Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tenebris on Blooks

Tenebris posts on blooks, books "based on material and/or ideas first published in a blog". It's a whole new field. Take a look at that posting.

There is also a more recent posting at Tenebris with an announcement of the Lulu Blooker Prize, with judging to be chaired by Cory Doctorow, and more of interest....

Monday, August 15, 2005

Easter Island Script

In his book, Rongorongo: The Easter Island Script, Steven Roger Fischer refers to me as being a Lithuanian, whereas, of course, as is clear from my name to anyone having even rudimentary language knowledge, my name is of Latvian origin. Besides I am an American. You can't say an American is an Irishman just because he carries an Irish name, nor can you call someone a Lithuanian based on your hunch that that is where his name came from.

This terrible and - as can be seen from the above example - inaccurate and poorly researched book, published by the Oxford University Press, which is no longer the publishing house it used to be, contributes next to nothing to the understanding of Easter Island script.

Fischer in fact has as good as no clue about the Easter Island Script.

In my book "An Astrological zodiac in the Script of Easter Island", I clearly show that Honolulu Tablet No. B.3622 is a type of zodiac of the stars.

Moreover, I am supported by
Michael H. Dietrich
in Asian and African Studies Vol. 8 [1998] 118-150)
who has written as follows:

"All signs are symbols of stars and planets, quaters, winds, the moon, the guiding stars etc. The new endeavour to analyse the rongorongo signs is based on the accessible astronomical knowledge of Micronesia and Polynesia. The body of rongorongo signs consists of tropical descriptions of single stars, planets, zodiacal signs and other constellations. What has been registered are particular nights and, on the smaller tablets, general data on astronomical itineraries. The all in all 12 000 rongorongo signs convey exclusively instructions for sidereal navigation within the Pacific."

For a more detailed treatment of this topic, see QuillPundit.
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Saturday, August 06, 2005

J.K.Rowling Official Site - Harry Potter and more

Take a look at the official J.K.Rowling Official Site - Harry Potter and more. It is absolutely stunning and I am going to go back to it when I have more time.
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Friday, July 08, 2005

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The Woman in White, a superb novel by Wilkie Collins, Penguin Popular Classics, first published in 1868, p. 228, contains the following observation:

"Women can resist a man's love, a man's fame, a man's personal appearance, and a man's money, but they cannot resist a man's tongue when he knows how to talk to them."
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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Chainfire

Pretension of Competency has moved to its own domain and continues to turn out excellent postings on various subjects. This is what is written about Terry Goodkind's Chainfire:

...This is, I believe, the penultimate book in this series as the book ends on the very edge of what is referred to throughout the story as “the final battle.” For those of you unfamiliar with the book and it’s author, it is the ninth in the series that is considered to be one of the three primary current unfinished fantasy series’, along with Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time and George R.R. Martin’s [A Song of Fire and Ice]. This particular series has a very Ayn Randian feel to it in it’s very open discussions of human morality and political issues, which is understandable since Goodkind claims Rand as one of his biggest influences. Unlike The Wheel of Time, which I also am a big fan of (I have not had the chance to pick up Martin’s series), Goodkind has maintained the focus of his later books and produces a fantastic story in Chainfire....

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Literary Terms and Definitions

L. Kip Wheeler has a nice site on Literary Terms and Definitions. The webpage contains clickable alphabetical lists of literary terms and their definitions from A to Z.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Da Vinci Code

The immense popularity of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown goes once again to prove that the mass of men and women are children who are attracted by a good fairy tale well told.

We need here to clear up five main misconceptions about the Priory of Sion in that book:

1) The original Priory of Sion has existed since about 3000 BC;
2) The original Priory of Sion was not anti-Semitic, but was founded by the Jews;
3) The current Master of the Priory of Sion, the only one still in possession of all lost knowledge and parchments, just published a book called Stars Stones and Scholars, containing knowledge gleaned from the lost encrypted documents:
4) The original neolithic Priory of Sion has no other members, and all the rest who claim to be members are imposters;
5) The current Master of the Priory of Sion was designated by tradition to be the last Master of the original Priory of Sion. Past modern Masters in order of the passing of the torch were Lorenzo de Medici, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Giordano Bruno, Johannes Kepler, Galileo, Rabbi Naftali (ben Elchanan) Hertz, Rene Descartes, John Locke, Isaac Newton, Voltaire, Immanuel Kant, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, Napoleon I Bonaparte, Thomas Jefferson, Goethe, Abraham Lincoln, James Clerk Maxwell, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, John Maynard Keynes, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso, and Ayn Rand. Only the present Master is in possession of that true list. The present Master is authorized by tradition and by the 5000-year old rules of the Order to now divulge all lost knowledge to save humanity from itself.

We hope therewith to have cleared up any misunderstandings created by the book.

Which all leads us to the conclusion that the best way to make money in publishing is to publish idle nonsense for the masses, whereas the surest road to literary poverty is to publish the truth. Here is what the Illuminati Quiz at Quizilla tells us (we knew it):

The Network. Fnord.
The Network:

You are the Voice of World Control.

Fnord.


Which Illuminati are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Bloggers and Journalists: Online Course on Literary Journalism

As a graduate of Stanford Law School, we alumni are still kept busy by the regular outflow of communications from Stanford. A recent posting to alumni contains a link to the AllLearn (Oxford, Stanford, Yale) Online Course on Literary Journalism written by Stanford Lecturer Tom Barbash, the very successful non-fiction author of On Top of the World.

As written there:

"Tom Barbash is the author of the New York Times bestselling nonfiction book, On Top of the World, the story of Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond firm that was massacred on September 11. He is also the author of the novel, The Last Good Chance, which was published in 2002, was awarded the California Book Award for best first work in fiction, and was a Publishers Weekly "Best Book of the Year." He currently teaches at Stanford, where he was Wallace Stegner Fellow, and at California College of the Arts. He was the recipient this year of a National Endowment of the Arts Grant in fiction."

Take a look at this course. It is a bit pricey if your bank account is low, but it may lead to your road to success.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Ayn Rand's 100th

Edward Rothstein at the Feb. 2, 2005 New York Times celebrates Ayn Rand's 100th.

The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) were definitely among the most influential books we read in college days, so we are glad to hear that Rand's books are still selling about 150,000 copies a year.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Jared Diamond's Collapse - What Happened?

The Seattle Weekly has a weekly page of book reviews called This Week's Reads

One of the books reviewed is
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond

The reviewer, Rober Downey, notes that Diamond is also

the author of

The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal
which Downey describes to have "examined human nature and society in the light of the latest anthropological studies of people as apes"

and
Guns, Germs and Steel:The Fates of Human Societies - winner of the 1997 Pulitzer Prize - which, writes Downey, "asked and—amazingly—plausibly answered the question: 'Why did the phenomenon we call civilization develop just where it did, and why didn't it develop elsewhere?' "

Although Downey is not happy with Diamond's Collapse as compared to his previous books (perhaps Diamond was influenced by the title in his writing), the message of the book is interesting in concentrating on environment as one of the leading causes for the collapse of societies over history.

Crossposted to the Ancient World Blog STONEHENGE.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Ultimate Birthday Gift for Religious Awareness

The Ultimate Birthday Gift - Stars Stones and Scholars

I have nothing against religion but I get tired of listening to religious babble from people who are not familiar with the history of their own beliefs.

Are you looking for a gift for adults who already have everything?

Give them the book Stars Stones and Scholars
available here and here
and jog the complacent noncritical brains of your family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues.

In a day when religious fanatics are making life on our planet much more difficult than it objectively should be, it might be useful to consider the fact that all modern religions are rooted in ancient hermetic belief ("as above, so below", or "As on Earth, So in Heaven").

Before the advent of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, men studied the stars, and this ancient stargazing gave mankind its first conceptions of natural law (so Bertrand Russell).

The idea that God is "in Heaven" and not elsewhere is rooted in the idea of our prehistoric forefathers that God's abode was in the (apparently) immovable part of the Center of Heaven. Contrary to God's modern abstract realm, in ancient days God had a specific celestial "home".

Where is that home now?

This and much more is found in this fascinating book of which I am proud to say that I am the author. Read Stars Stones and Scholars to understand YOUR religion better.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Adventure Capitalist by Jim Rogers - Worth a read....

This tip in from a world traveling friend....

Adventure Capitalist by Jim Rogers looks like one of the ultimate travel books.

We look for this book to perhaps be filmed by the big boys.

Crossposted to LawPundit.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Literary Quality of Scientific Papers Declining

Henry Gee, an editor at Nature, has an article entitled muse@nature.com: The write stuff remarking on the decline in the literary quality of scientific papers.

Gee discusses several reasons for this development of "lexical sludge":

"[F]or those authors who are honestly striving to do a good job, much of the problem could be rooted ... with what I perceive to be the low standard of English teaching in schools. It seems that formal teaching of grammar has been abandoned, possibly in the cause of social and linguistic relativism.

Another possible cause is the desire of some scientists in certain specialities to write as densely as possible, so that the audience is restricted to a clique of peers. This is not literature so much as the delineation of territory: for the same reason that dogs mark fire hydrants in ways inaccessible to human apprehension, the message is not intended for everyone, only competitors."
...

"Their convoluted prose contains subordinate clauses stacked one after the other, indiscriminate neologisms and nouns prostituted as verbs. Reading it produces a general frustration akin to that felt by the boxer who, while still gloved, tries to peel a banana."

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