July 3rd, 2006

Oregon Illinois

Random: Conserving Ancient Rome

Maybe alarmist, maybe not? Still, as an historian, particularly an ancient historian, and as one for whom Rome is his favourite city on the planet, it's the kind of thing to keep me concerned....

A view of the frescos inside Roman Emperor Augustus' house, in Rome, Monday, June 19, 2006. Excavations atop the Palatine in recent last decades have turned up wonders like Augustus' house, including two rooms with stunning frescoes of masked figures and pine branches, which archaeologists hope tourists will be able to see once the Palatine is safer. (AP Photo/Plinio Lepri)

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All right reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Rome's Ancient Sites Are at Eternal Peril

Jul 2, 5:20 PM (ET)


ROME (AP) - Weeds with stone-splitting roots. Relentless traffic belching pollution. Tourists trampling across the once palatial residences of emperors. Earthquakes and terrorism waiting to happen.

From the imposing stone bulk of the Colosseum to the romantic ruins of imperial luxury atop the Palatine Hill, the Eternal City's monuments, once pillaged by foreign conquerors, today face an array of perils old and new.

Rome's fragile ruins have the urgent attention of teams of monument "doctors," armed with such high-tech instruments as micro-cameras probing for weak spots.

So far, the Colosseum has made it through two millennia, its imposing stone bulk still standing after quakes, lightning strikes, pillaging, traffic tearing round it and subway cars vibrating below. And now, following the terrorist bombings in London and Madrid, the great stadium where gladiators once thrilled the masses is equipped with metal detectors.

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Random: Latest Annoying Email Con

You know, even though I'm supposed to keep it a secret, because I'm such a great guy I've just decided in all my excitement to give my winnings away! Everyone, help yourselves! ;-P

For those of us who like our cons more convincing, this one sure begs a lot of questions, starting with why it is that my Euro winnings come out to such an exciting round number in U.S. dollars. Why it is with a budget of millions that you can't afford someone who has better English grammar also crosses my mind....
Online International Euro Millones Award Winning Prize.
From The Desk of the
Director General
Euro Millones Award
Calle Albefura Nº23
C.P.28024 Madrid-Spain.

Ref No: MUTT/CC55/3000/JDSS
Batch No: BTOW/3009/TFC

We are please to announce you as one of the 5 lucky winners in the Euro Millones Lottery International Email Address draw on the 30th of May 2006. Due to the mixture of names and address the result was released on the 30th June 2006. All 5 winning addresses were randomly selected from a batch of 50,000,000 international email addresses. Your email address emerged alongside 4 others as a category 3 winner in the Euro Millones Lottery Draw.

Consequently, you have therefore been approved for a total pay out of US$550,000:00 (Five Hundred And Fifty Thousand United States Dollars Only).The following particulars are attached to your lotto payment order:

(I) Batch No: BTOW/3009/TFC
(ii) Ticket No: 734-512-222
(iii) Lucky No: 50-13-55-33-66
(iv) Ref No: MUTT/CC55/3000/JDSS
(V) Serial No: MWWY/B334/455

The Euro Millones Lottery Program internet draw is held once in a year and is so organized to encourage the use of the internet and computers worldwide. We are proud to say that over 200 Million Euros are won annually in more than 140 countries worldwide.

To claim your winning prize you are to contact the appointed agent as soon as possible for the immediate release of your winnings:

E-mail: solaceagencia@aim.com

N.B:Steps to claiming your prize;

1.Please quote your Reference number in all correspondence with the claims officer.

2. You must contact the appointed agent with your Full Names, Contact Telephone Numbers (Home, Office and Mobile Number and also Fax Number) via email to process the immediate payment of your prize.

3. Be informed that the appointed agent will be required to swear an Affidavits of Lotto Claim and also obtain Approval Legal Clearance Certificate from the Court here in Spain which is in accordance with the European Union Financial Act 2004 on payment of International Lottery Winners.

Please be aware that the PAYING BANK will Effect Payment Swiftly upon satisfactory Report, Verifications and validation provided by this fiduciary agent. For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claims is processed and your money remitted to you.

Once again congratulations!!!

Best regards,
Mrs.Mariana Luis
Euro Millones Lottery
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Loyola Faculty Portrait

Random: Mathematical Search for the Date of the Common Human Ancestor

Dan just pointed this article out to me. It's an interesting historical/mathematical sketch. I remember guesstimating a lot of these numbers the other year when I realized I could trace my Sweeney family clan loosely back through the 6th century. (That was through Niall of the Nine Hostages, who also recently got a popular science/genealogy article of this sort. I know I posted it earlier.) The migration/isolation issues are the hardest ones these fellows have to deal with, historically, and they take a decent stab at it. For all the necessarily tenuous conclusions such a statistical study must have, it's still an interesting meditation on human history in its diversity and its unity.

Roots of human family tree are shallow

By MATT CRENSON, AP National Writer Sat Jul 1, 5:17 PM ET

Whoever it was probably lived a few thousand years ago, somewhere in East Asia — Taiwan, Malaysia and Siberia all are likely locations. He — or she — did nothing more remarkable than be born, live, have children and die.

Yet this was the ancestor of every person now living on Earth — the last person in history whose family tree branches out to touch all 6.5 billion people on the planet today.

That means everybody on Earth descends from somebody who was around as recently as the reign of Tutankhamen, maybe even during the Golden Age of ancient Greece. There's even a chance that our last shared ancestor lived at the time of Christ.

"It's a mathematical certainty that that person existed," said Steve Olson, whose 2002 book "Mapping Human History" traces the history of the species since its origins in Africa more than 100,000 years ago.

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