Log in

No account? Create an account
The Shy Pseudointellectual's Journal
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends]

Below are the 15 most recent journal entries recorded in The Shy Pseudointellectual's LiveJournal:

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005
11:15 am
We've come a long way, baby
Iraq's First Female Suicide Bomber Strikes
AP - 1 hour, 18 minutes ago

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A woman strapped with explosives and disguised as a man blew herself up outside an Iraqi army recruiting center in a northern town Wednesday, killing at least six people and wounding 30 in the first known attack by a female suicide bomber in the country's bloody insurgency. Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for the blast, saying in an Internet posting that it was carried out by "a blessed sister."

(Source: Yahoo! News)
Wednesday, March 16th, 2005
10:30 am
Saturday, November 6th, 2004
12:03 pm
New subspecies...or something. From Yahoo! News.
Indonesian scientist says Flores hominid not new species

Sat Nov 6, 8:35 AM ET Science - AFP

JAKARTA (AFP) - A leading Indonesian scientist challenged the widely publicised theory that fossilised bones found on the eastern island of Flores were from a previously unknown species of human.

Professor Teuku Jacob, chief palaeontologist from the state Gajah Mada University, will carry out tests to prove the fossils are from a sub-species of homo sapiens -- "an ordinary human being, just like us".

"It is not a new species. It is a sub-species of homo sapiens classified under the Austrolomelanesid race. If it's not a new species, why should it be given a new name?" the professor said.

Australian scientists last month made world headlines by announcing the discovery of a new twig in mankind's family tree, 'homo floriensis', a one-metre (3.25 foot) hominid with a grapefruit-sized skull.

Their theory, published in the British weekly scientific journal Nature, was that it was the smallest of the 10 known species of the genus Homo, the hominid that arose out of Africa about 2.5 million years ago.

Jacob said his team will aim to prove that the skeleton is from a 25-30-year-old omnivorous sub-species of man, not a 30-year-old female from the new species as previously announced.

They believe the skeleton's small skull is related to mental defects rather than being evidence that it is a different species.

In an intriguing development last month, researcher Bert Roberts of the University of Wollongong told the Australian newspaper that the new skeleton sounded remarkably similar to the Ebu Gogo, strange hairy little people that legend says lived on Flores.
Tuesday, August 24th, 2004
3:33 pm
Sorry, guys - screwed up below, and the computer won't let me edit or delete the entry.
3:04 pm
Historical fiction
Meme from chazzbanner
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<lj-cut="historical>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

Meme from chazzbanner
<lj-cut="Historical fiction list">
Bold = read
underlined = started but never finished (including partially read series)
italicizing = own but haven't read

Belle, Pamela - The Moon in Water trilogy
Belle, Pamela - Wintercombe quartet
Blackmore, R. D. - Lorna Doone
Bradley, Marion Zimmer - The Mists of Avalon
Bradshaw, Gillian - The Bearkeeper's Daughter
Broster, D. K. - Flight of the Falcon and sequels
Bulwer-Lytton, Edward - The Last Days of Pompeii,
Burgess, Anthony - A Dead Man in Deptford
Burgess, Anthony - Nothing Like the Sun
Caldwell, Taylor - A Pillar of Iron
Caldwell, Taylor - Great Lion of God
Clavell, James - Shogun: A Novel of Japan
Cooper, James Fenimore - The Last of the Mohicans
Cornwell, Bernard - Sharpe novels
Costain, Thoams The Silver Chalice
Costain, Thomas - The Moneyman
Cowell, Stephanie - Nicholas Cooke (trilogy)
Dickens, Charles - Barnaby Rudge
<b>Dickens, Charles - Tale of Two Cities</b>
Druon, Maurice - The Accursed Kings series
Drury, Allen - A God Against the Gods
Duggan, Alfred - Children of the Wolf
Duggan, Alfred - Count Bohemond
<b>Dumas, Alexander - The Three Musketeers</b>
Du Maurier, Daphne - Jamaica Inn
Du Maurier, Daphne - The King's General
<b>Dunnett, Dorothy - King Hereafter
Dunnett, Dororthy - The Lymond Chronicles</b>
<u>Dunnett, Dorothy - The House of Niccolo</u>
Eco, Umberto - The Name of the Rose
Eliot, George - Romola
Fast, Howard - Citizen Tom Paine
Fast, Howard - Spartacus
Flanagan, Thomas - The Year of the French.
Flaubert, Gustav - Salambo
Follett, Ken - The Pillars of the Earth
<i>Forrester, C. S. - Hornblower novels</i>
Fraser, George McDonald - the Flashman novels
<b>Gabaldon, Diana - the Outlander series</b>
- Forgive me. I hadn't yet discovered Dunnett.
Garrett, George - Death of the Fox
Gedge, Pauline - Child of the Morning
Graham, Winston - the Poldark novels
Graves, Robert - Count Belisarius
Graves, Robert - Hercules, My Shipmate
Graves, Robert - I, Claudius (and sequel)
Green, Peter - Achilles His Armour
Green, Peter - The Laughter of Aphrodite
Haasse, Hella S. - In a Dark Wood Wandering
Haasse, Hella S. - Threshold of Fire
Haasse, Hella S. - The Scarlet City
Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia - the Morland family series
Hawkkes, Jacquetta - King of the Two Lands
<b>Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The Scarlet Letter</b>
Heyer, Georgette - An Infamous Army
Holland, Cecelia - City of God: A Novel of the Borgias
Holland, Cecelia - The Firedrake
Holland, Cecelia - Great Maria
Holland, Cecelia - Jerusalem
Holland, Cecelia - The Sea Beggars
Holland, Cecelia - - Until the Sun Falls
Hugo, Victor - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Irwin, Margaret - Young Bess (and sequels)
Jakes, John - North and South trilogy
Jarman, Rosemary Hawley - We Speak No Treason
Kaye, M. M. - The Shadow of the Moon
- Did read <i>The Far Pavillions</i>
Kazantzakis, Nikos - The Last Temptation of Christ
Kent, Alexander - the Bolitho novels
Kingsley, Charles - Westward Ho!
Lofts, Norah - Crown of Aloes
Luke, Mary M. A Crown for Elizabeth
Mailer, Norman - Ancient Evenings
Mann, Thomas - Joseph and His Brothers
Mantel, Hillary - A Place of Greater Safety
McCollough, Colleen - Masters of Rome series
McMurtry, Larry - Lonesome Dove
<b>Mitchell, Margaret - Gone With the Wind</b>
Mitchison, Naomi - The Corn King and the Spring Queen
Morrison, Lucile Phillips - Lost Queen of Egypt
Norman, Diana - The Vizard Mask
<u>O'Brian, Patrick - Aubrey-Maturin novels</u>
O'Brian, Patrick - The Golden Ocean
Oldenbourg, Zoe - Destiny of Fire
Oldenbourg, Zoe The Cornerstone
Oldenbourg, Zore - The World is Not Enough
Orczy, Baroness - The Scarlet Pimpernel
Pargeter, Edith - A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury
Pargeter, Edith - The Brothers of Gwynedd Quarttet
Pargeter, Edith - The Heaven Tree trilogy
Pargeter, Edith - The Marriage of Megotta
Penman, Sharon Kay - The Sunne in Splendor
Penman, Sharon Kay - the Welsh trilogy
Pope, Dudley - the Ramage series
Prescott, H. F. M. - Man on a Donkey
Reade, Charles - The Cloister and the Hearth
Renault, Mary - Funeral Games
Renault, Mary - Fire from Heaven
Renault, Mary - The Bull from the Sea
Renault, Mary - The Mask of Apollo
Renault, Mary - The Persian Boy
Renault, Mary - The Praise Singer
Renault, Mary -The King Must Die
Renault, Mary -The Last of the Wine
Rice, Anne - Cry to Heaven
Rice, Anne - The Feast of All Saints
Riley, Judith Merkle - The Oracle Glass
Roberts, Kenneth - Arundel
Roberts, Kenneth - Lydia Bailey
Roberts, Kenneth - The Northwest Passage
Roberts, Kenneth - Rabble in Arms
Rofheart, Martha - Fortune Made his Sword
<i>Rutherfurd, Edward - Sarum</i>
<b>Rutherfurd, Edward - London</b>
- Also read <i>Russka</i> and <i>The Forest</i>
Sabatini, Rafael - Scaramouche
Schmitt, Gladys - David the King
Schmitt, Gladys - Electra
<i>Scott, Sir Walter - Ivanhoe</i>
Scott, Sir Walter - Quentin Durward
Scott, Sir Walter - The Talisman
Scott, Sir Walter Kenilworth
Seton, Anya - Katherine
Shaara, Michael - The Killer Angels
Shellabarger, Samuel - Prince of Foxes
Sholokhov, Mikhail And Quiet Flows the Don
Stendahl - The Red and the Black
Stewart, A. J. - Falcon
Stewart, Mary - The Merlin trilogy
Stone, Irving Lust for Life
Stone, Irving - The Agony and the Ecstasy
Stone, Irving - The Greek Treasure
Sutcliff, Rosemary- Flowers of Adonis
Sutcliff, Rosemary - Sword at Sunset
Tannahill, Reay - The World, The Flesh, and the Devil
Tannahill, Reay - A Dark and Distant Shore
Thackeray, William Makepeace - Vanity Fair
Tolstoy, Leo - War and Peace
- Come on. Who has actually read this?
Tolstoy, Nikolai - The Coming of the King: A Novel of Merlin
Tranter, Nigel - the Robert the Bruce trilogy
Treece, Henry - Electra
Treece, Henry - Jason.
<b>Twain, Mark The Prince and the Pauper</b>
Undset, Sigrid - Kristin Lavransdatter (trilogy)
Undset, Sigrid - The Master of Hestviken (tetralogy)
Unsworth, Barry - Morality Play
Unsworth, Barry - Sacred Hunger
Uris, Leon, Exodus
Vidal, Gore - Julian
Waddell, Helen - Peter Abelard
Wallace, Lew - Ben Hur
Waltari, Mika - The Egyptian
Waltari, Mika - The Etruscan
Wilder. Thornton - The Ides of March
Williams, John - Augustus
Wolfe, Gene - Soldier of the Mist
Yerby, Frank - Goat Song
Yourcenar, Marguerite - Memoirs of Hadrian

I was going to whine that Bolt's "A Man For All Seasons" isn't here, but of course, that's a play. Anyway, this is embarassing, because I love historical fiction, but I've read maybe two of these. Does anyone else fare better?
Sunday, August 22nd, 2004
1:05 pm
Armed Robbers Steal Munch's 'The Scream' in Oslo

Sun Aug 22,12:26 PM ET Add Top Stories - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Alister Doyle and Inger Sethov

OSLO (Reuters) - Armed robbers stole "The Scream" and another masterpiece by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch on Sunday in a bold daytime raid on an Oslo museum packed with terrified tourists.

Two masked robbers ran into the Munch Museum, threatened staff with a handgun and forced people to lie down before grabbing "The Scream," an icon of existentialist angst showing a waif-like figure against a blood-red sky, and "Madonna (news - web sites)."

Some stunned tourists said they feared they were victims of a terror attack. The men yanked the masterpieces from the wall, walked out the front door and escaped in a black Audi car driven by a third man who had been waiting outside, police said.

Worth millions of dollars, the pictures are among Munch's best-known even though he produced several similar versions of both. "Madonna" shows a mysterious bare-breasted woman with flowing black hair.

"We're following all possible leads ... but we don't know who did this," police detective chief inspector Kjell Pedersen told a news conference. One of the thieves spoke during the robbery -- in Norwegian.

The paintings were later cut from their frames which were found smashed and scattered in an Oslo street. The car was separately found abandoned a few km (miles) away.

Munch, a founder of modern expressionism who lived from 1863 to 1944, painted both works as part of a series about love, angst and death.


Art experts speculated the thieves might demand a ransom because the works were too well known to be sold on the open market. But, Pedersen said: "We have heard nothing."

Police cordoned off the museum, informed Interpol and alerted airports and border crossings. No shots were fired but a female guard was treated for shock.

"I saw one of the men put a gun right behind a guard's head," said Richard Marcus, a 63-year-old Texas businessman visiting Oslo. "It took a long time for the police to come."

"Some people were lying on the floor; I don't know if they were forced to or were just scared," said Anna Leiherr, a 22-year-old German student.

Czech student Marketa Cajova said visitors feared the attackers were terrorists. "He had a black face mask," she told NRK radio.

Another and perhaps better known version of "The Scream" was stolen from Norway's National Gallery in a break-in in February 1994 on the opening day of the Winter Olympics (news - web sites) in Lillehammer.

The 1893 version of "The Scream" stolen Sunday is a fragile tempera and pastel on board. "It's impossible to say which is the best work," said Gunnar Soerensen, head of the Munch Museum. A third, less well-known, version is in private hands.

In 1994, the government refused to pay a ransom for "The Scream" and police caught the thieves and recovered the picture a few months later. Those thieves, including one who stole another Munch painting in 1988, are now out of jail.

One Norwegian art expert estimated "The Scream" stolen on Sunday would fetch $60-$75 million if legally sold at auction and "Madonna" $14.92 million.

In the foreground of "The Scream," on a road with railings, is a human figure with hands to the head, eyes staring, mouth agape. Further back are two men in top hats and behind them a landscape of fjord and hills in wavy lines against a red sky.

($1=6.701 Norwegian Crown)
Monday, May 10th, 2004
9:16 pm
Lolita and Nabokov under fire
Lolita, that famed epitaph of one especially horny guy, is now under scrutiny to reveal whether or not Nabovok stole the idea from an earlier German author. To read the whole story, go to:


It's kind of long, but it might be more interesting if one has actually read the book. Or at least part of it. Offers some ideas on plagiarism or "cryptomnesia" as a whole, too.

P.S. - Paula - POST SOMETHING!!!
Saturday, May 8th, 2004
8:04 am
19th century Imperialism vs. America's role in the world
Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

Having had this poem included in the World History exam, I happened to be thinking of it and mentioned it to my dad. He brought up an interesting point and I'm not sure what to make of it. He suggested that the attitudes reflected in "White Man's Burden" and imperialism are the same Americans are using now in Iraq and the rest of the world. Of course, one would like to say that there are major differences and that we've come farther than that, but I don't know. Perhaps America isn't going around intentionally destroying cultures for the sake of substituting our own, "superior" one, but we do act like we know what's best for everyone else, regardless of how they feel. Also, the line about "Bring[ing] all your hopes to nought" is reminiscent of Vietnam and currently Iraq. The leaders of this country seem to feel that we have a moral obligation to go around policing and safeguarding people, and indeed, as the wealthiest country I suppose we do have responsibilities. But is this any different from believing in an obligation to convert and control the "half-devil and half-child" natives of the poem? I wonder if, in the end, America would be willing to cede power to the people of Iraq, or anywhere else, if a democracy is ever set up.
In all fairness, we are not trying to takeover the world solely for economic profit or to establish colonies, I believe, like the Imperialist powers were a century ago. There is a genuine will to improve the lives of the peoples of other nations, and to protect them from cruel regimes, human rights violations, and so on. Nevertheless, the undercurrents of superiority and condescension sound somewhat like American leaders today, and the quiet resentment and hatred of the foreign peoples is also strangely familiar.
Apparently this poem was written in response to the American takeover of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War.
(Um...Paula, if you read this, remember that my dad is a Republican, so don't start going on about a crazy liberal bias and stuff. Also, I tried to be objective in this. The end.)
Monday, May 3rd, 2004
7:54 pm
Kaiser Bill
My mom heard this from her mom, I guess from the Great War. Enjoy. Or just figuratively throw stuff at my head.


Kaiser Bill went up the hill
To get a look at France;
Kaiser Bill came down the hill
With bullets in his pants.

Thank you, thank you.

Current Mood: ditzy
Sunday, May 2nd, 2004
12:49 pm
Pseudo-Intellectual Classic Book List
Ok, so there was that book list circulating for serious and true intellectuals who actually enjoy existentialism and the like. Honestly, has anyone read all of those? Or even the majority? Here, for your amusement, is my refined and screwed-up version of the list. Please excuse my running commentary.
Pseudo-Intellectual Classic Book ListCollapse )
Um...excuse my inclination towards children's literature, sci-fi and fantasy, and trivial classics that everyone likes but no one will admit to. It just seems that these types of books are just as valid as stupid War and Peace.
Thursday, April 29th, 2004
11:18 pm
Ain't she pretty?
I do love the Regency time period, especially the fashions, and Jane Austen's books, and Patrick O'Brian's, &c.

I wish I looked like her.

*squeaks in delight*
Wednesday, April 28th, 2004
8:24 pm
Freed From Captivity in Iraq, Japanese Return to More Pain

Published: April 23, 2004

OKYO, April 22 — The young Japanese civilians taken hostage in Iraq returned home this week, not to the warmth of a yellow-ribbon embrace but to a disapproving nation's cold stare.

Three of them, including a woman who helped street children on the streets of Baghdad, appeared on television two weeks ago as their knife-brandishing kidnappers threatened to slit their throats. A few days after their release, they landed here on Sunday, in the eye of a peculiarly Japanese storm.

"You got what you deserve!" read one hand-written sign at the airport where they landed. "You are Japan's shame," another wrote on the Web site of one of the former hostages. They had "caused trouble" for everybody. The government, not to be outdone, announced it would bill the former hostages $6,000 for air fare.

Beneath the surface of Japan's ultra-sophisticated cities lie the hierarchical ties that have governed this island nation for centuries and that, at moments of crises, invariably reassert themselves. The former hostages' transgression was to ignore a government advisory against traveling to Iraq. But their sin, in a vertical society that likes to think of itself as classless, was to defy what people call here "okami," or, literally, "what is higher."

Treated like criminals, the three former hostages have gone into hiding, effectively becoming prisoners inside their own homes. The kidnapped woman, Nahoko Takato, was last seen arriving at her parents' house, looking defeated and dazed from tranquilizers, flanked by relatives who helped her walk and bow deeply before reporters, as a final apology to the nation.

Dr. Satoru Saito, a psychiatrist who examined the three former hostages twice since their return, said the stress they were enduring now was "much heavier" than what they experienced during their captivity in Iraq. Asked to name their three most stressful moments, the former hostages told him, in ascending order: the moment when they were kidnapped on their way to Baghdad, the knife-wielding incident, and the moment they watched a television show the morning after their return here and realized Japan's anger with them.

"Let's say the knife incident, which lasted about 10 minutes, ranks 10 on a stress level," Dr. Saito said in an interview at his clinic on Thursday. "After they came back to Japan and saw the morning news show, their stress level ranked 12."

To the angry Japanese, the first three hostages — Nahoko Takato, 34, who started a nonprofit organization to help Iraqi street children; Soichiro Koriyama, 32, a freelance photographer; and Noriaki Imai, 18, a freelance writer interested in the issue of depleted uranium munitions — had acted selfishly. Two others kidnapped and released in a separate incident — Junpei Yasuda, 30, a freelance journalist, and Nobutaka Watanabe, 36, a member of an anti-war group — were equally guilty.

Pursuing individual goals by defying the government and causing trouble for Japan was simply unforgivable. But the freed hostages did get official praise from one government: the United States.

"Well, everybody should understand the risk they are taking by going into dangerous areas," said Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. "But if nobody was willing to take a risk, then we would never move forward. We would never move our world forward.

"And so I'm pleased that these Japanese citizens were willing to put themselves at risk for a greater good, for a better purpose. And the Japanese people should be very proud that they have citizens like this willing to do that."

In contrast, Yasuo Fukuda, the Japanese government's spokesman offered this about the captives' ordeal: "They may have gone on their own but they must consider how many people they caused trouble to because of their action."

The criticism began almost immediately after the first three civilians were kidnapped two weeks ago. The environment minister, Yuriko Koike, blamed them for being "reckless."

To see the rest, you can check out the New York Times website. Yeah...I don't get it.
Tuesday, April 27th, 2004
8:41 pm
From the Diary of Anaïs Nin
A few months ago, I & my two good friends (one of whom is in this community) went to one of our favorite bookshops, where I purchased Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland, and the Anaïs Nin Reader. You may infer that I hoped there would be erotica in the latter -- there was not. What there was, what I enjoyed, I shall post in the lj-cut below. But first, may I say that I truly love the name Anaïs? It is exquisite. I have just decided that when I have children, I will name my daughter that. Of course, my son's name will be Francis, after Francis Crawford of Lymond (see The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett).

Here is the excerpt, which I am undoubtedly copying out illegally. I can only hope that the estate of Anaïs Nin will not come over and clobber me.

What I love about the following passage from Nin's diary is her warm, passionately interested nature; her willingness to see beauty in many ways and things.

I tried to edit it, to make it shorter...I hope I've not ruined it...

April 1936Collapse )

Sorry for typos!
4:18 pm
Hey, papa-ji! I don't know you, but you sound very existential and pseudointellectual! Let me introduce myself.
I'm Eliza and I, too, am a wanna-be intellectual and so on. This is evident from my cowl of low self-esteem and frequent use of obselete and pedantic words.
At the moment, I am not in a seraglio, but I am letting my brain fester as I sit in front of the scourge of our age - the computer! Nevertheless, I will remain here until my brain falls, whole and moldering and jellied, from my enlaged proboscis. Ha ha ha ha. Now worship me like the pseudo-goddess I am not.
4:15 pm
Hello my nascent little community. At present there are 2 members, and we have nothing much happening. However, let me introduce myself.

I am your moderator. A useful quotation is this one, of Ben Franklin's:

"If your head is wax, don't walk in the sun."

I'm a pseudointellectual, have been one since I was corrupted by a bisexual English boy named Ian, at the Gormenghast boards: http://pub136.ezboard.com/fgormenghastgeneral

I picked up Joyce, Pynchon, & other such postmodern trash from that repository of liberal luniness.

Here I am, semi-recumbant, like an odalisque on a bed of roses, set out to be the tasty treat of some perverse and twisted sultan.

Express your admiration for my genius -- post a reply!

Peace, love, & existentialism,
p u a b i
Arts & Letters Daily -- Where to Observe the Horrors of Academia   About LiveJournal.com