Saturday, December 27, 2014

North Scott Street

This whole entire city block, viewed from North Scott Street at Bienville Avenue, sat vacant for the longest time, even from before Katrina. Black Raspberry bushes with the most luscious berries grew up astride the fence around the perimeter.

Now last summer a sign proclaiming a new rehabilitation hospital went up. This last week the developer started driving piles.

South Scott Street

There is a vacant lot at 434-436 South Scott Street. It used to contain two single shotgun houses. Both of them got flooded after Katrina. Being rentals, they did not qualify for federal grant aid under the Louisiana Road Home program, so they sat and rotted for years. The one (#436) started leaning against the other, so it came down. A couple of years later, the other came down. The lot sat vacant and neglected for several years.

This past summer city officials took photos of the lot. That spurred the owner(s) to action, clear the lot, trim the grass, and to sell the property (properties).

Now this past week a "gradall" appeared with several timber piles. A new house or two will be going up soon.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Other Countries Build Advanced Infrastructure as New York City Awaits Possible Closure of Penn Station Tunnels.

Breaking on the Daily Kos.

Infrastructure advances in the rest-of-the-world will blow your mind.

While we're "debating" torture, access to basic health care and the veracity of climate change, the rest-of-the-world is simply advancing transformational infrastructure like you would not believe.

In Switzerland, the world's longest rail tunnel -- straight through the Alps -- is about to open.
At 57 kilometres, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which will travel through the Alps between the northern portal of Erstfeld and Bodio in the south, will become the longest rail tunnel in the world once complete, stripping the title from Japan’s 53.85 kilometre Seikan Tunnel.
Meanwhile, the ancient tunnels between New York City and New Jersey -- dating from 1910 and about 4,400 meters long -- are so old -- and damaged from recent hurricanes -- that they risk forced closure -- and economic catastrophe for America's largest city -- at any time.
Losing one of the current tunnels would be a commuting nightmare, but getting financial support for Gateway will be be difficult, said Len Resto, New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers president.  
"The situation gets more dire day by day," Resto said. "You will get delays unacceptable to the riding public and it will become an economic factor. There's only so much that employers will put up with if people can't get to work on time."
Italy now boasts Europe's fastest high-speed train -- capable of speeds up to 400 km/h (249 mph) --  that will cut travel times between Rome and Milan -- about the distance between Washington, D.C. and Providence -- to two hours and some change.
The high-speed electric-multiple unit (EMU), which is expected to be put into service on the Rome-Milan corridor by Trenitalia in 2015, is certified for speeds up to 360 km/h but is capable of 400 km/h running.
(And it's not just the sexy Italians who are leaving us in the infrastructure dust. As George W. Bush wouldn't want me to do: don't forget Poland!)

More at  the link.

Monday, December 15, 2014

This is Where the Poor Board the Bus to go to the Airport.

Tulane at Carrollton, opposite the Nike shoe and sporting goods outlet store.

View from Carrollton Ave across the plaza parking lot.

View along the sidewalk, Tulane Ave.

Dreary, innit?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Li Ki Fiyr Water Hydrant Co.

First, the big puddle in the street.
And a close-up of the hydrant.
Yes, the title is a bad Korean joke but the hydrant IS leaking!

My Iphone Camera Lost the Moon!

Taken this morning at Palmyra and South Olympia Streets in Mid-City while on my way to Caire's. Just TRY to find the moon! I couldn't. Arrrrrrrgggh!!!

Progress on the Houses across the Street

Photo was taken December 12, 2014 at sunset. The houses are almost completely hardiplanked.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

316 South Alexander Street, Blighted Property.

These photos were taken on October 24, 2013.

Here is the front of the house in 3/4s profile.

Here is the right side of the house.
(Right side looking towards street.)

Here is the front room of the downstairs.
It's an indescribable mess!

Here's the next room downstairs.
It, too, is a mess; and look at the flood-lines!

Same room. Disgusting!

Third room downstairs. Also a mess.

Same room.

And here is the lovely car port! :^D

Here is what's left of the downstairs kitchen (or is it bathroom? or both??)

Looking up the back stairs. Unsafe!

Looking up the front stairs. Most unsafe!

And here is the front garden, landscaped with a lovely shopping cart from Spend-A-Center.

And here is the left side of the house.
And now I have new photos, taken November 29, 2014. if anything, the house has gotten worse. So dangerous not even street homeless people will camp out here.

Here is the front of the house, looking up the stairs.
Here is the right side of the house.
Here is the front room of the house. Notice anything different?
Yes! More wallboard has fallen down.
Second room of the house.
Still a disgusting mess.

Same room. Looks like a column has fallen over.

Third room of the house. Still just as I had left it in 2013.
And the left side of the house.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

House Under Renovation

This house on S Olympia Street in Mid-City New Orleans used to be a blighted property, or at the very least it acted the part. It was flooded during Katrina and apparently was unoccupied ever since. Now it's being renovated.

Great Job, fellows!

What's this Plant?

Photographed on N Olympia Street in New Orleans on 24 November, 2014 about 4:30 PM. Pretty white, magenta and red-violet accented floral stalks.

What is it?
Readership answers would be appreciated.

Progress on the Second House.

A lot has transpired in the second house in the lot across the way.

Taken 5 November, 2014, after sunset.
The roof rafters are up

Taken 21 November, 2014 during sunset.
The roof is done and the clapboards are being installed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Second House in the Lot across the Way.

Taken 3rd November, 2014
A second house is now going up in the lot across the way from my house. It's halfway up to the top!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Bougainvillea Blooms.

Our Bougainvillea plant, which I found as a desiccated discard on the curb last autumn, discovered its inner weed this spring after four terrible freezes seemed to have killed it, has now sprouted some nice raspberry-sherbet colored blooms.

Most Vile Malt Beverage in the Universe.

It's a Bud Light brand, even though there's no Bud Light beer in it. The label says it's a malt beverage. Basically Anhauser-Busch took some low-calorie malt liquor, some Clamato juice (which is clam and tomato juices mixed together), and a twist of lime. The result is the most vile malt beverage in the universe. It makes regular Bud Light taste good!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A New House in the Lot Across the Way.

Photo taken October 26, 2014, early evening.
Since I took a photo of the lot across the way last, the new house arising in it has been topped out and sheathed. It is of the Victorian-style camelback type. The finishes appear they are going to be the builder's "standard" variety -- single-hung windows that pretend to be double-hung, box eaves, asphalt-tab shingles and hardyplank siding (at least it isn't vinyl siding!).
The houses are going to front on S Cortez Street.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Lot Across the Way -- a House Frame Goes up.


Photos taken October 17, 2014. A house frame has gone up and is now being sheathed.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A New Foundation.

Photo taken October 10th.
The lot across the way has acquired concrete foundations and concrete cinderblock piers for two new houses. Before the piers went up, I thought these would be high-priced houses but they look like Habitat for Humanity house foundations.
And they could very well be! Because before the construction started, my partner remarked that he heard someone outside a hundred feet away, talking into a cell phone, with authority, that there are activists in this neighborhood who did not want housing in this area!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Very First Triumphal Procession.

Continues from "The Very First Known Roman 'Crucifixion'", here.

Found on pages 156-7 of Rome, Day One is Plutarch's Romulus 16,4-5:

4 Romulus, that he might perform his vow in the most acceptable manner to Jupiter, and withal make a pomp of it delightful to the eye of the city, cut down a tall oak which he saw growing in the camp, which he trimmed to the shape of a trophy, and fastened on it Acron's whole suit of armor disposed of in proper form; then he himself, girding his clothes about him, and crowning his head with a laurel garland, his hair gracefully flowing, 5 carried the trophy resting erect upon his right shoulder, and so marched on, singing songs of triumph, and his whole army following after, the citizens all receiving him with acclamations of joy and wonder. The procession of this day was the origin and model of all after triumphs.
Of course, I shouldn't have to remind you that the Greek for trophy is τρόπαιον, and the Latin, tropaeum.

And here is a fresco painting in Pompeii of Romulus carrying a tropaeum.

Source: University of Texas.

And here is a carved depiction of Jesus, carrying a tropaeum.  Which, of course, is a cross.  Note the close similarity between the two.

Ivory plaque with Pilate Washing His Hands, Christ Bearing the Cross, and Peter Denying Christ, Rome, c. 420-30, from the Maskell ivories. The Trustees of the British Museum, London
Source: Art Blog by Bob.
And at the end of the carrying of the Cross, or tropaeum, Jesus is nailed to it as a god. Just like the wax image of Julius Caesar.

Ivory Plaque with Judas Hanging Himself, Jesus Crucified, and the Centurion Longinus Stabbing Jesus' Side; Rome, c. 420-30, from the Maxwell ivories. The Trustees of the British Museum, London.
Source: The British Museum website.

Earlier I had posted on this blog an article demonstrating that Jesus' being led to Golgotha was based on none other than a typical Roman Triumph. Said dependence still stands.
Any questions, Christians?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Very First Known Roman "Crucifixion".

Found on page 156 of Rome, Day One:

After the defeat of Acron,king of the Caeninenses, Romulus, the founder of Rome, "cut down a monstrous oak that grew in the camp, hewed it into the shape of a trophy [διεμόρφωσεν ὥσπερ τρόπαιον], and fitted and fastened to it the armour of Acron, each piece in its due order." (Plutarch, Romulus 16, 4; Bernadotte Perrin translation (1924))

Where the Greek denotes:

διεμόρφωσεν: 3rd person singular aorist active, "[he] gave [it] shape to"
ὥσπερ: adverb of manner, "even as"
τρόπαιον: noun singular neuter accusative "a trophy, tropaeum."

This event occurred somewhere around 750 BCE.

Now what is the affixing of enemy armor to do with "crucifixion?" Simple. The shape of a trophy in ancient Roman times was nothing other than a cross. Observe:

Here is a depiction of a tropaeum on Trajan's column.
Note well that it is shown in the shape of a cross and is dressed with enemy armor.

And here is Alexamenos' donkey-headed god, fastened to and suspended on a tropaeum.
This is the sort of thing that all Christian depictions of the Crucifiction are modeled on and what nearly all people including scholars think of when they hear the word "crucify" or its cognates.
Any questions?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

These clouds are on FIYAH!

See the clouds, just to the left of the telephone pole and just above the roofline of the houses. Because of the setting sun, they look like they are on fire. For more pics in a slideshow, click on the video below:

If it doesn't load, click here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Was Jesus Even Crucified? Part 6e

Part 6

WHEN Was Jesus Crucified?
Previous Parts:
Part 1 - Link
Part 2 - Link
Part 3 - Link
Part 4 - Link
Part 5 - Link
Part 6a - Link
Part 6b - Link
Part 6c - Link

Part 6d - Link

Part 6e – Irenaeus.

Now Irenaeus (130 – 202 CE) wrote a number of works, including references to his alleged crucifixion in Against Heresies (Latin: Adversus haereses) and Demonstration of Apostolic Preaching. With the two works, one learns that Irenaeus was convinced Jesus was crucified in 42 CE at the earliest, during Emperor Claudius’ reign.

First, his Against Heresies II.22. In paragraph 1, Irenaeus completely trashes the Synoptic timeline of Jesus’ career, particularly as outlined in gLuke 3:23 & 4:19: 

There are not, therefore, thirty Æons, nor did the Saviour come to be baptized when He was thirty years old…. Moreover, they affirm that He suffered in the twelfth month, so that He continued to preach for one year after His baptism; and they endeavour to establish this point out of the prophet (for it is written, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of retribution” [Isaiah 61:2]), being truly blind,… not understanding that which is called by Isaiah the acceptable year of the Lord, nor the day of retribution. For the prophet neither speaks concerning a day which includes the space of twelve hours, nor of a year the length of which is twelve months. 1
The last may be true, but there is no indication that Luke understands this as allegorical. In fact, NT scholars link it to the Jewish year of Jubilee in Leviticus 25:10. Irenaeus does, though, in order to refer to the Church Age, “the whole time of faith during which men hear and believe the preaching of the Gospel, and those become acceptable to God who unite themselves to Him.” 1

Now that we have established a baseline, that Irenaeus does not accept the Synoptic timeline, we shall go on to figure out when he thought Jesus was crucifed.

In the beginning of paragraph 3, he follows the common practice of harmonizing the gospels, stating that “after His baptism, the Lord went up, at the time of the Passover [sic], to Jerusalem, in accordance with what was the practice of the Jews from every land, and every year, that they should assemble at this period in Jerusalem, and there celebrate the Passover. [sic]” 3 The Passovers he cites are the three in gJohn: the first right after Jesus’ water into wine demonstraion at Cana (2:13), the second according to Irenaeus is where Jesus cures the man disabled for 38 years at the Pool of Aesculapius in Jerusalem (5:1-15), and just before he feeds a vast crowd with five loaves of bread at Lake Galilee (6:4), the third and last six days after he raises Lazarus from the dead in Bethany (11:54, 12:1) where he gets questioned by the Jewish Sanhedrin, tried, convicted and sentenced by Pilate and whacked by the Romans. Well so far, so good: irenaeus has Jesus now observing three Passovers after his baptism. That means he should be about 32 or 33, correct?

Not on your life!

For in the beginning of paragraph four, Irenaeus claims Jesus, after his baptism, came to Jerusalem “possessing the full age of a Master… so that he might properly be acknowledged by all as a Master.” 4 He goes on to say that Jesus fulfilled every age of humanity: infants, children, youths, old men [and women], passing “through every age,” and thus “sanctifying” each stage a a person’s life. 5

Now in the fifth paragraph, we get to the key of Irenaeus’ reasoning: he admits to Jesus beginning to being about thirty years of age when he was dunked in the River Jordan by John the Baptist: 

For when He came to be baptized, He had not yet completed His thirtieth year, but was beginning to be about thirty years of age (for thus Luke, who has mentioned His years, has expressed it: “Now Jesus was, as it were, beginning to be thirty years old,” [Luke 3:23] when He came to receive baptism) 6
But he goes on that Jesus lived far longer than just one year or even three-and-a-half years! Nota bene:

Now, that the first  stage of early life embraces thirty years, and that this extends onwards to the fortieth year, every one will admit; but from the fortieth and fiftieth year a man begins to decline towards old age, which our Lord possessed while He still fulfilled the office of a Teacher 7
Irenaeus is clearly arguing that Jesus lived to an advanced age, past the age of 50, much like Julius Caesar (100 – 44 BCE) who was stabbed in the porch of Pompey’s Theatre and crucified in imagine two or five 8 days later. And what evidence does he have for this, since the extant Canonical Gospels so clearly stare he had a one-year ministry (Synoptics) or a two-to-three year ministry (gJohn)? Well he tells you:

…even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, [affirming] that John conveyed to them that information.  And he remained among them up to the times of Trajan.  Some of them, moreover, saw not only John, but the other apostles also, and heard the very same account from them, and bear testimony as to the [validity of] the statement. 9
Here is is stating he got the information from the elders of the churches in southwest Asia Minor, and the elders got the information from the Apostles, including John, who, according to Irenaeus, stayed with them in Asia Minor until the times of Emperor Trajan (r. 98-117 CE).

And from the sixth paragraph we find that it is John’s Gospel he is referring to when he says the Gospel testifies to the fact that he attained old age and the status of a teacher:

But, besides this, those very Jews who then disputed with the Lord Jesus Christ have most clearly indicated the same thing. For when the Lord said to them, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad,” they answered Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” [John 8:56-57] 10
He then argues that if he was just over the age of thirty, the fellow Jews of Jesus who were questioning him would certainly not say, “You are not yet fifty years old,” but rather “You are not yet forty years old.” But the whole point of the Jews’ questioning him was that they knew just from observation that Jesus was much younger than Abraham, and would certainly not have been old enough to have seen Abraham’s day. Which, for that purpose, fifty would have been just as much a suitable number as forty; who cares if the person of the story in question.was just over thirty or just under fifty, or even a short time after? But I digress. It certainly mattered to Irenaeus, who makes a very big issue out of it. 11

Now we do not have the information in Against Heresies as to what year Jesus was allegedly crucified in, for that we have to look in his Demonstration of Apostolic Preaching. Here, he cheerfully states that he was executed during the procuratorship / prefecture of Pontius Pilate, but during the Government of Claudius Caesar (24 January 41 – 13 October 54)! And this is what Irenaeus wrote: “For Herod the king of the Jews and Pontius Pilate, the governor of Claudius Caesar, came together and condemned Him to be crucified.” (emphasis mine) 12

So the crucifixion would have occurred sometime around 42 CE or later. 13 Apparently Irenaeus is privy to a tradition that is not in any of the Canonical Gospels.  Not only is the date far removed from Eusebius and Tertullian’s guesses and Pontius Pilate’s prefecture of 26-36 CE, but his source for the trial of Jesus apparently has Herod as a presiding official alongside Pilate, as in the Gospel of Peter.  And Irenaeus continues the above quoted sentence with the following:

For Herod feared, as though He were to be an earthly king, lest he should be expelled by Him from the kingdom. But Pilate was constrained by Herod and the Jews that were with him against his will to deliver Him to death: (for they threatened him) if he should not rather do this than act contrary to Cæsar, by letting go a man who was called a king. 14


Irenaeus sets the crucifixion of Jesus around 42 CE or later, but no later that 54 CE.  This is at variance from Eusebius and Tertullian’s computed dates, which is indicative of confusion among the Apostolic and Ante-Nicene Church Fathers as to the actual date of the crucifixion.


1.      Against Heresies II.22.1 (New
2.      Ibid., pgh. 2.
3.      Ibid., beginning of pgh. 3.
4.      Ibid., beginning of pgh. 4.
5.      Ibid.
6.      Ibid, paragraph 5.
7.      Ibid.
8.      Depending on whether you trust the ancient historians, who state the funeral of Julius Caesar was on March 17, or the bulk of modern scholarship, which says it was on March 20.
9.      Against Heresies II.22.1, pgh. 5.
10.  Ibid., beginning pgh. 6
11.  Ibid., read the rest of pgh. 6. Here is the key quote: “Now, such language is fittingly applied to one who has already passed the age of forty, without having as yet reached his fiftieth year, yet is not far from this latter period. But to one who is only thirty years old it would unquestionably be said, “You are not yet forty years old.” For those who wished to convict Him of falsehood would certainly not extend the number of His years far beyond the age which they saw He had attained; but they mentioned a period near His real age, whether they had truly ascertained this out of the entry in the public register, or simply made a conjecture from what they observed that He was above forty years old, and that He certainly was not one of only thirty years of age. For it is altogether unreasonable to suppose that they were mistaken by twenty years, when they wished to prove Him younger than the times of Abraham. For what they saw, that they also expressed; and He whom they beheld was not a mere phantasm, but an actual being of flesh and blood. He did not then want much of being fifty years old; and, in accordance with that fact, they said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” (emphasis mine)
12.  Irenaeus, Demonstration of Apostolic Preaching 74, immediately after quoting Acts 4:25ff. Link:
13.  Assuming Jesus’ birth year of 4 BCE and a lifespan of at least 45 years, Jesus would have been crucified no earlier than 42 CE. Cf. Wikipedia, Irenaeus, This article cites in its n. [46], Robert M Price. "Jesus at the Vanishing Point," in James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy (eds.) The Historical Jesus: Five Views. InterVarsity, 2009, p. 80-81. Ditto Wikipedia, On the Detection and Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis,, n. [14]. Also, the source linked in n. 12 indicates that Claudius did not become Emperor until 42 CE.
14.  Same as n. 12 above.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Lot Across the Way All Torn Up.

They drove piles yesterday. A lot. And the tracks for the pile-driver tore the grass up, really bad.

Looking from Telemachus Street.

Looking from the street-corner.

Looking from across Baudin Street, second floor.

The Earth May Yet Do Her OWN "Geoengineering"

This just in from the UK:

Icelandic volcano could trigger Britain’s coldest winter EVER this year

"BRITAIN could freeze in YEARS of super-cold winters and miserable summers if the Bardarbunga volcano erupts, experts have warned.

"Depending on the force of the explosion, minute particles thrust beyond the earth’s atmosphere can trigger DECADES of chaotic weather patterns.

"Tiny pieces of debris act as billions of shields reflecting the sun’s light away from earth meaning winter temperatures could plunge LOWER THAN EVER before while summer will be devoid of sunshine.

"The first effect could be a bitterly cold winter to arrive in weeks with thermometers plunging into minus figures and not rising long before next summer."

The Day After Tomorrow for the UK, eh?

More here:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Lot Across the Way Gets a Makeover

The lot across the way gets a makeover: it's grass is cut, turning it from a natural meadow into a mowed vacant lot. It also acquires some stakes and a metal trailer. Two days later, a pile driver shows up, bringing with it two timber piles each 35 feet long.

September 21st - cut grass, stakes and a trailer.

September 22nd. Same.

September 22nd. Same.

September 22nd. Better view of trailer.

September 22nd. Close-up of some stakes.

September 23rd. A pile-driver shows up!
With piles!
More to come...