History on Parchment

A parchment from the first century BC is telling its history.

The parchment’s story begins around the mid-first century B.C., when a copyist in Alexandria, Egypt, began working on a blank parchment to copy the second of 11 books by Greek geographer Artemidorus of Ephesus.

“This papyrus is returning the most ancient geographic map of the classical world and helps write new pages of ancient history,” said Claudio Gallazzi, a professor of Papirology at the University of Milan who has studied the parchment since the 1990s.

During the transcription, the copyist left room in the Greek text to insert drawings of maps, and later took it to a painter’s studio to have them drawn. Yet the painter designed only a partial map, which appears to be what Artemidorus believed was the shape of the southwestern Iberian peninsula.

“The painter must have drawn the wrong map and as soon as he realized it, he stopped (working),” said Gallazzi, who also directed the papyrus’ restoration. The map has no names and looks incomplete. He probably should have painted a generic map first, instead of a specific one. By then, the papyrus was ruined and it was useless to go on.”

A few years later, scholars began using the blank spaces on the nearly 10-foot-long parchment for rough drafts and to keep a catalog of drawings for clients. The drawings include pictures of real animals, such as giraffes, tigers and pelicans, as well as mythical ones, such as the griffin, marine snake or a dog with wings, Gallazzi said.

He added that the drawings were used as an index of mosaics and frescos that the painters would offer to their customers. At least two scholars also used the papyrus for practice and drew heads, feet and hands until there were no blank spots left.

I like the animals, especially, for my book. Who knows? Maybe they weren’t mythical at all, maybe just exaggerated.

from the Washington Post

Book II Info

Jan. 27, 2006 — Archaeologists have unearthed a 3,000-year-old skeleton of a man who appears to be clutching a dagger and is posed as though he were about to thrust the weapon into something, or someone, according to a Cultural Heritage News report from Iran.

The unusual burial is the first of its kind for Iran, and possibly for the rest of the world.

“He is holding a 26-centimeter dagger and appears to be making a forward thrust,” said archaeologist Ali Mahforuzi, who led the excavation at Gohar Tepe, where the skeleton was found.

…”Archaeologists had discovered such dishes before, but they could not determine their practical application; but the traces of coal indicate that the dish has been used for burning agalloch (a soft, fragrant wood) or other types of incense.”

Discovery Channel

This guy wouldn’t be from anywhere in my book, but it’s the timeframe, which might give me some ideas.

Dielli new

Google, among others

Thomas Jefferson said, “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”

Clayton Cramer said, “He was describing this problem–financial interest is the reason that a corporation exists, and unless those who run the corporation are remarkable people, they will look out for economic interest, not human rights.”

But he wasn’t talking about Google. He was talking about Denmark-based Arla Foods which is being boycotted in the Middle East because of Danish freedom of the press.

I thought it applied to Google as well as Arla Foods.

An Injured Marine

The day after I got an email asking for prayers for Quincy, a Marine, who had been injured by an IED and couldn’t hear and might lose his eyesight, Michelle Malkin posted on those injured by IEDs this week. Quincy wasn’t in the list.

I’m not sure why. I guess it’s possible I got the email late.

But the good news is that yesterday Quincy called his mom, so he can hear. His hearing is improving by the hour. And the doctors say his eyes are safe.

I’m always glad to hear good news out of Iraq. I thought you might, too.

Filibuster Fails

Fox says the filibuster attempt failed and the vote for confirmation will be tomorrow.

I am assuming, hoping, praying that Alito is confirmed.

I am also, of course, pleased the filibuster failed. Frankly, the choice by a bunch of politicians to sit down and whine is as disturbing, or maybe more so, as when my teen age boys do such a thing. Yeah, definitely more so.

Fake Police

Three armed men posing as police officers tried to make their way into a home near Memorial Park but the homeowner fought back.

Police say that around 3am Monday, three men walked up to a home on Kiam near Arabelle and started banging on the front door claiming they were police officers. Someone in the home fired a shotgun at the men outside and then one of the men outside fired back.

This took place in Houston.

from ABC Local

Exactly how do you tell the difference? I certainly don’t want to shoot police officers. I’m fairly sure that any police department is going to frown on that. And I don’t want 6000 Houston police mad at me.

But I also don’t want fake police getting in my house.

Running Today

I ran with R today. We went 2.1 miles. It seemed to take forever. We ran slowly. But, except for one forced stop for three steps at 28 minutes (my knee was hurting off and on and R said to stop), I ran continuously the whole time. Of course, it took us 36 minutes. Ouch.

I am glad I could keep running that long. I didn’t think I could.

But I sure wish I could run faster.

Guess I’ll have to work on that.

Pastors with Police

In case you read the whole opera post and wondered what the deal was with the police and our pastors, here’s the deal.

They’d run into each other while out shopping and decided to eat dinner at Chili’s. While there their waitress came over and said someone was robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot. She was legitimately worried, since she doesn’t get off till midnight.

The pastors sat there for a minute or so more and then in came the girl (a teenager) robbed at gunpoint. She’s one of our youth from church.

They waited with her and when the police came, they went with her to talk to them. (One of our pastors used to be and still does occasionally negotiate hostage situations with the SWAT team.)

The guy came up behind her, stuck a gun in her side, demanded her purse, cell phone, and that she not yell.

The Opera

I said yesterday that we had tickets for the opera. And we did.

So we got all dressed up. I wore a long satin skirt and a red glittery shirt with a leather jacket. R wore gray slacks, red shirt, and gray and red tie. We looked good.

We went out to eat at Dharma Cafe. R likes it a lot. I didn’t like it much. It’s mostly seafood. (Which I can’t stand.) I ordered the chicken caesar salad and all I could taste was pepper. But I wasn’t upset. Try something new. You don’t have to like it.

Then we went to the opera. We got lost from the parking garage, walked around a lot, and still got to the Wortham Center too early to go into our seats. So we hung around the sale racks. I found a gorgeous leather shawl for a measly $425. (I didn’t buy it. Do you know how long it takes me to save $400? Four months of not spending anything.)

Eventually we take the elevator up to the sixth floor, where our seats are. And, when we get inside, I freak.

There are steep stairs and you can see to the next floor, and the next, and the next, and the next, and the next. I stepped away from the stairs. R was very sweet. Came over, put his arm around me. “Are you okay? You can do this.” He goes down the stairs in front of me, so I can’t see anything. I’m hanging onto the railings for dear life and they’re not contiguous, so I’m panicking a bit whenever I have to let go.

Finally we make it to our seats. I sit down, my jacket’s off. I’m in short sleeves, shivering, but hot. My skin is flushed. I feel to the touch like I have a fever. (Since my temp is normally- with the help of thyroid pills- 97.6, that’s amazing.) I sit down and hold onto my husband’s hand. I can look sideways out and at the balconies below us, but not straight down, which is where the opera is going to be. At about 1o minutes till start I tell R I cannot do it.

We get up and walk out. He walks behind me this time and I only look at the next step up.

We get outside and I think I’m going to throw up. Thankfully there is a bathroom close and we go there. I run cold water over my hands for a few minutes. (Don’t want to ruin my makeup!) I’m feeling better, but not good.

We leave, go to our car, and drive for 30 minutes before I am feeling like myself again. Scary, that.

We planned on going to Steak and Ale for some French Silk pie, a personal tradition. But there’s a wait at 8 pm on Saturday night. We went to Chili’s, but there are no parking spaces for quite a ways, and we saw two of our four pastors in the parking lot with the police.

So we go home, make popcorn, and watch Red Dwarf, season VII, which R got on Netflix. (Great service, btw.)

We got to spend time with the boys and we all like Red Dwarf. I especially liked it because I couldn’t see straight down for six stories.

Running Hard

Since I realized in my last post on running (ah, so that’s what the rhetoricians mean when they say discovery writing) that I was supposed to have run 20 minutes without stopping and that in that 20 minutes I was supposed to have run two miles, I decided I would run longer today. I determined that I would do whatever it took to get two miles, preferably running all the way.

I didn’t run this morning. I told R when I went to run this afternoon that I could blame my inability on the heat. (It’s 80.)

So, I went to run. I ran 10 minutes, walked 1 minute, ran 13 minutes, walked 1 minute, and ran 4 minutes. (Well, take 10 seconds off that last one really.) So 28 minutes and 50 seconds to jog two miles.

I did try to run faster. I ran three sets of 20 second hard runs in each of my long running sections, for a total of 2 whole minutes of actual running.

The good news is that 2 miles is the distance I have been doing and I was doing it in 32 minutes. So I’ve shaved 3 minutes off my time for the last two weeks.

Thoughts on this:
I don’t think I’m quite up to running 20 minutes without stopping yet. But maybe… I’ll try tomorrow.
I’m certainly nowhere near 25 minutes for 2.5 miles.
I have five more weeks to improve my time and distance.
And I have to remember that I can jog and I can run and I have improved.
I will continue to improve as long as I keep doing it.


We got free tickets to opening night at the opera, so, after two shoots today, we’ll be dressing up in our finest (I thought “getting all gussied up” was too informal for a discussion of opera) and going out on the town.

I enjoy opera. I don’t think R does. Okay, I’m fairly sure he doesn’t.

But it will be something different to do.

It’s Houston Grand Opera. And it’s Puccini! I like Puccini. The opera is “Manon Lescaut.”

For a discussion, intro, to the opera go to “Manon Lescaut”. It is a tragedy, but almost all literature is. As I explain to my students, “Funny changes. Tragedy doesn’t. Every generation agrees on what is sad.”

The Things Kids Say

While my friends were here, T took the boys to the zoo.

They were by the rhinos, watching and looking. The lady next to them was obviously the one who cares for the rhinos. So she told them all the rhinos’ names. “This is Marcie…”

After she named them all JP, who is 2, pointed to each one, naming it correctly, and said, “Aren’t they adorable?”

The lady looked at him in surprise and said, “I think so.”

What Kind of Sports Car am I?

I’m a Lamborghini Murcielago!

You’re not subtle, but you don’t want to be. Fast, loud, and dramatic, you want people to notice you, and then get out of the way. In a world full of sheep, you’re a raging bull.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

taken because File it Under asked

I have to admit that I must have answered the questions wrong. I have never heard of this car before. Unlike others that bloggers I read got. And I’m not sure I’m a raging bull. However “Fast, loud, and dramatic, you want people to notice you, and then get out of the way” does sound like me.

Who is that Woman in my Mirror?

She has my hair, so long and painted.
She has my eyes, so blue and clear.

But the rest of her is different.
How did she come to be here?

When I look into the mirror,
looking back into the mirror,
I see someone in my mirror
and I wonder who she is.

Does my back fold that way?
Do my arms flap quite so free?
Do the ripples in her skin
really match ripples on me?

Age is creeping onward
and my years are creeping too.
And the wrinkles and age spots
are making me blue.

When I look into the mirror,
looking back into the mirror,
I see someone in my mirror
and I wonder who she is.

She has my hair; she has my eyes.
She has my fingers and my nails.
I didn’t know her skin was mottled
into darks and lights and pales.

I guess I am getting older,
guess I’m old enough to know
that the woman in the mirror
doesn’t show what I want to show.

When I look into the mirror,
looking back into the mirror,
I see someone in my mirror
and I wonder who she is.

a random poem written up in five minutes
after wondering if that was really me
in the mirror

Protein Today (other stuff, too)

8 grams in peanut butter
29 grams in chicken thing
80 grams in extra lean ground beef
Total: 117

7 grams in pb
18 in chicken thing
10 in lettuce and green beans
10 in ice cream bar
Total: 45

16 in pb
14 in chicken thing
6 in meat
Total: 36

pb: 160
meat: 400
chicken thing:320
bar: 40
total: 920

Need to eat supper and maybe a snack.