Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Sacred Cow and Her "Singing" Crow

From The Washington Post:

In my imagination, I can hear the crow singing, and as this sacred cow in a sanctuary in India listens, she could be Isis, reminiscing of the freedom and the millions of worshippers She used to have, before the patriarchal war gods took over the world and ruined it for all of us.  The poignancy of this photograph deeply touched my heart.

Important 5,200 Year Old Pictoral Symbols Discovered in Elkab Desert Region of Egypt

A rock panel featuring depictions of a bull’s head on a short pole followed by two back-to-back saddlebill storks with a bald ibis bird above and between them.MINISTRY OF ANTIQUITIES
ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WRITING: NEW SYMBOLS REVEAL DEVELOPMENT OF HIEROGLYPHICS The elegant pictorial writing system of the ancient Egyptians—known as hieroglyphics—has fascinated generations of archeologists. Its precise origins are uncertain. One ancient Egyptian legend holds that the god Thoth handed the gift of writing to a few chosen scribes. A more prosaic modern theory suggests that they derived from rock pictures produced by prehistoric hunting societies wandering the desert.
Now, a new discovery may hold some clues as to how carved images evolved into a formal writing system. According to a Facebook post by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, a new rock inscription site discovered around 60 km south of Luxor in the village of El-Khawy “helps in understanding the development of a system of graphic communication that sets the stage for the appearance of true hieroglyphic writing.”
Now, a new discovery may hold some clues as to how carved images evolved into a formal writing system. According to a Facebook post by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, a new rock inscription site discovered around 60 km south of Luxor in the village of El-Khawy “helps in understanding the development of a system of graphic communication that sets the stage for the appearance of true hieroglyphic writing.”
The inscriptions date back around 5,200 years and each individual sign is about half a meter in height. “This is the first time that anyone has seen them on such a massive scale,” Darnell said. He said the team was “absolutely flabbergasted” by the size of the discovery.

According to Yale, they are significant not only for their unique size, but also because they show that even in its very earliest phases, the use of hieroglyphic writing was widespread and not confined to the offices of dusty bureaucrats as some had previously argued.
“This also suggests that there is a much more expansive use of the early writing system than is indicated from other surviving archeological material,” Darnell said.

The researchers found the inscriptions in the northern desert landscape of Elkab. This area, along with a city called Hierakonpolis across the river, were extremely important settlements in ancient Egypt, Darnell said.

Monday, June 12, 2017

2017 Milwaukee Summer Challenge

Hola!

I have cross-table results from the USCF website - no official word yet on prize money distributed to chess femmes who played in the tournament.

No ladies played in the Master/Expert section (over 2000).

In the U2000 section (36 players):

 10 | MADELINE L WEBER                |3.5  |L   4|W  33|D   7|W  30|W  20|
   WI | 15631341 / R: 1534   ->1640     |     |W    |B    |W    |B    |W    |

 12 | GAURI MENON                     |3.0  |W  29|L   6|H    |D  11|W  23|
   WI | 15187152 / R: 1736   ->1738     |     |B    |W    |     |W    |B    |

 19 | MEGAN CHEN                      |2.5  |D  20|L  16|W  36|L   7|W  31| 
   IL | 13453097 / R: 1539 ->1559 | |W |W |B |B |W |


  25 | ARADH KAUR                      |2.0  |L   6|W  29|L  22|W  32|L  11|
   WI | 15085398 / R: 1461   ->1460     |     |B    |W    |B    |W    |B    |

 34 | SANDRA R HOFFMAN                |1.0  |L   8|L  15|L  33|L  35|B    | 
   WI | 10318033 / R: 1372 ->1306 | |B |B |W |B | |

In the U1000 section (9 players):

   4 | NORA LITMAN                     |2.5  |B    |L   6|W   9|D   3|
   MN | 16011232 / R:  389   -> 483     |     |     |B    |W    |W    | 
      | Q: 200P14-> 346P17 | | | | | |

    9 | TANYA SHANMUGASUNDARAM          |1.0  |L   8|W   7|L   4|L   6|
   WI | 15920784 / R:  631P11-> 581P15  |     |W    |B    |B    |W    | 
      | Q: 585P11-> 505P15 | | | | | |

Added June 13, 2017:

Hola darlings!  Here are the SEVEN chess femmes who participated, along with any prizes they won (below).  I also updated the cross tables above to add Gauri Menon's and Aradh Kaur's results.  I had not included them in my initial blog post, my apologies to the ladies!

U2000 Section:

Madeline Weber: $90.00
Gauri Menon: $90.00
Megan Chen: $65.00 (from Illinois)
Aradh Kaur: $50.00
Sandra Hoffman: Did not win or draw a game.

U1000 Section:

Nora Litman: $15.00 (from Minnesota!)
Tanya Shanmugasundaram: $10.00

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Place Your Bets on the Comey v. Trump Chess Mass of the Century

Hola darlings!  It's hot as Hell out there plus tres humid today, and the roaring winds out of the southwest aren't providing much relief.  I was out earlier this morning planting flowers and intended to do some lawn patches with a sad roll of sod I bought 2 weeks ago but retreated into the cool, dry air of my centrally air-conditioned home by 9 a.m.   Holy Hathor!  The poor sod will have to wait at least a few more days.  Tomorrow is forecast to be even hotter than today.  UGH!

Take a look at this --



It is so Goddesschess delish -- the smoking King, LOL!  The King represents Donald J. Trump - and you can guess who at least some the pawns are (James Comey and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, closing in for the kill...)  The Arab translation of the original Middle Persian "Shah Mat" -- the King is dead -- in this instance is dead on :)  I lifted it this morning from an opinion piece at The New York Times.

I read and watch online a host of various news sources and political commentary now that I experiencing the wonderferous splendor of seemingly unlimited time on my hands in retirement!  Ahhhhhhhh, Divine, darlings, just Divine!  My day is not complete unless I make several snarky comments at Politico and on occasion I even show up on various far-right websites as the crazy bitch bomb-thrower...  I drive the Nazis in my family incessantly crazy by continually trolling their Facebook feeds with videos of Bill Maher, Steven Colbert and the man of my dreams, Keith Olbermann (who knew radical left intensity could be so damn sexy, wooo wooo!)

I make no bones about my political leanings.  And it delights me when I see -  usually around election time only - analogies between chess and politics.  That we are seeing many such analogies in the media since January 20, 2017 speaks  to the continuous stream of Trump scandals and high drama flowing out of the White House on a seemingly daily basis  (mostly caused by the Big-Mouth-in-Chief himself).  It feels like a thousand years of being stuck in a continuously repeating time loop of continuous insanity out of the White House, but it's been only about 4 1/2 months that Trump has been in office.  HOLY HATHOR!

Is it only me, or is anyone else experiencing increasing visions of Major Kong riding the nuke all the way down from the B-52 from 1964's classic "Dr. Strangelove:"

Monday, June 5, 2017

Excellent Article on GM Wesley So, U.S. Chess Champion

It's not often you see a major newspaper feature a story on an American chess champion, so I took note of this one even though it's about a male player, and I don't generally follow news on them.

U.S. chess champion is now ranked No. 2 in the world. Opponents fear he’s still getting better.

By Chuck Culpepper, June 5, 2017

Hint to Author: Please don't write about So as if he's a 12 year old boy with the giggles, and please do not attempt to depict chess as some sort of fierce war game.  So is not a 12 year old boy with giggles and chess is not a fierce war game - it is so much more than that.  It is akin to a multidimensional mathematical equation being worked out in the form of dance and music on 65 squares (no, that is not a typo).  It also has nothing to do with "death," per se, but it certainly can lead to achieving enlightenment and a breakthrough, if only temporary, to the invisible realms where one can feel and "see" the immortal.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Wisconsin International Chess Festival

I posted about my adopted chess club's Milwaukee Summer Challenge (June 10 - 11, 2017, Olympia Resort Hotel, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin) in the post just below.

Here is another Wisconsin tournament - an international gathering, a FIDE-rated event with norms available!!!  LOVE seeing this kind of event taking place in Wisconsin!!!


JUNE 13-18, 2017
Madison, Wisconsin  USA
SUMMARY
The Wisconsin International Chess Festival is a 9 round Swiss event with GM 
and IM norm possibilities. It is hosted in the heart of Wisconsin’s Howard 
Johnson Plaza Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin (3841 East Washington Avenue, 
608-244-2481) FREE breakfast, FREE internet, FREE parking, $79 single or 
double, reserve by June 1st and mention CHESS. Wisconsin state capital with
multiple attractions within walking or short driving distance.

Click Here to Register

TRANSPORTATION
FREE shuttle from Madison Airport. From Chicago (O’Hare or Midway) take 
Van Galder Bus:  http://www.coachusa.com/vangalder/ss.tickets.asp. From 
Milwaukee Airport (General Mitchell) take Badger Bus: 
https://www.badgerbus.com/

PRIZES
Guaranteed: $3,000-$2,000-$1,000-$500-$500, top u2450 $500, top u2250  
$500  Minimum Prizes (must complete all 9 rounds): $500 for foreign GMs 
(first 5), $100 for all foreign FIDE rated players.

Entry Fee
GMs free, no deduction from prizes; IMs $159, FIDE 2200+ $249, FIDE u2200 
$299, FIDE unrated $349. $50 more after 5/15, $100 more after 6/5. All players 
must confirm their arrival by 4pm on 6/13 in order to be paired for round one.  
$20 service charge for refunds.

HOTEL: Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel 608-244-2481, $79 single or double, 
reserve by June 1st and mention CHESS.

TIME CONTROL: 40/90, SD/30, 30 sec/move increment.

PLAYING SCHEDULE:
  • Round 1: 6pm Tuesday, June 13th
  • Round 2: 11am Wed, June 14th
  • Round 3: 6pm Wed, June 14th
  • Round 4: 11am Thu, June 15th
  • Round 5: 6pm Thu, June 15th
  • Round 6: 11am Fri, June 16th
  • Round 7: 6pm Fri, June 16th
  • Round 8: 11am Sat, June 17th
  • Round 9: 11am Sun, June 18th
BLITZ
Saturday, June 17th at 7 pm. A five (5) round double Swiss, $500 minimum prize 
fund.  Registration for Blitz Tournament is $50, on site only.
Click Here to Register
Eight GMs are already registered along with four IMs.

Excellent Wisconsin chess femmes WFM Rachel Ulrich (USA 2073) and her sister Susanna Ulrich (USA1799) are registered to play, as are Megan Chen (USA 1391) (Megan is also registered to play in the Milwaukee Summer Challenge June 10 - 11), Merissa Wongso (USA 1106), from Arizona, Nevada, #27 on the Top Girls Age 9 USCF List (as of September 2016), and Harshita Guddanti (IND 2023).


Milwaukee Summer Challenge VI!!!!!!!

Hola darlings!

I hope you are enjoying your summer.  It's a hot and humid one here today, over 90, whew!  Crazy weather is the "new normal."  We use to rarely experience weather like this until mid-to-end of July into August.  I remember weather from about the later-1950's forward.  I was born here in 1951 and have lived here all my life, so I KNOW Milwaukee weather -- or, at least, I used to before climate changes accelerated.

It's that time of year again.  Summer in my dear dear city, Milwaukee.  The Milwaukee Summer Challenge sponsored by Southwest Chess Club is held not too far away, at a beautiful resort in Oconomowoc - so you get to enjoy a beautiful short drive and can see the ever-growing exburbs, farms, and lush greenery due to our abundant rainfall so far this year and a spring that hit in February (forget March - it was awful), and has gotten warmer and warmer since then!  Dates: June 10 - 11, 2017 at the Olympia Resort Hotel.

Goddesschess is sponsoring new prizes this year - we're trying out a different prize structure to encourage more chess femmes to participate and to also "play up" in the higher ELO brackets, where the prizes increase accordingly:

(Goddesschess prizes are awarded in addition to any other prize for which a female player may win):

Open Only to 2000 and Above: $50 per win/$25 per draw; 
U2000: $25 per win/$15 per draw; 
U1000: $10 per win/$5 per draw.

Flyer (with Registration form attached).


Master/Expert Section (open only to 2000 and above) 4SS, G/90+30, EF $40; rounds Sat 10, 3:30; Sun 10, 3; $$GTD: 1st=$300, 2nd=$200, 3rd=$100;  TROPHIES PLUS GRAND PRIX POINTS: 10.
Under 2000 Section 5SS, G/120,d5, EF $40; rounds Sat 10, 2:30, 7 and Sun 10, 3; $$GTD: 1st=$150, U1500=$80.
Under 1000 Section 4SS, G60,d5, EF $25; rounds (Sat only) 10, 1, 3:30, 6; $$GTD: 1st=$50
Goddesschess prizes for Females in addition to above prizes:  Open: $50 per win/$25 per draw; U2000: $25 per win/$15 per draw; U1000: $10 per win/$5 per draw.
Reg: 8:30-9:30, EF: $10 more in each section after June 9; Olympia Resort Hotel, 1350 Royale Mile Rd., Oconomowoc, WI; 1-800-558-9573; (Mention Southwest Chess Club for $99 room rate).
ENTRIES TO: Robin Grochowski, 3835 E Morris Ave, Cudahy, WI 53110 or rgrochowski@wi.rr.com.  Questions to: TD Chris Wainscott 414-839-5232.


I hope you will join the wonderful team from Southwest Chess Club for the Milwaukee Summer Challenge, who put on really nice tournaments and are just great, great people (that's why Goddesschess adopted them as our (and MY) chess club).  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trump Buried Under His Own Covfefe

Oh my my my my.  Well, my poor fellow Americans, whatever your political persuasion may be, one thing is certain.  Covfefe will forever go down in history as the code doomsday word issued forth from the tweeting idiot in the White House laughingly referred to in the greater world as the *president of the United States of America.  Sad.  Bigly.

I try to refrain from turning Goddesschess into too overtly a political venting outlet for my boo-hiss LIBERAL ways for which I shall no doubt burn in Hell forever and ever, and never be one of the seventy Virgins in Paradise, but this was just too deliciously hilarious to pass up.  Truly, Orange One has outdone himself this time.

"'[A]fter Mrs. Clinton at a public appearance said she suspected collusion with the Russians and joked that “covfefe” was a secret code to Moscow, Mr. Trump fired back on Twitter: “Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate.” She responded with her own tweet: “People in covfefe houses shouldn’t throw covfefe.'

Less Tweeting, Lawyers Beg.  'Covfefe,' the *president says.  New York Times, by Peter Baker and Glenn Thrush, May 31, 2017.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Child Brides - In the United States

OMGoddess!  I thought my eyeballs were going to fall out while reading this article.  I figured many states in the backwards south, still stuck in the early part of the 1700s, would allow "underage" marriage (legal child rape) - but I was shocked and appalled by the sheer number of marriages in the United States of girls as young as 11 - forced marriages to avoid statutory rape charges by adult males and backwards, ignorant  and/or "religious" alleged adults who are "parents" of these children being forced into an unwanted rape relationship. DISGUSTING.

11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida

 

When she was a scrawny 11-year-old, Sherry Johnson found out one day that she was about to be married to a 20-year-old member of her church who had raped her.

"It was forced on me,” she recalls. She had become pregnant, she says, and child welfare authorities were investigating — so her family and church officials decided the simplest way to avoid a messy criminal case was to organize a wedding.

"My mom asked me if I wanted to get married, and I said, ‘I don’t know, what is marriage, how do I act like a wife?’” Johnson remembers today, many years later. “She said, ‘Well, I guess you’re just going to get married.’"

So she was. A government clerk in Tampa, Fla., refused to marry an 11-year-old, even though this was legal in the state, so the wedding party went to nearby Pinellas County, where the clerk issued a marriage license. The license (which I’ve examined) lists her birth date, so officials were aware of her age.

Not surprisingly, the marriage didn’t work out — two-thirds of marriages of underage girls don’t last, one study found — but it did interrupt Johnson’s attendance at elementary school. Today she is campaigning for a state law to curb underage marriages, part of a nationwide movement to end child marriage in America. Meanwhile, children 16 and under are still being married in Florida at a rate of one every few days.

You’re thinking: “Child marriage? That’s what happens in Bangladesh or Tanzania, not America!"



In fact, more than 167,000 young people age 17 and under married in 38 states between 2000 and 2010, according to a search of available marriage license data by a group called Unchained at Last, which aims to ban child marriage. The search turned up cases of 12-year-old girls married in Alaska, Louisiana and South Carolina, while other states simply had categories of “14 and younger."


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