January 12, 2015

We can only hope. . . . .

Filed under: Pop culture — acagle @ 7:51 pm

Kyle MacLachlan will return as Agent Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks next year

He’s back, Diane! While his involvement has been hinted at for months, Deadline confirms that Kyle MacLachlan has closed a deal with Showtime to star in the upcoming Twin Peaks update due out next year.

The news that Twin Peaks would come back to television hit late last year, with creators David Lynch and Mark Frost confirming that they’d both be involved in each of the miniseries’ nine episodes. The new series will be set in the present day, and promises to close some of the show’s many loose ends and answer it’s spectacularly far-out questions.

I only mention this because. . . .well, just cuz. I loved the show. Some of the pilot was filmed up here (Seattle area) and I still go to some of the locations around North Bend, aka, Twin Peaks. I think I posted a photo of where the big log was where Laura’s body was found and the location of the Great Northern interiors (in the pilot).

It was also during a period when I had finished the classwork for archaeology grad school and was kind of first coming out of the whole formal schooling thing (I had several years of dissertation writing and such ahead). So that whole early 1990s period is kind of a nostalgic time for me.

Almost worth getting Showtime for the period it’s on. . . . .

December 29, 2014

Egypt at the cinemaaaaaaaa

Filed under: Egypt, Media, Pop culture — acagle @ 8:17 pm

‘Exodus’ Director Ridley Scott and his Egyptologist expert mined the ancient details.

Dr. Lloyd says the production went to great lengths to get costumes, make-up and the physical environment right. But he didn’t begrudge Scott a little artistic license. “There are things which aren’t entirely accurate,” he says. “The prominence given to cavalry in the battle context (for example). The ancient Egyptians at the relevant period did not use cavalry, though horsemen certainly occur in our documentation. However, this is a case where the cinematic needed to take precedence over historicity.”

Lloyd’s involvement mostly took place through email with department heads such as production designer Arthur Max and costume designer Janty Yates. “I’d respond quickly to their requests for text, images and sources of information,” he says.

They certainly had chariots in the New Kingdom. . . .maybe not strictly cavalry though?

I haven’t seen it yet. Probably will wait until it’s out on DVD. I think the photo given on the linked page is probably way less colorful than it really was. Nearly everything would have been painted.

December 16, 2014

Sounds kinda woo-woo if you ask me

Filed under: Pop culture — acagle @ 11:01 am

A Meditation on the Art of Not Trying

It makes no sense, but the paradox is essential to civilization, according to Edward Slingerland. He has developed, quite deliberately, a theory of spontaneity based on millenniums of Asian philosophy and decades of research by psychologists and neuroscientists.

He calls it the paradox of wu wei, the Chinese term for “effortless action.” Pronounced “ooo-way,” it has similarities to the concept of flow, that state of effortless performance sought by athletes, but it applies to a lot more than sports. Wu wei is integral to romance, religion, politics and commerce. It’s why some leaders have charisma and why business executives insist on a drunken dinner before sealing a deal.

Tierney gives short descriptions of Confucian and Taoist views, which I have no idea how accurate they are. But the opposing views make some intuitive sense. I think he gets to the heart of my philosophy near the end:

He likes the compromise approach of Mencius, a Chinese philosopher in the fourth century B.C. who combined the Confucian and Taoist approaches: Try, but not too hard.

Which sort of parallels the discussions I’ve brought up a few times regarding “critical thinking”. You need to “go with the flow” to the extent of using your reasoning ability to evaluate things critically, but you also have to go through the rote learning process first in order to have a basis for that evaluation.

But then, I’m obviously not the first to note such a duality. . . .

December 3, 2014

“Although we wore four pairs of pants and two pairs of socks, we still felt cold,”

Filed under: Humor, Pop culture — acagle @ 8:11 pm

I hear ya, sister: College Student Documents Her Archaeological Life with Cartoons

“I was greatly influenced by The Secret of Grave Robber and Ghost Blows Out the Light, two popular Chinese novels with plotlines built around archaeology,” explained Li. “In my mind, archaeology simply consisted in digging ancient tombs, unearthing dinosaurs and evaluating antiques.”

However, when she attended university, Li found that what she learned in class was rather boring: The program focused primarily on the historical elements of archaeology and was not at all the great adventure she had imagined it would be.

Haven’t seen anything translated yet, I’m hoping someone does that at some point.

Jim’s Journal is, of course the best college comic strip EVER.

September 25, 2014

I’ll take a Galaga and a Battle Zone please.

Filed under: Historic, Media, Pop culture — acagle @ 7:25 pm

Historical nonetheless. And decaying. Comments Off

August 3, 2014

Atarchaeology update

Filed under: Historic, Pop culture — acagle @ 10:30 am

The Video Game Graveyard

In 2013, media companies Fuel Entertainment and Lightbox acquired the rights to create a documentary about the video game crash of the early 1980s and to dig the Atari dump site, if it could be found. As both an archaeologist (and Director of Publications at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens) and a child of that early video game boom, I contacted Fuel to ask about how the archaeology—excavation, documentation, reporting—would be handled. They invited me to take part, and I assembled a team that included Richard Rothaus of Trefoil Cultural and Environmental and Bill Caraher of the University of North Dakota, veterans of excavations in the Mediterranean and the Americas, as well as video game historian Raiford Guins of Stony Brook University and historian Bret Weber of the University of North Dakota.

Not much new there, I don’t think, although I really like the photo of the dusty old game controller. They do make a good point about recent archaeology: Even from just 30 years ago we’re not all that sure what exactly happened out there apart from the basics of thinking there was something there. Be nice to get some of the witnesses to describe what they saw, too.

July 3, 2014

Should I be happy or sad?

Filed under: Egypt, Pop culture — acagle @ 8:30 am

Fox cancels sexy Egypt fantasy ‘Hieroglyph’ before premiere

Hieroglyph was an adventure series from creator/executive producer Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim, Clash of the Titans) that was was seen by some as Fox’s attempt to get into the fantasy genre in the wake of HBO’s Game of Thrones. In the words of the show’s official description, the drama followed a “notorious thief who is plucked from prison to serve the Pharoah, forcing him to navigate palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and divine sorcerers, as he races to stop the downfall of one of history’s greatest civilizations.”

This is actually the first I’d heard of it. I liked what was in the trailer, so maybe HBO or something might pick it up. That would, of course, mean more gratuitous nudity.

May 13, 2014

Lost civilization Civilization. . . .found. On iOS.

Filed under: Pop culture — acagle @ 6:45 pm

Archaeology Adventure Lost Civilization now available for iOS Mobile “Offering a haunting blend of puzzle-solving and investigation, this archaeological thriller, accessible for all skill levels, challenges players to discover whether or not alien life exists on Earth as they explore the globe’s most far-flung corners. ”

There you go.

May 1, 2014

A bit of cultural trivia

Filed under: Modern artifacts, Pop culture — acagle @ 8:17 pm

So, Alan Parsons Project, Ammonia Avenue from way back in the 1980s. There’s the line that goes “And those who came at first to scoff, remained behind to pray”. I always liked that line and was totally impressed that they’d come up with that.

And then I’m reading a book of English poetry (shut up) and come across “The Deserted Village” by Oliver Goldsmith (1770) where there’s this:

“And fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray.”

So, harumph.

March 30, 2014

Speaking of pop culture

Filed under: Media, Pop culture, Rome — acagle @ 7:44 pm

One of the hottest songs these days, apparently*, is this one:

That’s “Pompeii” by Bastille. I like it. The lyrics are rather a nice ode to the doomed city:

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above
. . .
We were caught up and lost in all of our vices
In your pose as the dust settled around us

The “pose” obviously refers to the casts of the people (and critters) who were caught in the pyroclastic flow. The video doesn’t have a lot to do with Pompeii and Vesuvius

I wonder if, in the realm beyond death, the citizens of Pompeii are at all pleased that we’re still singing songs about them two thousand years after their passing?

* Actually, I’ve heard it quite a bit on one of the local stations, which is why I noticed it.

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