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The Genie speaks

Sunday 6 October 2019, 08:34

Once there was a Sultan who fucking loved science. That was the slogan embroidered upon his robe.

When they bring in the idols

Wednesday 1 May 2019, 16:51

I once saw the leaders of a student group insert a paragraph at the start of a pagan ritual, pointedly giving it top billing over the other introductory material, to pledge allegiance to one side of a then-current highly controversial issue in international politics. "We believe..." was the statement they read out in circle, speaking without permission on behalf of me and the rest of the group, ahead of something I certainly did not believe, something that was not closely connected to the personal experience of anybody present, that had nothing to do with the subject of the main ritual, and indeed was worded in such a way as to invoke a pantheon completely alien from the one I'd come to practice that day; incidentally breaking the rules of our own practice regarding what and who gets invoked first. It was not "We believe that China should end its occupation of Tibet" supported by some quotes from Buddhist scripture and inserted at the start of a Wiccan rite, but that's the kind of thing you should imagine.

Walking tour

Thursday 8 September 2011, 06:29

Something changed in the already-flaky conference wireless system, and I haven't been able to get online from the conference (only from my hotel room) for a while. That has limited my ability to update. But here goes.

September 7, Wednesday: day 2 of MOL 12, notably including the guided walking tour of tourist sites around Nara. I had mixed feelings about that: I got a lot of interesting information from the tour and visited some places I might not have done under my own power, but it was also at times frustrating.

Note on Uneme Jinja

Wednesday 7 September 2011, 15:44

Okay, the update for September 7 probably will take a while, because there are a lot of pictures and things to describe - that was the day of the conference-sponsored walking tour. However, I did look up the unknown Shinto shrine with the sign saying 「えんむすび采女神社 shown in the photo gallery, so here's a quick note about that.

On bible-ophilia, and a call for better pagan book design

Friday 18 February 2011, 16:56

I hope to push the first release of Tsukurimashou out the door tomorrow, and as part of that, I was looking at the possibility of adding optical sizes to it. That won't happen in tomorrow's release, but it will happen eventually, and the train of thought led from there to a thing I once saw in an historical mail-order catalog: an entire multi-page selection of Christian Bibles, organized by different optional features, such as type size, paper and binding quality, and so on. It occurred to me to look on the Net for the current state of the art in such things, and that led me to this site, which is fascinating. It's an entire Web log about the design of Bibles.

John he said

Thursday 8 April 2010, 10:26

Walked on the beach today
Met John all a talk-talk
All a comfort my mind.

Light and speed

Sunday 2 February 1997, 12:13

It's not so easy to find a primitive, backward culture anymore. Satellite constellations can lay down a gigahertz on every square kilometer of the Earth's surface and where there's a signal there will be receivers. We need not even mention the orbitals. The painters may be naked - they may be using mud pigments and hair brushes. You might mistake them for a tiny group of prehistoric people somehow cut off from the march of progress for thousands of years. That would be a mistake. Machines dug this cave, the hair for the brushes was grown by bacteria in a bottle, and the design taking shape on the wall does not represent an animal to be hunted. Not exactly.