Golden Ratio, Divine Proportion and other pretty things


The golden ratio has fascinated the great mathematical minds for ages but it came to sit on millions of people’s bed table thanks to the Da Vinci Code. The book manages to remain cartoonish even when describing the “holy Phi” and the Fibonacci series but Dan Brown’s for another day, another post.


In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio between the sum of those quantities and the larger one is the same as the ratio between the larger one and the smaller. The golden ratio is approximately 1.6180339887.


The romantics see the Phi in everything beautiful like the solar system, the plants, the human body, music, the DNA and architecture; I designed my first Golden Rectangle when I first learned graphic art years ago (above) – I made the one below last night; I believe that the nautilus seashells are the most exquisite examples of the divine proportion.

golden _proportion_section_divine_composition_butterflies_rose_red_shoes_phi

Just watched the movie Pi; pretty interesting.

Time, Poetry and Einstein

I am obsessed with Time; not only I have a weakness for wrist watches, I have several clocks around my house. Only when I am traveling (especially in france where Time is an elastic commodity) the passage of time becomes kind of blurred but I’ve never had any desire to go back nor forth in Time; the whole notion of a Time Machine has never appealed to me (not even to my trekkie side). Entropy rules supreme!


Aragon, one of my favorite french poets, has written his most beautiful piece about Time so have many other luminaries. “Newton, forgive me…” said Einstein who wrote his most beautiful piece about the same subject…


“Je vais te dire un grand secret Le temps c’est toi
Le temps est femme Il a
Besoin qu’on le courtise et qu’on s’asseye
A ses pieds le temps comme une robe à défaire
Le temps comme une chevelure sans fin
Un miroir que le souffle embue et désembue
Le temps c’est toi qui dors à l’aube où je m’éveille…
Louis Aragon

calvario’s time

I love this piece by Diana Calvario, my new friend at redbubble.

Red Tango, Blue Tango

I thought I’ve lost most of my buenos aires pictures; what a gorgeous city, what beautiful music, beautiful people…


“El Tango es un pensamiento triste que hasta se puede bailar” – The Tango is a sad thought that you can dance. (Enrique Santos Discépolo)


Be it the sound of the Gotan Project or the great Astor Piazzola, this dance and this music have enchanted millions of people all over the world especially my good friends Andr� (the maestro) and Mitra (the pupil) who share the same birthday on monday, september 3rd.


Red Lipp

Brasserie Lipp in Paris remains very popular in spite of overpriced mediocre food being served under its roof; the history that goes with it, makes it a favorite among the average tourists, the jet set crowd and the Parisians themselves.


“It is a very poor consolation to be told that the man who has given one a bad dinner, or poor wine, is irreproachable in private life. Even the cardinal virtues cannot atone for half-cold entr

Musical DNA, experiments in musical intelligence

I am in love with my iPod. One fabulous podcast i listened to last week brought tears to my eyes and inspired me to make this image.

musical, intelligence, DNA, binary, computer, bassist
musical, DNA, intelligence, binary, radiolab, bassist

the radio program was the one about the “Musical DNA” from WNYC’s Radiolab. David Cope , a composer and professor at UCSC, talks about how a computer program he wrote, can imitate the musical DNA of great artists; “His program, named EMI (Experiments in Musical Intelligence – pronounced Emmy), deconstructs the works of great composers, finding patterns within their compositions, and then creates brand new compositions.” Imagine some undiscovered pieces from Mahler or the Almighty Bach…Life can be amazing. We have worshiped dead musicians for ever, can we admire their ghosts’ music now?


I love this picture of Gary Oldman playing a near deaf Beethoven in Immortal Beloved. I often wonder how different his music would have been were he not deaf…

I just discovered this great image from Paul Louis Villani, a photographer and digital artist, i met on redbubble.

music, sheet, score, notes classical, hand

Suicide, a fundamental human right

We had no say in how/when/where we were born but i think we should definitely have a say in our death. Nietzsche was right when he wrote, “there is a certain right by which we may deprive a man of life, but none by which we may deprive him of death.” I have never contemplated suicide but the very freedom to do so seems liberating. This doesn’t mean that i don’t believe in suicide prevention in most cases, but I am convinced that Life’s quality is way more important than a few miserable extra years. The final exit remained a NY Times best seller for a long time in spite of the U.S. being a fundamentally religious country. I find this glossary very interesting and i suppose clarifying the terms may help us not to consider the subject as taboo. Imprisoning Dr. Kevorkian (for eight years) just because he helped people with long histories of suffering was unjust even absurd. Life is beautiful but it is sublime if you have some control over it.


i decided to add something to this post after i read all the comments -i must admit that the issue of insanity in relation to suicide didn’t cross my mind before Yves mentioned it; the case of a young life ended because of depression is very different to me than the one ended based on insanity – and insanity is so subjective that i am not sure if i want anybody but the fairest of the judges to decide who’s sane and who isn’t. who would be the “guardian”? would a “philosopher king” do? is the society to decide or the government? who is to judge if i am sane enough to end my life when/how/where i decide to do it? is old age a necessary condition? is is sufficient though? who has the right to prolong someone else’s suffering/misery?

Turner in Venice

i’ve been to Venice, Italy some years ago but i think that i would probably not go back to this beautiful but over-crowded city for a while – as usual i like it better when it’s empty of the unwashed masses. Venice has been home to the great Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto (cinquecento Venice) and Casanova…


i was moved by Venice and its 120 islands on the Adriatic sea but i loved it most at 5:30 in the morning. after years i still like these pictures i took one foggy morning when everybody was asleep.


“I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs, a palace and prison on each hand” Lord Byron


i never particularly liked Turner – i didn’t know him much and i found it exasperating that 10 of his paintings were hung side by side in a museum in london (all yellow seas) – it all changed the day that i bought (in 2004) a book called Turner and Venice. i was humbled by the beauty of his paintings (all blue skies) and sketches. i’ve been watching Simon Schama‘s “Power of Art” on pbs and he talks about Turner in one of the eight episodes (among other giants like Picasso, Rembrandt, David and Rothko).




i would love to go back to Venice one day when it snows and everybody else is at Disneyland.