Friday, October 11, 2002

Scientists Find Earliest Roman London Plaque

In AD 60, barely 10 years after the foundation of London, Boudica, queen of the Iceni in Norfolk, rose in revolt. Sweeping south, she sacked and burnt the leading towns of Roman Britain, seeking to exterminate the civilisation she detested. Colchester and St Albans went up in flames, and so too did London, demonstrating that already by this time, London had become one of the major towns in the country. Archaeologists have long recognised the burnt layer that marks her destruction. Hitherto however it has been assumed that her destruction only extended to the city of London itself, on the north side of the river. Now the latest evidence shows that she penetrated to the south of the river, to Southwark.

One of the most spectacular archaeological photos of all time- the new booking hall of the underground station at London Bridge, in Southwark, to the south of the River Thames. Above is the modern road, with the traffic roaring overhead, and the sewage pipes and service channels suspended from the ceiling. And at the bottom, the archaeologists are excavating the Roman road, the predecessor to the modern road above.

Map of Roman London with modern London laid over (though the site of the recent find is S of the Thames in Southwark).

A similar, though cruder map which shows Southwark and also shows that the Thames was wider 2000 years ago and there were islands.

Try as I might, I can't really find the site of this dig. The article mentions Watling and Stane Streets, but I don't know if they're contemporary, and if they are, I can't find them. I assume we're talking the vicinity of London Bridge, but that's pretty obvious.
Nobel Peace Prize

Jimmy Carter has won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2002. (again: 1, 2, 3)
"When I was at the White House I was a fairly young man and I realised I would have maybe 25 more years of active life," Mr Carter said. He said that he decided to "capitalise on the influence I had as the former president of the greatest nation of the world".

I was born in Carter's next to last year in the White House, so I know very little about his presidential term. However, he seems to have done more in his post-term career than the other living past presidents combined. I congratulate him.

Past winners here.

Update: The NYTimes has Carter's acceptance speech. (via Anil Dash)

Thursday, October 10, 2002


It slices, it dices, it searches, it finds, it does it all! And now, it also provides indispensible in one writer's battle against Internet plagiarism.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

After reading today about the discovery of Quaoar and Sean's comment about the scale of the distances in the Solar System, I remembered something that's fairly close to my new home: the Sagan Planet Walk in Ithaca, NY. This is a scale representation of the Solar System, with the marker pictured above demarking the Sun, and the marker demarking Pluto 1.2 kilometers away. Ithaca, where astronomer (and one of my personal heroes) Carl Sagan lived and taught, is only about an hour away from my new home in Syracuse.


It's the moment we've all been waiting for. It's called 'Laputa' (more with the Gulliver obsession, and I like it, but isn't it also a homonym for a Spanish insult regarding female anatomy?)

Glad you made the plunge, John!

(One more to go *looks at Jason* :-)
Frequently Asked Questions About Quaoar

Quaoar vs. the Solar System

thanks to Dave Hodges for the link

Monday, October 07, 2002

A sad day, indeed

Arts and Letters Daily closes its doors.

Since the filing, Arts & Letters Daily has been kept afloat by the goodwill of its editors, Tran Huu Dung and Denis Dutton, and it is now time for them to move on. They will continue to supply content on other similar sites with which they are associated: SciTech Daily Review; Denis Dutton’s Philosophy & Literature site; Business Daily Review. Human Nature Review has fine science reporting, Arts Journal is our favorite for arts news, and Google News is invaluable for newspapers and magazines.

I visited the ALDaily website several times a week and found quite a few interesting tidbits there very often. However, my favorite aspect of the site was the link list in their sidebar. A&L's Dennis Dutton also runs Philosophy and Literature which has an even more impressive list of links. Also recommended by the MeFi crowd was MobyLives.