Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday Trivia

Pyramids in Brazilian Cartoons (Isaura Daniel)
ANBA - Brazil-Arab News Agency
Pyramids, Sphinxes and pharaohs. These and other elements of Ancient Egypt are included in cartoons and caricatures published in the Brazilian press. This is what the research by Karine Lima, a history student at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUC-RS) shows. She started research on the matter around two years ago, and it will become the work concluding her bachelor's degree.
There's an excellent cartoon on the page showing Dom Pedro II as a sphinx, published by Ilustrada magazine in 1871.

Self-Made Pharaoh
New York Times
If you are asked for a username and password, type egyptnews in both fields.

WHO is LordPharaoh ImHotepAmonRa?

It is a question that has likely occurred to anyone who has used the sweet-smelling balm Egyptian Magic to soothe everything from minor burns to itchy scalp.

The mouthful of a name, which is written on jars of this pale-yellow unguent, refers to its maker, a debonair 62-year-old man who changed his name to make it sound, well, Egyptian.

An American Student in London

Annie's British Blog

I am not sure why, but this blog really appealed to me. Annie is a student from New York who has come to London to study archaeology at the Institute of Archeaology at UCL. My only excuse for squeezing it into the blog is that one of her courses is Egyptian Archaeology.

Annie's perspective on London and Londoners is wholly endearing. As one who grew up overseas and came face to face with London at the age of 16, I can relate to some of her thoughts. Here's her blog post entitled "Orientation Situation", which has her response to Londoners in general and the mummified Jeremy Bentham in particular - and I have to say, whether you're American or not, you have to be a bit unusual if you don't find him a bit disturbing! I am very much looking forward to her insights into the workings of the Institute when she starts there full time.

So the past two days have been all about getting used to this country. In case I didn't mention it before, I was in a group of about 80 American study abroad kids; we were all staying at the St. Giles Hotel near Heathrow airport. For yesterday and most of today, we went from lecture to lecture, learning about various aspects of London culture. We learned about Londoners in general, safety in the city, academics in the UK, and about UCL (my new school).

Here are some of the things I learned:
About Londoners: They usually wear black or gray clothes because the weather is so depressing. They are a quiet, shy group of people, and they can be easily embarrassed. Onceyou embarrass a Brit, they won't be friends with you again. They believe Americans on the whole are too loud and bossy.
About safety: Britain was described repeatedly as a nation full or 'petty thieves'. I have to be careful I am not pickpocketed.
Academics in the UK: The professor doesn't lead you by the hand; you have to do alot of outside work. I'm ready for the challenge.
About UCL: UCL was the third university organized in England(after Oxford and Cambridge) and it was the first university that had no religious affiliation. The founder and premier philosopher of the school was a man named Jeremy Bentham. When he died, he gave his body to the university to be mummified. His body, dressed in his favorite clothes, still sits in the university library (although his head is made of wax; his real one fell off). I actually saw Jeremy today, and I found it sort of disturbing. All of the UC Lorientation leaders I met felt compelled to bring up Mr. Bentham; they found it to be really funny.

Some of my own observations: On the whole, the Brits seem to be very friendly. Food is not so great; today I was given a free sandwich that had tuna fish, whole corn kernels and mayo in it...bleeaaaargh.

Weather is pretty gray and it sprinkles occasionally from time to time. Everything is expensive.

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