orichalcum: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] orichalcum at 09:33am on 03/04/2009
Iowa will be an interesting case study for gay marriage tourism, I suspect, as unlike Massachusetts or Connecticut or Vermont it's not normally a major wedding destination.

Random things for a Friday:

I attended an awesome lecture by Anthony Grafton, a Princeton history, professor yesterday, hearkening back to an LJ debate of a few weeks ago. It was about how the Protestant Reformation (mid-late 1500s) humanists Isaac Casaubon (who went to my father's high school!) and Joseph Scaliger researched and were strongly influenced by Hebrew texts and scholarly traditions. Casaubon, in particular, became fascinated with using a greater knowledge of Jewish ritual in order to better understand the New Testament. For instance, he translated and provided the first extensive Christian criticism on a copy of the Passover Haggadah, because he wanted to figure out which parts of the Seder service (since the Haggadah was compiled after the destruction of the 2nd Temple) Jesus would have used in the Last Supper, and which were later additions.

Casaubon is also famous for having written possibly the nastiest and most influential book review in Western history: 800 pages of detailed scholarly takedown of the first 173 pages of the Annals of the Venerable Cardinal Caesar Baronius, the Vatican librarian who tried to prove that Christianity was unchanging from the time of Jesus (complete with bishops, ecclesiastical hierarchy, and all seven sacraments) to his own time (1600 or so). Casaubon claimed he couldn't even stand to finish reading the work, and so focused his ire in his review on just the first 173 pages. My medievalist friends should be especially pleased by this takedown, as Baronius is the inventor of the term "Dark Ages."

Read more... )

In the Bodleian today you can see Casaubon's edition of Maimonides, covered with commentary and marginal notes in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.

So, that was nifty. In other news, prenatal appointments the second time around are (at least if all is going well), ridiculously boring. Pee into a cup, get weighed, get blood pressure, get your belly measured, hear the heart beat, nope, no questions. Things that remained exciting and like measures of progress the first time around are just kinda dull now, especially since I know I _don't_ (thankfully) have gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia.

Amusingly, though, apparently 2.5-3 year olds of both genders reacting to a mom's pregnancy by inventing the baby in _their_ tummy is common enough to be in the standard ob/gyn textbooks. My doctor advised me that it sometimes lasts for 3-5 months after the actual baby is born, and that we should get Mac a doll for right after the birth, so he can take care of "his" baby while we take care of the Manticore.

orichalcum: (Obama)
So far, anti-marriage equality crusaders have been able to paint the pro-marriage equality states as the "scary radical fringe" of America - Taxachusetts, San Francisco values, those wacky hippie Vermonters, etc...

But Iowans? No one looks at Iowa and thinks "coastal weirdos." They think "heartland." And furthermore - because of the silly uber-importance Iowa gets in the presidential primary system (we have Obama because of Iowa), no politician considering running for President will dare attack Iowans as immoral people.

This does mean that an anti-marriage-equality amendment may wind up on the ballot in 2012, which is probably good for the religiously conservative Republican candidates. But it's really hard to see how a unanimous verdict in _Iowa_ doesn't fundamentally change the optics of the debate.
Mood:: 'happy' happy
orichalcum: (baby)
Jamie Oliver, the "Naked Chef" of tv fame, had his third child today. "Petal Blossom Rainbow Oliver" joins his older daughters, Poppy Honey and Daisy Boo.

Mr. Oliver, there is a difference between _nicknames_ and legal names the child will have to deal with permanently.
Mood:: 'happy' happy


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