An ancient city that matches the description of the biblical city of Sodom has been found in Jordan according to multiple media reports.
Dr. Steve Collins of Trinity Southwest University announced the discovery after wrapping up the tenth semester of excavation of a site he deduced must be where the legendary city was located after intensive study of biblical texts.
Even if it turns out to not be Sodom, the newly discovered city, known as the Tall el-Hammam site was very large and powerful for the time.
“Tall el-Hammam seemed to match every Sodom criterion demanded by the [Bible],” Collins told Popular Archaeology. “When we explored the area, the choice of Tall el-Hammam as the site of Sodom was virtually a no-brainer since it was at least five to ten times larger than all the other Bronze Age sites in the entire region, even beyond the Kikkar of the Jordan.”
According to Collins, the discovered city has a large wall and a gateway area that dates back to the Bronze Age. There is also a smaller nearby site dating back to the same time that Collins speculates could be Gomorrah.
If the city turns out to be Sodom, this could be proof for Bible believers of the religious text’s veracity.
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#VestGate: UK University Challenge Program Ignites Controversy Over What It Means To Be “Intelligent”By Mariam Ansar
University Challenge, hosted by Jeremy Paxman and witness to the UK’s most intelligent of students going head to head to represent their universities, is a show which can clearly be seen to favour substance over style.
Focused on providing only the most gruelling of questions, its reputation is one of baffled English home-audiences rejoicing when answering correctly between themselves, university pride, and the classic jumper-collared-shirt combo. However, one episode, which aired last week, hosted one contestant whose choice of attire raised more than a few eyebrows.
Kamel Shah of King’s College, Cambridge, injected a certain amount of controversy into the show courtesy of his leather vest and gold chain.
Raising questions on the idea of propriety, some argued that the values of BBC 2, typically home of the straight-edged middle-class crowd, had been compromised. For many, the clothing choice was regarded as a sign of disrespect, aligned on ideas of good manners and appropriate attire which being on a show as esteemed as University Challenge supposedly demands:
— The Weirwolf (@jon_weir) September 7, 2015
However, the issue of the vest could be seen to prompt a much deeper discussion. When it comes to representations of intelligence, is there something inherently problematic in disputing the decency of someone who refused to toe the line of what many see as an out-dated ideal?
Shah in his leather vest, dragging #universitychallenge kicking and screaming into the late 1990s.
— Ali (@AliBonce) September 7, 2015
King’s Shah – brave choice of vest-top, defying usual boring clothes expectations for #universitychallenge. Nice one!
— Ted Loveday (@TedTalksUK) September 7, 2015
It is no secret that questions on the University Challenge appeal to an educational standard more at home with the privately-educated than anything else; which isn’t to say that its audience must simply be privately-educated. It simply suggests that when questions are focused on, for example, literature of the 17th century, Latin translation, or minimalism in music, one wonders at the concept of common knowledge, and knowledge in itself.
An example of previous University Challenge questions:
“Your starter for 10: A schoolboy play-on-words between Latin and English, what jocular translation is usually given to the phrase semper ubi sub ubi?
Three bonus questions on the opening lines of novels:
(a) Which novel, first published in serial form from 1914 to 1915, begins “Once upon a time and a very good time it was…”?
(b) “It was a dark and stormy night”’ are the first words of the 1830 novelPaul Clifford by which writer, whose other works include Eugene Aramand The Last Days of Pompeii?
(c) The novels Midnight’s Children, The Thirty-Nine Steps, Robinson Crusoe and Tristram Shandy all open with which word?”
What does intelligence mean and what is it measured by? When contestants famously previously failed to recognise a musical question sampling the modern R&B sounds of Frank Ocean, one must wonder as to what extent the non-typical, but very valid, contributions of the rest of the world are unnoticed by the majority’s standards.
It is very likely that Shah’s vest is improper, a fashion faux-paux which does not do well to read too much into. We cannot be sure that he donned the chain and the vest to question the legitimacy of educational standards. However, it is also clear that the impropriety can be interpreted as a sign of defiance. Within the elitist environment with which we both patrol the playground of the deemed intelligent and set the standard, there are remnants of inequality which would favour the symbolism of, for lack of better words, of the jumper-wearer over the vest-wearer.
#GeekAndGangsta. The hash-tag speaks for itself. It’s clear our clothes feature their own identities, can speak without saying of our cultural awareness. But as culture is so easily manipulated, the inference of what this can mean cannot be easily decided upon.
The conclusion is that Shah chose to don non-typical attire on a game show set to test intelligence and provided the ripples of an aftermath which suggest that clothing is not just clothing: the underlying current of values being tied up with appearance, and in this case intelligence, is definite.
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By Layla Ghazi
I have this ring on my right middle finger.
It’s a peace sign that I originally wore on my left ring finger – you know, the finger associated with marriage.
2008 me was convinced that if Nick Jonas, the man I was destined to marry, was going to refrain from being intimate until marriage, so would I.
I held on to the notion that I would remain abstinent until marriage until I was 16.
I had my first real love, and suddenly my opinion of waiting until marriage seemed out of step with reality.
My feelings towards sex radically changed once I realized the importance of another level of intimacy in becoming closer to another individual, and while some choose not to have sex, I didn’t.
In my eyes, God (you betcha I believe in a higher power) created the body to enjoy his other creations, including sex.
I am a 20-year-old woman who has openly expressed on the internet that she is sexually active and takes pride in her ability to make the choice to be.
Is it just me or does it feel like I had a Carrie Bradshaw moment? You know what I mean, when she was typing away on her laptop in Sex and the City?
Psh, why do I even need to have a Carrie Bradshaw moment?
Well, level with me here because I’m not about to tell you about my sexual escapades.
I value the sanctity of physical intimacy, and I would never share details of an experience with a partner to another individual.
Instead, I think it is important for someone to be frank about sex in college because:
I am unable to trace back to where Western college culture changed so that the major aspect of social development was linked to sex.
Maybe it happened when women (rightly) claimed the entitlements back to their bodies; or maybe it happened when the media could openly sexualize relationships.
Whenever it happened, there was a dynamic shift in our understanding and appreciation of sex.
For the most part, the conversation surrounding sex is treated as much like the methods used to study for a test.
While I think it is truly wonderful that we can have open discussions about intimacy, there seems to be a series of unspoken rules about sex on college campuses in the United States, which I didn’t know about.
Have you ever heard the expression: “High school is all about how long can they date before they hook up? But college…college is all about how long can they hook up before they date?”
It is the most accurate depiction of college hook up culture.
Like I want to paint it on a canvas or get it printed on a flyer because it holds that much power over interpersonal relationships in college.
Don’t worry; Monogamy happens still.
I can tell you from personal experience, I am still struggling with my last heart-break.
But the purpose of this piece is not to talk about monogamy.
Rather, I want to bring to attention the issue that everyone is entitled to believe what they do and should be free from pressure to participate in something they find unsettling.
The results of these beliefs may not always host positive outcomes, but nonetheless the individuals will deal with the consequences as they are presented.
There is some beauty in being in a world where there is an understanding that you can sleep with whomever you want.
What is not remotely beautiful is the expectation that everyone participates in this hook up culture.
Allow me to offer a specific example.
If you, my dear reader, are not involved in Greek life, like the American high school homecoming and prom, fraternities and sororities host semi-formals and formals dances.
While sororities are expected to host their events within the city limits of their university, fraternities will go out-of-town for both events.
Just as sorority women can invite individuals involved and not involved in Greek life, fraternity men may do the same.
The fact that they go out-of-town means they must spend a decent amount of money to secure the hotel room and the nice dinner venue.
Their dates usually will make them a cooler or flask or craft something else catered to the taste of the gentleman.
Basically, the fraternity and its guests are all in for a weekend of all kinds of fun in a city, taking a pseudo-vacation.
Sounds great, right?!
Well, formal season is almost over, but if I hear anything else about fraternity men looking for dates, I will let you know.
There is one catch, though, the frat boy will probably be expecting you to have sex with him or at the very least fool around until he is satisfied.
Yeah, I would be a little taken aback too.
By no means are all fraternity men expecting this, and I have been fortunate enough to be asked on formals by men that identified with their gender assigned at birth that I was either seeing or very good friends with.
There was no expectation from me to do anything I was not comfortable with.
However, I have had approximately seven girlfriends come and speak to me about how uncomfortable they felt around their date because he seemed to hold this expectation that she would participate in the hook up culture.
Let me be perfectly clear:
It does not matter your gender identity, sexuality or combination of the two spectra.
If you invite an individual on some event, whether it be out of college or while you are in school, you do not have a right to expect something in return for the invitation.
I find it appalling and a reflection of the manipulative nature of our modern culture that the definition has evolved from something that used to mean to request someone’s presence at to a word that offers an incentive or opens the door to the likelihood of an opportunity.
This beautifully masked article has been another approach to aid those who still do not understand the concept of consent the entire time!
While I may choose to be free with my body, I still reserve the right to say no and be uninhibited by the expectation that I will use the pleasure intimacy can create to essentially repay a fraternity member with his choice to bring a date on a pricey event.
Don’t be afraid to go stag!
Or just don’t go!
Or better yet, take someone you may actually like!
So, while there is a definite beauty in an individual’s ability to choose to sleep with as many people as they want, whether they are being safe about it or not (which for the sake of everyone else I hope they are being), not everyone has to participate in this culture shift, especially when they are invited out to an event, like a date or a weekend getaway.
If you are interested in reading more about the hookup culture of today, I highly suggest listening to the Hidden Brain podcast from NPR published on February 14.
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