The clock is tick-tick-ticking off its judgments. Tick – stupid. Tick – Hey, stupid. It’s new. I bought it for six bucks at the local five-and-dime. La Virgen de Guadalupe smiles serenely from its face, held aloft by angels.

Black Swan, White Swan... Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Formal logic might be the blackest of magics (and it makes for the most excruciating of reads). Just try figuring out the Black Swan Problem. Read a ton of obnoxious articles by formal logicians – who I imagine wear capes and brood in towers while they go about their dark art of turning language into math – without pushing your thumbs into your eyeballs until they pop.

Donald Duck: High Priest of the Illuminati

Conspiracy theorists are dreadfully thorough, but I guess most of them missed this one: Donald in Mathmagic Land, the 1959 Disney featurette starring Donald Duck which teaches us about the Pythagorean cult, the pentagram, the Fibonacci Sequence, and the Golden Ratio.

Jack Kirby And Comic Book Mysticism

You may not recognize the name Jack Kirby, but if you’ve ever argued with your friends over who gets to be Cyclops when you were playing X-Men in your backyard, then you’ve been touched by his creations.

Eye of the Skeptic

Those “I’m always right” types absolutely need faith, or else those vicious doubts start creeping in. Not only will you find faith in the religious mind, calling God a fact, you’ll also find it lurking in the atheist, saying He isn’t. Come to think of it, anyone who uses the word “fact” so easily must be pretty faithful, at least when it comes to their own nonsense.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Beauty, Terror, and the Mysteries of Flamenco -Alibi

Originally published June 4, 2015 via alibi.com

Flamenco is life or death, and the best artists give the impression that they could drop lifeless at the end of a performance with no regrets. It calls to those who are willing to reach deep inside, push through the layers and yank out the squirming bloody core of what it is to be human.

There's also music. And dancing.

Albuquerque is quickly becoming the flamenco capital of the US, and every June the National Institute of Flamenco hosts the Festival Flamenco Internacional—the largest of its kind in the country, with an entire week's worth of performances from some of the biggest names in the genre.

Much of the credit for our city's status as a talent magnet can be given to the National Institute of Flamenco's dance program at UNM.

“In a university you can expose large numbers of people to an art form,” says Professor Eva Encinias-Sandoval, founder of NIF. “There are hundreds of people going in and out of those classes every year. There are people that I taught 30 years ago that now bring their children and grandchildren to study.”

Read the rest...