Idaho Insults


When you deface a memorial to a murdered 15-year-old, you have to be pretty rank.


Especially when the 15-year-old is the murdered Anne Frank.


Some feral anti-Semites and racists took out their permanent markers and showed their Trump side to the citizens of Boise when they defaced the marble at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, a now-sacred site for contemplation and mourning. Not only will it cost a fortune to replace the marble, but they have spit on the memory of every person murdered due to hate.


Bad enough that we have Russian cameras in the Oval Office. We have white supremacists, bigots, and racists supporting the man who put them there. Even when Trump resigns or is impeached, these haters aren’t going anywhere. Not even the dank, dismal caves they lurk in.

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The Frescoes of the Casa dell’Efebo


A visit to Pompeii should be on everyone’s bucket list. It is absolutely eerie walking down the paving stones, looking at the ruts made by the chariots and carts, seeing the blackened loaves of ossified bread the baker had just taken out of the oven and the plaster casts of the long-dead victims, their faces frozen in gasping terror.


It is also absolutely marvelous to see how well-preserved the art still is. Pompeii was like the Hamptons of Rome, an escape for the wealthy citizens who wanted to be near the sea and away from the swampy and muggy Roman weather. The walls of the large villas are covered in frescoes depicting gods and goddesses; the frescoes in the brothel are imaginatively X-rated.


The American Journal of Archeology has just published a study of the Nilotic scenes found in the garden of the Casa dell’Efebo, and they are stunning.


Evidently the Romans were as interested in Egyptian culture as we still are.



Angels on the Roof


I’m not a churchgoer. I’m not a Christian. But you don’t have to believe to marvel when you walk into a Medieval cathedral. They are sacred places. They inspired awe and humility hundreds of years ago–and they still do.


I had no idea there were carved wooden angels way up on high in many of the surviving Medieval churches in Brain, because the lighting is usually dim and they’re out of your sightline. So I loved reading this piece with more information about the surviving angels:


Especially as we could all use a little celestial aid right now.

Legible Latin


Hadrian’s Wall didn’t exactly keep the barbarians at bay, did it? I am in such a state over the killers in the House of Representatives and the further demise of common decency in this country that I can barely concentrate on the new deadlines looming, so I’m always happy to be diverted by some wonderfully arcane snippets about real scholars, real research, real intelligence, and real decency.


Enter Roger Tomlin, a world expert at deciphering nearly incomprehensible Latin ephemera somehow still preserved after thousands of years–and as sloppily written then as a lazy student’s writing would be now.

Bloomberg writing tablet 30 WEB (c) MOLA.jpg

If you love words, and seeing how a genius unravels ancient mysteries of script, do yourself a favor and read this piece:


I hope it makes you feel better. Especially if you have any preexisting conditions.

To All Those Murdered in Guernica, RIP


The center of the Basque community in northern Spain was the town of Guernica. On April 26, 1937, the town was carpet-bombed to shreds by German and Italian fighters, aided and abetted by the Fascist filth named General Franco.


Franco had his own citizens bombed solely for political gain. There was nothing military in Guernica. There were just innocent victims.


Like in Aleppo. Eighty years later.

Getting Boggy With It


There’s a fascinating article in the May issue of Smithsonian magazine about bog bodies–ancient humans so well-preserved you can still see the expressions on their faces as they left this world for the next. The serenity on this man’s face is astonishing.

Little is know about how they lived, as their DNA is nearly impossible to extract due to the acids that preserved their skin, but researchers can use increasingly sophisticated technology to ferret out what they can. No one knows if Tollund Man, he of the peaceful countenance, was killed in a ritual sacrifice, or what caused his death.

Will anyone care about us, two or three thousand years from now?

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