Friday, January 20, 2012

Some New(-ish) Additions To My Blogroll

backward messages

At Backward Messages, Beth Winegarner gives you the straight story on all the influences you’ve been told will turn your teen violent: the occult, violent video games, heavy-metal music, and more.

Winegarner is a San Francisco author, journalist, and mom writing a book for parents on the most controversial teen influences and why they’re a healthy part of growing up. If you’re a parent who’s concerned about what your teen is up to, send your questions to backwardmessages AT gmail DOT com and they’ll be answered on the blog.

the hedge mason
A blog by E C Ballard of interesting news and commentary on liberal and esoteric Freemasonry and other stuff.

E C Ballard is a Folklorist, and Ethnologist specializing in Afro-Caribbean traditions of Central African origin, Fraternalism, Celtic Studies and Ethnomusicology, having received his Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. Eoghan has been variously musical instrument maker, bookseller, college professor, academic dean, and independent researcher. Eoghan is Tata Nganga, about to become Houngan Su Pwen, and is a Master Mason.

Sparks in Electrical Jelly
Film, music, art and literature, with a leaning towards the fantastic in all its forms: Science fiction, fantasy, horror, the surreal, the Absurd, the Weird ('New' and old), the hauntologised and the just plain odd. West Country sightings reported, with regular return trips to London on film likely. In short, anything that sets the sparks a-crackling and fizzing through the old grey jelly.

The Museum of Sex
This is a real brick and mortar museum with a very nice website, blog, and online store. And they are currently hiring. Here is a sample:

"Ever wondered what happened to Napoleon’s penis? I certainly did – which is one reason I wrote a book called Napoleon’s Privates: 2500 Years of History Unzipped. It was a collection of stories about forgotten or secret aspects of sexual history, and the saga of the Emperor’s French loaf took on a certain symbolic quality…"

The Norse Mythology Blog
Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried's "Norse Mythology Blog" was 2011 Weblog Awards Best Weblog About Religion finalist. Chicago Humanities Festival: "Seigfried is a prolific chronicler of the world of Norse mythology." The Wild Hunt: "The blog is one of the most content-rich affairs for lovers of Norse mythology I’ve ever seen." Jóhanna G. Harðardóttir (Ásatrúarfélagið Allsherjargoða): "Hér er rétti maðurinn á ferð til að kenna Norræna goðafræði í US."

A Norse mythologist in Chicago, Karl teaches Norse religion at Carthage College, Norse myth at Newberry Library & Loyola University-Continuum. He's a featured writer/lecturer at Joseph Campbell Foundation & Wagner Society of America; member of Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study, Viking Society for Northern Research, Religion Newswriters Association; Official Norse Mythologist of the Stephanie Miller Show.

Koenraad Elst
Koenraad Elst (°Leuven 1959) distinguished himself early on as eager to learn and to dissent. After a few hippie years he studied at the KU Leuven, obtaining MA degrees in Sinology, Indology and Philosophy. After a research stay at Benares Hindu University he did original fieldwork for a doctorate on Hindu nationalism, which he obtained magna cum laude in 1998. As an independent researcher he earned laurels and ostracism with his findings on hot items like Islam, multiculturalism and the secular state, the roots of Indo-European, the Ayodhya temple/mosque dispute and Mahatma Gandhi's legacy. He also published on the interface of religion and politics, correlative cosmologies, the dark side of Buddhism, the reinvention of Hinduism, technical points of Indian and Chinese philosophies, various language policy issues, Maoism, the renewed relevance of Confucius in conservatism, the increasing Asian stamp on integrating world civilization, direct democracy, the defence of threatened freedoms, and the Belgian question. Regarding religion, he combines human sympathy with substantive skepticism.

The New Oxonian
Hoffmann has focused on the controversial aspects of Christian origins, with special reference to early heresies, gnosticism, and the pagan philosophical critiques of the Christian movement. His most recent books include an edited volume entitled Just War and Jihad: Violence in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (2006) and Sources of the Jesus Tradition (2010.)

His study of the concept of the right to life in early Christianity, Faith and Foeticide, will be published by Peter Lang, Oxford, in 2011, along with another in his series of translations of the classical philosophical critiques of the Christian movement: Christianity: The Minor Critics.

He currently teaches at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

The People of Shambhala
People of Shambhala is dedicated to raising awareness of the discrimination, oppression, and violence suffered on a daily basis by minority religions around the world today, especially under Islamic or Islamist regimes. We believe that, because of misplaced political correctness, the mainstream media has ignored the plight of minorities such as the Zoroastrians in Iran, the Yezidis in Iraq, the Kalash in Pakistan, Buddhists in Indonesia and Thailand, and others.

Nineteen years and counting in Papua New Guinea
Entries of a memoir about living in Papua New Guinea.

"Collecting is a little like the stock market, in that people gamble on rumours and valuation is a complex art not related to an object’s function. A good exhibition, a published catalogue and the right art historian can turn a simple Angoram mask into a six-figure object d’art.

"That’s precisely what happened to the Friede collection, especially after being carbon dated. Some of the Inyai carvings ---one, for example, often used in press releases---are 300 years old, and hence some of the oldest known wooden objects from New Guinea. This makes ‘ethnic’ art doubly valuable, insofar as it becomes historical artifact as well as an aesthetic object. The beautiful catalogue of the collection also compounded the ‘density’ of these pieces, as only the most serious collector would purchase this heavy two-volume set of gorgeous plates that contain less ethnographic than art-historical information."