Monday, January 28, 2013


Omar Khayyam relaxing

In the mid nineteenth century the Englishman Edward Fitzgerald published a translation of selected poems or ruba’i’of the mathematician / poet Omar Khayyam. Subsequently Fitzgerald would go on to publish 4 more editions of selected ruba’i’.1 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Among the Barbarians

Medieval Doctor "Treating" Patient

In the years after the First Crusade the Muslims of the Middle East got to know the new comers to the Middle East. The "Frankish" Christians from the West. What they found, was aside from the new conquerors military expertise, which was considerable, was that over all they didn't have a lot to admire. Not only were they from a Muslim point of view idolatrous unbelievers / infidels they were over all considered pretty uncouth.1

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Star Trek Insurrection
A Movie Review

Movie Poster

This is a review I did shortly after the film Star Trek Insurrection (1998) came out. As you will read I was less than impressed.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

So Annoying
Why Osprey Books are problematic.
Book Cover
Osprey has for many years been publishing a series of books covering military events, uniforms, tactics etc. One of Osprey’s series is its so-called campaign series that basically covers interesting and important historical battles and campaigns.  The books are not long generally under 100 pages in large format with copious numbers of photos, maps and specially commissioned illustrations for the particular publication. Since frequently these books cover campaigns that get only cursory treatment in conventional, easy to get sources these books are of great value in providing up to date information in an accessible format.1 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Time Trap
The Canonical Planet of the Apes films 

Scene from The Planet of the Apes 


One of the most successful bits of popular culture of the late 20th century in the west was the Planet of the Apes film franchise and to this day it has seeped into our popular consciousness to such an extent that parodies and references to it are instantly recognizable. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Original Sin Redux
The Killer Ape Theory
Part 1

Scene from 2001 A Space Odyssey

One of the most delicious of intellectual pleasures for Puritans is wallowing in their own sinfulness. We have had in the past thinkers like St, Augustine, who was merely the father so to speak, of generation after generation of people who wallowed in their sinfulness. The sort who constantly dwelled on their own wickedness over and over again; enjoying the narcissistic and prurient pleasure of heaping coals on their heads and luxuriating in the contemplation of their utterly wicked sinfulness.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

A Geography lesson
The Book of Mormon’s Lands
In a previous posting I discussed The Book of Mormon and how the “history” in it is almost certainly fiction and that the archaeological, linguistic and genetic evidence does not in the slightest support as history The Book of Mormon.1
Especially damning was the vast array of anachronisms in The Book of Mormon. Including, horses, wheat, oxen, elephants, iron weapons / tools, chariots etc. All of which did not exist in the Americas in the period supposedly covered by the Book of Mormon.2
Here I will look at an interesting feature of The Book of Mormon its geography and specifically the work of one Vernal Holley (1924-2000)3, with his efforts to identify the geographical locations in the Book of Mormon. 

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Knowing Better

Gulag Camp
In 1956 Khrushchev gave his secret speech outlining and denouncing the crimes of Joseph Stalin and the Stalinist regime.1

Many people, usually Communists, reacted with shock and horror. Thus the Communist party of the USA and it members said such things as referring to: 
...the shocking disclosures... 
Mr. Foster, the party chairman mentioned: 
...the sweeping revelations of the Stalin cult of the individual.
 Another figure  in the Communist party, Max Weis, of the USA claimed:
...the disclosure of the mistakes made under Stalin's leadership came as a stunning surprise to our Party leadership and membership,... 
Finally the party leader, Mr. Dennis said: 
... the facts disclosed about the errors of Stalin ... are of course, new to us.2 
Was any of this reaction the least bit credible? Or was it nothing more than evidence that the minds of members of the Communist party of the USA were set in concrete like true - believing fanatics?