**spoiler alert** Kindled for free: Not the best book I’ve ever read on aliens, but at least free and modern. The editor introduces the book as owing**spoiler alert** Kindled for free: Not the best book I’ve ever read on aliens, but at least free and modern. The editor introduces the book as owing substantially to wikipedia, and adds the warning “what’ true for you is true for you”. It is also the very first book I’ve seen which features an amazing new font which I didn’t know the kindle supported (new courier) The book is about 2/3 notes from wikipedia and 1/3 actual “interviews” with the alien creature (Airl). The interview itself is mostly unbelievable. In particular, the way the alien learns English in a few short weeks, and then speaks it at a high register like a native speaker is ridiculous. Perhaps the most believable thing about it is the author and the one being instructed in the interviews. She comes across as slightly slow but honest, and possibly an invention of the editor… Although I could easily spend the quotes with some of her more painful moments, I’ll stick with some good parts of the book.
(An alien’s perception of Earth, which runs counter to SETIs ideas…) “Earth is undesirable for many other reasons: heavy gravity and dense atmosphere, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, polar shifts, continental drift, meteor impacts, atmospheric and climatic changes, to name a few. What kind of lasting civilization could any sophisticated culture propose to develop in such an environment? In addition, Earth is a small planet of a "rim star" of a galaxy. This makes Earth very isolated geographically from the more concentrated planetary civilizations which exist toward the center of the galaxy. These obvious facts have made Earth suitable for use only as a zoological or botanical garden, or for it's current use as a prison -- but not much else. “ … “The truth is that every single IS-BE on Earth came to Earth from some other planetary system. Not one person on Earth is a "native" inhabitant. “
(An aithne duine sam bith Dubhadh? A bheil seo ceart?) "The astronomical significance of Kerbstone 51, the "Stone of the Seven Suns", at Dowth: If moonlight were to shine on the back stone of the eastern passage at Knowth, it would illuminate a map of the moon itself, the world's oldest known depiction of the lunar maria*. The carvings are about
(And one of the many notes, this time not taken from wikipedia) Because of the pre-existence of millions of people living in the Americas in 1493, the King of Spain, had a small twinge of fear at the prospect that God might become angry at him for all the murder, theft and mayhem he endorsed in the New World. So, he persuaded Pope Alexander VI to sanction an official proclamation intended to dissolve the stain of bloody culpability from the King's own immortal soul. This document, called "The Requirement", was supposed to be read, whether translated into the native language of the inhabitants or not, to the citizens of every foreign nation just prior to their conquest. The gist of the proclamation was to inform the soon to be vanquished that their lands were being "donated" to Spain… … One of the first to hear The Requirement were the chiefs of the Maya, whose scale of time for the creation of life on Earth did not begin a mere 5,000 years earlier, as suggested by the Pope, rather the Mayan measured original creation in millions of years by the astronomical calendars they kept, which tracked the solar year accurately to within a few seconds a year. Their comment upon hearing The Requirement was, "The Holy Father has indeed been generous with others' property". ...more
**spoiler alert** Great book, still not showing its date. I should probably point out that the 1995 edition I read has massacred all the Ú and ú lette**spoiler alert** Great book, still not showing its date. I should probably point out that the 1995 edition I read has massacred all the Ú and ú letters into 6s, which is annoying but not fatal. Jackson’s categorising of welsh nature poetry into just gnomes and elegies is simple and pristine. Irish nature poetry is considered to be mainly the work of the ascetic hermit, although this is not considered in nearly so much detail as later books. One interesting avenue for another book to read is a quote by professor Sieper pointing out the elegy shares many features with, and may be an evolution of the straightforward dirge over a dead person which is well attested in Celtic literature. The evidence of the use of the phrases heno, inocht, hediú and indiu is especially good. Three quotes:
(On the Irish anthropomorphism) P103 “this particular tendency almost to anthropomorphisation throws an interesting light on the psychology of the hermits. A desire for seclusion, abnormally developed in their case, was crossed by the instinctive need for society, and by making the animals their brothers they found themselves a substitute which was without the disturbing influences and temptations of mankind
(The stock figure of the old man) P115 – The Old Man became a stock figure in Irish and Wellsh elegy; he complains of his lost vigour and of his afflictions from feebleness and cold. The two most notable poems are the elegy of Llywarch Hen, RBH, XI, and the tenth-century Irish poem called the Old Woman of Beare, so similar to it in subject, treatment and poetic feeling. … “The theme of the old man lamenting his vanished strength occurs also in Beowulf (lines 2111-14) but the circumstances, a feast, do not allow for any interest in nature.
(on the writers of the welsh gnomes) With so many observations on the world around, one should be able to form some idea of the milieu in which these poems were composed and of the kind o fpeople who composed them, but they are of such a general nature that they do not give as much information as they might. It appears that the poets lived in a society where the king, chief, chieftain, knight, and the retinue of kings and princes} were political and social factors; that is, perhaps, before the English conquest of 1282. They were familiar with the countryside and many kinds of animals and plants, and so must have lived an outdoor life, perhaps joining in hunting. They felt the contempt of the active man for the cloistered cleric, of the warrior for the coward, and of the leisured class for commerce, but were not above hinting in bardic style that gifts are aeeeptable;1“ honesty and good faith and piety were valued by them;“ they were familiar with the tavern}? they believed in good breeding;13 and finally, they (p138) may possibly have been North-Walians . The type of person who seems to suit best is the bard at the hall of the country gentleman or small chiefton in the days of Welsh independence. The general outlook is too wide and perhaps not sufficiently aristocratic to be that of an official bard at a king’s court and though there is no reason why these should not have composed gnomic poetry the poems do not read at all like court-bard work. The Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Irish gnomes seem in no case to be the work of epic poets as such or indeed for use in a Heroic milieu; we saw, for example, how the gnomes in the heroic poem Beowulf differ from those in the Anglo-Saxon gnomic poems. The virtues inculcated are not those admired in heroic poetry, not courage r generosity but caution and other qualities conductive to worldly success; that is the virtues of a later stage of society and perhaps a lower class. The Irish Instructions are addressed to princes, but only to advise justice and by their subjects in general. In short it seems that these Anglo-Saxon, Irish and Norse gnomic collections are a kind of folk philosophy adapte by poets in touch with folk ideas and given a literary case and setting and the same is no doubt true of the Welsh....more
Nice short piece, but definitely showing its age now. This one essay could almost be the reason why McCone wrote his book! Still, Jackson must have beNice short piece, but definitely showing its age now. This one essay could almost be the reason why McCone wrote his book! Still, Jackson must have been quite the scholar in his day. Three quotes:
(not elsewhere seen amazing ideas about the weapons of irish warriors) There is no mention anywhere in the early texts of the use of bows and arrows, though they occur in later sources; and it is significant that even the names for these, once they do appear, are foreign loan-words, respectively boga from the Norse bógi and saiget from the Latin sagitta, the former of which can scarcely have been borrowed before the ninth century… The most characteristic equipment of the ancient Irish warrior must have been the spear and shield, for the word gaisced, the set of weapons formally presented to a youth on reaching manhood, is an old compound meaning originally ‘spear and shield’, and gaicedach, ‘a warrior’, was ‘one bearing a spear and shield’... The really notable feature about battle tactics is the use of the war-chariot. To judge from descriptions as well as probabilities these were very light and strong. They were drawn by two horses yoked to a pole, and haad two wheels with iron tyres and a seat on which the warrior sat. The chariot was manoeuvred by a charioteer using a goad, and the tactic seems to have been that he drove the chariot at the enemy and the warrior himself hurled his spears at them. The Irish heroes are called by the (p18) term eirr which means ‘chariot man’…
(knowledge of old irish texts) The word for vassal in early Irish is céile which means literally ‘companion’, no doubt used because of his important duty of taking part in the lord’s retinue.
(amusing old biases) “Something like all this is seen in Achilles’ treatment of Priam when he comes to ransom the body of Hector, though of course that scene is far greater because of Homer’s immense poetic superiority.
Mac Cana is like a 1960s Rhys with a bit more learning. My dissertation adviser suggested him to me as a scholar equally at home in the Welsh and GaelMac Cana is like a 1960s Rhys with a bit more learning. My dissertation adviser suggested him to me as a scholar equally at home in the Welsh and Gaelic traditions, and this is, in some ways, true and quite impressive. With Celtic studies going the way it is, I suppose he and I are dying breeds. He doesn’t do much evaluation of his evidence, but he does present more evidence for various monomythaisms than any other scholar. I get the impression he doesn’t draw any strong conclusions from them at all though, which is interesting. Is the presentation of his evidence biased by itself? Unfortunately this is another rubbish paper book, so I can only quote the boring balanced bits which i decided to copy out instead of summarise or comment on:
(The aristocratic bias of celtic literature, amazing argument!) “It has sometimes been pointed out that those whom Irish (and indeed Welsh) literature records as visiting the other-world are either heroes or kings, and the conclusion is drawn that the people at large must have shared a less distinguished afterlife – in the land of the dead. The flaw in this argument is its disregard for the fact that the earl Celtic literatures are preponderantly aristocratic with an infinite capacity for ignoring the fortunes of the masses”
(Reasons for Cernunnos being presented as the devil) “… if however, as Anne Ross has argued cogently, a cult of horned deities of the Cernunnos type once existed among the insular Celts, then one cannot be sure that it petered out in such idyllic innocence. The deity’s evident concern with fecundity may have influenced the form of his cult and the content of his myth, and this in turn may explain why artists of the early Christian period tended to assimilate him to Satan and why only residual elements of his myth survive”
(interesting perspective of the brown bull) “The brown bull of Cuailnge can scarcely be dissociated from the Tarvos Trigaranus, the three-horned bull whose images are found both in Gaul and in Britain.”
**spoiler alert** Lewis' explanation of love: There are fundamentally 2 ways to love - Gift-loving and Need-loving. Gift-love is the generous, altruis**spoiler alert** Lewis' explanation of love: There are fundamentally 2 ways to love - Gift-loving and Need-loving. Gift-love is the generous, altruistic love we have, while Need-love is the need we have for other people to love us. All people love in both of these ways.
There are also four types of love, love for a place or an experience, affection (by which he means old familiarity and relaxed comfort), friendship (recognition of a comrade/group as more than another person/group of people, but as kindred souls), eros (being "in love" and together) and charity (god-love blahblahblah).
Although his loves do get a bit confused at times, and he has a tenancy to go off on tangents about Christian ethics and NEVER GIVE CLEAR EXPLANATIONS LIKE THIS (which I need ;>). His book nevertheless makes one of life's little mysteries actually seem semi-understandable, and when I think of my own "loves" (friendships? relationships?) using this system, it does illuminate some interesting things....more
£7 on Kindle - The first Anne Rice story I have read, this is an excellent book. Unlike some of the other reviewers I found the early part of the tale£7 on Kindle - The first Anne Rice story I have read, this is an excellent book. Unlike some of the other reviewers I found the early part of the tale; which dealt with the fully formed characters of the millennium vampires moving through my Ancient World; much more interesting than the second half. That's probably good for me because I'm sure their stories are told elsewhere. I'll have to remember how powerful Marius is though I think. It doesn't take long until everyone he meets seems to worship him. The story of how he abandoned Armond is entirely unbelievable though.
The book is not very quoteable, which is odd, and makes the writing mistakes stick out in my highlightings more. Three quotes though:
"Blood drinkers all over the world - gods, creatures of the night, lamias, whatever they called themselves - had suffered agony, some obliterated by terrible flames, others merely darkened and left with meager (sic, french spelling) pain. The very oldest suffered little, the youngest were ashes'
"'We sent word far and wide,' he said. 'At last an answer came from Britain. A god survived there, a god who was most ancient and most strong.' - Mael describing Avicus.
"These were scrolls I had taken from the old temple in Alexandria on the very night I took the Mother and Father from Egypt. These were scrolls which told the old tale of how an evil spirit had entered into the blood of Akasha and Enkil, and how a race of blood drinkers had come about."...more
Kindled for free. Another great book by Jules Verne, slow to get anywhere but interesting when you get into it and ignore all the fishes.
"Professor,"Kindled for free. Another great book by Jules Verne, slow to get anywhere but interesting when you get into it and ignore all the fishes.
"Professor," replied the commander, quickly. "I am not what you call a civilized man! I have done with society entirely, for reasons which I alone have the right of appreciating. I do not, therefore, obey its laws, and I desire you never to allude to them before me again!"
"There is a powerful agent, obedient, rapid, easy; which conforms to every use, and reigns supreme on board my vessal. Everything is done by means of it. IT lights it, warms it, and is the soul of my mechanical apparatus. This agent is electricity" "Electricity?" I cried in surprise. "Yes, sir." "Nethertheless, Captain, you possess an extreme rapidity of movement, which does not agree well with the power of electricity. Until now, its dynamic force has remained under restraint, and has only been able to produce a small amount of power." "Professor." said Captain Nemo, "my electricity is not everybody's."
"The Mediterranean, the blue sea par excellence, "the great sea" of the Hebrews, "the sea" of the Greeks, the "mare nostrum" of the Romans, bordered by orange-trees, aloes, cacti, and sea-pines: embalmed with the perfume of the myrtle, surrounded by rude mountains, saturated with pure and transparent air, but incessently worked by underground fires; a perfect battlefield in which Neptune and Pluto still dispute the empire of the world!"...more
**spoiler alert** Kindled for free. This book certainly takes your mind for a run! You think you have it all figured out... but do you? are you on a w**spoiler alert** Kindled for free. This book certainly takes your mind for a run! You think you have it all figured out... but do you? are you on a wild goose chase? Wait, were you right the first time?! Definitely keep going until the end even if you think you have it all figured out, but don't skip ahead!
Since I can't really quote the best parts of this book (the unfolding of the mysteries in the plot) I'll give you the bits I found amusing about the culture... Anyway, four quotes today because two are short:
"The policeman cast a suspicious eye on him. Tommy felt slightly offended. Then, passing his hand over his face, he laughed. He had not shaved or washed for three days! What a guy he must look."
"I guess he forgot American girls are older for their age than English ones, and take more interest in scientific subjects."
" "Ha!" said Sir William, eyeing her. "Girls aren't what they used to be in my young days." "Yes, they are," said Tuppence. "Their clothes are different, perhaps, but they themselves are just the same." "Well, perhaps you're right. Minxes then—minxes now!" "That's it," said Tuppence. "I'm a frightful minx myself." "I believe you," said the old gentleman, chuckling, and pinched her ear in high good-humour. Most young women were terrified of the "old bear," as they termed him. Tuppence's pertness delighted the old misogynist. "
""You haven't really proposed now," pointed out Tuppence. "Not what our grandmothers would call a proposal. But after listening to a rotten one like Julius's, I'm inclined to let you off." "You won't be able to get out of marrying me, so don't you think it." "What fun it will be," responded Tuppence. "Marriage is called all sorts of things, a haven, and a refuge, and a crowning glory, and a state of bondage, and lots more. But do you know what I think it is?" "What?" "A sport!" "And a damned good sport too," said Tommy. "...more