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You know you're in trouble when the AP story begins The worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression...

I also enjoy this headline:

Bush says he's working hard on economic turmoil.

Apparently he's succeeding.


I for one welcome our new Russian overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted LJ personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground content mines.
One must admire the Associated Press for their breathless headline Pope Criticizes Atheism.

This is news?

Apparently I missed the other headline stories: "Bears shit in woods" and "Fire hot".

The encyclical is called Spe Salvi, from the line in St. Paul's Letter to the Romans "spe salvi facti sumus" - in hope we were saved.

Oddly enough, it's a discussion of the theological virtue "hope". In one section (paragraph 42), it contrasts this virtue with the nihilistic atheism of the French Revolution that culminated eventually in the philosophies of Marx and Engels. I think this is the bit AP is on about.

In the 70+ page document, the word "atheism" appears exactly twice.

In other news, Book bound in skin of executed Jesuit to be auctioned in England.

Bonus points to anyone who can find me a photo of the book.


22 Aug 2007 06:42
thomryng: A Sepia Man in a Hat (Patriotic Pretzel)
Okay, it's official. Karl Rove is off his meds.

“Let’s face it, I mean, I’m a myth,” Mr. Rove told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” when asked about his critics. “You know, I’m Beowulf, you know, I’m Grendel. I don’t know who I am. But they’re after me.”

Wow. Self-aggrandizement and paranoia. Or how about this one?

Mr. Rove said the Constitution prevented him from complying with a Congressional subpoena to describe his part in the firings of United States attorneys.

When Mr. Wallace argued that executive privilege did not prevent him from answering a reporter’s questions (“Why did you push to fire some U.S. attorneys in the president’s second term?”), Mr. Rove turned testy. “I know you don’t understand you’re being an agent of Congress when you ask me that question,” he said. “But you are.”

Mike Wallace as a Congressional "agent"? Is Karl Rove living in an Indiana Jones world of shadowy myth and secret Nazi agents? Which part does Mr Rove play in this drama?

Well, he claims he was just following orders:

Bob Schieffer... asked Mr. Rove why he was subjecting himself to Sunday morning second-guessing.

“Somebody else made the decision for me,” he said. “I’m just doing what I was instructed to do.”

Hmm. Maybe he got the Grendel thing right after all.


(... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.)
Recently, I ran across Peggy Noonan's Wall Street Journal editorial A Separate Peace. Though it was published in 2005, I think the years since have only strengthened the evidence supporting her assertion:

I think there is an unspoken subtext in our national political culture right now. In fact I think it's a subtext to our society. I think that a lot of people are carrying around in their heads, unarticulated and even in some cases unnoticed, a sense that the wheels are coming off the trolley and the trolley off the tracks. That in some deep and fundamental way things have broken down and can't be fixed, or won't be fixed any time soon.

As has become obvious in the past years, the Unitary Executive theory endorsed by President Bush differs little from the reality of Rome's Principate. The Republic is under assault from within. Although the Democrats in Congress are now trying to assert Congressional prerogatives, particularly in the US Attorneys scandal [AP], it may well be too little too late.

The White House defiantly stuck by Gonzales on the perjury matter and flatly denied that FBI Director Robert S. Mueller on Thursday contradicted the attorney general's sworn testimony on internal Bush administration dissent over the president's secretive wiretapping program.

This administration has such contempt for Congress, that they order their people to ignore Congressional subpoenas and laugh off obvious prevarication and perjury committed by their officers in front of Congressional committees.

Most telling is this final paragraph from the AP story I cited above:

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a contempt citation against two other Bush confidants, Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers. The full House is expected to vote on the citation in the fall, but the Justice Department has said it won't prosecute the two.

The system is broken, so much so that Congress is considering adding inherent contempt back into its arsenal for the first time since the Great Depression.

[I note that Wikipedia's article on Contempt of Congress is listed as "unverifiable" since it "does not cite any references or sources". This, of course, is balderdash, as the article's primary source is Congress's Contempt Power: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure, a PDF written by the Congressional Research Service for the use of Congress that runs 65 pages with no less than 402 footnotes.

It seems pretty well cited to me.]

Our system has been battered before. Take a look at the Grant administration, or those of Harding or Nixon. Look at the Civil War, the Depression, or Vietnam/Watergate. Look at slavery and segregation. And on the cultural and civility front, we're miles ahead of the Andrew Jackson era. It's been simply decades since anybody was stabbed in the US Senate Chamber. You want yellow journalism? FOX is nothing next to the newspapers for which that phrase was coined in the lead-up to the Spanish-American War.

Somehow, we always bounced back. Somewhere, we always believed that the system could be fixed, and if we couldn't fix it there were men and women in our Constitutional Republic who could and would.

Yet, the feeling in much of the country this time seems to be - not so much. Why?

(... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.)
First, read this: Bush commutes Libby's prison sentence.

Now for some reaction:

"This decision to commute the sentence of a man who compromised our national security cements the legacy of an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law." (Sen. Barack Obama)

"Only a president clinically incapable of understanding that mistakes have consequences could take the action he did today. ... In George Bush's America, it is apparently okay to misuse intelligence for political gain, mislead prosecutors and lie to the FBI." (Sen. John Edwards)

"This administration clearly believes its officials are above the law." (Gov. Bill Richardson [NM])

I, on the other hand, can't decide whether I'm angry or amused. How blatant can they be before the "opposition" starts opposing?

If only Dick Cheney would shoot a guy... oh, wait. Never mind.
This bit of news from Bloomberg caught my eye:

Philanthropist and retired hedge-fund manager Robert W. Wilson said he is giving $22.5 million to the Archdiocese of New York to fund a scholarship program for needy inner-city students attending Roman Catholic schools.

Wilson, 80, said in a phone interview today that although he is an atheist, he has no problem donating money to a fund linked to Catholic schools.

"Let's face it, without the Roman Catholic Church, there would be no Western civilization.''

Now there's a quote.
"Keith Richards snorted father's ashes"

I love this planet. Really.
Well, that's just swell. The President of the United States has just told the United States Senate to get stuffed.

In short, here's the scoop: Attorney General Alberto "The Waterboarding Kid" Gonzales fired a number of US Attorneys for "poor performance", apparently with White House approval.

It turns out that that these particular US Attorneys all had very good ratings and almost all had good to great performance evaluations.

It also turns out that every one of them either refused to back down from ethical investigations against Republicans or refused to pursue unwarranted investigations against Democrats.

It's pretty clear that Gonzales lied to Congress when they first tried to investigate this stupidity.

The White House and the Attorney General's office are only handing over some of the papers requested by the Senate, and now the President has said that no officials of the Executive branch will respond to Congressional subpoenas.

And who pursues the scofflaws who refuse to appear before Congress? Why, that would be...

wait for it...

the Attorney General's office.

If this all plays out the way the principals are indicating they're going to play it, then Congress will only have one option remaining.


Stay tuned.
This story in the New York Times actually made me cackle with glee:

What began as a routine training exercise almost ended in an embarrassing diplomatic incident after a company of Swiss soldiers got lost at night and marched into neighboring Liechtenstein. ...

Interior ministry spokesman Markus Amman said nobody in Liechtenstein had even noticed the soldiers, who were carrying assault rifles but no ammunition. ''It's not like they stormed over here with attack helicopters or something,'' he said.
WASHINGTON -- President Bush quietly has claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant.

Bush asserted the new authority Dec. 20 after signing legislation that overhauls some postal regulations. He then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open mail under emergency conditions, contrary to existing law and contradicting the bill he had just signed, according to experts who have reviewed it.

Full story:

Happy "New" Year!

He was a compleat bastard. Murderer. War criminal. This, I'll give you.

But I'm still against capital punishment. Even his.
CNN reports: Rumsfeld resigns.

Nothing I like better than the smell of Congressional subpoenas in the morning...
Keith Olbermann quotes Abraham Lincoln, Rod Serling, and "Dick" Cheney.

Simply brilliant )


4 Sep 2006 07:57
thomryng: Dirge (Dirge)
'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin killed

Australian naturalist and television personality Steve Irwin has been killed by a stingray during a diving expedition off the Australian coast. (BBC)

In a personal note, despite all his flaws I genuinely like Steve Irwin. He was absolutely passionate about what he did, and that's a rare thing in our world. So raise a glass to the finest man ever bit by a wombat. I myself will wait until after noon; I've got a lot of packing to accomplish today.

(And really, if it wasn't for Steve Irwin action figures, I wouldn't have my three inch plastic wombat.) Godspeed, Mr. Irwin. And watch out for the crocs.
Pluto loses status as a planet (BBC)
Amid dramatic scenes which saw astronomers waving yellow ballot papers in the air, the IAU meeting voted in criteria that define the exact nature of a "planet".

They agreed that to qualify, a celestial body must be in orbit around a star while not itself being a star. It also must be large enough in mass "for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit."

Pluto was automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune's.
So that's it then. Before we can find Planet X, we have to find a planet IX.

I'm feeling a bit Plutonian myself just now.

Of course, I've got nothing on the folks from the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT). The name is startlingly self-explanatory, but like some of the medieval heresies, it is a movement that contains the seeds of its own destruction. If the folks at VHEMT practice what they preach, they'll be gone within 70 years or so.

Not unlike Pluto's status as a planet.
I won't even pretend that this hasn't been a rough summer.

Francine's father, one of the coolest human beings I've been privileged to meet, died in July while I was visiting my parents in Chicago. By the time I returned, she was gone to Virgina. She was only back a couple of days when our effort to buy a house failed. Then my sainted1 grandmother died, and I was off again to Chicago. Whilst I was attempting to return to Tacoma, the airports went to Muppet Alert Level Ernie, causing all sorts of fun. As the Pakastani medical student behind me in the security line at O'Hare said, "Today is a great day to fly!"

This past week, I've been working wicked hours trying to catch up and get some more students into our school. Francine's been ill, and meanwhile I keep having dreams involving sixteenth century plate armour, Turkish cigarettes, muskets, and Czech beer.

No proper time for mourning, and yet some moments it all just hits me and I have to remember how to breathe.

The world, of course, marches on with or without our active participation.

Forget the mystery of Planet X, we're now up to XII. I suppose it makes sense - after nine the next mystic number is twelve. Of course, with the Amazing Multiplying Plutons2, we're likely to be up to 23 or 42 before you can say "Planet George".

Meanwhile, they still haven't officially named 2003 UB313. I'm holding out for "Yuggoth".

Not nearly so Pluto-shattering is the news that Johnny Depp will play Sweeney Todd. Pretty much made my morning, that did. Odd how similar their names are...

- - - - -
1: Yes, I mean that. OK, it's not like the Church is likely to take up her cause any time soon, but the woman was wholly holy.

2: I have all their albums.
Score one for the Supreme Court.

"In a 5-3 decision this morning (Hamdan v. Rumsfeld), the United States Supreme Court ruled that neither Congress's post-9/11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), nor the inherent powers of the President gave the President the authoirty to establish military tribunals on Guantanamo Bay to try and convict alleged enemy combatants in the war on terror. The Court found the commissions illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Convention." (KOS)

The Opinion (PDF)

As the last polling stations closed on the West Coast, exit polls showed Kerry ahead in ten of eleven battleground states -- including commanding leads in Ohio and Florida -- and winning by a million and a half votes nationally. The exit polls even showed Kerry breathing down Bush's neck in supposed GOP strongholds Virginia and North Carolina. Against these numbers, the statistical likelihood of Bush winning was less than one in 450,000. ''Either the exit polls, by and large, are completely wrong,'' a Fox News analyst declared, ''or George Bush loses.''

But as the evening progressed, official tallies began to show implausible disparities -- as much as 9.5 percent -- with the exit polls. In ten of the eleven battleground states, the tallied margins departed from what the polls had predicted. In every case, the shift favored Bush.

Source: Rolling Stone, article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Extensively footnoted and absolutely terrifying.

The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. (Josef Stalin)

As in insane. Froot-loopy. Utter bonkers.

New Yorker Magazine reports in its April 17 issue that

The administration of President George W. Bush is planning a massive bombing campaign against Iran, including use of bunker-buster nuclear bombs

Source: DKos

Please e-mail your Congresscritters (House information here, Senate here).

I wish to God I were making this up.
(ten points to anyone identifying the source of the subject line)

Libby fingers Bush:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide told prosecutors that his boss said President Bush authorized the leak of sensitive intelligence information about Iraq, according to court papers filed by prosecutors in the CIA leak case.

Source: CNN

Now can we impeach him? Please?

Impeachment links
Dear friends, this being the feast of St. Isidore of Seville (the patron saint of the internet), I thought perhaps I'd open with a short quote.

If a man wants to be always in God's company, he must pray regularly and read regularly. When we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to us. All spiritual growth comes from reading and reflection. (Maxims of St. Isidore, circa 620AD)

As an aside, I find the idea that a bishop was named "Isidore" roughly as amusing as one named "Thorsson" or "Jovian".

Sunday we attended the wedding of John Scott Tynes and Jennifer Scott Tynes (as I suppose I must now call them). It was held in an amazing old mansion in Seattle.

Some Pictures )

It was wonderful to meet [ profile] ktynes, [ profile] nallasenyt, [ profile] iamnikchick, and so many sans LJ. It was also quite nice to catch up with some old friends. I only wish there had been more time.

Yesterday while [ profile] jaynefury headed off to work, I had breakfast with Messers Scott Glancy and Andrew Migliore. Homland Security would no doubt be apalled at our lack of patriotism unquestioning obedience. Andrew was nice enough to give me a ride back to Tacoma.

I don't know if you've heard, but a number of Catholic bishops have come out very strongly against the new immigration "reform". The statement released by our own archbishop was essentially a call to civil disobedience. Huzzah!

Finally, a silly meme...

The Celestial Choir )

Edited to add: As usual, Francine puts in all the details I've left out.
WASHINGTON -- When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act's expanded police powers.

The bill contained several oversight provisions intended to make sure the FBI did not abuse the special terrorism-related powers to search homes and secretly seize papers ....

Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."

Source: Boston Globe

Edited to add: Oh, and we're broke, too.

When you've got an hour or so, go watch the speech Al Gore gave yesterday.


Fear drives out reason. Fear suppresses the politics of discourse and opens the door to the politics of destruction. Justice Brandeis once wrote: "Men feared witches and burnt women."

The founders of our country faced dire threats. If they failed in their endeavors, they would have been hung (sic) as traitors. The very existence of our country was at risk.

Yet, in the teeth of those dangers, they insisted on establishing the Bill of Rights.

Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars simultaneously?

It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same.

We have a duty as Americans to defend our citizens' right not only to life but also to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is therefore vital in our current circumstances that immediate steps be taken to safeguard our Constitution against the present danger posed by the intrusive overreaching on the part of the Executive Branch and the President's apparent belief that he need not live under the rule of law.

The Whole Text )

A call to action:

We have a duty as Americans to defend our citizens' right not only to life but also to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is therefore vital in our current circumstances that immediate steps be taken to safeguard our Constitution against the present danger posed by the intrusive overreaching on the part of the Executive Branch and the President's apparent belief that he need not live under the rule of law.
For those politically-minded friends who are not in favour of an imperial presidency, some resources:

This site neatly and comprehensively punctures the GOP talking points on the wiretapping scandal.

These timelines help you remember who said what when about the assorted administration scandals.

Here's a scandal I bet you've forgotten, but it turns out Congressman Duke Cunningham was wired...

A little more on the Bush-Abramoff connection.

And then there's the whole Christiane Amanpour thing... just weird.
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 30, 2005 ( Whoever seeks peace and the good of the community with a pure conscience, and keeps alive the desire for the transcendent, will be saved even if he lacks biblical faith, says Benedict XVI.

Read more... )

It's rare that I post an entire news story, but I suspect I'll be referring to this one from time to time.


22 Nov 2005 16:24
thomryng: Sunset over Byzantium (Sunset over Byzantium)
Confessions extracted under torture admissible in US courts.

...the United States Senate voted friday to suspend the writ of habeas corpus.


The provision is in one of those omnibus everything including the kitchen sink bills, and it will almost certainly be stripped out, and it only applies to foreigners who apparently have no rights now.

So, it's not gonna stick. But still.
This man is clearly in need of some professional help.

First, he publically called for the assassination of the President of Venezuela. Granted, he apologized (perhaps realizing that is a felony in the United States), he did but did not recant. Then, he claimed that Hurricane Katrina was somehow caused by legalized abortion.

And now:
I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city... If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them.
While I'm willing to grant Pascal's assertion that occasionally we catch glimpses of reality which transcend reason (more or less his definition of Christianity), it does not follow that Christians are required to be nonsensical.

I just returned from Mass, and what I heard there was vastly different.
(F)rom the greatness and the beauty of created things
their original author, by analogy, is seen.
In answer to Mr. Robertson's anti-science, I ask: can science contradict the Christian faith?

The answer must be: of course not. As Pope John Paul II said, "truth cannot contradict truth". If Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection accurately describes the evolution of life on Earth - if it's true - then it cannot be incompatible with Christianity. Is Genesis literally true? Of course not; some of the earliest Church Fathers said as much. For one thing, there are two different accounts of creation there. And just in case anybody was unclear on the idea of mythopœic cosmogenesis, the first chapter of John's Gospel should pretty much clear up the concept.

They're myths, people. They are an inspired attempt to speak Truth, not facts. Genesis tells us about God and about the people who worshipped Him, and about how to live, not about exactly how the physics of cosmogenesis works.

Science seeks to understand how the universe works. Faith seeks to understand why and what to do now.

Science may eventually unravel the secrets of time and space, but it cannot describe an Eternal God who transcends time, an omnipotent God who transcends space.

Anyway, I'm going to Shakabrah to write now. Maybe I actually will manage something.
Financial Times: Cheney cabal hijacked US foreign policy

Washington Post: A Web of Truth
Bunny Greenhouse was once the perfect bureaucrat, an insider, the top procurement official at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Then the 61-year-old Greenhouse lost her $137,000-a-year post after questioning the plump contracts awarded to Halliburton in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

Mmegi: De Beers Unveils Exploration Airship

Bloomberg: Bush Says Miers Lack of Judicial Background an Asset for Court

BBC: Warrant for DeLay arrest issued
To any sheriff or peace officer of the state of Texas, greetings, you are hereby commanded to arrest Thomas Dale DeLay and keep him safely so that you have him before the 331st Judicial District Court of Travis County

Washington Post: Rove Told Jury Libby May Have Been His Source In Leak Case

Boston Globe: Rice won't rule out armed action against Syria, Iran

So let's review: The last election was won on "values". Apparently, what the Republican Party meant by this word was conspiracy, corruption, ignorance, graft, treason, and general bullying.

Oh, and De Beers has a frickin' airship.

I'll get to the various memage replies as the day progresses, provided I don't get swamped. I'm starting with people I've actually met.

[ profile] interdictor

Absolutely gripping reading.
This journal has become the Survival of New Orleans blog. In less perilous times it was simply a blog for me to talk smack and chat with friends. Now this journal exists to share firsthand experience of the disaster and its aftermath with anyone interested.

From the latest entry:
The police are looting. This has been confirmed by several independent sources. Some of the looting might be "legitimate" in as much as that word has any meaning in this context. They have broken into ATMs and safes: confirmed. We have eyewitnesses to this. They have taken dozens of SUVs from dealerships ostensibly for official use. They have also looted gun stores and pawn shops for all the small arms, supposedly to prevent "criminals" from doing so. But who knows their true intentions. We have an inside source in the NOPD who says that command and control is in chaos. He reports that command lapses more than 24 hours between check-ins, and that most of the force are "like deer in the headlights." NOPD already had a reputation for corruption, but I am telling you now that the people we've been talking to say they are not recognizing the NOPD as a legitimate authority anymore, since cops have been seen looting in Walmarts and forcing people out of stores so they could back up SUVs and loot them. Don't shoot the messenger....
Thank you [ profile] singingbarista for the link.
Brother Roger, a Swiss Protestant theologian who became a leading ecumenical figure through the community of monks he founded in Taizé, in eastern France, in 1940, was stabbed to death by a woman during a service there yesterday, the police said.

They said the 36-year-old Romanian stood up during a religious ceremony attended by 2,500 people and stabbed Brother Roger, 90, three times in the throat. He died immediately. She was overpowered by worshipers and detained, the police said.

The Taizé Community is made up of more than 100 brothers - Catholics and Protestants - from more than 25 nations and sees itself as an effort to reconcile Christian denominations. Thousands of young Catholics and Protestants flock to the community each year, and many religious leaders have visited, including Pope John Paul II, archbishops of Canterbury and Orthodox metropolitans.

Well, crap.

A great light has been extinguished.
July 29, 2005

A planet larger than Pluto has been discovered in the outlying regions of the solar system.

The planet was discovered using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory near San Diego, Calif. The discovery was announced today by planetary scientist Dr. Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., whose research is partly funded by NASA.


Hats off to [ profile] metaphorge, who brought this to my attention, and the Greek Goddess Insomnia, who made darn sure I was available to notice. Back to writing now.

Other links:

NASA imaages

The Samuel Oschin Telescope

Michael Brown, co-discoverer



I say we call it Yuggoth, because let's face it, 2003UB313 just doesn't exactly roll off the tongue...
Somehow managed to fit a novel into the nooks and crannies of time in my life the past two days.

Reorganized chapters 9 and 10 into 9, 10, 11 and sketched out two bits that get inserted into them. Made a grim little joke with the word "ineffable". Looking foreward to another apocalypse tearing history totally loose of its moorings very soon.

I just realized that I don't care whether or not that makes sense.

Let's settle for two words, then: progress and hope.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
24,345 / 60,000

It's all been tumbling out of head since a Wednesday morning mass. Thanks be to God. I should be able to write 35,000 words in four weeks, right?

And somewhere in this mess, I put together a web site for a local political candidate. Francine did the logo, which looks far better than the content.

Yesterday's mail proved to be a stack of bills and (another) story rejection. Huzzah.

Best news headline this week so far:

Roman ruler's head found in sewer

It's about time, yes? Now if they could just get the replacement designed, paid for, and built. Oh, wait. The Bush administration cancelled that project just after they started their second war.

Priorities, people. Priorities.
In honour of 02 July being the 105th anniversary of Ferdinand Graf Zeppelin's first airship flight...

Larger Zeppelin to be developed (PDF)

Zeppelin raid veteran recalls war

New Zeppelin begins Asia marathon (this was a year ago)

Size Comparisons

Size Comparisons

"You see the animals crawling on the ground, swelling and then exploding," German conservationist Werner Smolnik told AFP news agency.... The site - which has been dubbed "the pond of death" - has been closed to the public.


Mmm. Exploding toads.
For more than a century, it has caused excitement and frustration in equal measure - a collection of Greek and Roman writings so vast it could redraw the map of classical civilisation. If only it was legible.

Now, in a breakthrough described as the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail, Oxford University scientists have employed infra-red technology to open up the hoard, known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and with it the prospect that hundreds of lost Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems will soon be revealed.

In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia.

Source: The Independent