At the recent BASR/EASR conference at Liverpool Hope University I spoke about dragons. My paper was on the application of Ninian Smart’s dimensions of religion to the Nine Divines. The Nine Divines is the principle “religion” to be found in the Elder Scrolls video game series and it has no meat-world presence. My argument was that the Nine Divines as a religion met all the dimensions that Smart detailed and that there were no logical grounds upon which we should not consider it a religion of as much legitimacy or reality as any meat-world counterpart (i.e.
Io9 had a great link to Guillermo del Toro's Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror XXIV" couch gag.
1. For those that are unfamiliar with The Simpsons couch gag, look here.
2. For those that are unfamiliar with Guillermo del Toro, head to Wikipedia. Or you might just watch Cronos (1993), Mimic (1997), The Devil's Backbone (2001), Blade II…
Tim Minchin delivered a great address for the graduation ceremony at The University of Western Australia:
Minchin has 9 lessons, and I think I like number 7 the best:
7. Define Yourself By What You Love
I’ve found myself doing this thing a bit recently, where, if someone asks me what sort of music I like, I say “well I don’t listen to the radio because pop lyrics annoy me”.
An initial breakdown of data from the 2011 census in Scotland is now available:
It shows, among other things, a decrease in numbers of those selecting the ‘Church of Scotland’, ’Other Christian’, and ‘Jewish’ categories. ’Church of Scotland’, for example, is down 10% since 2001 to 32.4% of the population. All other categories show an increase. Most notable, perhaps, are the figures for those selecting ‘no religion’ – up from 27.8% in 2001 to 36.7% (the current figure is around 25% for England and Wales).
Expect these figures to be discussed and debated ad nauseam in the coming weeks/months/years.
‘to make general statements about ‘the Asians’, ‘the Jews’ or ‘the Irish’ reeks of disrespect, ignorance and even prejudice. Yet the same statements can be made to sound respectful and even solidary when uttered about the Asian, Jewish or Irish ‘community’’ (Gerd Baumann, Contesting Culture, 1996, p.15).
OMG! Someone with a family connection to the land-mass beside the one on which I was born has won I sporting event I care/know little about AND a lady who has married into the ‘world’s best-known hereditary monarchy’ is having a baby AND David Cameron has decided to protect my eyes (and therefore my mind?) from images (and ideas?) which he deems ‘offensive’… I love my Big Brother unequivocally.
Urban Maps: Instruments of Narrative and Interpretation in the City is now available in paperback. Written by Richard Brook and Nick Dunn from Manchester School of Architecture, the book considers the city and the 'devices' that define the urban environment.
'Urban Maps provides an interesting new way of "minding the gap" between the contemporary urban condition and architectural design. Calling on familiar and well-loved theoretical friends like Walter Benjamin, but also bringing in exciting new contenders such Thomas de Quincey, the narrators interrogate an interdisciplinary array of projects from graffiti to branded environments.
Otters like chasing Chickens. But then so do Dinosaurs
Ottermatic are an animal based product made in Brighton. They are Heather, Alex & Chris who got together last December. Any band named after an otter must be confusing at least - and confusing is the definite vibe we get.
Take a track like "The Windy City" where a man with a Scottish accent talks about things like Seattle and outer space in a charmingly non-plussed way.