Saturday, November 22, 2014

History Trivia - Pope Clement V issues the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae, ordering the arrest of Knights Templar

November 22

498 Symmachus Consecrated. Christian convert Symmachus was chosen by the Roman Church to succeed Pope Anastasius II at the same time a Byzantine faction selected Laurentius. Both individuals were consecrated on the same date, and the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great was asked to choose the new pope. He chose Symmachus.

845 the first King of all Brittany, Nominoe, defeated the Frankish king Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon near Redon.

1307 Pope Clement V issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets.

1428 Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and also known as known as Warwick the Kingmaker, was born.  Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, November 21, 2014

History Trivia - Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem.

November 21

 164 BC Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restored the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.

235 St. Anterus became Roman Catholic pope. He was Pope from November 21, 235 to January 3, 236, and succeeded Pope Pontian, who had been deported from Rome along with the antipope Hippolytus to Sardinia. Anterus was the son of Romulus, born in Petilia Policastro and is thought to have been of Greek origin, but the name could indicate that he was a freed slave. He died on January 3, 236 of undetermined causes.

1272, following Henry III of England's death on November 16, his son Prince Edward became King of England.
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mr. Chuckles stirs the Wizard's Cauldon and Conjures up Phil Conquest

The Wizard speaks:

This is a long interview.
Pour yourself a cuppa, unwrap a bar of chocolate and take fifteen minutes to read it. It covers a lot of angles you don't often get in Indie author interviews. Many of my regular readers may raise their eyebrows. Many will be glad to have met him. There's not much promo here - except of brilliant writing, something that has probably been neglected by Indie writers who seem obsessed with story, with sales as the only barometer of success or failure.

Phil is an English expat, whose debut novel, Rum Hijack, has been praised by readers, rejected by book bloggers, misunderstood, lauded, cast aside, raved about, shunned by Indies and embraced by an audience starved of original writing.

The dark tale of an angry, tortured, would-be writer with the unlikely name of Inkker Hauser, living in a shambolic, surreal, isolated world, imprisoned by his flat and tortured by writer's block, is eloquently written - majestic in parts - with shades of an Alan Bennett monologue mixed with the madness of Burroughs, the cynicism of Thompson and sprinkled with Kafkaesque nihilism. It's well worth the ridiculously low price he charges on Kindle.

I contacted him on the Wizphone as he shivered in his freezing basement flat somewhere in the snowy North Eastern US. This is the world of the writer, well away from the poodles, chaise longues and dictaphones of the perfumed market chasers, the smug edifices, restored cathedrals and pate de fois gras of the blockbuster merchants. Here's what he had to say.

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Albert Einstein's WWII-Era Letter Up for Auction

This letter, type written and signed by Einstein, was sent from Princeton, New Jersey, to New York City in 1939.
Credit: Nate D. Sanders auction

by Elizabeth Palermo

Live Science

In 1939, renowned physicist Albert Einstein penned a letter to a businessman in New York, acknowledging the man's efforts to help Jewish refugees at the start of World War II. Now, 75 years later, that document is up for auction in Los Angeles.
The letter, typed on Einstein's personal stationary, is dated June 10, 1939, and was sent from the scientist's residence on Mercer Street in Princeton, New Jersey, to Isidore Zelniker, a Jewish hat merchant in midtown Manhattan.
The historical document is expected to fetch at least $10,000, according to Nate D. Sanders Inc., the auction house handling the sale. Bids for the online auction will close today (Nov. 20) at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET). [Creative Genius: The World's Greatest Minds]

At the time the letter was written, Einsteinhad been living in Princeton for six years, and was serving as a professor of theoretical physics at the Institute for Advanced Study. Previously, Einstein lived in several European countries, including Italy and Switzerland, but he moved to the U.S. in 1933 from Berlin — the same city where Adolf Hitler had recently been elected chancellor.
Considering Einstein was born to Jewish parents in Ulm, Germany, the timing of his departure was no coincidence. After escaping the horrors of the Nazi regime with his family, Einstein never stopped advocating for those he referred to as his "Jewish brethren" in Europe.
When he wasn't revolutionizing the world of physics, Einstein worked to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis and tried to persuade political leaders in the United States and Europe to take action to help the Jewish population. He wrote countless letters thanking those who were involved in the effort to help imperiled Jews. The letter now up for auction is just one example.
The document reads:
''My dear Mr. Zelniker: May I offer my sincere congratulations to you on the splendid work you have undertaken on behalf of the refugees during Dedication Week. The power of resistance which has enabled the Jewish people to survive for thousands of years has been based to a large extent on traditions of mutual helpfulness. In these years of affliction our readiness to help one another is being put to an especially severe test. May we stand this test as well as did our fathers before us. We have no other means of self-defense than our solidarity and our knowledge that the cause for which we are suffering is a momentous and sacred cause. It must be a source of deep gratification to you to be making so important a contribution toward rescuing our persecuted fellow-Jews from their calamitous peril and leading them toward a better future.''
In 1939, when Einstein wrote this letter, Europe was in turmoil. Hitler was just months away from invading Poland — an action that would result in the United Kingdom's official declaration of war. But the Nazis' persecution of minority groups had been ongoing since Hitler's rise to power in 1933, according to the Jewish Virtual Library.
Between 1939 and 1940, more than half of all immigrants to the United States were Jewish, most of them refugees fleeing persecution in Europe, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. However, those applying for visas — both to the U.S. and other countries — had to be sponsored by two citizens of that country, preferably a relative. The congratulations that Einstein offered to Zelniker in his letter may have something to do with the merchant's sponsoring of European Jews, though this is just a guess. The letter could also be referring to the work done by various Jewish organizations in the U.S. to support refugee efforts in countries such as Italy and Portugal.
Several letters composed by Einstein in the 1930s can be viewed online at the Shapell Manuscript Foundation. More information about the auction can be found at the Nate D. Sanders website.

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Ancient Egyptian Handbook of Spells Deciphered

by Owen Jarus
Live Science

An Egyptian Handbook of Ritual Power (as researchers call it) has been deciphered revealing a series of invocations and spells. It includes love spells, exorcisms and a cure for black jaundice (a potentially fatal infection). Written in Coptic (an Egyptian language) the 20 page illustrated codex dates back around 1,300 years. This image shows part of the text.
Credit: Photo by Ms. Effy Alexakis, copyright Macquarie University Ancient Cultures Research Centre

Researchers have deciphered an ancient Egyptian handbook, revealing a series of invocations and spells.
Among other things, the "Handbook of Ritual Power," as researchers call the book, tells readers how to cast love spells, exorcise evil spirits and treat "black jaundice," a bacterial infection that is still around today and can be fatal.
The book is about 1,300 years old, and is written in Coptic, an Egyptian language. It is made of bound pages of parchment — a type of book that researchers call a codex.

"It is a complete 20-page parchment codex, containing the handbook of a ritual practitioner," write Malcolm Choat and Iain Gardner, who are professors in Australia at Macquarie University and the University of Sydney, respectively, in their book, "A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power" (Brepols, 2014).
The ancient book "starts with a lengthy series of invocations that culminate with drawings and words of power," they write. "These are followed by a number of prescriptions or spells to cure possession by spirits and various ailments, or to bring success in love and business."
For instance, to subjugate someone, the codex says you have to say a magical formula over two nails, and then "drive them into his doorpost, one on the right side (and) one on the left."
The Sethians
Researchers believe that the codex may date to the 7th or 8th century. During this time, many Egyptians were Christian and the codex contains a number of invocations referencing Jesus.
However, some of the invocations seem more associated with a group that is sometimes called "Sethians." This group flourished in Egypt during the early centuries of Christianity and held Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, in high regard. One invocation in the newly deciphered codex calls "Seth, Seth, the living Christ." [The Holy Land: 7 Amazing Archaeological Finds]
The opening of the codex refers to a divine figure named "Baktiotha" whose identity is a mystery, researchers say. The lines read, "I give thanks to you and I call upon you, the Baktiotha: The great one, who is very trustworthy; the one who is lord over the forty and the nine kinds of serpents," according to the translation.
"The Baktiotha is an ambivalent figure. He is a great power and a ruler of forces in the material realm," Choat and Gardner said at a conference, before their book on the codex was published.
Historical records indicate that church leaders regarded the Sethians as heretics and by the 7th century, the Sethians were either extinct or dying out.
This codex, with its mix of Sethian and Orthodox Christian invocations, may in fact be a transitional document, written before all Sethian invocations were purged from magical texts, the researchers said. They noted that there are other texts that are similar to the newly deciphered codex, but which contain more Orthodox Christian and fewer Sethian features.
The researchers believe that the invocations were originally separate from 27 of the spells in the codex, but later, the invocations and these spells were combined, to form a "single instrument of ritual power," Choat told Live Science in an email.
Who would have used it?
The identity of the person who used this codex is a mystery. The user of the codex would not necessarily have been a priest or monk.
"It is my sense that there were ritual practitioners outside the ranks of the clergy and monks, but exactly who they were is shielded from us by the fact that people didn't really want to be labeled as a "magician,'" Choat said.
Some of the language used in the codex suggests that it was written with a male user in mind, however, that "wouldn't have stopped a female ritual practitioner from using the text, of course," he said.
The origin of the codex is also a mystery. Macquarie University acquired it in late 1981 from Michael Fackelmann, an antiquities dealer based in Vienna. In "the 70s and early 80s, Macquarie University (like many collections around the world) purchased papyri from Michael Fackelmann," Choat said in the email.
But where Fackelmann got the codex from is unknown. The style of writing suggests that the codex originally came from Upper Egypt.
"The dialect suggests an origin in Upper Egypt, perhaps in the vicinity of Ashmunein/Hermopolis," which was an ancient city, Choat and Gardner write in their book.
The codex is now housed in the Museum of Ancient Cultures at Macquarie University in Sydney.
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Diane Turner - London Rocks - 20-11-2014

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Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles by Brenda Perlin: All my ebooks are on sale for 99¢ for the holidays...

Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles by Brenda Perlin: All my ebooks are on sale for 99¢ for the holidays...:   Keep warm with a book ;-)

Shattered Realty

When Brooklyn meets Bo, their lives are instantly turned upside down.

Brooklyn and Bo, each unhappily married to someone else, have to decide whether to stay with their spouses or give up everything for each other. Find out what Brooklyn's husband and Bo's soon-to-be ex-wife do to break them up.

Shattered Reality is the first book in a three part series that follows the main character, Brooklyn throughout her childhood, adult life and then what seems like an “endless” journey towards redemption.

Burnt Promises

Bo and Brooklyn’s relationship is tested while Bo’s soon-to-be-ex wife continues to try to hold on for dear life. Will Bo’s ongoing divorce battle ever come to an end or will she be able to break them up? 

The main character, Brooklyn must learn many valuable lessons about herself, not without making many costly mistakes along the way. Now that she has found what she considered, her “soul-mate” in Bo, she would have to continue to defend herself against even her closest of friends, family members, and Bo’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Ruth. 

This first person account chronicles the inexhaustible struggles she faces with the man that she loves. Brooklyn must learn a thing or two about patience as Bo’s divorce settlement seems to be never ending. Throughout her journey, Brooklyn shares some of Ruth’s intimate emails to Bo and gives you a good look into the mind of a woman scorned.

Fractured Vows

When love comes with a price...

What happens once a vengeful ex just won’t let go? Bo and Brooklyn’s worlds are turned upside down as they find themselves facing insanity in the form of an angry woman who loses all reason when she tries to destroy them. Will Ruth give up or will she succeed in ending the relationship between her former husband and his new love?

Ty the Bull
Everything seemed to fall apart for Ty when his parents got a divorce. At his wits end after being bullied endlessly, he started to ditch school. It wasn't until he met up with a skater named Peacock that things somehow turned around and he put the pieces of his life back together.
Alex the Mutt
 Alex the Mutt was the love of my life, but she could have been euthanized before having had a chance to live. Please join me on my journey to find love, and the emotional conflict I endured when forced to leave a dog behind.

These strays deserve more. All it takes is compassion and understanding. Too many animals are killed before their time, and this has got to end now. If only more people would stop and think first before going to a pet store or breeder. Instead, visit a local rescue, pound, or shelter. It’s time to be their voice; please help spread the word. Will you join the cause?
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