Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Longer links with musings from around the web

buStrategy Page has an article on gun and other forms of violence.
it has more to do with culture (tribal culture) than guns per se.

They also have an article about the link between Islam and violence...
Moreover, the majority of Moslems has not been willing, or able, to confront and suppress the Islamic radicals that not only spread death and destruction, but also besmirch all Moslems. This reveals a fundamental problem in the Islamic world, the belief that combining righteousness with murderous tactics is often the road to power and spiritual salvation. 
most Muslims see Islam as a way to follow God, but alas the history shows some use it to justify violence. The biggest question of today's world is if they can eliminate this tendency from religion, similar to how modern Christians ignore the  bloodier parts of the Old Testament as no longer relavent since Christ showed us a better way.

And don't counter that by saying the crusades were religious aggression, since they could be seen as pushing back Arab (Muslim) aggression against Christians in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe . A lot of history depends on who is writing it.

Another article on leaded gasoline causing inner city violence (via BoingBoing) is from MomJones and points to the problem of low grade lead poisoning from gasoline causing brain damage and impulsiveness. (and maybe crime).
more at Wired.

actually, I heard this 25 years ago at a conference by the intrepid Wolf Wolfensberger,
Dr. Wolfensberger is the originator of Citizen Advocacy and Social Role Valorization, and he was the foremost propagator of normalization in North America. In 1999, Wolf Wolfensberger was selected by representatives of seven major mental retardation organizations as one of 35 parties that had been the most impactful on mental retardation worldwide in the 20th century.
I didn't realize he died a year ago. Sigh.


Cat headline of the day via Dave Barry:

A cat trained by prisoners to deliver cell phones and tools to dig tunnels was caught at a jail in northeastern Brazil after sneaking in with forbidden items strapped to its body.

Read more here: http://blogs.herald.com/dave_barrys_blog/2013/01/rest-assured-it-is-also-cheating-on-its-taxes.html#storylink=cpy

Factoid of the day: More civilians were killed at Pearl Harbor by anti aircraft shells falling back to earth than by the Japanese.


Poetry corner:
Martinez at MiddleEarth news has an article on Tolkien's poem Errantry which was long passed from person to person often without them knowing who wrote it.... here is the beginning of the poem:

There was a merry passenger,
a messenger a mariner:
he built a gilded gondola
to wander in and had in her
a load of yellow oranges
and porridge for his provender;
he perfumed her with marjoram,
and cardamom and lavender.

Wikipedia points out;
Tolkien invented the meter, which consists of trisyllabic assonances, three in each set of four lines. The second and fourth line in every quartet rhyme, as do the end of the first line and beginning of the second line in every pair. This was so difficult that he never wrote another poem again in this style,
Yes. But alas, most "modern" poetry has neither rhyme nor reason nor assonances, instead they seem to be merely prose. Compare and contrast with today's poetry corner (or nearly any day's poem) on Garrison Kiellor's otherwise excellent NPR podcast.

Poetry is older than prose, because in ancient days poets used rhyme, rhythm or other tricks to make their long stories easier to memorize in the days before there were a lot of books.

as for Sigaldry, a word mentioned in Tolkien's poem, that is another concept that is being kept alive in the gaming world...

Ah, but we still have a few poets or quote phrases from songs, books, or movies: the Anchoress, quoting Vonnegut, shows that even today our writers can express what we feel better than we can ourselves.

Shippey's book on Tolkien, the Author of the century, points out that the most influential books/writers of the 20th century were war veterans who wrote fantasy, not the ones touted by academia.(e.g. THWhite, Vonnegut, Heller, CSLewis)..

Which says more about academia than it does the reading public.

Speaking of public popular trends that are not being looked at by academia:..I'm not a vampire fan myself, but I wonder what the spate of films/movies/TV shows about disaster and the undead say about American culture? And who is trying to fight them from taking over?


 What links wimenpriests and gay marriage? No, not the intolerance of the pope.
the answer is: biology. Both issues see men and women as identical and interchangable in ALL things, and insist gender doesn't matter.

Since 50 thousand plus years of male female pair bonding to protect children probably has an evolutionary advantage, in this one I'm betting the Pope wins...in the long run. In the short run, I predict persecution, but then I tend to be paranoid.

 Related item:

 Via Instapundit:

Scientific discussion of the day: Is it real, or is it Silicon?

the essay shows a simple "float check" experiment photo that Lolo enjoyed but I won't post because this is a family blog.


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