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Cult Of Personality

23 Mar

Asherah Goddesses

Asherah’s connection to Yahweh, according to Stavrakopoulou, is spelled out in both the Bible and an 8th century B.C. inscription on pottery found in the Sinai desert at a site called Kuntillet Ajrud.

“The inscription is a petition for a blessing,” she shares. “Crucially, the inscription asks for a blessing from ‘Yahweh and his Asherah.’ Here was evidence that presented Yahweh and Asherah as a divine pair. And now a handful of similar inscriptions have since been found, all of which help to strengthen the case that the God of the Bible once had a wife.” – Discovery News

It’s always interesting to see these odd bits of history rise up from the dust.

I sometimes feel like humanity has left itself an array of sticky notes, hidden in books and behind pictures, and then forgotten about them; or, with items like this, the glue has gone dry, and the thing has fallen down to lay beneath a La-Z-Boy that rarely gets moved while vacuuming.

Anyhow, I mention it because my guess is that these aren’t so much massive theological discoveries, as they are the remnants of early fanboys. This, to me, reeks of a situation you’ll find common in the depths of geek-havens: “Buffy/Asherah is so strong and beautiful, but Superman/Yahweh is wicked powerful. If only we could bring the two together somehow!”

When a fanfic like that catches on, you might find entire (web/archeological) sites dedicated to it, and both the clergy, and the trufans, tend to have the same reaction – “Sacrilege!”

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Name Calling

22 Mar

I started this as a tweet, but the idea didn’t have the required room:

One day terms like lame, gay, retarded, etc., will be replaced with a new set of society’s perceived weaknesses and wickedness – eventually someone may be laggy, or a banker, just as they were once a beslubbering, fat-kidneyed, flax-wench.

Disappearing Act

22 Mar

Mercado de Sonora - from wikimedia: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mercado_de_Sonora_M%C3%A9xico_DF_20_04_07.jpg

Mercado de Sonora (Sonora Market) is a mercado público, or city-established traditional market, located just southeast of the historic center of Mexico City in the Colonia Merced Balbuena neighborhood. – wikipedia

There are situations, like children and the script to last night’s episode, which eventually leave your control to take on a life of their own, a life that can bring anxiety and heartbreak.

If only we lived in a world like Will Coffin’s, in which we could turn to magic for a solution – well, supposedly, the people who frequent Mercado de Sonora have just such an advantage.

Mercado de Senora - from flickr: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/4/4248588_7fd5106bc5_o.jpg

The two types of products, herbal medicines and magical/occult items, are not completely separate[…] The variety of medicinal plants sold is vast and include avocado leaves for inflammations, chiranthodendron for the heart, jacaranda flowers for the stomach and more. There is also dried rattlesnake, which is considered a medicine against cancer, dried skunk to “strengthen the blood,” and starfish. Plant items more strongly associated with magic and religion include crosses of ocote wood for good luck, chains of garlic to ward off evil and deer eyes to protect against the “evil eye.” – wikipedia

The herbs provide an interesting selection, and I’d be interested to see if there was any science behind some their usages, but none listed are quite what I’m shopping for.

The market sells occult items related to magic (white and black), pre-Hispanic religious and magical traditions, Santería, the cult of Santa Muerte, shamanism, and various others […] [i]tems for sale include amulets, horseshoes, candles in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors, with many of the colors have very specific functions, gold dust, black salt, powders of unknown ingredients, “water of Saint Ignatius” to ward off unwanted attention, aromatic lotions and soaps, many of which are related to love spells and more – wikipedia

No, still nothing to correct a nappy narrator; I suppose I’ll just have to stick to invoking the ancient rites of my people:

Enter The Night Parrot

19 Mar

Shane McInnes' Kakapo for http://www.theworldsrarestbirds.com/en/about-photo-competition.html

The Kakapo (Māori: kākāpō, meaning night parrot) […] also called owl parrot, is a species of large, flightless nocturnal parrot endemic to New Zealand. – wikipedia

I think these amazing birds have been in the news quite a bit lately, so I won’t spend too long running down their fascinating habits – what I did want to mention, however, was the interesting (to me, at least) fact that their most invasive predators are feral house cats, introduced by settling Europeans.

Kakapo found at http://blog.elliottfox.com/?p=95

Pulp Rescue

18 Mar

Iron Man ArmourWho wouldn’t love to be able to send a besuited, and belligerent, Robert Downey Jr. into the heart of Japan’s crippled reactors to manhandle the unruly portions, and provide the flow of water necessary to reverse the current tragic trajectory?

We’re not there yet, but we may not be that far from it:

The next generation of this type of product won’t have hand-repulsors, or the ability to fly, but I’m sure the strength to carry another hundred pounds of shielding would, and will, be most welcome.

A Sad Bit Of Googlery

17 Mar

Map Search For Fukushima
I just wanted to share this unfortunate bit of ad-symmetry, although the one-and-a-half star review may be a little high at this point.

Lurid Photography

16 Mar

I noticed an odd confluence of random items in my garage, so I thought I’d attempt a bit of a visual story in one frame.

Visual Story

The Thin Blue Period

14 Mar

Picasso en prison! from flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/11669526@N03/2749175441I’ve little time for commentary, but I just stumbled across a fun fact regarding Pablo Picasso – from the wikipedia:

[Poet Guillaume] Apollinaire was arrested on suspicion of stealing the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911. Apollinaire pointed to his friend Picasso, who was also brought in for questioning, but both were later exonerated.

Why has no one created a failed-pilot for a television show revolving around famous painters, falsely accused of art-related crimes, who operate as underground vigilantes in an effort to clear themselves?

I can see it now:

“I’ll run a spatter analysis,” says Jackson Pollock, deploying CSI-style UV lights.

“Maybe it’s just me,” Claude Monet replies, putting on sunglasses, “but I get the impression that this is MURDER. Seriously – look at those colours. Atrocious.”

Internet Snapshot

8 Mar

A screenshot from govcentral.monster.com – where people go to find employment amongst America’s critical functions:
Lady Gaga Puppet Of Illuminati Mind ControlI guess potential employees need to be kept abreast of the latest CIA projects.

Also, while I’m throwing out screen-grabs, here’s one I found yesterday while visiting one of my favourite census data sites. It’s a Google ad regarding a service that, honestly, I wasn’t aware there was a demand for:

Ghetto Names Search

– and to think, up till now I’ve been searching for ghetto baby names one engine at a time!

Our Terrifying Future: More Robo-Kitten

8 Mar

Steampunk Cheetah Statue by Andrew Chase (http://www.andrewchase.com)It wasn’t long ago that I discussed the robotic cheetahs being developed by Boston Dynamics, but it only just occurred to me that there’s no reason they couldn’t build a mountable version.

One possible future: at an American combat base, dawn is just clearing the Afghani mountains and shedding some light on the already ongoing firefight between US and Taliban forces. The chips are down; the Americans are well armed, but heavily outnumbered, and they know the mujahideen are preparing for a final push.

After many frantic radio requests, salvation finally arrives – from the mountain pass comes a terrible grinding, then, roaring through the dust, cavalry saddled on mechanical panthers flood the scene.

Alternatively: the sun is beating down on Juan Munoz, fourteen, as he attempts to escape the nation whose problems have killed his older brothers, left his sisters in ruin, and shattered the heart of his mother.

A bad landing while jumping a fence has slowed him, and the stink of the river he was forced to wade has stuck to him, even if the cooling moisture has not – still, he reflects with a smile, he is nearly there.

That’s when he spots the monster.

A six-foot-long beast, with a man on its back, trots a long circle around his position, eying him. Before the boy can move to evade, the thing wheels on him, closing the distance in the blink of a motorized eye.

It will be another hour, with his leg held awkwardly in the mouth of the feline automaton, until further Border Patrol agents arrive to process his capture.

Askold Zapashny of the Zapashny Brothers Circus in St. Petersburg