traffic on Beringia land bridge flowed both ways

Proposing that the original colonists of the Americas were of greater genetic diversity than originally proposed makes sense to me, but there doesn’t seem to be any mention of a southern route.

The Beringia land bridge just isn’t enough for me anymore. Not only am i sympathetic to the coastal sea route in the Americas, but i’m believing that people crossed the open oceans from Polynesia relatively early. Craziness, but so what?

Sumerian cuneiform in North Carolina

The story as to how this Sumerian cuneiform tablet wound up in the hands of a drywall hanger in Fayetteville, North Carolina still sounds fishy to me. The story that Veenker is connecting the tablet to, about 14 missing tablets sold in 1962 in Philadelphia to the Oriental Institute in Chicago might fit some facts, like the inscriptions matching the ones transcribed from an inventory made years ago, but again, this is Fayetteville, North Carolina.

I’m sticking with my wild guess that the tablet is a piece from the Iraqi National Museum.

Tycho Brahe’s Path to God

I’m so behind in my reading that it’s obscene. Even if i plot out years ahead what i’m to read, i’m lost. Another confession…. i have not read everything by Kafka.

So do i need to line up the new edition of Max Brod’s Tycho Brahe’s Path to God that just came out this month from Northwestern Press, or is this just being too ambitious?

Montano’s Malady is dwelling on Kafka’s diaries, which only exist because Max Brod ignored Kafka’s posthumous instructions to burn them. Which is more important? Or at least, what is more immediate reading? Brod the editor or Brod the writer?

Montano’s Malady as a reader’s guide, part 1

In picking Montano’s Malady back up, i’ve found it more necessary than usual to have an open notebook at hand while i’m reading. I’m too ignorant to catch most of the references, and have to look them up online when i take breaks.

One of the unfamiliar authors mentioned is Alan Pauls, who wrote something called The Borges Factor. I suspected the author and the work were fictional, but they are not. It turns out that he’s an Argentine writer and has had his fourth novel translated to English this year, The Past. I’ve read three reviews so far, one in the Independent, one in the Guardian, and one in the Sunday Herald. Although the essay on Sick Art woven into the narrative seems intriguing, the actual plot of the novel doesn’t attract me.

Louisiana gets what it deserves

The only upside to Bobby Jindal being elected to being governor of Louisiana is that perhaps i can finally stop hearing about what a big brain he has in a year or two. Has anyone looked at his voting record as a representative? There is no evidence of a keen intellect there, just a yes-man in over his head.

Then again, every time i look at him, i think of the Smiler from Transmetropolitan. His supporters make the same vapid points about him as well.

Louisiana would probably re-elect Bush if given the opportunity.

I miss Huey Long. Really and truly. Me and my loved ones need to get the hell out of this self-loathing sewer drain, the septic tank of America, post haste.

Pamuk lecture in Portland, OR

Just read the notes on the Pamuk lecture in Portland, Oregon by James Tata.

The fact that he’s distanced himself from the American Congress statement on the nearly century old Armenian genocide, saying that it’s an internal matter is only slightly disappointing. Turkey is under enormous strain right not. Turkish troops entering northern Iraq, into Kurdish controlled regions, are going to cause even more strain between American and Turkish relations. As much as i loathe to say it, i’m not sure that making this an issue at this moment in history in Congress of all the times it has been and will be possible is all that wise. Bush might actually be right.

(I can be convinced otherwise though.)

As an American, my favorite Pamuk book is The Black Book, not Snow, and oddly, i believe that prefer the Guneli Gup translation to the Maureen Freely one.

Want to know a dirty little secret of mine? Of Pamuk’s greatest novelists, Tolstoy, Mann, Dostoevsky, and Proust, i have read only Dostoevsky, and of him, only Notes from Underground and The Idiot. I barely remember either one, as those were in my chemical years.

8,000 year old embracing couple found in Turkey

So there is now a new “oldest couple embracing” record in finding an 8,000 year old couple embracing in a newly unearthed tomb in Turkey. There might be more to the story than that. The article mentions that the previous couple that dates to 5,000 years ago were discovered in Verona, Italy.

This far, far predates the Etruscan questions, but there does seem to be some cultural connection between Anatolia and and Tuscany, as well as the concrete examples of a genetic one. Maybe it goes even further back than suspected. I’m wondering if these burial ritual were not isolated incidents, but some tiny fragments of a nearly obliterated tradition.