Thursday, December 20, 2012

Stuff below the fold

Hobbit stuff via the One Ring Net:

Hot Dwarves? No, a royal family's story.

We have two fairly young dwarves who have never been involved in a serious fight, and who are very eager to go on this journey. On the other hand they have absolutely no idea what they can expect; they know Erebor and Smaug only from tales. Thorin, however, knows very well what lies at the end of the journey, so he especially keeps an eye on those two boys. Of course he is glad they come along, but he also wants to keep them from harm. Since the two boys find everything exciting, he has to dampen their enthusiasm every once in a while, because life out there is not a picnic.
Regarding the royal descent: Fili is the older brother and second in the line of succession. He feels the pressure weighing down on him a lot more. He knows if anything happens to Thorin it is up to him to fulfil the quest. He HAS to be a responsible dwarf despite his young age, no matter if he wants that or not.
I get them mixed up, and although the movie adds a lot of backstory to help us figure out why Thorin is so angry at times.

A lot of the culture of the dwaves seems to be based on the culture of the Vikings, with their blood feuds, love of parties, and loyalty to their leaders.

My favorite dwarf is actually Balin: Sort of reminds me of Nestor in the book (not the movie) of the Iliad...

Related item: Nice article in Forbes about hobbits.

Too bad they got a few facts wrong, thinking Gollum dies in the Hobbit and mixing up Frodo and Bilbo...


Heh. A coal museum with solar power.

Trade connections existed between Cahokia and the Mayans.


From IdleSpeculations blog: The Rorschach test of the day:

Tommaso Alghisi, 1669 - 1713
Pope Innocent XI's kidneys containing massive stones
From: Litotomia
Wellcome Library, London

The Wellcome Foundation Museum is in London. The  blog discusses Catholicism in Italy and medicine.
this type of kidney stone is called a staghorn calculi.
The Italian universities predate the 16th century Renaissance, yet had at least one woman professor and lots of knowledge from both ancient Rome, from Byzantium, and from the Arabs. But never mind: That is usually ignored in history books written by anti Catholic Brits and enlightenment types who rewrote medieval history in the politically correct fashion of their day, to prove they were better and smarter than the papists and non Europeans. (although now they are finally recognizing the medical specialists  in Arab lands kept scientific knowledge alive).
Here is a typical example of the bias:
The world’s first major scientific institution called The Royal Society was founded in London in 1660
Huh?. no one studied science until the Brits did?
Don't tell that one to the Iraqis....

And finally: From MomJones: A biscotti Recipe.

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