The Rag Tree’s Dozen Best Posts, 2012
As the end of the year approaches, it’s time for RT to look back at the crop of Rag Tree posts for 2012. As was the case in 2011, RT is sure that several of his better pieces will not make WordPress’s pick of the blog’s most popular posts, so here are a dozen or so that RT thinks can stand a second reading:
1) Hangul, Literacy and Culture: What an Alphabet Can Do For You. January. The forces of history can work in subtle ways. Whoever would have thought that the relatively small kingdom of Korea would produce the world’s easiest-to-learn alphabet? It did, and a social revolution ensued.
2) The Ivory House. February. Histories written in ancient times are few and far between, and the history contained in The Book of Kings sheds light on the emergence of the first Biblical texts, the very roots of western civilization.
3) Mexico’s Lincoln. February. Benito Juarez, by common consent Mexico’s greatest President, advanced the cause of nationalism, democracy, and native peoples in Mexico (and around the world).
4) The New Scottish Parliament Buildings. March. Just too cool for words. A modernist masterpiece and a wonderful addition to Edinburgh’s distinguished architecture.
5) Support Your Local Poets. March. The Chinese have long considered poetry to be one of the healing arts, and RT thinks that the poetic impulse is basic to our humanity. Local poets, those purveyors of healing and culture, deserve our wholehearted support!
6) The Independent Scholar’s Handbook. March. Writing a history of the Persian Empire in the cafe around the corner? Working on a study of Wordsworth at the local library? This book will support you in your endeavors. Come in from the cold!
7) “Talking Leaves”–The Cherokee Alphabet. May. Indian culture is rich with invention and story, a point that Sequoia’s diligent effort to create an alphabet for his people underlines.
8) Stephane Mallarme: “Apparition.” July. Oh, those French poets, perfectly willing to break the rules to create something new and beautiful! Here is RT’s version of a poem by one of their finest.
9) Elsewhere in Outer Space, New Earth. August. RT steers people’s eyes away from the amazing photo-stream coming back from Curiosity, the latest of the Mars Rovers, to consider an even bigger prize: locating an earth-like planet!
10) QuikScript: An English Alphabet for Everyone. September. The Roman alphabet was designed to write Latin, a language significantly different from English. Here, in RT’s opinion, is the finest proposal for an alphabet designed for English.
11) Wheeling, WV and the Dream of an American Fifth Coast. October. Could a renovated canal system help revive inland American ports? Read on!
12) Shawnee: Martinsburg, RT, and the 4th Person. November. Some posts are just a gift. Here is one about RT’s roots, grammar, and the Shawnee origins of West Virginia.
13) Mediterranean Vacation: Lost Landscapes. November. So, what was a Mediterranean vacation like 6 million years ago?
14) The Golden Thread. December. RT looks forward to his offerings in the New Year and the way he will tie them together.
Painting: Roses. Vincent Van Gogh. WikiCmns. Public Domain.