Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Saying YES and St. Joseph!

Hurray! March 19 - and the "coronation" Mass of Francis I!

I have been busy with many little puzzles and projects, and apologise - but let us keep praying and working - as the old Benedictine motto ora et labora has it - whether we be working at computing or chemistry or fiction or fantasy or cooking or music.

One fascinating project I got to do over the last weekend was to write the code to render a new coat-of-arms I just contrived for my Saga. This is the arms for that secret and ancient organization known as the High Court of Chivalry - I finished it on Sunday but have not yet posted it on the website where it belongs. For the moment, I will merely give the blazon, and you may contemplate what it will look like...
Sable, seme of mullets argent: a cross Or amid four Swords of Chivalry in saltire, points inward; on the cross an escutcheon gules charged with the sun in his splendor Or.

Motto: οὐκ ἦλθεν διακονηθῆναι, ἀλλὰ διακονῆσαι
He did not come to be served, but to serve. Mt20:28

Sword of Chivalry: blade argent, pommell Or, with three gems (Azure,Vert, Gules)
Sorry it doesn't require any sorting, but I did get to do some "sum of angles" computations, which are always fun.

Someday I might try to envision the arms of the Order of Computer Science - should that ever be founded. It probably ought to have this famous curve, the equation for which is
y = x·(1–x)

Oh yes, it's stunning! (Someday I'll get a teeshirt made with it. On the back it can have the equation and below that say "Thank God for George Boole!") And if you don't know why that parabola is important, you had better go and think about it. It's even in the gospel, and this "bit" may well be the motto for our arms:
ἔστω δὲ ὁ λόγος ὑμῶν ναὶ ναί, οὒ οὔ: τὸ δὲ περισσὸν τούτων ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ ἐστιν.

Let your word be Yes for Yes, and No for No; whatever goes beyond this, comes of evil. [Mt 5:37]
For today, let us thank St. Joseph the Worker, the Terror of Demons, the Custodian of Virgins, and the Protector of the Universal Church, for his "Yes" to God, and ask him to help us also always say "Yes" to whatever He asks of us.

P.S. Now that I think about it, maybe our arms ought to be like our trees, with the root at the top. Then this parabola could form the curve of the shield. Er... maybe not. But perhaps our crest should be: "A tree inverted, proper."