Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus by Russell E. Gmirkin

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According to the Documentary Hypothesis, the Pentateuch was composed in stages. The first source, written sometime between 850-800 BC, is called J because it refers to God by the name Jehovah/Yahweh. The second source, called E because it uses the name Elohim to refer to God, was combined with J between 850-750 BC. The third source, mostly the book of Deuteronomy, is called D and was written in 621 BC, if you take 2 Kings 22-23 at face value. The final source is the priestly source, or P, and was written in 458 BC if you take Nehemiah 8-10 at face value.

However, one of the problems with the Documentary Hypothesis is that it uses the Bible to date itself, rather than using external evidence like archaeology and other ancient texts. Also, biblical source criticism tends to assume the earliest possible date a text could have been written is when the text actually was written. In this book, Gmirkin applies classical source criticism to the Pentateuch to consider not only the earliest possible date, but also the latest possible date, using not just the Bible itself, but also external references to the Bible.

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Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

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Solomon Northup was born free in New York. He married and did various jobs to earn money, such as working on a canal, cutting up lumber, rafting, and playing the violin. He eventually earned enough money to buy a farm. His wife became known as a cook. He also worked driving a hack and did work on the railroad. He advised any slaves he spoke to to seek freedom whenever they found the opportunity. He had a ten-year-old and eight-year-old daughter, as well as a five-year-old boy.

One day, two men who claimed to work at a circus offered him a job playing violin. He went with them to Washington D.C. where he witnessed the funeral of President Harrison (the cannon fire which was part of the ceremony broke windows with the noise). He never saw the circus, though. The men offered him a drink which made him sick. He fell unconscious and woke up in chains, his money and free papers gone.

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A Promised Land by Barack Obama

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“If you wanted good government, then expertise mattered. You needed public institutions stocked with people whose job it was to pay attention to important stuff so the rest of us citizens didn’t have to. And it was thanks to those experts that Americans could worry less about the quality of the air we breathed or the water we drank, that we had recourse when employers failed to pay us the overtime we were due, that we could count on over-the-counter drugs not killing us, and that driving a car or flying on a commercial airplane was exponentially safer today than it had been just twenty or thirty or fifty years ago. The ‘regulatory state’ conservatives complained so bitterly about had made American life a hell of a lot better.

“That’s not to say that every criticism of federal regulation was bogus. There were times when bureaucratic red tape burdened businesses unnecessarily or delayed innovative products from getting to market. Some regulations really did cost more than they were worth.”

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Plays by Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim

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Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim, a tenth-century German nun, is the first known female playwright. As you’d expect from a nun, her plays often praise virginity and martyrdom.

I felt the dialogue was rather simple with characters frequently agreeing with each other and repeatedly saying things like, “That’s true.” Since the characters are often either pure good or pure evil, they aren’t very interesting as people. The scenes often feel too short and the plays overall go by quickly without enough time to build up any tension.

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Cowboy Bebop Conclusion

So, does Cowboy Bebop still hold up twenty years later? In some ways, it does and in other ways, it doesn’t.

The cool factor for Cowboy Bebop is still high. The music and animation style do a lot to contribute to this, particularly the effortless manner in which Spike fights. Interestingly, the music was produced before the rest of the show, but it fits the action really well.

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Cowboy Bebop Sessions 25 and 26

After learning that Cowboy Bebop is getting a live-action remake, I decided to revisit the much-beloved anime series from the 90s (although not aired in the U.S. until the early 2000s). Many people think of it as the best anime series ever, and with good reason. My episode reviews will contain spoilers, so be sure to watch the series before you read this.

Session 25: The Real Folk Blues, Part 1

On Mars, the blonde woman gets a message telling her the elders are ready to make their move. Vicious and his men shoot up a room, but the elders were warned by a fortune teller and are able to capture him. However, his bird flies from his shoulder and perches in the chamber.

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Cowboy Bebop Sessions 23 and 24

After learning that Cowboy Bebop is getting a live-action remake, I decided to revisit the much-beloved anime series from the 90s (although not aired in the U.S. until the early 2000s). Many people think of it as the best anime series ever, and with good reason. My episode reviews will contain spoilers, so be sure to watch the series before you read this.

Session 23: Brain Scratch

We open on a television announcement from a group called Scratch who believe the body is evil. The way forward is to abandon the body and upload your consciousness to a computer using a gaming console. All the TV channels are talking about Scratch whose members are killing themselves. ISSP is searching for the leader, Dr. Londes.

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Cowboy Bebop Sessions 21 and 22

After learning that Cowboy Bebop is getting a live-action remake, I decided to revisit the much-beloved anime series from the 90s (although not aired in the U.S. until the early 2000s). Many people think of it as the best anime series ever, and with good reason. My episode reviews will contain spoilers, so be sure to watch the series before you read this.

Session 21: Boogie Woogie Feng Shui

If there’s one episode worth skipping, it’s this one due to its endorsement of statutory relations. Jet gets a mysterious message about four gods and the holy beast of Anzan from Pao, one of the greatest Feng Shui masters, but it turns out, he’s dead. We see a gravestone on Mars with 2071 as the death date, which I think is the first time the year the shows takes place is explicitly stated if you don’t count the opening credits. Pao died at 50.

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Cowboy Bebop Sessions 18, 19, and 20

After learning that Cowboy Bebop is getting a live-action remake, I decided to revisit the much-beloved anime series from the 90s (although not aired in the U.S. until the early 2000s). Many people think of it as the best anime series ever, and with good reason. My episode reviews will contain spoilers, so be sure to watch the series before you read this.

Session 18: Speak Like a Child

Faye is watching a horse race. Her horse almost wins, but ends up losing. Says she should quit the ponies. Spike is fishing, but the fish gets away. Jet is telling Edward a story about a man who goes to a paradise where he can eat anything. Spike complains he hasn’t eaten bream or halibut for a while. Once again, we have an episode opening showing us how hungry the crew is.

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