Tuesday, September 22, 2009

بو علي، الحسن بن الحسن بن الهيثم

1. with a picture shout-out this week, who ties بیرونی as the most referenced person in ADW history?

y'all almost caught jokes this week, but I punked out at the last minute and opted for the typical medieval Muslim scholar. Lots of interesting non-academics, but that whole racist propaganda of "The Dark Ages" followed by "The Scientific Revolution" just pisses me off. How you think things just magically jumped from Aristotle to 1543? Attila the Hun, the bubonic plague, and then the Renaissance? No one thinks there might be something missing there?

. . .

I wanted to see if I could find a pro 'rasslin'esque picture that would do the name "The Physicist" justice. Most people don't think of physicists as bringers of pain, but if there were a pro 'rassler named "The Physicist" I guarantee you he would be a bad guy who would just punish people. He'd be a really big nasty ogre who would pummel little guys using torque and centripetal force and all sorts of cool finishing moves. The google images gave me plenty of pictures of scientists, a bikini chick, some jokes, and finally an album cover for what looked like a heavy metal band. It was exactly the picture for which I was looking. The band's name was Devin Townsend, so I typed that into the google images. I don't know anything 'bout Devin Townsend, but I hope when I tell my 14-year-old son to turn down that music, he will be rocking something similar. What parent wouldn't be proud of their pimply lil' virgin for blasting this guy

answer to last week's question

Mongols = "the most powerful empire in the history of the world" Really? Sure 'bout that one?

who you got? No one inspired fear like the Mongols. No one had a bigger empire. No one wrecked shop as quickly. No one cared less 'bout governing or converting people. They just straight thugged out and conquered. Plus they introduced the plague to Europe. Pax Mongoliana = the spread of the bubonic plague across the Eurasian landmass. What other empire spread disease like that? Spain smallpoxed the mess outta 'Merica, but they can't touch the Mongols. Alexander might be #1 of all time, but he was just a one hit wonder. Romans had some longevity, but they needed lots of campaigns and centuries to establish themselves. Plus they did sissy things like build aqueducts and have parades. The early days of Islam were pretty phenomenal, with Muhammad and them controlling Portugal to India, but they have that whole no booze and no swine thing working against them. You can't claim to be the baddest-asses ever if when offered a bacon double cheeseburger and a beer and you say "yeah, that sound delicious, but my religion kinda forbids those things"

Mongols win. How many Romans were in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure? You think there is an action figure of Julius Caesarplaying drums for the Wyld Stallyns?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rayden Wijaya

Mongols = "the most powerful empire in the history of the world" Really? Sure 'bout that one?


soooooooooo much drama trying to get a picture this week. There are no pictures of this guy. None. On a google image search for any of his names. There is some statue with lotsa arms, but that ain't dude. Pretty sure if he had bonus limbs that woulda been mentioned at some point. The best is of this kid's facebook profile. He likes pizza and Metalica and Ashley Tinsdale and Oreos and Ashton Kutcher and sleeping and Vin Disel and pizza and sleeping. Dislikes include mosquitoes, "battery low," and text messages comprised of single words. He came really to becoming the official ADW ID of his namesake, but then I found someone had posted these:

dude said he felt like the statue's eyes were always following him. It is an intense statue, which makes for a perfect ADW ID. Just had to figure out which of the two angles I liked better (the third picture was too dark) and choose my zoom setting. After careful deliberation, I went with straight ahead and extreme close-up. Someone else appreciated the pics and posted this:

I agree, mantab ini indeed. His lil' smiley dude does a cheers thing and blinks at you too

Infrequently Asked Questions Answers
Q. did the non-Sri Lankan fourth Buddhist council really happen? Étienne Lamotte says it was just a legend
A. that 5th one ain't recognized either outside of Myanmar, but I kicked it with the largest book in the world when I was in Mandalay

Q. hold up, the Indo-Parthians weren't Buddhist, they were straight up Persian Zoroastrians
A. yeah, and the Indo-Greeks were white folks from Europe. What's your point? Lots of religious diversity and fusion of stuff, but don't tell me An Shigao and An Xuan and them weren't Parthians. What'd I say? "Basically if you're a Buddhist, Aryan, Indo-anything and your kingdom slash empire was located within greater metropolitan North West India, you'se from North West India". So shut up. Plus you are supposed to ask a question. I asked you two in an attempt to offset your failure to comply with establish ADW blog precedent

Friday, September 11, 2009


Infrequently Asked Questions
1. did the non-Sri Lankan fourth Buddhist council really happen? Étienne Lamotte says it was just a legend

2. hold up, the Indo-Parthians weren't Buddhist, they were straight up Persian Zoroastrians

it's been a while since I had some peers/competition. Nothing like learning all 'bout a dude and encapsulating his life in a silly 3 minute video full of stolen and uncited pictures and then watching other people's versions of the same thing. The hippie kids over at opensourcebuddhism have 3 relevant videos (1, 2, 3). They all pronounced the name of the empire phonetically, obviously failing to realize the comedic potential of purposefully mispronouncing it. Betcha had they done one on Krishnadevaraya, they coulda said the name of his empire without giggling uncontrollably too

. . .

dude's lack of dates annoyed me a bit, but I've been doing lots of recording dead people's vital stats over on The Extended Fam Project and I've reluctantly had to settle for question marking decades. Sometimes the dates of birth and death aren't known, but usually you can get 'em circa within a few years. For rulers, often times their dates in power are easier to ascertain (kinda like how you can catch a floruit for normal people), but this guy's stats are pretty elusive. Comfortable question marking decades, but not centuries, so I had to punk out and list him as circa. Ain't hating on Harry Falk, but if Robert Bracey is skeptical[1] so am I

. . .

the North West India one is the first map I've made. If I felt like trying just a lil' harder, I'd take a screen shot from the google maps and shade in parts of it. I always ask the wikipedia for the modern names of historical places and then consult the google maps. If you use the "Get Directions" thing you can plot multiple points. Not sure if anyone other than me would ever ask, but the google maps could not calculate directions between Kucha, Mathura, and Balkh. My lil' North West India map ain't really based on much as I just decided to simultaneously be bold and blatantly disregardful of having any sort of evidence to back up my claims. Whatever, not like my non-Muslim youtube videos get more than 50 views anyways

. . .

wanna be made to feel really, really, really ignorant? I'd recommend taking a few of these Silk Road quizzes. I mixed up a coupla the European ex-USSR countries on the modern states one, but aced everything else. Them other quizzes kicked my butt. Never even heard of half the places. Don't laugh, half is impressive. If you wanna feel humbled, give these a go


[1]Robert Bracey runs a website called kushan.org. He cares way more 'bout correct dates of things than I do. It took me a coupla these articles ere I stopped caring. How many can you get through?

responses to the hecklers:

1. c'mon, like you've never had an opinion regarding something 'bout which you were only vaguely familiar?
didn't say couldn't have, said not entitled

2. why didn't you use the borrowing arrows with thatched boats and the empty fort stragegy stories to segue into them 36 stratagems?
c'mon now, these are whimsical lil' Awesome Dude of the Week youtubes. No way I can even proverbially scratch the proverbial surface of that. Plus it is beyond awesome and therefore outside the jurisdiction of this blog


preemptive criticism from the proverbial peanut gallery:
1. c'mon, like you've never had an opinion regarding something 'bout which you were only vaguely familiar?

2. why didn't you use the borrowing arrows with thatched boats and the empty fort strategy stories to segue into them 36 stratagems?

more drama with choosing the official ADW pic. The one the committee liked best was lacking color, but after much consideration and several failed attempts to improve its faults, it was declared the winner. Here go the final four

. . .

not saying you actually gotta read the book (I know damn well you don't read books and prolly haven't even been to your local library in years), but at least familiarize yourself with some of the main characters. Don't have to read Shakespeare to know Romeo & Juliet or "to be or not to be." Even non-practitioners of Judaism-based religions should know 'bout Eve & the snake & the apple, Noah & the ark, Sampson & Delilah, Moses & his commandments and all that. If you have an education that qualifies you to work outside of the food service industry, you should at least know the names of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Not telling you to put down the Stephen King/Danielle Steele, but if you watched that Matrix movie and thought anything other than "wow, they sure used a lotta special effects to tell a really bad version of Plato's cave simile" then you ain't smarter than the average bear

and don't hate on Keanu Reeves. He is a great actor. If you don't believe me, watch him in Bill & Ted or Steve Martin's Parenthood. Not saying he's Laurence Olivier, but he was the 2nd best California surfer dude actor of the late 80s/early 90s

answers to last week's quiz

1. if there are slightly less than an extra 6 hours in a year, doesn't adding a leap day every 4 years still result in some discrepancy?
yup, that's why we add a leap day every 4 years 'cept when the year is divisible by 100 (1700, 1800, 1900) unless the year is divisible by 400 (1600, 2000). Could do a 128 year cycle thing or something with years divisible by 4000 to make it even better, but it's still a while off ere any discrepancies will arise

2. why wasn't Al-Biruni mentioned in the list of astronomers?
he already got shot outs in multiple other dudes' videos. The point was folks before and after, not an exhaustive list of everybody. Plus I left out Tycho Brahe and Kepler and a bunch of other people. The real reason though is because I'm racist and only recognize the contributions of Europeans. And people who I creatively interpret to be Europeans. Like Ptolemy was Greek. I don't care if he was from Egypt, Egyptian people still count as white Europeans. As do folks born in Turkey (Hipparchus). And Babylonians. Plus Uzbekistan used to be part of the Soviet Union so that totally makes Al-Biruni a white European too

3. week 1 = Persian Uzbeki, week 5 = African Berber whose family immigrated from Spain, week 9 = Turkish Sabian. Are we ever going to get an Arab ADW?
you're an idiot