July 2012 Archives

Gazing on the Deep: Ancient Near Eastern and Other Studies in Honor of Tzvi Abusch. Jeffrey Stackert, Barbara Nevling Porter and David Wright, Ed. Bethesda, Md: CDL Press. 2010.

First a bit of background, Prof. Abusch was a professor at Brandeis while I was there and I technically took 2 semesters of Akkadian with him, though they were primarily taught by his grad student Kathryn Kravitz.  

This Festscrift is a massive tome in honor of the 70th birthday of Tzvi Abusch, and as appropriate to such a volume it covers a wide range of topics within the span of Prof. Abusch's field, the history of the Ancient Near East.  In this case that has somewhat expanded to include 2500 years of Mesopotamian history and literature, linguistic and religious topics in the Old Testament, topics in post-biblical Jewish history and an article on an Indian Myth.  To actually finish the 670 page volume you'd need to have the ability to read German, Latin, Akkadian and Hebrew, as well as a knowledge of related fields.  

That said, the articles I was able to understand are a fascinating collection of pieces of scholarship.  Some focus on Tzvi's main field of research, demons and whitchcraft, while others hew to the specialities of the author, eg. Prof. Ravid's article on the Jews of Venice.  The most interesting ones, from my perspective are the weird little ones that seem to be "something interesting, but not enough to publish in an academic journal".  An example of the last category was one of my favorite bits, an analysis of the bitemarks that are sometimes seen in clay practice tablets to establish the age of the student scribes(Guinan, Ann and Erle Leichty. "Tasteless Tablets" pp. 49-51).

Several of the articles fall prey to the academic foul of "more footnotes then text" on the page, but that is luckily rare in the volume.

All told, it is an excellent read for those interested in the fields covered, and gives a much deserved nod to the life, work, and academic influence of the honoree.

Tom Fruin is a Brooklyn-based artist who tends to work in large, kaleidoscopically-colored plexiglass.  His latest work is at the western edge of his home bourough, and is based on one of the iconic elements of New York buildings, the roof water-tower.  During the day it's illuminated with natural light while at night there's a computer-controlled internal lighting system.

This is also a fantastic example of how photography can make or break an installation.  Compare the impact of the first picture with that of the second.



If you're REALLY interested, there's a video online of the assembly

Helpful hint, if you have a bash script with a function calling getopts, i.e.

make_tarball() {
    local START=`get_start_time`
    ## declare some variables
    ## Parse the args
    while getopts "s:d:a:x:X:v" ARG
	case $ARG in

you MUST make OPTIND a local variable, or a second (third, etc) call to the function will fail, with OPTIND too large to see any of the arguments


Lange and Heyne, no relation to A. Lange and Sohne, is a small, independent watch company based in Dresden Germany who specialize in large, ornate wristwatches in the style of the late 19th Century.  Their newest addition is simply a new material, the plates of their Caliber 1, a simple 3-hand watch which appears to be based on the Unitas design, can now be fabricated from fossilized mammoth ivory. 

Due to CITES rules, and its surprising lack of rarity, fossilized mammoth ivory is cheaper and more readily available then elephant ivody, despite not having been in production for over 10,000 years.  It's also more stable, that is less likely to warp, shrink or crack, then elephant ivory as the moisture is mostly replaced with minerals.

The picture below shows both the full watch, with the signature Louis XIV hands and triple lugs, and what "raw" fossilized mammoth ivory looks like.


| No Comments | No TrackBacks
An amusing bit of whimsey from Psalt Design.



Titanium bracelets this time from the prolific Lorenz Baumier (mentioned frequently before). Apparently he likes the beach, or likes it enough to put together this little, consisting of only three pieces, surf-themed collection of bangles.

Mediterranee, bluish anodized Titanium with a white-gold and diamond decorationOcean, in dark purplish blue anodized Titanium set with diamonds in white gold
Sable(sand or beach), golden anodized Titanium set with sapphires and black diamonds in rose and white gold

Prices range from 16 300 € to 22 200 €



About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2012 is the previous archive.

August 2012 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID