Daily Archives: 3 Nov 2010

Duke’s Totally Depraved Frat Brats

Entrance to the Medical Center at Duke University

Duke University fraternities Sigma Nu and Alpha Delta Phi ended what was a difficult month for the school by sending out derogatory and insulting Halloween invitations to female guests. The Duke Chronicle reports that the emails, which include the phrases “come and show off the costumes you put more thought into than your major” and “fear is riding the C1 with Helen Keller at the helm (not because shes [sic] deaf and blind, but because she is a woman)” would have gone unnoticed if they had not been printed out and posted around campus by an unidentified student, replete with the hand-written statements “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” and “Is this why you came to Duke?”

They’re fraternity brats. Can better be expected of them? It doesn’t matter what school they attend, frat boys are, to a ‘man’, drunken imbeciles who care more about random sex (with girls and each other) than they do about school. That’s why they join fraternities.  So treating women like trash is just what they do.  It’s who they are.

It’s Christmas, For Wall Street, While Main Street Gets a Lump of Coal


Things have really gotten better since the election

Bill Gross will be one of the few to benefit from the Federal Reserve’s announcement this afternoon. The legendary money manager, who oversees more than $1.2 trillion at Pacific Investment Management Co., stands to profit off the plan hatched by the nation’s central bank. The Fed announced that it will buy between $850 to $900 billion of U.S. government debt, also known as Treasuries, through June to spur the recovery. Over the coming months, the Fed will then communicate its specific plans well ahead of any such purchases, allowing wealthy investors and firms a chance to buy those assets first so they can sell it back to the Fed at a profit. Folks like Gross will be the biggest beneficiaries. When it comes to helping Wall Street and corporate America, the Federal Reserve spares no expense.

Thanks, Fed.

Meanwhile, families are being devastated by historic unemployment and record home foreclosure rates. Households and small businesses can’t get credit. A quarter of homeowners with a mortgage owe more on that debt than the home is worth. Borrowers are declaring bankruptcy in near-record numbers.

Awesome! Thanks Fed! Maybe one day the entire country will get Fed Up.

Moronic Comment of the Day

Though I didn’t approve it for posting (because rank stupidity is more offensive to me than sausages are to the SBL), the following comment arrived today-

Which of the seven churches of revelations is extant?

That would be none, good sir.  Because there’s no such thing as ‘revelations’.

Conference Announcement: ‘The Myth of the Reformation’

The conference will take place June 8th–10th, 2011, in Zurich and will be hosted by the Institut für Schweizerische Reformationsgeschichte. The next conferences are scheduled for Oslo, May 10th–12th, 2012 and Berlin, May 16th–18th, 2013.

Topic RefoRG Conference 2011: The Myth of the Reformation

Plenary sessions:

Emidio Campi (Zurich)
Was the Reformation a German event?

Bridget Heal (St. Andrews)
Sola Scriptura? The Reformation a non-visual event?

Barbara Mahlmann-Bauer (Bern)
Konversionen in der Frühen Neuzeit

Roundtable with Thomas Kaufmann on his book Geschichte der Reformation, Frankfurt/Main 2009, 2. Aufl. 2010.

Upon registration you will receive information on accommodation in Zurich. For a restricted numberof presenters partial funding of expenses is available. For applications contact Prof. Dr. Peter Opitz.

For registration click here.

The Logos Press Release Concerning their SBL Greek New Testament

I discussed my perspective on it back at the end of October.  I’ve since downloaded the BibleWorks 8 version and think it quite useful; though, so far as classical textual criticism is concerned, the SBL Greek New Testament is, again, merely a collection of witnesses to witnesses.

The Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software announced today the release of The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition (SBLGNT), a critically edited Greek New Testament.

For the first time ever, students, teachers, pastors and laypeople throughout the world can access a reliable, critically edited version of the Greek New Testament for free electronically. And because the SBLGNT has a generous end-user license agreement and doesn’t require proprietary fonts, users can easily interact with and share the text at no cost.

With the work of textual criticism far from complete, there is a continual need for fresh research and analysis. The SBLGNT, edited by Michael W. Holmes, utilizes a wide range of printed editions, all the major critical apparatuses, and the latest technical resources and manuscript discoveries to establish the text. The result is a critically edited text that differs from the Nestle-Aland/United Bible Societies text in more than 540 variation units.

In addition to the free electronic edition, the Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software also offer a reasonably priced, professionally produced print edition of the SBLGNT, which includes the full apparatus of variant readings from the NA27 and the four primary editions on which the SBLGNT is based.

To find out more about the SBLGNT or to download a copy, visit http://www.sblgnt.com.

Rest in Peace, Mark Stevens…

[NB- this hasn’t happened to Mark yet, so don’t get worked up- but it will one day…  I just know it.]

Caffeine — the seemingly benign stimulant found in coffee, energy drinks, soda and even chocolate — has been implicated in the death of a 23-year-old British man, who reportedly overdosed on caffeine powder he purchased on the Internet.

The moral? Take your caffeine in its natural form (in coffee and tea and Diet Coke) and not in powder form. Nothing in powder form is ever good for you. Ever.

I Really Want to Slap Her… Oh I Mean I REALLY Want to…

Remember the little 10 year old promiscuous child in Spain who gave birth a few days ago? Well guess what… instead of being dismayed or sad or shocked or overwhelmed or befuddled, the mother of the 10 year old is GLAD! She’s actually HAPPY that her 10 year old is a mother

That certainly explains the bent to promiscuity. The child has a mother who is unworthy of the title or office.

A Romanian Gypsy woman whose 10-year-old daughter just gave birth in Spain says she’s delighted to have a new granddaughter and doesn’t understand why the birth has shocked anyone — let alone become an international sensation. Spanish authorities have released few details about the case to protect the girl’s privacy. But in comments published Wednesday, her mother told reporters the baby’s father is a 13-year-old boy who is still in Romania and is no longer going out with her daughter. The 10-year-old girl and her baby daughter plan to stay in Spain because the young couple separated, said the girl’s mother. She identified herself only as Olimpia and appeared to be in her 30s but did not give her age.

The old Cher song now makes PERFECT sense: Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves. And that the little kids have already broken up… well color me shocked! I want to jump on a plane and fly to Spain and find this gypsy and slap her on the mouth and then take the child and the baby and give them to someone who has sense.

[And hey, crazy gypsy woman, babies having babies is  illegal in Romania for a reason!]

Bloggers Go Shopping… Shocking!

It’s not even Saturday and some of your favorite bloggers have already hit the stores.  Wishing to avoid the weekend rush I suppose.

Stones, Bones, Texts and Relevance Or, How I Lost my Fear of Biblical Archaeology and Started Enjoying It

That’s the title of an essay by our own Aren Maeir in Historical Biblical Archaeology and the Future: The New Pragmatism, ed. T. Levy. London: Equinox.

Aren was nice enough to send a copy and now I’m off to read it. It’s a great title and here’s the abstract-

Biblical Archaeology is seen by many as being an outdated and outmoded practice of archaeology, so much so that many have proposed dropping this term altogether. In this brief contribution, while acknowledging some of the past problems of Biblical Archaeology, I attempt to demonstrate how mainstream Biblical Archaeology is still a vibrant, cutting edge and important professional endeavor, one which unabashedly can stand at the forefront of archaeological research, in comparison with any of the other many subsets of the archaeological profession throughout the world today. In fact, I argue that not only should the title Biblical Archaeologist not be abandoned-but rather, as I do-be professed with pride!


How Can I Transliterate All Those Weird Diacriticals in Ancient Near Eastern Languages?

Here’s how.

Oh I Want One!!!!

Click to Connect (with thanks to James Spinti for the oblique reference)

The big question for the Eisenbraunians is- will they be available at ASOR?

The gods gather together to drink, Yarihu drinks himself under the table, and ‘Ilu is carried home by two goddesses. That’s the story behind this mug, and the story that’s printed on it, as well, with the transcription of the original Ugaritic on one side, and the translation on the other.

This is no dainty stemware—this is nearly 3 pounds of solid glass, and will hold two full bottles of your favorite libations (or a 5-scoop root beer float, for those under age.)

We encourage you to imbibe reponsibly, but should you choose to drink yourself under the table like a god, consider yourself warned: the section missing from the transcription (and tablet) is the rest of the hangover remedy!

More ‘Science Doesn’t Know What It’s Talking About’ News

Kalaöljy kapseleita Fish oil capsules

Don't Bother Pills

I’m constantly, constantly amused how science can pretend to be so sure of things that happened millions of years ago and yet it can’t manage to decide if something like fish oil is good or bad for alzheimers patients. Does that make sense? NEIN!

One of the main components of fish oil doesn’t help slow the development of symptoms in patients with early Alzheimer’s, although experts aren’t ruling out the possibility that supplementation given earlier might help prevent the disease. The supplement, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is present in abundance in the brain and previous studies had suggested it might play a role in treatment. But that turned out not to be the case in this latest study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging and appears in the Nov. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Science. You guys crack me up.  Your worshipers really are quite silly little people.  Nothing is more fickle than you.  And you fish oil swallowers, don’t worry, science will change its mind tomorrow.

The iron anchors from the Tantura F shipwreck: typological and metallurgical analyses

The latest issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science includes an essay by Yuval Goren (and others) titled as above.

The abstract reads thusly-

The Tantura F shipwreck was discovered in 1995 in Dor (Tantura) lagoon, about 70 m offshore. It was a coaster that plied the Levant coast during the local early Islamic period. Among the finds exposed in the wreck site were two iron anchors of the T-shaped type. This type of anchor, dated to between the second half of the fourth and the thirteenth centuries AD, is found throughout the Mediterranean. The anchors were analyzed by typological and archaeometallurgical methods, including radiography, metallographic cross-sections, microhardness tests, SEM/EDS analysis and Optical Emisson Spectroscopy (OES) analysis. Light microscopy revealed heterogeneous microstructure consisting of ferrite, Widmanstätten ferritepearlite or pearlite, which is typical of wrought iron made by bloomery. The metallographic and microhardness results revealed that decarburization had occurred, probably during the final hot-working process. The OES analysis, supported by SEM/EDS data, showed that the anchors are similar in composition. Soda-blast cleaning followed by chemical etching revealed the forge-welding lines, clarifying the manufacturing process, which is similar in the two anchors. Thus, it is likely that both anchors belonged to the same ship and, hence, were in situ. This information extends the limited knowledge of technologies and materials used, specifically for the development of metallurgy in the Eastern Mediterranean during the early Islamic period, and enlarges the database of the typology of anchors of that period.

I appreciate Yuval sending a copy of this really interesting essay along (not least because it opens a window on the intricacies of archaeological methodology).  And it has tons of cool pictures and illustrations!

Islam’s Radical’s War on Christianity

Al-Haznawi appeared in an al-Qaeda video, pled...

An Al-Qaeda Murderer

Al-Qaida’s front group in Iraq has threatened more attacks on Christians following a bloody siege at a Baghdad church that left 58 people dead, saying that the “killing sword will not be lifted” from their necks. The Islamic State of Iraq’s warning of further violence against Christians comes two days after the group’s assault on a Catholic church in downtown Baghdad — the deadliest attack ever recorded against Iraq’s Christians, whose numbers have plummeted since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion as the community has fled to other countries. “We will open upon them the doors of destruction and rivers of blood,” the insurgent group said in a statement posted late Tuesday on militant websites. The Islamic State of Iraq, which is an umbrella group that includes al-Qaida in Iraq and other allied Sunni insurgent factions, also said that its deadline for the Coptic Christian Church in Egypt to release Muslim women that the militant group claims are being held captive has expired. As a result, “all Christian centers, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for the muhajedeen (holy warriors) wherever they can reach them,” the group said. The statement did not specify any one location, raising the specter of violence against Christians across the region.

Al-Qaeda are totally depraved. Inhuman, barbaric, reprehensible, and perverse. So, as Scripture requires and as God demands, we, the followers of Christ, the Prince of Peace, will pray for you, our enemies. That’s our duty. In believing your duty is to slaughter, you show that your brand of ‘Islam’ is nothing less than a lie. I for one much prefer Christ and his call to peace to a ‘faith’ bent on the destruction of others. Such a ‘faith’ is nothing but a farce utterly unworthy of the title ‘faith’.

Oh Guess What!?!?! They’ve Discovered Something Else in Egypt!!!!


Dr. Zahi Hawass is the current Secretary Gener...

The World's Greatest Pimp


Like clockwork, every month or so, Egypt manages to ‘discover’ something new (to stir interest and generate tourism).  This month is no different.  This time, it’s … wait for it…  it’s tremendously exciting….  a wall!

A routine excavation has uncovered ancient walls surrounding the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced today (Nov. 2). The walls were likely built to protect the Sphinx from blowing sand, said SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass, who is overseeing the excavation. During routine digging, SCA researchers found two segments of mud wall on the Giza Plateau, where the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx stand. Both walls stand just under 3 feet (1 meter). One runs north-south and is 282 feet (86 meters) long, while the other runs east-west and is 151 feet (46 m) long.

Oh boy! Time to book a flight and go see… the… newly discovered… wall…

[Has there ever been an archaeologist like Hawass? That guy knows how to pimp better than anyone in the world].

Iowa Has Some Sensible People

Iowa voters have voted to remove three state Supreme Court justices, siding with conservatives angered by a ruling that allowed gay marriage. The vote Tuesday was the first time Iowa voters have removed a Supreme Court justice since the current system began in 1962. The three who weren’t retained were Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and justices David Baker and Michael Streit. They were the only justices up for retention this year. They were on the court of seven justices who unanimously decided last year that an Iowa law restricting marriage to one man and one woman violated the state’s constitution.

California’s voters should learn a lesson from Iowa. And so should the rest of the country. Every voter should say no to activist judges.  And when those activist judges come up for election- remove them.  Permanently.

California, I’m Surprised at You!

California - A Year Of Edits

First, you rejected recreational pot (!), which really surprises me.  But don’t worry, one of your judges will overturn your will.  After all, they did the same thing when you rejected gay marriage too.  So fear not pot heads, there’s still more than enough hope that you’ll be able to toke that joint in your car… on those busy freeways… endangering everyone around you…

And second, you elected a dead woman!  Literally.

Jenny Oropeza died last month, but her political career lives on. The deceased California Democrat won re-election to the State Senate by a comfortable margin, besting Republican challenger John Stammreich, 58% to 36%. Oropeza passed away on October 20, too late to replace her on the ballot for the state’s 28th Senate district, which includes parts of Long Beach, Los Angeles and the South Bay. She had been battling health problems and died of complications from a blood clot that first developed in May. Oropeza, 53, was successfully treated for liver cancer in 2004. Tuesday’s result will trigger a special election.

Oh California… rejecting pot and electing the dead. You never cease to surprise.

The Election’s Big Winners!

Not you.