Happy Ostara, Ēostre or Easter?…

SkyHarbor, 2013/03/30 

The ‘Easter’ celebrated by Christians as the resurrection of Jesus Christ really began with the Jewish ‘Passover’ – remembrance of of the ‘Exodus’ from Egypt – and more particularly with the ‘passing over’ of the Jewish abodes while killing all of the Egyptian ‘firstborn sons’ (including Pharoah’s) in the 10th, final and most severe plague of Moses visited upon Egypt for its recalcitrant refusal to ‘Let My People Go!’. The Jews had sacrificed lambs to this mysterious ‘Yaweh’ fellow and smeared the blood over their doorways to warn the ‘Angel of Death’ to ‘pass over’ those houses. The Passover story is also why Jesus is often called the ‘Lamb of God’ by the way. In Jerusalem on ‘Good Friday’ it was HE (Jesus) who became the sacrifice!

Most of the world calls Jesus’ resurrection ‘Pascha’ after the ‘Passover’ (Hebrew Pesach [פֶּסַח]) holiday. Only English-speakers use the term ‘Easter’. Why? It’s actually rather interesting in a pagan, etymological sort of way…

read more…

TV or not TV… what was the question?…


Television’s 1977 LP “Marquee Moon” is yet another look in my rear-view mirror, but one which has not cracked or faded over the intervening orbits at all IMHO. Rather, it has only become more burnished with a lovely patina which glows an odd but compelling shade of blue-green. Verdigris perhaps? Or even mold, you say? Not a bit of it. Two guitars, bass and drums. An old formula – here become alchemy. Simply put (and played!), a rock’n’roll revelation…

Tom Verlaine’s songs and his insistent but never over-baked guitar work continue to enthrall. And those lyrics. wow. Just wow. If anything, I’m more impressed now than I was when it was new. Real desert island material!

Do yourself a favour… Put on some hear-muffs and turn it UP! :-)

Does this make sense to you?

Max, 2013/03/29 

Trying to parse this quote form Sullivan’s site today:

“I’m a Christian not because of the resurrection … and not because I think Christianity contains more truth than other religions … and not simply because it was the religion in which I was raised (this has been a high barrier). I am a Christian because of that moment on the cross when Jesus, drinking the very dregs of human bitterness, cries out, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” … The point is that he felt human destitution to its absolute degree; the point is that God is with us, not beyond us, in suffering,” – Christian Wiman.

I’m not trying to poke fun here, really trying to understand the mindset. Wiman seems to be saying that God (in the form of Jesus) was proving his own capacity for suffering by not avoiding it with any magical powers. On the one hand, this seems very nice of him or her, to experience the worst of what we mortals have to potentially deal with in life, but it also feels kind of sadistic if he or she is really omnipotent. Almost a “if I can take this, you suckers will bloody well have to” attitude. Damn! Did I just poke fun? Bad atheist.


On Big Fucking Rocks From Space…

SkyHarbor, 2013/03/28 

Watch Meteor Strike on PBS. See more from NOVA.

PBS/NOVɅ ran this last night on the meteor over Chelyabinsk, Russia last month. I thought it was rather good, so I’m sharing it here. The embed shows the first 20 minutes and you can link to PBS for the rest…

Remember, when it’s in space it’s a meteoroid or asteroid. When it enters the atmosphere it’s a meteor – and when it hits the ground it’s a meteorite. 😉

Have you no sense of decency, sir?…

SkyHarbor, 2013/03/27 

The New Yorker article to which O’Donnell refers is here.

While we watch the Supremes attempt to tiptoe around the issue of gay marriage, we also see the Senate’s champion of the far Right, one Ted Cruz (R-TX), making an ass of himself by doing an impression of the late and unlamented Joe McCarthy, joining former (and also unlamented) Florida Congressman Allen West in ridiculous and unsubstantiated accusations of ‘rampant Communism’

read more…

Manual of Errors…

SkyHarbor, 2013/03/23 

Perhaps my fave Snakey LP (best cover art IMHO!) – right up there with ‘Greener Postures’… rough in spots but delightful! (Philip Lithman a.k.a. Snakefinger [1949-1987] RIP)

I just thought

byronius, 2013/03/22 

about a man who has a cat. And the cat drinks from the man’s tea while he is not looking, while he is instead looking at the screen and working. And the man finally sort of notices, and then shoos the cat from his desk, but then pours a little of the tea out and drinks it anyway.

And his entire biochemistry changes, because he just shared saliva with a cat. Maybe he doesn’t become a cat, but he starts to feel really strange. Perceptual and shit.

So, that just happened.

On the Curious case of the English…


‘Angelcynn’ (pronounced ‘Angle-kin’) means ‘Angle relatives’ (kin)
The dragon is in ‘rampant’ posture (on hind legs), standard in Heraldry.

The original English people (as distinct from the other peoples of the British Isles), were believed until recently to be the Angles (‘Anglii’ or ‘Angeln’) and the Saxons, Germanic tribes from the Jutland (whence ‘Jutes’) Peninsula (now Denmark). The Saxons supposedly settled in the south, creating the kingdoms of ‘Wessex’, ‘Sussex’ and ‘Essex’ for west, south and east Saxons respectively. Meanwhile, the Angles, Jutes and Frisians settled to the north and east in ‘Northumbria’, ‘Mercia’ and ‘East Anglia’.

Map of England in the AD500-1000 timeframe

But, as I argued in my ‘Into our distant Past… dimly’ post, there are serious difficulties with the standard story…

read more…

The Coming Age of Space Colonization


Re-posted so somebody other than that Max guy might comment.

The crescent Earth rises above the lunar horizon in this NASA handout photograph taken from the Apollo 17 spacecraft in lunar orbit

Eric Anderson (Space Adventures): I’m not suggesting that we’re going to start using resources from space next year. But over the next 20 years, resources in space will most likely be used to explore our solar system. And eventually we’ll start bringing them back to Earth. Wouldn’t it be great if one day, all of the heavy industries of the Earth—mining and energy production and manufacturing—were done somewhere else, and the Earth could be used for living, keeping it as it should be, which is a bright-blue planet with lots of green?

Inspiring interview that all must read now

Hang in there aldous, there’s hope.

obama’s speech in israel


Obama’s speech in Israel was very conciliatory toward the Palestinians and may go further in challenging Netanyahu than what any other president has done. But it doesn’t go nearly far enough. The structure – a hegemonic union between the U.S. and Israel – isn’t challenged. And this is not simply regrettable, it is wrong. The settlements are a violation of international law. This is an area where Obama needs to be bold and uncompromising: demanding the dismantling of the settlements. Because they, as well as the overall occupation, are immoral and illegal. Is he inching toward morality with his approach? Perhaps. If so, is this a more effective strategy than confronting Israel? Perhaps. But when a basic structure needs to be changed, whether it be the U.S.-Israel alliance or the corporate welfare state in this country, it seems there must be a moment when a decisive step is taken to change it, when that line between injustice and justice is not only inched toward but actually reached, and then…crossed. Maybe Obama is investing his presidency in this effort, setting things up for the next president to actually cross that line and be the hero. I hope so. Because if not, he will go down in history as just another president that never really challenged the status quo.

The thing I liked best about his speech was the blurb about how politicians such as he must be pressured to do things by the populace. How much pressure does he need? 10%? 20%? I’m afraid he may be waiting till he has so much people pressure that there is little or no risk for him to act. Maybe that’s an essential question: how much risk is he willing to take? To me, what he said is true, he must be pressured. But that’s only half of it: he also, by virtue of his position as the most powerful man in the world, has the capacity to pressure the people. It could, and should, be a reciprocal process. If he is truly a man of his word, he could use the force of his moral commitment to sway the people. It might set in motion a spiraling up process where the more he pushed the people, the more they pushed him, and revolution might occur rather quickly. But that doesn’t appear to be his style, and that’s regrettable, for the Palestinians, for the 99%, for the planet.

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