In Greek mythology, the three muses are goddesses of inspiration for literature, science and art. Many great poets, including Homer, Shakespeare and Milton have called upon the Muses in their most famous works:

Homer, The Odyssey: “Sing to me O Muse, of the man of twists and turns […]”

Shakespeare: “How can my Muse want subject to invent,; While thou dost breathe, that pour’st into my verse; Thine own sweet argument?”

Milton, Paradise Lost: “Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit; Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste; Brought death into the World, and all our woe,; With loss of Eden, till one greater Man; Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,; Sing, Heavenly Muse […]”

In this section of Ishango Bones I hope to collect and gather those things that “sing” and carry inspiration and beauty. Enjoy.

The Summer Day

 Muse  Comments Off on The Summer Day
Jan 242013

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

– Mary Oliver

 Posted by at 2:30 pm

The Inner Landscape of Beauty

 Featured, Muse  Comments Off on The Inner Landscape of Beauty
Jan 232013

“In Greek the word for ‘the beautiful’ is to kalon. It is related to the word kalein which includes the notion of ‘call’. When we experience beauty, we feel called. The Beautiful stirs passion and urgency in us and calls us forth from aloneness into the warmth and wonder if an eternal embrace. It unites us again with the neglected and forgotten grandeur of life.”

 Posted by at 9:11 pm

God Speaks to Each of Us Before We Are

 Muse, Spirituality  Comments Off on God Speaks to Each of Us Before We Are
Nov 042012

God speaks to each of us before we are,
Before he’s formed us —then, in cloudy speech,
But only then, he speaks these words to each
And silently walks with us from the dark:

Driven by your senses, dare
To the edge of longing. Grow
Like a fire’s shadowcasting glare
Behind assembled things, so you can spread
Their shapes on me as clothes.
Don’t leave me bare.

Let it all happen to you: beauty and dread.
Simply go —no feeling is too much —
And only this way can we stay in touch.

Near here is the land
That they call Life.
You’ll know when you arrive
By how real it is.

Give me your hand.


 Posted by at 7:35 pm

Spring and Fall – Gerard Manley Hopkins

 Muse  Comments Off on Spring and Fall – Gerard Manley Hopkins
Nov 042012

MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

 Posted by at 7:09 pm

The Man Who Was Thursday

 Muse  Comments Off on The Man Who Was Thursday
Nov 042012

A cloud was on the mind of men, and wailing went the weather,

Yea, a sick cloud upon the soul when we were boys together.

Science announced nonentity and art admired decay;

The world was old and ended: but you and I were gay;

 Posted by at 7:07 pm

Admit Something

 Muse  Comments Off on Admit Something
Nov 042012

Admit something:
Everyone you see you say
“Love me!”
Of course, you don’t say this out loud
Someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this,
This great pull to connect.
Why not become the one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye,
Who is always telling in that sweet moon language
What every other eye in this world
Is dying
To hear.


 Posted by at 7:04 pm

iPhone Aliasing

 Muse  Comments Off on iPhone Aliasing
Oct 062011

Cameras in cellphones do not have a mechanical ‘shutter’ as in conventional cameras, but scan an image line-by-line as is typical in video cameras. When shooting a moving or rotating object, the shutter scan interferes with the subject’s motion and results in some odd images — very much like the “backwards wagon wheels” you see in old movies and TV westerns.

Check out this rubber propeller, caused by the action of the shutter against the motion of the airplane engine

This animation explains why

Print Me a Stradivarius and then Compose Me a Song

 Muse  Comments Off on Print Me a Stradivarius and then Compose Me a Song
Feb 172011

3D printing has long fascinated me. Maybe I am just naive but this kind of stuff never ceases to amaze me. –snip– It works like this. First you call up a blueprint on your computer screen and tinker with its shape and colour where necessary. Then you press print. A machine nearby whirrs into [more …]

 Posted by at 7:55 pm

Antikythera Mechanism – Lego Style

 History, Math, Muse  Comments Off on Antikythera Mechanism – Lego Style
Dec 102010

Antikythera Mechanism - Lego Style

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was recovered in 1900–1901 from the Antikythera wreck. Its significance and complexity were not understood until decades later. Its time of construction is now estimated between 150 and 100 BC. Technological artifacts of similar complexity and workmanship did not reappear until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks were built in Europe.

The mechanism is the oldest known complex scientific calculator. It contains many gears, and is sometimes called the first known analog computer, although its flawless manufacturing suggests that it may have had a number of undiscovered predecessors during the Hellenistic Period. It appears to be constructed upon theories of astronomy and mathematics developed by Greek astronomers and it is estimated that it was made around 150-100 BC.

 Posted by at 3:26 pm


 Muse  Comments Off on Poems
Oct 052007

And yet it just won’t go away:
I feel it and cannot understand it;
cannot hold on to it;
nor yet forget it;
and if I grasp it wholly
I cannot measure it!

–Richard Wagner

 Posted by at 6:25 am