Just thought I’d let everyone know that I’ll be speaking in Nashville, TN this coming October at the second “Christian Symposium on Aliens” – otherwise known as Ancient of Days 2013. The event is scheduled for October 3-6. I’ve been assigned two lectures that will occur on Friday, Oct 4:
“The Divine Council, Giants, and a Return of the Nephilim?” (please note the question mark)
“Paleobabble! The Role of Pseudo-Science and Bad Theology in Today’s Popularized Alien Mythos”
I’ll also be participating in a lengthy symposium and Q & A sessions on Sunday, Oct 6. I’ll come up with abstracts a little later and post those. Here’s the schedule as it stands now.
I’m not promising anything, but I’ve alerted the organizer, Guy Malone, that at my present writing rate, the first full draft of The Portent, the sequel to my paranormal / theological thriller, The Facade, should be in the can by the end of summer. That means it’ll be in the editorial stage at the time of this event. That in turn would mean (again, this is all guesswork) that the sequel would be ready for Christmas. If things follow this scenario, I’m considering the idea of taking pre-orders at this event for signed copies of The Portent. (I haven’t talked to the publisher about that yet, but it’s on my radar). This is the only event I have scheduled for the fall, so if such a pre-order offering emerges, Ancient of Days 2013 is the only place it’s going to happen.
According to what my blog tells me under the hood, this week marks five years since I started blogging about the wackiness about antiquity we’ve all come to know and love. Hard to believe, I know. And of course some would say it’s five years too many.
As many of you know, I have three blogs. As far as a five-year track record for this blog, here are some stats:
Number of Posts: 525
Word Count: 108,784
Ancient Astronaut believers offended: unknown
People who have rediscovered logic as a result of the blog: hopefully more than in the previous category
A few days ago the Luxor Times reported the discovery of 40 papyrus documents and 30 caves “sealed by King Khufu’s cartouche” were discovered “at Wadi El Jerf, located on the red sea coast to the South of the city of Suez, about 190 kilo meters.”
Given it’s associated with Khufu (4th dynasty – ca. 4500 years ago), I’m hoping some of the papyri deal with building projects (e.g., the Great Pyramid). We’ll see.
The good news is that you can now post comments. I’ve gone to using something called Disqus for that.
The bad news is I still can’t see them in my dashboard. However, Disqus sends me notifications when anyone comments (got two today). Once I approved them they showed up just fine. That’s nice, but I can’t actually reply from those notifications.
So, readers can comment now as before, but it’s a bit clunky for me to reply. It’s inconvenient for me, but it’s better than nothing.
This link from the Ancient World Online (AWOL) will take you to a few dozen SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) seminar papers that have been made available for free. There were several academic papers on 1 Enoch that caught my eye:
The Bellingham Herald, the local newspaper in my neck of the woods, ran an article on me today (you have to love the rocket behind me in the picture). The interview with Michelle Nolan was a lot of fun. It was fascinating — she’s a veritable walking encyclopedia on the history of comic books and science fiction. We tried to focus on several of the ideas in The Facade. I actually got several good trajectories for the sequel, The Portent, from the interview.
[Addendum 1/26/2013: Kate Phizackerley of the KV64 blog would like readers to know that she is uncertain as to the identity or political affiliation of those who have hacked her site. She writes: "There seem to be suggestions that Andrea and I know the affiliation of those who hacked us . . . We don’t and by policy I haven’t speculated. Part of the reason for my reticence is that some, although not all, of the hackers have been polite to us. In particular, at no point did the hackers claim association with any religion." This blog has been one of those who have speculated on this. Since Kate elsewhere noted that The hackers see her site and other Egypt-related sites as “representing a form of political threat,” and since the recent political events involve militant elements such as the Muslim Brotherhood, I don't think the math unclear. I know of no other groups among those engaged in the political struggle in Egypt who would have a problem with free speech in principle. I should also add that the issue in my view isn't religious affiliation per se. Egypt was predominantly Muslim before the upheaval and KV-64 and other blogs operated just fine, so that isn't the problem. The problem is militancy and opposition to democracy. But Kate is certainly correct that she has not offered any such opinion. - MSH]
The KV64 blog (focus on Egyptology) produced so capably by Kate Phizackerley has shut down. I’ll certainly miss it. Kate writes:
Following on from the problems at Egyptological I have taken the reluctant decision to close this blog as well for the foreseeable future. Many thanks for your support over the years.
As her words indicate, Kate was also one of the forces behind the online journal Egyptological, which was recently discontinued due to hacking efforts on the part of radicalized Islamic elements in Egypt. Apparently the KV64 blog was also incompatible with those elements. Another loss for free speech in Egypt.
Several readers (and I’ve checked myself) have informed me that, while the blog is back and the links work again, the comments are not working. Posting a comment appears to go fine with no glitches, but they never appear in my dashboard for approval.
I’ve contacted the tech people at my host again, so stay tuned. Just a heads up.