Index Page for Daniel W. VanArsdale

Version: May, 2019


Chain Letter Evolution
A history of chain letters based on over 1000 dated examples. Numerically successful variations are identified and analyzed for their replicative advantage. English language paper luck chain letters are the principal topic. Other topics include the Letters from Heaven and the "Media Chain Letter" which lured celebrity participants in 1990. A bibliography on chain letters and pyramid schemes contains hundreds of sources, including all citations in Chain Letter Evolution. A glossary of specialized terminology used in Chain Letter Evolution is also provided.  (Hits 4/2019: 276K)

The Origin of Money Chain Letters
A detailed discussion of the origin and early history of the "Send-a-Dime" craze of 1935 - the first manifestation of money chain letters and pyramid schemes. It is shown that the Send-a-Dime letter was in part modeled on a prior type of luck chain letter. The likely author of Send-a-Dime was an anonymous woman motivated by charity. This constitutes a section of Chain Letter Evolution, but can be read independently.

The Paper Chain Letter Archive
Individual html web pages for over 1000 chain letters arranged by motivational category and date. Categories include luck chain letters (600 examples), money, advocacy, "Letters from Heaven", charity, and exchange. Some unusual items: an anonymous 1917 chain letter giving advice on obtaining conscientious objector status;  a 1920 Sinn Fein revolutionary communication; 
rare scatological parody letters from 1935;  a chain letter invitation to a suicide from 1937;  apparently the only complete text of the famous Circle of Gold pyramid scheme, this from England, 1982;  a libelous Proctor and Gamble boycott alleging satanism from 1986. An annotated index provides easy access to all chain letters in the archive. Chain letter citations in Chain Letter Evolution link to this archive.

Eat No Dynamite ***ADULT CONTENT***
A documented collection of over 900 graffiti, including 64 drawings, from the main libraries at UCSB and UCLA. Most were recorded in 1979 and 1980. Comments, including estimates of dispersion.  (Hits 4/2019: 21K)


Four Letters from Millie: 1930-31
Four personal letters to a male admirer from a woman abandoned by her husband. "Yes dear, I will come there if you send me money."

Matchmaking letter and response: 1917
A matchmaking letter from an engaged woman to a Yale student and his enthusiastic response, "provided if she is musical."

Four Letters to Helen Porter: 1926-31
Four personal letter sent to Miss Helen Porter in Detroit. The first is an unsuccessful proposal of marriage. "I hope you don't think me foolish."


Homogeneous Transformation Matrices
Explicit n-dimensional expressions for homogeneous matrix representations of familiar geometric transformations including projection, dilation, reflection, shear, strain, and rotation. These are extracted from my article "Homogeneous Transformation Matrices for Computer Graphics," Computers & Graphics, Vol. 18, No. 2, 1994. (Hits 4/2019: 148K)

Homogeneous Coordinates: Methods
A selection of facts, theorems and methods utilizing homogeneous coordinates. This is a companion article to "Homogeneous Transformation Matrices" and provides methods sufficient to derive all the matrices presented there. Other topics include: n-dimensional oriented content, intersections, and projection.

A puzzle about counting your counting



Subject Guide to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (with drawing "Human Rights Ascendance")

... it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
(Preamble, paragraph 3)
The Self Appointed Nonviolent Truth Avengers - (SANTA)
Three letters from the "Self Appointed Nonviolent Truth Avengers (SANTA)". These protest: (1) the product placement of Coca Cola in the movie ET (1982), (2) a beef industry TV ad (1987), and (3) the CBS special "Ancient Secrets of the Bible" (1992). SANTA describes itself as follows (1992):
SANTA is a decentralized communication process opposing deceit and exploitation of children by the media. We use only education, rebuke, and satire. No person's name may be mentioned. Anyone who loves the truth and obeys these rules may fully participate in SANTA.
Daniel W. VanArsdale on Twitter
Mathematician, independent researcher. Human Rights, environmentalism, truth for its own sake, peace, dogs, explicit antifundamentalism. Folklore, graffiti.

Some of my tweets
If there is a devil he is putting war on the table.
Love is not all we need, but it is what we need most.
When money rules who is free?
At least the secular humanists never burned a witch.
Talk radio conservatives are NOT fascists. The lies are different this time.
Creativity favors the Left in music, drama, poetry, and art. But it favors the Right in slander.

Are we great yet? / The universe is made of protons, neutron, electrons, and morons.   Northern Sun t-shirt slogans.
They would rather go down with the Titanic as long as they had first class seats.   Bernie Sanders
I believe this theory that Darwin came up with was ... encouraged by the adversary.   Dr. Ben Carson
American Libertarianism is basically the advocacy of private tyranny.   Noam Chomsky, 2015
Heave an egg out of a Pullman window, and you will hit a Fundamentalist almost anywhere in the Unites States.   H. L. Mencken, 1925.
Those who lack imagination can not imagine what is lacking.   Graffito, Paris, May 1968.
In the future world, only the children will be privileged.   Graffito, Santiago, Chile, 1970.

Every day is Auschwitz for factory animals.  Graffito (edited), from Woman in the John, Susan Shaw, 1979
Republicans have not cared about you since you were a fetus.   Bumper Sticker


The womb gate has opened and closed -- William Blake Dylan
Several poems and fragments given to me by an anonymous hitchhiker in 1973. They express his painful discovery that his mother could no longer help him, and that his counter-culture friendships and drug experiences were fleeting and duality ridden.

Wayne Morris Bell, 1937-1968
A tribute to a close friend who served with me in the Army in Korea in 1963 and was killed in action in Vietnam in 1968.

The Little Golden Concert Hour
Have you ever heard of this local radio program from around 1950, probably broadcast from San Jose, California?

Highly Improbable Personally Experienced Repetitions
A list of 30 experiences, by myself or people close to me, that appear to involve some paranormal phenomenon. Most are seeming precognitive dreams I have had, as recorded in my journal. Example:

8/17/1975. Huntington Beach, California (recorded in Oxnard). From journal, volume #3, 6 page stapled insert.
    "Met a woman, Judy, in Huntington Beach whom I was matched with in a computer dating service.  She had a 3 year old boy. Shortly before the child was to go to the baby sitter he began to cry. I went in to his room and got him to talking about his books. He started telling me about his favorite - Donald Duck as a detective. On one page was a picture of 5 or 6 sea animals. He pointed to the picture and named the creatures. But he called a lobster a crab. His mother (on my correcting him) said she was the source of the misidentification.
    "Later I was watching television with his mother. Toward the end of the Cher Show people were dressed as food. A man had a crab around his neck. Cher said something very close to: "it should have been a lobster."


Just one convincing precognitive dream, communicated to witnesses prior to the post-event, undermines the orderly view of the world that has taken millennia to develop. Even quantum mechanics, with its possibility of interconnectedness and simultaneous influence, has trouble digesting precognition. Material replicators, such as animal bodies, benefit from the relative permanence of physical structures and the universality of the physical laws that they are subject to. By contrast, coherent experiences, should any have self-developed periodic manifestation, are easily disrupted or destroyed by the vagaries of mentation and powerful environmental influences. But experiences can be created with so little energy and in such great variety, that it seems likely some have planted influences that favor their subsequent repetition. Perhaps it is a fundamental principle of awareness that some "events" noisily sustain or replicate themselves if there is an opportunity.
Chess with Chinese Pieces

Advocates free placement of the chess pieces to form a starting position, and the addition of "Chinese" pieces: the Pao or Cannon, Vao and Leo. These move like an orthodox Rook, Bishop and Queen respectively, but must pass over a piece of either color to capture. Presents ten new chess problems composed by the aurthor using Chinese pieces. For each problem there is a link to its solution.

Other chess pages:
Dodgson's 'Frogs Manuscript' Decoded - an apocryphal Lewis Carroll legacy purported to have been recently decoded.
Employ the Dead - Sam Loyd's Dummy Promotion problem.   







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