Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stuff around the net

Bath Univ podcasts are back up...the latest is on the Cassini mission.

50 shades is not just "naughty", it's diabolic.

in California it's been celebrated openly for years without gov't interference....  and your kids will learn how in one of their Health textbooks.

alas, today's meme is: don't be so judgemental.

related item: BoingBoing reminds you: Don't forget to upgrade your acronyms.


CDC report on youth violence.
Most effective prevention approaches work by modifying individual-level (e.g., problem-solving, communication, anger management skills) or relationship-level (e.g., parental supervision, consistent discipline, and communication skills) factors. A growing body of research shows the prevention potential of approaches that modify community-level factors (e.g., physical environments, norms about violence).

RIP Leonard Nimoy, Sgt USAR...

most famous for playing Spock...


they were where they were supposed to be, and no one bothered to look for them...

timeline here.

Nat Geo is blaming the Ben Laden raid for putting polio vaccinations at risk.

They need to fact check: The Taliban and other radicals were killing docs and other health care workers for years before that happened.
Now it has gotten worse, thanks to clueless western press releases...and the propaganda by the anti vaxxers in the US and Europe.

Heck, even the Catholic bishops in Kenya are repeating the urban legend that tetanus vaccine has anti pregnancy chemicals in it...a rumor that I read about in the early 1990's here in the Philippines. (where the Depo Provera shots were being mixed up with the anti tetanus ones...)


we support the PNP

 The war is back on in the southern Philippines.

and locals are fleeing the fighting. The MB says they fear "harassment" by the terrorists, an offshoot of MILF that uses the name BIFF.

(no, I'm not making up those names).

this will let the "human rights" folks lament the evil gov't did know, the same "human rights folks" who didn't notice that most of the 100000 refugees who were forced to flee Zamboanga  a couple years ago by Muslim terrorists were Christian (the city is majority Christian)...

the meme is:

The terrorists attack civilians, and the gov't tries to get them. The gov't is then condemned or told to work "with restraint". It is up to the gov't to "ease the tension" in the area.

Another meme: the military (or in this case, the cops) go after a major terrorist (in this case, an Indonesian bomb maker-- there have been several bombs attacks in the south lately, by unknown people). The local "militants" know the bad guy is there, but have kept mum about it. When the gov't tries to get him, the local "militants" cry foul and come out to kill the gov't ... in this case, the cops, resulting in 40 dead policemen.

Hello, people: This is why Obama is killing people with drones.

Yes, they might "kill civilians" (read hostages and/or family members) but at least you don't end up with dead good guys.

Alas, the left here is stopping these from being used because it means making the US the good guys, and they go out in force to protest any hint that the US is helping against the terrorists. (they are, of course, but it's kept low key).

and the local folks? well the cops aren't from the rich families, but middle class families.

It says a lot that yesterday I saw a local tricycle with a sticker saying "I support the Philippine Police" on it.

(The local cops are constantly being rotated in an out because of problems and are not usually trusted...)

But since we live in the north, we should be okay.

The main threat in our area, the NPA, has been weakened, but kidnap gangs still hit once in awhile. Most of the deaths are political, however, and the mayor is up for election next year...

Friday, February 27, 2015

Stuff around the net

via Archeology: Analyzing the Duomo and the StJohn Baptistery using modern methods.

I couldn't find a film about the actual investigation, but this shows the mosaics inside the Baptistery.


via Incredible things:

Here are some pictures of cosplaying Guinea pigs by Twitter-er @chikuwa_kintoki. G-D it, they are adorable. Now before you get all judgy with the “Well, someone’s got a lot of time on their hands” type comments, keep in mind: yeah, this person’s got time, but they’ve clearly got talent too. Some people just got time!

Atlas Obscura has a story of how Philadelphia city planners tried to replace noisby cobblestones with quieter wooden blocks. Oh, things got quieter but then...

The blocks quickly began to soak up every bit of liquid that fell on them from rain to copious amounts of horse urine. In addition to expanding and warping into a bumpy mess, the roads became unbearably smelly (especially in the summer) as the pee-soaked blocks rotted and crumbled. The trend of wooden roads quickly fell out of favor, and by the time automobiles hit the scene, they were all but gone.However on the tight little 200 block of Camac Street, the wooden avenues remained. The area having developed into an artsy little enclave during the 20th century, the wooden roads were seen as a quaint oddity...


film clip of the day

Although I don't think Lolo had a uniform...his brother was a leader in the Philippines resistance, but Lolo was too young and only joined after McArthur landed and the people rose up to throw them out.

But son in law and grandson are USNavy.

link was in an email from TiaMaria

related item: Austin Bay remembers IwoJima

UH: Paranoid conspiracy theories abound

What was Charlotte Bronte doing in Brussels, and what happened there.


Who needs death panels when the "ethics committee" can stop your treatment, not because it is futile or because you are dying, but just because you are developmentally disabled and they think you lack quality of life.


did the "reformist" European cardinals (illegally) push the present pope behind the scenes?

And who illegally stole the mail to stop the bishops at the synod from reading a book defending the traditional approach to marriage?

The Art Bell theory is that the reformers want to hijack the church to make it into a PC church for the NWO.


what happened to the rare earth crisis?


what does the internet takeover mean? the conspiracy sites are going wild... but so is the FCC commissioner.

ah, but it's only the gov't stopping big bad business from taking it over, so it's okay.

no internet censorship here....
except of course by Google...

 Growingteenager in Malaysia says that google will now censor adult content and nudity on blogger...

I try to keep this blog PG, but have other blogs that no one reads that does include RRated stuff...especially my medical blog...
wonder if they'll censor my illustrations of FGM? or about STD risk factors?

and nope,the UN says they won't take it over: Old article here.

as for the Philippines: they tried to pass a strict internet law here a couple of years ago, including banning "libel", meaning it would be illegal to even hint about wrongdoing...but I think the courts stopped it.


First take over the internet, then ban bullets.

But don't worry: with 3d printers, you can make your own.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Family News

Chona came over with three girls from the farm to scrub our small house down. We have a maid comes for light cleaning and to do the laundry twice a week, but usually not heavy cleaning. I replaced the older bookcase with a new one. It's cheap but will do, and instead of ivory and plain, this one is slightly fancy with glass doors making me think it is probably a china closet, but never mind. It holds most of my books. We donated the sofa and chairs back to the farm. We bought them to furnish the farm 10 years ago, but they were damaged by leaks, cats and dogs so we didn't use them any more, and they need to be put in the sun and scrubbed to get rid of the bugs. Lolo is having trouble breathing at night, a lowgrade fever, and is up and down all night. I have him on antibiotics. the good news is that his daughter will come for his 90th birthday party in two weeks. We are cleaning up the entire compound in preparation for the party.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

the "WAGD" post of the day

CDC releases clinical guidelines for docs in case of a release of smallpox in the USA.

Although naturally occurring smallpox no longer exists, the threat of smallpox remains because of concerns that variola virus might exist outside of these repositories and could be used as an agent of bioterrorism or biowarfare (5). Although the risk for an intentional or accidental smallpox virus release is believed to be low, preparing for a potential event is critical to mitigate the devastating consequences of such an event. The U.S. government has purchased and stockpiled smallpox vaccines that would be provided to persons at high risk for infection in the event of a smallpox release.

actually, a similar report was released in 2001 after 911...I was the one who had to read it in case we had to set up the program in our isolated Oklahoma town.

So who would release smallpox as a bioweapon in Oklahoma? Well, the Dark Winter war game posited a release at a busy truck stop in Oklahoma... and if you want to really worry, read this classic report.

and if you want to read a more realistic scenerio on what would really happen if a plague hit the US, I suggest you look up John Ringo's The Last Centurian. 
about an outbreak of bird flu...and read chapter 3...

Very right wing political, but alas, after working with and fighting bureaucrats in the IHS, I suspect he might have a point...

Stuff below the fold

When bigots point to the "wars on religion", they often point to the 30 year war.
Nope, the massacres of the Irish don't count, nor do the Ottoman massacres in Eastern Europe.

But blaming religion as the biggest cause of war even in those days is only "true" if you ignore Asia.

I often cite Professor Bulliet's lecture on the Japanese invasion of Korea causing more casualties than the 30 year war that the western atheists always cite, and now a podcast on a book about the fall of the Ming dynasty also mentions it as one of several conflicts at that time in East Asia. LINK

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gerbils ?

The latest theory about the Black death is that it was spread in some area by....gerbils.

Humans caught the plague from rats, but researchers say it was actually gerbils that were the original breeding ground for the disease
The fleas made their way to Europe in various stages. Some would have arrived via foxes that had eaten the gerbils, which then passed them onto rats, which passed them to humans.In other cases humans may have caught the disease from camels, the fleas having jumped to them from the gerbils.

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

in other words, the original source was gerbils but the spread was via other animals.

And in the US, the plague is found in the lowly prairie dog, and every year there are a few cases in the on the Navajo reservation are especially alert to cases popping up. 

the source is rock squirrels and prairie dogs.

The Gratuitous Lady Gaga post of the day

Lady Gaga sang the songs for the 50th anniversary of the Sound of Music.

Gaga went on to give a heartfelt performance of some of our favorite tunes from The Sound of Music, starting off with, naturally, "The Hills Are Alive," and then transitioning into "My Favorite Things" and "Edelweiss" before ending on a very high note with "Climb Every Mountain."


Not being a Republican I am not involved in what craziness is going on there, but I do read Ann Althouse, and she points out how the media elite get Governor Walker wrong.

read the whole thing.

Then listen to the Brian Lamb interview I posted a few days ago.

Tolkien still informs the heart

for later reading: two essays that cite Tolkien.

via TeaAtTrinon:

Heidegger's scapegoat
While German Naziism partly informed Heidegger's recipe for Authentic 'rooted' Being, a contending outlook came from a contemporary, also a professor, who saw how industry challenged the European soul. This alternative came from J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973)...
A friend sniffily dismissed Tolkien's works as "children's stories," but this view completely misrepresents their significance. In England, Tolkien and his friend, C. S. Lewis(1898-1963) - like Heidegger in Germany - worried about the damage inflicted by industrialization on Western society. Both Tolkien and Lewis recognized the eternal human power of story-telling. ... Tolkien's Middle Earth stories were a form of modern Humanism, to help his readers cope with the fears and confusion sparked by industrial and technological alienation. ...rather than blaming another group or culture for the universal, existential malaise and stresses which arose from the advancement and transformation of society, Tolkien applied all his knowledge about myths and myth-telling to resolve that alienation.

then we have David Warren's essay
usually his writings take a bit of thought to read.
The first is about Hobbes, Hobbits, and the medieval way of seeing how people fit into society.
and then he has an essay on the church of nice...

They are upbeat, smileyface, welcoming, to a fault. The wolf, as we may see from Fr Rosica’s private, thuggish attempt at intimidation, may lurk behind the scenes, but in front we see only soft, glib, very comfortable sheepskin. We call this, “The Church of Nice.”The harrying from within of all Catholic tradition — the replacement of her moral teaching with a fake “mercy”; of her profound liturgy with cheap karaoke; of transcendent truth with cute bumpersticker — is a sign of the times. We must read it even as we continue to pray; and in the knowledge that inevitably, Christ will prevail.

Ha. Yeah, sweetness and light is a lot easier than cleaning up shitty diapers or having a drunk vomit on you in the ER while you are trying to stitch him up.

Ancient Sailors

a follow up from a previous post: Today's item from the Maritime history podcast is about Harappa.

 The Harappan people were known to have had contacts with Egypt and Mesopotamia thanks to Harappan artifacts that have been discovered in those places. Sadly, there is very little evidence of maritime activity on the part of the Harappans, even though we know they were active to some extent.

so did trade go via reed boatst, which have not survived for the archeological record?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Interview of the week

The California Commonwealth Club has posted an interview with Brian Lamb from C Span.

one of the sad things about being here in the Philippines is that we don't get C Span here, although they do post short snippets of their programs on youtube. He notes how ratings distorts the news, including using the tweet and soundbite "gotcha" way of reporting news often distorts things badly.

Lots of observations, including the question of why no one from Wall Street has gone to jail for stealing billions of dollars?

counting and adding

a lot of humor goes into showing how you "add" using Roman Numerals, but actually ancient Romans used a variation of the abacus called a counting board.

 How could anyone calculate with them? Well, how can anyone compute "three hundred and seventy-six times two hundred and thirty-seven". You type these data into you pocket calculator and press the "x" button, that's how. You certainly would not fill page after page with number words. Neither did the Romans: they would load CCCLXXVI and CCXXXVII onto their counting board or abacus and manipulate the pebbles and beads until they had the result.

The counting board shown here is divided into two vertical strips, the right hand one for addition, the other for subtraction. The top number shown on the right is MDCCCCLXV, the lower one is MCCCCXXV. To add them, we just pile everything together into a mess which is shown in third field from the top. To make it readable we have to reduce it: any five beads on a line are converted to one button in the space to the left of that line, any two buttons in a space turn into one bead on the next line over. The answer is MMMCCCLXXXX as shown in the bottom field.
 more about this at Wikipedia.
The Ancient Romans developed the Roman hand abacus, a portable, but less capable, base-10 version of the previousBabylonian abacus. It was the first portable calculating device for engineers, merchants and presumably tax collectors. It greatly reduced the time needed to perform the basic operations of arithmetic using Roman numerals. 

the earliest counting board still in existance is the Salamis Tablet, 300 BC. a series of videos on youtube will show you how to use these ancient counting boards

  Silly me. I assumed the abacus was Chinese, but apparently the Chinese didn't invent it until 600 years ago, during the Ming dynasty
the difference? The Chinese used (ta da!) beads on wires, whereas the earlier types had to move the beads in grooves.

 the first article also notes that Arabic numerals were not picked up when first known until paper was cheap enough to use to scribble on.

headsup Presurfer

the "WAGD" post of the week

Gizmodo reports that Fukushima is still leaking.

Factoid of the day

How Fashion helped defeat the anti Vaxxers

In 18th-century Europe, smallpox was a scourge feared by kings and commoners alike. It was highly contagious, grossly disfiguring, and often fatal. But it was also preventable. Smallpox inoculation—which by then was the norm across Asia and the Middle East—was introduced in the West by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Herself a smallpox survivor, the English ambassadress to Turkey had witnessed the practice in Constantinople, and upon her return to England in 1718 she became its biggest advocate. Initially, London society found the practice shocking, but by the end of the century, inoculation had been adopted throughout most of Europe. 

But not in France, at least until the king died of smallpox.

One should note that this was very dangerous: before Jenner discovered the mild cowpox could give immunity, they used pus from mild cases of actual smallpox, which not only made you sick but could spread to those around you.

 The milliners of Paris, attuned to current events that could be translated into quick profits, commemorated the momentous event with an allegorical headdress dubbed the pouf à l’inoculation. Perched atop a woman’s powdered and pomaded coiffure, it depicted the serpent of Asclepius, representing medicine; a club, representing conquest; a rising sun, representing the king; and a flowering olive branch, symbolizing the peace and joy resulting from the royal inoculation. In commemorating the royal inoculation, the milliners and their female clients helped to publicize it, and the practice—like the pouf—instantly became all the rage.

headsup TeaAtTrianon

the story of Washington's order to innoculate soldiers HERE.

most colonials were not immune, but most European adults were.

One reason Canada is not part of the US is because of smallpox, which wiped out the US invasion force.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Family news

Lolo is stable.

Chano is busy fixing up the house (including tiling the kitchen). Lolo will have a big 90th birthday party in March so we want to fix things up: After the typhoon left us broke last year, we stopped repairs for a year, and now have gotten around to fixing things that need fixing.

Everything else is okay.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Stuff around the web (For Later reading)

latest LOTR game includes the character Celebrimbor.


Rosetta makes a closer fly by of the comet.


NM (Dem) state senator wants to sell Spaceport because it costs too much. Another (Dem) State Senator objects and remembers a similar decision about another start up company: Microsoft.


WAPO writes about Rick Santorum and his book about his handicapped daughter Bella.


Sad Puppies vs Hugo.


The mysterious Bronze age Irish mini-mounds.

Cookhouses? Saunas? Used to brew ale?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Factoid of the day

From Harappa's facebook page:

The boat has a sharply upturned prow and stern, a feature which is present in nearly all archaic representations of boats; for example, the same boat appears in early Minoan seals, on the Predynastic pottery of Egypt, and on the cylinder seals of Sumer...It will be noticed that this boat is shown as lashed together at both bow and stern, indicating perhaps that it was made of reeds like the primitive boats of Egypt and the craft that were used in the swamps of southern Babylonia. The absence of a mast suggests that this boat was used only for river work, as are some of the wooden boats on the Indus at the present day; though the modern boats have a less acutely upturned prow and stern, they usually have a similar cabin-like erection in the middle, sometimes constructed of wood and sometimes of reeds. The boats of today are chiefly used for fishing and are either rowed or punted against the stream.This seal is invaluable in indicating a type of vessel that was in use in ancient Sindh. 
In these treeless areas, reed were used.

and they appear similar to the reed boats of Lake Tinicaca in south America.


But the design reminded me of the boats painted on the wall of Thera. 

Minoan Miniature Frieze Admirals Flotilla Fresco Shipping Scene
Late Bronze Age (LBA), Neo-Palatial Period
Akrotiri, Santorini (Thera), Greece. 

These were made of hewn wood...

They were constructed by first chopping down a single tall Cypress tree and stripping off its branches.... A team of men carved it with their sharp bronze axes and saws; shaping it to nearly its final form. The upward sloping curves of the bow and stern were bent into shape using heat and steam. After the keel attained its final shape, a long cleanly sawn plank of Cypress was ‘edge-joined’ to each side of it. They chiseled out deep rectangular matching slots (mortises) along the length of the keel and the length of one of the edges of the plank. Flat rectangular pieces of wood (tenons or tongues) were cut to fit snugly into the matching slots. When the plank fit onto the tenons sticking out of the slots in the keel, the joins were filled with a mixture of resins. 

presumably the designs were adapted to local materials.

After all, aren't there only a few ways to make a boat? well, maybe or maybe not...

that ignores the history of double canoes.

The catamaran concept is a relative newcomer for Western boat designers, although they have been used since time immemorial among the Dravidian people, in South India. Catamarans were developed independently in Oceania, where Polynesian catamarans and outrigger canoesallowed seafaring Polynesians to voyage to the remotest Pacific islands.

these go back to the Chola dynasty (starting 200 BC).

here, fishermen commonly used outrigger canoes, often using bamboo to stablize the boat (although nowadays I've seen PVC pipes used instead).


for later reading: The history of boats.

The "WAGD" post of the day

No, not us, but the Bronze age civilizations.

I ran across a Professor Eric Cline interview on

and his book discussion (in segments alas) from CSpan

Happy Chinese New Year

Photo from Reloadfood blog who has links to interesting videos and other stuff in Malaysia.

It's the year of the wooden goat.

No, we don't celebrate it here in the provinces, but in Manila they do.

Family news

The Eucharistic minister brought ashes for Lolo yesterday which is Ash Wednesday, the start of the 40 days of penance and prayer.

Picture via Sense of Events blog. As David Warren notes, many Evangelical churches have returned to using the custom.

One blog post I read yesterday noted that the custom of ashes only goes back to the 8th century. The ashes on the forehead are a symbol of mourning and repentance, and a reminder that we too shall die: the minister/priest tells us: Remember man that thou art dust and into dust thou shalt return.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lent is coming

Wednesday is Ash Wednesday.

The "rule" for Catholics in the Philippines can be found here.

the idea is for the rich to know how the poor live.

It is basic in any human law that one cannot oblige anyone to observe something which is not possible or even inhuman to follow. The two forms of penances, fasting and abstinence, are more realistically applied to the moneyed, able, powerful, and privileged. Consequently, the materially poor like our fellow Filipinos living in shanties or under the bridges, the very sick like those who are bedridden and immobile, the maids and houseboys and other laborers who have to work more than nine hours a day, employees whose jobs require them to be attentive like policemen and security guards, doctors and nurses on duty, and the like, must be exempted. Jesus is not certainly a sadist to require these kind of persons to be mortified more than what they already undergo in most of their every day lives.

most Americans don't quite understand this, or where the Pope is coming from (he sounds socialist, but his remarks are actually about crony capitalism and corruption. I mean, Romero wasn't killed because he was a "communist" or even liberation theology, but because he opposed the rich families who owned everything, take more than their share of the profits while paying a pittance, and rigging elections.) This is the reason we sometimes see priests, election officials, and reporters shot here).

Try running a clean business here, and you will be underpriced by those who cheat (in our case, competing with  organic rice grown with chemicals applied on the sly). And of course, all the rules against GM and chemicals means didly squat when a small "gift" lets you import/smuggle in these things to sell as locally grown "pure" food or rice or medicine.

Song of Bernadette

A few days I mentioned Lourdes and said watch the film...but when I tried to find it on youtube, most copies were removed by the copyright cops. Since it's an old film, I presume this is the work of Turner classic films, who keeps oldies but goodies from being seen for free.

However Internet Archive has it HERE.

I also discovered they have BOOK TV and other CSpan programs there.
some of these have short segments on Youtube, but these seem to be the entire programs, albeit in one minute segments to watch, which is a bummer when you have intermittant internet streaming.

Computer item of the week

Emojis for those who just want to be left alone

and for fans of multiculturalism, Apple has a few multicultural Emojis for you.

but only if you are south Asian, despite the fact that they were invented in Japan.

Now, if I only can figure out what emojis are used for...(no, I don't have a smart phone).

The Gratuitous Lady Gaga post of the day

Guess who's engaged?

Monday, February 16, 2015


If you want to understand the Pope, Romero's book is a place to start

Attention MamaBears

your email of the day from TiaMaria

the "WAGD" post of the day

I often joke that we here in the Philippines only have to worry about floods, typhoons, earthquakes and Dengue Fever, but add this one to the list: MERS.

DOH: 11 on MERS-CoV watch

Eleven of the 56 individuals who have had close contact with the Filipina nurse who earlier tested positive for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) have developed symptoms of the disease, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.
But the DOH said the initial round of tests conducted on the 11 yielded negative results.
that doesn't include the 220 who were in contact with her during her flight home.

MERS is a virus similar to SARS but it's source is a cross over virus from camels.

Therefore, the ever helpful UN tells Pinoy OFW to avoid contact with camels...not noting that the main danger is in our nurses who care for the sick in Saudi.

well, at least we don't have 4 feet of snow like our relatives in the USA...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Gift item of the day

headsup from RandomGoodStuff:

a solar powered waving Pope figurine

Factoid of the week

Cutting the proud and mighty down to size by satire didn't start with John Stewart....

David Warren writes about Shakespeare's subtle satires:

The character Falstaff in the History plays began with the name “Oldcastle.” This created something of a scene, because Sir John Oldcastle was a real historical character, and his proud descendants were prominent at Court — the top one, the seventh Lord Cobham, becoming suddenly Lord Chamberlain, and therefore licenser of plays. (By happenstance he died soon after, or we might never have had MacbethHamlet, Lear,Othello, nor heard much more from Ben Jonson, neither, nor from the effervescent Thomas Nashe, nor other closet Cath-o-licks who’d sharpened their wits on this dull anvil.)Now, Oldcastle was a Protestant “martyr” — an unspeakable Lollard from two centuries before, who’d been hunted down to the Welsh Marches and properly euthanized. And here was Shakespeare depicting him as a charismatic low-life drunkard, a duplicitous liar and compulsive thief. The fan started hitting the apples, and Shakespeare’s company must have told him it was time to stop it. The name would just have to be changed.
So he changed the name to Falstaff, a similar Puritan hero who didn't have any important descendants...

Nice Photo link of the week

BBC article about award winning garden photos

 Cherry Blossom Cyclist  by Amanda Kleinman

Leonardo Battista's image Tulipa Sylvestris 

Celestial Cypress - by Paul Marcellini.

 Florida Everglades by Paul Marcellini.

Andrea Jones -  One Man's Work.

Family News

Chano's big birthday party was yesterday. The farmers came in the afternoon, and the relatives for supper. Lechon and pansit and a lot of Pinoy food. And yes, we had a kareoke machine rented in our garden gazebo for the kids of all ages to sing. The party went from noon to late evening, with different people at different times.

Lolo made it to the supper meal, and has been in bed since then. I have to get him up soon because the Eucharistic minister will come with communion for him at 7 am. Since the cook was up late, she didn't come early so she could accompany me to church, and Lolo is wheezing and running a low grade fever so I'll just stay here instead.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Story of the week

A black German woman confronts her Nazi grandfather who was the evil killer in Schindler's List.

R rated valnetine's day Stuff

from medievalnet:

Rabbits and hares in ancient and medieval times

: Aristotle discussed the hare in Book 6 of his Historia Animalium and emphasized its great fertility. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder described hares living in the Alps in Book 8 of his Naturalis Historia, and also noted Archelaus’ remark that a hare allegedly receives a new anus every year. Pliny was also the first ancient writer to mention rabbits – cuniculi – which were abundant in Spain. Another Roman zoologist, Claudius Aelianus, mostly repeated Aristotle’s and Pliny’s descriptions in his De Natura Animalium.
the full article notes that the connotations of rabbits/hares in ancient literature is R rated so be warned.

and Caterina Sforza gives advice for ladies to restore their virginity.

and here is an article on sex in the Middle Ages.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Family news

My husband was given the sacrament of the sick yesterday, but is a bit stronger today.

Emie sent some special herbal soup here and he ate a cup along with his fish and fruit and rice supper.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Book of lost tales

Mythgard had a lecture series on the Book of lost tales one, and just finished a series on Watership Down.

Soon to come: Book of lost tales part two.

My copy of both these books were left at home but if you look carefully, you will find someone posted the audiobooks on Youtube.

there are also courses on Dune and Ender's Game. I bought EG here in the used kiosk, but decided it was too depressing with the subplots about kids picking on other kids in school. Heck, Ender should have been a geek girl and faced the Heathers....

Family news

Lolo is getting weaker, so we plan to ask the priest to come over and give him the sacrament of the sick. He denies pain, and I did get him outside to sit in the sun yesterday afternoon. He tires easily after a small effort and goes back to bed. But he still reads the paper every day.

His son got angry because I arranged this with his wife without asking him. His son is acting out badly against his wife, who has her own health problems and a sister to mourn and a sister's family to help.

Me, I am "independently wealthy" (thank God and FDR for Social Security, which I get independently from my own job) and since I am guaranteed the small house even if my husband dies, I cannot be hurt or threatened, which annoys him greatly, since he has control of my husband's money and property but not the small house or my savings.

And it's worse than that, with a full midlife crisis behind this, something that happens in cycles. He got the cook hysterical yesterday after one incident and he blamed her for spilling the beans, and when he realized that we hired her, not him, he decided our chief driver/farmer was ratting on his activities and is threatening to fire him too.

hopefully, he will soon enter into his down phase of his (untreated) bipolar problem and things will settle down.

So excuse me for not blogging with all the family drama here.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Audiobook of the week

Alister McGrath's bio of CSLewis has been posted on youtube.


Quick, before the copyright folks find it.


Related subject: If you didn't download PhilDagrash's LOTR narration, too was taken off youtube AND the podcast site, although it is still on some torrent sites.

reading books

with the internet out, I've been reading books on my tablet from Scribd

I found they have the Amelia Peabody mysteries (including some on audio!) and the author's Egyptian history books too. I also found Elizabeth Goudge's books there (I brought a few of them with me but not all of them).

But I can also find scholarly books and articles on things like epidemics in the Philippines, or the Justinian plague. Some are books, others are papers placed under their documents (including theses). Worth the money...

In the past, I rarely read books on computer because it strained my eyes. Now I have a tablet and it's easier (and I download a lot of Audiobooks from Librivox or from youtube).

Speaking of books: I have several hundred here, most sent by the old "MBAG" that is no longer allowed, but some from the used book kiosk at the malls. I rarely buy new books, although Ruby has bought some CSLewis and various teen books (e.g. percy jackson, divergent etc). The only "new" book I bought since moving here was Herodatus' histories (my used copy was falling apart), I haven't "read" it through...I listened to much of it, and mainly read the interesting parts, e.g. on ancient Egypt.

Friday, February 06, 2015

internet off

we have been having trouble with our modem for the last few months and it was on it's final leg.

So we bought a new one and just set it up. So excuse the lack of posts.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Take THAT, Scarlette

Scarlette O'Hara had to make her dress from drapes.

HA. Try making a dress out of wallpaper.

 dresses made out of layers of paper by talented artist Asya Kozina.

via Toxel: