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Friday, 26 September 2014

Nero Wore Glasses

... Pliny mentions that Nero, who was myopic, used glasses when he watched the fights of the gladiators.
Anonymous, "Antiquity of the Lens," Scientific American, vol. 69, no. 7 (August 12, 1893), p. 104.

Archimedes used a Telescope

Plutarch speaks of instruments used by Archimedes "to manifest to the eye the largeness of the sun."
Anonymous, "Antiquity of the Lens," Scientific American, vol. 69, no. 7 (August 12, 1893), p. 104.

An Assyrian Lens

A glass case in the Assyrian section of the British Museum contains a piece of rock crystal formed into the shape of a plano-convex lens 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 9/10 inch thick. This was discovered in the ruin called Nimroud. It gives a focus of 4 1/2 inches. According to Sir David Brewster, this lens has been designed for magnifying purposes. The date is about 700 B. C.
Anonymous, "Antiquity of the Lens," Scientific American, vol. 69, no. 7 (August 12, 1893), p. 104.

Confucius and Lenses in Ancient China

The use of lenses has also been traced to the Chinese moralist Confucius, 748 B. C.
Anonymous, "Antiquity of the Lens," Scientific American, vol. 69, no. 7 (August 12, 1893), p. 104.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Lens and Telescope in Ancient China

With regard to the antiquity of the lens the author [Edouard Fourdrignier in an article in Photo Club de Paris] says: "If we are to believe C. P. Gaubil, quoted by M. De Paravey in his 'Chronologie Chinois,' the Emperor Chan, who reigned 2283 B. C., used enlarging lenses in the form of a telescope in order to be able to get a better view of the planets."
Anonymous, "Antiquity of the Lens," Scientific American, vol. 69, no. 7 (August 12, 1893), p. 104.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Possible Meaning of the Character for Di/Ti of Shang Di

Many explanations, of great variety, have been given for the origin of the word Ti. We shall not try to go into all of them here. But there is one of these theories which, whether it be correct or not, is at least the most plausible one that offers. It was first propounded by Mr. James M. Menzies, a Canadian scholar who is one of the very few foreigners who have made real contributions to the study of the oracle bones.
According to this theory Ti was originally the name of a sacrifice. This statement is based on the fact that in Shang dynasty Chinese the word Ti is almost (sometimes quite) identical with another word, pronounced liao. This word liao is a pictograph of a bundle of wood, burning, ready to have an animal placed on it as a burnt offering; it means ‘to present a burnt offering.’ Since these words are so nearly alike in form, we have on the oracle bones such sentences as ‘liao (present as a burnt offering) five bulls to Ti,’ with liao and Ti written identically. It is thought, then, that Ti was at first merely the name of a way of sacrificing to the ancestors or other deities, but that gradually men confused the sacrifice itself with the deity sacrificed to, and came to think of it as a separate deity.
Creel, Herrlee Glessner. The Birth of China: A Survey of the Formative Period of Chinese Civilization. London: Jonathan Cape, Ltd., 1936, p. 182.

Lepcha Tradition of the Tower of Babel

There is also a tradition of a tower of Babel built at Dharmdin; it had nearly reached the moon, when word was sent down to send up a hook to throw over the horn of the moon: this command was misunderstood, and the people below cut away the foundations, so the building fell and killed numbers: a mound of stones and potsherds is shown to this day, and the tribe concerned (now extinct) were called "Na-ong" or "the blind fools."
Bengal (India) Secretariat, eds., The Gazetteer of Sikhim, intro. Herbert Hope Risley, Calcutta: Printed at the Bengal secretariat press, 1894, p. 42.

Lepcha Tradition of the Flood (2)

Tendong, "the up-raised horn," is the mountain which the Lepchas assert arose when all the country was under water, and supported a boat containing a few persons, all other people being drowned. The hill rose up like a horn (hence its name) and then subsided to its present form.
Bengal (India) Secretariat, eds., The Gazetteer of Sikhim, intro. Herbert Hope Risley, Calcutta: Printed at the Bengal secretariat press, 1894, p. 42.

Lepcha Tradition of the Flood

The Lepchas possess a tradition of the flood, during which a couple escaped to the top of a mountain (Tendong) near Dorjiling.
Hooker, Joseph Dalton, Himalayan Journals; or, Notes of a Naturalist in Bengal, the Sikkim and Nepal Himalayas, the Khasia Mountains, &c., 2 vols., London: John Murray, 1854, vol. 1, p. 127.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Flying Saucers?

The other people hardly heard them. Under the leadership of the Bow Clan they began to use their creative power in another evil and destructive way. Perhaps this was caused by that wicked woman. But some of them made a patuwvota [shield made of hide] and with their creative power made it fly through the air. On this many of the people flew to a big city, attacked it, and returned so fast no one knew where they came from. Soon the people of many cities and countries were making patuwvotas and flying on them to attack one another. So corruption and war came to the Third World as it had to the others.
Waters, Frank, Book of the Hopi, New York: the Viking Press, 1971, pp. 17-18.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Chales Finney on 'Innocent' Amusements amusement can be innocent that involves the squandering of precious time, that might be better employed to the glory of God and the good of man. Life is short. Time is precious. We have but one life to live. Much is to be done. The world is in darkness. A world of sinners are to be enlightened, and, if possible, saved.
Finney, Charles G., "Innocent Amusements," The Independant, New York, November 7, 1872, <>.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Spiritualism... Desire is the Highest Law!

And to complete his work, he [Satan] declares, through the spirits [through Spiritualism] that “true knowledge places man above all law;” that “whatever is, is right;” that “God doth not condemn;” and that “all sins which are committed are innocent.” When the people are thus led to believe that desire is the highest law, that liberty is license, and that man is accountable only to himself, who can wonder that corruption and depravity teem on every hand?
White, Ellen G., The Great Controversy, p.  555.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

LSD Opened Up George Harrison's Mind to Something

"When I was younger, with the aftereffects of the LSD that opened something up inside me in 1966, a flood of other thoughts came into my head, which led me to the yogis."
George Harrison quoted in Rolling Stone, no. 511 (October 22, 1987), p. 44.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

David Bowie on Rock 'n' Roll

Rock has always been the devil’s music. You can’t convince me that it isn’t.
I honestly believe everything that I’ve said. I believe that rock & roll is dangerous. It could well bring about a very evil feeling in the West. [...] And that’s where I see it [Rock 'n' Roll] heading, bringing about the dark era. [...] I feel that we’re only heralding something even darker than ourselves. [...]
David Bowie quoted in Rolling Stone, no. 206 (February 12, 1976), p. 83.

Keith Richards on Inspiration in Song Writing

"Songs -- yeah. People think you're a songwriter, they think you wrote it, it's all yours, you are totally responsible for it. Really, you are just a medium, you just develop a facility for recognizing and picking up things and you just have to be ready to be there -- like being at a seance; they just plop out of the air. Whole songs just come to you, you don't write it. Songs come to me en masse. I didn't do anything except to happen to have been awake when it arrived."
Keith Richards of the ROLLING STONES quoted in Rolling Stone, no. 238 (May 5, 1977), p. 55.

Michael Jackson Dreamed Thriller into Existence

Just how it [Thriller] all came about is still a mystery to him – as is the creative process itself.
"I wake up from dreams and go, 'Wow, put this down on paper,'" he says. "The whole thing is strange. You hear the words, everything is right there in front of your face. And you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry, I just didn't write this. It's there already.' That's why I hate to take credit for the songs I've written. I feel that somewhere, someplace, it's been done and I'm just a courier bringing it into the world. I really believe that. I love what I do. I'm happy at what I do. It's escapism."
Michael Jackson quoted in Rolling Stone, no. 389 (February 17, 1983), p. 58.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Chuck Berry: "...when you sin, go ahead and sin."

But if you like all music, then variety adds to the performance. We'd do "Day-O" ["Banana Boat Song"] by Harry Belafonte, "Jamaica Farewell," then jump back with some Muddy, then some sweet Nat. No spirituals, though. I always say, when you sin, go ahead and sin. When you ask forgiveness [laughs], you know-keep it separate!
Doerschuk, Robert L., ed., Playing from the Heart: Great Musicians Talk About Their Craft, San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2002, p. 7.

Friday, 3 January 2014

The Douay-Reims Translators—the Jesuits and the Blood of Saints

Drunken of the bloud.] [...] The Protestants folishly expound it of Rome, for that there they put Heretikes to death, and allovv of their punishment in other countries: but their bloud is not called the bloud saints, no more then the bloud of theeues, mankillers, and other malefactors: for the sheding of vvhich by order of iustice, no Commonvvealth shal ansvver.
Comments on the Apocalypse 17:6, The Holy Bible, faithfully translated into English out of the authentical Latin, diligently conferred with the Hebrew, Greek, & other editions in divers languages (1610 A.D. Douay Old Testament, 1582 A.D. Rheims New Testament), printed by Iohn Cousturier, 1635, NT, p. 731.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The French Revolution and the Bible

[Translation: The [legislative] council took up their agenda, motivated by this that Reason and Truth would no longer permit any illusion to impinge upon the sights or imagination of the people. We recall here two citations from our preamble [to our constitution]: the motion against the bell towers and the order for the demolition of the sculptures of [the cathedral of] Notre Dame. The Monitor does not name the author of the motion. The Journal de Paris, 1793 n. CCCXVIII tells us that it was Hébert. This paper says: "Members of the popular Society of the Museum entered the council meeting crying out, Long live [human] reason!. They carried a stick holding the smoking remains of a book and announced that the books of scripture portions, the missals, the schedules of holy activities, and the Old and New Testaments, expiated (paid the penalty) in a large fire in the plaza of the Temple of Reason, for all their foolish insults which they had committed against the human species. — Hébert then told the counsel that in the section of Bonne-Nouvelle [a subdivision of Paris in effect during the Revolution], every decadi [the ten-day week of the Revolution], in the temple of Reason, we will have a course on morals; adding that the parishioners of the area had torn down [or "vandalized"] their bell tower. He proposed that, following this example, all the bell towers of Paris be torn down because they seemed to thwart the principle of equality. The council adopted the principle, and sent their action to the department [area government]."]

Le conseil passa à l'ordre du jour, motivé sur ce que la Raison et la Vérité, ne permettaient plus qu'aucun simulacre frappât les regards ou l'imagination du peuple. Nous rappellerons ici deux citations de notre préambule, la motion contre les clochers, et l'arrêté pour la démolition des sculptures de Notre-Dame. Le Moniteur ne nomme pas l'auteur de la motion. Le Journal de Paris, 1793, n. CCCXVIII, nous apprend que ce fut Hébert. Cette feuille dit: « La société populaire du Muséum entre au conseil en criant: Vive la Raison! et porte au bout d'un bâton les restes d'un livre encore fumant, elle annonce que les bréviaires, les missels, les heures de Sainte-Brigitte, l'ancien et le nouveau Testament, ont expié, dans un grand feu, sur la place du temple de la Raison, toutes les sottises qu'ils ont fait commettre à l'espèce humaine. Hébert instruit ensuite le conseil que, dans la section de Bonne-Nouvelle, on fera, chaque décadi, dans le temple de la Raison, un cours de morale; il ajoute que cette section a fait abaitre son clocher; il propose en conséquence que l'on abatte tous les clochers de Paris, parce qu'ils semblent contrarier les principes de l'égalité. Le counseil adopte le principe, et renvoie cet arrété au département. »
Buchez, Philippe-Joseph-Benjamin and Prosper-Charles Roux, Histoire Parlementaire de la Révolution Francaise, Paris: Paulin, Libraire, 1837, v. 30, pp. 200-201.

Music and Demon-Possession

It may be said in general of possessed persons, that sometimes people who cannot sing, are able when possessed to do so; others who ordinarily cannot write verses, when possessed compose in rhyme with ease.
Nevius, John Livingston, Demon Possession and Allied Themes: being an inductive study of phenomena of our own times, Chicago; New York; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell, 1894, p. 58.

The Council of Trent, the Bible, and Tradition

The Council [of Trent] agreed fully with Ambrosius Pelargus, that under no condition should the Protestants be allowed to triumph by saying that the council had condemned the doctrine of the ancient church. But this practice caused untold difficulty without being able to guarantee certainty. For this business, indeed, ‘well-nigh divine prudence’ was requisite—which the Spanish ambassador acknowledged as belonging to the council on the sixteenth of March, 1562. Indeed, thus far they had not been able to orient themselves to the interchanging, crisscrossing, labyrinthine, twisting passages of an older and newer concept of tradition. But even in this they were to succeed. Finally, at the last opening [see editors’ note] on the eighteenth of January, 1562, all hesitation was set aside: [Gaspar de Fosso] the Archbishop of Reggio made a speech [see No. 1443] in which he openly declared that tradition stood above Scripture. The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the church had changed circumcision into baptism, Sabbath into Sunday, not by the command of Christ, but by its own authority. With this, to be sure, the last illusion was destroyed, and it was declared that tradition does not signify antiquity, but continual inspiration.

[Editors’ note: This "last opening" of the Council of Trent was not the last day, but the opening of the 17th session, the first meeting of the last series of sessions that was opened, after a lapse of time, under a new pope. The council was in session for longer or shorter periods over a series of years.]
Neufeld, Don F. and Julia Neuffer, eds., Seventh-day Adventist Bible Student’s Source Book, Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1962, p. 888, no. 1444.
(Source: Heinrich Julius Holtzmann, Kanon und Tradition ("Canon and Tradition"), Ludwigsburg: Druck und Verlag von Ferd. Riehm, 1859, p. 263. German.)

Holtzmann, Heinrich Julius, Kanon und Tradition, Ludwigsburg: Druck und Verlag von Ferd. Riehm, 1859, p. 263.