Friday, January 25, 2013

Turning Tables

 "Did Obama Just Take Default Off the Table?"

(Flashback) Business Insider:  
"Obama Ad, 'Table,' Lays Out President's Vision"

"In a lengthy new television spot, President Barack Obama lays out his pitch to American voters in a direct-to-camera style that has been well-received in the past. In the ad, called 'The Table,' Obama summarizes his four-point plan for a second term...'[I]f I could sit down with you in your living room or around the kitchen table here's what I'd say..." (Source)

"Table" (definition) "Old English tabule, variant of tabula < Latin: plank, tablet..." (Source). "Tablet" (definition) "early 14c., 'slab or flat surface for an inscription' (especially the two Mosaic tables of stone), ...'slab'..." (Source) "late 12c., 'board, slab, plate,' from Old French table 'board, plank, writing table, picture' (11c.)... from Latin tabula 'a board, plank, table,' originally 'small flat slab or piece' usually for inscriptions or for games, of uncertain origin, related to Umbrian tafle 'on the board.' [Cf.]...the ...Latin word ... mensa...Figurative phrase turn the tables (1630s) is from backgammon (in Old and Middle English the game was called tables). Table talk is attested from 1560s, translating Latin colloquia mensalis. ...The adjectival phrase under-the-table 'hidden from view' is recorded from 1949; under the table 'passed out from excess drinking' is recorded from 1921." (Source)

("The Tablets of the Law" badge, 1277; Image Source; article here)

"The Tablets of Stone, Stone Tablets, Tablets of Law, or Tablets of Testimony (in Hebrew: ...Luchot HaBrit - 'the tablets [of] the covenant') in the Bible, were the two pieces of special stone inscribed with the Ten Commandments when Moses ascended Mount Sinai as recorded in the Book of Exodus. Exodus  31:18 refers to the tablets as the 'Tablets of Testimony'. According to the Bible, there were two sets. The first, inscribed by God, were smashed by Moses when he was enraged by the sight of the Children of Israel worshiping the Golden Calf; and the second, later cut by Moses and rewritten by God. According to traditional teachings of Judaism in the Talmud, they were made of blue sapphire stone as a symbolic reminder of the sky, the heavens, and ultimately of God's throne. Many Torah scholars, however, have opined that the Biblical 'sapir' was, in fact, the lapis lazuli..." (Source) For more on sapphire, see HERE.

"[T]he Stele of Revealing [was] an Egyptian tablet that had inspired [Aleister] Crowley during his trip in 1904 to Cairo, where it was object number 666 in the Museum of Antiquities." (John Carter, Sex and Rockets, p. 84).

(John Dee; Image Source)

The so-called "Enochian Tablets," also designated by Crowley by the phrase "the Watch Towers of the Universe" were  communications, alleged to have been from sort of spirit beings termed "angels," received by 16th Century Elizabethan "sorcerers" Edward Kelley and John Dee. "According to Kelley, the angels showed him large tablets bearing unusual letters, which supposedly formed the oldest language of them all: the language of the angels." The language was called "Enochian," the story goes, after the "lost books of Enoch" that the "angels" gave to Kelley and Dee. Also supplied were "...Calls...for summoning angels to the caller...". In his own "magickal workings," Jack Parsons employed some of these materials, for example "the Enochian 'Air Tablet'..." (Carter, Supra., pp. 92, 111, & 119).

Many people today are now carrying around a sort of modern day "Air Tablet." Amongst the popular brands of "Tablet computer" currently available is the "HTC Air." The so-called "Tablets" run on "Android." "Android is a Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. ...Android, Inc. was founded in Palo Alto, California in October 2003 by Andy Rubin (co-founder of Danger),... Rich Miner (co-founder of Wildfire Communications, Inc.),... Nick Sears... (once VP at T-Mobile),... and Chris White (headed design and interface development at WebTV)... to develop, in Rubin's words 'smarter mobile devices that are more aware of its owner's location and preferences'" (Source)

The Outer Limits: "Blank Slate," (Season 5, Episode 8, 2 April 1999): "This well-manicured man is being change by somebody and is carrying all of his memories in a box." (Source)


"Rather than just displaying your most recent activities, your profile will become a scrapbook documenting your entire life, all the way back to your birth. Facebook will become a record of your existence: All your memories, your victories and your defeats, your loves, your losses and everything in between." (Source)

"Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon...The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray."
~ Revelation 12:3, 9, NIV
(The "SnapDragon" logo manages to combine elements suggestive of the dragon [lexically] and phoenix [symbolically] on a stylized Taiji [Yin-Yang Symbol]; Image Source)

"Snapdragon is a family of mobile system on chips (SoC) by Qualcomm. Qualcomm considers Snapdragon a 'platform' for use in smartphones, tablets, and smartbook devices. The original Snapdragon CPU...[was] dubbed Scorpion..." (Source)

Another important sort of table is the "Periodic Table of the Elements." For more on elements, see Here. But let me just make a few points.

First: " a chemical element with the symbol Au (aurum in Latin, meaning glow of sunrise)...". "AU" represents the glow of the Aurora (Source). It also stands for Australia, which has been in the news here, here, and here.

Second, "Cobalt" has cropped up in some interesting places of late. "Mission Impossible IV" (which I mentioned here) was associated with "The Dark Knight" (e.g., of Aurora notoriety) in several ways. For example: "Paramount is on a mission to redo the 'Mission: Impossible' franchise. ... It's possible that the title won't even include any variation of the familiar moniker (much as Christopher Nolan's Batman sequel was simply titled 'The Dark Knight')" (Source). More importantly, Ghost Protocol sort of introduced the Dark Knight Rises: "...Warner Bros. plans to attach a six minute prologue to The Dark Knight Rises to all IMAX prints of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol" (Source); Sidebar: See the two "Sabine Moreaus" here and here)

Here's a bit of movie review text that - to my eyes, anyway - is just bristling with Forteana:
After a rash of red-baiting anti-communist films in the early 1950s, the popular cinema of the English-speaking world largely abandoned communist villains in favour of conspiratorial freelance crooks (like "Spectre" in the Bond movies) and trouble-making renegades. This canny practice continues, and in the fourth big-screen spin-off of long-running TV espionage series Mission: Impossible the villain is Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), a deranged Swedish nuclear scientist trying to create a third world war by fomenting conflict between the United States and Russia. The plot is much the same as that in the latest Sherlock Holmes [Cf. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7] picture, though the aim here is the quite literal end of civilisation as we know it so that a newly cleansed world can open up for mankind. (Source)
Now (fairly or not) People magazine summarized "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" as being about "about a flim-flam man bombing select targets in Europe in an effort to start a world war" adding, parenthetically, that "WWI ignites a mere two decades after the film is set" (Source).

Compare: "Eve of Disaster. Why 2013 eerily looks like the world of 1913, on the cusp of the Great War" (Source).

"Ghost Protocol" (which name evokes specters of the past, does it not?) centers around the efforts of a physicist-cum-terrorist, code-named "Cobalt" to incite a global nuclear cataclysm. "Cobalt is a chemical element with symbol Co..." (Source) "CO" is also the abbreviation for a certain US state, host of shooting tragedies from Columbine to Aurora (See here and here). Physics (particularly in its quantum aspects) has sometimes been called the "new alchemy" (Source).These quantum-atomic alchemical-physical musings are associated with the WWI era...oh, say...around 1911-1912.

(Programming Language: COBOL; Image Source)

The dastardly corporation in Inception is also called "Cobol." One commentator wrote: "Cobal (sp?) - This unseen corporation has a very comic book feel to it. The name sounds like 'cabal' or 'cobalt'" (Source).

An additional worthy mention goes to the notion of the Tabula Rasa or "Blank Slate," perhaps most well known as a facet of John Locke's epistemology, but certainly not without its antecedents. According to this conception, associated with naïve formulations of empiricism, the mind is more or less "empty" (i.e., a "blank slate") until it is "filled" (or, inscribed upon) by sense experience. However, empiricists can (and do) dissent. For example, Francis Bacon is often cited as opposing the tabula rasa position. An overview of certain aspects of the philosophical debate can be glimpsed here. A related discussion, termed the "nature-nurture debate," has taken place in psychology.

"A fly lands on President Barack Obama while he speaks in the White House"
[Larry Downing/Reuters] Source; Image Source Cf. Here

Thought experiments are often employed when considering issues of this sort. One may appeal to various literary visions to make one's case - pro or contra. For example, "one [might]...envision an...extreme experiment: the depositing of a population of pre-adolescents on a desert island, Lord of the Flies-like. A tabula rasa quickly ceases to be a clean slate (if it ever was...)" (Paul Kerswill, "Contact and new varieties," Raymond Hickey, The Handbook of Language Contact [Wiley-Blackwell, 2012], p. 238).

"BAAL-ZEBUB [, BEELZEBUB or BEELZEBUL] ...Philistine [god] mentioned in...II Kings i. 2, 3, 6, 16)... As the word stands, it means 'Baal of flies'...the god who expels or destroys flies; though it may also mean the patron or controller of flies. ...A [Zeus Apomyios - APOMYIUS/Apomuios, 'Averter of Flies'/'driving away the flies,' a surname of Zeus at Olympia. On one occasion, when Heracles was offering a sacrifice to Zeus at Olympia, he was annoyed by hosts of flies, and in order to get rid of them, he offered a sacrifice to Zeus Apomyius, whereupon the flies withdrew across the river Alpheius...] was worshiped at Elis in Greece as a disperser of flies...[The name is commonly explained after the Septuagint and Josephus, 'Ant.' ix. 2, § 1, as the 'Lord of Flies'...Plagues [are] often ascribed to the influence of flies...Apollo Apomyios [Cf. HERE, HERE, and HERE - Ed.] [was another Greek] god who dispelled lies...[T]he fly was regarded by the Jews in particular as more or less impure and demonic. 'The evil spirit [ye-er ha-ra] lies like a fly at the doors of the human heart,' says Rab, with reference to 'the flies of death' in Eccl. x. 1 (Ber. 61a and Targ. Yer. to the passage). 'A fly, being an impure thing, was never seen in the slaughterhouse of the Temple' (Abot v. 8), nor did one cross the table of Elisha; which fact, according to Rab, gave proof to the Shunammite woman that he was 'a holy man' (II Kings iv. 9; Ber. 10b). The devil in German folk-lore also appears in the shape of a fly..." (Sources: 1, 2, & 3; For more information, see here and here).

Of (Fortean) interest are the numerous cultural references to the tabula rasa, or "blank slate." Here is a sampling.

A 2002 work by author Steven Pinker, in the vein of evolutionary psychology, is titled The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. Wikipedia's summary describes it as "a[that argues] against tabula rasa models of the social sciences." (Source)

("Amazo," the Android; Image Source)
(Amazon selling Android Tablets; Image Source)

The animated super-hero themed television series called "The Justice League" ran "Tabula Rasa" episode (by a creative team that included Dan Riba and the interestingly named Stan Berkowitz) that aired on October 4, 2003. The plot apparently revolves around two stories. Firstly, "Lex Luthor controls and manipulates a powerful android named Amazo [who has] the ability to copy and collect any superpower... Meanwhile, J'onn questions the nature of humans and struggles with the burden of hearing thousands of their minds in his head at the same time after performing a psychic sweep of the city of Metropolis in a failed attempt to locate Luthor." (Source) Now, just for grins, we could a question. If a "blank slate" episode "wipes" the mind, then with what is that wiped mind filled thereafter? The next "program" of October 11, 2003, titled "Only a Dream," (by Butch Lukic & Stan Berkowitz) involves: "Small time crook John Dee" who "volunteers for an experimental treatment while in prison." However, "[w]hile the authorities are distracted by a mass prison break...John Dee overdoses to become the dream-controlling Doctor Destiny...[who subsequently] takes telepathic control of most of the team [I presume this is a reference to the "Justice League" hero characters -Ed.] in their sleep, leaving Batman and J'onn to save the others. As the League members become trapped in their dreams and unable to wake up, J'onn tries to force them awake, while Batman goes to confront Dr. Destiny." (Ibid.)

Another series, the Sci Fi Channel show Stargate Atlantis, had a November 2, 2007 "Tabula Rasa" entry. In the plot (created by Martin Wood and Alan McCullough), "[a] deadly disease courses through Atlantis, causing the entire expedition to lose their memory." And two characters must work to reverse, correct, or otherwise remedy this pitiful state of affairs. (Source)

"The Shulchan Aruch (...literally: 'Set Table')...also known as the Code of Jewish Law, is the most authoritative legal code of Judaism. It was authored in Safed, Ottoman Eyalet of Damascus, by Yosef Karo in 1563 and published in Venice two years later... Together with its commentaries, it is the most widely accepted compilation of Jewish law ever written" (Source; For more information, see HERE.)

Sefer Sheva Mitzvot HaShem ("The Book of the Commandments of the Name"): Chabad views: A Shulchan Aruch for Gentiles[:] After the late Rebbe of Chabad Lubavitch, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, started his Noahide Campaign in the 1980s, the number of Gentiles willing to keep the Seven Laws of Noah as described in the Torah increased...A codification of the exact obligations of the Gentiles in the spirit of the classical Shulchan Aruch was needed. In 2005 the scholar Rabbi Moshe Weiner of Jerusalem accepted to produce an in-depth codification of the Noahide precepts...The work is called Sefer Sheva Mitzvot HaShem, (The Book of Seven Divine Commandments) published 2008/2009. As it is approved by both Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar and Rabbi Yonah Metzger, as well as other Hasidic- and non-Hasidic halachic authorities like Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz and Rabbi Jacob Immanuel Schochet, it can claim an authoritative character and is referred as a 'Shulchan Aruch'... for Gentiles at many places" (Source - Stamped: "This page was last modified on 15 January 2013 at 19:39.")

"In Judaism, the Seven Laws of Noah (...Sheva mitzvot B'nei Noach) form the major part of the Noachide Laws, or Noahide Code... This code is a set of moral imperatives that, according to the Talmud, were given by God... as a binding set of laws for the 'children of Noah' – that is, all of humankind...According to religious Judaism, any non-Jew who adheres to these laws is regarded as a righteous gentile, and is assured of a place in the World to Come (Olam Haba), the final reward of the righteous... Adherents are often called 'B'nei Noach' (Children of Noah) or 'Noahides' and may often network in Jewish synagogues...The rainbow is the modern symbol of the Noahide Movement, recalling the rainbow that appeared after the Great Flood of the Bible" (Source)

("Over the Rainbow"; Image Source)
(The so-called "awakened Crown Chakra" is here depicted as radiating a Rainbow
Shalila Sharamon & Bodo j. Baginski, The Chakra-Handbook; Image Source URL)
("What you seek, it's a bridge. ...a Rainbow Bridge." ~ Thor; Image Source)

To go further "over the rainbow" see here, here, here, here, and here).

See Maurice Pinay's entries HERE.