German for Classical Studies at the University of Cologne, free course June/July 2016, application deadline 30 November 2015 (link: warning, Facebook!)
The academics in Ghana went on strike again over nonpayment of their book allowance in August 2015 (link). As often with news from Africa, this has not received much attention in Europe and North America, even though its hard for any academics at universities in Ghana to work if they can’t buy books and journals.
Meanwhile, historian Alice Dreger has resigned from her post in Illinois after a dispute about whether a glossy magazine with her university’s logo was research (protected by academic freedom) or publicity (overseen by the university administration) revealed a deeper difference about what sort of institution she was working for (her public statement on the subject and her resignation letter). This issue has received a great deal of attention on the Anglophone internet.
The Carmarthenshire Archives in Wales are being devoured by mould, and a Freedom of Information request by J.D. Davies has revealed some disturbing facts about how the local authorities are responding to this crisis.
Some people with more money than sense decided to see what happens when you throw a human-weight or hobbit-weight mass of organic material into a pool of lava. There are videos.
Dan Sperber on the argumentative theory of reason (Rationally Speaking podcast; transcript and audio available. Early in the podcast Dan Sperber is hard on Aristotle’s definition of man as the rational animal, but it seems like what he is saying is compatible with Aristotle’s definition that rhetoric is comprised of logos, ethos, and pathos).
Elizabeth Bear’s short story In Libres might be of interest to my bookish readers.
I hear that a bronze shield placed face-up on the ground and a bowl of water can also solve the problem described in this article (Dog Foils Jailbreak Plot after Hearing Prisoners Digging Tunnel).
More evidence that people will use an imaginary story to make sense of a situation when they have plenty of historical ones to hand:
For many Christians in the Middle East, a Shia alliance offers a hope of survival, however slim. Ghaddar, an independent Shia, says that it is uncertain how these tenuous allegiances will play out. This spring, pro-Iranian forces of Hezbollah were battling Sunni extremists in Syria. No one knew who would prevail. ‘‘It’s like ‘Game of Thrones,’ ’’ she said. ‘‘We’re waiting for the snow to melt.’’
The patrol passed St. Jacob’s Church, where ISIS fighters had destroyed a porcelain statue of Jesus, which was now missing its face. An icon of a martyr having his fingers cut off by Tamerlane, who massacred tens of thousands of Assyrian Christians during the 14th century, hung on the wall.
ELIZA GRISWOLD, “Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?”, The New York Times, 22 July 2015 (link)
Academic Fear of Missing Out (link)
From what I see on the internet, the victors in the battle to define the growing HEMA movement feel very pleased with themselves.* Wes von Papineäu, at one of the groups which ended up on the inside, poses the awkward question: is this just a fad?
* A good way to get a feel for who identifies with that movement today is a new documentary by Cédric Hauteville, “Back to the Source”: warning, video link 90 minutes long; minor proskynesis to Steve Muhlberger)
Edit 2022-06-13: fixed formatting broken when WordPress introduced the block editor
Edit 2023-08-28: added a ‘power of fiction’ tag