Washington Post Crashed-and-Burned-and-Smoking Watch: David Ignatius Edition
Moonset (November 2, 2009 6:30 am)

links for 2009-11-02

  • Missed in all the hoopla over the new Politically Incorrect Guide to Science by American Spectator editor Tom Bethell is an interesting fact. There’s no chapter summarizing his past vaunted attacks on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Indeed, when I browsed the book recently at B&N I must confess I was almost disappointed when I went through the list of chapters and saw no “Rethinking Relativity”.... [Bethell] writes: "Tom Van Flandern... is an independent thinker... [his] view that a designed artifact resembling a face is visible on Mars and has been photographed by NASA. I do not and never have subscribed to that view, which is unjustified by the evidence..."
  • Now it's an altogether different story.  There is a plethora of books on the Indian Ocean trade of antiquity, and the Periplus is a standard resource for historians.  Something has changed for me, as well.  Now, I'm reading it with Google Earth in front of me, as I turn every page.  The remarkable thing is that I can follow the Periplus like a soaring eagle, from landmark to landmark.  All the names have changed, though some survive in distorted form, in modern languages.  But the author had certainly been to the places he described.  Where he says there's a cliff or a mountain or a reef, there it is, for me to see with my own eyes.  With intense pleasure, I followed the text, while zooming in and out along the whole coast of the Red Sea, East Africa, Arabia, the Persian Gulf, the Makran coast, Sindh, the Rann of Kutch, the Malabar coast, the magical land of Taprobane (Sri Lanka).... Back in 1989, I wouldn't have dared to predict that such god-like powers would be available to me in