Of Siri and Hesiod

There’s a very subtle but very real history behind Siri (and Google Now and Amazon Echo’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana) having a female voice and persona… “But because the creatures in these myths are virtually identical to their creators, these narratives raise further questions, of a more profoundly philosophical nature: about creation, about the nature … Continue reading Of Siri and Hesiod

Classical Inscriptions, Fonts, and Avatar

“The Renaissance was chockablock with copyists who learned and then duplicated Latin epigraphic scripts for various purposes. This imitation game had a great amount of influence on the Renaissance antiquities market at the time (forgeries could be bought all over Italy), but it is also revealed in the fonts we use today–particularly Roman fonts. The invention of fonts … Continue reading Classical Inscriptions, Fonts, and Avatar

The New York Public Library Uploads 200,000 Images for Public Use

What the web was made for… much more beneficial to humanity than social media silos or native content ads: The New York Public Library just uploaded nearly 200,000 images you can use for free | The Verge: “The New York Public Library just released a treasure trove of digitized public domain images, featuring epic poetry from the … Continue reading The New York Public Library Uploads 200,000 Images for Public Use

“We cannot ask a man what he will do, and if we should, and he should answer us, we should despise him for it.”

“We cannot ask a man what he will do, and if we should, and he should answer us, we should despise him for it.” Source: Lincoln – David Herbert Donald – Google Books A little reminder of what’s good about the United States on this night of shameful performances at the GOP Debate on the … Continue reading “We cannot ask a man what he will do, and if we should, and he should answer us, we should despise him for it.”

Destroying Dura Europos

A Greek settlement on the Euphrates not far from Syria’s border with Iraq, Dura-Europos later became one of Rome’s easternmost outposts. It housed the world’s oldest known Christian church, a beautifully decorated synagogue, and many other temples and Roman-era buildings. Satellite imagery shows a cratered landscape inside the city’s mud-brick walls, evidence of widespread destruction by … Continue reading Destroying Dura Europos

Thomas Jefferson Was Obsessed with Mammoths

“For most of his life, Thomas Jefferson was obsessed with mammoths. (More correctly, he was obsessed with American mastodons, tree-chewing cousins of mammoths that lived in the Northern part of the continent—but at the time, he and the rest of the world thought they were mammoths.) He liked theorizing about mammoths, he liked talking about mammoths, he liked making his friends rack … Continue reading Thomas Jefferson Was Obsessed with Mammoths

Yale’s Religious Treasures

My masters degree in religion is from Yale, and it’s great to see the religious treasures there highlighted. However, I can’t believe the Dura Europos baptistry (from the earliest house church we’ve recovered and one of the first depictions of Jesus we have) didn’t make the list (the Mithraeum did, though… which is also spectacular). … Continue reading Yale’s Religious Treasures

New Album with Old Music

Looks like a beautiful collection of ancient Mesopotamian poetry set to the original lyrics (relatively, of course) with close-to-original instruments. I’ve always wondered what the Hymn to Nikkal (the world’s oldest song that we’ve recovered) might have sounded like. Of course, we don’t really know what ancient Sumerian, Babylonian, Akkadian, or even Attic Greek really … Continue reading New Album with Old Music