About crankyprofessor

I'm an associate professor of the history of art and architecture at a small liberal arts college in Upstate New York.

One had a better opinion of the Oxford University Press

I’m reading an interesting book* but came across three typos in one chart. The author is comparing the Hebrew Torah to the Septuagint version for textual differences**

on page 47, quoting Deuteronomy 6:4 from the Septuagint we read: “And these are the statues and judgements with the Lord commanded to the sons of Israel….”  Statues? With?

And then on page 48, quoting Deut 32:43, “…let all the angles of God prevail for him.” Angles? That’s one of the oldest mistakes in spell-check, so common a typo that when I have any angels in a piece I do a SEARCH just in case some of them get geometrized.

This is particularly conspicuous because the book has the passages in tabular form, so there’s a lot of white space around them and it’s very easy to notice. No one proofreads with eyes any more. No one. *sigh*

*Timothy Michael Law, When God Spoke Greek: The Septuagint and the Making of the Christian Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

**he says the correlation between the two versions is actually quite high, but in this chapter he is specifically pursuing differences. His working idea is that the Septuagint reflects now lost variant Hebrew versions, much like the ones found at Qumran, rather than just misunderstandings of the Hebrew.

Sanctimony over deaccession – whose art is it?

I’m teaching a First Year Seminar this fall on cultural property and just found another article for them to read. A regional museum in England sells an Egyptian statue to pay for building a new wing – and everyone is getting up in arms. 

I’m especially amused by the Egyptian ambassador’s fulminations. I’ve BEEN to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo - it’s a museological disaster. And, though there are plenty of packing crates just sitting around in the public areas, they have works in storage, too.

Tuberculosis epidemic?

If TB really is endemic in Central America we may be in for a really bad time. Here’s a rather alarmed blog post on a potential TB epidemic brought on by the massive rise in illegal immigration from Central America.

Two anecdotes:

When I was teaching Latin at Henry W. Grady High School in Midtown Atlanta we had a round of universal TB tests – a student came back from Christmas break in Vietnam with TB and all faculty and students were tested. I don’t think anyone outside her own family had been exposed, but it was exciting for all of us.

I had a weird lung problem in the summer of 2000 or 2001 that was finally diagnosed as a cyst formed around some particle I had inhaled (and no one ever figured out where I might have done that, since the most common form happens to chicken farmers). The initial protocol is to assume TB until proved otherwise. Unfortunately for me, I went in on a Friday afternoon. The pulmonologist didn’t come see me again until Monday morning, so I spent the whole weekend in isolation with an air filter the size of a washer in the corner of my room and all my meals brought in by gowned, hooded, masked nurses. No one checked the results of the TB test (negative, thank goodness) and dropped the isolation protocol until Monday morning.

 

A new science building at Penn

I’d actually like to walk up the staircase here (you may have to scroll through the slide show to see what I mean). 

There’s been a lot of thought over the last decade or so about how buildings can encourage serendipitous collaboration. Hanging the little seating areas along side the staircase? Interesting idea. I suppose the architect sold it as “you bump into someone on the staircase, he asks you a question, you offer to sit down and talk about your answer.”

I’m starting to look at science buildings — our next capital campaign had better be for that!

Corrupting the admissions process

The University of Texas is a big school and can absorb a lot of sub-average students. But when the corruption seems to be driven by the president, that’s pretty bad.

Of course, the old Rice joke was that UT was the best faculty a student body had never deserved. I’m sure that was very mean of us, and not nearly true. But one wonders what percentage of the law school were legislative admits?

 

Barbara Tuchman, The Proud Tower: a Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914. xiv.

We have been misled by people of the time [1890-1914] themselves who, in looking back across the gulf of the War, see the earlier half of their lives misted over by a lovely sunset haze of peace and security. It did not seem so golden when they were in the midst of it. Their memories and their nostalgia have conditioned our view of the pre-war era but I can offer the reader a rule based on adequate research: all statements of how lovely it was in that era made by persons contemporary with it will be found to have been made after 1914. A phenomenon of such extended malignance as the Great War does not come out of a Golden Age.

 

My father would never have let me get away with that . . .

I threw away TWO (2) containers of honey mustard dipping sauce from a take out meal today. He would have been appalled. My mother said “oh, fine.”* But here’s the real question — is frugality like that really why there’s so much money in TIAA CREF?

*However, she is resisting letting me give an unopened case of pre-packaged mandarin orange slices (I’ve never seen her open a container!) to the poor. I may have to sneak. I’m gradually emptying the shelves of the upstairs bathroom (stuff which they abandoned in 2006).

AS Roma’s new stadium

A new home for the Roma soccer team. Lots of pictures. 

I’m unimpressed. Bringing skyboxes to Italy? Not that the current Stadio Olimpico is a great building, easy to get to or get away from! I look forward to reading about cost overruns and work delays.

The interview mentions that there’s going to be a Roma Village – a 365 day shopping extravaganza! But it’s in the middle of nowhere . . . .  Why do people believe in making Destination Stadiums?

Travel day(s)

Yesterday was a planned travel day – Rochester to Chattanooga the long way. Today I hadn’t anticipated. Mother and I are headed down to North Alabama this afternoon for a family reunion tomorrow (I thought it was going to be a Sunday day trip). So no getting used to a bed yet, but I will get to have a meal or two with an aunt and uncle I haven’t seen much of for a long time.