The Language of Homer

The Iliad and The Odyssey are two of the most enduring works of fiction (or “fiction”, if you prefer) ever composed.  Although it is doubtful that they were composed in their entirety by a single individual, they are traditionally attributed to a blind bard called Homer.  Recently, The World According to Sound aired a podcast about the language in which these works were composed.  A form of ancient Greek that sounded nothing like its modern descendant.  According to this, this dialect was a tonal language.  An example of a modern tonal language is Chinese.

The story was picked up and, partially, rebroadcast, on NPR’s All Things ConsideredThe Sound Of Ancient Greek.




Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz Survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dies at 87 – The New York Times

Mr. Wiesel, the author of “Night,” seared the memory of the Holocaust on the world’s conscience.

Source: Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz Survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dies at 87 – The New York Times

Fifty Shades Fatigue

50-ShadesAm I the only one who wishes this “phenomenon” would just go away?  Or, at the very least, that I didn’t hear about it every time I turn on the T.V.?  And, before any of you decide to point this out, I know I’m adding to it by writing this.  What can I say, the hoopla is finally getting to me.

First, it was the books.  I held out against the public mania and have not read them.  Mostly because my sister read the first one and told me it was like a Barbara Cartland novel, but with sex.  That’s all I needed to know to stay far, far away.

Now its the movie.  And let us not forget the soundtrack.  When will enough be enough?


Malala is finally awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Congratulations to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi.  I thought Malala should have gotten it last year, so it’s about time.


My tax dollars at work

NC GOP leaders file motion to block gay marriages – WCTI 12
October 9, 2014

I don’t agree with them, but that is their right.  What isn’t their right is to use my tax dollars to pay a lawyer from California $400 an hour for this.   The motion asks that they be given until October 17th to assemble data in support of their arguments.  You do the math.  Not that much, you may be thinking, for a lawyer.  I’d agree with you if they were using their own money.  But they aren’t.  They’re using ours.

Speaker Tillis, this is not the way to get my vote.  Express you opinion all you want.  I don’t care.  But don’t use my money to do it.

And, by the way, the motion was denied.

Judge in NC gay marriage case denies delay – WCTI 12
October 9, 2014

They have until noon today.

Even More Page to T.V. Awesomeness

masterpiece-PBSIt has recently been announced that BBC Two’s miniseries-in-the-works, Wolf Hall, based on Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize winning novel of the same name, will be broadcast here in the U.S. on PBS as part of the 2015 Masterpiece line-up.  I’m so excited.  Can’t wait to see Damien Lewis as Henry VIII.

Uhtred is Coming!

That’s right.  Uhtred is coming … to T.V.  BBC Two and BBC America have announced that they are making Bernard Cornwell’s beloved Warrior/Saxon Chronicles into a television series to be called The Last Kingdom (also the title of the first book).  And, if that ain’t enough to make you grin, the show will be made by Carnival Films, the producers of Downton Abbey.  They also produced a mystery series called Rosemary & Thyme that I used to watch on PBS.  Production will start in the fall.  Here’s the blurb for the book, The Last Kingdom:

Kingdom_Cornwell‘I had been given a perfect childhood, perfect, at least, to the ideas of a boy. I was raised among men, I was free, I ran wild, was encumbered by no laws, was troubled by no priests and was encouraged to violence.’

Uhtred is an English boy, born into the aristocracy of 9th Century Northumbria, but orphaned at ten, Kingdom_Cornwell-2adopted by a Dane and taught the Viking ways. Yet Uhtred’s fate is indissolubly bound up with Alfred, King of Wessex, who rules over the last English kingdom when the Danes have overrun Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia.

That war, with its massacres, defeats and betrayals, is the background to Uhtred’s childhood, a childhood which leaves him uncertain of his loyalties, but a slaughter in a winter dawn propels him to the English side and he will become a man just as the Danes launch their fiercest attack yet on Alfred’s kingdom. Marriage ties him further to the West Saxon cause, but when his wife and child vanish in the chaos of a Danish invasion, Uhtred is driven to face the greatest of the Viking chieftains in a battle beside the sea, and there, in the horror of a shield-wall, he discovers his true allegiance.

Will you watch?

He Made Us Laugh Until We Cried

The world has just lost one of the greatest comedians, actors, and people of all time.  He could make us laugh, make us cry, make us think.  Sometimes all in the same role, at the same time.  We loved Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Morning Vietnam, Aladdin, The Dead Poets Society, Robots, Happy Feet, Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams…  I could keep going, but, the truth, is, we love/loved Robin Williams.  He will be missed.

“… the thingamabob that does the job …”

Anybody else get this song stuck in their heads when this Gatorade commercial comes on?

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!  😀


Scientists revise timeline of human origins –

Scientists revise timeline of human origins –