Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Mysteries Large and Small:
1 Solved(?), 1 Solvable, and 1 Impossible
It's a mys-ter-ee...
STAY MAD, BUT.... The news today is completely nuts. Time to take a break and remember that life is inherently mysterious. You can go here, here, and here to see big-time mysteries, which are fun even though some of them -- e.g., Dahlia, Zodiac -- may actually have been solved (which is good news). Like this one:
Mystery of the Sphinx
The iconic symbol of the Pharaohs might actually out date them by a good few thousand years. What? How is this possible you say? Evidence related to the positioning of the Sphinx and the type of erosion on the tail versus the head (water erosion from rain versus wind erosion from a dessert climate) are strong indicators.
This one's gotten a lot of attention in recent years. The Egyptologists are really upset about the fact that anyone would question their dating based on something as dumb as geology. Because they know better than geology. The good news? The mystery may be solved. Not by Egyptologists or geologists. But by common sense that makes Egyptologists and geologists both look dumb. Kewl. Funny thing about experts. They're always so damn sure they miss the obvious things all the time.
Robert Temple reveals that the Sphinx was originally a monumental Anubis, the Egyptian jackal god, and that its face is that of a Middle Kingdom Pharaoh, Amenemhet II, which was a later re-carving. In addition, he provides photographic evidence of ancient sluice gate traces to demonstrate that, during the Old Kingdom, the Sphinx as Anubis sat surrounded by a moat filled with water--called Jackal Lake in the ancient Pyramid Texts--where religious ceremonies were held. He also provides evidence that the exact size and position of the Sphinx were geometrically determined in relation to the pyramids of Cheops and Chephren and that it was part of a pharaonic resurrection cult.
The Sphinx isn't a lion. It's a dog. (The pharaoh head was always too small. Obviously.) Why the Egyptologists can find no historical mention of it in hieroglyphics. The monument of the canine god of death Anubis, however, is mentioned repeatedly. Duh.
Next up is something that's apparently only a mystery to me, but it's a galling one. I thought I knew something about cursing. Here's a post by Rich Lowry today at the National Review Corner blog:
It Must Be Election Season!
October 27, 2010 11:59 A.M. By Rich Lowry
From my fan mail this morning (no, it’s not from Al Franken’s e-mail account, in case you were wondering):
**** *** and your kind you misinforming, obfuscating, partisan, loudmouth *** ****** *******. I just saw you on Faux Noise spreading your baseless, Obama-hating opinions across America like butter on toast. This is nothing short of treasonous you ************* ********. Talk straight or **** *** **** ** - otherwise, **** *** and die you confused *** ** ****.
And there's this from the comments section:
It's what comes after "loudmouth" and "treasonous you" that intrigues me. The rest of them (****) are kind of obvious after a simple count.uh, not to me. I'm getting maybe half of the asterisk text. Help me out, kids. It's embarrassing but my curiosity is stronger than my humiliation.
Our final mystery is the one represented by the YouTube video up top. Here's the story:
'Time Traveler' Spied in 1928 Chaplin Film
Has someone already gone back from the future?
This week, the makers of Back To The Future kicked off celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the release of the original movie starring Michael J. Fox. In the same week, an Irish independent filmmaker has gone public with what he says is footage of a time traveller caught walking through a scene on a recent DVD release of Charlie Chaplin's 1928 film, The Circus.
"I believe I'm the first person to find something quite unusual from a bit of film footage from 1928," Clarke said. The scene can be found in the extras menu in Documents, under The Hollywood Premiere.
It's not in the movie -- it's real footage and it features real members of the public in 1928. Or does it, asked Clarke, who spotted a mysteriously dressed stranger walking past the camera talking into what he says can only be a mobile phone.
"The only conclusion I can come to -- which sounds absolutely ridiculous I'm sure, to some people -- is it's a time traveller," he said. "When you're looking at a bit of 1928 footage with an old woman ... on a mobile phone, it's kind of strange. You can't explain it."
I have to admit it gives me pause. What do you think?