Thursday, August 27, 2009


I seriously DO love the web. There is so much synchronicity that is proved to me, almost daily, that I am amazed.

Anyway, I went to one of my favorite blogs this morning, bldgblog, and saw this post about the "Landscapes of Quarantine" show announced by the blogger:

Quarantine is both an ancient spatial practice and a state of monitored isolation, dating back at least to the Black Death – if not to Christ's 40 days in the desert – yet it has re-emerged today as an issue of urgent biological, political, and even architectural importance in an era of global tourism and flu pandemics.

Quarantine touches on serious constitutional issues associated with involuntary medical isolation, as well as on questions of governmental authority, regional jurisdiction, and the limits of inter-state cooperation. Quarantine is as much a matter of national security, public safety, and agricultural biodiversity as it is an entry point into discussions of race, purity, and unacknowledged discrimination.

And when I went to religious imagery in culture the topic of their most recent post was called "exclusion" which is where I found the image (above) by Will Govus. It's a great photo - why are the surveillance cameras there??

Cool, right!?! Those of you who know me, know how much I love the liturgical season of Lent. But I had never really thought of Jesus' 40 days in the desert as a self-imposed quarantine. Which makes me think about not only the fast, but the idea of quarantine all the more. For those who haven't read it, I recommend Daniel Defoe's "A Journal of the Plague Year". Not as great as Moll Flanders (imo), but a great description of the need for effective quarantines.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Under the Hagia Sophia

Found this link in my daily blog-reading and am amazed [thanks bldgblog for your awesomeness, as always!]. It just sounds SO COOL! Like Jacques Cousteau meets Indiana Jones. Or Steve Zissou!

Anyway, on one of my visits to Turkey, we stumbled across an excavated-but-abandoned archaeological site which had been flooded. The doorway arches loomed out of the water, and frogs were splashing around. I felt like I'd found Atlantis or something. But tunnels under the Hagia Sophia sounds so Byzantine!! [get it?]

I can't find the upcoming film of the expeditions at the site on IMDB yet, but according to the Hürriyet article,
His 50-minute documentary, “Ayasofya’nın Derinliklerinde” (In the Depths of Hagia Sophia), will compete at international festivals starting in the fall.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"St John's Bible" Event

I just found out about an upcoming event at St George's Church in Philadelphia.

September 26, 2009, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. the St John's Bible will be on display as part of St George's 3rd Annual "Smithsonian Museum Day."

You can go here for more details, but this is from the press release:

For the third year in a row, St. George’s is participating in the Smithsonian Museum Day, welcoming the community to our museum. Special exhibit includes the Heritage facsimile edition of the new illuminated masterpiece, the St. John’s Bible. Thanks to Donald Jackson, the artistic director of the original manuscript, the Heritage Edition is a work of art in its own right. Leading manuscript experts recognize it as the highest quality reproduction ever made. Commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University, The Saint John’s Bible is a contemporary work created in the tradition of handwritten medieval manuscripts. The Artistic Director of the project, Donald Jackson, is one of the world’s foremost Western calligraphers and Senior Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office at the House of Lords. During the past eleven years, Jackson has worked in rural Wales, with scribes and artists to write and illuminate The Saint John’s Bible entirely by hand, using quills and paints hand ground from precious minerals and stones such as lapis lazuli, vermilion, malachite, silver, copper, and 24-karat gold. To learn more, please visit

I hope to see some of you there!