Monday, July 17, 2006

HBO tortures my soul.

Aughz! I just saw this in the Classics-L list. Apparently, HBO's Rome is done after the second season! That is just cruel! I hope they find a way to extend it. Eheu

In other news, I'm away from my usual snappy DSL connection this week, so the updates will be slower. I'm also not keeping track of all the blogs/lists I usually read, or I'm only skimming them. So I'll probably miss some things. If anyone really wants something posted, as usual, you can comment here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Between Schools Woes

Y'know, you pay and pay and pay your undergrad university their continually rising tuition. You pay five years worth of tuition, plus summer and winter courses. Then, the MOMENT they clear your diploma (actually, I'm still WAITING on one of the degrees!), out you go! Booted from online access to such treasures as JSTOR and the OED.

What is a girl to DO without these precious tools?!

Apparently, if I had graduated LAST year, they would have given me access through the summer. That's all I ask! But no, my FIVE years with them means absolutely NOTHING. Guess who won't be getting alumni dues from me?

Fortunately, I am off to grad school this fall and will hopefully only have to suffer a summer without my precioussss online access to JSTOR, OED, etc.

Bewarned: applying to grad schools is tough, but having JSTOR and the OED YANKED from under you so cruelly and abruptly is even tougher.

Monday, July 10, 2006

HBO's Rome on DVD and Winterson's Weight

So, HBO's Rome is apparently up for pre-ordering on Amazon already. Excellent! It's a little more steeply priced than I'd bargained for, though.

Also, I read Jeanette Winterson's Weight (part of The Myths series) a couple days ago. It's based on Hercules and Atlas, and I must say that I enjoyed it far more than Atwood's Penelopiad. Winterson really does a wonderful job of bringing together the science of modernity and the myths from antiquity. It's rather adult themed, though, so have no illusions of reading this as a bed-time story for your children.

My one complaint would be that it includes what I think is one of the most annoying and degrading plot-twists ever--the rape victim falling for her rapist. Fortunately, it's not a big part of the story. And for the most part, this book is wonderful. I'd definiteley encourage everyone to obtain a copy and read it.

I guess the next in the series is Victor Pelevin's The Helmet of Horror, which I didn't even realize was already out. They should really consider including something in the book that indicates who's publishing next and what the title is! I also hadn't seen Pelevin's at the bookstores either. Hm.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Archaeologist Tired of Unearthing Unspeakable Ancient Evils

Here's an amusing one from The Onion that my friend just showed me. For those of you not in the know, it's spoofy.

Also, since I was on the subject of X-Men the other day, the novelization of the latest movie actually had quite a remarkable number of Classical references. I beamed. It was also a surprisingly good read. So, there ya have it, folks, Classics is not all dead in pop culture! Yay!

Well, I suppose Cyclops' name is proof of that already.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Homer and gender . . . again.

I'm sure some of you've seen this on rogueclassicism: An epic battle on Homer's gender.

This confuses me, because the article ends with, "The issue, he said, lay in whether the same person wrote both poems. 'Most of us now believe the same person did.'"

I hardly know what the latest arguments on Homer are right now, but I thought we were suspecting different authors? At least, that's the last I heard on the topic.

I also hope this guy is going to advance the argument better than Samuel Butler did in his Authoress of the Odyssey. For one, if you're going to argue subject matter as an indicator of gender, you are sorely mistaken, my friend. Personally, I believe it's entirely possible that a person of either gender wrote both works (or a group of mixed genders, even), and it's pretty ludicrous to believe you can prove it one way or another--short of finding some authoritative text that says something about the author(s) of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Even the programs we have for analyzing English lit for the gender of an author is not all that reliable, and this is a completely different language for which we have relatively few samples!

That leaves us with a whole load of speculation that can be no more than just that--speculation.

I really don't understand the fascination with figuring this one out. And by the GODS, I hope we've advanced far enough in gender issues that this book won't read like Samuel "I'm a patronizing ass" Butler. Um, yeah, I suppose I have some strong feelings about that book.

Ohhh, does anybody remember the Xena episode where Gabrielle meets and inspires Homer?? ;-)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Concordia res parvae crescent

You know, I can't believe July slipped in on me so quickly! I not only almost forgot today was July 2nd (the day John Adams thought would be celebrated as the American Independence Day); I also forgot it was the first week of July! And you know what that means?? BUY A FRIEND A BOOK WEEK!!!

This is seriously my favourite holiday ever. And THIS time, there's a contest for lots and lots of bookish prizes!

On a completely different note, the Classics-L list has been posting a couple interesting articles on genealogy:
-Genealogists discover royal roots for all
-Roots of human family tree are shallow

The last one has a paragraph on Alexander, at least.

Anyway, I found this particularly interesting, because while I had actually thought about this phenomenon before in terms of us all being descended from royalty, I hadn't really applied it to anything (in my head). And it occurs to me that when Zenobia claims her ancestry from the Ptolemies, it's not really as unlikely as it seems.

Now I wish I'd thought about that before turning in my paper!

And as applied to today, it sort of makes some of the American Revolutionaries seem more like extensions of the British monarchy . . .