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Everything posted by Faustus

  1. Faustus

    America Votes 2008

    An interesting development in the Democrat Convention: Hillary Clinton's name will be placed in nomination. The recent events in Georgia vis-a-vis Russia turn the US election on its head. Obama took a while to speak up but when he did he called "for restraint on both sides" and for the "UN Security Councel to meet and take action to calm the situation. It's as if he is not aware that Russia has a veto to any actions of the Security Council. Furthermore the US candidate quoted by Mikhail Saakashvili (government) was McCain " we are all Georgians". Any time the political discussion before the voting public departs from domestic issues Obama is at a disadvantage. This may be why there is much comment in blogs that the whole Russian/Georgian flap was engineered by Bush, Cheney, and McCain so McCain can win the election. On the Russia/Georgia Situation- some things we could do and what it may really be about. The real objective is the Finlandization of Georgia through the removal of President Mikheil Saakashvili and his replacement by a Russian puppet. . . . Which explains Putin stopping the Russian army (for now) short of Tbilisi. . . .
  2. Faustus

    Which Roman Emperors never did battle?

    Another fine background post A. A very minor point but on your last comment I don't see how specifying affairs of state as opposed to affairs of love would suggest any activity in affairs of love by Antoninus. It seems Julian was putting the emphasis where it belonged and not where it was missing, and was putting distance between Ant. and love affairs. If we need more information on that: (From Caesar and Christ by Will Durant)"
  3. Faustus

    Roman Roofs Inverted

    Regarding erosion, I am surprised there is no sign of it even in the impluvia. The 'drop' for the captured water was considerable - in some cases 20 feet plus, and in a downpour there must have been some power by the time the water hit the impluvium. Further, the impluvia are often tesselated, which is quite a fragile construct given the power of the water falling into it. Another thought occurs: the impluvia are quite shallow, about 6 - 12 inches. In a strong downpour, the splash and spray in the atrium must have been considerable. Well noted NN. I don't think we often give much thought to the "dynamic" quality which would've been created in a rain shower. Also the amount of increase or concentration in a confined area like your roof for instance; the area of your compluvium (and inpluvium below) are but a fraction of the watershed area above. Water had to come down in a torrent in the whole of the caevaedium in a good rain shower. When the 'animal head downspouts' were present there had to be adequate "behind the fascia" storage space. I will give a schematic treatment of that in my next "part". Of course the fact that the surroundings were masonry helped, but there must have been upholstered stuff there as well as wood too. One thing though, the presence of windy conditions to scatter the spray would have been minimized in the surrounding enclosed spaces of the domus. I was aware of the shallow depth of the impluvium, which meant that there was not a whole lot of "demand" storage there. The means of draining it must have been fairly complex and reliable. It would be interesting to see a design or schematic rendering of it. We can think of the consequences in a failure.
  4. Faustus

    Roman Roofs Inverted

    Thanks for that A. The bolded references of
  5. Faustus


    Good show Tobias! It's good to know some of us still stand up for and understand honor, duty, courage, and a willingness to risk all for a noble cause and a national purpose.
  6. Faustus

    Perseid Meteor Shower

    Here we are again a year later. The most famous meteor shower of all peaks the morning of Tuesday August 12. And here's where to look: The "radiant" is in the North East and just above Capella (in Auriga which looks like a house resting on its side) which is the first 1st magnitude star nearest the pole-star. The Pleiades "asterism" will be further to the right. The Perseids result when Earth runs into debris ejected over the eons by Comet Swift-Tuttle. Under ideal conditions, you may catch up to 90 meteors per hour at its peak. (If it's cloudy the morning of August 12, there may be a good show a day or two before and after.) Viewers can expect to see 60 to 90 meteors per hour under a dark sky after the Moon sets at 1:30 in the early morning, with some of the less spectacular ones not being visible earlier, but the viewing won
  7. Faustus

    Roman Desert

    Would fruit, such as figs (which are very sweet) be in order? Or were cakes sweetened with honey more likely? Something else entirely? I think they drank their desert, but metaphorically conversation filled the bill. But further, "....Apicius, the foremost Roman gastronome, included a very elaborate dish among his recipes, served cold, in which the cheese was blended with honey, peppermint, watermelon, vinegar and many other ingredients." The isle of Samos as being famous for cheesecakes, for which Athenaeus left this recipe, "Take some cheese and pound it, put in a brazen sieve and strain it, then add honey and flour made from spring wheat and heat the whole together into one mass." It was customary to serve cheesecakes as wedding cakes from this era and at Argos it was traditional for the bride to" bring little cakes that were roasted, covered with honey, and served to the bridegroom's friends." " From Greece the Romans spread cheesecake across Europe.
  8. Faustus

    Roman Roofs Inverted

    (Part three) Although we seem to see the
  9. Faustus

    Georgia on my Mind...

    Its not quite that simple. Russia doesn't want a neighbour and former member soviet state joining NATO. By hitting the pipeline it would force the west to negotiate from a placatory standpoint instead of throwing their weight around. War in the Caucasus "War has started," Vladimir Putin said
  10. Faustus

    United States and Roman Government

    [quote name='Julia C
  11. Faustus

    The Art Of Offending

    What about the Writer's Art? - You Still Can't Write About Muhammad
  12. Faustus

    The Art Of Offending

    Amsterdam The Perils of Free Speech (What goes around, comes around.) "On a sunny May morning, six plainclothes police officers, two uniformed policemen and a trio of functionaries from the state prosecutor's office closed in on a small apartment in Amsterdam. Their quarry: a skinny Dutch cartoonist with a rude sense of humor. Informed that he was suspected of sketching offensive drawings of Muslims and other minorities, the Dutchman surrendered without a struggle. "I never expected the Spanish Inquisition," recalls the cartoonist, who goes by the nom de plume Gregorius Nekschot, quoting the British comedy team Monty Python. A fan of ribald gags, he's a caustic foe of religion, particularly Islam. The Quran, crucifixion, sexual organs and goats are among his favorite motifs. Mr. Nekschot, whose cartoons had appeared mainly on his own Web site, spent the night in a jail cell. Police grabbed his computer, a hard drive and sketch pads. He's been summoned for further questioning later this month by prosecutors. He hasn't been charged with a crime, but the prosecutor's office says he's been under investigation for three years on suspicion that he violated a Dutch law that forbids discrimination on the basis of race, religion or sexual orientation. The cartoon affair has come as a shock to a country that sees itself as a bastion of tolerance
  13. Faustus

    Overblown or Short-changed?

    My pick is Of the Five Worst Roman Emperors He makes the top 5 list: 1. Caligula, 2. Elegabalus, 3. Commodus, 4. Nero, 5. Domitian On his Administration Another devastating fire in A.D. 80 had left Rome badly in need of repair. Domitian responded by erecting, restoring, or completing some 50 structures, including the restored Temple of Jupiter on the Capitol and a magnificent palace on the Palatine. The building program, ambitious and spectacular, was matched by hardly any other emperor. He was also able to maintain the debased currency standard of A.D. 85, which was still higher than the Vespasianic one, until the end of his reign. The economy, therefore, offered a ready outlet for Domitian's autocratic tendencies. There were failures, but he also left the treasury with a surplus, perhaps the best proof of a financially sound administration.
  14. Faustus

    Roman Roofs Inverted

    [1] This would make perfect sense. I have read that little or no excavation has taken place to explore these kinds of possibilities; mostly the excavation has taken place as recent
  15. Faustus

    Roman Roofs Inverted

    Part Two What can we learn from taking a closer look at how the Romans and their antecedents managed these problems? This then takes us back to Pompeii where so much is preserved or at least has been faithfully restored . On the outside of the Roman domus or villa we see the simplest of roof terminations; simple systems were (and are still) usually the best and require the least attention for maintenance. There we see flat roof tiles (tegulae)*5), and their joint-lapping half-circle covering tiles (imbrices)*6) terminated at the lowest edge (eave) with the simplest of end cap closures (antefixae)*7). These would have kept pests from taking up residence inside the roof itself, and present a more aesthetic view to viewers on the ground. Once the roof section was visible from the inside of the domus, and perhaps after the refinement of the peristylium was added, we see a different motif example; now we have an amalgam of practical and aesthetic combined with status and culture. For instance on Greek temples*8) like the Parthenon we see an elaboration of carvings at the roof line which we don
  16. Faustus

    Roman Roofs Inverted

    Thanks NN, I have at least two more parts planned, but I may expand a little more than that. The roof sloping into the interior space allowed for a lower breast wall and more sunlight which was one aim and important, I
  17. Faustus

    Water found at Mars.

    Salve Amici, More on the water aspect: The Red Planet's wet past an excellent "spot on" clickable/expandable surface image from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, or CRISM on the Reconnaissance Orbiter (Astronomy Magazine) Also "Phoenix looks for ice-rich soil" and Phoenix's falling heat shield links Faustus
  18. Faustus

    Roman Drinking Parties

    (When a Banquet turns into a
  19. Faustus

    Roman Drinking Parties

    Interesting!A sort of memento mori. It adds to his greatness that he needs such a reminiscence, lest he should think himself divine. Salve As morbid as this all is, it still delights. It reminds of the practice of students of Zen contemplating of their own dead body, rotting and being eaten by worms, as a way of realizing their own life and mortality.
  20. Faustus

    Water found at Mars.

    I'm sure you are correct; the amount of Venusian atmosphere reaching Earth's atmosphere is less than insignificant. But still some must. The amount would no doubt be less than worth arguing about. Now on the first item, I'm still in need of help; you were being covertly ironic? I'm not sensitive about missing the subtleties of irony.... Apology accepted! Faustus
  21. Faustus

    Water found at Mars.

    Salve Amici, Not an expert here, but I do keep up constantly with the subject. There is little doubt that elements from the high atmosphere of Venus reach earth as they are ablated by the solar wind. What would preclude that, or a least mitigate it is the magnetic field of Venus. However Venus is much closer to the sun (67 vs 93 m. miles), and a propitious alignment would no doubt deliver a small quantity of anything in the upper atmosphere to the Earth's own atmosphere. However when we think of planetary quantities just as when we think of geological time frames, these quantities may seem small but may be large by an individual human's "mental" standard. I think that's what the smiley may have implied. FROM THIS LINK "Venus is sometimes characterized as Earth's 'twin' because of its close proximity in solar system location (~ 0.72 AU heliocentric distance compared to 1.0 AU) and its similar size (~ 6053 km radius compared to - 6371 km radius), but other close resemblances are few. Besides the more obvious atmospheric composition and pressure differences, and the related extreme temperatures at the surface described elsewhere in this volume, events in the history and evolution of the interior of Venus have left that planet with practically no intrinsic magnetic field. The consequences for the space environment and atmosphere are numerous, ranging from the presence of an 'induced' magnetotail in the wake, to an ionosphere and upper atmosphere that are constantly being scavenged by the passing solar wind." BTW - Even perfect logic can deceive Faustus Edit added: NOT VENUS but consider the application of the situation seen here http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/screen/heic0303a.jpg And Watch this for some perspective. You may have seen this before when I first posted it back in May but it still thrills, and the music is a delight.
  22. Faustus

    Water found at Mars.

    I agree with all you said except for the ubiquitousness(?) of it. It has probably been quite balmy on Mars in its past, and once the big chill set in life, if it exists there, probably has retreated to supportable conditions like (but not limited to) the heated water phenomenon in out ocean bottoms. Certain examples exist in Antarctica, but they have at least seasonal reprieves. On Mars below the surface would be a good opportunity for sustained life. Consider the amount of heat escaping from the core of the earth and how it heats subterranean chambers, or the amount of ambient heat just a few feet below the Earth's surface which increases linearly as one goes deeper.
  23. Faustus

    Water found at Mars.

    Few planetary scientists or astronomers are concerned with the discovery of life on Mars, although it would be a high thrill and tell us much about the adaptability of life to harsh environments, but are more concerned with with the sustainability of life being transplanted there. It would actually be better for us if no life were discovered which we might have an effect on in our future activities on the surface of Mars.
  24. Faustus

    We Need an Oil Glut

    A US Presidential candidate said in the past few days that by "properly inflating our tires, and tuning up engines" the same amount of oil could be saved that could be produced by all the new drilling of US resources proposed by the other party. SEE HIM HERE Could these proposals actually accomplish savings of this scale? What number of automobiles in the US must this policy require to have improperly inflated tires or poorly tuned engines to accomplish this ambitious goal?
  25. here is a <CHART> graphically showing solar activity during warm and cool climactic conditions of the past 7,500 years. The period discussed here, related to what Caldrail said, has a name; it is called the Medieval Maximum in the terms used by solar astronomers and is (4) on the chart which was somewhat warmer than the Roman Maximum (6). By 1400 the solar activity was falling off precipitously into two side by side very cool periods (3) and (2), respectively the Sporer and Maunder (solar) Minimums. As can be seen on the chart the Medieval warm period was bracketed by cool climactic extremes, less so before and more so after. Would it be accurate to suggest that civilization "flourished" during these warm periods and tended to decline or pale during colder climactic periods? <HERE> is a legend to the whole chart.