Peek at some architecture-Photo Challenge

Castle Rising, detail
Castle Rising wall. Note the overlapping barrel arches-they make a pointed arch.

This piece of building, obviously in ruins now, was the beginning of a breakthrough that formed the beginnings of Gothic architecture.  Want to see the rest of this very old building?

Castle Rising
Castle Rising

Here it is.  You can see the tracery wall in the middle front of the medieval castle.  A peek into history.

Weekly Photo Challenge : Building

In the town of Bury St. Edmunds in England, the Abbey buildings have been crumbling for centuries.  From the original stone buildings, ruins.  Local residents pulled stones from the monastery ruins.  To build new dwellings.  Modern residence, built right into the ruins of the 11th Century Abbey.  How did the monastery become a ruin?  From 1536 to 1541, King Henry VIII dissolved all the monasteries and religious houses in Britain (remember the story of all his wives?), and confiscated all their wealth, which was prodigious, approaching that of the English Crown itself.  Henry’s minions traveled all over Britain, literally destroying the monasteries, and seizing anything they could carry, defacing what they couldn’t.  This was the beginning of the Church of England (Anglican).

House, built into the ruins of the abbey at Bury St. Edmunds, Ely
House, built into the ruins of the abbey at Bury St. Edmunds, Ely


A Politically-incorrect way to think about the conflict in Syria

So while our president is tying himself and his regime in knots trying to figure out what to do in/about Syria, here are some facts. The Iranians have said that, if we bomb Syria, they and their buddies, Hezbollah and Al-Quaeda, will take out the state of Israel. First of all, unlike our so-called commander in chief, I believe everything the Iranians say. If they say they will take out Israel, they mean it, and are prepared to do it.

So, let’s think a moment about who, and whose countries, would be at risk here. The majority (soon, the entire population) of Syrians are one flavor or another of Muslim. Sunni, Shia, Alawite,… All Muslim. These are the people whose co-religionists gladly strap explosive vests on their children, and send them to die in order to murder their Jewish and Christian (and Muslim) neighbors. It makes me think that Muslims don’t have a very high respect for human life, if they’re willing to blow up their own children. Can anyone think of even one good thing the Syrians, either as a people, or as individuals, have done to improve the world in, say, the last 1,000 years?….I can’t either. The only valuable items in Syria these days are ancient ruins. Ruins of the beginnings of modern civilization. How the mighty have fallen.

The Israelis, however, are the antithesis of destruction. They took their original homeland, given to them by God 4,000 years ago, and made the desert bloom, in a mere 60 years. They made gardens and fields blossom with fruits, vegetables, and grains. They hewed the native stone of Jerusalem, and made their city grow and prosper. They welcomed their Arab brethren to live and work in their Israeli cities, and there are thriving Arab districts in most cities. And they have made their economy grow and prosper, starting and growing their own technology, pharmaceutical, and aerospace industries into the best in class in the world. Their archaeologists continue to dig in desert and city alike, bringing forth new evidence of their ancient civilization. Israel sprouts musicians like citrus fruit, sending orchestral and chamber musicians around the world to perform.

To my mind, Obama should not bomb Syria, if it would mean the destruction of Israel. The Syrians come up badly wanting, and the Israelis are much more valuable to preserve. Too bad Obama is a Muslim-sympathizer. His sympathies are misplaced.