Rant day at 15 years, 2 days

[set in stone by Lynn C. Rees] The Internet told me Ahmed Shah Masood was dead. I was annoyed. I hated the Taliban. They were the enemy of all mankind. My hate didn’t single them out just for Third World thuggishness, seventh century fanboy oppression, or giving aid and comfort to a declared enemy of my country. No, […] Read more »

Human Sacrifice and State-Building

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] A while back I had a longish post that argued that the mass executions practiced by ISIS drew from the long pagan tradition of ritualistic human sacrifice. Today in the news, some social scientists see evidence of human sacrifice as the catalyst for establishing and maintaining stratified, hierarchical and (usually) oppressive […] Read more »

Which best captures the fleeting present — past or future?

[ by Charles Cameron — architectural history as a question in philosophy — Palmyra ] . Future? A jailed activist’s 3-D models could save Syria’s history from ISIS https://t.co/4YjbSuaOwB pic.twitter.com/K8daGICoUW — WIRED (@WIRED) October 21, 2015 Past? #Getty Research Institute Acquires 150-Year-Old Photographs of #Palmyra and Beirut http://t.co/wuRsA5VfZZ — Mariam (@Mariamirani) October 13, 2015 ** […] Read more »

Mosul Museum: first the bad news, perhaps

[ by Charles Cameron — there’s some question as to the authenticity of the footage of destruction in the Mosul Museum, hence the triple post of which this is part 1 ] . First the grief, the terrible wailings: #Iraq #Mosul #IS (Via @stevoiraq) pic.twitter.com/YLHzsPgKbq — Ahmed Shames (@AhmedUK_IQ) February 27, 2015 The reason for […] Read more »

The Pillar of Cloud and the Pillar of Fire

[ by Charles Cameron -- IDF terminology and the Gaza conflict, explanations of Exodus, an IDF video, Megillah 10b and the koan "with God on our side" / "with God on all sides" ] . . I’m curious. The IDF calls today’s Israeli operation in Gaza “Operation Pillar of Defense” in English, but as John [...] Read more »

Book Review: Lords of the Sea by John R. Hale

Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy by John R. Hale  “I cannot tune a harp or play a lyre, but I know how to make a small city great.” – Themistocles Nautical archaeologist Dr. John R. Hale, an expert on bronze age shipbuilding and seafaring, [...] Read more »