Aeon: The allure of ISIS resembles that of Tolkien.
“... many readers, it seems, thrill to the notion of finding a king to whom they can pledge their swords without scruple or hesitation. Indeed, it is sometimes claimed that the patently adolescent politics of Tolkien’s Middle Earth represent a true and valid model for real-world humans.” Bound to ruffle some feathers.
NY Times: ISIS and the Lonely Young American.
Exactly what I’ve been concerned about. I suppose ‘pen pals’ no longer exist? The last thing I want to see is a young, lonely, hormonal teen be used by these folks. We need to give them alternatives. Now.
NPR: Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States.
And, I expect Roberts to hope this will mollify Conservatives over the previous ACA ruling: “But do not celebrate the Constitution. [snip] It had nothing to do with it.” Of course, he has a point. Marriage is not mentioned in the Constitution at all. His statement is perfectly ‘safe’ - too subtle for most to understand. Even most of our modern media.
Archaeology News Network: Mummified 17th century bishop a unique time capsule.
“An unexpected discovery that emerged from the CT scan was a four- or five-month old foetus ...” Well now that’s creepy.
BBC: Saint-Donatien in Nantes in ruins.
Hyperallergic: The Demolished Buddhas of Bamiyan Are Reborn as 3D Projections.
Much as I appreciate the effort, 3D projection will not stand the test of time, I’m afraid.
PS Mag: Even Atheists Intuitively Believe in a Creator.
The New Yorker: Why Jihadists Write Poetry.
“It may seem curious that some of the most wanted men in the world should take the time to fashion poems in classical metres and monorhyme — far easier to do in Arabic than in English, but something that still requires practice. And these are only the most obvious signs of the jihadis’ dedication to form.” Twisting this a bit (my nature), I wondered. And looked. Our Founding Fathers weren’t much for poetry. GW left two. TJ left two. Jemmy Madison [A good Princetonian student] showed a bit more spirit.
Archaeology News Network: Buddhist statue of ‘goddess with thousand hands’ restored.
Check the before/afters. That’s one heck of a lot of painstaking work.
Guardian.UK: The power of Loki.
“Loki not only breaks the rules, he questions their very existence. In a world striving towards order, he was chaos incarnate. A demon to rival Lucifer, he was the symbol of everything early Christianity was struggling to overcome and to repress.”
The Register.UK: Creationist - ‘The Flintstones’ was an accurate portrayal of dino-human coexistence
Now I feel cheated I didn’t have a pet brontosaurus.
Forbidden Histories: Temple Medicine, Oracles and the Making of Modernity.
“In his writings on Greek medicine, for example, du Prel reconstructed the practice of temple sleep (or ‘incubatio’, most often associated with the healing god Asclepius), which denoted the widespread ancient practice of patients spending nights in temples to receive healing and medical advice from divine beings in their dreams.” Surprised we don’t have people sleeping in churches.
Reuters: Boston bomber Tsarnaev sentenced to death for 2013 attack.
“The jurors accepted the bulk of the prosecution’s aggravating factors, unanimously finding that Tsarnaev had not demonstrated remorse for his actions. They rejected many of the mitigating factors, with only three of the 12 jurors believing the defense’s claim that Tsarnaev had acted under his older brother’s influence.” I didn’t expect anything less, given the heinous nature of the crime.
ArtDaily: John Paul II’s blood-stained cassock on display 34 years after shooting.
Hit four times with a 9mm, you’ll be surprised at the lack of blood. Two in the intestines. Lucky man to have survived.
PewForum.org: America’s Changing Religious Landscape.
“Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups. While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages.”
New Yorker: The G.O.P.’s War on Science Gets Worse.
“Defunding NASA’s earth-science program takes willed ignorance one giant leap further. It means that not only will climate studies be ignored; some potentially useful data won’t even be collected.” Oy vey.
The Conversation: Even setting evolution aside, basic geology disproves creationism.
“As a geologist, though, I think that the rocks beneath our feet offer even better arguments against creationism. For the creationist model doesn’t square with what you can see for yourself. And this has been known since before Darwin wrote a word about evolution.” My italics.
Aeon Video: What comes after religion?
“Do we know how to replace the benefits offered by religion?” The similarities between internet social media and religion come strongly to mind.
ArtDaily: 7.8-magnitude earthquake deals heavy blow to Nepal’s rich cultural heritage.
A terrible thing. But: “According to UNESCO, ‘two catastrophic earthquakes’ in 1833 and 1934 led to some monuments in the Kathmandu Valley being rebuilt.” Everything looks bleak in the immediate aftermath.
Vox: Read a professor’s outraged tweets from her son’s abstinence-only sex ed.
You expected something better? And our tax dollars pay for this idiocy. Paper babies and condoms. Good grief. Another good reason for ‘free-range kids’. I learned more from other kids on the street than I ever did in Sex Ed.
ArtDaily: Timbuktu rebuilds mausoleums destroyed by Islamists.
Now that’s kind of nice to hear. Amid all the other useless, idiotic destruction going on.
Italian Ways: Hermann Hesse and the Explosion of the Cart in Florence, on Easter 1901.
First I’ve ever heard of this.
GlobalPost: The future of religion around the world, in one chart.
Al Jazeera: Why Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Converted to Islam.
“... the more I studied history, the more disillusioned I became with the role of Christianity in subjugating my people. I knew, of course, that the Second Vatican Council in 1965 declared slavery an ‘infamy’ that dishonored God and was a poison to society. But for me, it was too little, too late. The failure of the church to use its might and influence to stop slavery and instead to justify it as somehow connected to original sin made me angry.” A really fascinating look at Kareem’s choices; context to history. Via Dan Hartung on FB.
The Art Newspaper: Vienna museum director calls for time limit on Nazi-loot restitution claims.
This doesn’t help Austria in the eyes of the world. Many don’t agree: “We have an immense obligation towards the Holocaust era. The discussion should not be about time limits but rather on how provenance research can be carried out as efficiently and rapidly as possible.” If someone has clear provenance 500 years hence, should a museum be able to deny it? I don’t believe so. Especially given the nature of how these artworks were ripped away from their rightful owners. You can set a statute of limitations on theft of consumer goods, perhaps. That is a petty crime. Consumer goods have a useful lifespan. Not so artworks, burgled with governmental organization and premeditation .... artworks appreciate in value.
And why say this now, when methods of detection and unearthing provenance have become so much better? We’re seeing new revelations in the news every day. No, this was a very unwise statement.