Sunday, December 21, 2003

Chart, Rabbi

I knew a Rabbi who had this chart by Charles Joseph Minard in his house.

This was, as I recall, the same Rabbi who was a former engineer at RCA. I question the motives of a man who decided to follow in his dad's footsteps after having a career in an orthogonal field and living for at least six decades. He would even use his father's old speeches from the pulpit. The congregation did not renew his contract.

I still have a cassette somewhere of his father teaching an unnamed erstwhile 12-year-old the prayers for before and after reading from the bible on the sabbath and the repetition of the amidah for the shabbas musaf service. To the Rabbi's credit his, ah, girlfriend gave me Steve Reich's Different Trains/Electric Counterpoint as a bar-mitzvah present. For that I am ever grateful.

The chart linked above is one of the most stunningly informative one-page documents I have ever seen. The legend is hard to read from the site linked above. It charts Napoleon's march to Moscow. The width of the tan section is proportional to the number of troops going to Moscow. The black section is the troops coming back.

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