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Everything posted by Virgil61

  1. Virgil61

    The Worst Punishments in History???

    No one's mentioned the Brazen Bull. Hollow, bull-shaped and made out of bronze or iron. Put victim inside, light fire underneath and watch as they slowly roast to death. For added warped factor make the bulls nose a horn configuration which amplifies the victim's screams to mimic that of a real bull. Supposedly favored by the Greeks and, like many things, adopted by our Romans.
  2. Virgil61

    Happy Birthday!!!!

    Belated Birthday young man!
  3. Virgil61

    March Madness

    BURN!!! BURN you little rampscallion!!!!! Sucks that Carolina lost to GT last night. The GT crowd was chanting "overrated" and rushed the court afterwards--they acted like they'd won the national title. That happens almost any time Carolina has a road loss. Duke on Sunday, last game of the season!
  4. Virgil61

    March Madness

    As any Tar Heel worth his or her salt will tell anyone that'll listen, there are only two teams to follow; Carolina (sorry Gamecock's there's only one school everyone knows when they hear that word) and Duke. The first to root for, the second to root against and despise (see my sig).
  5. Virgil61

    A History of the Roman World, 753 to 146 BC

    Nice review PP, very well-written.
  6. Virgil61

    Caesar - personality

    Thought provoking thread. My only contribution is to ask; What we have as data that gives us an insight to his psychological condition? We've got ancient works that have their own interpretations possibly biased through a contemporary lens--some more sympathetic than others, we have countless interpretations of his actions, as well as clues as to his health pointing towards some sort of condition that tended towards seizures. But we don't have Caesar to analyze. Or don't we? What we do have in his own words is "De Bello Gallico". Understanding that it's part military dispatch, part propaganda, etc., and probably written, cultivated and re-written to a polished exterior. But what is left should still give us some clues as to his personality (It's been a couple of years and I'll have to dig up my copy to review). I think it's terribly relevant as it is the only account from the source himself. That being said, does it give up anything insightful if read from a psychoanalytical perspective?
  7. Concept and first few quotes liberally stolen from another web forum. They need not be true and the less PC the better. The more creative should have fun with this. "Get a bloody move on, you french twit" - Princess Di "Kiss off. You're not getting an autograph" --John Lennon "I think I hear my husband" --Mrs OJ Simpson "just point it the other way or you'll have someone's eye out." - King Harold. "Hah! They couldn't hit an elephant from that dist..." --Union general in ACW. "Love the mushrooms" --Claudius "I hear our cavalry coming up behind us now" --anon Roman soldier, Cannae "Where's Arminius?" --Varus "Boy bringing this horse in was a great idea...hey what's this latch?" --Trojan nightwatchman "Thumbs up, down or...damn which was the good one again...?" --prostrate gladiator
  8. Virgil61

    Unfortunate last words

    "This is going to be the perfect plan..." --Lisa Nowak
  9. Virgil61

    German Film "Downfall"

    I'd never heard of it until PP's mention.
  10. Virgil61

    Unfortunate last words

    "Oh it's OK, Howard gave me these pills." --Anna Nicole Smith
  11. Virgil61

    Winter Driving Woes

    Bummer. I got hit a month ago. The lady was an EMT whose husband was a cop up north. She realized she screwed up and we waited for the cops. It was Saturday night in Seattle so it took 90 minutes for them to show up. Her insurance paid in full for the front end and the rental. I was driving my Subaru instead of my Isuzu thinking the AWL would come in handy in the ice and snow. Good luck on the repairs.
  12. Virgil61

    Unfortunate last words

    from another forum: "I do."
  13. Virgil61

    Unfortunate last words

    We have different views of 'dirty' apparently, but I've cleaned it up for the kiddies.
  14. Virgil61

    My Little Jenny

    Very cool. The recording mic should've been placed in a better location.
  15. I just finished Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas E. Ricks. Ricks is a veteran correspondent for the Washington Post who covers the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Pentagon. As such he's developed over the years a close relationship with military and civilian personnel in DOD. It's done him well. Rick's book functions to a large extent, as a checklist of how to screw up the occupation of a country. Dispensing with whether the invasion was wise or not he deals directly with how the chief architects of the invasion ignored a large number of mainly Army general's advice. Initial advice briefed by the Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki was brushed aside by an energetic and arrogant Sec of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, whose dislike for the Army generals he found was barely hidden. They were 'Clinton's generals' in his mind, even though the former president generally had little to do with the majority of internal army promotions. This disaffection and lack of engagement with military professionals in favor of picked men and civilian led military planning would lead to laying the groundwork for further disasters down the line. General Tommy Franks, the chief of CENTCOM (in charge of the region containing Afghanistan and Iraq), also comes under fire. Most officers who knew or worked with him considered him energetic but not the strategic thinker needed for the job. His short-sightedness went so far that he considered his role over after the capture of Baghdad and 'disengaged' from day-to-day leadership as he prepared for retirement, even planning on a vacation in the Bahamas two weeks after Baghdad's capture. Frank's eyes off the ball and Rumsfeld's optimism that Iraq would right itself resulted in a series of misplaced personnel appointments. A large number of old-guard generals with years of experience and who'd learned lessons of Vietnam resigned since they'd fallen out of favor with Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Pipes (W and P being protagonists of the invasion and optimists that post-war Iraq could be 'righted' by proper civilian guidance). In a few months the US Army lost a reservoir of talented leaders whose experience would be lost in the upcoming months and years. Rumsfelds lieutenants like Wolfowitz, Pipes and others are addressed mainly through the eyes of senior Marine and army officers who disdained their views and lack of realism. Paul Bremer's appointment as the head of the Civilian Provisional Authority highlighted the lack of planning or approach to the post-war occupation of Iraq. Without a plan and with young inexperience political appointees one of whom described his favorite previous job as 'ice-cream truck driver' he pushed forth several wrong-headed and disasterous orders. The worst being the disbandment of the Iraqi army followed by the discharge of hundreds of thousands of factory employees subsidized by the government as well as the firing of anyone with mid level or higher Baathist party connections. The insurgency's pool of prospects was expanded by countless degrees with these decisions. Even some units of the Army, especially the 4th Infantry Division, misunderstood the nature of the occupation with heavy-handed approaches towards civilians. Worse still, the general appointed to oversee Iraq, Sanchez, was the lowest ranking 3 star in the Army and a logistics expert who clashed with Bremer. It's not happy reading. The civilian leadership, led by the Rumsfelds and Wolfowitzes, guided by ideology refused face the realistic challenges ahead of it and with little guidance from Middle Eastern experts, bypassing Army generals who cautioned them and refusing to see the reality of post-war Iraq laid the groundwork for the current ongoing conflict. It's ugly, but it is riveting. Rick's sources are often named and he names names without hesitation. If I could recommend only one book on the subject and one that espouses my own views and experiences from Iraq and goes beyond them it would be Fiasco. I can't recommend it highly enough.
  16. Kind of an entertaining site. Make sure to launch the applet on the left. Genealogy of Influence
  17. Excerpt from the U of North Carolina Daily Tar Heel opinion column (some of the comments left are priceless): Know this, future ex-boyfriends of mine Linda Quiquivix, Saving the World Posted: 2/9/07 Friends who know me weren't surprised to learn that my Zionist boyfriend and I broke up last summer shortly after Israel began dropping bombs on Lebanese children. But the friends who really knew me were surprised to learn that I had even dated a Zionist to begin with. In my defense, I thought he was just Jewish when it all began - a progressive one who was white but had tendencies for black supremacy. Politically, we aligned well, so I figured that he'd automatically agree with my stance on Israel-Palestine. (If you don't already know: It's Israel's fault more than it is the Palestinians' - don't believe the hype.) But my new progressive boyfriend, who was supposed to help me save the world, would stop short at any criticism of the Israeli government's racist, oppressive policies. And what's worse, he would sometimes defend them by saying things like that the land was up for grabs because the Palestinians never had an official state to begin with. Man, you really think you know your white Jewish boyfriend with tendencies for black supremacy. It quickly became obvious that, just the same, he didn't know his brown girlfriend with tendencies for anarchism well either. It was probably the anarchism that threw him off the most. I mean, he knew I was brown. I think. I'm pretty sure it came up in conversation at least once. Like when I told him about the time the Israeli airport police racially profiled me and asked me to strip down to my underwear. But it's very possible that "strip down to my underwear" was all he took away from that story. I don't see how people who don't agree politically can date. This became clear last summer when Israel killed 16 children in Qana, the U.S. refused to call for a cease-fire, and the boyfriend acted as if these were war games where Israel had a right to defend itself. So every time Israel did something abominable I'd increasingly begin to hold him personally responsible. It must have been difficult to date me. My apologies. But whatever. Politics take precedence over penis. (Know this, future ex-boyfriends of mine.)... Cont'd at Article.
  18. Excavations will continue to go on as they have been in spite of the troubles the region seems to perpetually be in. Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and parts of Syria and Lebanon are reasonably safe. Areas from Morocco to Libya also seem to have constant excavations. I wouldn't use this issue to base my future on although you're right to be aware of the situation.
  19. Virgil61

    On the Lead Singer of Black Sabbath

    I was listening to some of the early stuff last night, Ozzy was something else. Tony Iommi was/is a great guitarist, but what also stands out is how great a drummer Bill Ward was in his heyday. Probably not enough metal fans left anymore to justify having this poll I realized.
  20. Virgil61

    On the Lead Singer of Black Sabbath

    To be sure though, Dio comes in a very close second. He was a big influence on metal's second generation. I think Heaven and Hell may be one of the greatest Heavy Metal albums ever made. It's amazing to see Ozzy in interviews during the early years and contrast them to his present condition. Real sad stuff.
  21. Virgil61

    Rome And Usa.

    It didn't, it helped the Chinese economy by keeping it at a fixed exchanger rate and not rising or falling. They stopped in 2005 after serious pressure from the US and Japan. The theory being that if the Chinese economy grows stronger it's value rises making their exports more expensive thereby trimming the trade gap between the US and China.
  22. Virgil61

    Happy Birthday!

    Happy Birthday everyone!
  23. I'd stake a claim on both Scipio Africanus and Julius Caesar. Scipio being the better tactician and Caesar one of the great 'leaders of men' in ancient history.
  24. Virgil61

    Most important province?

    I'd have to agree with NN on this. Even without Egypt the Western Empire survived well enough on grain from Africa. It's sack by the Vandals was devastating.
  25. Virgil61

    American Football Season

    Damn, Rameses...close call! Wow, no kidding.