Heteromeles

Heteromeles

  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    That's kind of the point. To add to the "invasion" story, it looks to a lexicographer who gave a talk I attended that Spanish is becoming more prevalent in California, not less, and more people are becoming functionally bilingual. Heck,...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    Please... that's not a good argument for Arthur. By your logic, if in 200 years, someone writes a history of Zorro The Gay Blade being the homosexual leader of the Mexican resistance against the American invasion, would that mean that...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    I can think of multiple reasons, from a reasonable attempt to portray history to straight up propaganda to early attempts to reclaim a "celtic identity" in a predominantly Anglicized system. Or it could be the same reason that US politicians...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    I haven't, but there's enough skepticism that it even makes it onto weeknight PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/king-arthurs-lost-kingdom-full-episode/4094/...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    More off-topic good news: there's new research that suggests that atmospheric hydroxyl radicals, which break down methane, rapidly recycle and are maintaining a steady concentration in the atmosphere. While this doesn't guarantee that hydroxyl will continue to recycle if we...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    Oh, I agree there were plenty of Anglo-Saxons coming in. What's missing, like evidence that King Arthur existed and fought off the Anglo-Saxons, are the graves from all the battles that took place when the Anglo-Saxons forcibly conquered the Brits...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    Apparently, the only evidence for the Anglo-Saxon invasion (as opposed to settlement and trade) is sparse (two sources, one being Geoffrey of Monmouth) literary, polemical, and written centuries after it supposedly happened. However, you forgot the vikings, so that evens...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    If you want some good news for a change... For those who feel like the National Rifle Association is intruding into their politics a wee bit too much, this expose in the New Yorker suggests that right now is a...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    Why not? It's certainly worth quibbling about the details. I don't think it's worth arguing about long-lived empires, since it certainly looks like there's a lot of political mythologizing in every one of these histories. Still, why China didn't own...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    As to why China's imperial system lasted, the short answer is that it didn't. If you look at any representation of Chinese history (This one for example), you'll see that the "unbroken chain" is marked by centuries of turmoil, such...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    Personally I think Mme. Mayhem fits, as does Mme. Mayday. Or is Maybot due to the propensity for bot-like thoughtless proliferation and destruction, while blindly following a script?...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    I'd suggest being careful with any of this stuff, quite honestly. The problems with drugs are fairly obvious (from committing ritual suicide on the thought that you'll come back immortal, to experimenting with any chemical intervention based on someone's half-baked...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    You know, after reading about the Taoist immortality elixirs, I have this strong desire to spend days reading Joseph Needham while playing Blue Oyster Cult songs on repeat. Weird... ...Too bad I have other, more useful things to do. That's...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    Yep, saints add preservatives to us. But actually, the Egyptians, like other desert peoples (notably along the desert coast of Peru) noticed that corpses dried out and naturally mummified if buried in sand dunes, especially if there was a fair...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    Immortality has always been a goal of Taoist alchemy, although the definition seems to keep shifting for some reason. Hard to tell if that's because they realized that ingesting mass quantities of mercury and other preservatives wouldn't make them immortal,...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    I'd gotten the impression they were doing an Easter break (something about dying and coming back to life, maybe?), before Mme. Mayday starts the browbeatings again. My question is whether the EU elections on May 27 actually mean that UK...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    And you purified your soul so that you could perform miracles, like turning lead into gold, thereby pleasing your patron who would notionally be happy to support a holy man who demonstrated his worth by performing miracles that (say, for...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    Agreed. Literacy has traditionally been a high-class skill, again until the printing press brought literacy to the masses. It's weird to read someone like Ong and get the idea that seeing words is deeply abnormal in terms of human history,...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    There's a couple of other things going on you're missing. First off, the idea about the definitions of magic changing over time came from Ronald Hutton's Triumph of the Moon: a history of modern pagan witchcraft. Hutton's a pretty careful...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    Nope, but do go on... Where I'm coming from is a history of theories of how magic spells work. From Pre-Roman times to at least the Renaissance, the idea was that the magic happened when the rite was performed perfectly....
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    I'm glad PTerry's quotes are searchable now, because as usual, there's one (from The Fifth Elephant): "It often seemed to him that Leonard, who had pushed intellect into hitherto undiscovered uplands, had discovered there large and specialised pockets of stupidity."...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    If you're summoning Cthulhu in mid-air, I presume the idea is to see if he can get his wings working before he splats into the ground and reforms, rather cross? Remember that he's basically a demonic starship, not an aquatic...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    The observation was more along the lines of "this is an almost untouched mature forest, it should be more or less steady state", and CO2 measurements suggest that that theory is not as correct as perhaps might be preferred., depending...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    Um, I'm pretty sure the magic carbon sink is math, specifically the difference between relative growth rate and absolute growth rate, with a touch of geometry. Math time. I'm going to use M for mass and T for time. Relative...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    You have to realize, Brexit is a conditioning exercise. The PM and her Labor counterpart have been listening to their dreams, you see. They're very persuasive dreams, once one stops screaming awake during them. So when Cthulhu and the Star...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    Extension until Halloween? Trick or Treat (?)(!)($%#$)...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    In the US, it's worse than that. The political parties can give unlimited campaign donations to their endorsed candidates, and donors can give unlimited campaign donations to political parties, at least in the US (this from a friend of mine...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    In other news, the first picture of a black hole not observed near the Parliament building was published today. Sadly, it looks like what we expected it to look like, so no new gonzo physics today....
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    Sorry, I adopted "Barbarian" to mean "person living outside a state." The reason for this is that for the first 300,000-odd years of the existence of modern humans, states didn't exist anywhere on the planet, so calling people who live...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    Worth pointing out in Spratt's analysis that, while I agree that the heat stress analysis is important, it's interesting that he jumps from "threat to civilization" to "threat to intelligent life." There's a ranking here in terms of fragility: civilization...
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