Ancient ruins point to the origins of American state power

PNAS

The palace overlooking the plaza at El Palenque would have been an incredible sight to people living more than 2,300 years ago in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. The area was built up after a fire destroyed another plaza downslope at El Mogote, and everything about El Palenque was grander than El Mogote. An enormous temple complex bounded the plaza’s eastern side. To the north, the palace cascaded down the gentle slope in a series of grand stairways, gorgeously paved platforms covered in smoking braziers, and private state rooms. The king could address his subjects from two airy courtyards facing the plaza. But this ostentatious display of power was less impressive than what the king’s subjects couldn’t see.

What this palace hid behind its fancy colonnades and

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Eastern Arabic Numerals

In the U.S., children are taught what we call “Arabic Numerals” (1, 2, 3, 10, 20, 100, etc.) as opposed to “Roman Numerals” (I, II, III, X, XX, C, etc.)

But there are many other types of numeral systems, some still used today. In fact, the number system used in some Arabian countries does not look much like what we call Arabic numbers.

These ‘true’ Arabic numbers are better known as Eastern Arabic Numerals and what we use are really Western Arabic Numerals. Although, to confuse things further, in Arab countries, they refer to Arabic Numerals as “Indian Numerals”

Western Arabic 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Eastern Arabic ٠ ١ ٢ ٣ ٤ ٥ ٦ ٧ ٨ ٩
Perso-Arabic variant ۰ … Read the rest

Meet the Free-Loving Folks Behind Hippiedom In This Out-of-Sight Exhibit

Channeling plenty of peace, love, and artistic style, a comprehensive exhibit in the Bay Area focuses on the hippie movement of the 60s and 70s. An era defined by a free-spirited way of unconventional thinking, the time genially welcomed the wildest imaginings from artists. Experimentation with  drugs and new-found interest in social justice contributed to the era’s status as a tentpole in modern American history.

The exhibit, which previously showed at Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, fills the halls of UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives (BAMPFA), with furniture, books, artifacts, and classic “Hippie Era” films. With a mixed-media approach that encourages a fully-immersive experience of the time, the show combines art, architecture, and design. The show’s themes portend to current … Read the rest

Voltaire and the Buddha

Donald S. Lopez, Jr. looks at Voltaire’s early reflections on Buddhism and how, in his desire to separate the Buddha’s teachings from the trappings of religion, the French Enlightenment thinker prefigured an approach now familiar in the West.
Voltaire and the Buddha

Source: Public Domain Review

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