Ancient/Classical India, Update

Last year I merged the first two chapters of my Indian history series into one, but otherwise I hadn’t done much with the text since 1998.  Now I have rewritten the two sections on the Indus Valley civilization and the Aryan/Vedic period, to include new archaeological discoveries and the current theories on how India got started.  I also added seven new pictures, two maps and one video to liven things up.  Click on the link below to feast your eyes on the new, improved Chapter 1:

Ancient/Classical India, Before 600 A.D.

Amage the Sarmatian Queen

Last night I read about a successful warrior queen named Amage, who ruled the Sarmatian tribe in the fourth century B.C.  I should have included her in the history paper I wrote earlier this year about prehistoric Russia, so I have added a paragraph about her now.  Quote:

At least once, the Sarmatians had a female ruler.  According to the Greek author Polyaenus, a woman named Amage was their queen in the fourth century B.C.  For some reason her husband was unfit to rule (I don’t know if it was poor health or mental incompetence), so Amage acted as regent.  In those days the Kimgdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus (see below) was an ally of the Sarmatians, and the Scythians were sending raiding parties into the Crimea.  Amage sent the Scythian king a "cease & desist" warning, he ignored it, and she rode with 120 bodyguards to the Scythian camp, covering an estimated 140 miles in a single day.  Nobody in those days was expected to travel so fast, so when Amage and the guards arrived, they took the Scythians by surprise.  The king and most of his family, friends and guards were killed.  Only the son of the Scythian king was spared; Amage let him live because he took an oath to obey her and leave her allies alone.

Unquote:  The above picture of Amage is a modern artist’s conception of what she looked like, of course.  It is not on my website; I found it on this Pinterest page.

Christmas Parrots

First of all, it’s that time of year again, the annual grudge match basketball game between the University of Kentucky Wildcats and University of Louisville Cardinals.  They just had the tip-off in Rupp Arena, so I hope you don’t have to go downtown for the next three hours.

Because I have a parrot myself, over on Facebook I regularly see pictures from parrot fancier groups like “California Parrots” and “Parrot Flock.”  Before we put Christmas 2013 behind us for good, I would like to share some of those delightful pictures of parrots getting ready for the Christmas season:

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The one wearing the Santa hat looks like Brin-Brin.

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And how nice, here is an African Grey that remembered you!

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Of course, this isn’t a fun time for everybody (LOL).

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Three Holy Men and a Bear

A Catholic Priest, a Baptist Preacher and a Rabbi all served as chaplains to the students of Northern Michigan University at Marquette, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop.

One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn’t really all that hard, a real challenge would be to preach to a bear.

One thing led to another, and they decided to do an experiment. They would all go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it to their religion.

Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their experiences.

Father Flannery, who had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and had various bandages on his body and limbs, went first.

”Well,” he said, “I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him, I began to read to him from the Catechism.

Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around. So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle as a lamb. The Bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation.”

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, had one arm and both legs in casts, and had an IV drip.

In his best fire-and-brimstone oratory, he exclaimed, “WELL, brothers, you KNOW that we Baptists don’t sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began to read to my bear from God’s HOLY WORD! But that bear wanted nothing to do with me.

So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle. We wrestled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a creek. So I quickly DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the day praising Jesus. Hallelujah!”

The Priest and the Reverend both looked down at the Rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IVs and monitors running in and out of him. He was in really bad shape.

The Rabbi looked up and said: “Looking back on it …. circumcision may not have been the best way to start…”

Santa Oddities

Yesterday on Facebook I saw this picture of Santa Claus, dressed in University of Kentucky colors.  At first I thought it was his Jewish counterpart, Hanukkah Harry, because Harry is supposed to wear blue (LOL).

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And you may have heard the news about UPS and Federal Express failing to deliver a lot of their packages in time for Christmas.  Well, judging from this video, it looks like poor Santa could not visit every house, either.  I guess he had too much eggnog this year.