Archive for June, 2007

Mythology

Posted in Deep Thoughts, History, Stories on June 26, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

Greek, Roman and Norse Mythology

Recently I have been reading about Norse mythology and the parallels between the gods of the Vikings and the gods of the Greeks and Romans struck me as quite interesting.  The parallels between the Greek and Roman gods alone are quite well known, as the Romans adopted their religion from the Greeks, but the Vikings also have similar deities.  They are all very similar, so much so that I have been able to compare them individually, as follows.

Greek               Roman               Viking
Zeus                Jupiter                 Odin
Aphrodite        Venus                  Freya
Heracles         Hercules            Thor
Apollo              Apollo                  Frey/Bragi
Ares                 Mars                    Tyr
Hermes          Mercury               Thialfi
Dis                   Pluto                    Loki/Hela

I think that the Viking goddess Iduna could have been Artemis (Diana) or Minerva (Athene) but I am not sure.  I also noted other resemblances between these mythologies.  For example, in Greece, the Olympians fought constantly against the Titans.  There seems to be a similarity in Norse mythology.  The gods of Valhalla are also continuously waging war against the giants.

It seems that they all originated from the same source.  So what was that source?  Ancient documents from Herodotus, Plato and others show that the Greeks borrowed their gods from the Egyptians, and the Romans borrowed their gods from the Greeks.  Perhaps Egypt was the founder of these religions.  And where did Egyptian gods come from?  It is believed that, possibly, the Egyptian gods were all really different traits of one god, and the priests characterized each demi-god.  And who was the one main god?  It seems to have been the sun.  And who was the sun?  Well, you can read more about this here.

Anyway, I thought that was interesting.

-Legolas

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Land of Marvels

Posted in Flotsam and Jetsam on June 15, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

Iguazu Falls

A little more than half a century ago, there lived a man called Richard Halliburton, a man who lived his dreams.  When he was a child he promised himself that one day he would travel the world, and when he became a man, he did.

He went to see awesome waterfalls, mountains, rivers, statues, castles, cathedrals, temples, cities, and other amazing sights around the world.  His life was one of adventure.  He climbed the Matterhorn, the beautiful volcanic Mt. Popo in Mexico, the rock of Gibraltar, and the dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral.  He swam the Panama Canal, witnessed the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, and went to the ‘ornament and honor of France,’ Reims Cathedral, the place in which Joan of Arc witnessed the crowning of Charles VII.

He not only dived 70 feet into the Well of Death in Mexico to see what it was like to be a sacrifice, but he dived into it twice!  He went to Christophe’s Castle in Haiti, the Grand Canyon, Iguazu Falls, (see picture above) and Carcassone, the French city of romance.  He crossed the Alps on an elephant to see how Hannibal must have felt on his way to attack Rome, and he went to see the ancient Parthenon in Greece.  He visited the ruins of Pompeii, under the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, and he explored the unearthly fairy caverns of the Blue Grotto.  He traveled to many other places also that I do not have the time to mention, but the places I have mentioned are only a few.

In 1937, he published his adventures in a book called the Occident, or the Book of Marvels.  Occident means west, because the places he spoke of in the book were the places he had been to on the western side of the world.  I read it this year, and his glowing description of the world’s wonders was truly breath-taking.

But he did more than that.  The Occident was only half of his travels.  He wrote another book called the Orient.  Orient means east, because this book covered his adventures on the other side of the world, the oriental side.  Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to read it, but I am sure it is worth reading!  I recommend both of them!

– Legolas

The Decline of Humanity

Posted in Uncategorized on June 15, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

     First of all, let us apologize for neglecting the blogosphere so disgracefully for such a long time! We went on vacation last week and our internet has been down for a long time. Everyone who has commented during this time is appreciated and thanked and we must beg forgiveness for not being able to respond to all of you.

     Stop by the Backyard to see the first poetry post there! (Remember that all you poets under 18 are welcome to send in your contributions to be posted at the Backyard. The address you should send the poetry to is ankaraacaademyATyahoo.com . 

     We would like to share a very interesting video with you all this week. The video shows women’s faces in art throughout the ages. Starting with Byzantine art, it moves through history all the way up to modern art in rapid progression. It is sadly beautiful.

     Upon observing the video, I noticed that the faces of the girls change as time passes. In the beginning all the faces are gentle and sweet. Gradually they began to look haughty and arrogant, sometimes condescending. The pictures start to lose their clarity. Time passes and girls start looking flirtatious, although I find it interesting to note that behind their beckoning glances and inviting smiles, they somehow look sad too.

     As more time passes the art becomes more and more blotchy and impressionistic. It’s now a little difficult to see the faces clearly. The blotchiness slowly begins to fade and give way to cubes and squares. The pictures are losing their beauty. The girls’ faces all look unreal and they are painted with fake and unnatural smiles.

     Somehow I get the impression that they are the faces we make out of shadows on the wall when we’re really bored. The last drawing looks like a child’s scribbles and the woman’s face has lost all emotions except for a pitiful, languid look of dissatisfaction. Although the video depicts a decline in art, this, I believe, is a grand illustration of the decline of humanity.

Frodo

Live Your Dreams…

Posted in Flotsam and Jetsam on June 11, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Last weekend, Bend gas station owner Kent Couch settled down in his lawn chair with some drinks and snacks – and a parachute.

Attached to the lawn chair were 105 balloons of various colors, each 4 feet around. Bundled together, the balloons rise three stories high.

Couch carried a global positioning system device, a two-way radio, a digital camcorder and a cell phone. He also had instruments to measure his altitude and speed and about four plastic bags holding five gallons of water each to act as a ballast – he could turn a spigot, release water and rise.

Destination: Idaho.

Nearly nine hours later, Couch was short of Idaho. But he was 193 miles from home, in a farmer’s field near Union, having crossed much of Oregon at 11,000 feet and higher…

…Why would Couch try such a flight?

“When you’re a little kid and you’re holding a helium balloon, it has to cross your mind,” he told the Bend Bulletin.

Read more here.

We Want You!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

Thanks to THE BACKYARD for featuring our blog this week.  If you haven’t visited there yet, or not in a while please take a trip over.  They have neat contests and entries.  You can contribute too and have your work published.  You’ll be famous! ;- )

Now, WE WANT YOU! to please send us any poetry that you have written since we are the poetry moderators.  We will post it at The Backyard on Wednesdays.  Every week we post a new poem, so please don’t be shy.  Pull out those poems that you are keeping to yourself and share them with the world. By the way, you must login in order to see The Backyard weblog to keep it safe for youth.

Oh, and HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY to those who are Americans! Nobody celebrates it over here so feel sorry for us while you are watching fireworks.

Frodo and Legolas