Shortest Day of the Year

The Sun is directly overhead of the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere during the December Solstice. The December Solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees. In other words, when the North Pole is tilted furthest – 23.5 degrees – away from the Sun. via TimeAndDate.com At 6:03 … Continue reading Shortest Day of the Year

Dura Europos Looting

The “holes” in the inset picture are looting holes from the area near the main agora at Dura Europos. Sadly, we haven’t properly excavated much of that area. This literally breaks my heart given that we’ve properly excavated such a small amount of Dura Europos and we’ve learned so much about Judaism, early Christianity, and … Continue reading Dura Europos Looting

Happy Birthday, Principia

Almost missed it… Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Latin for “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”, often referred to as simply the Principia, is a work in three books by Sir Isaac Newton, in Latin, first published 5 July 1687 via Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Continue reading Happy Birthday, Principia

Meant to Struggle

I love the Bible. I’m a Christian and a person of faith, so that’s (supposedly) a given. However, I really do love what I consider to be this set of inspired texts that has influenced and shaped the development of our species to such an extreme level that it’s simply unimaginable to think what our … Continue reading Meant to Struggle

Now That’s an Obit

Interesting man… Nigel Groom, who has died aged 89, was an Arabist, historian, author, soldier, spy-catcher and perfume connoisseur. These pursuits saw him fend off a tribal assassination attempt in Aden, uncover a KGB spy embedded in the RAF and explain the association between frankincense and Christ’s divinity. via Nigel Groom – obituary – Telegraph. Continue reading Now That’s an Obit

Setting Fire to the Past

Despicable: Ancient Manuscripts In Timbuktu Reduced To Ashes : The Two-Way : NPR: “‘These priceless manuscripts are my identity, they’re my history. They are documents about Islam, history, geography, botany, poetry. They are close to my heart and they belong to the whole world,’ the mayor said.” Fundamentalists in Mali aren’t the first or the … Continue reading Setting Fire to the Past

How Gorillas Got Their Name

Learn something every day… Gorilla – Wikipedia: “The American physician and missionary Thomas Staughton Savage and naturalist Jeffries Wyman first described the western gorilla (they called it Troglodytes gorilla) in 1847 from specimens obtained in Liberia. The name was derived from Greek Γόριλλαι (Gorillai), meaning ‘tribe of hairy women’, described by Hanno the Navigator, a … Continue reading How Gorillas Got Their Name

Indiana Jones, UChicago and an Amazing Tale of Misplaced Mail

So insanely awesome (and yes, I will DRIVE up to Chicago for the Indiana Jones exhibit): UChicago College Admissions, Mischief Managed For those of you who have…: “According to Paul, this package was en route from him in Guam to his intended recipient IN ITALY (registered mail confirmation attached) when it must have fallen out … Continue reading Indiana Jones, UChicago and an Amazing Tale of Misplaced Mail

Poor Gorgosaurus

Sad tale of a gorgosaurus that has, fortunately, been fossilized to preserve an amazing CSI-esque amount of data: Who knew that brain tumors could show up in the fossil record and be responsible for a scary dino having two broken legs and a busted shoulder? Gotta love science. Continue reading Poor Gorgosaurus

Dura Europos and Me

Thanks to Evernote, I’ve been able to digitize most of the notebooks I’ve written on Dura Europos. I know take digital notes on the small city, but thumbing back through my Moleskine notebooks full of clippings and hand written notes makes me feel a bit like Indiana Jones with his father’s collected notebooks on the … Continue reading Dura Europos and Me

Club of Honest Whigs

The name of my next band… Benjamin Franklin – Wikipedia: “Whilst in London, Franklin became involved in radical politics. He was a member of the Club of Honest Whigs, alongside thinkers such as Richard Price, the minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church who ignited the Revolution Controversy.” Geez I love Ben Franklin. Continue reading Club of Honest Whigs