Archives for the day of: September 10, 2016

FLATearth-Paul_Kidby_Discworld  Copyright held by Artist Paul Kidby



C.S. Lewis: On a Flat Earth Theory

This comes in addition to my recent post on “Myths” associated with the Middle Ages. An era of ignorance and superstition imposed upon Europe by the influence of Christianity.


The commonly held myth is that Medieval Christendom believed in a flat earth. The origin of these myths can be traced back to intentional slants against Christianity. It was the effort of ‘Enlightened” men to make a break with the past. To discredit useful information intentionally in order to over turn the foundations of the Medieval world and create new foundations for the coming modern age.

Along with intentional historical error are many misconceptions about the Medieval period. It takes the work of experts really to determine that the literature of the ancient world, though it is filled with seemingly barbaric beliefs, they are anything but barbaric. C. S. Lewis had a lot to say about this in his lectures on Medieval Literature. Thankfully this work has been preserved in literary form as well.

“Lewis, perhaps the least familiar to most of his admirers and critics: the distinguished Oxford don and literary critic who packed lecture theatres with his unscripted reflections on English literature, and who went on to become the first occupant of the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of Cambridge.”
Excerpt From: Alister McGrath. “C. S. Lewis; A Life.”

Lewis, therefore, became a foremost scholar, speaking, and writing on the interpretation of literature of the middle ages; its romance, history, poetry, theology, and its science.

On the point of a flat earth. Were Medieval people ignorant as to the spherical nature of the earth?

“Physically considered, the Earth is a globe; all the authors of the high Middle Ages are agreed on this. In the earlier ‘Dark’ Ages, as indeed in the nineteenth century,we can find Flat-earthers [as well as 21st century for that matter]…

The implications of a spherical Earth were fully grasped. What we call gravitation-for the medievals ‘ kindly enclyning ‘-was a matter of common knowledge. Vincent of Beauvais expounds it by asking what would happen if there were a hole bored through the globe of Earth so that there was a free passage from the one sky to the other, and someone dropped a stone down it. He answers that it would come to rest at the centre.Tempera­ture and momentum, I understand, would lead to a different result in fact, but Vincent is clearly right in principle. Mandeville in his Voiage and Travaile teaches the same truth more ingenuously : ‘ from what part of the earth that men dwell, either above or beneath, it seemeth always to them that dwell that they go more right than any other folk. And right as it seemeth to us that they be under us, right so it seemeth to them that we be under them’ (xx). The most vivid presentation is by Dante, in a passage which shows that intense realising power which in the medieval imagination oddly co-exists with its feebleness covercslewis_sm_6386xxxrv, the two travellers find the shain matters of scale. In jerno, ggy and gigantic Lucifer at the absolute centre of the Earth, embedded up to his waist in ‘ Speculum Naturale, VII, vii. ice. The only way they can continue their journey is by climbing down his sides-there is plenty of hair to hold on by-and squeezing through the hole in the ice and so coming to his feet. But they found that though it is down to his waist, it is up to his feet. As Virgil tells Dante, they have passed the point towards which all heavy objects move (7o-ur). It is the first ‘science-fiction effect’ in literature.

The erroneous notion that the medievals were Flat­ earthers was common enough till recently. It might have two sources. One is that medieval maps, such as the great thirteenth-century mappemounde in Hereford cathe­dral, represent the Earth as a circle, which is what men would do if they believed it to be a disc. But what would men do if, knowing it was a globe and wishing to represent it in two dimensions, they had not yet mastered the late and difficult art of projection? Fortunately we need not answer this question. There is no reason to suppose that the mappemounde represents the whole sur­face of the Earth. The theory of the Four Zones taught that the equatorial region was too hot for life. The other hemisphere of the Earth was to us wholly inaccessible. You could write science-fiction about it, but not geography. There could be no question of including it in a map. The mappemounde depicts the hemisphere we live in.


The second reason for the error might be that we find in medieval literature references to the world’s end. Often these are as vague as similar references in our own time. But they may be more precise, as when, in a geographical passage, Gower says

Fro that into the worldes end
Estward, Asie it is.

But the same explanation might cover both this and the Hereford map. The ‘world’ of man, the only world that can ever concern us, may end where our hemisphere ends.”

* Excerpt from C.S. Lewis, Discarded Images: An introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature

In conclusion.

The Myth of middle age Christian imposition of ignorance concerning a flat earth has been compounded intentionally, and unintentionally. The stories are simply not historically accurate. In fact there is a massive contrast in that there is neither any such ignorance at all regarding the relation of the planets, or to earth and its motion.   ~~dru~~


Sea Turtles are in Grave Danger of Extinction 

Sea Turtles (superfamily Chelonioidea), sometimes called marine turtles, are reptiles of the order Testudines. The seven extant species of sea turtles are: the green, loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley, olive ridley,hawksbill, flatback, and leatherback.



Relationship with humans 

Marine sea turtles are caught worldwide, although it is illegal to hunt most species in many countries.  A great deal of intentional marine sea turtle harvests worldwide are for food. Many parts of the world have long considered sea turtles to be fine dining. Ancient Chinese texts dating to the fifth century B.C.E. describe sea turtles as exotic delicacies.  Many coastal communities around the world depend on sea turtles as a source of protein, often harvesting several sea turtles at once and keeping them alive on their backs until needed. Coastal peoples gather sea turtle eggs for consumption.

“Manner in which Natives of the East Coast strike turtle”. Near Cooktown, Australia. From Phillip Parker King‘s Survey. 1818.

To a much lesser extent, specific species of marine sea turtles are targeted not for their flesh, but for their shells. Tortoiseshell, a traditional decorative ornamental material used in Japan and China, comes from the carapace scutes of the hawksbill sea turtle.  Ancient Greeks and ancient Romans processed sea turtle scutes (primarily from the hawksbill) for various articles and ornaments used by their elites, such as combs and brushes.  The skin of the flippers is prized for use as shoes and assorted leather goods.

The Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped the sea and its animals. They often depicted sea turtles in their art.

Leatherback sea turtles enjoy immunity from the sting of the deadly box jellyfish and regularly eat them, helping keep tropical beaches safe for humans.

Beach towns, such as Tortuguero, Costa Rica, have transitioned from a tourism industry that made profits from selling sea turtle meat and shells to an ecotourism-based economy. Tortuguero is considered to be the founding location of sea turtle conservation. In the 1960s the cultural demand for sea turtle meat, shells, and eggs was quickly killing the once abundant sea turtle populations that nested on the beach. The Caribbean Conservation Corporation began working with villagers to promote ecotourism as a permanent substitute to sea turtle hunting. Sea turtle nesting grounds became sustainable. Since the creation of a sea turtle, ecotourism-based economy, Tortugero annually houses thousands of tourists who visit the protected 22-mile beach that hosts sea turtle walks and nesting grounds.

Importance to ecosystems

Sea turtles on a beach in Hawaii
Sea turtles play key roles in two habitat types: oceans and beaches/dunes.

In the oceans, sea turtles, especially green sea turtles, are one of very few creatures (manatees are another) that eat sea grass. Sea grass needs to be constantly cut short to help it grow across the sea floor. Sea turtle grazing helps maintain the health of the sea grass beds. Sea grass beds provide breeding and developmental grounds for numerous marine animals. Without sea grass beds, many marine species humans harvest would be lost, as would the lower levels of the food chain. The reactions could result in many more marine species eventually becoming endangered or extinct.

Sea turtles use beaches and the lower dunes to nest and lay their eggs. Beaches and dunes are a fragile habitat that depend on vegetation to protect against erosion. Eggs, hatched or unhatched, and hatchlings that fail to make it into the ocean are nutrient sources for dune vegetation.  Along a 20-mile stretch of beach on the east coast of Florida sea turtles lay over 150,000 lbs of eggs in the sand.  Dune vegetation is able to grow and become stronger with the nutrients from sea turtle nests. Stronger vegetation and root systems help to hold the sand in the dunes and help protect the beach from erosio

Conservation status and threats

A sea turtle entangled in a net

The IUCN Red List classifies three species of sea turtle as either “Endangered” or “Critically Endangered”. An additional three species are classified as “Vulnerable”.   The flatback is considered as “Data Deficient”, meaning that its conservation status is unclear due to lack of data.  All species of sea turtle are listed in  the CITES Appendix I, restricting international trade of sea turtles and sea turtle products.

Additionally, all populations of sea turtles that occur in United States waters are listed as threatened or endangered by the US Endangered Species Act (ESA). The US listing status of the loggerhead is under review as of 2012.



How you can help

Add your name to help save tens of thousands of sea turtles >>

If you haven’t seen the news, sea turtles threatened with extinction are nesting on beaches in the southeastern United States right now, and they face serious threats.

Just this month, a nesting green sea turtle had to be euthanized after being run over by a truck, and separately a SnapChat video showing a woman illegally preventing sea turtle hatchlings from making their way to the ocean sparked outrage.

The threats don’t stop once hatchlings reach the water. Each year, tens of thousands of sea turtles are killed by shrimp trawling nets in the U.S. southeastern waters.

BY simply adding your name you can help save them – Add your name to tell President Obama to save thousands of sea turtles each year >>

We have a no-brainer solution to save sea turtles: Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) installed in shrimp trawl nets can save 97 percent of sea turtles caught, while also benefiting the U.S. shrimp fishery and protecting fish stocks for the future. And research suggests new and improved TEDs could be even more effective!

Only certain shrimp trawls in the southeast shrimp trawl fishery are required to use TEDs, and thousands of threatened and endangered sea turtles continue to die. You can help change that, right now.

Sign our petition to tell President Obama to require TED usage in all shrimp trawl nets >>

Signed and curious how you can protect nesting sea turtles? Here are a few simple steps:

  • Maintain a safe distance from marked nesting sites
  • Fill holes dug on the beach
  • Bring back everything you brought to the beach
  • If you see a nesting turtle, stay quiet, don’t shine a bright light or use flash with cameras.

Thanks for taking the time to help save sea turtles from the threat of extinction. You can make a difference.

Alex GrayFor the oceans,
Alex Gray
Digital Campaign Manager







Maybe I’ll just become a progressive republican and vote for Alice Cooper, progressive because he isn’t running this time ’round and Republican….well why not; I truly doubt he is a Democrat. ~~dru~~

In Saner Thought

Last week the candidates met for a forum for military and veterans to ask them national security questions…..the plan was that this would educate the voting public on the stands that our candidates hold.

First, the Forum while an excellent idea it was a dismal bust…the moderator was a bit timid in calling the candidates out when they gave some pretty BS answers.  I can understand why….the MSM is way to invested in corporate America to be a neutral arbiter…..

One of my favorite answers came from the Dems “golden child”…..Hillary Clinton….when she was asked about Libya…..

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton defended the 2011 invasion of Libya on Wednesday night by arguing that if the United States hadn’t intervened, there would be a civil war in the country today.

There is a civil war in Libya today.

“With respect to Libya, again, there’s no difference between my opponent and…

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Mind ~ Body ~ at Rest

Life’s Journey is Now Over

Spirit is at Peace








I have a fascination with geisha, not because I ever wanted to be one or had any hankering for the life style but because they were and still are depicted as such beautiful creatures; I just want to enjoy the astounding gracefulness and beauty as depicted in Japanese Art.  Therefore I have several pieces in what I call my “geisha collection”.

I have a wonderful framed exhibition poster of  Kotondo Torii “Morning Hair” from the 1982 exhibition at the Riccar Art Museum GEISHAkotondoMORNINGHAIR in Toyko.

I have four figural  wall pockets of geisha; one of which depicts a geisha with a child just like my wood block above.  I cherish both of these because a geisha had to retire if she got married and if she had a child; a girl was sent away as soon as possible to train as a geisha and a boy child was kept mostly isolated from society if he was kept by his mother but more likely he was given away, adopted, sold, or even abandoned.  So representations of geisha with a child are rare and I have found two.

I am however trying to sell my print because I can’t afford to frame it and it has been taped to my geisha “wall” for years in a plastic bag.  So if you are interested, my auction link is:

If this draws no more attention that my auction for the water color of the Buddhist Monks are be just as happy to put it back on the wall encased in plastic but I thought I’d give it a one time chance at auction.

I also have one Japanese snuff bottle with a geisha painted on it, several more wall pockets that have geisha painted on them, a vintage painted ivory hair comb and box, and finally a Plasticine geisha being pulled in a rickshaw; so I will hardly miss this woodblock if it does sell.

Japanese culture is very distinctive, from the prestige of the samurai to the art of Kabuki theatre; the traditions of Japan are numerous and have developed throughout the various eras.  One aspect of the Japanese culture that is unique is the geisha. The traditions of the geisha are beautiful and create an environment for Japanese women that empowered them during the time when the women of the rest of the world were unable to have power.  This paper discusses the history of the geisha from its beginning form and what has affected the geisha to change during the years up to its decline.

  The word geisha literally means performance person.  The geisha are the entertainment people of Japan that date back to the 1600s during the Edo Period.  The Japanese view geisha as professional entertainers.  However, the majority of the world thinks of a geisha as a white-faced lady with her hair in a bun and a kimono on.  The geisha are much more than women with too much make-up on.  To become a geisha, it takes years of training that begins when a young teenager is slowly transformed into an entertainer of high society.

Source: Daniel J Meissner
Associate Professor
Asian Studies
History Department
Marquette University


Geisha (芸者?) (/ˈɡeɪʃə/; Japanese: [ɡeːɕa]), geiko (芸子?), or geigi (芸妓?) are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various arts such as classical music, dance, games and conversation, mainly to entertain male customers.  Source:  Wikipedia

As I’ve said geisha are fascinating and wonderful subjects for antique and contemporary art. 

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