ASOR joins LCCHP and Other Organizations in Warning of Cultural Heritage Emergency in Egypt

ASOR (American Schools of Oriental Research) LogoASOR has added its name and support to a statement expressing concern over the potential loss of cultural heritage in Egypt. While human life and well-being are of primary importance, much of Egypt’s cultural identity is rooted in its proud cultural heritage, dating back thousands of years. Reports of museums being looted and artifacts like mummies being destroyed are devastating to Egypt’s irreplaceable cultural heritage.

Here is the statement in its entirety:

The undersigned cultural heritage and archaeological organizations express their concern over the loss of life and injury to humans during the protests in Egypt this week. We support the desire of the Egyptian people to exercise their basic civil rights. We also share their concern about the losses to cultural heritage that Egypt has already sustained and the threat of further such losses over the coming days.

Brave actions taken by the citizens of Cairo and the military largely protected the Cairo Museum. However, the numerous sites, museums and storage areas located outside of Cairo are even more vulnerable. As the prisons are opened and common criminals are allowed to escape, the potential for greater loss is created. A recent report from Egyptologist Professor Sarah Parcak of the University of Alabama in Birmingham states that damage has been done to storage areas and tombs in Abusir and Saqqara and that looting is occurring there and in other locations.

We call on the Egyptian authorities to exercise their responsibilities to protect their country’s irreplaceable cultural heritage. At the same time, we call on United States and European law enforcement agencies to be on the alert over the next several months for the possible appearance of looted Egyptian antiquities at their borders.

For a link to ASOR’s Policy on the Preservation and Protection of Cultural Property, click here.

For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, visit www.culturalheritagelaw.org.

this week’s sign that the apocalypse is upon us: jim west is on twitter

Dr. Jim West on Twitter

Dr. Jim West is now on Twitter @drjewest.

yes, jim west is now on twitter.
so follow him @drjewest!

(this ought to be fun!)

i still remember

i still remember the day the challenger exploded, jan. 28, 1986. I was in the 7th grade. my math teacher, mr. aldrich’s father, worked in the space industry. it was 8:30 in the morning in california.

it still makes me cry every time i watch it.

bravo gil meche, bravo

Gil Meche

Gil Meche

Gil Meche has retired from Major League Baseball. This is nothing special; baseball players retire all the time. However, it is the manner in which he did so that is so refreshingly rare, it’s stunning: Meche retired, forfeiting his guaranteed $12 million contract for this coming season. And the reason he gave: he felt he wasn’t earning it:

“When I signed my contract, my main goal was to earn it,” Meche told the paper from his temporary home in Lafayette, La. “Once I started to realize I wasn’t earning my money, I felt bad. I was making a crazy amount of money for not even pitching. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I didn’t want to have those feelings again.”

“This isn’t about being a hero — that’s not even close to what it’s about,” Meche said. “It’s just me getting back to a point in my life where I’m comfortable. Making that amount of money from a team that’s already given me over $40 million for my life and for my kids, it just wasn’t the right thing to do.”

In a world dominated by greed in pro sports, this (regardless of any possible ulterior motive he may have) is commendable. He followed his principles and maintained his integrity over and above any money he might receive. And the fans will love him for it!

Bravo Gil Meche, bravo!

honestly, it’s not my truck

image

but someone in l.a. has an indy-themed adventure boot camp.

evidence it isn’t mine:
1. it’s not a hybrid
2. my idea of adventure camp is a summer course in targumic aramaic with my aramaic professor, yona sabar (here and here and especially here).

curious to know who and what it is…

call for papers for the ‘blogging and online publication’ section at the 2011 sbl annual meeting is now open

Biblioblogger logoThe call for papers for the ‘Blogging and Online Publication’ section at the 2011 SBL Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA is now available. The meeting will be held November 19-22, 2011.

SBL members wishing to present papers should submit proposals on the SBL website here by March 1, 2011.

The SBL Blogger and Online Publication section invites proposals for papers for its 2011 annual meeting session. The open session calls for papers focusing on any area of blogging and online publication in relation to biblical studies, theology, and archaeology of the Levant. Special consideration will be given to those papers addressing:

  • the politics and etiquette of blogging professionals
  • issues dealing with anonymity, identity, and authorship
  • the utilization of blogs by professionals for creating, responding to, and redacting content for publication elsewhere
  • podcasting and video blogging
  • issues examining solo blogging vs. community blogging

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact:

Dr. Robert R. Cargill
Center for Digital Humanities
UCLA
1020 Public Affairs Building
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1499

or email cargill@humnet.ucla.edu.

hit and run fail (and the much deserved result)

sometimes, criminals get caught in the most glorious of manners. take, for instance, this hit-and-run driver, who attempted to get away from those whom he injured and whose property he destroyed.

the facebook setting you should change as soon as possible

Gawker is reporting that Facebook is finally making https protocol available to provide at least some protection against Firesheep and other credential-sniffing hackerware.

Facebook has at long last offered an option to use the encrypted “HTTPS” protocol, a feature it will begin rolling out today but won’t finish for a “few weeks.” You should check now if it’s available, and sign up as soon as it is enabled for your account. The performance overhead is minor—zippy Gmail, for example, uses HTTPS for everything—and it’s an important step to keep your Facebook account safe from being hijacked on an open or poorly secured wireless network.

By default, Facebook sends your access credentials in the clear, with no encryption whatsoever. Switching to HTTPS is important because a browser extension called Firesheep has made it especially easy for anyone sharing your open wireless network—at cafe or conference, for example—to sniff your credentials and freely access your account. One blogger sitting in a random New York Starbucks was able to steal 20-40 Facebook identities in half an hour. HTTPS solves this longstanding problem by encrypting your login cookies and other data; in fact the inventor of Firesheep made the software to encourage companies like Facebook to finally lock down their systems.

You can sign up for Facebook HTTPS by going to Account Settings and then selecting “Account Security,” third from the bottom. Then click under “Secure Browsing” — if it’s there. Facebook says everyone should have this by the end of the day, but in the meantime you might be missing the relevant option toggle.

Check your account and switch to https security now (!), especially if you use a laptop at internet cafés. Otherwise, who knows who might be reading your mail…

new digital humanities minor and grad certificate program at ucla

The UCLA Center for Digital Humanities Website (cdh.ucla.edu)

The UCLA Center for Digital Humanities Website (cdh.ucla.edu)

UCLA has approved a new undergraduate minor in Digital Humanities. The university has also approved a graduate certificate program in DH, which is akin to a minor within a graduate degree in a Humanities-related field.

In a Daily Bruin article entitled, Humanities Joins the Digital Age with New Minor, Cody Geib describes how the new minor focuses on the relationship between technology and society. The minor certifies the ever increasing need for knowledge about digital forms of Humanities instruction and research.

As one of the nation’s premier research universities, UCLA has become a world leader in the Digital Humanities and one of the only universities to offer both an undergrad minor and grad certificate in Digital Humanities. The minor and grad certificate add to UCLA’s existing DH presence, which include DH-related centers like the Center for Digital Humanities (CDH), Academic Technology Services (ATS), Experiential Technology Center (ETC), Common Collaboration and Learning Environment (CCLE), College Library Instructional Computing Commons (CLICC), Institute for Digital Research and Education: Humanities, Arts and Architecture, Social and Information Sciences (IDRE-HAASIS), Office of Instructional Development (OID), Office of Instructional Technology (OIT), as well as DH research projects like Digital Karnak, UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology (UEE), Ancient Egyptian Architecture Online (AEGARON), Qumran Visualization Project (QVP), Hypercities, Sites of (re)Collection, Korean Folklore Online Archive, Digital Roman Forum, Far From Moscow, and many more.

Visit the CDH Website (cdh.ucla.edu) for more information about the DH minor and grad certificate program.

ucla to receive $100 million donation from meyer and renee luskin

Renee and Meyer Luskin donated $100 million to the UCLA School of Public Affairs and the construction of a residential conference center. (Photo credit: UCLA)

Renee and Meyer Luskin donated $100 million to the UCLA School of Public Affairs and the construction of a residential conference center. (Photo credit: UCLA)

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Renee and Meyer Luskin, who announced today that they will donate $100 million to the UCLA School of Public Affairs and toward the construction of a new residential conference center and faculty club.

$50 million of the gift will go to the School of Public Affairs, 90% of which will go:

toward endowed professorships, graduate student fellowships and other academic programs.

Luskin said it is important for the university to devote more resources to solving community problems, which he said are so complex that minds across many disciplines, including public policy and economics, are needed to deal with them.

The gift will also go toward building a hotel and conference center atop a remodeled faculty club.

The other half of Luskin’s donation will help fund the proposed residential conference center and faculty club to host academic meetings on campus.

The facility will stand six stories tall when completed, and will consist of meeting rooms, conference space and almost 300 hotel rooms. It will replace the 50-year-old Faculty Center, which is one of the only single-story buildings on campus.

Given the fact that it is impossible to find affordable hotels in Westwood Village close to campus, this conference center and hotel will be a tremendous help for university departments who want to host distinguished lecturers and scholars visiting from other universities. The gift will also free up other university funds to address financial issues that will stem from California Governor Brown’s proposed $500 million cut to the University of California system.

The Luskin’s donation is the second largest donation ever given to UCLA, coming nine years after David Geffen gave a record $200 million to the UCLA School of Medicine for research.

Thank you again to Renee and Meyer Luskin for your generosity!

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