Friday, February 27, 2009

Joaquin Phoenix, the Rapper

This may very well be Joaquin's greatest piece of acting.

Soon, thanks to the 'stimulus package' beneficence of the new presidential administration and the U.S. Congress, wealthy fans will be able to ride in 'high style' from Disneyland in California to The Palazzo in Las Vegas, Nevada to enjoy the show.

Excerpt from 'forthcoming video':

Interview at The Palazzo (Raw Vegas TV)

Mild and gentle rapping:

Some heavy rhymes - EXPLICIT : BE ADVISED!

Contrast with Elvis Presley on Milton Berle TV Show (1956):

" χάριτι δὲ θεοῦ εἰμι ὅ εἰμι. "

Augustus Caesar attired as Pontifex Maximus

De Ediscente Linguae Latinae

"To embark on any complex English construction without the Latin Grammar is like trying to find one's way across country without map or signposts. That is why so few people nowadays can put together an English paragraph without being betrayed into a false concord, a hanging or wrongly attached participle, or a wrong consecution; and why many of them fall back upon writing in a series of short sentences, like a series of gasps, punctuated only by full stops." D. Sayers

Dorothy Sayers' essay on learning Latin, quite timely with the current vogue for Latin amongst American youth, struck me as 'litteras et legendas et non contemnendas'.

Reading Dorothy Sayers' essay on the learning of Latin brings to mind the essays of Virginia Woolf and G. Anthony Gorry about learning Greek which I referenced earlier:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cosmic Rayburst

Sunbursts have long been favored by artists as well as halos and other solar and stellar representations.

Behold now the cosmic rayburst from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Overdriven twitters suffer twitterrhea?

Busybodied tweeters have got it, 'tis said

Will e-spam be superannuated by Twitter?

This SO very cutting edgy condition

Is not yet well pharmicognosed, but

Cometh, so 'tis said, from excess or

Frequent abuse of tweeting for which

Mayhap a two to three day suspension

May be applied to such overdriven twits.

So tweet me baby, eight to the bar!


Thursday, February 05, 2009


When I can bring myself to watch a television newscast, I usually find myself frustrated when the newsreader (yes, that's the original title) not only talks more rapidly than her visual recognition and vocal apparatus can handle, but makes mistakes in names and locations. Would that the names in 'newstories' appeared 'on the tube' in legible print. T'other night I beheld a report that involved what sounded like a breath-mint brand but turned out to be a police tactical unit.

Searching in I found this exhaustive reference:

Now enlightened, I understand that the breath-mint phoneme stands for 'Special Response Team' which is one sort of 'Special Weapons and Tactics'(SWAT). Once upon a time, a swat was something a child received when he or she was supposed guilty of malfeasance or nonfeasance. "Ah, brave new world!"

Monday, February 02, 2009

Ancient Chalices Found on Mount Lykaion {Et in Arcadia Ego}

Interesting, this find on Mount Lykaion! Very colorful mythology from there: Zeus, ritual cannibalism, werewolves ... who knows, vampires?

[Forward from CLASSICS-L]

In the third century BCE, the Greek poet Callimachus wrote a 'Hymn to Zeus'
asking the ancient, and most powerful, Greek god whether he was born in
Arcadia on Mt. Lykaion or in Crete on Mt. Ida.

""" A Greek and American team of archaeologists working on the Mt. Lykaion
Excavation and Survey Project believe they have at least a partial answer to
the poet's query. New excavation evidence indicates that Zeus' worship was
established on Mt. Lykaion as early as the Late Helladic period, if not
before, more than 3,200 years ago. According to Dr. David Gilman Romano,
Senior Research Scientist, Mediterranean Section, University of Pennsylvania
Museum, and one of the project's co-directors, it is likely that a memory of
the cult's great antiquity survived there, leading to the claim that Zeus
was born in Arcadia....

""" New evidence to support the ancient myth that Zeus was born on Mt. Lykaion
in Arcadia has come from a small trench from the southern peak of the
mountain, known from the historical period as the ash altar of Zeus Lykaios.
Over fifty Mycenaean drinking vessels, or kylikes, were found on the bedrock
at the bottom of the trench along with fragments
of human and animal figurines and a miniature double headed axe. Also found
were burned animal bones, mostly of goats and sheep, another indication
consistent with Mycenaean cult activity.

""" "This new evidence strongly suggests that there were drinking (and perhaps
feasting) parties taking place on the top of the mountain in the Late
Helladic period, around 3,300 or 3,400 years ago," said Dr. Romano.

""" In mainland Greece there are very few if any Mycenaean mountain-top altars
or shrines. This time period — 14th-13th centuries BC — is approximately the
same time that documents inscribed with a syllabic script called Linear B
(an archaic form of the Greek language) first mention Zeus as a deity
receiving votive offerings. Linear B also provides a word for an 'open fire
altar' that might describe this altar on Mt. Lykaion as well as a word for a
sacred area, temenos, a term known from later historical sources. The shrine
on Mt. Lykaion is characterized by simple arrangements: an open air altar
and a nearby sacred area, or temenos, which appears to have had no temple or
other architectural feature at any time at this site.

""" Evidence from subsequent periods in the same trench indicate that cult
activity at the altar seems to have continued uninterrupted from the
Mycenaean period down through the Hellenistic period (4th – 2nd centuries
BCE), something that has been documented at very few sites in the Greek
world. Miniature bronze tripods, silver coins, and other dedications to Zeus
including a bronze hand of Zeus holding a silver lightning bolt, have been
found in later levels in the same trench. Zeus as the god of thunder and
lightning is often depicted with a lightning bolt in his hand.

""" Also found in the altar trench was a sample of fulgurite or petrified
lightning. This is a glass-like substance formed when lightning strikes
sandy soil. It is not clear if the fulgurite was formed on the mountain-top
or if it was brought to the site as a dedication to Zeus. Evidence for
earlier activity at the site of the altar, from the Final Neolithic and the
Early and Middle Helladic periods, continues to be found.

""" The Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project is a collaboration between the
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in
pPhiladelphia, the University of Arizona, and the Greek Archaeological
Service in Tripolis, Greece. Project directors are Dr. Romano, Dr. Mary
Voyatzis of the University of Arizona, and Dr. Michalis Petropoulos, Ephor
of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquties of the Greek Archaeological Service
in Tripolis. The project is under the auspices of the American School of
Classical Studies in Athens. Investigations at the Sanctuary of Zeus also
include excavations and survey of a number of buildings and monuments from
the lower sanctuary where athletic contests were held as a part of the
festival for Zeus in the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods. These
include a hippodrome, stadium, stoa, bath, xenon (hotel building) and
fountain house. The Project, which began in 2004, will continue in the
summer 2009. Further information about the research project can be found at
the project website: ""

Vide etiam:

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