Twitter and Facebook both tried to silence elexus jionde today.

This evening, I was reading a facebook post that consisted of several smartphone photos of a tweetstream.  I was partway through when the post disappeared with a message that the content was no longer available.

This is the second time today that I’ve been caught up in the midst of a thread purge on facebook.  The first was Jim Wright’s post about 9/11.  He reposted it with his commentary on his blog.

I didn’t even remember the name of the twitter account that had written the tweets, but with a couple of searches on key phrases from what I remembered, I was able to turn it up, and learned that the tweets are from Elexus Jionde.  And I found several tweets relating that Twitter had decontextualized the tweets, making the stream difficult to follow.  In my horror of censorship, I decided to capture the tweets in a blog post.  I’ll post this blog to Facebook.

I tweeted about this blog post to Elexus Jionde.

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Ancient Pregnancy Tests

The modern urine-based home pregnancy test first appeared in drug stores in 1977.  Unlike the streamlined, simple color-coded test results prospective parents enjoy today, this test was complicated, involving several implements and steps, and was also finicky and time-consuming.  The slightest vibration could spoil the test results.

“it contained a vial of purified water, an angled mirror, a test tube and red blood cells taken from a sheep.” — New York Time

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But, the idea that the urine of a pregnant woman was perceptibly different from that of a non-pregnant woman has persisted since ancient times.  The first known recorded pregnancy test dates to 1350 BCE in ancient Egypt.

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Ancient Bread Revisited

Earlier this month, I blogged about the re-engineering of a 2000-year-old loaf of Pompeiian Bread.  Last weekend, I decided to try baking one of my own.  I watched the openculture.com video showing Giorgio Locatelli bring his recipe theories to life, but the recipe didn’t appeal to me.  Dry yeast? Gluten?  These ingredients didn’t exist in ancient Pompeii.

I found a link to another recipe at www.thefreshloaf.com that satisfied both my intent to use ingredients and techniques available at the time and my desire for a tasty, well-sprung loaf.  The recipe is for a Miche – a very large round loaf weighing 1.5 kg.  I cut the recipe roughly in half and made a 2 lb loaf.  My banneton nearly overflowed, but the resulting loaf was excellent.

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Revelations via an etched Mesolithic pendant found in Yorkshire.

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The pendant dates to 11,o00 years ago.  When I first read the article’s title, I was skeptical about “secret codes”, and I still think it’s a bit on the sensationalist side.

This pendant has connections.  The lines are similar to those drawn on batons found in Asia, related to societies with shamanic, animist based religions.  If the usage was as similar as the marks themselves, then the long lines may represent hunts, and the small lines that make tick marks along the longer ones may represent the number of animals taken in the hunt.

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Haute Couture in the Old Kingdom, Dynasty 4, reign of Khufu 2551–2528 B.C.

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This beautiful beadnet dress was last worn over 4500 years ago.  The dress was discovered in a tomb in Giza, Egypt in 1927.  The strings had almost entirely rotted away, but the beads were well preserved, and enough of the pattern had survived for the dress to be reconstructed with new string.  This is the oldest known beadnet dress example.

It’s on view at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the Egypt: Old Kingdom Funerary Arts Gallery (Gallery 105B)

More here.