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June 13, 2007

Rome Reborn 1.0


It's up and running here.

Until the first working time machine comes along, circa 2200 (give or take 100 years), this is as good as it's going to get.


Here's a link to Monday's Associated Press article by Ariel David.


Today's USA Today story follows.

    Digital Simulation Revives Ancient Rome

    The glory of Constantine's Rome has returned — via a computer. An international team of archaeologists, architects and computer specialists this week unveiled what they called the largest and most complete simulation of a historic city, digitally re-creating Rome as it appeared at its peak about A.D. 320. The 10-year-effort, led by Bernard Frischer of the University of Virginia, digitally rebuilt the city as it existed within its original 13-mile-long wall, including 7,000 buildings. The interiors of about 30 buildings, including the Senate and the Colosseum, also are re-created. The $2 million project will be used to carry out further research into ancient Rome's way of life and will be updated with archaeological discoveries. Images and videos of some sections of the simulation are available at romereborn.virginia.edu.


Hard to believe ancient Rome is only a three mile walk from my house.


I mean, they said it's at the University of Virginia, right?



On a less serious note, too bad the university can't see the limitless upside of a mashup combining their new simulation with Linden Labs' Second Life technology.

Can you imagine the money that would pour into the endowment?

STOP PRESS: My crack research team reports that talks about a mashup are under way.



Carl Sagan wasn't exaggerating when he said, "Billions and billions...."

June 13, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bizarro World Google


I'm so loving this.


Chris Nuttall wrote, in today's Financial Times, "ACrappySearchEngine.com is the first satirical search engine I have come across...."


He needs to get out more — no, wait a minute, that's not right: stay in more, yeah, that's the ticket — and join the legions who've long considered bookofjoe a "satirical search engine" — and so much less.

June 13, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The CBS Evening News with... Tony Kornheiser?

Isn't it time to stop the bleeding?

The venerable network's hemorrhaging as Katie Couric's anchor status twists in the wind while the sharks continue to congregate below, drawn by the scent of low ratings and now crossfire from Dan Rather, CBS's éminence grise.

They've circled the wagons but the fire is being aimed towards the inside and they're taking each other out while ABC and NBC sit quietly in the bleachers, enjoying the auto-da-fé.

I'm reminded of a wonderful aphorism about political life in Washington, D.C., from a source I've long since forgotten and which probably wasn't the original one anyway, to wit: "Never try to kill a person while they're attempting suicide."

Good advice still.

For Tony, Monday Night Football is only an intermediate step on his path to world domination.

June 13, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Remote-Controlled Floating Serving Tray


From the website:

Remote-Controlled Floating Serving Tray

This remote-controlled serving tray will not capsize in a pool or hot tub, allowing you to keep drinks and snacks nearby and eliminating multiple trips to the kitchen.

The remote [below]


has a range of 25' and the tray propels left, right, forward or backward and can rotate 360° at a touch of a button.

The tray has five drink holders that secure 12-oz. cans of your favorite beverage, while the snack bowl in the center of the tray holds 16 oz. of snacks.

9" H x 17" Diam.



June 13, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rocket fuel additive levels in food 'Safe for most'


How come this news doesn't make me feel better?

Maybe it's because I didn't even know there were rocket fuel ingredients in food until I read a May 31, 2007 Bloomberg News report in the Washington Post; the story follows.

    Perchlorate Levels in Food Safe for Most, FDA Says

    Levels of a chemical used to make rocket fuel found in commonly consumed food are not high enough to pose a health risk to most people, including children and pregnant women, U.S. regulators said.

    The Food and Drug Administration, in a preliminary estimate, measured perchlorate levels in 27 food items, including fruits, vegetables, fish and grain products. The agency found that, for most people's diets, the levels fell below a standard adopted in 2005 by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    That standard, based on recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences, deemed as acceptable the consumption of food and drinks containing up to 0.7 micrograms per kilogram of body weight, more than 20 times the amount of perchlorate contamination in food found to be safe under previous standards. The Natural Resources Defense Council, a lobbying group, opposed the increase in the allowable level.

    "I don't think the current standard is safe for vulnerable populations," said Jennifer Sass, a staff scientist at the council. The new FDA estimates show that some food items "come perilously close to what EPA considers an unsafe level," she said.

    Perchlorate has been found in 35 states, and more than 11 million people have it in their drinking water at 4 parts per billion, according to a 2005 report by the NAS, a presidential advisory board for the sciences and a research institution. Perchlorate is found in other things, such as milk and produce.


FunFact: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested nearly 3,000 people from across the country a few years ago and found perchlorate levels in every one of them."

That's from a related article.

June 13, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

And no, Ray — you're not eligible to win.

Jeez, some people....

June 13, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack



It's not what you think.

"Archive contains 9,231 poems, 460 poets and 55 articles."

Plenty to keep you doing what you shouldn't be for quite a long time.

Fair warning.

June 13, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Blast from the past: Throwback ice cube tray — Episode 2: Price break


Every year around this time I like to break the mold — as it were — and feature a simple, nostalgia-laden object that reminds me of summertimes of old.

Like this classic aluminum ice cube tray that drove me and everyone else nuts back in the day.

Bet it still does.

From the website:

    Aluminum Ice Cube Tray

    The original is back and our customers are thrilled!

    Classic, hard-to-find aluminum ice cube tray works without the struggle of modern plastic versions.

    Simply raise the handle and 18 cubes tumble right out.

    4"L x 1-3/4"W x 11"H.


And where does it say that a "price break" is synonymous with "lower?"


Not in my dictionary.

Actually, it's not surprising that the price has gone up 50% since last year, what with water being more expensive and all.

Wait a minute....


FunFact: Henry James said that "summer afternoon" was his favorite phrase in the English language.

June 13, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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