TheCloudFestival t1_jeajl77 wrote

Interestingly, Hinduism also calls the Milky Way 'The Great Milky Ocean' but there creation myth states that instead of a breastfeeding mishap, the Universe/galaxy was formed and is sustained by the great serpent Nagini being captured and wrapped around an oar which was thrown into the Great Milky Ocean, whereupon the Denizens of Light and Darkness continuously pull at Nagini's head and tail to twist the oar and churn the milky cosmic ocean's waters, leading to creation and dynamism.


TheCloudFestival t1_jao5kot wrote

Yes, and no.

The 'boot straps' story itself is a reworking of a passage from 'Baron Munchausen's Narrative of His Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia', a 1785 novel written by Rudolf Erich Raspe, and based on the real Prussian baron Hieronymus Karl Friedrich, Freiherr von Münchhausen, a war general renowned for telling completely unbelievable but very entertaining tall tales.

At one point during the book, Baron Munchausen accidentally rides his horse into a swamp, becoming trapped, with him and his steed sinking fast.

With no obvious way out, and everything he could grab out of reach, Munchausen somehow manages to lift himself and his horse out of the swamp by grabbing his own ponytail and pulling himself and his horse up and out of the mire.

This is why in philosophy, all epistemologies (systems of thinking) are said to fall into the Munchausen Trilemma, in which once one reasons to their most basic components, said epistemologies ultimately support themselves by themselves in one of three ways.


TheCloudFestival t1_jao2ffj wrote

I'd argue that it doesn't work well in the piece. Every other motif and phrase in the song is definitive, clearly ending on the final beat of the bar, but for whatever reason Tarrega left that one motif, and only that motif in the whole piece, to trail off into nothing. It just seems a strange decision in my mind, and rather frustrating to listen to, despite it otherwise being a rather wonderful piece of guitar music.

Ah well, horses for courses and all that!


TheCloudFestival t1_ja05l0p wrote

Not glacial in the Arabian Peninsula. It's more likely wind blown sand erosion. The Arabian Desert is absolutely covered in bizarre looking sand weathered rock formations.


TheCloudFestival t1_ja054t6 wrote

What's not mentioned by the OP is that the split in the rock displays definite signs of being worked by hand as opposed to being a natural formation.

However, given that the rock is sandstone, such a feat would be fairly easy for even the most primitive civilisations. Take a chain or a stout rope, throw it over the top of the rock and then let it settle into a natural divot. Then simply work the chain or rope back and forth from either side like a crosscut saw, gradually working away at the rock. Pouring sand into the groove/notch as it's worked also vastly speeds up the process.

If the rock was discovered with the hollow underneath it between its two balancing points, as seems to be the case, then using a chain or rope to gradually work it in two could have even be done by a single person, throwing the chain/rope over the top, then pulling it back through the hollow, taking each end in each hand, and pulling the chain/rope back and forth.

It's a beautiful and intriguing monolith, but hardly mysterious.


TheCloudFestival t1_j9pkfps wrote

I've always thought of Jesus as an amalgam of several Jesuses walking around and preaching at the time (Jesus being a very common name in those days), who used elements of magic and showmanship to beef up their Post-Apocalyptic Judaism doctrine. Those preachers certainly didn't invent the Post-Apocalyptic Jewish doctrine, but they did enthusiastically spread it. They were more like the flashy megachurch pastors of their day.


TheCloudFestival t1_j9owbuc wrote

It's genuinely amazing when you begin to realise how completely credulous people in the past were.

I know we're not necessarily much better now, but as time goes on the methods needed to fool people are becoming more and more sophisticated.

When you look at the history of magic, conjuring, spiritualism, etc, you come across thousands of cases in centuries past of people being completely fooled and taken in by the most mundane trickery.

A personal favourite of mine is the 'Floating Bowl of Floating Apples' trick where a conjurer would make a bowl filled with water in which apples were floating appear to levitate and move around the stage. This trick absolutely bamboozled audiences for decades. Conjurers who performed it were accused of actual witchcraft, and even other professional conjurers engaged in the most intense espionage to try and figure out how it was done.

The whole trick was quite literally stage hands dressed in black velvet against a black velvet backdrop in a dimly lit theatre picking up and carrying the bowl around, something that today a five year old would posit as the obvious solution from just a single showing, yet trying to figure the trick out drove people in the C18th and C19th nuts.

Just go and look at old photographs of mediums producing 'ectoplasm'. One glimpse and you'll conclude that the 'ectoplasm' is just gauze covered in some sticky substance that they're pulling from a pocket or underneath their clothes, and yet even Royal Society scientists, doctors, bishops, lawyers, politicians, etc, completely and sincerely believed they witnessed mediums producing genuine ectoplasm.

It kinda gives a whole new perspective to the 'miracles' of the more ancient religions. I don't doubt that ancient peoples genuinely believed someone died and was resurrected simply by being told a living person was in fact dead, and then watching said 'dead' person get up and move around.

Seriously, it's almost sweet how childishly naive people were to the most basic and facile of trickery.


TheCloudFestival t1_j9koc6i wrote

All of the Aztecs neighbours hated the Aztecs for very good reasons.

They'd never form an alliance, and the Aztecs only proposed alliances when they were personally endangered but otherwise spent their whole existence beating and murdering the ever-living crap out of their neighbours.


TheCloudFestival t1_j9ko36i wrote

Good. I mean, yeah the Conquistadors were bloodthirsty bastards, but one of the reasons they went so ham on Central America was that when they landed they saw what cruel, barbaric, and bloodthirsty people the Aztecs were and thought 'Well, when in Rome!'

The Aztecs, according to every account we have of them, even those written by themselves, show them to be one of the most gleefully and spitefully cruel and barbarous civilisations to have ever existed on Earth.


TheCloudFestival t1_j8qvn2o wrote


TheCloudFestival t1_j8nn8z8 wrote

Not only is the opening 'line' bad, but the book is essentially unreadable. It was written in the style of the time, which was a loose collection of several page long run-on sentences.


TheCloudFestival t1_j7vivby wrote

A personal hero of mine, the wildly eccentric C19th clergyman and archaeologist Reverend William Buckland, once accidentally ate the mummified heart of King Louis XIV at a dinner party where it was being passed around as a curio, and declared it 'disgusting, but better than owl.'


TheCloudFestival t1_j72n3gy wrote

Britain essentially sits at the centre of a giant, perpetual tornado as warm air from the Gulf Stream moving SW to NE, passing through the Channel and the North Sea, meets cold Arctic air moving NE to SW, but passing across the top of Scotland and down the Irish Sea.

We receive such clement weather for our latitude because the whole archipleago is basically right in eye of a huge atmospheric gyre that pushes away incoming pressure systems.

However, it's a double edged sword because if poor weather does make it past the barrier and into the eye, it's likely to get captured and buffeted back and forth between the coasts until it expends its energy and dissipates.