Links for September 22, 2017

India to Iceland in a Mere Millennium: How Chess Went Global

In India, the chess pieces had been ornate and lifelike. The Islamic interdiction on depicting living creatures – a rule meant to prevent idolatry, and enforced most strictly against depictions of the prophet Muhammad – led to the chess pieces becoming more abstract and nonrepresentational.

In Christian Europe, human and animal shapes reappeared, reinterpreted by and for the age: the split top of the piece now known as the bishop could refer to a bishop’s mitre – or a fool’s cap.

This became a factor in the popularisation of the game those areas of Europe not in direct contact with the Islamic world. Here, incidentally, the game was usually renamed after the Persian name of the main piece, the king (“shah”). Hence scacchi in Italian, échecs in French, Schach in German, chess in English, etc.

It’s Hoopfest, Man

The congested basketball I watched at Hoopfest looked far from graceful, or fun. It was fucking brutal: players rarely broke free for uncontested jump-shots or blew past their opponents for wide-open layups. Points had to be manufactured seemingly out of sheer will. The only way a player could create enough space to get a shot off was to barrel toward the hoop, and slam his shoulders into his defender’s chest, knocking them off balance just long enough to throw up a prayer at the basket.

Dancing On The Ceiling - Dancing In ’80s Movies Tribute - Vol. 6