Thursday, January 28, 2016

Special Clay Used by First Nations People Proven to REALLY Work

Interesting news today -- see the press release below.

If only so-called "modern" people paid more attention to what their ancestors and "less civilized" inhabitants of this Earth co-existing with us did and do today to treat infections and various illnesses and diseases  -- if only.  Sadly, there is already a FOR PROFIT corporation involved in developing potential "drugs" from this miracle clay given freely to us by Mother Nature. I believe it will just be a matter of time before the Heiltsuk First Nation People who entered into this compact with the Devil are swindled fully out of whatever they think they have retained of their rights by the people behind this corporation.  We, who think we are so damn smart, continue to ignore Culpeper, author of English Physician and Complete Herbal in the mid-17th century:  Culpeper believed medicine was a public asset rather than a commercial secret, and the prices physicians charged were far too expensive compared to the cheap and universal availability of nature's medicine.  Wikipedia.  So what if people die?  It's all about the filthy lucre, darlings.

Press Release issued by the University of British Columbia

First Nations’ ancient medicinal clay shows promise against today’s worst bacterial infections

Naturally occurring clay from Kisameet Bay, B.C. — long used by the Heiltsuk First Nation for its healing potential — exhibits potent antibacterial activity against multidrug-resistant pathogens, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.
The researchers recommend the rare mineral clay be studied as a clinical treatment for serious infections caused by ESKAPE strains of bacteria.
The so-called ESKAPE pathogens — Enterococcus faeciumStaphylococcus aureusKlebsiella pneumoniae,Acinetobacter baumanniiPseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species — cause the majority of U.S. hospital infections and effectively ‘escape’ the effects of antibacterial drugs.
“Infections caused by ESKAPE bacteria are essentially untreatable and contribute to increasing mortality in hospitals,” said UBC microbiologist Julian Davies, co-author of the paper published today in the American Society for Microbiology’s mBio journal.
“After 50 years of over-using and misusing antibiotics, ancient medicinals and other natural mineral-based agents may provide new weapons in the battle against multidrug-resistant pathogens.”
The clay deposit is situated on Heiltsuk First Nation’s traditional territory, 400 kilometres north of Vancouver, Canada, in a shallow five-acre granite basin. The 400-million kilogram (400,000 tonne) deposit was formed near the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 10,000 years ago.
Local First Nations people have used the clay for centuries for its therapeutic properties—anecdotal reports cite its effectiveness for ulcerative colitis, duodenal ulcer, arthritis, neuritis, phlebitis, skin irritation, and burns.
“We’re fortunate to be able to partner with UBC on this significant research program” said Lawrence Lund, president of Kisameet Glacial Clay, a business formed to market cosmetic and medicinal products derived from the clay. “We hope it will lead to the development of a novel and safe antimicrobial that can be added to the diminished arsenal for the fight against the ESKAPE pathogens and other infection-related health issues plaguing the planet.”
In the in vitro testing conducted by Davies and UBC researcher Shekooh Behroozian, clay suspended in water killed 16 strains of ESKAPE bacteria samples from sources including Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital, and the University of British Columbia’s wastewater treatment pilot plant.
No toxic side effects have been reported in the human use of the clay, and the next stage in clinical evaluation would involve detailed clinical studies and toxicity testing. Loretta Li, with UBC’s Department of Civil Engineering, is conducting mineralogical and chemical analyses of the clay as well. MITACS, Kisameet Glacial Clay Inc. and the Tally Fund supported the work.
Kisameet Clay Exhibits Potent Antibacterial Activity against the ESKAPE PathogensmBio American Society for Microbiology
January/February 2016 Volume 7 Issue 1 e01842-15

Those Clever Babylonians and Astronomical Geometry

Hola darlings!

Saw this on my round of online newspaper reading, article at The Washington Post:

Clay Tablets Reveal Babylonians Discovered Astronomical Geometry 1,400 Years Before Europeans

By Joel Achenbach
January 28, 2016

The medieval mathematicians of Oxford, toiling in torchlight in a land ravaged by plague, managed to invent a simple form of calculus that could be used to track the motion of heavenly bodies. But now a scholar studying ancient clay tablets suggests that the Babylonians got there first, and by at least 1,400 years.
The astronomers of Babylonia, scratching tiny marks in soft clay, used surprisingly sophisticated geometry to calculate the orbit of what they called the White Star — the planet Jupiter.
These tablets are quite incomprehensible to the untrained eye. Thousands of clay tablets — many unearthed in the 19th century by adventurers hoping to build museum collections in Europe, the United States and elsewhere — remain undeciphered.

But they are fertile ground for Mathieu Ossendrijver of Humboldt University in Berlin, whose remarkable findings were published Thursday in the journal Science. Ossendrijver is an astrophysicist who became an expert in the history of ancient science.

For a number of years he has puzzled over four particular Babylonian tablets housed in the British Museum in London.
“I couldn’t understand what they were about. I couldn't understand anything about them, neither did anyone else. I could only see that they dealt with geometrical stuff," he said this week in a phone interview from Germany.
Then one day in late 2014, a retired archaeologist gave him some black-and-white photographs of tablets stored at the museum. Ossendrijver took notice of one of them, just two inches across and two inches high. This rounded object, which he scrutinized in person in September 2015, proved to be a kind of Rosetta Stone.
Text A. (Trustees of the British Museum/Mathieu Ossendrijver)
Officially named BH40054 by the museum, and dubbed Text A by Ossendrijver, the little tablet had markings that served as a kind of abbreviation of a longer calculation that looked familiar to him. By comparing Text A to the four previously mysterious tablets, he was able to decode what was going on: This was all about Jupiter. The five tablets computed the predictable motion of Jupiter relative to the other planets and the distant stars.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Latest Research Shows Simultaneous Domestication of Cats

Hola darlings!

Oh yeah - simultaneous inventions, simultaneous developments of animal domestication, simultaneous invention of agricultural practices that led to the establishment of permanent settlements and a new way of life, not to mention the simultaneous invention of CHESSLIKE games in different areas of the world, etc. etc.  The old argument -- was it diffusion or was it simultaneous inventions and developments by cultures and peoples separated by thousands of miles from each other?  The wise answer is:  It was both.

This latest research demonstrates that when it comes to the domestication of cats, it was simultaneous in different parts of the world, and diffusion of certain breeds that became dominate only took place with the introduction of cross-cultural trade routes thousands of years later.

Paris, 22 January 2016

Cats domesticated in China earlier than 3000 BC

Were domestic cats brought to China over 5 000 years ago? Or were small cats domesticated in China at that time? There was no way of deciding between these two hypotheses until a team from the 'Archéozoologie, Archéobotanique: Sociétés, Pratiques et Environnements' laboratory (CNRS/MNHN), in collaboration with colleagues from the UK and China1, succeeded in determining the species corresponding to cat remains found in agricultural settlements in China, dating from around 3500 BC. All the bones belong to the leopard cat, a distant relation of the western wildcat, from which all modern domestic cats are descended. The scientists have thus provided evidence that cats began to be domesticated in China earlier than 3 000 BC. This scenario is comparable to that which took place in the Near East and Egypt, where a relationship between humans and cats developed following the birth of agriculture. Their findings2 are published on 22 January 2016 in the journal PLOS ONE.

The cat is the most common domestic animal in the world today, with over 500 million individuals. All of today's domestic cats descend from the African and Near Eastern form of the wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica). According to work published in 2004, humans and cats first started to form a close relationship in the Near East from 9000 to 7000 BC, following the birth of agriculture.  
In 2001, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing discovered cat bones in agricultural settlements in northern China (Shaanxi province) dating from around 3500 BC. Was this evidence of a relationship between small Chinese cats and humans in the fourth millennium BC in China? Or was it the result of the arrival in China of the first domestic cats from the Near East? There was no way of deciding between these two hypotheses without identifying the species to which the bones belonged. Although there are no less than four different forms of small cat in China, the subspecies from which modern cats are descended (Felis silvestris lybica) has never been recorded there. 
To try to settle the question, a collaboration of scientists principally from CNRS, the French Natural History Museum (MNHN), the University of Aberdeen, the Chinese Academy of Social Science and the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology undertook a geometric morphometric analysis3, which, in the absence of ancient DNA, is the only way of differentiating the bones of such small cats, which have very similar morphologies whose differences are often imperceptible using conventional techniques. The scientists analyzed the mandibles of five cats from Shaanxi and Henan dating from 3500 to 2900 BC. Their work clearly determined that the bones all belonged to the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). Still very widespread in Eastern Asia today, this wildcat, which is a distant relation of the western wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica), is well-known for its propensity to frequent areas with a strong human presence. Just as in the Near East and Egypt, leopard cats were probably attracted into Chinese settlements by the proliferation of rodents who took advantage of grain stores. 
These conclusions show that a process comparable to the one that took place in the Near East and in Egypt developed independently in China following the birth of agriculture in the eighth millennium BC. In China it was the leopard cat (P. bengalensis) and not the western wildcat (F. silvestris) that started to form a relationship with humans. Cat domestication was, at least in three regions of the world, therefore closely connected to the beginnings of agriculture. 
Nevertheless, domestic cats in China today are not descended from the leopard cat4 but rather from its relation F. silvestris lybica. The latter therefore replaced the leopard cat in Chinese settlements after the end of the Neolithic. Did it arrive in China with the opening of the Silk Road, when the Roman and Han empires began to establish tenuous links between East and West? This is the next question that needs to be answered. 


1 Principally from the University of Aberdeen, the Chinese Academy of Social Science and the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology.
2 This work was supported in particular by Labex Bcdiv.
3 Geometric morphometrics is used to study and analyze the shape of a structure (for instance, it enables skulls of different species with very similar morphologies to be compared).
4 The leopard cat was again domesticated in the nineteen sixties, producing, by hybridization with domestic cats from the silvestris species, a cat breed known as the Bengal breed.


Earliest “domestic” cats in China identified as Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). Vigne J.-D., Evin A., Cucchi T., Dai L., Yu C., Hu S., Soulages N., Wang W., Sun Z., Gao J., Dobney K., Yuan J. PLOS ONE. 22 January 2016.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Another Ancient Eqyptian Queen Discovered, Another "History" as "Wife" Blown Up

Hola darlings!

Here is an article forwarded from Michelle, daughter of Georgia, my cohort here at Goddesschess, about the unmasking of yet another historical myth about the role a female played in the ancient Egyptian hierarchy of rulers.  When Mr. Don was alive he fondly referred to us as "his" three Goddesses :)

Georgia, Michelle and Yours Truly, New York en route to Statue of Liberty, 2009.
Chess Goddesses :)
Yet another one down (historic myth accepted as fact) and another one down, another one bites the dust...

Early Egyptian Queen Revealed in 5,000 Year Old Hieroglyphs
from Yahoo, as reported at Live Science by Owen Jarus

January 21, 2016:

About 60 drawings and hieroglyphic inscriptions, dating back around 5,000 years, have been discovered at a site called Wadi Ameyra in Egypt’s Sinai Desert. Carved in stone, they were created by mining expeditions sent out by early Egyptian pharaohs, archaeologists say.

They reveal new information on the early pharaohs. For instance, one inscription the researchers found tells of a queen named Neith-Hotep who ruled Egypt 5,000 years ago as regent to a young pharaoh named Djer.
Archaeologists estimate that the earliest carvings at Wadi Ameyra date back around 5,200 years, while the most recent date to the reign of a pharaoh named Nebre, who ruled about 4,800 years ago.
The "inscriptions are probably a way to proclaim that the Egyptian state owned the area," team leader Pierre Tallet, a professor at Université Paris-Sorbonne, told Live Science.
He explained that south of Wadi Ameyra, the ancient expeditions would have mined turquoise and copper. Sometime after Nebre's rule, the route of the expeditions changed, bypassing Wadi Ameyra, he said.
Early female ruler
The inscriptions carved by a mining expedition show that queen Neith-Hotep stepped up as ruler about 5,000 years ago, millennia before Hatshepsut or Cleopatra VII ruled the country.
While Egyptologists knew that Neith-Hotep existed, they believed she was married to a pharaoh named Narmer. "The inscriptions demonstrate that she [Neith-Hotep] was not [emphasis added] the wife of Narmer, but a regent queen at the beginning of the reign of Djer," Tallet said.
 'The White Walls'
An inscription found at Wadi Ameyra shows that Memphis, an ancient capital of Egypt that was also called "the White Walls," is older than originally believed.
Ancient Greek and Roman writers claimed that Memphis was constructed by a mythical king named Menes, whom Egyptologists often consider to be a real-life pharaoh named Narmer, Tallet explained.
The new inscription shows that Memphis actually existed before Narmer was even born.
"We have in Wadi Ameyra an inscription giving for the first time the name of this city, the White Walls,and it is associated to the name of Iry-Hor, a king who ruled Egypt two generations before Narmer," Tallet said. The inscription shows that the ancient capital was around during the time of Iry-Hor and could have been built before even he was pharaoh. [Could "The White Walls" be a reference to the prehistoric White Goddess, who later cropped up in culture after culture, in many different forms?]

Board Game Pieces Found in Ancient Roman Settlement in Germany

Board game pieces found in ancient Roman settlement

The remnants of ancient water wells, pearls and hairpins are proof that a group of villagers set up a settlement on top of a military fort in ancient Roman times.
About 1,900 years ago, a group of Roman soldiers lived in a fort in what is now Gernsheim, a German town located on the Rhine River about 31 miles (50 kilometers) south of Frankfurt. Shortly after the soldiers left the fort in about A.D. 120, another group of people moved in and built a village literally on top of the settlement, researchers found.
Archaeologists have known about the site itself since the 1800s, but the new finding sheds light on its inhabitants and what they did for fun. (An ancient die and game piece were among the discoveries.) 
Image credit: Thomas Maurer

Chess, Gambling, and Cards: Tudor Indoor Pasttimes

Maybe the Saudi Mufti read this article before he issued his condemnation of chess as "gambling" (typical silly male religious nonsense -- see post below).

From BBC History Magazine online:

Hundreds of years before the invention of radio or television, how did the Tudors occupy themselves of an evening, or during long, winter nights? Melita Thomas, the editor of 
Tudor Times, investigates…
Wandering around a Tudor house or garden on a sunny day is a delightful experience. We can imagine the lady of the house in her velvets and French hood picking flowers and herbs, or the maid turning those herbs into cooking ingredients or medicine. Visiting during the day, we seldom think of what the evenings must have been like – long hours, with no entertainment other than what the household could provide. How did they while away the evenings? The answer is board games – some of which we still play to similar rules today, and some that have been adapted over time. 


The most enduring game of all is chess, which has been played in western Europe since the early Middle Ages – witness the beautiful Lewis Chessmen (chess pieces of walrus ivory, found on Lewis in 1831, but likely made in Norway in around AD 1150–1200). The rules of chess, however, underwent a significant change in the mid-to-late 15th century when the queen, originally a weak piece, became the most dominant figure on the board. 
From The Book of Chess and Games commissioned by
King Alphonso X of Castile, c. 1283.  Two ladies playing.
Hand/finger positions indicate clues to moves.  Source.
The romantic among us might date the change to the emergence of powerful  female rulers, such as Isabella I of Castile or Anne of Beaujeu, regent of France from 1483-91.
Chess-playing was an essential social skill for the upper classes in the Tudor period. The inventory of goods belonging to Catherine of Aragon, taken after she had been banished from court in 1531, revealed two ivory chess-boards with pieces; a set of red and ivory chess men; and a further box of ivory chessmen. These were all commandeered by Henry VIII.
Katherine Parr, Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I are also known to have played chess. The game was so much a part of court life that Henry VIII’s accounts show a payment made to a cook for creating two chessboards and men of sugar, decorated with gold, for a banquet. 

Again? Islam Prohibits Playing Chess

Let's see, how many times, over the course of Herstory have males in their long flowy feminine robes from various "religions" attempted to outlaw/ban chess as somehow "sinful?"  Need you any further proof that chess is, indeed, The Game of the Goddess?  But try as they might, the religious patriarchs have not succeeded in abolishing Her, and they never will.

Checkmate: Saudi grand mufti makes move against chess

By Don Melvin, CNN
January 22, 2016

(CNN)   So does everyone need to roll up their rooks and box up their bishops?  Maybe not, but some people in Saudi Arabia might be wondering.
    Saudi's grand mufti, the kingdom's top cleric, was appearing on a religious TV channel, taking questions about faith and sin and that sort of thing.  And he got one about chess.
    Not one to hesitate, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin-Abdullah al-Sheikh said chess and similar games are "forbidden" in Islam because they're a form of gambling.  He supported his statement with a verse from the Quran: "Indeed wine, gambling, idols and the divining arrows are abominations of Satan's doing, so avoid them, so that you may be felicitous." [But dressing pre-puberty boys like girls and making them dance for adult males and then sexually assaulting them with anal intercourse is just fine.]
    The grand mufti called chess "a waste of time, money and a reason for the enmity between players."
    The clip was posted on YouTube last month. It is unclear when it aired on TV; CNN was trying to reach the channel, Saudi station Al-Majd, for comment.
    A member of the Saudi Chess Association said the group was surprised by the video but had received no formal notification, and the group is hoping for clarification.  The chess association began a two-day championship in Mecca on Friday. Another two-day tournament, the Riyadh Chess Championship, is scheduled for early June.
    Twitter users reacted to the comments with humor and sarcasm. [Comments omitted.]
    CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali and Melissa Gray contributed to this report.

    Sunday, January 10, 2016

    Was Eve Created From Adam's Penis? Or - The Origin Of Knight Moves

    How could I possibly resist posting this article - well, I couldn't, and here it is.  Perhaps this hypothesis holds the key as to why ALL human embryos start out as females and then some morph into males in a later phase of development.

    From Discovery online:

    Eve Was Created From Adam's Penis: Bible Scholar


    Eve was not made from one of Adam’s ribs, but was instead created using a bone in his penis, a Biblical scholar has claimed, causing much stir.
    The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 says God made Adam from of the dust of the ground, then created Eve out of one of Adam’s ribs.
    Ziony Zevit, distinguished professor of Biblical Literature and Northwest Semitic Languages at the American Jewish University in California, argues that the Biblical story has been wrongly interpreted since a mistranslation confused rib with baculum, or penis bone.
    First presented in the 2013 book “What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden?” Zevit’s shocking claim has recently resurfaced in a paper published in Biblical Archaeology Review [Bravo to Hershel Shanks], causing heated controversy among outraged Christian readers.
    According to Zevit, the bone of contention — literally — centers around the Hebrew word “tsela,” used in the Old Testament to indicate the bone taken from Adam to create Eve.
    “This Hebrew word occurs some 40 times in the Hebrew Bible, where it refers to the side of a building or of an altar or ark, a side-chamber, or a branch of a mountain. In each of these instances, it refers to something off-center, lateral to a main structure,” Zevit wrote.
    Tsela was first translated as rib in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible dating to the mid-third century B.C.
    It would have then lost its original meaning, which according to Zevit relates to “limbs lateral to the vertical axis of an erect human body: hands, feet, or, in the case of males, the penis.”
    “Of these appendages, the only one lacking a bone is the penis,” Zevit wrote.
    This would explain why the human penis has no “os baculum,” or bone, unlike most mammals, including primates such as gorillas and chimpanzees.
    It would also clear up why men don’t have an uneven number of ribs compared to women.
    In this view, the part in Genesis 2:21, in which God closes the flesh beneath the “tsela,” should be interpreted as to God closing up the flesh that exists on the underside of the penis.
    Not surprisingly, Zevit’s phallic interpretation of the Biblical story has come under fire, with several readers of Biblical Archaeology threatening to cancel their subscription.
    Israel’s daily Haaretz also entered the debate, arguing that ancient linguistics provide no support for the theory.
    “Ziony Zevit’s theory is even more unlikely than the original story,” journalist Elon Gilad wrote.
    He remarked that ribs generated life in stories predating the Hebrew bible, such as the Sumerian myth Enki and Nihursag.
    He noted that tsela is still used in post-biblical Hebrew to mean rib, and has cognates meaning rib in other Semitic languages.
    “That powerfully indicates that tzela meant rib thousands and thousands of years before proto-Semitic split up into the different Semitic language,” Gilad concluded.
    I am fascinated with the root meanings of words.  Could it be possible that tsela, a word of Semitic origin, might be demonstrated by the ancient Egyptian god Min (ancient Egyptian is closely related to Semitic languages), a pre-dynastic god of male fertility and power and also, perhaps, the original inspiration for "knight moves" (pun intended) - see image below - from the Tour Egypt article referenced below (no attribution of the image was given in the article):

    Check out this information from touregypt dot com, under "Min":

    Min was always a god of fertility and sexuality. He was shown as a human male with an erect penis. In Egyptian times, he was usually an ithyphallic bearded mummiform man, standing with both legs together, an arm raised holding his symbol or a flail and wearing the same low crown with twin plumes as Amen. (The way he holds his flail might be symbolic of sexual intercourse - the flail forms the V while his upraised forearm seems to thrust inside the V.) The Egyptian paintings and reliefs on tomb walls and temples didn't show Min's other arm, but the statues of the god show him with his hand encircling the base of his penis. During New Kingdom times he was sometimes shown as a white bull, an animal sacred to the fertility god.
    Notice the "L" shape made by Min's bent arm upthrust (a 90 degree angle) into the "V" formed by the flail he is holding (actually, sort of balancing on his fingertips).  Notice also the "L" formed by Min's erect penis 90 degrees angled outward from his legs.

    Perhaps the Creator was "killing two birds with one stone," as the old saying goes: demonstrating sexual intercourse (Min's upright arm thrusting into the inverted "V" for vagina formed by the flail), and in case you missed that allusion it is difficult to miss Min's "stiff as a bone" erect penis, the 90 degree angle that incorporates the knight's move -- and hey - could those possibly be boardgame pieces to the right of Min at approximately thigh level (located underneath Min's erect penis, reminding us, perhaps, of the origins of the slang term "boner").  

    Just as a reminder, here is a graph of potential moves a knight could possibly make on the chessboard - covering eight potential target squares (don't they make a lovely rosette in honor of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna):

    Now darlings, lest you think I am completely insane, please read this very interesting article on why there are so many different words for "penis" in Hebrew, and then you tell me why tsela should NOT be included with, for instance, the Hebrew word zayin, as just another euphenism for penis:  Why Hebrew Has So Many Words for Penis, July 15, 2015, Haaretz.  Also informative was Strong's Concordance on the word tsela.

    Ancient "Go" Board Excavated as Part of Marquis of Haihun's Tomb

    I'll just get right to it!  Here's the pic of the game board -- I'm so glad they actually photographed it and included that photo in the article released to the general public about some of the magnificent items uncovered in the excavation of this tomb:

    Chessboard found at the excavation site of royal tombs of Marquis of Haihun StateinNanchangcapital of East China's Jiangxi province. [Photo/]
    A chessboard was also found in the "Haihunhoutombaccording to Jiangnan City Daily
    The chessboard is not completebut was apparently used for playing gamesAccording to
    expertsit resembles the modern game "go", but has yet to be fully identifiedIf the 
    chessboard was for "go", it would be the earliest "gochessboard unearthed in China.

    Link to full article at The Daily Mail (December 27, 2015), with link to article and photographs at China Daily article that was updated on November 19, 2015.

    While the article refers to this as a "chessboard" it is far too large to have anything to do with Xiangqi, which was played on a 9 by 9 square board. [While the chessboard of the West is 8 by 8 squares, Xiangqi pieces were placed on the intersections of the squares and thus the board playing surface was reduced to the equivalent of an 8 by 8 board.]  My guess if that this is probably a board on which "Go" was played, but appears to be less than one-half of the board, assuming it was a square board.  It is unclear from the description quoted above whether the rest of the board is missing or if it is still underneath what appears to be layers of mineral deposits that have yet to be chipped away???

    The tomb is that of the Marquis of Haihun, who briefly sat as Emperor of the Western Han Dynasty in China (206 BCE - 24 CE) before being deposed.  This is what the article said about him:

    It is thought the main tomb at the site in Jiangxi, an eastern Chinese province where archaeologists were digging at Christmas, belongs to Liu He, who was the grandson of Emperor Wu.

    Liu was given the title Haihunhou, or Marquis of Haihun after he was dethroned after 27 days as emperor.  It is believed he was deposed because he lacked both talent and morals.

    Evidently he wasn't killed or forced to commit suicide immediately -- which I find extremely unusual.  Why wasn't he killed?  That was the usual modus operandi for the Chinese (of course, not only for them, when disposing of some inconvenient heir to a throne) back in the day.  In any event, he was some years after his "impeachment" in 74 BCE given the title of Marquis of Haihun and given a marvelous royal burial when he died, in 59 BCE.

    I find reading about Chinese successions to emperor, etc. confusing at best, but Wikipedia tries to put it into plain English here.

    2015 Montreal Open Chess Championship - Final Results for the Chess Femmes


    I am very late publishing the final report on the number of female players who registered for the 2015 Montreal Championnat and the female prize winners.

    This event took place in September, 2015.  It was a tournament that Mr. Don liked very much, particularly the playing venue, and he got to know some of the players and had a great deal of respect for them.

    This year Goddesschess provided close to $2,000 cash sponsorship for top level female players to cover travel and lodging costs plus a stipend, as well as providing $650 in class prizes for female players.   In addition, the entry fees of ALL female players were refunded to them at the conclusion of the Championnat.

    Of the 200 registered players, 16 were chess femmes -- 8%. Not too bad but publicity was lacking and I expected a higher percentage of female players.  The turn-out of chess femmes was disappointing.

    I was not provided with the ELOs of the female players, and since this post has been delayed for several months because I intended to - but never did find the time to - check for ELOs, I decided to just publish it.  Please forgive the wonky typefaces -- I copied everything below from an email and our fonts were incompatible.  I did the best I could to clean things up, but I'm no techy!

    I was not provided with final standings of how the ladies did overall in the competition.  Since Goddesschess provided cash sponsorship for the event I would have expected a more complete report from the hosts, rather than having to dig around in Canadian records for such information myself.  As you can see, I declined to waste my valuable time doing that.  Considering the amount of money that Goddesschess committed to this event, based upon previous cooperation and excellent communications and cooperation, which was totally lacking this time, I (for one) am not very happy.

    So, below follows the information the hosts of the Championnat provided me with after the end of the tournament:

    List of Female Registrants:

    KHOUDGARIAN  Natalia    MF              LI  Yilin                                               OUELLET  Maïli-Jade    CMF                XU  Ruoying CUI  Cynthia                                                  DEMCHENKO  Svitlana                       KANESHALINGAM   Mathanhe            PRETELL DIAZ  Carol                         TSYPIN  AllisonUTEPOVA  AlikaKULESHOVA  Julia    WCMSTOYANOVA  StelaWANG  IsabelleMICHEL  AndiePOULIN  RoxaneXU  Yihan

    Section Prizes:

    Khoudgarian Natalia      A 200 $Ouellet Maili-Jade       A 200 $Demchenko Svitlana       B 125 $Kuleshova Iulia          C  75 $Michel Andie             D  50 $                 Total     650 $

    Board Games Studies Journals Online

    Hola, darlings!

    It has been awhile since I looked up what was going on with Board Games Studies, those dudes (and a few femmes) primarily out of the Netherlands, who do such excellent work in publishing the latest in articles on research into ancient (and not quite so ancient) board games.

    So I am pleased to report that today when I checked in again, I found a brand new website and Volumes 8 (2014) and 9 (2015) of Board Games Studies are now available online for FREE!  BOARD GAMES STUDIES JOURNAL ONLINE.

    According to DIGRA (Digital Games Research Association), where I found the news, plans are afoot to also publish online versions of Volumes 1 through 7, running from 1998 through 2003.  Sadly, no compilations were made between 2004 and 2013, but that is not to say that excellent articles may not be out there online -- you just will have to hunt them down.

    I haven't read this one - yet - but I sure will, because how could I possibly resist an article about the Birth of the Chess Queen, by Arie van der Stoep?

    That title reminded me of Marilyn Yalom's EXCELLENT history of the development of the queen in chess, Birth of the Chess Queen: A History.  It is on my list of re-reads to do.  Like an excellent movie whenever you watch it, you pick up something new every time you read a favorite book -- and Yalom's is one of my favorite chess histories.

    You can learn more about Yalom here, and the many books she has written over the years.
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