The Pyramid Texts may be poetic verses

Susan Brind Morrow has provided a new translation of the Pyramid Texts, proposing that these are not a series of spells and myths at all, but poetic literature. Her book is The Dawning Moon of the Mind: Unlocking the Pyramid Texts.

Of course, I’m sympathetic to this theory. It’s not as if I have any depth in Egyptology whatsoever, but the Pyramid Texts were inscribed around 2400–2300 BC. Over in Sumeria, the Epic of Gilgamesh was compiled around 2100 BC. It’s a little weird to think the Egyptians were not composing poetry.

The post on Jason Calavito’s blog goes into far more depth. Calvito is absolutely correct in pointing out that the Egyptians were indisputably polytheist idolaters. The thing is… translation is poetry. There are tons of shitty translations of modern texts full of overly literal readings. Morrow’s big error is definitely substituting names of stars for gods. The use of “sword of Orion” instead of “baboon’s penis” is just boneheaded. Orion is a goddamned Greek myth. Why do that? The Egyptians had their own myths. Amateurish, indeed. Morrow still has the right idea with a more poetic path.

it was Eno’s Oblique Strategies manifested

The more bits about who Bowie rejected in use of his music and why, the happier I am with his choices. “Trainspotting” I haven’t watched in ages, but it still seems genius in its choices for music. Thankfully, Bowie refused to allow Danny Boyle and Andrew Macdonald to use “Golden Years” in the movie. Tristan Penna steered them correctly. “Deep Blue Day” is an infinitely better choice.

fragments of a life of a goth-punk nerd

A friend died of a stroke on Thursday. He’d have been 46 on March 24th. He’s the guy who dubbed me “badger” because I’d read a not-so-great comic book that he’d been quoting from as he tramped about the SLU campus. The nickname caught fire through Hammond and is still going 26 years later. There are people I know in this town who don’t even know my birth name.

I’d have a couple of major falling outs with this friend through the years, but I don’t recall ever truly hating him. (That might be erroneous.) He could be an asshole and an outright creep, but he had an extremely rough childhood. At his core he was funny, charming, clever, and sweet. He made some terrible choices to preserve the jaded persona he created, but he knew right from wrong.

His taste in music was mostly bad. He adored Skinny Puppy more than any sane person should. That perverse love inspired his uniquely out-of-touch style of goth dancing that he defiantly pursued in a hateful little Southern town. He kept at his idiot dance for so long that it became heroic. Fuck it. It was always stupidly heroic.

His taste in comics was good. He probably swiped a few of my issues of Hellblazer and Nexus. No matter. He also let me hang out in his apartment reading Milligan & Bachalo’s Shade, the Changing Man and Sandman Mystery Theater when I was in a dark place in the ’90s. He also forced me to read every issue of Preacher as it came out, but I forgive him for that sin.

He was a stubborn bastard. He had a tantrum about something petty in the old house, refusing to leave his room. The friend who owned the house suggested that we just nail the door shut and be done with him. Our idiot friend sat in his room furiously ignoring us as we planked up the doorframe. We sat outside for hours listening to music and drinking, laughing at the fool. When he decided to burst out of his room, he found that we’d nailed the planks up too well. After throwing himself against the barrier repeatedly, he had to crawl out of a window that couldn’t open all of the way. He looked wonderfully silly as he squeezed out the window, then strode past us defiantly.

He tried to hook my on Magic: The Gathering, which thankfully didn’t take. (I was a music junky. I needed my money for records, not silly cards.) However, he did dump armloads of Illuminati: The New World Order cards on me, which we did play, without me ever becoming a card addict. He nagged me incessantly about my 1st edition of the original Steve Jackson Illuminati game. I’ve no idea where it is now.

He’d goad me into rides to the B. Dalton in the old style, freestanding mall frequently. Time after time, he would turn in a sci-fi or fantasy mass market he just read, kept in perfect condition, then waste 30 minutes picking out the next book he’d read and return. He read the books as if he was peeking into them to keep from breaking the spines. The books he returned to B. Dalton were always in perfect condition. He didn’t even smoke near them. Meanwhile, he dropped my copy of Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus! in the bathtub. When he started showing up to my own bookstore to shop in recent years, thankfully he never returned the books.

He’s one of the four people who showed up at my bachelor “party,” purely by accident. We’d been estranged for years, but his presence and prickly warmth meant a great deal to me.

We hung out over a year ago, at a party at the house of some mutual friends. I’d assumed that I’d see him and the other friends more frequently again. It hasn’t worked out that way. That hasn’t trouble me, because I like the life I have now anyway. I took for granted I’d still have time to reconnect with these old friends in the future.

The services are on Tuesday.

the source of a series of fast radio bursts identified

A series of FRBs have been traced to two colliding neutron stars in a galaxy 6 billion light years away. Because LIGO is in the news, it popped into my head that LIGO could have picked up on one of these bursts too, but:


Well, damn. It’s still cool. Why is it significant?

Now that Keane and his team know the distance to the new FRB, they can use the length of the signal to reveal how much material it passed through. This could solve a longstanding mystery: precise measurements of the cosmic microwave background — the afterglow of the Big Bang — suggest that around 4% of the observable Universe today should be composed of ordinary matter (not dark energy or dark matter). But after totting up what they can see, researchers say around half that matter remains unaccounted for.

From the data Keane’s team has, it looks like the matter is really there.

“I am not a superpredator”

Ashley Williams, you’re awesome. The friend who filmed this too, because seeing the moment added so much more. It was a $500 plate event in what looks very much like an antebellum mansion, attended by what seems to be entirely white people.

Charleston, South Carolina. February 24th, 2016.

This was Clinton’s audience.

notasuperpredator

Clinton has to be lying in stating no one has ever asked her about her superpredator nonsense.

Sulawesi hominid?

The title and article seems a little misleading, hinting there may be a cousin to Homo floresiensis on island of Sulawesi.

There has been no fossil discovered.

Homo sapiens is believed to have reached Sulawesi 50,000 years ago. Stone tools have been found there which seem to date to 118,000 years  to 194,000 old. So who made these tools?

<shrug>

(Probably Homo erectus)

Whoooooole lot of speculation. I don’t mind that much because that’s what I love to do, but it still seems odd.