Category Archives: References

Role Model for Superheroes: Ares (Ἄρης) Leader of Righteous Men

Why did Aphrodite love Ares?

Why are these two gods the only passionate lasting truly romantic lovers in all of Greek and Roman mythology?

Why was Ares the true love of the Goddess of Love? Bloodthirsty Ares, Ares the destroyer, despised Ares, Ares god of war. Ares hated by Olympians, distrusted by all except Aphrodite. Why? Good Male Passion.

He was not considered the strongest god — even Aphrodite’s legal husband Hephaestus, patron of blacksmiths, might have been stronger.  Most gods were physically fit: Apollo beat Ares at Olympic boxing; the physically strongest was Hercules. Ares is never portrayed as a hulking giant.

Rape is a constant theme in mythology. Isn’t it strange there is not a single attribution of non-consensual sex to him. That is important. It is exceptionally unusual. Character defining.

The friends of Ares with whom he walks through Thracian woods deep in thought are Themis, the personification of Divine Law, and Dike, the personification of Justice and Fair Judgement.

There are other names for this misunderstood archetype — portraits now forgotten in popular culture: Leader of Righteous Men, Defender of Cities, Father of Victory, Ally of Divine Law, Friend of Justice. Bold Ares. Courageous Ares. Loyal, Trustworthy Righteous Indignation Incarnate.

Prayers to Ares ask for help avoiding the folly of personal hubris and blind arrogance, weaknesses attributed to this archetype. Ares was expected to marry Aphrodite.  In mythology Zeus offered her to anyone able to open her cage. Ares’ over-confident raw passion failed, rendering Aphrodite and Ares heart-broken; the cunning inventions of Hephaestus, blacksmith to the gods, won her legal marriage.

These personifications of Male and Female passion nevertheless had six children: Harmonia, Eros, Phobos, Demos (Dread), Adrestia (Revenge), and Anteros (Requited Love). They continued their love despite her husband.

I am fascinated by this undomesticated hero, this bane of tyrants, leader of rebels, maker of civil unrest. I am also disgusted this personality-type which once served as an ancient noble role-model has been blasphemed as bloodthirsty, impetuous, and unkind.

Ares personifies the difference between a Good Man and a sycophantic Nice Guy. The former stands up for brutal virtues, leading to depth of character, responsibility, and passion-filled life purpose; the later submits to whims, purposes of others — everything: his soul, his heart, his goals, his love…always approachable, endlessly patient, a polite woman with ED. (It’s interesting the sister of Ares, Athena, goddess of wealth, wisdom, strategic warfare — is a virgin.)

Today why are two-thirds of divorces initiated by women?? Why are Iron John and No More Christian Mr. Nice Guy (a book written by a Christian minister, forwarded by a Jewish woman) — bestsellers??

Aphrodite loved Ares. His person, spirit, sense of self.  In Strong Hearted Ares she met a man with a beautiful mission unswayed. Ares could speak to the most irresistible goddess as a person. He could care for her interests apart from his physical desire. Ares’ strength was to see her beauty while retaining his. Upon Aphrodite other gods fawned, lost composure, flattered and grasped. They became meek and mild: pristine, clean, smooth, soft, unscarred, flatterers — dishonest hypocrites. Pleasant. Unconfrontational.

In Ares, Aphrodite found the archetypical male, a man pursuing his own righteous interests. She found a friend who would place her “inside the shield,” someone who would stand up for and protect her, but also tell her the truth, encourage her potential, and withstand shallow pleas and supplications. Aphrodite found a friend. Ares Gravitas. A companion. Theirs was true love.
Friends of Ares:
Children with Aphrodite:

Using Google Earth to Complement and Organize Stories

For whomever may be interested in using Google Earth to enhance narratives, check out:
Fantastic YouTube GE channel with quick useful tutorials:
GE support group with timeslider tools, models, etc:
.kmz file from the above bulletin board with places mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays:

GoogleLitTrips links page:
Cool screenshots of “Grapes of Wrath” from LitTrips:
Record a fly-through tour of a character’s travels for sharing on a blog:
“The Sightseer” – Google Earth’s Monthly Newsletter:
Overview of GE capabilities (cool sunlight animation):
Thanks to Ted Mathot for inspiration.  Check out how Ted has used Google Maps to follow his character Cora’s journey through the American West.

Astroanimation and Google Earth

A version of Google Earth has been released today which allows sunlight affecting views in Google Earth to be adjusted according to time of day, point of view, and season. Sunlight can actually be animated through time, for a period as short as a few minutes to as long as an entire year…from a moving viewpoint, too. Combined with architectural objects created in Google Sketch-up this is beyond exciting!! –Get this…you can design objects (buildings and sculptures) which cast shadows and otherwise interact with solar objects to create an animation!! Using the sun! The moon, clouds, landscapes, valleys, gigantic redwood forests, celestial events — eclipses, lunar and solar — constellations…the entire universe could be your living palette.
Think Stonehenge, Chichen Itza, or the Pyramids — only on an immense unbelievably detailed, complex scale. Entire cities — from nature reserves to sky scrapers to theme parks to residential houses — could be constructed in orientation to the sun and moon, sunsets and their shadows, surrounding landscapes, etc. All for a living, dynamic, co-ordinated changing visual animation, potentially occurring across hundreds of miles…lasting decades, centuries, millennia.
For instance, imagine if a planned community such as the Palm Island Resorts in Dubai were constructed to produce a living, constantly changing, narrative animation of cast shadows, reflected (sun, moon, and star) light, 24 hours a day 7 days a week for years — even taking into account within the narrative solar and lunar eclipses visible from the region centuries from now.
Structures within an Astro Theatre could be made to move in the wind, contract with temperature, open and close at night, focus and reflect from multiple mirrors, water fountains, stained glass canopies, canyon walls, lake surfaces, ocean fronts, and so on. The entire place could be a visual manifestation of our living universe. –All previewed in Google, constructed in Maya, and experienced online. High-school teams can create these theaters. What a cool way to teach astronomy…and animation, nature conservation, architecture, and so on — not to mention narrative storytelling. Unbelievably exciting. I hope I live long enough to create one of these. In the Grand Canyon, using natural structures….
[On a less ambitious scale Google Earth will permit previz of individual buildings so sunlight can be maximized — for example, in nursing homes for health reasons or in outdoor theaters so actual sunsets can be viewed within seasonal set designs, etc.]

Update: A Sundial that Shows Solstice “Explanation: What time is it? If the time and day are right, this sundial will tell you: SOLSTICE. Only then will the Sun be located just right for sunlight to stream through openings and spell out the term for the longest and shortest days of the year. And that happened last week and twice each year. The sundial was constructed by Jean Salins in 1980 and is situated at the Ecole Supérieure des Mines de Paris in Valbonne Sophia Antipolis of south-eastern France. On two other days of the year, watchers of this sundial might get to see it produce another word: EQUINOXE.” Image Credit & Copyright: Jean-Marc Mari

"Alice’s Adventures Under Ground"

Virtual books at the British Library are pretty cool, especially interesting are Lewis Carroll’s personal illustrations in his hand-written draft of “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground” (which even includes a photo of the original Alice).  Also available are a sketchbook of da Vinci, Mozart’s musical diary (with audio excerpts), and a notebook of Blake (with sketches). Enjoy!