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Caesar's Plight

Caesar's Plight

Brilliant tactician, benevolent leader and first-degree murder victim - all of which, are diverse perceptions of Julius Caesar that elicit responses ranging from admiration and sympathy to spite.  He’s mostly been painted as a tyrannical dictator and narcissist - which he well may have been, for starting the trend of printing one’s own face on national currency as a statement of power and legacy. But how much have we considered Caesar’s own perspectives through these third-person accounts?

FBI IN HEAVEN

heaven-740392_1280.jpg

I guess many of you have heard different stories about the creation of the world and humans by different gods. Have you ever wanted to hear first-hand recounts from those gods? Well, this radio podcast “FBI in Heaven” will make your wish come true. This podcast entails an interesting interview with Yahweh - the Christian God and Pangu and Nuwa - who are famous creators of the world and humankind in Chinese history. From this interview, we will hear how different gods create the world and humankind, along with their thought processes. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this interesting radio podcast interview! [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/259524942" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

God the Father, By Cima da Conegliano [Public domain]A portrait of w:Pangu from w:Sancai Tuhui, By Wang Qi (1529 - 1612) [Public domain]This image depicts the goddess Nüwa (女媧), By Xiao Yuncong (蕭雲從), 1596-1673 [Public domain]Background information:

Modified version of Yahweh is slightly boastful and mischievous

Modified version of Pangu is serious and slightly sensitive

Modified version of Nu Wa is friendly, curious, and girly

Transcript:

Opening music

Host: Hi everyone, welcome to FBI in Heaven. This is the one and only channel that will bring you the most exciting and exclusive news about your favourite deities! I am Thundergirl and today we are at deity world! Thanks to our special guests, we have the chance of being invited up here. Now, let me introduce to you guys our special guests who will be joining us for today. Firstly, we have God, also known as Yahweh in Christian and Catholic churches.

Yahweh: Hello listeners of FBI in Heaven! I am Yahweh, and I am so delighted to be invited on the show today! It’s boring up here in the deity world… All I do is manage the growth of my precious trees in the Garden of Eden sigh…

Host: No wonder the trees are so well managed! I am [sic] so amazed when I walked through the garden just now! It must not be an easy task!

Yahweh: DEFINITELY!

Host: Well, I am sure everyone in deity world appreciates your gardening effort! The second guest we have for today is Pangu! Wow Pangu, we have always heard stories about you originated from the 194 CE! It is really exciting to see you in person! Also, your birth story fascinates many of us. You are 100% human, but unlike all human beings, you were born from an egg! That is so cool! Once again, welcome to the show.

Pangu: Hi everyone, I am Pangu, the creator of Heaven and Earth.

Host: Looks like Pangu has also brought us a beautiful goddess with him! Let us welcome the most gorgeous and lovely Nu Wa!

Nu Wa: Hello everyone! Really excited to be here! I am Nu Wa, hope my tail doesn’t scare all of you.

Host: Obviously not, as we all know, that is your unique feature - a half-human and half-snake body.

Nu Wa: Yes! People often address me as the First Mother! This is because, I created the FIRST man on Earth. I am really looking forward to the rest of the show and hope to spend a wonderful time with you guys!

Host: So before tonight’s show, we did a poll among our listeners to find out what they want to hear from you guys! So we will now start with the most popular question. That is, how did you guys create the Universe and more specifically, Earth?

Yahweh: Ahhh, how did I create the Universe? That was pretty long ago, it was even before 1400 BCE! So in the very beginning of time, I created Heaven and Earth. But Earth was sooooo boring! It was without form and void. Me being artistic, I had to do something to show off my talents! I decided to input some light into the dark void space. So on Day 1, I said "Let there be light" and TADAAAAH! There was light! I then decided to introduce some water into Earth on Day 2 because you know water is very important! Human bodies are 70% made of water. So drink more water kids! Since water is checked, can you guys guess what I created next?

Pangu: Ermmmm food?

Yahweh: That’s right! Food is so important! So, I created dry ground for vegetation purposes. Plants and trees of all kinds were bearing fruits with seeds in it, of course according to their various kinds. Ahhhh now I am reminiscing on the good old days...

Host: Wow that sounds like a great piece of work! What about the living creatures we see today?

Yahweh: Ah yes yes! My favourite living creatures, I had a lot of fun with them before I created mankind.

Nu Wa: Living creatures? What living creatures?

Yahweh: Calm down. So on Day 5, I created all these special little creatures such as water animals and birds. But it was boring not to have animals prowling on land so I created living creatures of various kinds on Day 6 - livestock, creatures that move along the ground and wild animals. And that was how I created the basics of Earth!

Host: That is really impressive! You managed to create Heaven and Earth and gave Earth life in 6 days?! That deserves a standing ovation!

Yahweh: Thank you! But, I am a little curious about how Mr Pangu created Heaven and Earth.

Host: YES! I guess everyone is curious too. So let’s ask Pangu. Hi Pangu, we have heard many stories about you being born from an egg? Is that really true?

Pangu:  Yes, I was born from a big black egg and I slept inside for about 18000 years. When I woke up, I realised I was being trapped inside this giant big egg.

Host: 18000 years?! That’s really long! But, I am curious, what’s inside the egg?

Pangu: Inside the egg, there was the Universe filled with nothing but chaos, no Heaven and Earth as they were intermingled.

Host: So what did you do next? Did you crack the egg?

Pangu: Yes I did. When I woke up, I realised I was being trapped, I have [sic] no choice but to force crack the egg and managed to crawl out from it.

Host:  What did you see when you first came out of the egg? And what happened to the egg?

Pangu: Sadly, I see nothing. I split the egg into half - the upper half became the sky and the lower half became the Earth. To prevent them from intermingling again, I had to hold them apart. That is when I realised, the longer I hold them apart, the thicker they grew and the taller I became - by precisely 10 feet per day.

Host: No wonder people often call you a giant! So, what happened next?

Pangu: After holding on for another 18000 years, I was really exhausted and I thought to myself: I guess my time is up and it’s time for me to make my final sacrifice.

Nu Wa: Pangu you such an honourable man!

Pangu: Thank you for your compliment. So, eventually I gave up my body to form the various parts of the Earth. My left eye turned into the sun, and my right eye became the moon. My body turned into mountains, blood became water, bones and teeth became the most precious minerals man own on Earth now.

Nu Wa: What about your voice and hair? Did you give those up too?

Pangu: Yes, I did. My voice became the thunder, my hair became the grass, my breath became the wind and my veins became the roads and paths.

Host: Have you ever regretted those sacrifices you have made?

Pangu: Never!

Host: You are indeed a remarkable creator! Thank you for sharing! Now that we have listened to 2 very interesting perspectives of how Heaven and Earth was created, let’s move on to another hot question that listeners want to know! That is, how was [sic] human beings created? Shall we start with Miss Nu Wa? Wow you guys can’t see how Nu Wa looks like from our radio broadcast but she is indeed a renowned beauty. Let us welcome, goddess Nu Wa!

Nu Wa: Thank you for your compliment! I’m totally blushing right now!

Host: So, can you tell us about your creation of humans? I believe the audience out there are eager to find out.

Nu Wa: Ahhh yes. Thanks to the creation of the Universe by Pangu, life on Earth began. I was attracted by the beauty and peace of the Earth and I decided to descend from Heaven.

Host: What did you do when you first arrived?

Nu Wa: I was SO FASCINATED with all the creatures I saw for the first time. I started to wander around, swim in the water and fly through the air.

Host: Looks like you had a great time! But what led you or inspired you for the creation of human beings?

Nu Wa: One day, I thought to myself: how nice it will be for the Earth to be a place of civilization filled with friendly creatures living together. With this thought in mind, I began to create some friendly creatures that are just as friendly as - me.

Host: I see! Could you tell us more about your creation of humans?

Nu Wa: YES! ABSOLUTELY! For the first six days, I created animals. On the seventh day, I created the first man from the yellow clay I found on the riverbank.

Host: Did you stop your creation after the creation of first man?

Nu Wa: NO WAY! Instead, I became more excited and curious.

Host: Why do you say so?

Nu Wa: Because, I saw how complex and colorful the life on Earth would be because of men. Therefore, I began to work day and night to make more and more.

Host: You seem determined! But have you ever thought about giving up?

Nu Wa: After some days passed, I became really tired. However, like what you said, I am determined with the things I want to do and achieve. So I decided to change my method of creation. I made use of a rope, dipped it into the clay mud and flicked it around, causing mud to drop everywhere. Each drop managed to turn into a man or a woman.

Host: That’s a brilliant idea!

Nu Wa: However, some drops landed too far away, burnt by the Sun’s heat, and changed its color. Those drops ended up becoming people of other races.

Host: That was really insightful! Now, I know why there are people of different skin colour on Earth! How about you Yahweh? How did you create mankind?

Yahweh: Ah yes yes. I remember how I created my first man, Adam, with so much hope for him to rule over the creatures that move along the ground… He turned out to be such a disappointment sigh. But let’s not dwell in the past! So yes, I created my first living being from dust of the ground around 10,000 BC to 4000 BC. It has been so long I don’t remember the exact year anymore… I named him Adam and we loved to roam around the Garden of Eden together. However, Adam needed a helper comparable to him. Thus, I created Eve, the first woman, out of his rib when he was asleep.

Nu Wa: I think playdoh is totally modeled after us!

Host: I love that game! Now, let’s all take a short break and listeners can call in after the break to speak to our guests!

Music

Host: Welcome back to FBI in Heaven! As promised, we will now let our listeners speak to our guests! Let’s have our first lucky listener. Hello?

Listener: OMG I MANAGED CALLED IN? Helloooo?

Host: Yes you have managed to call in! How should I address you?

Listener: My name is Jessica!

Host: Hi Jessica! So who would you like to talk to?

Jessica: Omg can I talk to Mr Pangu?

Pangu: Hello.

Jessica: Hello Mr Pangu!!! My whole family is a great fan of yours! I think you are really noble! It was so sacrificial of you to give up your body parts to create the Earth! Thank you! You are such an amazing person!

Pangu: Thank you Jessica, it is my pleasure to sacrifice for a fulfilling purpose. Help me to say hi to your family too.

Host: Wow Pangu you are really popular! Jessica, do you have anything else to say to Pangu or other guests?

Jessica: I love you Mr Pangu!! That’s all! Bye!

Host: Thank you for calling, Jessica! And yes I agree with Jessica, indeed Pangu is an amazing creator.

Yahweh: Erm excuse me? I created Heaven and Earth in 6 days! Who is more amazing huh?!

Pangu: Well, but I sacrificed myself for the Earth. Did you do that?

Yahweh: I am an efficient and powerful god! No bodily sacrifice is needed! With a snap of my fingers, I can create whatever I want. Can you do that huh huh? Guess not cause you’re a pathetic human!

Pangu: Youuuuu

Nu Wa: Guys we are on air!!!

Yahweh: Seeeee you can’t come up with anything to refute right? HUH HUH!

Pangu: I can’t be bothered.

Host: Ahhhh it’s sad to say that our show has to come to an end. I believe all 3 guests today are really amazing in their own ways. I bet our listeners learnt a lot about the process of Earth and human creation. Thank you so much for coming on the show today! Do tune in to FBI in Heaven tomorrow at the same time as we have prepared another surprise guest! See you guys tomorrow!

Closing music

References:

http://www.livingmyths.com/Chinese.htm

http://www.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/html/en/13Traditions268.html

http://www.ancient-origins.net/human-origins-folklore/pangu-and-chinese-creation-myth-00347?nopaging=1

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Nuwa

http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/CS/CSPG&NW.html

http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Ni-Pa/Nu-Wa.html

http://bibleview.org/en/bible/genesis/7days/

http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/kids/questions/11.asp

http://www.gqkidz.org/how-God-created.html

https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/adam-and-eve/creation-date-of-adam-from-young-earth-creationism-perspective/

https://carm.org/when-was-bible-written-and-who-wrote-it

Music used:

Opening song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPW5A_JyXCY

Yay sound effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waRq6ZR7BNE

Drumroll sound effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itAOGRiYRLI

Applause sound effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heAw4z71lvo

Intermission song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyASdjZE0R0

Ending song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyEuk8j8imI

 

**Featured Image: Free stock photo: Heaven, Sky, Blue, Clouds, Sun, By Pixabay [Public domain]

Tweets from Queen Esther

Hello everyone!

Today I will be introducing to an amazing woman: Queen Esther! Well, being a queen, she's very busy (if not dead), so I'll be showing you some of her tweets from her private Twitter account instead. Shhh, don't tell anyone.

Here are some background knowledge to fully equip you with the ability to appreciate Queen Esther better.

Back in 586 BC, the Jews were captured in Babylon and barred from returning to their homeland, Jerusalem. After approximately 50 years, the ruler Cyrus II freed them from their captivity, but a portion of Jews still remained in Babylon. Queen Esther was one of them, and her story took place when Babylon was under the rule of a Persian King, Xerxes.

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Esther (or Hadassah) was described as a beautiful young woman. Her parents died when she was young, and she grew up with her cousin, Mordecai.

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We first hear about Esther because King Xerxes was in search of a new queen to replace Queen Vashti. Persian kings usually marry girls from one of the seven aristocratic families in Persia, so it was surprising that Esther was chosen to be queen in the first place. 5

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Shortly after Esther was queen, she prevented an assassination of King Xerxes.

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"That's just dandy, Grace. But what real contributions did Queen Esther do?" You may be asking.

Well, Queen Esther prevented a Holocaust of the Jews from this official named Haman who wanted to kill all the Jews in the country. She first learnt about this plan through Mordecai, and ordered everyone to fast for 3 days before she sees King Xerxes.

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Back in those days, no one can see the King unless they are summoned. Thus, the possibility of Queen Esther getting into trouble was very real.

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Thankfully, King Xerxes was not offended! He also agreed to Queen Esther's request.

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After an elaborated plan, Haman was ordered by King Xerxes to be impaled on a pole. 14

Queen Esther wanted to make sure that the plan that Haman devised to eradicate all Jews is completely ceased. Thus, with the help of King Xerxes, she gave power to the Jews and impaled all ten sons of Haman.

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Coming from the Bible, the story of Queen Esther is seen as a reminder that every thing happens in God's time. Followers believe that Esther was chosen by God from the start to prevent the Holocaust of the Jews, and even though it was difficult to see at times, God's plan came through in the end.

I hope you have learnt a bit more of Queen Esther through this! She does sound cool, doesn't she?

Thanks for reading! :D

Timeline - Iconic Helmets Throughout History

Ancient_Greek_helmets.jpg

When we think of people from ancient civilizations, one of the first things that comes to mind is the attires and armors that they wear. The helmets that they wore were also very symbolic items that helps us to identify people from each civilizations. For our last blog post, we have chosen to focus on several iconic helmets that were worn throughout history. We hope that you can gain a more detailed insight about these helmets, for example, what were they made of and how did they protect their wearers during war, as well as the significance they held in their respective cultures. Here is the timeline that we had made: http://whenintime.com/tl/micro/iconic_helmets_in_history/

Please take a look!

Days and Knights Templars

photo_2016-04-15_23-14-52-1.jpg

Hi friends! So for this post, I've decided to create a Tumblr blog dedicated to the Knights Templar. The reason why I chose them is because I feel that they are an underrated group of people. They've influenced how we perceive religion today as they pioneered many ideals for holy warriors. In this day where ISIS, Muslim Jihadists is a big issue, I feel that people should know that they were not the first military warriors so they claim to be and this is not the first holy war. As soon as I began my research, I realised that not many people know what the Knights Templar did and why they are important. There were very little helpful and reliable resources found online. The blog also contains several materials produced by other Tumblr users about the Knights Templars as well as fictional accounts created by me on what I think would have been going through the knights' minds during that time. I hope you will take a peek into my short Tumblr blog and maybe interpret the sources I provided there with your own opinions. And don't forget to comment on what you think about these knights! Oh by the way, the reason for the title is that these Knights traveled days and nights to protect pilgrims in their journey across Europe to the Holy Land of Jerusalem.

Link to my blog, just click here! ugcknights.tumblr.com

Preview of what my blog looks like!
Preview of what my blog looks like!

Plain Joan (Jane)

Our last blog post would depict the life of Joan of Arc in Singapore’s modern context, where her life is mapped out akin to how it would be if she was living with us in this time and age. The platform we have chosen is Instagram, in which photos are uploaded as if she is a typical user living in this world of social media. We have researched and marked out significant moments in her life, and placed ourselves in her shoes to illustrate them in the form of an Instagram feed. Unfortunately, due to the new Instagram update, we were not able to backdate the photos, hence. However, we hope that through the images, you would still be able to have an idea of her life.

We sourced for pictures online and created a feed that would reflect the comings and goings of her life. To give a more realistic touch, we also made use of hashtags such as #saynototerrorist and #justmarried. Additionally, we have uploaded the  in accordance to the order her life would take course.

We chose this platform as Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social media platform today and it would be an interesting way to map out the life of one of the world’s most well known female warrior.

The link to our instagram feed can be found here

Attached is a brief timeline of the significant activities in her life:

Timeline

Sources (Photos):

Profile picture: http://s202.photobucket.com/user/BillGoodwin/media/Joan%20of%20Arc%2008/leelee121024x768.jpg.html

Toilet: Our own

Hallucinating drawing: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/9f/e9/94/9fe99466e08610045121a3dd3c0103c3.jpg

Everyone thinks I am such a happy person: http://41.media.tumblr.com/e678d69b7c94f31e328d0395fe045980/tumblr_nxl7qtdbes1ui5kevo1_500.png

Church picture: http://www.meridianpeakhypnosis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/church-hypnosis.jpg

Church drawing: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/45/0a/e7/450ae7a98a951850c131d40df1bafb07.jpg

Choosing between 2 guys illustration: http://pad2.whstatic.com/images/thumb/4/4e/Choose-Between-Two-Guys-Step-6.jpg/670px-Choose-Between-Two-Guys-Step-6.jpg

Split path: https://magickfromscratch.com/2014/07/14/standing-at-the-crossroads-part-ii-where-hermes-fits-in/

Groomsmen: http://www.amandadonaho.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/IMG_7265.jpg

Commisioning photo: http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_pictrure_780x520_/public/articles/2016/01/17/37210693_-_17_01_2016_-_alofficer18.jpg?itok=TQQtW_6n

Just Married: http://bridalguide.com/sites/default/files/blog-images/kristen/stuff-every-groom-should-know/just-married.jpg

Plane: https://www.flickr.com/photos/suratlozowick/4259062038

Eiffel Tower: http://www.thousandwonders.net/Eiffel+Tower

Louvre: http://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/destinations/france/ile-de-france/paris

Eiffel Tower dinner: http://bridalmusings.com/2015/02/honeymoon-hotspot-paris/

Paris Attacks: http://qz.com/556659/after-the-paris-attacks-im-scared-but-that-doesnt-mean-im-giving-in/

Paris Attacks night: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/11/school-students-reflect-paris-attacks-151117080407620.html

Ted stage: http://tedtalks.soup.io/tag/Talent%20Search

Microphone: http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2013/01/11/10-amazing-motivational-speakers-with-special-needs-video/

 

Sources (Information):

http://www.historynet.com/joan-of-arc http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=aa41 http://global.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Joan-of-Arc http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=aa41

Tracing the Cat-alogy

Greetings to all! Welcome to our very last blog post. In light of the cat-craze on the Internet and in consideration of all cat lovers in the community, we have decided to dedicate this post to cats today and in ancient Egypt. Cats are a huge part of many animal lovers’ lives in Singapore today as it was in ancient Egypt, coy but beguiling. But cats do not always have it easy despite being well-loved by many, if we may bring up the unfortunate strings of cat abuses and deaths in Yishun, Singapore in recent months. This post shall also raise awareness of the importance of cats, it is meow or never! Cats which were also referred to ‘mau’, (due to the sounds they make) were highly important in ancient Egypt because they shared intimate relationships with humans. The close relationships were formed when people started noticing that cats were hunting and killing off pests such as rats, that were destroying their crops and spreading diseases. Thus, they began placing food around the village to attract more cats. Subsequently, cats began entering people's houses and eventually developed friendly relations with humans.

In fact, ancient Egyptians were the first few civilizations to keep cats as pets. Similarly today, many people own cats as pets and companions. There are also evidences suggesting that most domesticated cats across the world today could have probably originated from a common (cat) ancestor in Fertile Crescent, which included ancient Egypt.

Additionally, ancient Egyptian cats were associated with many well-known and respectable goddesses and therefore they are revered.

Notably, there are two respectable goddesses that are associated with cats. There is Mafdet, the goddess of justice and the first goddess associated with cats. People in ancient Egypt strongly believed that Mafdet protects humans from poisonous creatures like snakes and scorpions . She was also famous for executing a serpent with her sharp claws. (talk about the meow power)

Are you already intrigued by the cats of ancient Egypt? There is another well-known feline goddess associated with cats as well! This picture shows Bastet (also known as ‘Bast’).  Like Mafdet, she was strongly regarded as a protector for she acts as the defender of homes and the protector of women, children and royal families. She was also referred to the “Eye of Ra” who is the god of sun, and Egyptians believed that she could protect Egypt from threats.

Disclaimer! Content below is largely fictional  

During a trip to Egypt a few years back, we had managed to excavate a diary that belonged to the mistress of a cat named Layla. The mistress had  such a close relationship with Layla that she wrote a diary based on its life, from the perspective of a cat in most parts.

We are delighted to share all of the entries in the diary with all of you. Therefore, we have created an Instagram account and you can click on the link right below and we hope you will be able to gain a better insight of the life of an ancient Egyptian cat!

(https://www.instagram.com/laylathemau/)

References

Alchin, L., Egyptian Cat, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.historyembalmed.org/ancient-egyptians/egyptian-cat.htm

Alchin, L., Cat goddesses, March 2015. Retrieved from http://www.landofpyramids.org/cat-goddesses.htm

Audrey, T., Second man arrested over cat abuse in Yishun, January 24 2016. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/second-man-arrested-over-cat-abuse-in-yishun

Hill, J.,  Cats in Ancient Egypt, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/cat.html

Hill, J., Ancient Egyptian gods: Bast, 2010. Retrieved from  http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/bast.html

Amstutz. L. J., Ancient Egypt, January 1 2015. Retrieved from Google Books

Larson, K., Egyptian cat names, n.d. Retrieved from http://www.findcatnames.com/egyptian-cat-names/

Names and meanings, Egyptian girl names, n.d. Retrieved from http://www.names-meanings.net/names/female-egyptian

Petcentric, Why Ancient Egypt worship cats, n.d. Retrieved from https://www.petcentric.com/11-27-2012/why-ancient-egypt-worshipped-cats

Springer, L., The cat in Ancient Egypt, June 5 2011. Retrieved from http://www.touregypt.net/egypt-info/magazine-mag04012001-magf1.htm

The goddess Bast, n.d. Retrieved from http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/goddess_bast.htm

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The art of ancient Egypt. Retrieved from http://www.metmuseum.org/~/media/Files/Learn/For%20Educators/Publications%20for%20Educators/The%20Art%20of%20Ancient%20Egypt.pdf

Unwrapping the secrets of ancient Egypt: Cats, September 2014. Retrieved from http://www.themuseum.ca/blog/unwrapping-secrets-ancient-egypt-cats

Wade, N., Study traces cat’s ancestry to Middle East, June 29 2007. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/29/science/29cat.html?_r=1

Citations for images (according to the order in Instagram)

By Malcolm Gin derivative work: Abujoy. Egyptian-mau-face [CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 ]

By Anonymous Egyptian tomb artist(s) Sennedjem and Ti harvesting papyrus [Public domain]

Screenshot of GIF Via giphy

By Maler der Grabkammer des Horemhab. Locust detail from a hunt mural in the grave-chamber of Horemhab. Ancient Egypt [Public domain]

By aneplhia. Egyptian cat with his mistress via http://anelphia.deviantart.com/art/Egyptian-Cat-293539443 [CC BY 3.0]

John Reinhard Weguelin. The Obsequies of an Egyptian Cat [Public domain]

Manfred Heyde. Tomb of Nebamun [public domain]

Own work

By Avsar Aras. Baby Face [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Own work

Own work

Own work

By Alma E. Guinness. Egyptian professional mourners in a sorrowful gesture of mourning [CC 0]

Own work

By Greudin. Antiquité égyptienne, Musée du Louvre, pavillon sully, 2002[CC 0]

By Larazoni. Sarcophagus of Prince Thutmose's cat by Madam Rafaèle (http://www.flickr.com/photos/laraz/2063179834/) [CC BY 2.0)]

Video by: Muhammad Irfan Danish Bin Azhar

The Buddhist Element

As we know, there are many denominations of Christianity, and although they all believe in God, they are also theologically different. The same would apply for Buddhism. In my final post for this module I'm going to try to demonstrate how Buddhism varies across countries - particularly in Asia - despite them all being, well, Buddhism. And what better way to show this than through the differing Buddhist art (mainly architecture, through temples) across the various countries? Because I don't want to make this post too wordy, I'll only be introducing Buddhism from five countries (six if you count Tibet as not part of China) and not all the countries which I have shared on the Tumblr blog.

Tibetan Buddhism

Buddhism in Tibet is centered around Mahayana Buddhism, "with with Tantric and Shamanic, and material from an ancient Tibetan religion called Bon." At one point in time, it was believed that one sixth of men in Tibet were monks. Tibetan Buddhism is most closely associated with Vajrayana Buddhism (a form of Mahayana Buddhism) which is the "most mystical and esoteric of the schools" and diverges so much from the original Buddhism that it is sometimes not accepted as a form of Buddhism at all.

A unique feature of Tibetan Buddhism is the Dalai Lama, whom the Tibetan Buddhists believe "to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet". The Tibetan Buddhists also believe in "the reincarnations of scholar-adepts that has been of immense help to both the Dharma and sentient beings".

Buddhism in Thailand

Around 95% of the people in Thailand follow Theravada Buddhism, which is also the country's official religion. Buddhism has a long history in Thailand, and it is said that it was brought from India to central Thailand in around 200 BCE, and it became the state religion during the Sukhothai kingdom in the thirteenth century.

Buddhism in Japan

Although Buddhism in Japan is slowly dying out, it has a long history in the country since arriving from Korea in the sixth century. Buddhism just about flourished in Japan from its introduction during the Kofun period until the Momoyama period, preceding the Edo era, when Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi both actively sought to suppress Buddhism for political reasons. Buddhism never really became prominent after that; it was replaced with Confucianism and the Shinto religion.

Chinese Buddhism

There are an estimated 20 million Buddhists in China, which is not surprising since Buddhism had been around in China from as early as the 1st century CE and the prospect of "eternal salvation" appealed greatly to the Chinese. The "development and expansion of Buddhism dominated Chinese religious culture" for several centuries following the demise of the Han dynasty (Schuman, "Confucius the King", pp. 55), although many Chinese still practice their folk religion. During the Cultural Revolution, the government tried to "eradicate all religion", and Buddhist temples and sites bore the brunt of their rage. However, in recent years, Buddhism is again on the rise.

Buddhism in Myanmar

Myanmar (Burma) is not called "the land of the golden pagoda" for nothing. Like in Thailand, the main religion in Myanmar since the eleventh century is Theravada Buddhism. A long line of devout Burmese kings and their citizens built numerous monuments in profession of their devotion. Buddhism had become so integrated with the Burmese identity that "nationalism took on specific Buddhist associations".

Buddhism in South Korea

Buddhism came to Korea from China in the fourth century, but in North Korea "religious freedom remains non-existent". As of 2005 43% of South Koreans are Buddhists, and although Protestantism is on the rise, Buddhism still remains prevalent. Unlike in Japan, Korean rulers mostly continued to promote Buddhism (along with Confucianism), which is one of the reasons why it has been so long-lasting.

References

All photographs used on the Tumblr blog are credited in their individual posts (permalink page). All text references are hyperlinked to their sources.

Truth... or Truth??? With Jesus!

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Hi guys, ever read or heard stories about things like the Noah's ark or even the crucifixion and wondered wow... how's that even possible? Well, my group members and I have so here's an audio clip of what we envision a conversation with Jesus on these two topics to be like ;) Enjoy! [audio m4a="https://helloworldciv.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/PODCASTFINAL-WITH-MUSIC.m4a"][/audio]

Transcript

A: Hey Jesus! I have a question for you, was Noah’s Ark really real?

Jesus: Yeah of course! Have you heard of the story?

A: Yeah *hesitant* I’ve heard of the story but … I’m not so convinced.

Jesus: Okay, let me start by telling you the story. Noah was a man chosen by me to build an ark in preparation for the Genesis flood. The ark was meant for his family and two of each animal.

A: I guess that sounds legit but *unsure* how is it possible for all the animals to fit on one ark?

Jesus: Well, Noah took 120 years to build the ark that was 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 45 feet high.  That gives us a total of 1,518,750  cubic feet in space which is comparable to 569 railroad boxcars. So yeah of course it can fit all the animals into one ark.

A: Errr Okay? So we have the ark settled *not convinced* I guess but…  how do I know if the flood actually happened in the first place? Because if it didn’t happen then we don’t really need a boat right?

Jesus: Yeah! you’re absolutely right! *excited* But you know what? I’m not going to prove it to you using my words this time because I know you are not going to believe in me but perhaps you will believe in a well-known underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard. He believes the great flood actually happened because he found substantial evidence to support this! He is currently searching for even more evidence in the Black Sea off the coasts of Turkey!

A: Wow! That’s pretty cool! Ummm… then how about in bible it stated that you actually sweat drops of blood! How is that even possible?

Jesus: It’s possible! It’s actually a rare medical condition called Hematidrosis most commonly reported during extreme bouts of fear or anxiety such as death! This happens when the capillaries around the sweat glands rupture, resulting in the blood exiting the body through the sweat glands. And that actually happened to me at that moment because I knew of the crucifixion that was coming *gradually becoming emotional* I was afraid that’s why *pause* I sweat drops of blood, I was really really scared and fearful of the future. *Overwhelmed sadness*

A: Ahhhh *empathising*… I didn’t know that. Then what about the crucifixion?  What was that all about? Are you able to tell me about it?

Background Music

Jesus: Yeah! Umm *thinking*… where should I begin? Okay first, they made me carry my cross to the place of execution which was outside the city. There they whipped me with the flagrum which is kind of like a whip that consists of tiny pieces of bones and metal attached to the end. My skin was ripped out with each lash from the whip.

A: Ouch, that must have hurt a lot…  Then what happened next?

Jesus: Well, next they stripped me and nailed me to the cross. Crucifixion is designed to make the prisoner experience a slow and painful death. Yeah… *recalling bad memories*

A: Wait, that’s all? You’re not going to go into details? *curious* Come on!

Jesus: Well, they first throw me on my back and lay me out across the horizontal part of the cross. This was deliberately done to inflict more pain on the wounds created from the whipping. They then stretch both of my arms out, nails both of my wrists to the cross which then produces excruciating pain in both of my arms

A: Ouch! Oh my word?! *exclaimed*

Jesus: Are you sure you want me to continue? *cautious*

A: Umm.. tell me more?

Jesus: Okay, so next they have to nail my feet to the cross as well. My feet are placed directly on top of each other before they drive a nail through both my feet onto the cross. The cross is then erected and my entire body weight is placed on this 3 points. Breathing is made extremely difficult at this point cause to breathe that will mean I will have to push my body up using both my feet and my arms to unnail to the cross. Plus, I would have wounds on my back from the whip rubbing against the rough surface of the cross… It just makes breathing extremely painful & uncomfortable … so most of us actually die from asphyxia pretty quickly.

A: That’s interesting! So means that there isn’t any way you guys can escape death by crucifixion right? So how do you explain your survival?

Jesus:  I did not survive… I died and rose again three days later.

A: That is impossible *doubtful* Are you kidding me?

Jesus: Haha! Well if you don’t believe me, there are historical records that prove my death and my tomb was actually found empty after that.

A: That doesn’t prove anything… somebody could have shifted your body somewhere else? I don’t know?

Jesus: Well, my followers and disciples can vouch for me. They saw me alive!

A: They ARE your followers and disciples, of course they will support you.

Jesus: Well I’ve told you everything. I guess it’s up to you to interpret and draw your own conclusions. So… what do you listeners think?

*End*

&& that's the end of what we think a conversation with Jesus would be like. What do you think? What questions would *YOU* want to ask Jesus? Thanks for reading! or rather ... *listening* ;)

Olympians: The 'A' Team

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Hey everyone!! This is my final post for this semester and I've chosen to cover the Olympians. I enjoy reading about Greek Mythology so for this social media post, I've decided to have 5 of these Olympians take time to answer questions and give advice "Aunt Agony" style.

So, let's meet the team shall we?

All of them have a unique font colour and handwriting style for you to differentiate them in the replies. I've included a small guide list on the tumblr, itself, for an easier reference.

Just a little break down, basically for this, I came up with some modern day questions and have these Olympians give advice/answer them based on their own experiences, personalities and traits.

I base most of the questions on stories of these Olympians so that we get a modern twist to a classic tale. If you feel like a few of these posts end with the siblings bickering (or sassing each other), it's because they often have a lot of clashes back in the day - but I'd like to believe that they are much more "tolerant" of each other now that hundreds of years have passed and it's 2016 (hah). Also, their advice might not always be the "right" thing because, well, they were notorious for a reason, but, I promise they try!!

A Tip: It helps if you know a bit about them before hand so do check out the links to their bios in the header of the tumblr. And if you want to read the posts chronologically, since some responses build on previous posts, scroll to the bottom and start from there :)

And without further ado, here's the tumblr page: ASK THE OLYMPIANS

Enjoy and thanks for hanging with me for the past 3 posts :)

Bibliography

Aphrodite and Ares, Aaron J. Atsma. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/AphroditeLoves.html#Ares

Apollo as the Olypian god of Music, Evangelia Hatzitsinidou. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.greek-gods.info/greek-gods/apollo/

Areopagus (Ares Rock) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Areopagus

Ares’s murder of Hallirhothios, Aaron J. Atsma. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/AresWrath.html#Halirrhothios

Ares as the God of Violence, Aaron J. Atsma. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/AresGod.html#Violence

Artemis and the birth of Iakkhos, Aaron J. Atsma. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/ArtemisMyths2.html#Iakkhos

Artemis Favour: Gigante Orion, Aaron J. Atsma. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/ArtemisFavour.html#Orion

First of the Red-Hot Lovers: Aphrodite. Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Classical Mythology © 2004 by Kevin Osborn and Dana L. Burgess, Ph.D. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.infoplease.com/cig/mythology/first-red-hot-lovers-aphrodite.html

History of Greek Twins Artemis and Apollo. Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Classical Mythology © 2004 by Kevin Osborn and Dana L. Burgess, Ph.D. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.infoplease.com/cig/mythology/night-hunters-artemis-apollo.html

History of Athena and Ares. Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Classical Mythology © 2004 by Kevin Osborn and Dana L. Burgess, Ph.D. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.infoplease.com/cig/mythology/first-war-first-peace-athena.html

Judgement of Paris, Aaron J. Atsma. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/JudgementParis.html

Tales of Orion, Melissa Lee. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.pantheon.org/articles/o/orion.html

The Encyclopedia of the Goddess Athena, Roy George. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.goddess-athena.org/Encyclopedia/Athena/

The Olympians - Aphrodite, Aaron J. Atsma. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Aphrodite.html

The Olympians - Ares, Aaron J. Atsma. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Ares.html

The Olympians - Athena, Aaron J. Atsma. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/AthenaMyths.html

Trojan War, Peter T. Struck. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.classics.upenn.edu/myth/php/homer/index.php?page=trojan

Wrath of Ares: Kadmos (Cadmus), Aaron J. Atsma. Last Accessed: 13 April 2016 http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/AresWrath.html#Kadmos

Picture Credits

Ares (2010) by Arturas Slapsys [Public Domain]

Apollo, God of Light, Eloquence, Poetry and the Fine Arts with Urania, Muse of Astronomy (c.1789-1800) by Charles Meynier [Public Domain] (cropped to fit dimensions in post)

Diana the Huntress (unknown date) by Guillaume Seignac (1870-1924) [Public Domain]

Flickr Mosiac: Belated Valentine 1.2 on Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" (2006) by Jim Bumgardner [CC BY-NC SA 2.0]

Retrospection (2008) by Bryan Larsen [Public Domain] (cropped to fit dimensions in post)