Saturday, July 29, 2006

Break From Marking

And, in lieu of doing real work, let's add a link! Do go check out Scout's page.

Friday, July 28, 2006


To win your forgiveness for the relative lack of activity around here recently (I'm not dead, just busy!), I give you this:

Cute, no?

Regular posting again soon (possibly even starting this weekend).

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Ian Robinson Hangs A Slider Right Over The Plate

There are days when blogging is difficult. Whoever the muse of blogging is, she's just not around all the time. And then, there are times when it gets served up to you on a plate. Today is one of those times.

No pride in harbouring cowards from U.S.

Ok, an unpromising beginning. This looks like another snorefest about personal responsibility, making choices and living with the results, and other things that conservatives like to bleat about but which are, in fact, anathema to them. But wait...

Aw, it must have been such a beautiful moment.

There was a conference of Vietnam-era draft dodgers and deserters in B.C. last weekend, coming together after all these years to celebrate their deep-seated courage in avoiding service in the Vietnam war by coming to Canada.

Well, that's a switch. Seems Ian is still pissed off that we took in draft dodgers 40 years ago. One wonders vaguely why, given that even the architects of the Vietnam war have admitted that it was, pretty much, a clusterfuck.

They unveiled a statue showing a Canadian welcoming two fleeing Americans with open arms.

The sculpture was originally to have found a home in a municipal setting, but the national uproar it touched off sees it now in a private gallery in Nelson.

That would be this statue:

I think the fuss would have been more muted had the statue perhaps better reflected the reality of those times.

What, you mean we didn't actually take in draft dodgers and their families? Now Ian's confusing me.

Shoulda been a chicken hiding behind a beaver.

Hey look, snark!

Yep. A beautiful moment. That is if you were born without the capacity to feel shame.

Actually, I think most people are born without the capacity to feel shame, and that it develops in early childhood. But we won't get into that, cause we're coming to the money shot here. This is where Ian writes something that is so dumb, so inane, and so just plain wrong that all one can do is sit and admire its stupiditude:

Let's get something clear here.

Vietnam was a moral war.

I see.

Ian Robinson's morality in action.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

God Will Pencil You In For... Shall We Say Friday?

Random dumbness from last week:

Grandstand ritual offering alarms pastor
'God's not going to like this': reverend
Joe Woodard, Calgary Herald
Published: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 Article tools

Local minister Gord Smith worries the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Board may have called the wrath of God down upon the city, since it has endorsed pagan spirit worship.

Sunday night at the Grandstand Show, Stampede president Steve Allan invited onstage three village chieftains from Ghana to summon the spirits of their ancestors, Smith said.

Ok, I can see about how this might seem odd fare for the Calgary Stamped, but I'm stumped on the whole, "inviting the wrath of God" thing. If you're bored by the Ghanaian spirit-callers, go have a beer and watch the chuckwagons or something. Oh wait, explanation ensues:

"They don't know what they're playing with when they consent to spirit worship," said Smith.

"I'm calling all the prayer intercessors I know, to start praying for the city. God's not going to like this."

And, when is God not going to like this? When he checks his messages or something? Isn't God, like, omniscient? Doesn't he realize that the Calgary Stampede needs a little smitin'? Hmmm, maybe He's busy right now.

Much-Delayed Somewhat-Shortened Friday Archaeology Blogging

So, what have I been up to lately? Well, this, in a nutshell...

The site we're working on (and by "we" I mean the Universities of Alberta and Perugia) is a large Roman villa located in southeastern Tuscany near the border with Umbria. The nearest town of any note is Cortona, familiar to anyone who has seen Under The Tuscan Sun.

The villa itself was likely constructed in the 2nd century B.C., probably by a local, romanized, Etruscan aristocrat. This we know because there are a number of minor tweaks in the apparently Roman floor plan which suggest Etruscan sensibilities, particularly concerning privacy. Eventually, the villa ended up in the hands of the imperial family, probably during the reign of Augustus, where it remained for about 100 years. Following that, it passed through a couple of owners, one of whom actually turned it into a ceramics factory for awhile. You can read more about it, and see nifty pictures, here.

So what's it like? Well, long days and strange hours mostly. Also, the joys of being crammed into a 3-bedroom dig residence with 30 other people, or more. Add in a bit of uncooperative weather, and the never-ending stream of Indiana Jones jokes, and archaeology can be a bit of a hard slog some days.

However, I would have to say that this was an excellent dig season. We answered a couple of questions about the site, raised a whole bunch more, had just about everybody on the team getting along, and ate well (archaeological teams dig the same way armies march: on their stomachs). Most importantly, nobody got hurt. We'll be back at it next year.
Sorry, got distracted (Ooooh, pretty shiny!!). Back now.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Just a quick note to the effect that Friday Archaeology Blogging will be perpetrated tomorrow!


As of a few minutes ago, if you fire "link byfield moron" into, Oi! Thump! comes up first! I just want to say what a great honour this is, and I'd like to thank my hairdresser, and God, and my publicist etc. etc.