Pompeii— A Disaster That Already Happened

Having spent a good deal of time in Pompeii last October, and since the first century A.D. is my period of expertise, I went with some trepidation to see this 'disaster' movie, fearing it would not merely be about a disaster but would itself be a cinematic disaster- disastrous acting, disastrous plot, CG overkill, and so on.Well the good news is that this movie (which lasts only one hour and 38 minutes) is not as bad as the 'Clash of the Titans' of recent memory. How they talked Liam … [Read more...]

Into India— Part Thirteen

Heading back to the Taj Mahal for a last look, my mind was full of impressive images. Passing a sugar cane field on the left, and a overloaded wagon on the right, our drive zipped right back into the heart of Agra....a town crawling with tourists, even in January.You pass the ever present vendors hawking things on the street, in this case hot roasted peanuts!Some sites do not dim with time, or become less impressive with age....The Taj borders right on the major … [Read more...]

Into India– Part Twelve

Monumental tombs are few and far between in America. Even Presidents don't have tombs like that of Akbar in Agra as a moments glance at the site will show you. For example, look at this peak through the entrance way....Or this angled shot...And once you are inside, you realize that the gate is even more impressive than the actual mausoleum,More interesting is the detailed artisan work around the entrance to the gates...Or around the entrance to the tomb.... once … [Read more...]

A Week in the Life of Corinth— Another Review

A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF CORINTH---A Review by Professor Steve Walton of CambridgeI’ve greatly enjoyed reading this little (158 pages) book by Ben Witherington III over the last few days. It’s a novel in which he tells the story of a week in the city of Corinth, but it’s no ordinary week. The story features a former slave, Nicanor, who has returned from Roma after a business trip for his ex-owner, now friend, Erastos. Nicanor meets various people, and finds himself in the midst of political int … [Read more...]

Into India— Part Eleven

Forts doubled as palaces for the Moghul dynasty. As residences, there were special quarters built for the Shah's various wives. Both the red fort in Agra, and the fort/palace 20K outside of Agra share a similar construction, made of red sandstone. The Red Fort appears more like a fort, the other fort of Akbar, more like a palace with gates. In this post we look at the latter.This is the gentleman you meet as you enter this fort/palace.In order to get there you had to pass a lot … [Read more...]

Into India– Part Ten

As I mentioned, there are many interesting signs in India. For instance.... try reading this one....Or consider this one---look carefully. That's no ordinary stop sign.Check out this silent sign at the entrance to the city of Musoorie...This sign, with the three monkeys (hear no evil etc....) actually has an interesting history. It was a critique used by Gandhi, referring to various of the officials in India who did not want to hear it or see it, when it came to … [Read more...]

Into India– Part Nine

While I was at the Christian college in northern India, I was asked to help break ground on a new building for the students studying at the International Language and Linguistics Institute which is housed at this college. There, Wycliffe folk teach students to translate the Bible into the some fifteen languages of India.... I was also fortunate enough to be there for Federal Day. India became a proper independent constitutional democracy in 1950--- which is depressing, as it means I'm almost … [Read more...]

Into India— Part Eight

When you are taken to Agra, its not just to see the Taj Mahal (though that is goal number one) but also to see several other impressive examples of Moghul architecture including the tomb of Ahkbar, the fort of Ahkbar (actually out in the country between Agra and Jaipur), and the red fort. In this post we will be examining the famous--- red fort, which in fact is one part palace, one part fort, one part mosque.If you ask what makes the red fort red.... well its that incredible red … [Read more...]

The Monuments Men— Momentus but not Monumental

George Clooney, our home by from Kentucky, has shown as his latest feature film another buddy movie, quite unlike the 'Oceans' franchise. Indeed, one could say this film is oceans apart from that one, set as it is in WWII Europe. Based on the book by Robert Edsel about the actual rescue of lots of priceless art from the clutches of the Nazis, near the end of WWII, it tells a moving story, which raised the question-- Is it really worth a human life to save a work of art? As it turns out, the … [Read more...]