Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mitford to Exodus

On authors in my recommended reading.
[Wigs on the Green, by Nancy Mitford,] is a satire of something most unfunny: the predilection of parts of the English upper-crust for fascism in the 1930s. --Robert Messenger
Tea Party activists — and their candidates — pose a problem when they move the discussion into a broader one about the role of government.
     “You see these rallies and the signs are all about the Constitution,” said Stuart Rothenberg, editor of a nonpartisan political report. “They want it to be about these big ideological ideas, when I don’t think most voters think that way. ..."
--Kate Zernike
When the Qur’an was first dictated in the 7th century, by contrast, there were a few minimal conditions that had to be met in order for the resulting work to count as holy, and thus to count as the Qur’an at all. For one thing it had to be in Arabic. For another, it had to be written by hand. ... In fact, not only has there often been serious debate as to whether a non-English approximation of the Qur’an can count as the Qur’an at all, but there was also a long period during which even a printed Arabic text could not pass the test of authenticity, which surely must precede the test of holiness. --Justin E. H. Smith (via Arts & Letters Daily)
The account in the Book of Exodus describes how the waters of the sea parted, allowing the Israelites to flee their Egyptian pursuers.
     Simulations by US scientists show how the movement of wind could have opened up a land bridge at one location.
--BBC (via Diogenes at Off the Record)

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