Monday, June 27, 2016

The War On Coal -- The Chinese Perspective -- And Poland, India, Australia, Indonesia -- June 27, 2016

Link here.

The graph at the link is ... mind-boggling -- the pink/red represents "over-supply," not consumption.

With regard to oil, natural gas, and coal, I think the most unreported story is Indonesia. With regard to coal, watch: China, India, and Indonesia. The population of Indonesia: 250 million. The US: about 320 million.

Perhaps more on this later. I'll be off the net for awhile. Going biking. It's already 87 degrees. Feels like 95 degrees. High will be slightly less than 100 degrees today. "Real feel" on the way home will be 110 degrees.

A Note For The Granddaughters
The Lewis Chessmen

A most interesting book to read: Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them, Nancy Marie Brown, c. 2015.

This book is to chess, I think, at least on some level, what Brenda James book is to "the real Shakespeare."

The limited evidence favors Trondheim, but Margret the Adroit of Iceland is on equal footing: all that is needed is evidence of an ivory workshop at Skalholt (Iceland).

The book explains why the historic chess match between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer in 1972 was played in Raykjavik. Wow.

The author notes the etymology of "Permian." 

  • netsuke (I think I've seen this word elsewhere, recently): a carved buttonlike ornament, especially of ivory or wood, formerly worn in Japan to suspend articles from the sash of a kimono
  • cist: an ancient coffin or burial chamber made from stone or a hollowed tree
  • chasuble: a sleeveless outer vestment worn by a Catholic or High Anglican priest when celebrating Mass, typically ornate and having a simple hole for the head
  • crozier: a hooked staff carried by a bishop as a symbol of pastoral office; ceremonial shepherd's crook
  • fey: having supernatural powers of clairvoyance
  • rook: from Arabic rukh, means "chariot"
  • berserk: warriors of Odin; wore no armor; berserks -- bear-shirts or bare-shirts; mad as dogs or wolves; Harold's Lay is the earliest known mention of berserks; no other culture claims shield-biters; they are going berserk
  • valkyrie: a battle goddess; mythological, legendary, and (perhaps) historical
  • gambesons: long leather coats, worn by the Lewis rooks
  • pawn: the French word for our "peon"
  • reeve: a local official, in particular the chief magistrate of a town or district in Anglo-Saxon England(think "shire-reeve" -- "shire-reef"' -- sheriff)
  • vizier: a high official in some Muslim countries, especially in Turkey under Ottoman rule; originally a vizier was in the modern queen's place
  • Hebridean beach
  • Isle of Lewis in westernmost Scotland
  • Trondheim, Norway (my grandfather's childhood home)
  • Saint Olav's church, Trondheim 
The chess pieces. First the rooks.

Then the bishops. None is an archbishop: none is wearing a pallium -- the bejeweled and embroidered ribbon an archbishop wore draped around his shoulders and dangling down front and back. An archbishop would carry a cross, as well, not a crozier.

The author suggests that it may have been the Norse that introduced the bishop to the board (obviously the Indians and the Arabians would not have). And, if so, it could have been the bishop of Trondheim back in the 12th century.

Peter Abelard: considered today to be the first modern thinker; his ideas led to the founding of the University of Paris in 1215. Abelard is best known for his treatise Sicet Non, arriving at the truth of an idea by arguing pro and con. In the thirteenth century, Abelard's idea would be made orthodox by Thomas Aquinas.

Then the queens. The queen began as the weakest piece on the board, but by 1497, the queen was the strongest piece, any number of spaces, any direction. She had gone "mad." Some say she may have been patterned after Isabella of Castille, the ruler of Spain.

The kings.

The knights. These are the last pieces to be put on the chessboard; they were not known in the North in the twelfth century.

The author ends with the Pawns, in the "chapter" of acknowledgments at the end of the book.

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