission, got promoted right along and retired in the officer rank

{Droog4} well ... the immigrants, and the Caribbean island volunteers ... it just troubles me that with the Volunteer Army, we're contracting-out our risk and national defense

{insecti} we are

{insecti} and our citizens miss the experience and the great lifelong feelings of service

{Droog4} Israel, love it or hate it, has put together a fearsomely respected and effective military with universal conscription of both genders

{Droog4} no Israeli can enter political life who hasn't served in the IDF

{insecti} People who made this country after WWII were those who served

{Droog4} they can, but nobody will vote for them

{insecti} that is a good idea

{Droog4} yes, there is the question of Shared National Experience. Just serving in peacetime Cold War Germany made Americans love Elvis, thrust him over the top

{insecti} Really nice chatting with you.  I see you here all the time.  I have to do some stuff.  Couple of wife's little rental houses are vacant and she is having work done

{insecti} right.

{Droog4} have a great day, c u laterz!

{insecti} Those WWII guys here, I knew in their HS

{insecti} later.

12 May 2010

PizzaQ! wtf is this? Each correctly identified red circle wins Topping of your choice! Go crazy! Anchovies!

Click image, maybe gets bigger.

I just liked the way it looked before I put any title or text on it. I'm making it to illustrate a future Vleeptron post about something I thought was fascinating and important.

But What Is It?

It's a Real Thing

Not an Imaginary or Fictitious Thing, like the crap I write and draw about my holiday Planet Vleeptron. 

Everything in this image represents a Real Earth Today Thing.

1 Medium Pizza if you figure out what it is ...

but 1 Topping of Your Choice for Every Correct Identification of Every Red Circle! (So you could win 9 Toppings!)

(Now I've numbered all 9 circles so you can try to identify them.)

06 May 2010

well it's one two three what are we fighting for? we're fighting for States Rights! Too bad we lost! / history as perceived by the vanquished

Doonesbury is an extremely popular, widely read USA comic strip. It's often politically controversial, with a proud and obvious heavy left hand, and quite a few subscribing newspapers run it on the Editorial Page rather than the comics page --  apparently on the theory that no children will read it on the Editorial page, and become politically contaminated, or oversophisticated.

A few weeks ago, newly elected Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Republican, proclaimed an official month honoring the War Between the States -- what those in former Confederate/Southern states call the Civil War (1861 - 1865). 

His proclamation praised the brave Confederate soldiers, their ideals, virtues and sacrifices ... but made no mention that the Southern states were slave states and were fighting to preserve the institution of African slavery.

Those defending his proclamation's curious wording said instead that the Confederacy had fought to uphold the principle of States' Rights -- that is, that every state had rights to conduct government, justice, commerce and law in its own local way, and the federal government had only limited powers to demand that a state obey and conform to federal wishes on any issue. That's what the WbtS had been about to the Confederacy.

Virginia has lots of African-American voters, lots of them the descendants of slaves. They interpreted the governor's proclamation, and failure to mention slavery (which the Northern victory in the Civil War ended), as a clear pandering to white voters on the most primitive and racist end of the political spectrum. And a clear Fuck You to the Commonwealth's African-American residents, and the ordeal their ancestors endured in America (in both the South and the North, including my Massachusetts) for centuries.

The proclamation received so much national attention -- pretty much all bad -- that within a few days McDonnell reversed himself and issued a modified proclamation which acknowledged that slavery had indeed been a fundamental issue which the Confederacy had indeed fought to preserve.

In effect, the Governor explained that he had forgotten Slavery, or perhaps never knew about it, but it had now been constructively brought to his attention, and he now wanted the issue included in Virginia's celebration of the War Between the States. The whole Proclamation Thing had really been A Teaching Moment for everybody. Praise the Lord.

McDonnell, a former US Army supply officer, is a graduate of Notre Dame, and a law grad of Regent University, a fundamentalist Christian-themed school founded by fundie televangelist Pat Robertson.

This Doonesbury strip was part of a series lampooning the governor's original proclamation, and asking what Virginians  think the Confederacy stood for and fought for ... if it wasn't about African slavery ... as so many Americans have been misled or maleducated to believe.

Roland Hedley is Doonesbury's fictional TV reporter for Fox News Channel, which is owned by the non-fictional Rupert Murdoch

Roland is not particularly bright, but being particularly bright -- or particularly fair or accurate -- has always been a career negative at Fox News Channel. Brains & Journalistic Ethics & Integrity Bad. Perky Tits & Twinkling Teeth Good.

Fox was a constant 8-year cheerleader for former President George W. Bush, and Fox has been a constant hurler of rotten fruit and vegetables at his successor, Barack Obama. Through Fox's lens, Bush could do no wrong, Obama has done no right.

Jon Stewart hosts the very popular "The Daily Show" about politics on cable TV's Comedy Central. It may look like all jokes and cheap laughs, but Stewart's interviews with Big Players, his uncomfortably tough, blunt questions, and his commentary on the political scene, have evolved into an extremely influential factor in national opinion and elections.

Where Fox points its needle -- usually to spear and smear anyone to the left of Kraft Cheese Singles -- Stewart pretty much points "The Daily Show" needle 180° the other way.

Stewart regularly sticks it to Obama, particularly for Obama's slowness or reluctance or inability to fulfill a number of important campaign promises -- like ending both of Bush's Asian wars. 

As the new military Commander-in-Chief, it is fully within Obama's sole authority to cease US military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, and bring all US troops home. 

He has done nothing of the sort; and in fact has shifted military efforts and increased US combat in Afghanistan.

On several issues, the Obama administration has acted with such sympathy and harmony with the bizarre and anti-constitutional precedents set by Bush that some wags refer to Obama as "Bush Lite." For example, the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo, a US military zone in Cuba, is still open, to keep detainees beyond the reach of the habeas corpus powers of U.S. courts. Obama promised to close the detention facility at Guantanamo.

To the best of my knowledge, Fox has never had a nice or positive thing to say about Barack Obama or any of his activities as President. On Fox, the world is still -- or ought to be -- White and Republican, or something even creepier. The White part is not in itself creepy. I know lots of very non-creepy White People.

The Republican Party in recent years has chosen to morph itself into something pretty creepy -- well, the political reflection of Fox News Channel's view of America and the World. They think that's where the votes and the power will ultimately prevail.

Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus) is a particularly severe chronic autoimmune disease. You don't want to get it. You don't want to watch Fox News Channel.

04 May 2010

S.W.M.B.O. is elected to an important public office in our new town

New neighbors urged S.W.M.B.O. to run for Trustee of the Public Library. When she happily agreed she was out of town and phoned me at the last minute and asked me to crank out a Vote For Cynthia poster (above) and spread it around town in time for the election. With permission, the poster went up at the Transfer Station -- taped right above the big hole where everyone has to throw their trash -- the Public Library itself, and the General Store. (The Town Office, Senior Center / Grange Hall and Post Office were closed.)

My efforts as Campaign Manager bore fruit. The polling place closed at 8 pm, and we got a call from the very nice Town Clerk at 10 pm to inform Cynthia she'd been elected, with 38 votes -- which is many more townspeople than we think we actually know or could possibly have met yet. Any voter who wanted to vote for a Trustee had to have memorized the candidate's name, spelled reasonably correctly, to write it on the ballot; no candidate names for this office had been printed on the ballot.

Okay, so our Public Library is not exactly the Library of Congress or the Great Library at Alexandria. 

From the Library's website:

The Chesterfield Public Library is the community connection to reading, lifelong learning, and personal and professional enrichment for people of all ages. The library maintains an open, unbiased environment and upholds the public’s right of access to information. The library also serves as an informal community gathering place.

But it's got books, bunches of books, books crammed floor to ceiling on every wall, it's got computers, it's comfortable, friendly, even intimate, and if a public school student can't find what he/she needs there, the expert librarians will track it down and get it for the kid. With the help and resources of our Library, an ambitious kid can get into Cal Tech or Sarah Lawrence.

The Library -- like every public library in this economy -- is stressed, stripped of traditional funding, important resources it's depended on -- the travelling Bookmobile -- have been shut down. So the challenge is to keep the Library as healthy and strong as possible during the Hard Times, to make sure it keeps serving every patron well. The neighbors thought S.W.M.B.O. would be good at that. She's excited and enthusiastic.

As for matching her talents and interests with this job, S.W.M.B.O. and I are both obsessively fond of books. Books were those physical, tangible things made of sheets of paper with words and images printed on the paper in ink. Older people may remember them. To read them, you sat down in a comfortable chair, held them in both hands and turned the pages one at a time. They didn't use batteries or need to be plugged in or recharged. No wi-fi involved, they just magically already had all the knowledge and wisdom inside them, reliably, every time you opened them.
With a little kindness and respect, some books get very old, and the older they get, the more beautiful they became to the eye, to the touch and to the mind and heart; they even exuded an especially lovely fragrance. I have a wonderful badly knocked around (beloved, used, studied) Euclid published in Philadelphia around 1820, from plates originally published in Edinburgh, Scotland. It thrills me every time I see its spine in my bookcase, and intoxicates me with its nearly two centuries of preserved wisdom whenever I open it. I think it begins

A point is that which hath no dimension.

A line hath one dimension, length.


and with a great big
valise full
of books to read
where it's peaceful
where I'm
killing time
being lazy

............ -- "Lazy" by Irving Berlin

S.W.M.B.O. will be sworn in as Trustee, along with about ten other new and re-elected Town officials, some volunteers, some paid a small salary or stipend, at the upcoming Town Meeting.

I'm Bob, the new Library Trustee's husband (and campaign manager).