School Nuns Walk Out in Protest

When the Catholic school they serve decided to play along with the Day of Silence in a way that they felt promoted homosexual behavior, the five Dominican Sisters of Mary at Marin Catholic High School staged a protest of their own. They walked out and stayed out for the rest of the day, as they had warned the school administrators they would do.

Go, sisters!

We don’t have to take this crap.

As those of us who have suffered from it know, bullying isn’t about race, religion, or any other attribute. It’s about proximity to a bully.

It’s also about the bully not being penalized for his or her constant bad behavior, and the victim being constantly discouraged to fight back. Bullying is everywhere and done by members of every kind of demographic, to members of every kind of demographic. Anyone can choose to become a bully, and a lot of children do.

Appropriating bullying for SJW issues is covering up the full extent, and the essentially egalitarian nature, of the problem.

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Holier than Cake

Here’s another sad story from the Muslim world about Muslims hassling other Muslims.

Last year in Zile, Turkey, the local mufti went to a party for Mohammed’s birthday (this is an Islamic thing), and the local women students made a book-shaped Qur’an cake. A nice picture was taken of the mufti cutting the beautifully decorated cake. It was reposted this year on social media (probably to talk about what they would do this year).

A brief websearch will reveal that this kind of cake is quite common in the Muslim world. (Particularly in Indonesia.) Sometimes they are open, sometimes closed, and sometimes it’s a regular cake just referring to the Qur’an. People have Qur’an cakes for religious holidays, for the start of kids going to religious school, for school graduation, for finishing reading the whole Qur’an in Arabic, and for important anniversaries of religious teachers. There are also cake toppers showing people studying the Qur’an, and little cake picks with Qur’an facsimiles. Often they don’t actually include Qur’an verses, but the cake decorator strives to create that illusion with elaborate Arabic calligraphy. Instagram is full of #Qurancake.

But in this case, the Muslim version of SJWs exploded with rage. Now there is to be an official investigation of the cake by the national Islamic governing body, the Diyanet.

Another couple of towns put up little Kaaba replicas for the same holiday, and also are getting rage and official investigation. (And not primarily for violating the separation of mosque and state, either, although one of the opposition party guys did criticize that.) The outrage was that people were walking around it, and that supposedly they might be confusing a local replica with the actual Ka’aba in Mecca. Here’s a picture of the Ka’aba replica. It’s part of an entire “replica Mecca,” apparently along the lines of the miniature Holy Land displays in some US towns. Another nearby town did a less elaborate walking trail version. A performance artist protested something (the money spent?) by dressing up like he was going on the actual pilgrimage to Mecca, and was arrested for his pains.

So it’s not been a good week for ordinary pious Islamic people in Turkey. Simple love of their God and their religion gets demonized.

More about the cake: Jihad Watch. A previous fatwa against Qur’an verses on cakes from 2010.

In case anyone non-Christian is curious: Yes, Bible cakes are very common. They are most often made by the pious who do a lot of Bible study.

In other news, Turkish President Erdogan is opening a big Turkish Cultural Center in Maryland. This would be uncontroversial, except that it’s mostly a giant Turkish government-sponsored mosque. Ataturk is rolling over in his grave, no doubt.

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This Is a Manly Fandom

Speaking in general, media fandom women do a fair number of crafts, as well as other fannish projects. In some fandoms, they do some really difficult art, and sometimes you see other projects from engineer-type women.

However, it’s guys who usually decide to build the Enterprise bridge replicas, or the full-sized mecha that light up and move. And the more guys in a fandom doing cool large scale projects, the more projects tend to arise. Guys inspire each other as well as being competitive.

The modern iteration of My Little Pony fandom is probably 75% guys, so they build videogames and snowhorse statues and elaborate orchestral compositions. They are a ridiculously active and productive fandom segment.

So when there’s a manly fan who does balloon animals as a hobby, they can’t just be balloon horses with some eyes put on in marker. Oh, no.

What he does is this.

As you’ll see, he has also done a balloon life-sized Dalek, a balloon Ash from Evil Dead, a balloon Alphonse from Full Metal Alchemist, and a giant stingray between two palm trees. Also costumes for people to cosplay in, and hats, and room decorations. 9 pages of balloon art.

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Christian Graffiti from Before 125 AD?

There’s a good explanation over at Larry Hurtado’s blog.

Basically, the graffiti says:

Equal Number Values:

Lord – Omega (the number value of the letters in Lord = 800 = the number value of the letter omega)
Faith – Omega (same thing)

Obviously I think this is cool, because “isopsephy” (the number values of Greek letters equaling the number values of Greek words) is a big thing in the Book of Revelation; that’s what the Number of the Beast is about. Fun! It’s a very similar thing to the ancient idea of a word’s etymology (historical or symbolic) having a lot to do with the inner meaning of the word. Not very scientific, but very poetic when the game is played correctly.

For example, a lot of early Christian commentaries are happy to show that Revelation has a lot of Good Guy here, and Bad Guy Imitating Good Guy there. So just like there’s Christ and the Anti-Christ, the Number of the Beast is opposed in the first chapter by the Number of the Dove.

That’s (Alpha = 1) + (Omega = 800) = 801, which is also the number value of P+E+R+I+S+T+E+R+A, the Greek word for dove.

Now, isn’t that pretty? The Son and the Holy Spirit, all together, just like the Son and the Seven Spirits (representing the one Holy Spirit) are together in the first chapter! It might not be the authorial intention, but then again, it could be; and either way, it’s pretty.

Of course, we moderns tend to turn it all into conspiracy theory, which is depressing. But some people did that back in ancient times, too.

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Ancient Roman Egyptian Socks

Check out those crazy colors!

Pretty good wool to hold up so long…

This is from Antinoopolis instead of Oxyrhynchus. :)

Here’s the British Museum sock info, where they spell it “Antinoupolis.”

They also say it’s definitely naalebinding and not knitting. (Always a hot topic in medieval recreation groups.) As you can see in the link above, it’s sort of like fingerknitting. Sort of. Not really. Anyway, you only need one needle, which is a plus. (Also includes info on why you might tear wool instead of cutting it, and how you can turn two pieces of yarn into one.)

I’ll tag Shredded Cheddar with this one, because she knits and crochets and stuff.

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Ancient Toilet Paper

Among the trash and treasures of the famous Oxyrhynchus, Egypt papyrus junkpiles, here is one that is simultaneously at the top and bottom.

A fragment of ancient scholia (annotations and explanations) about Homer’s Iliad. Used as toilet paper.

Don’t make assumptions and poo-poo it. P. Oxy. 67.4633 is real.

If you’re curious about which scholia (concerning which part of Homer) met this crappy fate, it was “Scholia Minora on Iliad 2, 277-318 (277-293, 307-318).” It’s over at the Sackler Library in Oxford. Click on the picture and PDF links to study it in detail!

And now that we know white gloves actually hurt papyrus and parchment, think of the joy of handling this piece of history, fece to fece! What a way to become well-letturd!

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More Medieval Greek Manuscripts Online at the British Library

Check it out. Now they’ve digitized all the ones they’ve got (medieval Greek ms stuff, that is).

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