Monday, July 15, 2013

The Stoned Nailmaker’s
“Jump the Shark" Page Post Part III

In two previous postings1 I listed 10 TV shows in each and my opinion of when they “jumped the shark”. Here are ten more.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lord of the Rings
A Critical Note

Map of Middle Earth / Arda

In a previous posting I reviewed the first of The Lord of the Rings movies; here I will discuss some aspects of the novels.1

It is well known among Tolkien fans that J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) started writing about his fantasy universe before the First World War and that he continued to do so right until his death. Further that his fascination with Anglo-Saxon, Germanic and Celtic mythology, along with making up languages just for the hell of it made him interested in Anglo-Saxon and started his academic career by which he eventually became a Don at Oxford University. Other things about Tolkien and his fantasy universe are less well known.2

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Killer Ape Part II
The Fossil Evidence 
Australopithecines at Home

In a previous posting I discussed the idea of man being a “Killer Ape” and pointed out the rather obvious fact that the idea owed much more to the concept of innate human depravity and the notion of man has some demonic, luciferian fallen angel than it did to any actual evidence.1

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Battle of Teutoburg Wald
A Brief Update Note on a TV Program
and a Brief Look at two books about it

Battle at Kalkriese / Teutoburg Wald

In a previous posting I discussed the Battle of Teutoburg Wald where the German leader Arminius destroyed a Roman army.1 and by doing so put an end, it turned out permanently to Roman attempts to conquer Germany. Here I will discuss a television program on the battle. It is part of the series Perfect Storms. The episode is called The Lost Legions.2 

Sunday, July 07, 2013

The Empress Wu
Chief Advisor and Co-Ruler

Empress Wu Zetian

In a previous posting I discussed the ascension of the Empress Wu to supreme power in China.1 Here I will examine part of the process by which she made herself the only woman to rule China not just in fact but in her own name.

Friday, July 05, 2013

The Philosopher as Tyrant
Critias of Athens


One of the most common conceits among intellectuals is the fantasy / longing by so many of them to rule and to get rid of the “idiots” who actually run the world and thus get stuff done. This fantasy goes back to Plato in his various dialogues in which he indulged in various fantasies about the “ideal” society, which would of course be run by philosophers. Thus Plato’s dialogues, The Republic, The Laws which were in large respects Mary Sue fantasies about how if we (Philosophers.), ran the world how much better things would be. Well we have an idea right at the birth of Platonic philosophizing what would happen if a Philosopher took over a state.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The Mad Sultan
An Historical Curiosity
of an Empire in Decline
Mustafa I

One of the most curious episodes in modern history was the long, prolonged decline of the Ottoman Empire. Its rise was in many ways surprising but it’s very prolonged decline until the state finally ended shortly after the end of the First World War was one of the most prolonged, protracted declines ever. And the story of that decline is a fascinating one filled with amusing and not so amusing stories. This is one of the more amusing, if only in a black way, stories. This is the story of the mad Sultan who was Sultan twice.

Monday, July 01, 2013

The Dutch Revolt
Revolution the Long Way
A Note on Origins Part I

Section  of Painting Looting a Luggage Train
by Sebastian Vrancx

In 1566 there began one of the first of the modern revolutions and still likely the longest. The Dutch Revolt started in 1566 and didn’t end until 1648. The war also showed the usual pattern of revolution and counterrevolution in this case expressed in geographical terms. The two geographical entities that were created by the revolt were The Netherlands and Belgium.