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  Ma├»li-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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