Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Back to Alexander Movie Commentary: Alexander

Dr. Eugene Borza, Professor Emeritus of Ancient History, The Pennsylvania State University, has seen Alexander, and has authored a commentary on the film from an archaeological and historical perspective.

Kind of a lengthy review, with (praise the gods) only one paragraph devoted to the sexuality stuff.

And Christmastime fun The Three Kings & the Star

One of the most evocative tales in the Bible is that of the journey made by the wise men to Bethlehem. Today, the Three Kings and the Star are celebrated in Christmas carols, on greeting cards, and with front-yard light displays. But the popularity of the story is not new. From a just few lines in the book of Matthew, the story and veneration of the three grew over the centuries. And, in Cologne, Germany, there is a gilded shrine that, if you choose to believe, has held the remains of the wise men since the middle ages.

Mostly a review by Mark Rose of on the latest installment of the Learning Channel's "Mummy Detective" series (which we have been rather amiss in tuning into, we regret to say), this one featuring Bob Brier. As is usual with such presentations, we seem to be left with a nice history lesson, a few intriguing details to ponder, but ultimately a big "Eh, who knows."

Homo hobbitus update Tourism Rebounds on Island of "Hobbit" Fossil Find

Picture a tropical island with three-foot-tall (one-meter-tall) locals, dolphin-size lizards, rabbit-size rats, and pygmy elephants, all coexisting in the shadows of active volcanoes. This was the island of Flores, Indonesia, thousands of years ago.

Modern-day Flores, an isle of small villages and crude infrastructure, never sought to be a major tourist attraction. But last October scientists announced a surprising discovery—the excavation of the 18,000-year-old remains of some of Flores's earliest inhabitants, a hobbit-like species of diminutive humans known as Homo floresiensis. (See pictures.) As a result, many now believe that Flores could be Indonesia's next travel hot spot.

WIth the size of those Komodo dragons running around, we predict the tourist boom will drop rather quickly. Also considering there isn't anything to "see" anyway.