December 28th, 2008

Cocktopus

More pulp adventures from the deepest wilds of Friendster


Since a number of people expressed an interest and/or appreciation of my pulp adventures from a couple of posts back, I've dug up two more. I wish there were more, but they seem to have been lost to the mists of time, as the accounts which they were posted on have since been deleted. And mores the pity;  I have fond memories of one of them. But then, perhaps there's a silver lining to this; if I were to do any more of these absurd little things, it means I can re-use the ideas from it guilt-free! 
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In retrospect from my perspective some five years later, there are a couple of elements here which I view as slightly embarassing and which I certainly would't have included today, but at the time, I wasn't precisely aiming at high literature. These were, after all, no more than comments on some friends' profiles. Nevertheless, they do put a smile on my lips even now.
Cocktopus

Nova - The Bible's Buried Secrets


A couple of weeks ago, I watched a fantastic documentary from Nova called "The Bible's Buried Secrets". As people who know me are well aware, this sort of thing is like crack to me. It essentially looks at the very early history of the Israelite people by means of a combination of approaches and creating a synthesis which is very compelling to me. They seek to disentangle the actual history of these people from the various strands of mythology which you find in the bible. And it does treat this book as mythology, and moreover, a sort of Frankensteineian hodge-podge of four DIFFERENT mythological traditions which were spliced, over the course of centuries, into the early books of the Torah (or "Old Testament" as the Christians somewhat condescendingly call it). It doesn't do so in an unfriendly or hostile way at all; it approaches the early history of this people as an engaging historical saga which has been obscured and confused by a series of myths which nevertheless served various useful purposes to the culture of this struggling people. It goes into a number of different corroborating sources for different elements of the story being told, many drawn from archaeological digs performed in the area over the last sixty years or so, mainly by Israeli archaeologists who have a vested interest in discerning the truth of their own early history.

I've shown this film to a number of friends, who have all enjoyed it tremendously, and I suspect many of you will as well. I know I fully plan on buying the DVD when it becomes available for sale in February.

For the time being, the entire thing can be viewed for free by Americans at Nova's page for the film here: http://www.pbs.org/nova/bible

For those outside of the US, there are a number of opportunities. For example, some helpful soul has broken it up into 12 parts and posted them on YouTube, the first of which I post here: 




If that's not to your tastes (as Youtube video quality can be a little on the weak side), there's always the torrent option : http://www.mininova.org/tor/2030190