Thursday, February 24, 2005

Riddle solved, probably

So, we have an answer to the what was this stone, before it became a stone, question... Christof Kuhn gives us the answer over in usenet: "one of the strangest bivalves that ever existed" - it seems this cheeky chappy was a cretaceous Hippurites!!


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Piraeus panorama

On Sunday I went for a coffee with Kostas and Olympia and some family, to Profitis Ilias - the prophet Elijah - on top of the Kastelli hill down at the Piraeus.

Place has a stunning view down the coast facing south, but also across to the city, with the parthenon clearly visible, amongst other landmarks. Not really visible in the version attached, but you get the idea. Got to go back with K - the viennese chocolate was really rathergood.

The pic above was put together using a funky bit of demoware called autostitch which belongs to some sort of Canadian educational establishment - and it sure is good at sticking stuff together, oh yes. The inputs were crappy little nokia phone camera images. There'll be more autostitched images coming here soon...


Monday, February 21, 2005


The following site has been brought up on the Aegeanet mailing list recently. It seems to be being presented with a straight face. How anyone could have learned so much as to present his parody so convincingly as real scholarship without any tongue in cheek elements is really quite amazing.

Have a look for yourselves and let me know - is he taking the piss? If not, where did he leave the rails? Can we expect more archaeological eras to be presented in the same way?

Click here to broaden your mind...

Follow the link and scroll down if you get bored reading, you’ll know when to stop scrolling.


Unidentified rock - can anyone help??

This cheeky chappie was given to me by a great uncle about ten years ago, with another specimen of the same size and shape, which I have not photographed. The provenance is most probably from the former Soviet Union or Iran - great aunt was a diplomat based in both Moscow and Teheran at some point in the '70s and '80s. They went to other places as well, but these are the most probable countries of origin for the rock.

It's heavy rock, and displays ribbing here and there and what seem to be growth rings, on close inspection. I figure it is some sort of coral, but I know very little about coral and the like.

I’d be grateful for any hints as to what this is and how long ago it used to live. If there is something I should do to aid recognition, please someone let me know.

Here is the front face:

Here is the back side (showing the vertical ribs):

This is it side-on, standing up (some of the concentric rings are visible):

OK, here you can see the vertical ribbing more:

And here again the broader ribbing - seems to be two sizes of little ribs, those about 10-15mm wide and those about 1-2 mm wide.

This is the top (or bottom) end showing, though not very clearly, concentric internal structure:

Any help gratefully received...


Friday, February 11, 2005


330 euros damage done. Shelves, bookcases and small items.... not even half the full shopping list, but what the hell.

Had a number of comedy moments carrying everything into the car and up to the house from the car, but this sort of thing cannot be helped. Got a lot of work to do at the weekend now.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

nesting instinct

So, seeing as I moved house in January, it's about time I got the place sorted out and tidied up. Nesting instinct, and what better nesting instinct than the IKEA nesting instinct?

I forgot to put a little flashing sign saying, "cue: raucous laughter" there where it says January above, because I moved house in January 2004, you see, not 2005. ha bloody ha. So many people giving me a hard time about that it's not so fun. At least K isn't being too tough on me, making her the one who more than others deserves to have the nest.

Nesting instinct, and Ikea, and the fiat cinquecento of doom, then. Didn't tell you about the comedy return from Paloumba two weeks ago... ridiculous short-circuiting meant that if I wanted any of the following to work: headlights, central locking, ventilator fan, I had to have the full beam lights on,but not switched on, no, no, I had to have the little whaddayacallit stick thing pressed towards me, otherwise notihing at all worked. Very good fun trying to turn without taking your hand off the full beam switch, or else risk losing the only source of light you have on the road.

Fixed that by yanking the wires around in the rain in a fit of complete annoyance.

Now we will break all records by trying to jam into the car more Ikea DIY flat furniture than ever before. My current best is two full length BILLY bookcases (60cm variety) plus assorted sundries.

The current plan has me getting three of the buggers in there, plus a few LACK shelves and bookcases and a bunch of GORM shelving too.

Utter chaos. It so totally won't work, it's gotta.

Meanwhile in other news, I have been wondering just how much coffee I need to do any better than bouncing bobcat on the BBC's reaction time test. I have managed the rocketing rabbit only twice.

Hmm. That'a all for now, then. More later.