Sunday, 31 August 2008

Nothing new under the sun1

A favourite image of mine, the Ancient Greek Laptop, has been doing the rounds for many years now. I thought it was about time I found out which of endless thousands of Greek pots it came from. An informative post by Vagabond at directed me to the slow but stunningly comprehensive Perseus site. The famous image turns out to be from a cup painted by Douris in the early fifth century BC, Berlin F2285 .

The laptop scene comes from side B of the Douris cup - teacher and student with stylus. According to the description,
The teacher in the center, who is seated on a cushioned stool facing right, holds a writing tablet on his lap, his stylus held in his raised right hand. His student also stands facing him, wrapped in his mantle.

For another example, in close-up, refer to Philadelphia MS4842.

Though the classicists claim these are writing tablets, I have word from Mount Olympus that the gods hid fully formed laptop computers in the caves for the Ancient Greeks to discover. Historians who claim that technology evolves over hundreds of years are wrong, because Zeus can create a laptop in an instant - and these pots prove it. But the gods became angry with the ancient Greeks for spending too much time on Facebook, so they caused mankind to forget where the original laptops were hidden and made the successors of the Greeks discover them the hard way, which took two and a half thousand years. The point is, if it weren't for intelligent design by the gods, laptops could never had existed at all.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Life as a bear

I'd like to try living as a bear for a year or two. The bear's lifestyle appeals to me. In summer and autumn it crams itself with salmon and blueberries until it is fat. Then it hibernates throughout the winter, oblivious to the bitter cold. In spring it wakes up thin.

Friday, 15 August 2008

What happened to the buttery pecans

Paddy and I attended the wedding celebrations of his nephew in New England recently. From the various events we each gathered two sets of wedding favours: buttery pecans, nicely packaged and tied with a white ribbon. We brought them home with us. And then:
  • I decided to take the pecans to work to share with my colleagues.

  • Paddy opened one packet at home and ate a few pecans.

  • I finished the packet (you mustn't let them go stale).

  • I opened one more packet at home and ate quite a lot of pecans.

  • Paddy finished the packet (you mustn't let them go stale).

  • I decided to let Paddy take the remaining pecans to work to share with his colleagues.

  • Someone opened the third packet at home.

  • Someone or two finished all the pecans (you mustn't let them go stale).

  • Paddy opened the fourth packet at home and ate a few pecans.

  • I finished the packet (you mustn't let them go stale).
All I can say is: we didn't let them go stale.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Jesus played cricket

What's more, he may have walked on water while doing it. Rogueclassicism has the gen:

Friday, 8 August 2008

Coming out in sympathy

This morning Paddy took a day off work because he was ill with a sinus infection. Too sick even to watch the cricket, he stayed in bed. The cats kept him company. Pussy Janeway was sick on the blanket in sympathy. It is time to put her on the market, but who would buy her? "For sale: eleven-year old mackerel tabby, very affectionate, finicky eater, regularly sick on bed or carpet, clean condition, only seven pounds (in weight)."