Friday, November 22, 2013

NASA Gamma Ray Burst Notes 11.22.2013

Gamma Ray burst
first in six
observed from underground observatory
Dying star in distant galaxy
one o the brightest we have ever seen
never before seen details challenge our theoretical understanding of how gamma ray bursts work

Charles Dalmer
Astrophysicist in DC, Naval research Laboratory
High energy radiation outbursts

Tom Vestrand

watches night sky for extra terrestrial objects and things that go bump in the night

Rob Triess
University of Alabama astrophysics
GBM triggered on event on april 27
Interesting behaviour on the first burst of the pulse

Jean-pieroo natafili
Italian Astrophysicist
Gamma ray bursts on laser
new development of telescopes

Sylvia Zoo
Astrophysicist, Maryland
Grad Student
High energy emission from Gamma Ray Bursts
Space craft was able to look at the burst as well as the lab

3 Nasa spacecraft observed gamma ray burst

A Gamma Ray Burst: trans insomething burst of gamma ray radiation from some object in space. after decades of research we find that those gamma rays come from birth of black hole in most cases, this was just an imitation, but only through the development of neew ways of looking to reorient space craft very quickly to get a look at these bursts…

Potential damage of a GRB?
Depends on distance, and if it was pointed at earth (unlikely). atmosphere will generally absorb gamma rays, billions of lightyears away normally. if there was a burst in your galaxy, strong possibility of electronic pulses and ionizing radiation, after time the ozone layer would be destroyed, allowing more radiation and nitrogens would be released, leading to a nuclear winter

why is it important to study GRB?
good question but rhetorical. What was the purpose of uranium study in the early 1900's what was the significance of studying sun burning in the 60's? We do not think this will change the world, but this is an explosion and explosion studies have intrinsic value in field of particle beams and uses to give us greater appreciation of all that occurs in nature.

Tremendous amount of energy in GRB, where does it come from?
Ill pipe up and say in large part we do not really know. The bright part of 13027A is that we can study the bright parts in detail, made possible by Dr. Goerner and ensure that everything goes according to the radiation. We know that energy is directed very efficiently, and seems to convert energy into radiation naturally. Our attempts to do so have fallen flat.

What do scientist learn from studying this?
We were able to identify the first and by doing this we could find a good position and recht we immediately too that these objects were intergalactic and we understood these were very powerful objects, which is useful. There is the object in the radio, 98 percent of the weere Dja gamma ray bursts, it is the most effective way the band to tell theposition and the other band that peopled can follow with instrumentation.

People relate this amount of energy to an atomic bomb. How many atomic bombs would this be equivalent to?
wikipedia says that the most powerful hydrogen bombs released about 15 megatons of TNT equivalent energy. You would need 10^30 of these bombs to have one of these bursts. 

Are these directed in one direction or omnidirectional?
Highly directional. In this particular case, the relatively narrow beam would have to be pointed directly at us.

OK How did one of these spacecraft target this area dn saw the burst before during and after?
The difference between monocular and technicolor. Multiple observations give you so much more information. The earth was not blocked on 1427A so there was allowed onboard triggering and response to move the spacecraft to view the burst. No imaging to know the counterpart without detailed X-rays and other information

More than the electromagnetic spectrum, we are in the EM channels but as time goes on they behave in different manners. Intimate clothing makes another separate high energy radiation situation. Multiple complicated wavelengths

Can one of these occur in our galaxy?
one ever 100 million or 500 million years. these numbers are not certain, but it is something we can expect.

How frequent are these observed?
We have a good idea from orbiting observatory which except for earth blockage we saw the entire sky with gamma rays neural the entire universe with bursts. One per day per universe. So the universe provides that, but we do not know where or when.

How can these bursts affect us if they happen here?
They can if they are in the Milky Way, and one is not really expected here. Might change the atmosphere, perhaps if close by some minor changes could be expected.

Any plans for gamma ray burst science that is coming up?
We are in kind of a climate where we do not anticipate high energy astrophysics new projects. we have two good observatories in orbit andwe have a good life expectancy. The Chinese are planning a follow up in Guam.

If there is an agreement this would happen 1015 2016 probably

Is there a program in place to find or predict the next event?
Lots of attempts ot find a demonstration, we have been able to identify certain stars that are likely to have such an event in their area. Typically at such large distances we cannot see individual stars. Liklihood of such a program being approved is not very likely.

Model of matter-anti matter shows there is a sizzling layer between the two so there is not lots of emissions except for comets which do not work, i was playing with that.

we have plotted them out and they are isotropic. so that is the challenge of building observatories that can observe these at anytime anywhere. no sweet spot to look at.

When one of these assets is in the GRB, what is implicated?
notices are sent out to subscribing astronomers with the BAT instrument and each is hooked into the service and sends information out to interested astronomers. Remote telescopes pick up these messages from the internet real time and reposition to view what is occurring. One of the interesting observational challenges is looking at the gamma ray burst before the explosion occurred. This happened before the event development through the act.

How often can we expect to see a GRB of this size?
Typical of gamma, what is unusual is how near by this  burst was. Every 60 years or so we can infer this sort of event happens once or twice very unique every century.

Whatis interesting here/?
persistent afterglow (optical) we knew about this but this one is beautifully interesting because there is such persistence of high energy gamma rays. This persistent gamma ray is caused by some shock etc…

how does this GRB compare to photo extinction event?
first one has to convince people studying that a major extinction event was causedby GRB, personally thinks it is due to volcanic activity. within the milky way it would have to oerate.

one thing that is sot interesting is that the cataclysmic event happened over an extended period. but the gamma ray burst would be  a one - two punch. so the cosmic rays can cause global cooling. There are some behavioural extinction that occurs within those patterns. The patterns in the galaxy are so rare and unlikely, we like to think this is not the case despite tantalizing suggestion.

how big can a gamma ray burst get? upper levels?
The seem to originate in massive stars. All the energy that is equivalent to the rest mass of the sun is equivalent to the mass of the sun. these are isotropic events that are equivalent to outflows and jets, the upper limit is determined by the size of the star that is the preginature of the burst.

How does the GRB actually start?
the most energetic GRB: not proven that black holes are the power, could also be certain stars, for example evidence in plateaus from swift telescope. In many occasions this is pullover. can be monitored in terms of absolute energy. Directed into a very small jet we get very small bursts. We have to figure out what we see versus what really is. This is a difficult or tricky situation to evaluate.
How do they Start!
There is a massive star with fuel and that fuel is spent, put under neutrons degeneracy pressure, yields a black hole, natural situation. 

Is the Gamma Ray Radiation so to speak a beam like a laser?
No and no.

Is there enough energy that it fuses the heaviest elements?
Conference in Kudo where modelling of fusing into higher atomic mass elements was assimilated and it seems to a pretty good approximation gives the highest level elements, so the possibility is yes we can produce some fraction of the heavy metals involved. Excellent question because it ties to how these are related. there would not be a supernova formation event. people look at gamma ray events where black hole is forming massive satr.

Why is there a difference?
The optical light is generated often by lower energy particles and maybe accelerated in different ways. From optical illusion, we think they are generated by exactly the same process. With this other type of optical illusion which we see it is kind of the glowing embers of the explosion, if you will. But not at these lower energy gamma ray emissions, we will often see after these GRE.

Terrestrial GRB?
terrestrial gamma ray flashes are by fermee no way to object the fields of electrons over electric storms. and we see energies high enough to produce pares of electrons and positrons. also quite interesting but a completely different phenomenon

What do X-rays bring to the table in GRB study?
We see some evolution occurring. It sees then that whitefish the spectrum doesn ot change over housr minutes and days. it is some level of information from before. even there we thought the spectrum was exactly the same up to 73. but this was also interpretation as well compared to modern interpretation.

anything else?
it was interesting in the lab because it gave us pop to study something far away and normally something this close is weak, but this was more of an ordinary monster, but close to earth. previously we had a model that explains the HEE very well. We did not see things before when the bursts were very close to us. For these events we required that we think back or tweak our models or something. Also because it was so close we had to observe for 20 hours, something with HEGR.

We saw this on 4/27 but how long did it take for that energy to get to us? when was it born?
black hole was born about 3.75 billion years ago, so this was a young burst all the same, because many we see are 5 or 10 billion years old. Because it is young the signal is very strong. when the earth was then, it looked very different and the whole universe looked different.

The important question is how to measure distance and that is astronomy?
Chuck was lost.

Could the GRB signal an extinction event on mars? such as disappearance of an atmosphere?
No, it is very different, off the road ap, very unlikely. 

Can we assume the burst occurs as a creation event of every black hole?
it is very likely that these happen when a very massive star, the core of one into another. highly magnetized neutron star. so not entirely accurate to say each of these has a black hole, and also not true that all black holes come from this.

What is the effect of gravity on this explosion?
detailed modelling of the collapse of a massive star into nothing, yields a lot of damage giving characteristic signature on gamma ray waves. should be simultaneous, and gravity wave radiations.

Vapor with the optical data, if this interpretation is correct we look at less than 3 million degrees. but his is not cut, there is a discussion about it. a few degrees.

Has this burst actually changed any of our understanding about how stars evolve?
no, because apart from the energy emission it is very similar to the other GRB, what is actually this burst, we can see the Supernova, usually associated to very long bursts, much weaker. This is not very far away, and we can see the entirety of the burst, usually one or two up to 6 or 7 or 9 we have seen so far, something supernova.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Notes for Calculus 1 - CYR

Chart is key to doing this type of problem
x=0 or x^2-12=0
-4 -3 -1 1 3     4
f'(x)+-     |(-) (+)     (+)     (-)       (-)     (+)
f''(x)+-     |   (+)                       (+)     (-)       (-)       (+)            (+)
inc/dec     | dec inc     inc     inc    dec       inc
concave up/down|up up     down down up     up
sketch     |          U intersect(grk) U
noticing mirror like combinations of positive to negative values, whengl
f'(-4)=4(-4)((-4)^2-12) will be negative
extrapolated application of number to variables

rel max @ (0,f(0))
rel. min.@ (2V--3, f(2V--3)) and -2V--3, f(-2V--3)) (2root3, -66) and (-2root3, -66)
=-146+80= -66
^^same as f(-2V--3)

Exam Prep
Relative Extreme
very similar to what we get on the test, parts a  thru e
just fill in all the blanks
not too hard, just to remember what is going on
any specific questions or walkthrough?
some derivatives?
probably one that involves more than one rule
List out all the rules-2columns
1) first side:
Derivatives we know
e^x or a^x
sinx cosx
2) rules to use we can "break up functions"
product rule u(x)-v(x)
quotient rule: p(x)/q(x)
chain rule: u(v(x))

ex) f(x) = sin^2(x+1/x)
chain rule again
ex) f(x)=(x^2-2)/e^x^2
Quotient rule: 
CHAIN RULE: q=u(v(x))

find where ifs inc/dec,
concave up/down
3e^x+3xe^x=0<- to find CNS
x=-1 CN
f'(0)=3e^0(1-0) --> Positive!

f is increasing on interval (-1,@@)
and decreasing on (-@@,-1)
would increase product rule but we are smart and we realize hey, this is the derivative of 3xe^x
f''(-3)=3e^-3(2-3) gives NEGATIVE
f is concave up on (-2,@@)
down on (-@@,-2)
only way we know when it goes up to down is at inflection points

149 at drug test lab ate one pack of old (hard) swedish fish
ray expected to call in 45 minutes or an hour
ray never calls, tells me to fuck off when I call him> NO DRUG TEST TAKEN
Must find rent.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed

Heute ich bin seemlich traurig in jede lebensweg. Untergestern Lou Reed, famous rocker, gestorben ist. Ich habe zwei mal musik filmen von youtube uber ihnen Band, Velvet Underground, gemacht. Ich mochte etwas mehr zu machen, ich fuhle das fur eine musiscian, artisten, und figure influential, wir (den Weld) zu kleine macht sind. Aber ins gleich sagen, fuhle ich die fur dem passierten wielleicht darr keine tribute genug wurde. Mann kann nur seinen musik horen und denken von wohin er kammt, und was dafur er arbeitet. Arbeitet die falsche wurde ist, er spielt und er beweigung hatte, dass fur den decadense und von dem arme. Seine influence positif und negatif gleich ist, aber ich seine hertz von Gold macht wurden glauben wollte.

Heute bin ich (in jeder Hinsicht?) ziemlich traurig. Vorgestern ist Lou Reed, ein berühmter Rockstar gestorben. Ich habe zwei Youtubevideos über seine Band Velvet Underground gemacht aber ich habe das Gefühl, dass das nicht genug ist. Ich würde gerne mehr machen, aber vielleicht ist das Gefühl normal, weil man einem so großen und einflussreichen Künstler nicht genug Tribut zollen kann. Vielleicht ist es genug seine Musik zu hören und daran zu denken, woher er kam und wofür er gearbeitet hat. Arbeiten ist hier wohl das falsche Wort. Ihm lagen Arm und Reich gleichermaßen am Herzen und auch wenn sein Einfluss sowohl positiv als auch negativ war, möchte ich doch glauben, dass er ein Herz aus Gold hatte.

-Corrected by Anna-Lisa of Augberg

Easiest way to remember Electromagnetic radiation energy levels!

In order to remember the EMR (electromagnetic radiation) spectrum there is a joke. I thought it up while studying for my chemistry exam and thinking about the beginning of each part.
A hippie walks into a fun house and says: "GrUVI MiRa"
The order of electromagnetic radiation according to energy levels is Gamma Rays, Ultra Violet light, Visible light, Infrared light, Microwave light, and Radio waves
I hope this helps someone studying for an exam!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Frances with Ha-ha, but where is the boohoo? Or goosepimples?

Paul Andreas Fischer

Frances with Ha-ha, but where is the boohoo? Or goosepimples?

My expectations were surpassed in the film Frances Ha. The use of sitcom like interpersonal relations as a facade to entice the viewers into struggling with greater life phenomena regarding sexuality and human interaction was staggering. While at first impression the cast was amateur and the story tangled, the mastery of cinematic devices to captivate the audience, gave the distinct and lasting impression of an important message, if only the viewer could decrypt what that message was. Ultimately due to the exposure of intimate details of personal lives in a certain manner, the conclusion is drawn that the statement is on the society that nurtured, created and maintains the girl; that America is a materialistic society unbound by substantive difficulty.
The cast takes on an almost neorealist situative commentary on the life of a young woman who has exactly what she needs to prosper, and yet there is a tragic underpinning to her interactions with those around her and to her self-communication. The nature of this tragedy is surreal; her being “undatable” as described by her roommate forces her to re-evaluate her own sexuality and in turn the film scrutinizes the gender performance of those around her. But the vehicle has a distinctly neo-realist quality, one that extends beyond the black-and-white empirical nature of the roll and seems to seek truth in setting while imparting an urgent and necessary message of understanding in character development.
Perhaps the most memorable moment in the film is as Frances lights a cigarette against an apparently clear sky and in the unique blustering winds as the music rises in excitement, in tempo and volume. With a triumphant and yet demarked step she lurches out of the way and the Eiffel tower is revealed: she has made it to Paris! While she does not succeed in resolving her social problems at this point, a certain turning point in the film has been reached.
The completion of the film was ill conceived, while appropriately happy and still comically contemplative, this picture of her resolutely, gleeful but still troubled, stepping away from the Eiffel tower smouldering cigarette in hand would have made a classic ending, given the appropriate cinematography and character development beforehand. Where the Italian Neo-realism film movement consisted of perhaps a dozen films, and spawned many more similarly related movements since then, each showing devastation on a scale not available to any individual studio or entity, it was reality, in a similar track Frances Ha shows true beauty and strength in the setting and the characters, a sense of contentment and placidity, struggle logically met with triumph, that reflects the fundamental change in the European outlook in the times since.
Part of what makes this such a strong emotive response to the film was the use of real world settings, and more apparently of real world characters. As close as the cinematography and music came to capturing the legendary psychological effects of the neorealist cinema, though lacking the goosepimples and teary eyes that accompany the tragic suicides and deaths of protagonists in neorealism, the character development and plot progression was decentralised in a most similar manner to Soviet era films.
One in particular comes to mind, the film Daisies, in which two cohabiting girls or sisters perhaps explore their own temporal existence, stagnant lifestyles, and ultimately harsh realities in Yugoslavia, then a satellite of the Soviet Union. In both films there is an intense struggle occurring in the plot with a status quo of intolerance and with incompatibility to the social norms extant. Then in a variety of settings these norms and intolerance are torn apart without apparent consequence. While the themes of love and friendship are certainly more classically epic in Frances Ha (this is not said as a very positive statement), there is a shared dipolar structure to the films in which independent theses are tested on two protagonist characters through interaction of a number of people less important to the themes and plot.
What makes Daisies perhaps one of the most distinctive films from the region and time, and holds Frances Ha from achieving similar contemporary success is the ability to break solidly from social norms in order to prove their validity. Though both films’ decentralisation of characters make them delightfully unreachable with standard methods of evaluation seeking protagonist and antagonist, or of seeking out a definite hypothesis and proof, the neorealist stylistic choices and comedic relief speak out against a silent censor. In Daisies, this occurs in a grand finale, with the destruction of state property and final smashing of a chandelier and expensive banquet, which at the time infuriated senior Soviet officials. Without a hypothesis, the film successfully proves that, at least in the satellite states, the Soviet Union was a classless society obsessed with materialism.
In Frances Ha the silent censor is outlined, in this case the interpersonal feelings tumultuously clashing inside of a confused girl unsure of her sexuality, her datability, and at times her ability, but is not properly confronted. The picture of Frances moving away from the Eiffel tower, impatient yet hopeful could have communicated the conclusion of this confrontation classically, but that is hopping too deeply into the director’s seat. What can be said, however, is that it is clear that the problems internal to the character Frances such whether she is happy with herself, without a volatile reaction to the silent censor in everyone, and the nature of her social acceptance are neatly folded up and finished, while external ones, such as who exactly she will find, what kind of relationship she will pursue, and her credit card debt are unresolved.
Leaving these unresolved questions combined with unrequited confidence from peers and in herself proves a most intriguing posit: that the United States as this girl has known it is a materialistic society utterly unbound by substantive difficulty. A better proof for the stylistic and cinematographic nature of this film is that America is a materialistic society bound by the pressures of substantive difficulty, but freed through the token of true and open friendship or love as the case might be.

The Act of Killing review and Q and A with producer

Paul Andreas Fischer

As someone who has virtually no experience with the mass killings in Indonesia, seeing The Act of Killing was incredibly shocking. The fabulous lives of members of the former dictatorship who had become wealthy by indiscriminately killing over 2.6 million people was shown, and then the psychologies of these murderers at the time and today was explored. Less obvious but still tangentially present was the role of the government, many of whose officials were still in power and able to purchase their elections. I was struck by just how similar to A Clockwork Orange these executioners seemed in their time, and the interviews with them now almost seemed a thought experiment into an alternative sequel to that film. They killed and played, intertwining the two into a gruesome myriad of images that to some, still alive today, is still vivid in their mind and haunts them, others managed to move on. Political interrogation under this system became synonymous with torture and perjury committed by these monsters. The act of incarceration simply fell to being pushed in a car. A guilty verdict only had to be suggested. And finally, in the execution capital punishment was carried out in a stealthy but still open matter, efficiently in a silent admission to the inherent evil of these deeds, fueled by hard drug use as well as drinking and marijuana use, in futile attempts to cope with the guilt and pain of committing these atrocities. Sometimes behind closed doors at night, other times simply running down the street and stabbing anyone with a chinese demeanor or appearance, sometimes just driving through the night with a body in the back seat waiting to be hurled out into the abyss in a weak and vague impersonation of the out of this world gangster personas of Hollywood.
After the film was finished I asked about the producer’s struggle to dance the line between presenting factual historical accuracy and representing the often conflicting memories of surviving executioners. She responded that the film was not a historical film by any means, and that she herself was not a historian, but had a stronger focus on the psychology of the executioners. She explained that the film was meant as a sort of view into this unique situation that had panned out in Indonesia. Other questions in the Q and A ranged from what levels of censorship had existed, whether hidden cameras had been used as many admissions were shocking to say the least, and what power still remained in Indonesian paramilitary organizations such as the ones headed by the anti-communist former executioners. While it is not in my place to take sides or to comment on issues outside of the scope of this film, I am completely aware of the dangers of communist purges and the ten thousand executed in China even today every year, the hundreds of millions of girls killed only because of their gender, I cannot emphasize how shocked I was as to the scope of the killings, how the executioners saw it as a lifestyle and way of life, and how the society they lived in, while it was not yet a democracy, found no way to communicate for outside help or intervention. One can only assume that the vital nature of Indonesia to international shipping, and its oil reserves and refineries had a significant amount to do with this.
Another comparison to A Clockwork Orange is the pathological nature of the killers. They would do it again. I would have liked to see survivors, and to hear their accounts. but according to them there are none, and if there were they would be killed. Some justify it by claiming that the time was one of war. Others that they had no job, no real other options. No one was brought to them unless they were going to kill them. Evidence or the reality of a nuanced political situation made positively no difference. These men acted as institutionalized and even celebrated serial killers, harboring similar perversions and drug abuse as the sort in A Clockwork Orange who raped, drugged, and ultimately killed at their leisure without apparent backlash, although a key difference is that ultimately the dystopian society portrayed in that film does take punitive action at some point. I have included a typed version of the Q and A, which I took notes on to better shed light on the motives and themes of the producer.

Question and Answer:
Q: At points of violence or struggle in the filming, how was this done?
A: In the massacre scene women and children went through an extensive casting process, and the rest were former executioners bringing their old deeds back to life. The children were surrounded by family, and the film was shot in very short segments, after crying and wailing, the children were frequently given the chance to be reassured by their mothers. As for the actors, the only actual survivor from the village burning was an accident when the cameraman was shooting on a day when the producer and director were not there. The cameraman did not speak Indonesian, so he did not have the opportunity to differentiate, and after the survivor’s death two years later before the release of the film, his family contacted the film makers and gave them posthumous permissions.
Q: Is there an actual film? Or only the documentary as we saw it?
A: There was never the intention to make an actual film, the process of helping the former executioners imagine their own representation of events was merely a psychological tool to help them recount events accurately.
Q: Were there any hidden cameras used? At one point it seems as though they really think they are off tape, or just preparing?
A: At no point were hidden cameras used, and the former executioners were always aware of when the film was rolling.
Q: What was the reception in Indonesia, especially from the complicit government?
A: We started the work with survivors, showing the film to art house critics and stuff from Jakarta. We later expanded to 500 screenings across the country and now offer free downloads of the film.
Q: How did crew stand by while these gangsters took money from street sellers and were these merchants reimbursed?
A: The crew informed the merchants beforehand and had to stand by, but it was agreed the entire time that the merchants knew they were being reimbursed.
Q: Coming from Rwanda, I am curious how the government allowed this to be filmed, as in my country such an endeavour would be futile and even a fictional film such as Hotel Rwanda was nearly impossible to pull off, did the government allow this, were there special permissions needed?
A: The regime used to be a dictatorship, but is now currently a democracy. These war criminals were unpunished and even welcomed by top politicians as seen in the film. Workers unionzed against globalization are still beaten, and intimidation of family members for union membership still occurs, so the effort had to come from outside. There is a strong fear of speaking in public.
Q: What is with the list of anonymous names?
A: Indonesian crew members took part in a film with sensitive matter and we found it best to keep their identities anonymous.
Q: The number 2.6 million killed sort of splashes out, bringing a whole new level of seriousness to the film from serial murderers psychology to the psychology of a genocide was it difficult to dance the line between historical accuracy and factual information and the fantasies and personal anecdotes of the killers?
A: The film was never intended as a historical film, I am not a historian. What we sought was a stronger investigation into the psychologies of the killers and to show how they cope and live with their crimes, and success, today.
Q: What did the subjects [executioners] think of the film?
A: Most in process [missing word?], Anwar did not want to see the film originally, but decided to at some point… looking to a fishing platform. Anwar is loyal to the film, and has backed us up, keeping his word as he felt it was an important endeavour. Hermann has a sort of ‘axis’ loyalty to the film, and glorifies what it does. The paramilitary organizations did not especially approve and saw the filmmaking process as “Anwar vs. us”.
Q: What is the power of the paramilitary organizations today in Indonesia?
A: Still very powerful. If you are not portraying them well they will shut you down, but still the film does show that the country is moving forward.

Jesus of Nazareth 10

Jesus of Nazareth HW 10
Paul Fischer
Dean Brady
Aug. 4, 2010

Paul was beheaded by either the Roman Emperor Nero or his prefects c. 64 AD. How he got Last Supper stories and who gave them to him is critical to determining if his account his accurate. Because he would have been in contact with, and ultimately was martyred with Christians who knew Jesus (such as Peter, who Nero crucified), the possibility that at least parts of the tradition of the Last Supper are authentic.
First, to look at the role that Paul played in the founding of the Christian Church, that can help the reader understand what incentive he had for telling the story of the Last Supper. The early Christian movement was thinly spread out across the Roman Empire, so Paul’s preaching of unity would have been critical to ensuring that those first churches remained together (Corinthians 10:16-7). Jesus did not found Christianity, contrary to popular belief, it was Paul’s work opening up the religion to Gentiles (Gal. 5) that culminated in the conversion of the Roman Empire, and eventually the Emperor Constantine himself.
One of the key tools early Christians used in finding converts was the dinner party. As pedantic as it sounds, one of the greatest appeals of Christianity to the pagans is that there aren’t dietary restrictions. This is in contrast to Judaism, wherein Kosher laws are among the strictest of major religions, and are actively enforced. Paul would have been eager to draw on this Christian advantage by depicting Jesus himself flouting Jewish rules and eating with people of questionable character (Mk.14 ///). For this reason, we can consider the level authenticity in the details probably low.
That there was a last supper, during which Jesus knew he was being hunted for, and it was just a matter of time before the Romans closed in on him, or one of his own betrayed him, is indubitable. What isn’t as certain is that that supper was particularly special, or abnormal, as  suggested in the Gospels and Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Furthermore, it seems that he would have used the dinner party, like the Pharisees, rather often as a religious form. Unlike the Pharisees, of course, Jesus invited “bad” people and his teachings were radically different in regard to redemption and charity.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, the Last Supper is depicted as distinctly normal, but marked by the introduction of rituals, and of course Jesus prophesies his own death. In Matthew, however, the entire narrative mood suggests that the meeting is unusual and important, that the followers are going to be shown a new part of the Kingdom of Heaven, complete with more teachings and observance of Torah (probably authentic, Peter claimed Jesus was kosher in the last supper, while Paul emphasized the importance of dropping the archaic Jewish law).

Jesus of Nazareth 9

Jesus of Nazareth HW 9
RLG 210
Dean Brady
Paul Fischer

Antiquities actually reveals more about the reality of the reactionary Temple and High Priests than about Jesus himself. Admittedly, his brother is sentenced to stoning without a trial, except for the illegitimate trial held by a Sanhedrin of Judges, whom Herod called against the will of Jerusalem’s populace.  The execution of James and others constituted a dangerous act directly before the outbreak of war in 66 AD.
Sanders points out astutely that  there are at least two major trains of thought regarding the actual dates of Jesus and John the Bapitst (286). The more prevalent, and certainly better elaborated upon by Sanders is that Jesus’ career would in fact be shifted somewhat to the later, in accordance to the Gospels, which depict the lives of Jesus and John as overlapping.  In such a scenario, Jesus would have been executed in 36 AD, two years after Antipas and Herodias’ marriage. John would have been executed for criticism of the couple just as Jesus began to go about and teach (Mk 1.14//).
This chronology is plausible, but Sanders admits that , in the Antiquities from this period, Josephus is far from specific, and the sequencing of events is not highly chronological. Though not much time  is devoted to its discussion, Sanders mentions that the death of Germanicus is 19 AD. If Book 18 of the Antiquities is at least chronologically authentic, then the appointment of Pontius Pilate would have to have been before 19 AD. The Crucifixion would then have taken place as early as 21 AD.  In either of these two historical hypotheses, Sanders points out, one certain fact is being used to make the rest of the evidence match, or as he puts it, “the tail is wagging the dog.”
Because of the paradox presented by the details of Josephus’ account, Sanders encourages the reader to take a more general view of everything. Roman accounts can be used, presumably, to verify a certain pericope or point, but there is nothing conclusive there, most of the information is not specific or trustworthy because of the small  impact Jesus and John had on the Romans. Probably, like Josephus, they believed Jesus to be a small-timer, and would not become aware of his message or importance until centuries later as Apolline schools began to speak Christ and salvation together, and the early Christian Church began to form.
Unfortunately, this part of the story is incredibly hard to check out. In Antiquities 18.3.63-4, the passage appears to have been entirely written by followers of  Jesus. It is obvious because of the extreme break from Josephus’ normal habit of calling these leaders false prophets and “charlatans” while those who followed were “dupes.”
The scholar Kokkinos claims that the Jews would wait for years for big incidents that they could tie together into one story. For example, Antipas could be depicted as marrying Herodias on two different occasions, one when it happened, and again when he was punished in war.

Jesus of Nazareth 8

Jesus of Nazareth HW 8
Paul Fischer
RLG 210

Historically, it seems, Jesus was a rural teacher who, like other religious leaders, went to Jerusalem with his followers. The uprising he caused there either forced a prefect terrified of revolt (or lost tax revenue) to execute him or at least “wash his hands of the matter.” Other, perhaps more influential, perhaps more contrary in doctrine, were generally dealt with harshly.
Such strict rules were necessary to keeping order on the frontier of the Roman Empire. Imperial garrisons in Judea and Israel were generally small, and usually kept out of the way of day-to-day governing. In the case of the man who marched his followers to Mount Gerizim (Antiquities 85), Pontius Pilate led Roman infantry to disperse them, and he executed many. The impact on Historical Jesus research is that now there is multiple sources that attest to not just Rome, but specifically Pilate’s willingness to use violence to  quell uprising. Because “Pilate put to death the principal leaders and those who were most influential,” (An. 85) this passage causes the reader to wonder if other leaders in Jesus’ ministry were perhaps killed with him.
That the entire circle around a religious leader might be killed, or members of it killed arbitrarily means that fear for their lives would have been a better incentive for betrayal than 30 pieces of silver (Mt. 26:15). Or especially in the case of Peter, who three times forsake Jesus because he was terrified of the repercussions (Lk. 22). These minor insights afforded by the passages are overshadowed by the fact that Jesus’ ministry was considerably smaller than the other period movements in the same area. The Egyptian prophet led a force of thirty thousand and Thedeus threatened to invade Jerusalem with the divine power that brings walls down. Pilate executed over 300, as mentioned before; those were only the leaders, and indicate a much larger overall movement.
Thedeus (An. 20.97-8) is only briefly mentioned by Josephus, but his general path seems to parallel Jesus’ more closely than the others provided. He, apparently alone in his movement, was executed by Roman leaders after encouraging  followers to give up everything in order to follow him to the Jordan river. Like a stunted, unsuccessful story of Jesus, this does not appear to be militant and his power was sourced in miracles (though Thedeus never had the opportunity to show off).
All of these false prophet stories, whether from the Jewish History, or Josephus’ Antiquities, share aspects with the life of Christ, that can help us understand the people’s reaction to Jesus, and better orient ourselves contextually. However, it is very important to remember that the four Gospels are written by followers of Jesus, believers in the resurrection. Conversely, Josephus and Rabbinic scholars assembling the Jewish History would have downplayed the legitimacy of these uprisings. They had the goal of ensuring that Rome did not leave them to foreign invaders, and to do that they had to create a mindset for the populace of the Jews, accordingly. So one should be careful that when the title “charlatan” or false prophet is given, it isn’t necessarily the belief of Judaism as a whole, or even that writer, but just what that writer expected the Romans to need to hear in order to think Judea was worthwhile to the Empire.