Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Something/Someone Old
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My Something Old today is one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.

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The idea that there are Seven Wonders of the World is itself an interesting cultural artifact, because not every list agreed. Greeks loved to make lists, best-ofs, or in this case, must-sees (themata). I've tried to find out for the purposes of this article who, particularly, came up with the following list, which remains the most popular:

Great Pyramid of Giza
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Statue of Zeus
Temple of Artemis
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Colossus of Rhodes
Lighthouse of Alexandria

Making this list really makes me want to play Civilization.

I haven't, as of this writing, figured out which particular classical author came up with that list. I fear I may have to actually enter a real library and read real books. Every article gives me the same two or three names, but nobody says who came up with what list. The oldest mention of any Wonders comes from Philo of Byzantium in 225 BCE. I guess he didn't put the Hagia Sophia on his list because it wasn't built yet ;-). Too bad he didn't have a Tardis.

https://www.ancient.eu/The_Seven_Wonders/

Two scholars working at the library of Alexandria made early lists of classical wonders: the historian Herodotus (484 – ca. 425 BC) and the scholar Callimachus of Cyrene (ca. 305–240 BC). Their writings haven't survived.

Maybe they haven't survived because someone burned down the Great Library. Turns out it wasn't Julius Caesar. It was Aurelian, much later, suppressing a revolt by Queen Zenobia of Palmyra, proving that even the better empires behave like asses.

Of all the seven classical wonders, only the Great Pyramid remains.

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The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.

Based on a mark in an interior chamber naming the work gang and a reference to fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu, Egyptologists believe that the pyramid was built as a tomb over a 10 to 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC. Initially at 146.5 metres (481 feet), the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza

Wow. No wonder they were impressed. 3,800 years is a long time. It's funny that the oldest Wonder is also the only one still around.

I'm more impressed by the skill involved in building it. I know little of building construction, but this sounds seriously impressive:

The accuracy of the pyramid's workmanship is such that the four sides of the base have an average error of only 58 millimetres in length.[7] The base is horizontal and flat to within ±15 mm (0.6 in).[8] The sides of the square base are closely aligned to the four cardinal compass points (within four minutes of arc)[9] based on true north, not magnetic north,[10] and the finished base was squared to a mean corner error of only 12 seconds of arc.[11]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza

Sometimes I wonder if ancient human civilizations weren't as inept as we think they are, just because they didn't have iphones and space robots.

Apparently it was both taller and, well, had more layers in ancient times. It's lost about twenty-five feet in height:

It is thought that, at construction, the Great Pyramid was originally 280 Egyptian cubits tall (146.5 metres (480.6 ft)), but with erosion and absence of its pyramidion, its present height is 138.8 metres (455.4 ft).

And it used to be encased in large, heavy rocks. Well, it still is, but another layer of large, heavy rocks.

At completion, the Great Pyramid was surfaced by white "casing stones" – slant-faced, but flat-topped, blocks of highly polished white limestone. These were carefully cut to what is approximately a face slope with a seked of 5½ palms to give the required dimensions. Visibly, all that remains is the underlying stepped core structure seen today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza

Apparently, an earthquake in the 14th century took off the outer layer.

The Great Pyramid of Giza was NOT built by slaves. Shame on all those Europeans who assumed that.
Looks like it was Herodotus was to blame for that one. How do we know? Apparently we found some pyramid builders' graves:

Hawass said the builders came from poor families from the north and the south, and were respected for their work – so much so that those who died during construction were bestowed the honour of being buried in the tombs near the sacred pyramids of their pharaohs.

Their proximity to the pyramids and the manner of burial in preparation for the afterlife backs this theory, Hawass said. "No way would they have been buried so honourably if they were slaves."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jan/11/great-pyramid-tombs-slaves...

That sounds pretty convincing, actually.

Something New
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I hope y'all aren't bored with the Great Pyramid yet, because there's Something New to tell about it!

They made the first significant new discovery about the Great Pyramid of Giza since the 1800s last year.

For centuries, scientists and archaeologists have probed inside the largest and oldest of Egypt's famed pyramids.But until now none had stumbled upon a 30-meter-long space hidden within its limestone and granite walls.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/mystery-void-discovered-great-pyrami...

The way they discovered this new space is as interesting as the void itself:

High-energy particles from outer space have helped uncover an enigmatic void deep inside the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Using high-tech devices typically reserved for particle physics experiments, researchers peered through the thick stone of the largest pyramid in Egypt for traces of cosmic rays and spotted a previously unknown empty space.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/mystery-void-discovered-great-pyrami...

Some people are going BAH HUMBUG. There are probably lots of spaces inside--doesn't mean it's a room. They could be right, but it's intriguing.

Something Borrowed
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Evidently, we have borrowed a lot of our food from the Germans.

The Germans obviously contributed hamburgers and frankfurters to our cuisine (hot dog!), but it goes farther than that. There are, for some reason I don't understand, a fair number of German immigrants who came to Mexico and Texas. They adapted their native schnitzel and turned it into chicken-fried steak.

Schnitzel:

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Chicken fried steak:

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https://dannwoellertthefoodetymologist.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/borrowed...

The American South salutes you, deutsche freunde!

I'm a little less happy with your contribution of scrapple.

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Something Blue
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The bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) is the only extant species of the family Pomatomidae. It is a marine pelagic fish found around the world in temperate and subtropical waters, except for the northern Pacific Ocean. Bluefish are known as tailor in Australia, elf in South Africa, and shad in KwaZulu-Natal. Other common names are blue, chopper, and anchoa.

A widespread fish, they mostly like hugging coasts, although occasionally they school in the open sea.

They are found in pelagic waters on much of the continental shelves along eastern America (though not between south Florida and northern South America), Africa, the Mediterranean and Black Seas (and during migration in between), Southeast Asia, and Australia. They are found in a variety of coastal habitats: above the continental shelf, in energetic waters near surf beaches, or by rock headlands. They also enter estuaries and inhabit brackish waters.Periodically, they leave the coasts and migrate in schools through open waters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluefish

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Some of them just visit Florida, and others come to stay:

Along the U.S. East Coast, bluefish are found off Florida in the winter. By April, they have disappeared, heading north. By June, they may be found off Massachusetts; in years of high abundance, stragglers may be found as far north as Nova Scotia. By October, they leave the waters north of New York City, heading south (whereas some bluefish, perhaps less migratory, are present in the Gulf of Mexico throughout the year).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluefish

They are often used as sport fish, hooked for the competitive thrill of landing one, rather than as something tasty to eat (though sharks seem to like them).

bluefish1.jpg

They are quite aggressive. Here's some footage of a bluefish trying to attack an underwater camera. Apparently he doesn't like surveillance either:

How are y'all today?

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Comments

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

How goes it?

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

enhydra lutris's picture

structure 2 at Calakmul is over 45 meters high, and the temple at Tikal is 47. As the great wag Will Cuppy pointed out:

The fact is that building a pyramid is fairly easy, aside from the lifting. You just pile up stones in receding layers, placing one layer carefully upon another, and pretty soon you have a pyramid. You can't help it. In other words, it is not in the nature of a pyramid to fall down. [Footnote: It probably could not fall down if it tried.]

As to the Great Pyramid of Giza he noted:

Although this structure [the Great Pyramid of Giza] failed as a tomb, it is one of the wonders of the world even today because it is the largest thing ever built for the wrong reason.

Somebody once explained why all those Germans wound up in Tejas, as well as why some wandered further south. We can thank them for several sub-genres of Mexican and Tex-Mex music. I'm sure that the Frankfurter sausage and Frankfurter sandwich are German, but have come to question the 'burger. The "Hamburger sandwich" was apparently named here in the US and the French have at times claimed it. The patty, sans bun, is "Steak hache'" (Biftek Hache'). It is claimed by some Frenchies that "all things hache' originated in France".

{musical interlude}

I can understand the early bourgeoise sport fishing and sport hunting, but now that we have high powered motorcycles, cars, trucks and planes, do the insecure amongst us really need to beat up on that which they consider to be "dumb animals" in order to prove their mettle?

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Azazello's picture

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris
The Aztecs didn't brew beer, nor the Spaniards or the French. Any country that makes lager-style beer owes it to German immigrants. Bohemia anyone?

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Azazello Yeah, all those Germans and Czechs. Smile

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

enhydra lutris's picture

@Azazello
Negra Modelo. Thanks for reminding me of that feature of the German presence there.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris Well...I don't really like sport fishing or sport hunting, as in "I'm not gonna eat it, but I want the challenge of killing it." I'm not opposed to learning how to hunt or fish for food; these days it seems like that might be a good skill to have on the back shelf.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
fishing for food.

Also, re slaves working on the pyramids. There is a legend of great antiquity that the Egyptians had enslaved and held captive an entire tribe of people who later escaped and ran around conquering assorted not-them tribes. This legend became central back-story for christianity which, in-turn, became the official state religion of most of the west for ages, with all of its myths and dogmas taught as not only religious but also secular truths. It is an easy step to link the building of the pyramids to this captive tribe who otherwise would've just been laying around. The problem is that, beyond that specific mythology, there is no record or any physical or other evidence for said captivity, and hence no tribe of slaves to put to work building tombs.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris My partner Kate just said that the relationship of the Egyptians to the Jews was more of a wage slavery, but I take it you're saying there's no historical or archaeological evidence that they were ever there?

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
you know, the exodus and all that. No archaeological record anywhere, no texts from other tribes, cultures or societies, zip squid de nada.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

TheOtherMaven's picture

@enhydra lutris
though how that came about and under what conditions is now lost in antiquity.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Amanda Matthews's picture

@enhydra lutris

Who Built the Pyramids?
Not slaves. Archaeologist Mark Lehner, digging deeper, discovers a city of privileged workers.

https://harvardmagazine.com/2003/07/who-built-the-pyramids-html

Egyptians saw it as their duty to help build the Pharoh’s tomb. After all, he was a ‘god’ on Earth himself.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Amanda Matthews
to give the peasants something to do in the off-season. When they weren't working the land trying to feed everybody including their families, they were hired for various construction projects including the Pyramids. The idea was to keep them busy and fed, so they wouldn't have any reason to cause trouble.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@TheOtherMaven Ah, fuck. An ancient theocratic monarchy did it better than us.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris My health is much better, recovering, but slowly.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Lookout's picture

Like you I suspect cultures and peoples were much the same in ancient times as today. The 1% got the big nice tombs and riches for the after life...the poor not so much. The story of the worker's tombs was interesting.

We have an ancient mound system near us...the Etowah Indian Mounds

5 the mounds (13).jpg

They found many artifacts at the site including these two stellar marble effigies

10 museum exhibits (24).jpg

It is located beside the river which has a rock fish trap beside the mounds which can still be seen in low water. It is pretty neat that these peoples reach us across time...with more mystery than answers.

Thanks for the Egyptian history and the OT.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout That is really cool. All I know about the "Mound Builders" I got from a comment in a Nero Wolfe novel:

"Seated in his giant's chair behind his desk in his office, leaning back with his eyes half closed, Nero Wolfe muttered at me:

`It is an interesting fact that the members of the National Industrial Association who were at that dinner last evening represent, in the aggregate, assets of something like thirty billion dollars."

I slid the checkbook into place on top of the stack, closed the door of the safe, twirled the knob, and yawned on the way back to my desk.

`Yes sir,' I agreed with him. `It is also an interesting fact that the prehistoric Mound Builders left more traces of their work in Ohio than in any other state. In my boyhood days--`

`Shut up,' Wolfe muttered."

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Azazello's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
Joseph Smith's "revelations" about Israelites settling in North America and leaving the Book of Mormon.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Azazello Not sure if that's bad or good. But it's interesting!

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

ppnortney's picture

by the Seven Wonders. Recently watched a BBC documentary on YouTube about them that made the point the pyramids weren't built by slaves who were then killed. Supposedly the statue of Zeus was made out of ivory (I think?) and they had to do something particular to get the curved pieces. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were probably somewhere other than Babylon. I don't know how accurate the documentary was but it was entertaining.

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Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men. - John Adams

enhydra lutris's picture

@ppnortney

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

but I do appreciate the sauerkraut, spatzle, knopfle, and apfelstrudel. Some of the German settlers in south Texas called themselves 'Freethinkers', they were an interesting bunch.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort,_Texas

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@randtntx They are an interesting exception to the tendency of immigrants to travel till they find a place that roughly resembles, in climate and geography, the place they left.

It's always been wild to me to listen to a bunch of Latino polka music!

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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Peace out. Let's be radicals together on twitter. I'm at @Beddy63.

enhydra lutris's picture

@WIProgressive
Hohner FLACO Corona Flaco Jimenez Signature Series Accordion. Don't think Welk ever got his own model.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris that type of music. Don't hear it much in NE WI but when I head toward Milwaukee I turn it on!

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Peace out. Let's be radicals together on twitter. I'm at @Beddy63.

enhydra lutris's picture

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal stuff here. Conjunto, Texas swing, and many variations on that theme are part of the culture.
I really like the way accordion is adapted to so many styles. San Antonio used to host a really nice accordion festival which was called an "international" festival. It actually was international in the sense that the accordion ensembles were from all over the world. It was an awesome representation of different accordion styles from everywhere. They stopped holding it several years ago but you made me look and it seems one is planned for this September.

In the past we had examples like this play here;

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@randtntx

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@randtntx is featured in a piece by Lila Downs, a Mexican artist

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@randtntx this says it much better than I just did.

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orlbucfan's picture

you are feeling and doing much better. This flu season has been rough. A lot of people have been getting pneumonia on top of suffering from the flu. Grateful for my vaccination. I have to be immunized against both diseases. Funsies. Sad Enjoyed the O/T--love the history. Rec'd!!

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Some yahoos make me want to change species!

That was fast! California’s licensed cannabis sellers want the state to crack down on illegal competitors

Six weeks after the state began licensing marijuana farming and sales, officials have received a flood of complaints about illegal cannabis operations and demands for a start to tough enforcement.

Six weeks! omg call out the Federal government why not, and don't say forfeiture.

Hopper said illicit businesses are driving down the price of marijuana. Enforcement is needed “to make sure that we actually stand up this industry and that the regulated people actually have an opportunity to thrive.”

Ding! And um, who are "the regulated people? The speculators with a quarter mil to drop on consultants and lobbyists, plus the costs of layers upon layers of "licensing". Nothing about Prop. 64 is good for small farmers, small anything. VC money already lobbied the smalls out, despite overwhelming support from the citizens who voted for a five year moratorium on big grows, which the pols simply ignored. Fuck.

“We believe that local police departments need help when it comes to organized criminals operating across the state,” Lackey said. “We have cartel influence that is organized.”

Ding! Big moola for the prison industrial complex, now with more surveillance!

The other day I printed a pdf of the list from http://cal-access.sos.ca.gov/Lobbying/Other/, it is 742 pages long. Who has time to sort that, and what good is transparency if so many are on the take already? mmph

tell me something good

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@eyo I hate being right.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti