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.
BBC: Will the Dalai Lama reincarnate?
“His holiness has said that the 15th would be born outside of Tibet, outside of China, because this 15th Dalai Lama would have to continue the work of the present Dalai Lama.” Lots of Tibetans around Santa Fe. Apparently the climate is similar.
Guardian.UK: Laughing at Isis - Syrian video artists go beyond fear to ridicule jihadis.
ArtDaily: IS ‘bulldozed’ ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, Iraq’s antiquities ministry says.
“I’m sorry to say everybody was expecting this. Their plan is to destroy Iraqi heritage, one site at a time.” I have no words. This is like having someone get in your closet, start destroying your stuff. I’d drag ‘em out and beat the tar out of ‘em.
Gates of Nineveh: Assessing the Damage at the Mosul Museum, Pt 2 - The Sculptures from Hatra.
“Regardless, from what we can see in this video the loss for the study the Roman and Parthian Near East is absolutely devastating.” Gives great background on what was authentic, what was replica, and how this damage has hurt scholarly study.
Mashable: The ISIS campaign to erase history
Anyone who has visited temples in Egypt and other ancient locations around the Mediterranean can always view the defacement perpetrated by ‘Dark Age’ Christians ... religious extremism breeds this behavior. KJV: “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Orwell: “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
Guardian.UK: Stop calling for a Muslim Enlightenment.
Marked for later reading.
WaPo: Why Turkish troops entered Syria to reach a medieval tomb.
“Over the weekend, a column of Turkish troops and armored vehicles motored about 20 miles across the border into Syria. In the dead of night, they approached an old mausoleum, held a brief prayer ceremony and removed the site’s historical artifacts and relics. Then, they lowered the Turkish flag that flew over the site and demolished the complex.” The relics would have ended up on the open market, of course.
Phnom Penh Post: Naked temple shoots perplex.
“Far from being harmless fun, the behaviour was deeply offensive to Khmer culture.” I suppose, with easy smartphone photography at your fingertips, everyone wants to do a fashion-quality (high production value) selfie. Narcissism run up against cultural mores. More will occur.