'Geometry has two great treasures: One is the theorem of Pythagoras, the other the … Golden Mean. The first way may be compared to a measure of gold, the second to a precious jewel.'—KeplerThe newspaper you're reading, the screen of your computer, your credit card, the petals of that flower, the leaves of that tree, the building across the street—everything is governed by a principle, a proportion, a harmonic value. The universe seems to whisper acode to us in each corner of nature, a unique and harmonically aesthetic code: the Number of Gold, the Divine Proportion.Behind the apparent chaos that reigns in the universe, in which each event and measurement logically follows an uncertain destiny, there nevertheless exists a hidden order.
time of Pythagoras, the key to this order—which has intrigued so many
mathematicians and scholars of various branches of knowledge—has never
been fully understood.
A contemporary experiment
involving several individuals of different ethnic backgrounds
demonstrated that among a sample of several rectangular figures, nearly
every person agreed on which one was most harmonic.
figure is formed when the ratio of the greater side over the smaller
side equals 1.618—the number known mathematically as"gold" or
"golden." This rectangular proportion is found in thousands of
architectural examples around the world, as well as in match boxes,
business cards, books, and hundreds of other daily objects, merely
because humans find it pleasing. The Great Pyramid of Giza and the
pyramid of Cheops, the seat of the United Nations in New York, and the
cathedrals of Notre Dame all embody this golden proportion. In fact,
the Greek Pantheon seems to be an ode to this proportion.
For centuries, the absolute
expression of artistic beauty and human wisdom (with the exception of
some contemporary trends) has never strayed far from this golden mean.
Several artists of the Renaissance incorporated the golden mean in
their works, not least of whom was Leonardo da Vinci, who used this
proportion in well-known pieces such as "the Last Supper" and"The
Anthony North: The French court of the Sun King, Louis XIV, was a flamboyant, extravagant place. But underneath the facade was a cauldron of hatred, deceit and social climbing. And underpinning the more unsavoury factors of the court was a conspiracy of murder and supposed witchcraft. After the suspicious deaths of several of the French nobility, Louis ordered the Commissioner of Police, Nicholas de la Reynie, to investigate. Opening the Chambre Ardente, or Burning Court (a black draped room wit...US town escapes 666 phone prefix
A town in the US state of Louisiana is to be allowed to change its telephone prefix so that residents can avoid a number many associate with the Devil. Christians in Reeves have been unhappy since the early 1960s about being given the prefix, 666 - traditionally known as the Biblical "number of the beast". For the next three months, households will be able to change the first three digits of their phone numbers to 749. Mayor Scott Walker said CenturyTel"s decision was "divine intervention". Howe...'Witches' face fine in Tajikistan
The lower house of parliament in Tajikistan has endorsed a bill to try to tackle what it describes as fortune-telling and witchcraft. Those found engaging in superstitious activities could be fined $200 (£98). Belief in the occult is widespread in many former Soviet societies. The Tajik authorities say those claiming occult powersare charlatans. The bill still needs the upper house of parliament and the president to approve it, but this is considered a formality. Earlier this year President Emom...At witch school, spelling has new meaning
When witch school came to town, Mayor Terry Prillaman stopped in to welcome the owners, as he does whenever a new business opens. "If you don"t like them, don"t patronize them," he says. "It"s like a tattoo parlor: You don"t have to go in." Youth pastor Andy Thomas, though, believes the arrival of witches in this town of 1,200 created a "spiritual battle" pitting "the forces of darkness against the forces of light." Rosella Ray, who runs the Village Art & Culture Center, a shop near the school, ...Campaigners bid to clear the 'witch'
When the battleship Barham was torpedoed by the Germans in November 1941, with the loss of over 800 lives, the Admiralty delayed announcing the news to maintain morale. But the secrecy was ended within a few days when medium Helen Duncan told a couple during a seance that their son, a sailor on the ship, had appeared from the spirit world to tell them it had sunk. In one of the most bizarre acts of the Second World War, Mrs Duncan was accused of leaking military secrets - and became the last wom...Judge rules in favour of Harry Potter
The adventures of boy wizard Harry Potter can stay in Gwinnett County school libraries, despite a mother's objections, a judge ruled Tuesday. Laura Mallory, who argued the popular fiction series is an attempt to indoctrinate children in witchcraft, said she still wants the best-selling books removed and may take her case to federal court."I maybe need a whole new case from the ground up," Mallory said. The woman, who said two of her four children attend public schools in thecounty,...Dawn of the witch
Anthony north: We"ve all heard of the witch, but do witches have a real existence? Yes, they have existed since the dawn of history, and most likely for millenia before. In the Bible, Saul, afraid of the might of the Philistine army, took himself off to be counsellefd by the Witch of Endor. In Classical literature we have Homerís Circe who bewitched men and turned them into swine. Ovid tells us of the Strigae; erotic beings who flew through the air to carry out their murderous deeds. But with su...Even witches cant catch a break
Romanian witches may soon see earnings from their profession taxed, for better or worse.Witches from across Romania are assembling to either protest or praise potential legislation that will tax their trade. While many are angry at the prospect of paying into social security and having their net income cut by 16 percent, others are glad to finally have their occupation officiallysanctioned - "our magic skills, which are recognized and accepted worldwide, are now authorized in Romania too," say...Warlock allowed to break curfew on full moon
A 52-year-old warlock sentenced to stay indoors has been permitted to go out on a full moon.Cerwyn Jones was sentenced to stay indoors between the hours of 7pm and 7am after being caught carrying a ceremonial knife in a pub, however magistrates agreed to lift the restriction on four nights so that he can go out and practicehis faith. During the full moon, Ďmagicí ceremonies are performed and the gods and goddesses of Wiccaare honoured. . These ceremonies may be officiated by a cho...Influence of the occult
Anthony North: The Occult. The term sends a chill down the spine -for some. This is the world of evil and mystery, where sinister magicians prowl the borders between the physical and ethereal. Where the subject causes real fear, it is sanitised for western feeling, and images of Harry Potter fill our heads. Yet in reality the Occult has been essential to the life we live today. Its birth: The Occult was actually born following the life of Christ. Up until this time, most religions had been pagan...