Saturday, March 16, 2013

India: Rape Capital of the World?

Hola, darlings.  Well, you may have already read about another horrific gang rape that occurred in India, this time, of a married tourist.

Swiss tourist gang-raped in central India

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian media are reporting that a Swiss tourist was gang-raped in the central state of Madhya Pradesh and that 13 men are being questioned.
Local police superintendent C. S. Solanki told the Press Trust of India that the woman and her husband had camped out for the night in a forest after bicycling from the temple town of Orchha on Friday when they were attacked by a group of eight men.

He said the couple were beaten and had their belongings stolen, and that the woman was gang-raped.
Solanki said police were questioning 13 men in connection with the attack.

India has seen outrage and protests against rape and attacks on women since the fatal gang-rape of a young woman in a moving bus in New Delhi in December.


I was filled with horror reading this article this evening, and then I realized just what the photograph that accompanied the article was depicting!  At first glance I did not read the caption, I assumed it was one of the perpetrators of this horrible repugnant crime being led to a justice center for questioning.  But then, I read the caption and it made me sick to my stomach, literally.  I ran to the bathroom gagging and puked.  Yeah.  This sick sick sick SICK fucking society actually paraded the victim of a horrific crime in front of HORDES of males -- you can see them all around her.  And it sure looks to me like those Indian "police women" are pulling an unwilling victim to a "medical examination."  Just what will THAT entail, I wonder?  More males -- this time disguised as DOCTORS? 

Associated Press - A Swiss woman, center, who, according to police, was gang-raped by a group of eight men
 while touring by bicycle with her husband, is escorted by policewomen for a medical examination at a hospital in
Gwalior, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Saturday, March 16, 2013. Thirteen men were detained
and questioned in connection with the attack, which occurred Friday night as the couple camped out in a forest
 after bicycling from the temple town of Orchha, local police officer R.K. Gurjar said. The men beat the couple
 and gang-raped the woman, he said. They also stole the couple's mobile phone, a laptop computer and
10,000 rupees ($185), Gurjar said. (AP Photo)

WTF is going on in this country?  How could they possibly be so clueless as to parade the victim, tugging her all the way, through a crowd of paparazzi and men?  Are the fucking CRAZY?  Don't they have vehicles in India that could whisk a victim to a hospital for the "examination?"  Why parade her through the fucking streets like this?  SICK SICK SICK SICK, PERVERTED SOCIETY.  I thought the USA (where I live) was bad, evil!  But let me tell you, darlings, I was wrong.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Was Jesus a Shape Shifter?

I wouldn't be surprised that Jesus was a shape-shifter, but I don't think Rome would be very happy to acknowledge such tales, as it would place Jesus Christ in a long line of predecessor and contemporaneous priestesses, priests and shamans (female and male) who could, reputedly, do the same.  What would make Jesus special then, hmmm, if pagan practitioners could do the same thing...  And yet canonical biblical accounts recount that, especially after his resurrection from the dead, that many of Jesus' closest followers, including Mary Magdalene, did not recognize him as Jesus until he spoke!  What's up with that?


1,200-year-old Egyptian text describes a shape-shifting Jesus
March 12, 2013

By Owen JarusLiveScience
A newly deciphered Egyptian text, dating back almost 1,200 years, tells part of the crucifixion story of Jesus with apocryphal plot twists, some of which have never been seen before.

Written in the Coptic language, the ancient text tells of Pontius Pilate, the judge who authorized Jesus' crucifixion, having dinner with Jesus before his crucifixion and offering to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus. It also explains why Judas used a kiss, specifically, to betray Jesus — because Jesus had the ability to change shape, according to the text — and it puts the day of the arrest of Jesus on Tuesday evening rather than Thursday evening, something that contravenes the Easter timeline.

The discovery of the text doesn't mean these events happened, but rather that some people living at the time appear to have believed in them, said Roelof van den Broek of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, who published the translation in the book "Pseudo-Cyril of Jerusalem on the Life and the Passion of Christ" (Brill, 2013).

Copies of the text are found in two manuscripts, one in the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City and the other at the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. Most of the translation comes from the New York text, because the relevant text in the Pennsylvania manuscript is mostly illegible.

PontiusPilate has dinner with JesusWhile apocryphal stories about Pilate are known from ancient times, van den Broek wrote in an email to LiveScience that he has never seen this one before, with Pilate offering to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus.

"Without further ado, Pilate prepared a table and he ate with Jesus on the fifth day of the week. And Jesus blessed Pilate and his whole house," reads part of the text in translation. Pilate later tells Jesus, "well then, behold, the night has come, rise and withdraw, and when the morning comes and they accuse me because of you, I shall give them the only son I have so that they can kill him in your place."

In the text, Jesus comforts him, saying, "Oh Pilate, you have been deemed worthy of a great grace because you have shown a good disposition to me." Jesus also showed Pilate that he can escape if he chose to. "Pilate, then, looked at Jesus and, behold, he became incorporeal: He did not see him for a long time ..." the text read.

Pilate and his wife both have visions that night that show an eagle (representing Jesus) being killed.
In the Coptic and Ethiopian churches, Pilate is regarded as a saint, which explains the sympathetic portrayal in the text, van den Broek writes.

The reason for Judas using a kissIn the canonical Bible ]not put together by "God" but by men], the apostle Judas betrays Jesus in exchange for money by using a kiss to identify him leading to Jesus' arrest. This apocryphal tale explains that the reason Judas used a kiss, specifically, is because Jesus had the ability to change shape.

"Then the Jews said to Judas: How shall we arrest him (Jesus), for he does not have a single shape but his appearance changes. Sometimes he is ruddy, sometimes he is white, sometimes he is red, sometimes he is wheat coloured, sometimes he is pallid like ascetics, sometimes he is a youth, sometimes an old man ..." This leads Judas to suggest using a kiss as a means to identify him. If Judas had given the arresters a description of Jesus he could have changed shape. By kissing Jesus, Judas tells the people exactly who he is.

This understanding of Judas' kiss goes way back. "This explanation of Judas' kiss is first found in Origen (a theologian who lived A.D. 185-254)," van den Broek writes. In his work "Contra Celsum," the ancient writer Origen stated that "to those who saw him (Jesus) he did not appear alike to all." [This mirrors one of the apostle's accounts of Jesus rising from the tomb, when Mary Magdalene, having gone to the tomb to annoint Jesus's body with herbs, found the tomb empty and, hysterical, ran from the tomb in tears, saw a "stranger" whom she did not recognize, and then he said Mary, do you not recognize me?  And it was only then that she did recognize him - as Jesus Christ.]

St. Cyril impersonationThe text is written in the name of St. Cyril of Jerusalem who lived during the fourth century. In the story Cyril tells the Easter story as part of a homily (a type of sermon). A number of texts in ancient times claim to be homilies by St. Cyril, and they were probably not given by the saint in real life, van den Broek explained in his book.

Near the beginning of the text, Cyril, or the person writing in his name, claims that a book has been found in Jerusalem showing the writings of the apostles on the life and crucifixion of Jesus. "Listen to me, oh my honored children, and let me tell you something of what we found written in the house of Mary ..." reads part of the text.

Again, it's unlikely that such a book was found in real life. Van den Broek said that a claim like this would have been used by the writer "to enhance the credibility of the peculiar views and uncanonical facts he is about to present by ascribing them to an apostolic source," adding that examples of this plot device can be found "frequently" in Coptic literature. [Well, I'm not so ready to dismiss that this book did not once exist, but was destroyed, and all memory but for a few whisps disappeared.]

Arrest on Tuesday
Van den Broek says that he is surprised that the writer of the text moved the date of Jesus' Last Supper, with the apostles, and arrest to Tuesday. In fact, in this text, Jesus' actual Last Supper appears to be with Pontius Pilate. In between his arrest and supper with Pilate, he is brought before Caiaphas and Herod. [So what? Pilate was not one of the TWELVE apostles, so what he did with Pilate doesn't count in the eyes of Roman Catholic tradition Christians.  Ask yourself why Coptic and Eastern tradition Christians believe differently. And whose tradition is closest to the truth, if indeed, there is any truth to be found in the canonical biblical narrative?]

In the canonical texts, the last supper and arrest of Jesus happens on Thursday evening, and present-day Christians mark this event with Maundy Thursday services. It "remains remarkable that Pseudo-Cyril relates the story of Jesus' arrest on Tuesday evening as if the canonical story about his arrest on Thursday evening (which was commemorated each year in the services of Holy Week) did not exist!" van den Broek wrote in the email.

A gift to a monastery ... and then to New YorkAbout 1,200 years ago the New York text was in the library of the Monastery of St. Michael in the Egyptian desert near present-day al-Hamuli in the western part of the Faiyum. The text says, in translation, that it was a gift from "archpriest Father Paul," who, "has provided for this book by his own labors."
The monastery appears to have ceased operations around the early 10th century, and the text was rediscovered in the spring of 1910. In December 1911, it was purchased, along with other texts, by American financier J.P. Morgan. His collections would later be given to the public and are part of the present-day Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. The manuscript is currently displayed as part of the museum's exhibition "Treasures from the Vault" running through May 5.

Who believed it? Van den Broek writes in the email that "in Egypt, the Bible had already become canonized in the fourth/fifthcentury, but apocryphal stories and books remained popular among the Egyptian Christians, especially among monks."

Whereas the people of the monastery would have believed the newly translated text, "in particular the more simple monks," he's not convinced that the writer of the text believed everything he was writing down, van den Broek said.

"I find it difficult to believe that he really did, but some details, for instance the meal with Jesus, he may have believed to have really happened," van den Broek writes. "The people of that time, even if they were well-educated, did not have a critical historical attitude. Miracles were quite possible, and why should an old story not be true?"

FIDE World Women's Team Chess Championship 2013

Hola darlings!  Here are the final standings. 


Team USA, well, what can I say? Are there any bright new rising US chess femmes on the horizon who can compete with the Chinese, Russians and Ukranians?  Not any that want to play chess as adults, unfortunately.  They're going off to be doctors, researchers, lawyers, future CEOs, etc, etc.  That's where the SURE money is, and putting up with misogyny and MCPs (an old term from the 1970's, darlings, for those of you who weren't around back then, it's short for Male Chauvenist Pigs) and crushing the occasional male neck along the way is par for the course for the course in reaching BIG MONEY.  It's not available for women who play chess for a living and, we (females), being rational creatures generally, go into professions where we know we'll be able to support ourselves.  Playing chess ain't it, except for a very few chess femmes.

I am very happy, though, that someone other than China finished in first place, YAY! 

Sorry to be late with them.

Ancient Chinese Coin Found on Manda Island, Kenya

To quote Mr. Spock: Fascinating.  Now, I'm not sure exactly what this may mean; it could be evidence of ancient trade, but it doesn't necessarily mean that Admiral Zheng He or any of his vast armada actually landed on and/or traded with the natives of Manda when he was on his journey in the 1400s that eventually led to his circumnavigating the world  (well before any European did it); it could mean that someone with a penchant for old coins visited Manda at some time a hundred or more years after Zheng He came and went, and that someone might not necessarily have been Chinese.  Or perhaps the coin was a family piece, handed down on a sea-faring family from generation to generation, and some WWI or post-WWII visitor lost it (quel horreur!)  But when viewed as a whole along with other evidence of trade and contact between Africa and China, the discovery of this 600-some year old coin sure is interesting.

Public release date: 13-Mar-2013
Contact: Nancy O'Shea
Field Museum

Ancient Chinese coin found on Kenyan island by Field Museum expedition

A joint expedition of scientists led by Chapurukha M. Kusimba of The Field Museum and Sloan R. Williams of the University of Illinois at Chicago has unearthed a 600-year-old Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda that shows trade existed between China and east Africa decades before European explorers set sail and changed the map of the world.

The coin, a small disk of copper and silver with a square hole in the center so it could be worn on a belt, is called "Yongle Tongbao" and was issued by Emperor Yongle who reigned from 1403-1425AD during the Ming Dynasty. The emperor's name is written on the coin, making it easy to date. Emperor Yongle, who started construction of China's Forbidden City, was interested in political and trade missions to the lands that ring the Indian Ocean and sent Admiral Zheng He, also known as Cheng Ho, to explore those shores.

"Zheng He was, in many ways, the Christopher Columbus of China," said Dr. Kusimba, curator of African Anthropology at The Field Museum. "It's wonderful to have a coin that may ultimately prove he came to Kenya," he added.

Dr. Kusimba continued, "This finding is significant. We know Africa has always been connected to the rest of the world, but this coin opens a discussion about the relationship between China and Indian Ocean nations."

That relationship stopped soon after Emperor Yongle's death when later Chinese rulers banned foreign expeditions, allowing European explorers to dominate the Age of Discovery and expand their countries' empires.

The island of Manda, off the northern coast of Kenya, was home to an advanced civilization from about 200AD to 1430AD, when it was abandoned and never inhabited again. Trade played an important role in the development of Manda, and this coin may show trade's importance on the island dating back to much earlier than previously thought.

 "We hope this and future expeditions to Manda will play a crucial role in showing how market-based exchange and urban-centered political economies arise and how they can be studied through biological, linguistic, and historical methodologies," Dr. Kusimba said.

Other researchers who participated in the expedition to Manda include Dr. Janet Monge from the University of Pennsylvania, Mohammed Mchulla, staff scientist at Fort Jesus National Museums of Kenya and Dr. Amelia Hubbard from Wright State University. Also involved was Professor Tiequan Zhu of Sun Yat-Sen University, who identified the coin. The researchers also found human remains and other artifacts that predate the coin.

Photos available upon request.


I noted the description of the coin (photo from article at -- it had the square opening in the center, which I believe in ancient Chinese iconography represented the four "corners" of the square plane of the earth in its earliest representations, and also the four directions and the four winds, all contained within the circle of the coin, which represented the great expanse of the heavens encircling the Earth (whether the Earth was perceived as a flat plane or a sphere, or something in-between). 

So, did Zheng He imagine that he was traveling in a large circle around the outer-most edges of the plane of the Earth when he embarked on his travels, and if he veered too far off course his ship and those of his fleet would fall off the Earth?  That seems to fly in the face of China's very early discovery of the properties of magnetism and its early use by their navigators to point ships in a certain direction.  Indeed, herstory shows us that the Chinese, like the ancient Egyptians (pre-Muslim invasion), were not ones to throw out old knowledge and "dictum" when new knowledge and "dictum" came along.  They just kept using the same symbols and incorporated the old into new concepts with a gloss of new intepretation, blending all that came before and all that was known now into a (more or less) harmonious whole.  These were people who did not suffer from cognitive dissonance :) 

One final note, sometimes, it is very difficult to tell ancient Chinese gaming pieces from ancient Chinese coins, and I believe there have been instances where the two have been mistaken for each other. 

Some more coverage (lots of repeat articles out there!) on the discovery of this coin:

Science Daily, March 13, 2013
Smithsonian, March 15, 2013
The Chicago Tribune, March 14, 2013

Way to go, Gavin Menzies :)  It's only a matter of time, methinks, before his theory is accepted seriously by a majority of historians and archaeologists. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

2013 FIDE Women's World Team Chess Championship

Hola darlings!

It's raining here today, but since we have a foot or more of snow on the ground, and the earth is still frozen, we are having flooding. Sigh.  Another typical March in southeastern Wisconsin.  My house is higher up, and my entire city block of homes is built on the crest of a hill that peaks here, so we are safe from flooding.  OHMYGODDESS!  It is raining very hard outside right now.

The FIDE Women's World Team Chess Championship is being held in Astana, Kazakhstan, between March 2 - 13, 2013. Here are the standings after Round 7:


Team Composition.

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