Anasazi Ruins, Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Exploiting Ethnic Divisions in the Middle East

Recent photograph of Berber fighters in Libya

On,August 9. 2011, The NY Times had an online article on how the Berbers of Libya are using the civil war in that country to seize local power in their homelands of western Libya. They are now in conflict with local Arabs. This is a good thing. Where the Times sees trouble, I see opportunity.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Review of "A Moment in the Sun" by John Sayles

I am less than one fourth the way though this book set starting in 1897 and continuing through the the end of the Spanish American war. Already the author, through his charters, has taken me to Alaska for the Yukon gold rush, to Havana to witness the sinking of the USS Maine, to Manila to witness the brutal execution of a Filipino rebel against Spanish rule, and somewhere in the American South to a prison camp where convicts are being used to tap resin from trees. Later he takes the reader back to Manila to see the American fleet destroy the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. I am confused.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

S-day a Memoir of the Invasion of England

This is an alternative history novel with novel twist to it. It addresses an important issue of social and geopolitical importance, which is not what happens in most counterfactual history books.

The most widely read counterfactual histories wander off into an unrecognizable future which no thinking person can believe, given the contingent nature of historical events.

The more common variety stop short to give a new ending to a historical event, without exploring the extended ramifications.

Think Turtledove's series of book on an alternative outcome to the American Civil War for an example of the first option, where the whole history of the world is explored though the end of World War II with a divided United States taking different sides in both World War I and World War II.

But as I said, S-Day is different. It starts by imagining that Nazi Germany had avoided war with the Soviet Union in 1941 The reason is not given, is not important, and is within the range of possibility. Simply imagine some new arrangement between Hitler and Stalin that keeps the Nazi-peace in Europe

Drawing Based on an Oil Painting of a Muslim Man

Done today in 3 hours. First time I did arms, hands and fingers seriously.

As usual I had difficulty with the eyes. Teacher had me turn the painting and the drawing upside down so I would concentrate on what was really there, instead on drawing what I wanted to see.

Still the teacher had to help me with the eyes starting with the eyes brows, which are angular rather than nicely curved like I want to draw then.

Also, more practice with geometry to get the proportions correct. Note that the man with his book forms a triangle. I am getting better at seeing geometry in art.