Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ophiolatreia - Serpent Worship

I’ve just finished reading 'The Worship of the Serpent' by John Bathurst Deane, published 1833. It's a book that traces the history of serpent worship throughout the world, with the basic premise being that serpent worship is a cultural memory of man's fall from paradise. The serpent worshipped being the very same one that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden.

The book's quite esoteric and some of its passages are quite interesting - especially given that it was written nearly 180 years ago. I'll reproduce some of them here.

On Atlantis, page 26:
"In the Atlantis of Plato, we may, I think, discover the Eden of Scripture; and in the lapse of the Atlantians from virtue and The Divine Nature, the fall of Adam from purity and The Image Of God. The state of mankind, at the time of the deluge, is, doubtless, blended with the tradition; for we find that the island Atlantis was submerged in the ocean. But the want of authentic records of the period intermediate between the fall and the deluge, left the heathen, in a great measure, ignorant of antediluvian history."
And this description of God on page 56:
"The definition of the Deity by Trismegistus is poetically sublime: "God is a circle whose centre is everywhere, and circumference nowhere.""
Then on page 88, he mentions the Gnostics:
"Epiphanius says, that "the Ophites sprung out of the Nicolaitans and Gnostics, and were so called from the serpent which they worshipped." The Gnostics, he informs us in another place, "taught that the ruler of this world was of a dracontic form.""
Continuing on pages 90/91:
"These opinions of the Gnostic Ophites were blended with the old Magian superstition of Persia by Manes, a celebrated heretic of the third century; who revived ophiolatreia, in his native country, under the name of Christianity. He taught, that "Christ was an incarnation of the great serpent, who glided over the cradle of the Virgin Mary, when she was asleep, at the age of a year and a half.""
I wouldn't be surprised if David Icke had read this book.

Monday, February 14, 2011

An Online Argument That Amused Me Somewhat

The link below links to an article about evolution. I link to it not for the article itself, but for the argument that breaks out in the comments below. It's between two people named PS3 and Djincs - an Asian and a European - and it amused me somewhat. It begins a few comments in when PS3 states "Human less sophisticated now because they less hairy."

It reminded me of the witty Asian characters you sometimes used to get in American comedy movies.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Racy Language in Shakespeare

I recently read Shakespeare's play, Cymbeline, for the first time. I came across this passage - where the hot-headed Cloten tries to woo the fair Imogen, by having music played outside her bed-chamber:
Cloten. I would this music would come: I am advised to give her music o' mornings, they say it will penetrate.
Enter Musicians.
Come on, tune; if you can penetrate her with your fingering, so; we'll try with tongue too; if none will do, let her remain: but I'll never give o'er.
Surely this doesn't mean what I think it means. No wonder we didn’t do this play at school.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Two Pence Piece Value

The current scrap value of the copper in a British 2p coin (minted pre-1992) is now 4.16p.

I should point out that at the beginning of each month I work out the scrap metal value of our British coins. I started doing this about a year ago - partly through curiosity and partly because I felt it would be an interesting way of measuring inflation.

When I first started I was surprised to find out that the 1 and 2 pence pieces (minted pre-1992, many of which are still in circulation) had a face value less than their actual scrap value. The pre-1992 coins being made of 97% copper - as opposed to the copper-plated steel coins minted afterwards.

Anyway, over the last year the value of the metal in our coins has skyrocketed. In fact, the copper in a pre-1992 2p is now worth 38.8% more than it was this time last year. Either the price of metal is going up fast or our currency is devaluing at a rapid rate. I think it’s a combination of the two.

It should also be noted that our 5 and 10p coins, which are made of cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel), are also rapidly reaching the point where their scrap value outstrips their face value. 5p coins now being worth 2.83p in scrap. However, like the 2 and 1 pence pieces, from this year onward they will now be made of coated steel. No doubt the government saw this problem coming a few years ago.

On this blog I’ll note the scrap value of the 2 and 5 pence pieces each month, sort of as a running measure. Maybe a few other people out there will find it as interesting as I do.


First of all I should say that when I measure the value of the pre-1992 2 pence piece I’m simply measuring the value of the copper content. I’ve discounted the value of the 2.5% zinc and 0.5% tin that make up the other 3% of the coin. However, when valuing the 5 pence I’m measuring both the copper and the nickel content of the coin. 

Also, incidentally, I’m just getting the metal values from the London Metal Exchange, via the BBC’s Teletext service. So these figures are just my own calculations. Please don’t use them as guides for important decision making.

And finally, I should say that I have no idea if melting or scrapping British coins is illegal, but I would imagine that it is. So I wouldn’t advocate it.