The Simpsons Talmud

Absolutely brilliant! A couple years ago, Noah Gradofsky put together a talmudic account of Krusty the Clown’s estrangement from his father (Rabbi Hyman Krustofski), and Bart & Lisa’s efforts to reunite the two. This is great. Be sure to look at the PDF version on Gradofsky’s page. Descriptions of the episode, “Like Father, Like Clown,” are available at Wikipedia, IMDb, and at the Simpsons Archive.

HT: James Davila at paleojudaica, who notes the article “The Talmud according to Bart Simpson” by Aaron Freedman at

ten reasons why to drop your cell phone

I’ve never had one, and as long as I can, I never will. Now I’ve got ten reasons not to! Rob Beschizza at the Wired Blogs Gadget Lab has given “ten reasons why to drop your cell phone”:

  1. It makes your life more complicated
  2. It’s horribly expensive
  3. It enslaves you to a one-sided contract
  4. It makes you perpetually available
  5. It is boring
  6. It must constantly be recharged
  7. It knows where you are
  8. It encourages stupid people to become a public menace
  9. Ubiquitous pleather accessory shops
  10. It turns you into a public annoyance

For the complete list and his explanation, see his post.

“Lay aside every weight” and get rid of your cell phone!

(HT Lifehacker)

Ancient Near Eastern Library Policies

If you thought modern library policies were still archaic, then you should read these:

  • He who fears Anu, Enlil, and Ea will return [this book] to the owner’s house the same day
  • He who fears Anu and Antu will return [this book] to the owner’s house the next day
  • He who fears Marduk and Sarpanitum will not entrust [this book] to [others’] hands
  • He who entrusts [this book] to [others’] hands, may all the gods who are found in Babylon curse him!
  • He who fears Anu and Antu will take care of [this book] and respect it
  • This book by order of Anu and Antu is to remain in good condition
  • In the name of Nabu and Marduk, do not rub out the text!
  • Who rubs out the text, Marduk will look upon him with anger
  • He who fears Anu and Antu will not carry [this book] off by theft
  • He who carries [this book] off, may Shamash carry off his eyes
  • He who carries [this book] off, may Adad and Shala carry him off!
  • He who breaks [this book] or puts it in water or rubs it until you cannot recognize it [and] cannot make it be understood, may Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Adad and Ishtar, Bel, Nergal, Ishtar of Nineveh, Ishtar of Arbela, Ishtar of Bit Kidmurri, the gods of heaven and earth and the gods of Assyria, may all these curse him with a curse which cannot be relieved, terrible and merciless, as long as he lives, may they let his name, his seed, be carried off from the land, may they put his flesh in a dog’s mouth.

From Lionel Casson, Libraries in the Ancient World (Yale, 2001), 13-14 (Amazon/

James’ Burial Box An Alien Ossuary!

Apparently this is old news (2002), but I finally uncovered the real secret of the James Ossuary. According to the esteemed Russian newspaper, ПРАВДА* (PRAVDA), the James Ossuary was crafted from an unknown substance by aliens in the first century. The article reports that Andre Lemer** “himself” asserts:

Hundreds of such coffins have been found in Jerusalem during archeological excavations. The research has showed that they were made in the first century A.D. That is why, the first thought that I had in my head when I saw Jacob’s coffin was there is something wrong with it. The stone differed from all other stones that I saw before. It had very small pores that could hardly be seen. At the same time, it was incredibly solid. After the tests that we conducted in the lab, I can assure you that our planet does not know this material.

The article goes on to quote the esteemed Dmitry Astrakhanstev of the Ufology and Anomoly Center:

Observations and research show that aliens were involved in a lot of things that were happening during biblical times. For example, the birth of Jesus Christ. How can this be explained, the immaculate conception? There is even a hypothesis that says that Mary and Joseph were warned about the birth of their son Jesus. They were informed by aliens – they were thought of as angels, so to speak.

This must be true. At least as true as the assertion that James the Just had dreadlocks! Read the whole article on PRAVDA’s English website.

Be sure to read the following related articles in the publication whose name means “Truth”!

*I put the Cyrillic here only because I want to show off that I took Russian in high school. Of course I only remember how to say “I don’t know”, “I don’t understand” and a few other choice phrases.

**Apparently, a trustworthy source for this article misspelled the French scholar’s name, André Lemaire. Perhaps “Lemer” simply reflects an English phonetic spelling of the Russian phonetic spelling of Lemaire. . . Or does it?