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Twitter games: chess and war

Friday, June 5th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — more for the fun and war games file ]

There’s Aaron Zelin‘s piece,


Then there’s this DoubleTweet from Daveed Gartenstein-Ross:

and (brilliantly played!) Phineas Fahrquar:


Both the linked pieces are worth your while:

  • Aaron Zelin, The Islamic State’s Saudi Chess Match
  • Giorgio Bertolin. Why chess is not the right metaphor for human conflict
  • War Games

    Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — not a FIFA joke ]

    via ElMostaque


    I’ve no idea of whether this was photoshopped, staged, screencapped, or simply a brilliant photo, but it’s war fun and games any way you look at it.

    A visual koan.

    The image is several years old, but I just saw it today via @EMostaque.

    A DoubleQuote from Peter C Vangjel

    Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — Col Kurtz meets Frederick Nietzsche ]

    Peter Vangjel tweeted a DoubleQuote yesterday, and I’ve now formatted it and am reposting it here:

    SPEC Nietzsche Kurtz


    I’m always happy to see that others find the DoubleQuote concept serviceable.

    What are your views on Col. Kurtz? What did Capt. Willard think of him? And Francis Ford Coppola?

    And where would you locate the heart of darkness?

    Bobcat jumps shark..

    Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — I suppose you could call this “land-sea battle” ]


    I couldn’t quite let this tweet go by without recalling the two quotes that gave me the DoubleQuotes idea in the first place:

    From Haniel Long’s Letter to Saint Augustine:

    My friend Jens Jensen, who is an ornithologist, tells me that when he was a boy in Denmark he caught a big carp embedded in which, across the spinal vertebrae, were the talons of an osprey. Apparently years before, the fish hawk had dived for its prey, but had misjudged its size. The carp was too heavy for it to lift up out of the water, and so after a struggle the bird of prey was pulled under and drowned. The fish then lived as best it could with the great bird clamped to it, till time disintegrated the carcass, and freed it, all but the bony structure of the talon.

    And from Annie Dillard‘s Teaching a Stone to Talk:

    And once, says Ernest Seton Thompson–once, a man shot an eagle out of the sky. He examined the eagle and found the dry skull of a weasel fixed by the jaws to his throat. The supposition is that the eagle had pounced on the weasel and the weasel swiveled and bit as instinct taught him, tooth to neck, and nearly won. I would like to have seen that eagle from the air a few weeks or months before he was shot: was the whole weasel still attached to his feathered throat, a fur pendant? Or did the eagle eat what he could reach, gutting the living weasel with his talons before his breast, bending his beak, cleaning the beautiful airborne bones?


    The photo almost, though not quite, captures the full circularity of the two narratives above — but even so, the sense of two elemental beasts, one of earth, one of water, grappling each with the other, is powerful, rare, and memorable.

    The battle flags of religion

    Sunday, March 29th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — vexilla regis prodeunt, comparative version ]

    Two recent examples of religious iconography on the battle field.. from the Badr Brigade, outside Amerli, Iraq:

    badr brigade

    and from Pro-Russia fighters near the eastern Ukrainian city of Starobeshevo:

    Christ flag


    The Vexilla regis is a hymn written by Venantius Fortunatus to welcome the procession bringing a fragment of the True Cross to St Radegunda‘s convent in Poitiers: the first line translates to “The banners of the king go forth”.

    Here it is, illustrated with battle flags flown by Catholic and Royalist troops during the War in the Vendée:



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