Monday, June 30, 2008

Agdy Centennial

It's been a 100 years since the mysterious event near the Tunguska in Siberia, which the 'indigenae' reportedly attributed to the divine 'Ogdy' or to the 'agdy' thunderbirds.

Kulik who first investigated the event (1927) died in a Nazi stalag in 1942.

NASA reports the centenary.

J.K. Rowling : Harvard Commencement

J.K.R., in her 'gay wizard' role, speaks ironically to what Laozi and other Daoist masters would likely have called "investing in loss".

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Plane Trees and the Artemis of Ephesus

Among my favorite sights in Portland, Oregon are the plane trees in Laurelhurst Park.

One may discern the form of Artemis, the goddess of the Ephesians in these trees.

Here are pictures of some Portland plane trees; the form is not as pronounced in them.

Ephesian Artemis images:

Thomas Cahill & the 'hinges of history'

"Full of surprising, often controversial, insights, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea is a remarkable intellectual adventure—conducted by the most companionable guide imaginable. Cahill's knowledge of his sources is so intimate that he has made his own fresh translations of the Greek lyric poets for this volume."

You would do well not to miss the 'Photo Gallery' linked below.
(Please pardon the periphrasis; not sure which Muse possessed me.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Outside the box thinking

Should we have had to go outside the USA to find out the
fundament of this so very American phrase?


Ampersand Mountain takes it name from Ampersand Lake which takes its name from Ampersand Creek which is said to have a & shape.

President Teddy Roosevelt was fond of these mountains.

Monday, June 23, 2008

You Tube de lo Habitual

You Tube is terribly addictive, I've found. But most entertaining nevertheless.
Angelo's Aoide [instrumental]
Julee Cruise "Falling"

You'd best skip the next two.., unless you're a true horror fan.

Dario Argento, supreme master of cinematic horror; bittersweet music by Goblin "La Terza Madre" trailer

Daemonia succeeded Goblin as the main band for D.A. in his later films including his most recent movie. You can hear them at:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ludwig van Beethoven's Grosse Fugue

I've found that for me the Grosse Fugue is a most excellent recreator after a lengthy intensive session of studying Ancient Greek. I usually precede it with Ludwig's Opus 130 String Quartet performed by the Leipziger Quartet on CD.
Grosse Fugue, part one and part two

Tonight I discovered Stevie Ray Vaughn's "The Sky is Crying" to be a fitting caboose. Solo version Way Deep Ellum
G.D. "Deep Elum Blues"

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Talos is a 'bronze man', or robot-like fighting machine, a MECHA built by
Hephaestus and set by Zeus as the guardian of Europa & Crete. Different Greek
myths offer variations, but this seems the main theme. He is honored as a minor
god associated with a spur of the Cretan mountains.

In Hindu mythology there is Garuda, who shows some similarities to
Talos, but even more similar is his opponent in his quest to obtain the
Amriti energy of the gods, described as a mechanical contraption with
rotating saw blades in place of arms.

Then there is the pogrom champion, the Golem, created by Hebraic
kabbalistic magic out of clay, sometimes of metal, but a powerful
fighting automaton in any case.

The most modern manifestation of this archetype, other than the rather
unsublime industrial robots, is the Mecha -- a very popular creation of
Japanese anime.

Like the 'monster' in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, all of these MECHA
'creatures' seem to have a lot of human qualities, especially of the
'Shadowy' sort.

Monster Summer Solstice Moon at Poseidon's Temple on Attica's Cape Sounion:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Horace, an unworthy attempt at an introduction

Horace and his friend, Vergil, seem the very epitomes of the Augustan
litterateur. Vergil preceded and helped Horace gain his foothold and
patronage in his rise from postbellum impoverishment.

Horace says of himself, in his epistle, 'Flore, bono claroque fidelis
amice Neroni', "I had the good fortune to be brought up in Rome, and
to learn of the wrath of Achilles that brought such ruin upon the
Greeks, and to have added a little more education from the treasures
of Athens, and to have sought Truth in the groves of her Academe."

A big fan of Archilochus, Horace likely picked up the story of
throwing away his shield and fleeing the battlefield from
Archilochus' famous ancient poem. No doubt but that 'unvirile' tale
would have been more pleasing to the conquerors of Brutus and his
army than any honorable military service. Professor William Harris
seems to agree on this.

p.s. "maculas in facie oesypum cum melle Corsico, quod asperrimum habetur, extenuat, item scobem cutis in facie cum rosaceo inpositum vellere — quidam et butyrum addunt —, si vero vitiligines sint, fel caninum prius acu conpunctas, liventia et suggillata pulmones arietum pecudumque in tenues consecti membranas calidi inpositi vel columbinum fimum." from in his truly funny "Cosmetic Treatments" post of Thursday, June 19, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008


A pataphor is an extended metaphor...

Or perhaps a scholarly obsession?

"I am pleased to announce the official online release of a project
that it has taken me more than three years to complete: a compilation
of the Book of Current Focus (BCF) discussions from the email digest
groups The Ozzy Digest, Nonestica, and Regalia examining all of the
original 40 Oz novels by L. Frank Baum, Ruth Plumly Thompson, John R.
Neill, Jack Snow, Rachel R. Cosgrove, and Eloise Jarvis McGraw and
Lauren McGraw....Reading through the BCF discussions is the
equivalent of taking a sprawling college literature course on the Oz
books. And who among us has never wished that such a class were
available somewhere? ...(L. Frank Baum would have been astonished at
the sheer magnitude of the analysis of his work and that of his
successors. I hope that this resource will prove
useful as a scholarly tool."

I happened to see something similar to (or a part of?) this footage on the BBC America World News tonight:

PLEIADES (1885) painted by Elihu Vedder

Monday, June 09, 2008

Natural Organic poison honey?

I've been reading books IV and V of Xenophon's Anabasis recently with a Classical Attic Greek study group and came upon a passage where Xenophon describes the death agonies and madness of his comrades when they had eaten of the honeycombs in the Pontus (Black Sea area)during their return from a military adventure in the Baghdad area. Today I came upon this excellent explanation of the phenomena:

Kalmia angustifolia, 'sheep laurel' or 'mountain laurel' is more likely to blame than 'rhodies', as it is richer in toxins according to what I've read elsewhere. nekkid

"Wolves rule!"

" 'Most everywhere wolves rule in the city." --nekkid (21st Century)

"Hi regnant qualibet urbe lupi." --Walter of England (12th Century)

"Everything that is thought and expressed in words is one-sided, only half the truth; it all lacks totality, completeness, unity. When the Illustrious Buddha taught about the world, he had to divide it into Samsara and Nirvana, illusion and truth, into suffering and salvation. One cannot do otherwise, there is no other method for those who teach. But the world itself, being in and around us, is never one-sided. Never is a man or a deed wholly Samsara or wholly Nirvana; never is a man wholly a saint or a sinner. This only seems so because we suffer the illusion that time is something real." Herman Hesse, Siddartha (1922)
"In each individual the spirit is made flesh, in each one the whole creation suffers, in each one a Saviour is crucified....
If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us." Herman Hesse, Demian (1919)

"Homo sum; humani nil a me alienum puto." Terence (190-158 B.C.) , Heauton Timorumenos line 77

Friday, June 06, 2008

from the Codex Tudela

Self-Mutilation and Sacifice

"Wisdom says that one should beware of perfect people. In order to remain perfect such a person is prone to use his neighbour as a scapegoat. A perfect and narcissistic man happens to tread in a puddle of water. This mistake is a sin which he experiences as insulting to his perfect and controlled ego, and his 'unit status' has been questioned. The stain must now be transferred onto his wife, who is made to suffer from his bad mood. Comparatively, the flagellant's longing to be free of sin evolved into scapegoat psychology and victimization of innocent people.

Pathological self-laceration, as a misguided initiation rite, obtains among youths. What's even more disturbing is the mobbing and bullying at schools. Instead of lacerating themselves, youths can find a substitute victim. Young people often lack the strength to endure the ambiguity of their own nature when confronted with a diversity of painful and confused experiences. They want to be in control and to be "cool". Hence they resort to the destructive form of ego emancipation....
What does it mean when Western teenagers are practicing self-mutilation? Young men and women are cutting themselves, using razor blades or knives to wound their limbs and bodies. Eliade notes that 'patterns of initiation still survive, although markedly desacralized, in the modern world' (Eliade, p.188).
By damaging themselves, it seems, they aim to destroy the natural wholeness of childhood, and relieve themselves of the anxiety that goes together with a consciousness not yet amputated off its mother, namely the unconscious. As in the Tezcatlipoca sacrifice, an uncontrolled passion must be curbed. In order to conform to the monotony of social and societal life, it is necessary to cast off the ambivalency of primary wholeness. The impression of a young woman's wholeness is wrecked when she puts an ugly tattoo on her beautiful skin. It's like knocking out a tooth."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

City of London, U.K. gets a fine new mayor

Sometimes those leftists across the great water do something very intelligent. This mayor seems one of their better moves.

about classics studies:

Mortality of blogs (shelf-life of digital info)

Computer data has an intrinsic rate of decay apparently.

If not archived within a limited period the information may be lost.

Will my blitherings live forever in the New Library of Alexandria archives?

Web Archive in the New Library of Alexandria, Egypt

STAY making no sense

Worlds of dead and of living in collision

May stop making sense: I see dead people

On Saturday June twenty-first in the IFC