Daily Archives: 6 Apr 2011

Bigger News than Any Lead Codex: The Identity of NT Wrong is Exposed!

By none less than that Butler-ian Bulldog James McGrath!  And the most shocking bit?  NT Wrong is a WOMAN!

After much debate and uncertainty, new evidence (actually, old neglected evidence) has finally confirmed that NT Wrong is in fact a women.    Bibliobloggers who wondered, but in particular NT Wrong herself, will be glad that the matter is finally settled, and that the appropriate pronoun can be used henceforth in reference to her.

Who knew….  Still, I always had a sneaking suspicion that it was so.  The posts and the language and the girly-like blog themes…  Now it all makes perfect sense.

Dear Government, (via Nuclear Knitting)

This is one smart young lady!

Please, oh please, stop behaving like catty middle school girls.  Get your crap together.  Just because you get paid (way, way too much) in the event of a government shutdown does not mean that it won’t affect lots of people negatively.  Though I have come to the conclusion that I am not actually represented by my “representatives”, (because you’re too busy tripping over yourselves to please your most important constituents, large corporations) I … Read More

via Nuclear Knitting

Hearty Congratulations to Bob Cargill!

He’s heading to Iowa to one of the Universities there that has some kind of bird as its mascot as Assistant Prof! Congratulations to him!  They’re lucky to have him and he’ll do them proud (and he won’t have to fall into the ocean when California does soon).

iowa! Roslyn and I (and baby MacLaren) are pleased to announce that we will be leaving California for Iowa this fall. I have accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Classics and Religious Studies with an emphasis in the Digital Humanities at the University of Iowa. We are excited to be headed to Iowa and are thankful to UCLA for the time we’ve spent here. Moving from UCLA to Iowa means many changes are in store. I hear the weather is a bit differ … Read More

via XKV8R: The Official Blog of Dr. Robert R. Cargill

Peter Thonemann on the Absurd Elkington Codices (Or Lead Codices, Or Messiah Codices, or Whatever)

With thanks to Danny McClellan for alerting us to this (in private email correspondence).

The most telling part of Thonemann’s essay follows-

To judge from the photos which have appeared in the press over the past week, all of these supposed early Christian codices are the product of the same Amman workshop as the book I saw last year. The forger’s repertoire is fairly predictable: pseudo-Christian symbols copied from ancient Greek and Judaean coins (palm trees, Hellenistic kings and so forth) interspersed with gibberish-inscriptions clumsily adapted from real ancient texts, Greek and Hebrew.

One can hardly blame the newspapers: no editor could reasonably be expected to resist the combination of Jesus, the Kabbalah, mysterious death threats and a secret code. But it is a bit depressing that no one thought to consult any one of the dozens of British specialists in the field. As the Jewish Chronicle made clear when it originally reported on the find back in early March, those professional scholars who have had sight of these objects have dismissed them as obvious fakes. There are various reasons why we bother to fund research in the arts and humanities and this episode could have been one of them.

Quite rightly the piece appears in the entertainment section of the Times.  Because this lead codices thing is a circus.  Especially given the bit that I have emboldened.

Still More Sanity on the ‘Lead Codices’

In contrast to all the lunacy flying about.  Trudi Kawami writes (on ANE-2 and used here with permission)

What is interesting in this exchange of comments is the frequency of words like “believe,” “believing”, “would have been” (interesting conditional there), “have been told” and similar terms. There is no objective description of the corrosion products, no statement of the parameters of the tests, no mention of XRF analysis or any other commonly used & accepted analytical procedure for assessing the “life” of a piece of metal.

Instead we appear to have scholars of religion and language who couldn’t tell cast metal from hammered (let alone copper alloy from lead) hoping/believing something is authentic – bad science (& bad logic). Add to this the approach of the Easter season, you can see the red flags of super-hype flying. Willing suspension of dis-belief is fine for the theater, but really inappropriate in scholarship.

So true.

I’m So Proud… We Have our Own Sleeping Air Traffic Controller Here!

The FAA is taking steps to fire an air traffic controller who was found intentionally sleeping during his shift at McGhee Tyson Airport.  The controller was working the midnight shift on February 19 while he was on duty in the radar room at the airport.

Now if we could just get a decent Sushi place we would have everything the big cities have.

I Have a Confession to Make: Sometimes I Want to Throttle People…

Especially when I see them do things like this: things that are utterly absurd and thoroughly blasphemous and ridiculous and pointless as well as vile wastes of money.

A dog owner has splashed out an incredible £20,000 to give her pampered pooch the perfect wedding day.  Louise Harris, 32, admits to spending thousands on birthdays, designer outfits, and bespoke jewellery for her six-year-old pet dog Lola.  But now she has gone even further – spending more than most human couples do on their nuptials, to organise Britain’s most expensive dog wedding.

But do you know who I’m most furious at?  The so called Vicar for lending credence to the farce.  Via Dot King on FB (and when I first saw it my right eye exploded).

An Open Letter to the United States Senate and the US House of Representatives


I am absolutely furious over the impending and now it seems inevitable government shutdown.

First, and most importantly to the people in Washington, our Reps and Senators along of course with the Executive Branch will continue to get paid and enjoy their premium health care and other stellar benefits whether there’s a shut down or not. Yes… (oh the things I’m thinking just now that aren’t fit to be seen in public…).

But what about the average Joe? The Washington Post has loads of answers to loads of questions.

Here’s my fav!

Do I still need to do my taxes if the government shuts down?

Quick answer: Yes. You need to finish your taxes on time (postmarked April 18) in order to not incur a penalty for filing late. However, officials familiar with plans warned privately that the IRS would cease processing refunds for paper-submitted tax returns.

That’s right, taxpayers have to pay on time but if you’re expecting a refund, too bad!

It is outrageous what’s going on in Washington. Had I the power I would recall each and every one in the Legislative and Executive branches.

With extraordinary annoyance,

Your constituent (though you can hardly concern yourself with actually representing us),

Jim West

Everything You Need to Know about the Government Shutdown

First, and most importantly to the idiots in Washington, our Reps and Senators along of course with the Executive Branch will continue to get paid and enjoy their premium health care and other stellar benefits.  Yes…  (oh the things I’m thinking just now that aren’t fit to be seen in public…).  But what about you?  The Washington Post has loads of answers to loads of questions.  Here’s my fav!

Do I still need to do my taxes if the government shuts down?

Quick answer: Yes. You need to finish your taxes on time (postmarked April 18) in order to not incur a penalty for filing late. However, officials familiar with plans warned privately that the IRS would cease processing refunds for paper-submitted tax returns.

That’s right- you have to pay on time but if you’re expecting a refund, too bad!

You see why I despise and loath our elected officials?  They care for no one but themselves.  They sicken me.  Guess who I’m writing right now with the exact post above as the content of the letter?  That’s right, my rep and senator.

Joe Zias: Scintillating Observation on the ‘Lead Codices’

Joe writes on ANE-2 (and I quote with his permission)-

They are of such poor quality I’m surprised that anyone bought the story. On the other hand it’s always the biblical scholars who fall for this stuff as dirt archaeologists, museum curators, and dealers can usually spot these items as forgeries a mile away. Moreover, look at the names of those involved, at times it’s a dead giveaway.

I would only add the caveat, ‘some biblical scholars’.

CIA’s Mable isn’t All That Stable

Remember the woman who attacked the painting the other day? Guess what? Yup, She’s a CIA employee. Yup… that’s what she said…

The Smoking Gun has uncovered an old mugshot of Susan Burns, the woman who attacked Gauguin’s “Two Tahitian Women” over the weekend. They’ve also got the criminal complaint, and as it turns out, she’s a CIA agent! (According to her.). You may be wondering why the CIA would be sending its agents—in particular the ones with radios implanted in their heads—to attack paintings at the Smithsonian National Gallery. Luckily, Burns’ statement to the police, also obtained by The Smoking Gun, should help clear that up: “I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it’s very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned. I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.”

It sounds like Joel Watts dressed as a woman…

Oh Come on Joel…

I don’t have a smart phone. And if I did, I wouldn’t need GPS on it. I have it in the car. And as much fun as it would be (not really) to be part of a group effort blogging (what an atrocious and mind numbing prospect) effort, it’s just not going to happen. For, young toddler, I was being sarcastic

There, I said it. I can be sarcastic occasionally. It’s out in the open.

Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now?

He’s golfing, but things aren’t going well.  Just watch. (And you have to watch a commercial first).

Ok, Ick…

Police in the northern New Mexico city of Espanola say a man tried to get help at a hospital emergency room for a woman who had been dead as long as a day and a half.  Officers say Jerry Maestas drove to the hospital Tuesday with the 33-year-old woman’s decomposing body propped up in the passenger seat. The 64-year-old Maestas asked hospital staff to come outside and help his sick friend. Police spokesman Jeremy Apodaca says the staff could tell by the smell that the woman had been dead for some time.

Ick.  This is exactly why people need to check on their neighbors.  Before it’s too late for them.

That Garbage ‘Music’ Your Kids Listen to Is Contributing to their Depression

NPR informs us-

Teenagers are more likely to be depressed if they spend a lot of time listening to music, while teens who read a lot are less depressed, according to new research.  So does that mean that My Chemical Romance is bad for your health? Or that multiple replays of “The Catalyst” by Linkin Park will push an adolescent from moodiness to mental illness?  Not necessarily. The researchers didn’t try to nail down cause and effect. But the fact that depression is a major health problem for teenagers, affecting 1 in 12 of them, makes it’s easy to see why the researchers thought it was worth looking into.  Pediatrician Brian Primack, at the University of Pittsburgh who was the lead author on the study, says it’s more likely that depressed teenagers are turning to music for solace, rather than music being the cause of the mental illness. “They don’t feel like doing anything,” Primack says. “They don’t have a lot of energy, and this is a place where they can go and they don’t have to perform.”

Tell them to listen to real music and read more.  They’ll cheer right up.  And if they listen to Mozart and FJ Haydn and Michael Haydn they’ll be joyous!

Madeleine is Right, Abortion isn’t a ‘Health’ Issue, It’s a Moral Issue

So she writes rightly

Today is “World Health Day” and some people are using this fact to argue that ”abortion is a health issue, not a crime.” I find this contention a little curious; claiming that abortion is simply a health issue is an assertion which is supposed to mean that abortion is not a moral issue in any way. However, an assertion is not an argument and proves nothing.  If a fetus is a human being then feticide is homicide and this obviously makes abortion more than a health issue. But suppose (contrary to what I think is the case) a fetus is not a human being. How does it follow that abortion is a health issue?

Go there for the rest. Especially clever-

Cutting tissue out of a person’s body does not make something into a health issue. Suppose, for example, that a woman has a boob job. Is this a health issue? No, this  is cosmetic surgery. It might be done in a hospital and by a surgeon but this does not make it into a health issue any more than the fact that a chef might kiss his wife in a resurant makes his romance of her a question of diet. Contrary to what some juvenile males may think, having small breasts is not a disease.

And right on the mark-

Pregnancy, however, is not a disease and I find it quite odd that people who claim to be pro-women would suggest that it was.

The real disease is murder for the sake of convenience.

A Turkish Politician Wants to Outlaw Christian Missions There

Reformiert reports

Der Vorsitzende einer türkischen Oppositionspartei hat zum Auftakt seines Wahlkampfs eine angebliche Bedrohung der Türkei durch christliche Missionare beschworen. Wie türkische Medien am 6. April berichteten, forderte der Vorsitzende der rechtsgerichteten Demokratischen Partei (DP), Namik Kemal Zeybek, in einer Ansprache vor dem Parteivorstand ein gesetzliches Betätigungsverbot für christliche Missionare in der Türkei. Protestantische Kirchen befürchten bis zu den Parlamentswahlen vom 12. Juni mehr Angriffe auf ihre Institutionen.

That’s very sad news. Turkey is becoming one of the many closed to Christian missions ‘democratic’ countries (like Israel).

It’s Not Really a ‘Fail’

The Giants clearly don’t care for evangelicalism or the claims of evangelicals to be critically engaged. That’s ok, they’re welcome to their views of course. After all, I think persons outside the hermeneutical circle are incapable of real exegesis or exposition and they are certainly incapable of real theological interpretation. So if the Giants think the opposite that’s ok with me. As long as their attacks don’t turn violent. We’ve seen too much of violent Giants fans lately.

What’s interesting, though, about the Giants in what follows is that they are just as fundamentalistic as they imply IVP Academic is.  Just from the opposite side.  Indeed, that’s the most curious thing about so called ‘agnosticism’ or ‘atheism’; it is just another form of religious fundamentalism and it’s not at all as ‘open’ as it likes to imagine itself to be.

The IVP Marketing Tag-line: FAIL IVP or InterVarsity Press is a major publisher of conservative Christian books. IVP have what they call an “Academic” division, which boasts the following marketing tag-line:   A couple of comments on “Evangelically Rooted. Critically Engaged”: 1. Are these alternatives, or are they actually being claimed together? It is really hard to tell, but the full-stop (period) in-between makes me think this must be an example of antithetical rather than s … Read More

via Remnant of Giants

The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the One

An 8 year old child out of control, spitting, wrecking, and disconsolate at school, was brought into control by a dousing of pepper spray.

An eight-year old boy named Aidan was pepper sprayed by Lakewood, Colorado police after acting up in a classroom. Teachers had barricaded themselves in after the second-grader threw a violent temper tantrum. Aiden, whose last name was not revealed to protect his privacy, had torn a piece of wooden trim off the walls and was wielding it like a weapon, according to a police report filed about the incident at Glennon Heights Elementary on February 22.

He wouldn’t, evidently, respond to requests and the cops had to bring the stand off to a conclusion.

He also threw a television and was threatening to kill the teachers. When police arrived, a spokesman said, they felt they had no option but use use the pepper spray on him. Aidan told local 9 News, ‘It burned my eyes, and I couldn’t see.’

I’m sure destroying property and endangering others and threatening to kill them (!) is ok with him, but his eyes getting stung was an offensive and undeserved punishment so far as he was concerned.

This was the third time police had been called after Aidan’s temper tantrums, although his mother, Mandy, is criticizing the police for what she considers excessive force, and for treating her young son ‘like a common criminal.’

Well there’s the problem. He acted like a common criminal! He spat on people!!! That’s assault, miss. And he threw a tv. And he brandished a weapon.    He threatened murder!  Those are the acts of a criminal. But dear mom, she just thinks it’s all terrible. She probably let’s him do as he pleases at home, the little precious, so of course he acts that way at school.

According to the police report, Aidan ‘was climbing the cart and spitting at teachers. He also broke wood trim off the walls and was trying to stab teachers with it.’ ‘I wanted to make something sharp if they came out because I was so mad at them,” Aidan said. ‘I was going to try to whack them with it.’ After he refused to obey police, they sprayed him with pepper spray two times. He dropped the stick, and they handcuffed him.

Let’s face it people, the kid’s a brat. Being pepper sprayed is hardly the worst thing that this little criminal in training is going to experience in his life. And the misery he has already brought to his school and his teachers and his neighbors will doubtless pale in comparison to what he will do later unless his mother get’s control of him. And where’s dad?

Do you know what the problem is with children today? Their parents (99.9% of the time). In this boy’s case the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one. But that’s always the case.

Lakewood police are defending their actions. Aidan was placed on a ‘mental health hold’ and was transferred to a school for children with behavioural issues.  Aidan’s mother told 9 News that her son had been seeing a doctor, but has not been diagnosed with mental problems and is not on medication.  ‘I have some anger things,’ the child admitted. ‘I don’t think they’re ever going to go away.’

He should most certainly be removed from a home where he has not proper guidance and his anger issues need to be addressed by professionals because they are already out of hand and he is already out of control.  If not, the next time he encounters the police it won’t be pepper spray it will be a taser or bullets that he experiences.

Finally, for those mennonites who will defend the child and his behavior, one question: would you think him grand and lovely and just misunderstood if he bashed your child with a tv or stabbed your spouse with a piece of wood?

UPDATE:  They just had the kid on GMA and, honestly, he’s pleased with himself.  Why’d he do it?   ‘They didn’t let me do what I wanted to do…’   Who’s fault is it?  ‘The teachers’.  Did you mean it when you said you wanted to kill your teachers?  ‘Yes, a little’.

And his mother is pleased too, and claiming that he’s only a problem at school and it’s the school’s fault.  And why is school a problem?  ‘Because it takes away part of my day from home’.   If the cops had only talked to him it would all have been different.  And still no dad.  Where’s dad?   Dad, where’d you go?

Good grief.  Mom’s the problem, teaching him to make excuses and that it’s not his fault.

Jesus: The Cold Case

A tv special from Australia’s Red Sky Television is coming this Easter. It’s reported to be far superior to anything we’ve ever seen from Canada and the producer up there who isn’t an archaeologist and isn’t normally naked.

There are eight different trailers. Via Joe Zias (who makes an appearance in the special, as does Elaine Pagels, among others).