August 31, 2011

Modern artifacts

Filed under: Modern artifacts — acagle @ 7:18 pm

Recalling this post on doing actual work with an old IBM PC, I bring you mint condition blast from the past:
Desert Fox

Yes, a ‘word processor’! The manual is from 1985 and, interestingly, has this directive:

The PC-Write distribution diskette, containing a copy of this manual, may be freely copied and shared, but printed copies of this document may not be copied in any way without permission in writing from Quicksoft. Thank you.

This was produced by a company called Quicksoft that was founded by Bob Wallace, Microsoft employee #9 and so-called “Father of Shareware” who left that company to form Quicksoft; this is one of the first shareware programs, explaining the directive above. Make sure you click the link; Bob was apparently quite a guy, sadly no longer with us. I guess he liked cats: (more…)

Now this sounds cool

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 6:50 pm

Digging this design classic

IF the archaeologists are right, then Jenny Dalrymple, an 18th- century aristocrat living in one of the Lothians’ finest stately homes, missed her calling by about 160 years. Because if she had been around in the 1930s, Hollywood would have definitely snapped her up as a set designer for the extravagant, lavish musical movies so in fashion then.

But the fact that Jenny, a daughter of the family who lived in Newhailes House in Musselburgh in the 1770s, was limited to her home environment didn’t curtail her imagination. It appears that she was the driving force behind the Shell Grotto, which has lain derelict in the house’s grounds for decades and which is only now giving up its secrets.

And what archaeologists are discovering is that the grotto would have outshone a Liberace stage set with glistening walls, made of shell, coral, semi- precious stones and glass, which would have sent glimmering reflections into an overlooking pool, which was in turn fed by an artistic cascade of water.

No photos of anything that has yet been uncovered so it’s hard to tell really what it looked like.

“I remember with great clarity the last time I peed my pants.”

Filed under: Indiana Jones, Media, Pop culture — acagle @ 4:20 pm

Errr, not me. ‘Raiders’: Damon Lindelof’s love letter to a ‘perfect movie’

And here’s the thing: Although it’s easy to reduce “Raiders” to a “popcorn” movie — a piece of escapist adventure with fantastic action — very rarely is it appreciated for its pure innovative genius. This is something people seemed to be well aware of back in 1981 (it was nominated for a best picture Oscar), but over time, the legacy of “Raiders” seems to neglect just how incredibly revolutionary it was as a film. Therefore, as a debt of gratitude (and for everything I’ve stolen from it in my own work), I feel it’s only fitting to write a long overdue love letter to one of my favorite films ever. So without further ado…

For shame, you so-called ‘fan’! It’s “Top. Men.”

Otherwise, I agree, although I actually wish he’d gone into more detail. He hits Indy’s real appeal right on the head though: He’s fairly normal. No super-powers, doesn’t always win, isn’t really big and muscular or know super-duper karate fighting; just an average(ish) guy who is smart, tough, and above all persistent. I think that if any part of that movie really influenced me, it was to understand what persistence is all about. True, he seems to be able to read half a dozen dead languages (most of us can barely manage a couple related ones) but that’s not that bad of a stretch.

And, you know, it was fun. No big Message, no deep meaning, just a wicked fun movie. Movie, not ‘film’. That’s what it was.

Now you, too, can buy a site!

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 12:34 pm

Buy a slice of history at house with a past

HOUSE buyers could get more than they bargained for when they visit a property with a historic past.

The picturesque exterior of the 18th Century Bath House, in Piercebridge, near Darlington, hides an archaeologist’s dream of Roman and medieval remains.

Stepping into the backyard of the seemingly-modest, semi-detached cottage, would-be buyers are transported back in time, first to a medieval chapel and then to a Roman bath house.

Lost Civilization Round Table. . . .found?

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 12:33 pm

King Arthur’s round table may have been found by archaeologists in Scotland

The King’s Knot, a geometrical earthwork in the former royal gardens below Stirling Castle, has been shrouded in mystery for hundreds of years.

Though the Knot as it appears today dates from the 1620s, its flat-topped central mound is thought to be much older.

Writers going back more than six centuries have linked the landmark to the legend of King Arthur.

I suppose one shouldn’t dismiss it entirely. . . .myth and legend can grab a lot of real phenomena and mix them together, maybe making a round structure in the area into a Round Table. Better if they could excavate and get an actual date on it though.

UPDATE: More in Scotland.

UPDATE II: And still more! Not of the highway fare variety however.

Blogging update

Filed under: Blogging update — acagle @ 7:22 am

I was down with some form of intestinal distress yesterday. Felt like food poisoning. Woke up at 2:30 feeling awful and then . . . well, you know the drill. Could barely stand up most of the morning. Last time I had something like that was 1994 in Egypt. I’d thought I’d found a brilliant way to eat tasty food on the cheap from a street vendor, but like the second time out it got me.

I feel much better today though. I am crediting the restorative properties of cranberry juice cocktail and Alka Seltzer.

August 29, 2011

And speaking of food. . . . .

Filed under: Recipes — acagle @ 7:32 pm

1) Make kofta with mutton, not beef.

2) I made this blueberry cobbler with some blueberries the neighbors brought over. O.M.G.

I think cobbler is pie for guys dummies.

Indiana Jones update

Filed under: Indiana Jones, Media, Pop culture — acagle @ 7:00 pm

‘Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology’ Heads to Museums

hough you may have been disappointed with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a new event centered around everyone’s favorite archaeologist should deliver the goods. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Hero Complex has just highlighted a new traveling exhibition called Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology. Highlighting the fiction from the films and the real-life history that inspired them, the exhibition features props from the films like the Ark of the Covenant along with objects from ancient Peru, Egypt, and Iraq.

I’ve posted about this before. The exhibition site is here the the above article contains a link to a photo gallery with some of the artifacts and props from the movies, plus an intereview with a couple of the people involved with it (try not to be sucked in by the further stories at the bottom of that).

I errrr, admit that the Crystal Skull is kind of growing on me. Yeah, yeah, the skull looks d-u-m dum and the aliens are goofy and other stuff. . . .but when it’s been on TV both I and the ArchaeoWife will sit and watch it. I think in the end it was quite well structured and mostly captured the flavor of the two good ones. So yeah, maybe I’m a heretic.

Shouldn’t that be ‘Saginac’?

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 6:42 pm

Saginaw archeologist digs up 1893 Saginaw home

In the Cathedral District, a bag of Cheetos can make history make sense.

For Jeff Sommer, curator of archaeology at the Castle Museum of Saginaw County History, when Cheetos happen to pop up at his dig sites, they sometimes tell him stories other artifacts can’t.

Today, two bags of the snack — with buy-by dates from 1993 — were discovered in the same pile with 19th century brick, glass and nails at an archeological effort on South Jefferson and Holden that Sommer hopes paints a better portrait of the average Saginaw family, circa 1893.

Bodies, bodies everywhere?

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 2:24 pm

Medieval remains could lie under planned Shrewsbury college site

Medieval human remains could be lying underneath an area of land proposed for a new £1 million building at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, archaeologists have claimed.

A report by Shropshire Council’s Archaeology Service is recommending that a field evaluation is carried out to determine exactly what is below a piece of land at the college in Priory Road.

The area earmarked for the building is thought to have once been part of a cemetery for the Augustinian Friary, known as the Austin Friars, which established its first house in Shrewsbury in about 1254.

(Semi) Related: Defend a witch by summoning the Devil himself? (h/t Amaxen at TPW)

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