Unreliable and possibly off-topic


Monday, January 30, 2006


These glasses of mine torment me by obstructing what I wish to do (read small text and detailed maps), so that I have to ask the kids to read the small print on supermarket labels. This partial blindness is not supportable, because being compromised in reading is worse than any other singular sensory disability I can imagine. I'm already half deaf, but do pretty good by partial lip-reading. I hate it when decent pre-watershed
invective beeps out not only the sound but the oral shape of the expletive.

I've fallen back on a previous pair, 'Eliza', whose prescription aids reading, but which continually slide inexorably down the nose, having no nose-pads, in a most distracting manner. At least they serve well for downward viewing, in a professorial, ivory-tower manner, but the slippage is driving me crazy. I need new specs to help me read properly and view the world head-on instead down my nose, but this is by no means an easy task. My prescription requires prisms built into the upper L and lower R lenses, as well as hefty corrections for myopia, astigmatism and now presbyopia, falling just short of the NHS threshold for benefits for 'complex lenses'. That prescription makes for heavy lenses even in small frames.

I need new frames and my requirements are quite specific and frankly picky. Full-frame models alone (not half-rimmed or rimless) in order to camouflage the thick rims of the lenses which show even when ground from high-index materials. And they have to be as shallow horizontally as possible to minimise the lens' thickness ai its perimeter. A thinly-framed catseye shape is the preferred model type, but finding frames small enough in lateral width has always been a challenge. Lafont probably has the best colours and sizes in this spec, including my favourite, the Euphorie frame above, with a rare and valued frame width of only 112 mm.

Don't think this is vanity- if that was so I'd do without specs or contacts, but can't. Contacts popped out all the time when a blink caught the lens' lip on one of my invisible but topographic corneal scars on either orbit. Plus, without a refractive correction for the longitudinal mismatch in L and R perceptions, stamina to maintain a single, accomodated image is limited, and the intrusion of fatigue, low blood sugar or a half-pint of lager all result in a collapse into double vision.

Sound & Vision quotations

The eye is the window of the human body through which it feels its way and enjoys the beauty of the world. - Leonardo Da Vinci
I shut my eyes in order to see. - Paul Gauguin
One eye sees, the other feels. - Paul Klee
To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle. - George Orwell
Vision is the art of seeing things invisible. - Jonathan Swift
Love comes in at the eye. - W.B. Yeats
What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the words I have read in my life. - Walt Whitman


Pete Burns; phenomenon

I remain hooked on Pete, although he's kept a low profile over the weekend since the BB finale.

I'm kicking myself for leaving behind tonight the clipping my folks kindly saved for me on Pete, from the latest Jewish Chronicle, which is not available online. From this I learned that Pete, with a Jewish mother, is Jewish- a factoid that surprised and amused me. Where else does he get the ennui, dryness and pessimism? He reminds me more than anyone else of my Aunt Louise, who was also fond of cosmetic surgery, make-up, furs and costume jewellery and a pithy turn of phrase. Some of the Jewish connection, if we believe it, in this rather good Sunday Herald article-

‘Pete Burns is the Harmony-hued highlight of this year’s Celebrity BB, stalking spike-heeled through his housemates’ crumbling psyches like a hermaphrodite Jessica Rabbit with a blow-torch for a tongue’

Of Pete's dry turns-of-phrase, the family favourite was when Rula was sincerely revealing that as a Buddhist, she chants every day. Pete pipes up that he chants too, eliciting her interest, before demonstrating his mantra- "Fuckoff, fuckoff, fuckoff, fuckoff". We loved that bit, for which we may roast in hell.

Amongst the most interesting if brutal conflicts on screen was Pete's attack on Traci, justified on the grounds of her misuse of language. Traci 'loved' his shoes. Little did Pete know in the midst of his cold lecture in isolation inside the BB house that he was synchronously broadcasting the same message as the Pope. Both talked of the cheapening of the word 'love' that week.

Papal Encyclical on 'love'


Monday, January 23, 2006

Bitches on BB

Lenin warned us off, sau and focus are appalled, but in4mation reporting from ML has been the best commentary and analysis of Gorgeous George I've enjoyed, on or off the mainstream. I've cringe at some of the footage of GG shown, but it hasn't diminished him as a politician for me. Over ?4 weeks, 24/7, you're going to see people behaving at edges of their spectrum, especially when competing or working for a materially-necessary food budget.

In CBB, GG has acted out the psychoanalytic dynamics long sensed, and usually sublimated during political hypes. He is intelligent, strategic, eloquent and intensely interested in power; willing to use charismatic force and ice to defend his viewpoint and authority when necessary.

But, incontrovertibly, his media appearance has been modified and censored by VT editors- make no mistake. Michael Barrymore has also had a bad ride from editing, but he's alway been histrionic in a bad way. Sorry Mike.

Pete Burns, in some heholders' eyes dysmorphic, but for me the most complex, interesting and articulate of the housemates, has had a much better outcome from VT editing than GG. That may also be be from selective editing, but also because Pete is only truly alive when engaged in conflict. I remain unsure what planet he's from, but in his abuse is some genuine good advice for others, the more naive and plastic housemates.

PS On the gorilla coat issue- It was obvious from cursory inspection that PB's coat was not gorilla, who are short=haired silverbacks and not long-haired whitebacks. The coat skins look natural, but like old skins of the New World colobus monkey. So... Pete was talking shite, just as he did when he stated his botched lip augmentation was promoted by injecting the foreskins of circumcised babies. That doesn't diminish his charm and incision.


Today, my little otters, is a good day. Your host is on uncharacteristically happy and expansive form.

Feathers in my cap:
1. Deduced the likely cause of my phone's fault (faulty cable), and fixed it.
2. Used plumbing expertise to fix broken toilet-flushing mechanism.
3. Learned (astoundedly) that I passed last month's professional exam.
4. Have job interview this week- could free me of the 'dole scum' jokes by family. Makes me at least a 'jobseeker', surely
5. Let stationary purchase for 2006 so late that a diary is nabbed at half-price- 1.49. Beat that. Since the demise of both my Palm Pilot and mobile phone directory last year, I'm going back to paper, on the crest of the new Luddite wave.

I'm celebrating by cooking up a big pot of veg soup for tonight's tea, to have with baba ganoush, crusty bread and marinated olives. A black bean stew (screw Pythagoras) is simmering on the side for tomorrow. Mmm. I don't care what the GI dieters, the TV fad-dieticians, the candidologists, allergists or colonic irrigators say- gluten and yeast are really, really delicious, and so are fermented beverages like wine, with which I will also celebrate my achievements.

Not much lasts- take note. While points #2-4 remain true, #1 collapsed after a single successful use. Now I have to take the fucking telephone *point* apart and check its connections, with (ex facto) a high-power light source and my reading glasses. I may yet to seek expert advice on my telecomms problems.

Plus after cleaning, preparing and chopping onions, garlic and celery for my double soups tonight, I dumped the veg mound with their peelings into the bin while distracted by discussing my son's GCSE options. Multi-tasking eluded me that time. At least DoDo enjoyed it. So I chopped onions, garlic and celery again, and DoDo grated carrots to add (as per the inlaws canty and couthy recipe) to the lentil broth.

R passed the professional exam too, and at a better grade than I of course. Not surprising since she'd studied, unlike some reprobates. She came over to share the bay-laced lentil soup, baba ganoush, warm bread and tapenade tonight, the kids jumping all over her without mercy for her recent cold or myalgia. They do adore and delight in her. Tonight we turned off the telly and each gave a recitation. R lisped the aphorisms of Madeline from PG Wodehouse, Nini Lear's 'Owl and thePussycat', Dodo both Burns' 'My Hoggie' and Seamus Heaney's 'Early Purges'. I recommend them all.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Build-A-Calico-Cat Part 2

Following the instructions in Part 1, you will now have in your Petri dish a bald pink quadriped foetus. Still developing are the gustatory and sensory apparatus (visual, auditory, olfactory) at the head end, and locomotory power, excretive and genital tracts at the rear. She's cooked and ready to now be dressed in Her calico epidermal coat, (a tricolour ginger, black and white) peculiar to Her XX (in mammals, a female) genotype. Coat colouring patterns and texture are peculiar products of refinements and adornments executed in production of the full-term kitten.

Calico-Coloured Cat Assembly, Part 2:
In attempting assembly, consider Her coat’s colour and texture gradients. She’s longhaired, but this coat shows distinct geographical differences
i) a basic right/left symmetry (shared by all vertebrates, split by their spinal cords)
ii) head to tail asymmetry (sensorium at the front to functionality [excretion, reproduction, locomotion] at the rear)
iii) dorsal/ventral asymmetry
iv) distal pattern distributions

After i)'s structural imperatives, (a primitive remnant for Chordata), Her texture and colourways follow ii), iii) and iv). For texture there forms a 3-D gradient with short glossy hairs on Her mask but flagrantly long whiskers and mane, and fluffy trousers, interdigital spaces, tail and underbelly. She's short, glossy and dark at the tip and along the top, and fluffy and pale on the underbelly and tail. In some doubled-dosed ventral fields, (bilateral axillary and nipple lines, pelvic areas, her fluffy hair underside hair becomes curly. Very similar to the distribution of human secondary s*xual characteristics. Thus Her colour and hirsute texture axes show head/tail, trunk/extremities and endo/ectoderm polarities, with distributions across x-, y- and z- axes.

How did she get tricoloured, with a white belly and a patchwork of black and ginger on her dorsum? These darker spots aren't always symmetrical, because they're displaying 'field' properties through discontinuous spotting of selective coat-colour phenotypes across somatosomes. Her white belly and underside is a product of common, primitive dorsal/ventral asymmetries, where the agouti-repressing white colour is promoted by through ventral and distal gradients. The black spots on her mask, back and tail are also products of patchy expression of a dominant melanin-producing genes, controlled by 'spotty' field properties.

Her mosaic topside of ginger and black reflects a battle between a wild (ginger agouti) and a mutant (black) colour gene. In a tom, the black gene on his single X chromosome remains unbalanced with no corresponding gene on the Y, producing a black-topped kitty. In XX females, a counter-balanced wild, agouti ginger allele on the second X assumes partial penetration, producing Her Rula Lenska-esque, bi-colour, black and ginger tortoiseshell top-coat with a white underbelly, and particularly fluffy hair in endodermic intrusion fields. Her wonderful coat would make an elegant handmuff (one can't help but speculate) in some kind of affectionate, recycling spirit.

An addendum on agouti-patterned ginger colouring-

Informative slide lectures on feline coat genetics here:
Short guide to tortoishell (not calico) at wikipedia, here


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Leitmotiv...Da dada dada dum-dum, dada dada dum-dum

More from the Waitresses

I know someone who really met Belushi
I fixed the toilet so it doesn't always run
I moved a chair over by the window
I feel better if my laundry's done

Getting by on less sleep than I used to
I had no trouble in setting up a desk
I learned the reason for a three-pronged outlet
I got 100 on my driver's test

Sudoku time, The Indie Quick 18/01/06:
13 mins- a personal best for a Wednesday Sudoku. Partially due to learning to use my older specs for close-work and reading.

Presbyopia is creeping in now on top of the myopia and astigmatism already enjoyed, but I've yet to hear unreserved praise for bifocal specs from a user, as a panacea for optic deterioration. I'm headed now towards a Prof Branestawm model, where multiple pairs of specs are perched on one's vertex for specific uses. Current specs prescription addressed an inability to read bus numbers at a distance, but impaired my reading of small text, something that I value above bus numbers. One can always interrogate some young 'un at the bus stop, after all.


Acheivements and yet-to-be acheived

This week I'm looking for back-pats, as I become a jobseeker. I've had to apply myself to the most distasteful tasks, and yet completed at least half those needing done. Hooray!

Replacing halogen lightbulbs on vertiginously high kitchen ceiling, without male assistance. Had Heather closeby to dial 999 in case I fell from the ladder, mind.

Contesting by letter my latest parking ticket, because I had paid-and-displayed a ticket, but last week's gales blew it off the windscreen. I even avoided being snotty or haughty, and simply stated the facts.

Updating appalling CV, obtaining professorial-level referees (both most helpful).

Chasing up professional CV/careers advice.

Submitting a speculative job application.

Signing up for cheap calls, to reduce an appalling large transatlantic phone bill.

However, there are, regrettably, other jobs which I need my ass kicked about. Heather will doubtless help.

Still to do
Applying for JSA. Apparently as a single parent I'm not required to prove jobseeking behaviour or to sign on. I have to phone a different number, something to do with child tax credits. Jesus- I'm so out of practice at this, and my filing is a mess. Heather has packed me two carrier bags of unopened correspondance (one labelled 'Guilty', just to remind me).

Get that punctured tyre repaired (itself a shameful story), replace the broken wing mirror (another shameful story) and put the car in for its MOT, so I can tax it. Find my driving insurance certificate, probably somewhere in the bulging Guilty bag.

Today's ohrwurm (see also this ref), though I haven't heard it since the 80s, is the Waitresses' jaunty feminist anthem, 'No Guilt'- the bits about becoming self-sufficient. I'm really proud about those lightbulbs. I had to use a screwdriver and everything.

Needed new posters, so I bought them
I know the cost of stamps now
The thirty-first is when I pay the phone bill
I told them I didn't even know anybody in Toronto

Everyday at seven I've been watching Walter
I've been reading more and looking up the hard words
I met people who can get me on the guest list
My parents said that they would help me pay for grad school...


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Mirror mini-me

Y'know, it's quite strange to see your daughter wearing your old clothes, even though still a child, but looking at 9 years old a tweenty, younger than you but with your features.

Her dad sent along a couple of carrier bags of kids' clothes and also older clothes we'd saved from our tweenties (sic). Nini found an old rainbow-knitted shell-patterned cardigan, much mended, dating from the late 70s which I wore then and through the early 80s to the 90s.

She's off to the Camera Obscura with her wee friend, wearing the garment that once named me, thankfully briefly, rainbow girl. Nini of the strawberry blond hair and the almond blue eyes. There's no way I could now fit into it's size 6 arms, but they're roomy on Nini.

Missing is a special deep green button, that Dodo was fixated upon in his toddlerhood. It was just at breast-height, and probably formed his main view while breast-or bottle-feeding. That 'gween button' is still resident in an amber scented botton box, for occasional views.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Some detritus

I have been overjoyed to see that the insertion of GG into Celebrity Big Brother (CBB) has made this artform a top topic on even the 'Victor Mature' sites of Lenin and MLMB as well in the yellow and high-brow press.

What I notice in GG on CBB is his articulated distaste for open sexuality and raunchiness of some of the contestants. Although this may be due to editing, it's been a leitmotif. To his credit, he also includes Dennis in this critique of distasteful satyriasis/nymphomania (expressed to Rula and in the diary-room), but the worst of his contempt is reserved for the sexy laddette 'girls', Jodie, Tracie and Chantelle. He would be appalled to hear his daughter, he said, use their language. However, he's clearly their emotional and intellectual superior, through age and experience if nothing else, and to an extent he is taking a bully function in the house.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Best prezzie

The award for best winter present, whether solstice, Xmas or Hannukah (we're non-denominational here, as you know) goes to R with the family present of a 1,000 piece jewelled jigsaw of coleopterids. A beetle-jewel festival, and IMHO.... fantastic.

I intend to use some leftover MDF board from one of my unused IKEA furniture items (which many households must harbour) as a platform on which to build our beetle jigsaw, me and the kids together. We may be busy for some time.

Given my agnosia for all things spatial, visual or orienteering in spirit, it's likely kids will get the better of me in this. I admit to acquired doses of compromised hippocampus and mammilary bodies on top of an inborn verbal, female, rational brain lateralisation. But I'm determined we'll succeed, and that afterwards our assembled panoply of coleopterid beauty will be lacquered or laminated and hung on a handy wall.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hokey cokey, pig in a pokey

Jesus fuck, I haven't signed on the dole in over 20 years and I am afraid, very afraid. But my recent unemployment, most probably temporary, means that I really must report down to the stalinist building known in my day as the DHSS, now the DWP, to claim my due after 20 years of NI contributions.

I've been trying to familiarise myself with the current rules and pitfalls of JobSeekers' Allowance, in preparation for filling out my forms and attending a later interview for this state benefit. Since I've been working and paying NI for 20 years (including during my childbearing years), I've earned the pittance the state will pay me.

However, even a temporary state of unemployment may well have secondary impact on my former husband and father of my kids, which seems to me quite unfair and punitive to him, and which may well erode our working co-parenting relationship.

When we separated, our lawyers, the sheriff and we agreed that since that we earned the same amount, and both wished 50/50 custody, no exchange of maintenance was required. This was fair at the time of separation, and as far as I am concerned should also remain true now, 6 years later. My ex continues to care for and financially support his kids for at least his full 50% of the bargain. However, my reading of JSA and CSA rules implies that since I'm entitled to additional allowances for childcaring (50%) they may well claim these back from kids' father. The rules as seen at the CSA website imply that he'll be excused maintenance payments for his half of the week, but will be 'taxed' for the maintenance resulting from my half of the week, so in fact he's paying in total 100% of child maintenance through no fault of his own.

In marginal cases of 50/50 custody like ours, the CSA appears to arbitrarily decide who is the 'responsible parent' on the basis of to whom the child benefit is paid. Since the Child Benefit agency selects the mother as recipient in marginal cases, their bias has already compromised my former husband's standing, although in fact I transfer by standing order 50% of every month's child benefit to him, to reflect the real, shared care, and not the nominal care arrangement.

This infuriates and frightens me. I'm now worrying whether I need to warn my ex that the CSA might be after him, when he's done nothing wrong and according to our own legal agreement owes me nothing. How am I to remediate this kind of unintended fallout of a personal decision? My only comfort is that the CSA are so fucked up they'll lose the case. However, I'm also wondering whether to practice an active defense, and to deny any knowledge of my ex's whereabouts, and to suggest that he's emigrated to Iceland. If any visitors here are acquainted with unemployed' rights in Scotland, advice on the best slant to take would be most appreciated.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Build-A-Calico-Cat Part 1

Each species' developmental 'plan' may be evoked by sometimes tiny variants in RNA-mediated base sequences, tweaking the timing and strength of regional developmental spurts through gradients of protein expression in different embryonic fields. It is this fine-tuning of genetic expession during embryogenesis that allows us to share 95% of our genes with chimps yet look, behave and reproduce so differently. The most powerful aspect of DNA are the regulating, controlling homeobox tracts, which act more as switches than as protein producers. There are 10 homeobox genes shared amongst animals, and subtle differences in their switch timing can profoundly alter subsequent phenotype, like a bagatelle ball falling.

On one setting you're an annelid worm, and other a segmentally repeated millipede, another a starfish and another a quadriped vertebrate. What is fascinating is the pretty standard array of animal body types, with quaternary or radial symmetry predominant. And the standard form of limbs, with fractally more, smaller bones towards the distal end of the appendage. Another common skin feature cross-species (fom worms to mammals) is a darker dorsum and lighter belly. Herself is a quadriped, a common design of animal controlled by organiser fields which promote symmetrical square quaternary of limb buds on the embryo with local protein gradients promoting local growth promotion or inhibition. Local, independent homeobox instructions can with subtle adjustments in polarity of single upstream gates of activation and inhibition in cascading pathways, produce macroscopic phenotypic effects. One of the most anti-reductionist aspects of this increasingly powerful science is that it is not blindly, deterministically based on protein expression from gene expression, but more powerfully so by the promiximities of active, efferent and afferent tissue fields. It's all in the dialectic and can't be simply explained.

Calico Cat Assembly Instructions
Step 1. Head/tail, back/belly, inside/out

In the beginning the embryo has an understanding of asymmetries and polarities of left and right, belly and back, head and tail. The first of these, embryologically, to act is the vegetal pole, a cellular region at one end of the ovum which organises and regulates this first assymetry in the fertilised, dividing ovum. The next major differentiation in cell fates by geography is initiated duing gastulation, when a dimple at one end of the cell ball forms a central invagination through which surface cells stream. The infolding forms the primitive notochord and alimentary tract. creating dorsal and ventral structures, and ripens the differentiation of cell locations into endoderm, ectoderm or mesoderm. Gastrulation leads to having an inside and an outside, and a back and a front. This migration into the interior of developing cells differentiates the ecto-, meso- and endo-derm layers. Through organising fields like the vegetal pole and the neural crest, embryos know up from down, left from right, head from tail from fertilisation. This first geographic orientation helps to dicriminate an arse from an elbow, a pate from a bald toe, a P from a Q and age from shoe size. Using the 4 dimensions of embryological development, the fertilised egg will gain its 4-D compass bearings and start a folding and unfolding process encrypted in switches for activating or repressing tiny regional variations in expression of developmental proteins.

One protein delineates sides, another tops and tails, another dorsum and ventrum, another inside and outside; others are bone-promoting factors controlled at key regions in key periods to produce subtle embryonically-mediated regional differences making limbs and tails, digits, flippers, brains. It's such instruction organised development which builds a grape-sized brain at the front of Her spine and a long, behaviourally communicative tail at the back of Her spine. At the front (nearest the mouth), a symmetrical pair of dextrous, mandible-handy limbs and at the back some powerful locomotory-specialised limbs.

To be continued-
More on agouti hairs, mosaic patterns, somatosomes and the distalless homeobox gene as pertaining to Herself.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Experimental psychology of cats; fast-track publication

Feline Psychology


Introduction, background and hypothesis: House cats, particularly of tortie colouring, are reputed to favour single-human attachment and exercise excess territoriality. The study intends to assess the relative weights of attachment and territoriality in a real-world n=1 model.

Design: n=1, empirical, longitudinal study of single-human attached cat behaviour over 14 days of significant-human withdrawal and subsequent olfactory challenge

Subject: White and tortie longhair, with high attachment index at baseline (selective attention, proximity, body-rubbing, paw-tapping and purring evoked behaviours), elicitive of grooming and petting behaviours from significant human. Reproducible reflex aggressive behaviour at olfactory contact with olfactory challenge from Heather.

Method: i) 2 week exposure to hiss-inducing human during significant-human withdrawal. ii) Re-introduction of significant humans smeared in olfactory challenges of contacts with Reekie the foreign dog and/or Pierre the foreign cat.

Results: i) Over 2 weeks desensitisation without the reinforcement of others, Subject developed and demonstrated nearly all signs of attachment- proximity, attention- while still occasionally exhibiting hissing as an evoked response when olfactorily challenged. ii) In a controlled trial of olfactory-tainted significant-human, smeared with dog and/or cat smells, Subject displayed full range of attachment behaviours without territorial displays (e.g. hiss, ear retroflection, defensive crouch). Instead, excessive head-rubbing, attention-seeking, bed-sleeping, and cupboard-love vocalisation were exhibited. These responses occurred independent of whether significant humans were dog-only, cat-only or dog+cat exposed.

Conclusion: Forebrain even in a cerebrum the size of a grape, can cancel out mesencephalic elicited responses in one strain of domesticated feline females.


Mosaic New Year

According to R4 this morning, 8 tons of fireworks were let off from the 7 hills of Edinburgh last night, and 100,000 people thronged the city centre. Brrr... Heather, Reekie the collie and I saw all 7 hills' pyrotechnics from the middle of a muddy field in Dalkeith, from which we could also see private local fireworks let off in Morningside, Musselburgh and the Kingdom of Fife. Eight minutes of pure magic at midnight. Kids' dad has a superstitious attachment to New Year, and with permission stole them off for the bells. But that meant kids were my first footers, of which there can be no better.

At sunset tonight we were in Comiston looking west to a roseate sky. 'Blessed art thou, oh Lord our God, King of the Universe' Dad intones in Hebrew, wearing his fedora hat to deflect the wrath of G-d, blessed is his name. Dad uses the yellow 'shammas' candle to light the other eight candles on the menorah, selected in rainbow colours by Mum, before it's placed in the window to deter dybbuks. No one knows for sure if YHWH sees my dear son Dodo (not Jewish according to the rule), but just in case S/He might, Dodo puts up the hood on his Romero 'Dawn of the Dead' hoodie. You can't be too safe. We females- mum, Nini and me- are of course invisible to G-d, which means we can carry on in a manner denied to the males. We get to fight over the last of griddled latkes with apple sauce.

Over the 'holidays' as we're encouraged to inclusively name them, my reading enthusiasm has been for the theocritic Karen Armstrong, rediscovered in the Canongate 'Mythology' series. She helps open religion to the scientist, and as an old fart I happen to remember her early Channel 4 videobox diatribe against St Paul, from without a convent environment. She's profoundly profoundly feminist, but describes herself not as a lesbian (as crudely conjectured) but as a 'failed heterosexual', a description empathic for me.

Karen Armstrong bibliography:
A Short History of Myth
Spiral Staircase
A History Of God