LOTR ALPHABET » the Istari
“The Istari bore the forms of old Men, although they were vigorous and aged very slowly. They possessed great skill of body and mind; their powers were focused through their staffs. Each of the Istari had his own color and grade within the Order. Saruman the White was the eldest and Gandalf the Grey second. The other Istari were Radagast the Brown and the Blue Wizards, who dwelt far in the east.”
‘Μontafrique’ by Girard Mathieu.
Halicephalobus mephisto: the a newly discovered species of nematode, the deepest-living multi-celled organism.
“Halicephalobus mephisto is resistant to high temperatures, it reproduces asexually, and feeds on subterranean bacteria. According to radiocarbon dating, these worms live in groundwater that is 3,000–12,000 years old. The worms are also able to survive in waters with extremely low levels of oxygen, lower than one percent of the level of most oceans. It is named after Mephistopheles, which means “he who loves not the light” and alludes to the fact it is found so deep under the Earth’s surface..”
The demon, to whom the name of this plutonic nematode refers, goes by many names: Mephistophilus, Mephistophilis, Mephostopheles, Mephisto, Mephastophilis.
Interestingly, despite his Greco-Roman title, the demon Mephistopheles has no origin the Classical world, but in German folklore, in the Faust chapbooks of the late 16th century, from which Goethe and Marlowe draw their versions of the myth. The name itself, though, dates from the 1527 Praxis Magia Faustiana, printed in Passau, alongside pseudo-Hebrew text. Wikipedia writes that, “The book is best explained as a purposely obscure pseudo-Greek or pseudo-Hebrew formation of Renaissance magic.”
Accordng to Wikipedia, by the 17th century the name began to lead an existence independent of the Faust legend, becoming a kind of late entry into that figurative pantheon of Classical deities appropriated as poetic devices in the Renaissance through the Enlightenment. Wikipedia writes that ”Burton Russell finds, ‘That the name is a purely modern invention of uncertain origins makes it an elegant symbol of the modern Devil with his many novel and diverse forms.’”
In the modern era, pushing toward industrialization, there seemed to be a need to refigure what a “modern” Devil would be like. And so we get Mephisto, Dracula, Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Freud’s Id, Ego, and Super Ego…
Now, we have a nematode.
Just some kids
sitting under a tree
so full of guacamole.
Happy Summer, Friends
Monasteries were the first microchips!
“If someone suggested the idea of public libraries now, they’d be considered insane. If you said you were going to take a little bit of money from every taxpayer, buy a whole load of books and music and games, stick them on a shelf and tell everyone, ‘These are yours to borrow and all you’ve got to do is bring them back,’ they’d be laughed out of government.”