Most recent update:2/1/2004; 11:09:58 AM

 Thursday, January 22, 2004


ante diem xi kalendas januarias

5:46:45 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: State of the Union

Seen in passing: one of Michael Knox Beran's observations in the National Review on the State of the Union Address:

Whoever in the administration wrote the sentence in which the president — citing complaints that the United States failed to "internationalize" the Iraq war — went on to recite a Homeric catalog-of-ships listing America's allies in the conflict certainly earned his paycheck this month.

5:33:47 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: Spicey Stuff

Here's some interesting little snippets from a column about various spices in the Mount Vernon News:

Bay leaf. Most recipes flavored with bay call for one leaf, which you remove before serving the meal. These leaves originate from the sweet bay or laurel tree and look something like willow leaves. Champions in ancient Greece and Rome were crowned with laurel garlands. According to Grecian mythology, the first laurel tree was a nymph named Daphne who transformed into a tree to escape the god Apollo. Ancient Romans believed that bay leaves protected against thunder and the plague. [...]

Oregano is the main flavoring of pizza, and should be crushed before use. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it not only for main dishes, but as a flavoring for wine. [...]

Rosemary is a traditional symbol of remembrance. The ancient Greeks believed that it strengthened the brain and enhanced memory.[...]

In ancient Rome and Greece as well as in the Middle Ages, sage was valued as a medicinal aid to treat colds, fevers, snakebite and epilepsy. Its name, from Latin “salia,” “to save,” refers to its supposed medical properties. [...]

5:27:17 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

REVIEW: Oresteia

I think this review from the New York Times speaks for itself (ugh):

Theater Faction has decided to start at the top, opening its first season with the "Oresteia" of Aeschylus, the only ancient Greek tragic trilogy to survive. The new company has its own twist of course: each of three men adapted one of the plays in the trilogy to modern settings without knowing the others' approach. Not surprisingly, in the resulting three-hour production, running through Feb. 1 at the American Theater of Actors, the version that succeeds best in clarity and comic subversion is the one that departs least from the original.
For "Agamemnon," the first play, Erik Nelson, one of Theater Faction's founders, cuts out all characters except Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. He replaces the chorus with passers-by caught on video along Eighth Avenue near the theater, being asked whether a wife might justly kill her husband if he had killed one of their daughters.

That question echoes philosophical conundrums relating to good effects of bad actions, which Clytemnestra chalks up on blackboards along with pretentious equations from a mathematical logic textbook. When Agamemnon enters, the victor of Troy, he rapes Clytemnestra, a particularly brutal act since she is made up to look almost like a child bride.

She enters a television contest, "Agamemnon, the Game," and by negotiating a hopscotch maze earns the right to slit his throat. [more]

5:15:50 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

AWOTV: On TV Today

4.00 p.m. |DCIVC| The Riddle of Pompei

5.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Atlantis Uncovered

7.00 p.m. |DCIVC| The Seven Wonders of the World: Simply the Best

8.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Desert Mummies of Peru

8.00 p.m. |HISTU| The Real Attila the Hun
No ruler in history represents the unbridled rage and brutality of
the barbarian as much as Attila the Hun. In the 5th century, Attila
swept through Europe, effectively extinguishing the classical Roman
Empire. And for a time, he held the destiny of all of Western Europe
firmly in his grasp. But in the end, it was Attila who unwittingly
secured the future of the civilized world and Christian Europe. After
his death, the Hun Empire began to break up, and the marauding Huns
"scattered to the winds."

9.00 p.m. |HISTC| Hannibals Great Triumph
This series examines the great conquerors of the world and provides
new insights into their most compelling military achievements. Each
episode combines graphics with recreations to analyze every facet of
their famous battles and conquests. Some of the conquerors profiled
include Genghis Khan, Hannibal, Ramses, Alexander, Cortez, the
Spartans and the Romans.

9.00 p.m. |DISCC| We Built This City: London
London is a city steeped in history, from a Roman settlement and a
medieval playground to the centre of the British empire; through
revolution, world war and other calamities, London has continued to

10.00 p.m. |HISTU| Caligula: Reign of Madness
Caligula ruled the Roman Empire fewer than four years, and was only
28 when assassinated by officers of his guard in 41 AD. His reign was
a legendary frenzy of lunacy, murder, and lust. Between executions,
he staged spectacular orgies, made love to his sister, and declared
himself a living god. Join us for a look at this devoted son,
murderer, pervert, and loving father whose anguished life was far
more bizarre than the myth that surrounds him.

11.00 p.m. |HISTU| Catacombs of Rome
Tunneled into the bowels of ancient Rome is a dank labyrinth of
beautifully decorated burial chambers and vaults where religious
outcasts--pagans, Jews, and Christians--secretly preserved forbidden
rituals for fear of persecution. Delve beneath Rome's heights to
uncover the secrets of her catacombs and eternal residents.

HISTC = History Television (Canada)

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)

DISCC = Discovery Channel (Canada)

HISTU = History Channel (US)

4:41:32 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

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