July 02, 2005

The Huns & the Fall of the Roman Empire 'In 1984 a German scholar worked out that 210 reasons had been advocated for the fall of the Roman empire. Peter Jones enjoys a "fine narrative history" that concentrates on just one.' The Huns. Reviews of The Fall of the Roman Empire by Peter Heather and The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization by Bryan Ward-Perkins, from the Telegraph.
Animal Wierdness du jour starts with an ancient mystery about Pygmy Elephants now solved (they're their own subspecies). On a smaller scale, Sri Lankan eggheads found dozens of new tree frog species, but realise many known species are either extinct or on the verge. Even smaller: male and female fire ants have independent gene pools, almost as if each gender is its own species. more inside
They weren't all peaceful easy feelings. Her biography is hard to piece together (details such as where exactly she was when she died of a heroin overdose are unclear), but while she was alive, 70's era singer-songwriter Judee Sill made some amazing music. NPR reviewed a recent release of her music and I was reminded of just how great it sounds. more inside

July 01, 2005

Hail the Emperor! "Perpetuation of the Byzantine Idea incarnated in a Dynasty . . . living evidence spanning some 350 years." But some disagree.
Curious George - The Occult in Islam Quid's post below reminded me that I could go here with a question I have been having trouble with. I am in the middle of the research phase of writing a screenplay that takes place in Iraq. Since the theme of the story has at least partially to do with the occult and demon possession, I've been reading all kinds of stuff on the history of Mesopotamia and Babylonian religion and the occult in that tradition as well as the history of Satan, demons, possession and the occult in Christianity and Judaism. Now I want to find out about the history of the occult, demonology and possession in Islam and am finding very few sources at my library as well as online. Does anyone in monkeyland have ideas about info resources on this admittedly fringe topic?
Muslim Heritage. more inside
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor calls it quits. Let the political fun begin! more inside
Needed: Protestant Latinists The vast majority of the church fathers and the Reformation’s writers have not been translated into English. Most of the history of the church remains a closed book to the modern world because that book is in Latin or Greek. There is a solution. The question is: Will anyone adopt the solution?
Do you want to be ugly and/or impotent? If so, consider taking up smoking. So says a new anti-smoking advertisement campaign from the NHS (various media), targeted at males who might worry about staying hard (flash) and females who might worry about losing their looks. We all know that smoking is carcinogenic to humans, but is the risk of cancer no longer a sufficient (de)motivator? more inside
Brown Fido. "Yes, after years and years of cleaning up after our own dogs and then seeing what was available in the form of FAKE DOG POOP, we discovered that most FAKE DOG POOP doesn't really look like what we were cleaning up. SO, about 10 years ago we set on a quest to make the best FAKE DOG POOP ever!"
How To Meditate
Meet the Smoothies. "I want a man with chest, uninterrupted. Who's buff, thorough and shiny as a dime. He's playing with his earring. He's putting up his hair. He's touring the new Old Navy and picking up new slacks. I want a man with a tight shirt and a hard package." more inside
VIP Service
Alpha Girls TV An organic media project for a disenfranchised population? Yeah, and if you don't like what's on there, go ahead and submit it. Not earth shaking, but a good use of vlogs...
Pants of the Third Reich
You never know when you'll need this information. Learn how to distinguish edible, though not necessarily tasty plants from their poisonous cousins. Just in time for your July cookouts! more inside

June 30, 2005

"Have you ever been in love?" Watch the video, listen to the songs. Cringe. Giggle. Add some Pizazz to your life. (Potentially NSFW, headphones suggested)
A Real Firewoks Display will be readily visible to New Zealand this July 4th, although NPR said that the United States should be able to get a good look at it with the naked eye. I keep thinking of the Apu clone from The Simpsons saying "What better way to celebrate the birth of your nation, than by blowing up a small part of it?"
Curious Ugly Legs George: Monkey girls please help! I'm going to a party, a big fancy party that I am driving all day to get to. I have a dress to wear that is adorable, my hair is okay, but my legs are a mess. more inside
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