Posted by: Mark | April 15, 2014

Book of Jubilees

Just started The Book of Jubilees and already it’s getting crazy. Here’s a couple of highlights:

Chapter 2: In Jubilee’s version of creation, God didn’t start out with “‘Let there be life.” He didn’t create the sun until the fourth day which begs the question if He was seeing in the dark or has echolocation like a bat. When He began with living creatures, He made “sea monsters” first–”these were the first things of flesh that were created by his hands.” That makes sense to me–I’d definitely start with Godzilla.

Chapter 3: Before the serpent loused everything up, all animals, birds, and fish could talk. Afterwards God specifically took speech away from everything but humans–which makes me wonder what the ancients thought about parrots.

Chapter 4: Mankind gets heavy with incest. Abel is born a week after Cain and their sister Awan is born a week later. Cain marries Awan and Seth pairs up with little sister Azura. The next two generations marry brothers and sisters until they branch out to cousins. I wonder if this motif is an underlining reason for Creationist support.

Posted by: Mark | April 14, 2014

Old Testament Doubled Down

I wasn’t really planning to but I finished the Old Testament yesterday. I’d been reading on-line and it was somewhat of a jolt when I clicked on next chapter and Matthew came up.

There’s two books of the Ethiopian canon after Malachi that I still haven’t read as well as the Book of Jubilee that always looked to long and obscure to start. I’ll try to read those before moving to the New Testament.

The Old Testament has been even more depressing and uninspiring than I’d remembered. I don’t know why I’m stretching this out except out of grumpiness.

Posted by: Mark | April 12, 2014

Last Class

I was hoping for a better turnout for the last class of the semester but it ended up as being even more disappointing than last week. Before class, two students were waiting by the door which was twice the early numbers last week. However, unlike last week, nobody else trickled in.

Next week, I’m hoping I receive everyone’s final papers. If not, it will be an easy time grading.

Posted by: Mark | April 7, 2014

Iron Man and the Doctor


This weekend I helped work on a documentary about fandom and saw many great costumes. I wish I could have got a shot of female Nightcrawler but it should all come together when the results are finally edited.

Posted by: Mark | April 5, 2014

One Plus One Plus One

It’s the second to last of my Saturday class. I have to drag myself out of bed after grading a stack of papers. I rush to print out the reading assignments.

And there’s only one student who shows up.

After a few minutes, another appears. Then one more.

We’re supposed to have 14, and that’s down from the deadbeats who were dropped for not paying tuition.

I have to wonder if it was wise to schedule a 9:05 a.m. class on a Saturday for a course that is primarily attended by freshmen.

Posted by: Mark | April 3, 2014

Hamsters and Roaches in the Classroom


I brought Pikachu the hamster and two hissing cockroaches for my first class at Beckfield College to use in a compare and contrast exercise. It could have gone better but it still beat my old classwork. I’m not sure what to bring next week.

Posted by: Mark | April 2, 2014

Game of Freaks

I showed clips of Tod Browning’s Freaks in class today. I enjoyed it if no one else did. I’ve seen it many times in many classes but two things struck me today:

1. Delno (or Delmo) Fritz, the sword-swallowing performer called “The Professor,”  is the only identifiable character to appear in the introduction (but not the end) and main story. In the beginning, he sits in front of a rack of swords that looks similar to the throne in HBO’s version of the Game of Thrones. The show’s throne is very different from the novels. I wonder if Freaks was a conscious or subconscious influence on the show’s design.

2. Cleopatra, the villainous trapeze-artist, clearly shaved her armpits. Although the American public was conditioned to expect women to shave by the time the film was released, I wonder just how many women actually did. I noticed that that during the Wedding Feast, Cleo’s dramatic arm raising which showed off her shaved pits came near shots of Jane Barnell, the bearded lady. I wonder if this had anything to do with the fact that Barnell could have just taken a razor and de-freaked herself?

Posted by: Mark | March 31, 2014

Monthly Resolution: Florence Library

I visited the Florence branch of the Boone County Library system last week. It was much smaller than their main library and the nonfiction books were arranged in an odd order but I found a few things to check out. That’s only the second of the Boone County system:  Main Library, Florence Branch with the rest to go:  Lents Branch, Scheben Branch, Walton Branch, and Chapin Memorial Library -Petersburg.

For other library systems:  Cincinnati and Hamilton County:  Main Library,  Anderson, Avondale,  Blue Ash,  Bond Hill,  Cheviot,  Clifton,  College Hill,  Corryville,  Covedale, Deer Park, Delhi Township, Elmwood Place, Forest Park, Green Township, Greenhills, Groesbeck, Harrison, Hyde Park, Loveland, Madeira, Madisonville, Mariemont, Miami Township, Monfort Heights, Mt. Healthy, Mt. Washington, North Central, Northside, Norwood, Oakley, Pleasant Ridge, Price Hill, Reading, St. Bernard, Sharonville, Symmes Township, Walnut Hills, West End, Westwood, and  Wyoming.

Butler County:  Fairfield Lane Library, Hamilton Lane Library, Law Library, Middletown, Oxford Lane Library, Smith Library of Regional History, Trenton, and West Chester.    (Butler County apparently has two different library systems.)

Campbell County:   Cold Springs, Fort Thomas, Newport, South Branch (not yet built)

Clermont County:   Amelia Branch, Batavia Branch-Doris Wood, Bethel Branch, Felicity Branch, Goshen Branch, Milford Miami Township Branch, New Richmond-Harold F. Flannery Branch, Owensville Branch, Union Township Branch, and Williamsburg Branch-Marion G. Croswell.

Kenton County:   Covington, Erlanger, and Durr-Independence.


That takes care of one of my monthly resolutions but I’ll try to visit more libraries before the year’s end.


The rest of my resolutions aren’t doing so well:

1.  Writing: Goal –write 100,000 words. So far I’ve only written 12,805 while needing 24,750 to be on track.

2.  Publishing: Goal–submit 105 manuscripts.  So far I’ve sent out 27,  only needing 25.89.

3. Video: Goal– three projects.  So far, nothing.

4. Blogging: Goal– 250 blog posts.  This is the 62nd, needing 61.64.

5. Art: Goal–five projects. I started two but have finished zero.

6. Running: Goal–1,825 miles. I’m up to 742.7 miles so far.

7.  Endurance: Goal–Either run 26.2 miles or do 50 push ups in one sitting. Ran it.

8. Weight: Goal–Maintain weight under 205 pounds. At last count, 211.

9. Spiritual:  Goal–Read all of the Koran, six more books of the Bible, and three works of H.P. Lovecraft.  I’ve got 17 sura to go on the Koran, have finished Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Baruch, Daniel, and Hosea, and three stories of Lovecraft.

10. Monthly resolution:  This month visit a new library.

Posted by: Mark | March 30, 2014

More Bugs to Munch

In July of 2011, I attended “Bugs to Munch,” a program at Woodland Mound Park. I tried mealworms and crickets. Today they held it again. I had waxworm cookies and sour cream flavored crickets.

Honestly, I think of food made out of bugs as I think of clothes made from hemp–they’ll do in a pinch but they’d be better if made out of something else.

Posted by: Mark | March 29, 2014

Up to Four

With only two more Saturday classes left, it looked like we’d have a repeat of an attendance of only three students. Shockingly, one other student arrived late.

I’m wondering if that’s the best I can hope for.

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