WaPo: German town plays prank on neo-Nazis.
This was a brilliant solution. Like a moral Möbius strip; the more you walk, the less you actually accomplish.
Science of Us: Do Harsh Environments Lead to Angry Gods?
“Religions with ‘moralizing high gods’ — that is, powerful supernatural beings that oversee human events and take an active interest in how humans are behaving — are more likely to be found in cultures residing in ecologically harsh areas.”
WaPo: The book that claims Jesus had a wife and kids — and the embattled author behind it.
Colossal: The Ingenuity and Beauty of Creative Parchment Repair in Medieval Books.
Intricate. Never imagined crocheting holes.
NotchesBlog: Death by Celibacy - Sex, Semen and Male Health in the Middle Ages.
“Ecclesiastical ideals were directly at odds with medical realities, and priests had to decide whether to prioritise their physical or spiritual health.” Sounds very familiar. We be medieval, even yet.
Vice: The Town Making the Horrifying Discovery That It’s Built Out of Jewish Tombstones.
“Fifteen hundred headstones have been found in Brest over the past six years, with the rate of discovery escalating since work on the supermarket began.” Remnants of Nazi and Russian attention in WWII.
ArtDaily: The Vatican’s Sistine Chapel dazzles thanks to a revolutionary new lighting system.
“The LEDs have a colour spectrum specifically designed with the pigmentation of the frescos in mind to ensure the light faithfully reflects the original colours, as the artists intended.” Someone will probably want to throw a stone at me, but I miss the patina. Easier to take in as a whole, before. Now, I’d have to spend a half hour or more looking at each individual tableau.
CNet: Pope says evolution doesn’t mean there’s no God.
Been this way for a long time; as long as you don’t touch God as ‘prime mover.’
ArtDaily: The Morgan showcases one of its greatest illuminated manuscripts ... The Crusader Bible.
Boston Review: Conservatives Are Driving Americans Away from Religion.
Dazed: Glastonbury bans sale of Native American headdresses.
Appropriate. Those who make and wear tattoos know not to copy ‘real’ Maori Ta Moko designs out of respect; the Maori consider this a form of ‘identity theft’, because the patterns are family-based. Why should a similar respect not be extended to Native Americans? Remember how much Christians love Serrano’s “Piss Christ.”
Mashable: Should the West Negotiate With ISIS?
“While ISIS’s extreme ideology and brutal tactics obviously pose problems for its legitimacy among the population it now rules, it has taken many steps to try to win local people’s hearts and minds and to build local alliances. It has set up local governing structures, a tax system, a judicial system and formed an education policy.” This same thing could be said of the Nazis before Hitler won the Chancellorship.
BBC News: Coptic Christian landmark church restored in Cairo.
“The church is in a compound close to Cairo’s first mosque and one of the oldest synagogues.” Nice to hear a story of respect and tolerance these days.
NY Times: The Destruction of Mecca.
“Today, hajj is a packaged tour, where you move, tied to your group, from hotel to hotel, and seldom encounter people of different cultures and ethnicities. Drained of history and religious and cultural plurality, hajj is no longer a transforming, once-in-a-lifetime spiritual experience. It has been reduced to a mundane exercise in rituals and shopping.” Sounds terribly ... American.
CosmosUp: Vatican Astronomer - There’s Life Out There.
“The new president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation has said that it is only a matter of time before alien life forms are discovered, which will pave the way to questions about God’s relationship to intelligent beings outside our planet.”
Gawker: Iranians Sentenced to Six Months, 91 Lashes for Dancing to “Happy”.
Can we talk about implementing a worldwide “Prime Directive” now? Between IS and this. Those who want to go back in time and be medieval, well ... they can be medieval. Noone in the modern world does business with them. No arms. No supplies of food. No internet. No health advances. You break with the modern world, the modern world cuts you off until you choose to rejoin it. Enjoy the dentists.
Guardian.UK: Texas proposes rewriting school text books to deny manmade climate change.
Stop it (again). I deal with so many clients overseas now, I find myself constantly apologizing for media-reported American idiocies.
Crux: Photos from inside the Vatican Secret Archives.
Youtube: Ohio Amish Barn Raising.
It’s good to have people.
Art Newspaper: Serrano’s Piss Christ stokes controversy once again.
Shades of the 80’s, rising up through the effluvia of history ...
Hyperallergic: Cultural Destruction by Islamic State Continues with No End in Sight.
The opening GIF animation pretty much says it all.
Past Horizons: 6,500 Ur skeleton re-discovered in museum collection.
“Reaching below sea level, Woolley determined that the original site of Ur had been a small island in a surrounding marsh. Then a great flood covered the land. People continued to live and flourish at Ur, but the disaster may have inspired legends. The first known recorded story of an epic flood comes from Sumer, now southern Iraq, and it is generally believed to be the historic precursor of the Biblical flood story written millennia later.”
The New Yorker: Last Call.
Buddhist monk vs. suicide culture: “Sometimes Nemoto tells his attendees to put a white cloth over their face, as is customary with corpses in Japan, while he conducts a funeral ceremony. Afterward, he tells each to carry a lighted candle up a hill behind the temple and imagine that he is entering the world of the dead. This exercise, for reasons he doesn’t understand, tends to produce not tears but a strange kind of exhilaration, as though the person were experiencing rebirth.”
Guardian.UK: Mecca’s changing face matches the needs of its Muslim pilgrims.
“While Mecca is a site of great historical religious significance, it cannot be preserved in the familiar sense, as its history has not ended. You might not appreciate what it looks like – but it matches the tastes and requirements of the present, as every place of pilgrimage has done in its heyday. ”
National Post: Student finds something that sets the archaeology world abuzz.
“We have found other religious objects in Ferryland but none from the 1620s, not from that time period when Calvert had cemented his vision of a colony of religious toleration. [snip] And then here we have it, the physical manifestation of his belief.”