"Sed fortuna, quae plurimum potest cum in reliquis rebus tum praecipue in bello, parvis momentis magnas rerum commutationes efficit; ut tum accidit."

C. Iulius Caesar - Commentarii de Bello Civili Bk III.68

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Baalbek Roman-era treasures

Baalbek excavations unearth Roman-era treasures
Artifacts found in Unusual Burial structure shed light
on long-lost traditions

By Rym Ghazal Daily Star staff
Friday, April 21, 2006

BEIRUT/BAALBEK: A pair of beetle-shaped gold earrings, finger-sized glass flasks, glass and bronze rings, scattered gold leafs - some twisted into the shape of a mouth or eyes - iron nails, and remains of skeletons were just some of the "treasures" recently unearthed in Baalbek from Roman-era burial caves - each piece carrying its own tale from the past.

Burial sites and the artifacts found within have been the "most critical records of the past," - shedding light on long lost practices and traditions.

"We just keep dipping into a paradise of treasures from the Roman-era," said archaeologist Khaled al-Rifai, who heads the archeological team sent by the "General Antiques Department" to accompany the construction company working on a sewage network in Baalbek because of its archaeological importance, and who have been making headlines this month with their series of discoveries of Roman-era treasures dating from the 2nd or 3rd century AD.



Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Instant Vision Fertilization

Our two Consuls have just nine months left in which to produce a vision for Nova Roma and they now need a premature birth in order that they have sufficient time to smack some life into it. So far the sum total of the year has been a botched attempt to circumvent the Collegium Pontificum and, currently, the latest attempt at resolving the methodology for resigning from citizenship and/or office in Nova Roma.

Some of us of course still remain unconvinced that “I quit” needs a Byzantine depth of officialdom and rubber-stamping to occur before we are all allowed to “officially” recognize that yet another horse has bolted out of the stable. In fact by the time this tortuous process is complete our escaping horse will probably have lived a full life, expired and been boiled down for glue.

It remains unclear if the vision that may yet be born has actually even been conceived and which of the two prospective parents will carry this wonder child. Maybe they are planning the gynecological equivalent of pass-the-parcel, where each of them has a turn at baking this baby to full term, or they may elect for just one of them to play mommy. Certainly there are no evident signs that conception has occurred, as neither of them looks the least bit swollen with one iota of an idea, let alone an embryonic vision.

Possibly the relative silence from Mommy and Daddy can be explained by visits to the IVF clinic, otherwise known as Instant Vision Fertilization. It could be that at this very moment a white clad and masked technician is inserting a horse sized syringe up a nose. Thousands of tadpole tailed little bursts of inspiration could be surging and coursing upwards, desperately swimming against time, trying to reach a gray barely pulsating cranial egg, before they expire from exhaustion.

If we are lucky one of them may finish this marathon and burrow deep enough to cause a neuron to fire. On the other hand, it may all just dribble back down and out of the nostril, so I’m not rushing out yet to buy a gift for their baby shower.

In fact there may not be enough stock in the Idea Bank to handle this gargantuan task.