Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bosnian Pyramids

Looking at the age of this stuff, I am astonished that I haven't seen it before.

As usual, I came by the story in a roundabout way. I was searching for free stone textures or pictures of stone to make into textures. I found a picture of a huge round ball, which was apparently found in Bosnia after an earthquake. I was struck by how similar they were to the south American balls that no one has ever explained.

Then I saw an article about the finding of a pyramid in Bosnia... and saw the pictures of the mountain looking very even and man made. There's even an Indiana Jones-like archaeologist in charge of the excavatation.

Anyway... dig around and see what you think....ah...I should have checked it out with wikipedia... they disbelieve the pyramids... have seen nothing about the balls,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

London Bodies

Happened across the exhibition in the Wellcome Institute on Euston Road in London about London bodies. Skeletons from two thousand years of the city's history lie laid out in glass cases, with tantalising notes beside them.

An elderly man with evidence of rickets in childhood and another bone bending disease in adulthood. A baby with smallpox. A prostitute with syphilis. A young woman with no obvious disease.

The light is low, the skeletons all look roughly the same at first glance, and only the careful and brief notes with them distinguish one from another. Then, a shock. William Wood, exhumed from his grave from the 19th century. How would I feel if one of my 19th century ancestors had been laid out in this way for all to see?

The Institute is of course a temple to science, and scientific methods. It looks at the human and sees only the flesh and the bones... the things which can be measured, touched, documented and studied. But the remains of human bodies, these skeletons... once they were people, and they loved and lost and lived and died... maybe it should make no difference whether they are a nameless man from a Cluniac monastery from six centuries ago or a beadle from the 19th century, but somehow... it seems disrespectful, wrong, to bring someone out of the grave after so short a time in it. How would I feel, similarly displayed, in 2170?

We looked at them with interest, tried to compare the teeth of the Romans who ground them down, and those of the 18th century Londoners... rotten. I wondered what sort of lives these people represented... mostly hard I guessed, with broken bones badly mended, and signs of vitamin deficiencies.

Mostly I felt uncomfortable in a world which ignores our deeply spiritual nature, which cannot be neatly filed away in a box, in favour of the material witness to our existence, numbered and stored away for future reference.

However, it's very interesting - more detail here.

Keith Barry TED Talk magic

Indebted to BoingBoing once again for a link to an interesting Ted talk... Keith Barry seems to be from the same school of magicianship as Derren Brown.

I just had to add it to my mysterious miscellany.