The Church of San Vitale, the masterpiece of Byzantine art in Ravenna. Construction began in 526 by Bishop Ecclesius under the Ostrogothic queen Amalasuntha (d. 535) and was consecrated in 547 during the reign of the emperor Justinian. This octagonal church, built of marble and capped by a lofty terra-cotta dome, is one of the most important surviving examples of Byzantine architecture and mosaic work.
“A three second exposure meant that subjects had to stand very still to avoid being blurred, and holding a smile for that period was tricky. As a result, we have a tendency to see our Victorian ancestors as even more formal and stern than they might have been.”
I’ve reblogged this before and I will reblog it again.
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper would have been 107 today, and is being honored with a great Google Doodle. It’s quite literally impossible for us to imagine, as we sit here reading about her on the internet, but people used to use things like paper and pencils and chalk and slide rules to solve (and often not solve) complicated problems. Grace Hopper quite simply helped usher in the modern age, her impact, I think, is no less than the steam engine or the cotton gin.
Some awesome stuff she did: Grace Hopper developed first compiler, allowing computer calculations to move beyond simple arithmetic and into more complex problems. She also developed first standardized computer language, COBOL, which laid the groundwork for all the languages we use today.
One day she found a dead moth disrupting one of the electronic relays in the Mark 1 computer, and upon removing it (and fixing the computer), the term “debugging" was born. Here’s her daily log from that day, with the offending moth taped to the page:
Beyond that, she was a charming scientific communicator, and she possessed a marvelous ability to make people, and mind you this was in a time when almost no one owned their own computer, truly appreciate both the importance and the complexity of computing technology.
She famously carried around a bundle of nanoseconds in her purse for illustrative purposes. Here she is charming the socks off of David Letterman, and giving him a nanosecond of his very own (don’t miss the picosecond joke, either) :
The bones of a young woman who died of syphilis more than 500 years ago, the reassembled jaw of a man whose corpse was sold to surgeons at the London hospital in the 19th century and the contorted bone of an 18th-century man who lived for many years after he was shot through the leg, are among…
This is a tragic, but valuable resource. I’m sure any of the deceased would be happy to know that their samples may help people today with the same medical condition. Too many of the old scourges are returning to a population that may never have seen the condition(s) before.
By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist (image) On Monday, I wrote about how archaeologists define culture areas, which represent geographic zones in which people were living in generally similar ways and across which people were connected through shared history and practices. Before we look at the three main culture areas of the Southwest, I should say a bit about the earliest lifeways in the region. (image)Mammoths weren’t all cute and poofy, as in the movie “Ice Age.” From pbs.org. The oldest archaeological remains documented in this region date to the end………. Read More