Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Random Notes

Some reflections baby products: few receiving blankets are actually made for swaddling (either they have rounded corners, or they are sized as rectangles), and the sizes in which most varieties of formula come in force mothers to make strict choices on how to feed their babies (no mixing and matching.)

manufacturing Nature: Jonathan Shaw profiles David Blackbourn and his new book on Landschaft in German history, The Conquest of Nature (HT: Jonathan Dresner).

Power to the Undocumented? "Are Illegal Immigrants Pioneers? The Irony of American History" looks at how squatting was legitimized in the process of land settlement. (HT: Ralph Luker)

Brandon at Siris has links on the theology of Catholic Saint Edith Stein. [ETA] Yesterday was the feast of Maximilian Kolbe (HT: Mom) .

Some occasions to note: Clark Goble has a beautiful new daughter. Zid (formerly of Blitztoire) marks his first anniversary at Médiévizmes. And a certain someone has made her way back to the blogosphere.

Grass, continued: The revaluations of his literary and political career are coming hard and fast. Die Welt looks back at his political speeches, many of which he suggestively placed himself opposite those who fought in the war. The funny thing is, Grass' career and political activism need not have suffered (if his relative innocence is intact): as I have pointed out many times, my favorite, Heinrich Böll, was part of the Wehrmacht, yet remained a vital critic of power in Federal Germany.

The New Antisemitism or the New Imperialism: Joostein Gaarder's rant about the religious content of Israeli nationalism drew some necessarily sharp responses. I felt it was a bit gratuitous to criticize one nationalism, when the secular society of Norway enjoys what Christian ancestors built. But perhaps all western societies share this dirty secret: the transition from religious to secular society does not call into question the existence of the nation; rather it seeks to recreate its foundations, often on specious grounds.

History Carnival will be up today is up at Mode for Caleb. Go read. Recommended are Natalie Bennet's "A cycle tour of the architecture of Hastings, Winchelsea and Rye", richly illustrated, and "In the Flesh in the Museum", about the representation of Native Americans in natural history museums, at Savage Minds.

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