Sunday, November 21, 2004

Wikipedia - The Faith-Based Encyclopedia

Wikipedia - The Faith-Based Encyclopedia

Tech Central Station (TCS) runs an article entitled The Faith-Based Encyclopedia by Robert McHenry, former Editor in Chief, of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and author of How to Know .

The Wikipedia does not fare that well in his analysis and there are certainly some reliability problems, but we have found the Wikipedia to be quite useful, even though we have two complete sets of the Britannica and one digital version at our fingertips. To put it bluntly, the Wikipedia is simply more up to date.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Campbell Armstrong and George Lucas

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Campbell Armstrong and George Lucas

In the end, is it always about money?

The sundaymail has an article by Charles Lavery entitled RAIDER OF THE LOST FORTUNE involving a suit by author Cambell Black (who writes as Campbell Armstrong) against George Lucas for unpaid royalties on his book which was filmed as Raiders of the Lost Ark. Read the article for the full story.


Monday, October 18, 2004

BookBlog by Adina Levin

BookBlog by Adina Levin

BookBlog is

"Adina Levin's weblog. For conversation about books I've been reading, social software, and other stuff too."

Adina has some excellently written book reviews on the BookBlog:

What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response
by Bernard Lewis

Adina writes e.g.:

"Contemporary Sharia systems in places like Iran and Afghanistan are
often mocked for being medieval and backward, legislating repression of
women and brutal corporal punshment (no, I'm not in favor of the Texas
death penalty, either). But there is no empirical reason that a system
of Muslim jurisprudence needs to be backward. After all, European laws
once featured trial by ordeal, and prevented women from owning property.
A living tradition of Muslim law might be able to adapt to current
economic and social conditions. How did the Sharia change from a system
that had once reflected the standards of justice of its time to one that
insisted on avoiding change?"


The Mapmakers
by John Noble Wilford

This book is of particular interest to me because of my own book,
Stars Stones and Scholars, which claims that the megaliths are remnants of ancient surveys, i.e. that they are Stone Age geodetic mapping systems triangulated by means of the astronomy, using stars much as in ocean navigation.

Adina writes, inter alia:

"The Mapmakers purports to be world history, but it has a strong European focus. Wilford does include few pages about sophisticated early mapmaking practices in China. But he almost completely ignores Muslim and Indian geography. The book contains just one brief reference to ibn Khaldun, the medieval Muslim traveler and geographer, and nothing on Al Idrisi, who was commissioned by Roger II, the Christian king of Sicily, to update navigational records, and created the famous early atlas called "The Book of Roger." The Mapmakers briefly mentions that one Francis Wilford, a member of India Survey, was a student of ancient Hindu geography. Given early Indian sophistication in astronomy, math, and government administration, one wonders what earlier sources of geographic knowledge he drew on. According to an Indian friend of mine, many early maps were destroyed to keep them out of the hands of British colonial rulers.

Wilford writes about the dire level of geographic ignorance of Medieval Europeans, whose maps routinely placed Paradise at the Eastern border of China, without noting that during the same period, there was a longstanding, ongoing system of travel and trade from Arabia through India and Southeast Asia to China (see books by Abu Lughod and KN Chaudhuri, among others), conducted by Arabs, Jews, Indians, and sometimes Chinese. I don't know what sorts of maps were used by these travelling merchants, but they must have used something, because they got from place to place regularly and routinely."


(crossposted to LawPundit)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Amazon is not always Amazin'

Amazon is not always Amazin'

Amazon is not always Amazin', er, Amazon. In reply to my inquiry as to why certain books were available on amazon.com but not on amazon.co.uk, here is the reply which I received:

"Dear Customer

Thank you for contacting Amazon.co.uk with your enquiry.

Although we are affiliated, all orders with Amazon.com are
independent of any orders with Amazon.co.uk. This means that we
cannot order items from another Amazon site for you and that we
cannot combine orders across our different sites. Also, not all
items which are listed on Amazon.com are available within the UK.

...

Thank you for your interest in Amazon.co.uk.

Please let us know if this e-mail answered your question

...

Customer Service
Amazon.co.uk"

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Bill Clinton and Abebooks.com


Bill Clinton and Abebooks.com

AbeBooks features My Life by former US President Bill Clinton in its Avid Reader Newsletter quoting Allan Lichtman of American University:

"Whether you love him or hate him, he's an enigmatic, fascinating figure...."

To which I must add my own perhaps odd question about the human race: why do people feel a need to love or hate a man whom most do not know at all personally? and what is the fascination that people have towards people in political power?

Are they different than the man on the street? Seldom.

Those who ARE different than the man on the street seldom get elected.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Stars Stones and Scholars : The Decipherment of the Megaliths as an Ancient Survey of the Earth by Astronomy 2


Stars Stones and Scholars : The Decipherment of the Megaliths as an Ancient Survey of the Earth by Astronomy

The following book review by Steve Bodark appeared on Amazon.com on March 9, 2004:

Buckle up your seat belts, we are going for a ride., March 9, 2004
Reviewer: bodark@c-magic.com from Jefferson City, MO United States

It is rare for a book to cover the distance and depth found in Stars, Stones and Scholars by Andis Kaulins. However the conclusion of the book, that the ancient megaliths tell a story about a world wide system of surveying and measurement well in effect in 3000 BC, will turn the world of scholarship upside down. While it is a pioneering work, there is more than enough information here to prove the authors basic premise that the megalithic sites, all over the world, represent a map of the sky on the ground.

Implications in this book for historians include granting ancient peoples much more credibility for understanding our place in the solar system, movements of people and ideas in the ancient world, the origin of scientific methods and an uncanny knowledge of these ideas around the world.

When I was growing up I always heard that our human cognitive abilities were developed in part from observing the sun, moon and stars. This book begins to develop the meaning of that statement by showing that the depth of understanding of the relationship of the sky to terrestrial geography was profound in the human species for a very long time. It is a shame that most historians and archeologists have forgotten or never knew basic astronomy and its relationship with the reality structure of ancient people. This book begins to mend this problem.

A bonus with the book is the linguistic comparison of the names of the constellations, stars, megalithic sites and local town names with the local native language, and other languages including Latvian. This analysis supports the theory that the ancients were aware of precession, the pole of the ecliptic and other astronomical facts that historians are reluctant to admit.

The dating of the monuments by analyzing carvings on the stones to represent moments where solstices and other astronomical events occured in the past is revolutionary. The author presents the idea that "modern time" began on December 25, 3117 BC and is found in carvings supporting that idea located around the world.

This book requires close study but is extremely rewarding in understanding human development: As above, so below.

Stars Stones and Scholars : The Decipherment of the Megaliths as an Ancient Survey of the Earth by Astronomy 1


Stars Stones and Scholars : The Decipherment of the Megaliths as an Ancient Survey of the Earth by Astronomy

The following Author's Summary appeared on Amazon.com on January 13, 2004:

Author's Summary, January 13, 2004
Reviewer: Andis Kaulins from Traben-Trarbach, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

Stars, Stones and Scholars is a pioneer analysis of prehistoric art, megalithic sites, astronomy, archaeology and the history of civilization. The book title is an intentional play on the title of C.W. Ceram's famous book, Gods, Graves and Scholars, which analyzed the history of archaeology from a quite limited perspective - starting with the Gods and the Graves, placing too much emphasis on the Scholars, and ignoring the study of the Stars and the workmanship of Stones which PRECEDED them. Stars, Stones and Scholars presents the decipherment of the megaliths (standing stones) as an ancient survey of the Earth by astronomy. The book presents initial proofs and discussion claiming that ancient megalithic sites are remnants of ancient local, regional and worldwide Neolithic surveys oriented to the stars. This hypothesis is not even speculative - in ancient days, no other means except astronomy were available for earthly orientation. The book's ca. 40 photographs, 240 drawings and 80 maps show how megaliths were carved and "sculpted" with figures in relief (what can still be made of them) and with cupmarks (holes in the stones) to intentionally represent specific stars, constellations and asterisms, long before our modern astrological Zodiac was allegedly known. Megalithic sites from around the world are analyzed and shown to be part of ancient SYSTEMATIC survey systems covering entire regions ca. 3000 BC. The countries analyzed include, for example, England (all the major Neolithic sites including e.g. Stonehenge, Wayland's Smithy, Kents Cavern), Wales (all the major Neolithic sites including e.g. Paviland), Scotland (all the major Neolithic sites including e.g. the Clava Cairns), Ireland (all the major Neolithic sites including Newgrange, Knowth, Tara), Germany (most of the major sites including the Externsteine, Nebra, Gollenstein, Felsenmeer), Benelux (Weris), France (Carnac, Lascaux, Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc), Italy (La Spezia), all the Malta Temples (e.g. Tarxien and the Hypogeum), Scandinavia (Tanum), as well as individual sites in the Baltic, Russia, the Near East, the Far East (China - the Great Wall, and Japan - e.g. Asuka, Kanayama), Africa (e.g. the Central African Republic), Central and South America (Tikal), Oceania (Hawaii), the continental USA (Cahokia, Miami Circle) and Canada (the Peterborough Petroglyphs). Many of these sites are examined and deciphered in great detail showing a site such as the Peterborough Petroglyphs in Canada, for example, to be an ancient map of the heavens and the Ki'i Petroglyphs on the island of Hawaii to be an ancient map of the world. The intent of the author is not so much to convince the reader of the correctness of his analysis, but rather to urge the reader to look at ancient sites and stones differently than before and, for example, to examine old vacation photographs of Stonehenge or similar sites, and see the figures carved on the stones. As far as the interpretation of the megaliths is concerned, there is no question that this is the way of the future.

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