Topic Review
'Phags-Pa Script
The ‘Phags-pa script (Mongolian: дөрвөлжин үсэг "Square script") is an alphabet designed by the Tibetan monk and State Preceptor (later Imperial Preceptor) Drogön Chögyal Phagpa for Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan dynasty, as a unified script for the written languages within the Yuan. The actual use of this script was limited to about a hundred years during the Mongol Yuan dynasty, and it fell out of use with the advent of the Ming dynasty. The documentation of its use provides clues about the changes in the varieties of Chinese, the Tibetic languages, Mongolian and other neighboring languages during the Yuan era.
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  • 09 Nov 2022
Topic Review
A Scientific Theology
A Scientific Theology is a set of three books by Alister McGrath that explores the parallels between the working assumptions and methods of Christian theology and those of the natural sciences. Scientific Theology is also the "running title" of the project which gave rise to the trilogy. The work is preceded by three volumes that McGrath describes as "landmarks" in the development of his scientific theology: The Genesis of Doctrine: A Study in the Foundations of Doctrinal Criticism, The Foundations of Dialogue in Science and Religion and Thomas F. Torrance: An Intellectual Biography. The trilogy was later summarised in The Science of God. McGrath is working on a "scientific dogmatics" which will deal with the content of Christian theology following the method developed in the trilogy.
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  • 11 Oct 2022
Topic Review
Legends of the Jews
Legends of the Jews is a chronological compilation of aggadah from hundreds of biblical legends in Mishnah, Talmud and Midrash. The compilation consists of seven volumes (four volumes of narrative texts and two volumes of footnotes with a volume of index) synthesized by Louis Ginzberg in manuscript of German language. In 1913, it was translated by Henrietta Szold.
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  • 20 Oct 2022
Topic Review
Pingu is a Swiss-British stop-motion clay animated children's comedy television series created by Otmar Gutmann and produced from 1990 to 2000 for Swiss television, and from 2003 to 2006 for British television by The Pygos Group (formerly Trickfilmstudio and Pingu Filmstudio). It centres on a family of anthropomorphic penguins who live at the South Pole; the main character is the family's son and title character, Pingu. The series originally ran for four series (each series made up of multiple seasons) from 7 March 1990 to 9 April 2000 on SF DRS and was then renewed for two more series from 1 August 2003 to 3 March 2006 on BBC Two. Pingu won a BAFTA award. Pingu was a worldwide hit, due to its lack of real spoken language: nearly all dialogue is in an invented grammelot "penguin language" referred to as 'Penguinese', consisting of babbling, muttering, and his characteristic sporadic loud honking noise, which can be popularly recognized as "Noot noot!" or other variants, stated to be "Noo, Noo!" by the defunct Pingu website's trivia page, accompanied by turning his beak into a megaphone-like shape. Within the first 4 series, all the characters were performed by Italian voice actor Carlo Bonomi, using a language of noises that he had already developed and used for the earlier Osvaldo Cavandoli's La Linea. In series 5 and 6, the Pingu cast was jointly voiced by David Sant and Marcello Magni. A Japanese reboot of the series, titled Pingu in the City, began airing on NHK-E on 7 October 2017.
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  • 12 Oct 2022
Topic Review
The Perennial Philosophy
The Perennial Philosophy is a comparative study of mysticism by the British writer and novelist Aldous Huxley. Its title derives from the theological tradition of the philosophia perennis.
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  • 09 Nov 2022
Topic Review
The Sickness Unto Death
The Sickness Unto Death (Danish: Sygdommen til Døden) is a book written by Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in 1849 under the pseudonym Anti-Climacus. A work of Christian existentialism, the book is about Kierkegaard's concept of despair, which he equates with the Christian concept of sin, which he terms, "the sin of despair."
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  • 16 Nov 2022
Topic Review
1860 Oxford Evolution Debate
The 1860 Oxford evolution debate took place at the Oxford University Museum in Oxford, England , on 30 June 1860, seven months after the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Several prominent British scientists and philosophers participated, including Thomas Henry Huxley, Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, Benjamin Brodie, Joseph Dalton Hooker and Robert FitzRoy. The debate is best remembered today for a heated exchange in which Wilberforce supposedly asked Huxley whether it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed his descent from a monkey. Huxley is said to have replied that he would not be ashamed to have a monkey for his ancestor, but he would be ashamed to be connected with a man who used his great gifts to obscure the truth. One eyewitness suggests that Wilberforce's question to Huxley may have been "whether, in the vast shaky state of the law of development, as laid down by Darwin, any one can be so enamoured of this so-called law, or hypothesis, as to go into jubilation for his great great grandfather having been an ape or a gorilla?", whereas another suggests he may have said that "it was of little consequence to himself whether or not his grandfather might be called a monkey or not." The encounter is often known as the Huxley–Wilberforce debate or the Wilberforce–Huxley debate, although this description is somewhat misleading. Rather than being a formal debate between the two, it was actually an animated discussion that occurred after the presentation of a paper by John William Draper of New York University, on the intellectual development of Europe with relation to Darwin's theory (one of a number of scientific papers presented during the week as part of the British Association's annual meeting). Although Huxley and Wilberforce were not the only participants in the discussion, they were reported to be the two dominant parties. No verbatim account of the debate exists, and there is considerable uncertainty regarding what Huxley and Wilberforce actually said.
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  • 18 Oct 2022
Topic Review
1888–1893 Uprisings of Hazaras
The 1888–1893 Uprisings of Hazaras occurred in the aftermath of the Second Anglo-Afghan War, when the Afghan Emirate signed the Treaty of Gandamak. Afghan King Abdur Rahman Khan set out to bring the Turkistan, Hazarajat and Kafiristan regions under his control. He launched several campaigns in the Hazarajat due to resistance from the Hazaras, and he conducted a widespread campaign on its population. Over sixty percent of the total Hazara population was killed with some being displaced by fleeing to Quetta and other adjoining areas. The Hazara land was distributed among loyalist villagers of nearby non-Hazaras. Moreover, many Hazaras were sold in the markets of Kabul and Qandahar. Abdur Rahman arrested Syed Jafar, chief of the Sheikh Ali Hazara tribe, and jailed him in Mazar-e-Sharif. The repression after the uprising has been called the most significant case of genocide or ethnic cleansing in the history of modern Afghanistan.
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  • 05 Dec 2022
Topic Review
2010s in Political History
2010s political history refers to significant political and societal historical events of the 2010s, presented as a historical overview in narrative format.
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  • 04 Nov 2022
Topic Review
2012 Phenomenon
The 2012 phenomenon was a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events would occur around 21 December 2012. This date was regarded as the end-date of a 5,126-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, and festivities took place on 21 December 2012 to commemorate the event in the countries that were part of the Maya civilization (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador), with main events at Chichén Itzá in Mexico and Tikal in Guatemala. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae were proposed for this date. A New Age interpretation held that the date marked the start of a period during which Earth and its inhabitants would undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 21 December 2012 would mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggested that the date marked the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world included the arrival of the next solar maximum, an interaction between Earth and the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, or Earth's collision with a mythical planet called Nibiru. Scholars from various disciplines quickly dismissed predictions of cataclysmic events as they arose. Mayan scholars stated that no classic Mayan accounts forecast impending doom, and the idea that the Long Count calendar ends in 2012 misrepresented Mayan history and culture. Astronomers rejected the various proposed doomsday scenarios as pseudoscience which is easily refuted by elementary astronomical observations.
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  • 07 Nov 2022
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