The things one can find in the New Listings section of the University of Pennsylvania's Online Books Page can shock, amaze, and disgust. Here is just a tiny sample:
Roman History Lesson of the Day: Nero the Pervert
Title: Dio's Rome, Volume V., Books 61-76 (A.D. 54-211) (Translated in 1906)
Author: Cassius Dio
- "Now Nero called Sporus Sabina not merely on account of the fact that by reason of resemblance to her he had been made a eunuch, but because the boy like the mistress had been solemnly contracted to him in Greece, with Tigillinus to give the bride away, as the law ordained.... After that Nero took to himself two bedfellows, Pythagoras to treat as a man and Sporus as a woman. The latter, in addition to other forms of address, was termed lady, queen, and mistress.
Yet why should one wonder at this, seeing that this monarch would fasten naked boys and girls to poles, and then putting on the hide of a wild beast would approach them and satisfy his brutal lust under the appearance of devouring parts of their bodies? Such were the indecencies of Nero.
When he received the senators he wore a short flowered tunic with muslin collar, for he had already begun to transgress precedent in wearing ungirt tunics in public...."
Female Beautification: Ooo Ooo That Smell...
Title: Natural Magick (1658)
Author: Giambattista della Porta
Excerpt from: The Ninth Book of Natural Magick, "How to Adorn Women, and Make them Beautiful."
- Chapter XXVIII
"How to correct the ill scent of the Armpits."
"The stink of the Armholes makes some women very hateful. Especially those that are fat and fleshy. To cure this, we may use such kind of experiments. The Ancients, against the stink of armpits, used liquid Allome with Myrrh to anoint them. Or the Secrets and Armholes were strewed with the dry leaves of Myrtles in powder. The roots of Artichokes smeared on, does not only cure the ill scent of armpits, but of the whole body also. But Zenocrates promises by experiment, that the faultiness of the armpits will pass forth by Urine.... So in some days we shall correct the strong smell of those parts. But it will be done more effectually thus. Pound Litharge of Gold or Silver, and boil it in Vinegar. And if you wash those parts well with it, you shall keep them a long time sweet. And it is a remedy, that there is none better."
Note: If you think this excerpt is bad, then you should not read the next chapter, Chapter XXIX.
(Originally Posted: 9/25/2006 @ 5:09PM)
Labels: best of the web
- Minuscule - The Ladybug
A combination of live-action country-side footage mixed with CGI animation of some cute insects. Poor spider!
Paris Hilton Punked by Bansky
Sorry to sink so low as to include this kind of content, but it is yet another example of a new form of 'art' that blends with and extends upon the contours of our consumer capitalist society (in the UK this time).
Yes, I do realize how far I have fallen by posting fart jokes, but this is just too hilarious. If you need a good (and rather low-class) laugh, then watch this!
Must-See Videos (August 2006)
Labels: best of the web, must-see videos
Arthur: Here's a good one, I heard it in a pub. What's brown, what's brown and sounds like a bell?
Victor: I beg your pardon?
Arthur: What's brown and sounds like a bell? Dung! Ha, ha, ha, that's a good one....
Source: Monty Python's Flying Circus, Visitors from Coventry sketch (Video @ approx. 1:45)
Let's use the Ogden-Richards Symbol-Reference-Referent triangular model as a basis for analyzing the "Dung" joke to understand the structure of humor embedded within it.
"What's brown and sounds like a bell?"
This joke relies on the confusion of properties of Symbols with the properties of Referents:
Brown, of course, is a property of the Referent/existent Dung of the punchline.
The Symbol/word 'Dung' sounds similar to the Symbol/word 'Dong', which is an onomatopoeia for the sound made by the Referent/existent Bell.
So it is that we progress in meaning from Bell > Dong > Dung > Brown, mixing Referential and Symbolic meanings and usage along the way:
- Referent (Bell, the existent thing) to
Symbol ('Dong', onomatopoeia for the Bell's sound) to
Symbol ('Dung', sounding like 'Dong') to
Referent (Dung, the existent thing) to
Referent (Brown, an abstracted property of the (existent, not symbolic) Dung)
It is obvious that such a tortured picking apart of the joke tends to sterilize it and make it seem "not funny". The key point here is, however, that when we "get" the joke, our minds have automatically and unconsciously put together all of these pieces, resulting in the "getting" of the joke and laughing (hopefully) at the verbal incongruities that make up the joke.
(Originally Posted: 8/24/2006 @ 11:40AM)
Congratulations to Pope Benedict XVI for his rhetorical excellence that has incited the fury of millions of illiterate, uneducated, 9th-century throwback Muslims around the world, through the agency of the ex-mainstream media. The Pope, through the use of a simple and straightforward quote regarding the incompatibility of the nature of God and the use of violence, has made a highly relevant and insightful point that serves as material that Muslims, along with their ex-mainstream media partners, can twist and distort to further their own demonic objectives.
Let's first look at the relevant portion of what Pope Benedict XVI actually said on 9/12/2006:
- "...the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached'. The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. 'God', he says, 'is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...'.
[Source: Full Text of the Pope's Speech (PDF) (BBC); Key Excerpts (BBC)]
Now let's contrast this to the response from a member of the Muslim community:
- "Salih Kapusuz, a deputy leader of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party, said Benedict's remarks were either 'the result of pitiful ignorance' about Islam and its prophet, or a deliberate distortion. 'He has a dark mentality that comes from the darkness of the Middle Ages. He is a poor thing that has not benefited from the spirit of reform in the Christian world,' Kapusuz was quoted as saying by the state-owned Anatolia news agency. 'It looks like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades.' 'Benedict, the author of such unfortunate and insolent remarks, is going down in history for his words,' he said. 'He is going down in history in the same category as leaders such as (Adolf) Hitler and (Benito) Mussolini.'"
[Source: Muslims express fury over pope's remarks (AP) 9/15/2006]
KEY POINT: As is exemplified in the above response from Salih Kapusuz, the Islamic community knows how to engage in an effective war of words, a.k.a. 'the PR battle', or what I like to call Rhetorical Warfare. What does this mean for anyone who perceives the threat and the danger posed by the Islamic community? We must learn to engage and defeat our enemy on the Rhetorical battlefront! But let's be clear on one point: We must NOT count on the ex-mainstream media to fight this battle. This is the obligation and responsibility of the millions of us who see the truth and who are not willing to stand by while the Islamo-facists cut our throats!
The bottom line is this: At the risk of sounding crude (which is not my intent)Pope Benedict XVI, as a celibate, 79-year-old man, has more cojones than any other major world political and/or religious leader. The pope was not afraid to express the truth in his speech, nor did he attempt to pander to the Muslim masses. God bless the pope.
: Iraq al-Qaida says pope, West are doomed
(AP - 9/18/2006)
- These quotes, all from one news story, are an amazing continuance of the Muslim Rhetorical Warfare (emphases added in all quotes):
"An al-Qaida-linked extremist group warned Pope Benedict XVI on Monday that he and the West were 'doomed,' as protesters returned to the streets across the Muslim world to demand more of an apology from the pontiff for his remarks about Islam and violence...."
"...The group said Muslims would be victorious and addressed the pope as 'the worshipper of the cross' saying 'you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. ... We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword.' Islam forbids drinking alcohol and requires non-Muslims to pay a head tax to safeguard their lives if conquered by Muslims. They are exempt if they convert to Islam...."
"...The secretary-general of the Turkish HUKUK-DER law association submitted a request to the Justice Ministry asking that the pope be arrested upon entering Turkey. The appeal by Fikret Karabekmez, a former legislator for the banned pro-Islamic Welfare Party, called for Benedict to be tried under several Turkish laws, among them obstruction of freedom of belief, encouraging discrimination based on religion, and inciting religious hatred...."
(Originally Posted: 9/15/2006 @ 4:41PM)
Labels: commentary, news
With the untimely passing of Mayor Bob O'Connor
, 61, who succumbed to cancer on Friday, 9/1/2006, City Council President Luke Ravenstahl
, 26, has be
en sworn in as Pittsburgh's new mayor
. Although his
term might last only until 2007, perhaps some good can come out of these unfortunate circumstances, with the injection of young-
blood into the politics of the fair city of Pittsburgh, PA.The View-Point
sends out condolences to the O'Connor family, and best wishes to Mayor Ravenstahl
(Originally Posted: 9/2/2006 @ 4:30PM)
Haþema Covered Swimsuits from Turkey
- I rather like the bright colors of some of the outfits found in the Products section, also viewable here.
Honestly I'd have to say that I would prefer seeing this kind of swimwear to some of the cotton-from-a-pill bottle bathing attire so common in America today. The View-Point dealt with this issue back in July 2005:
SUMMER = HOT = ITSY, BITSY, TEENY, WEENIE...EVERYTHING!
UPDATE: In early September 2006, Paul Harvey featured a story on this new kind of swimwear for the 'modern' Turkish Muslim woman.
(Originally Posted: 8/11/2006 @ 11:25AM)
Labels: best of the web