Ruins to be flooded

NPR : Dam Project Threatens Roman Ruins in Turkey
A Dam project in Turkey, although behind, threatens to submerge the ruins of the Roman city of Allianoi forever. Unlike the removal of lots of buildings and stuff when the Aswan Dam flooded areas in Egypt, here, the Archaeologists aren’t so fortunate or funded.
Thus, they are racing to finish excavating and getting “snapshots” of what the ancient town looked like before it disappears beneath the water, forever.
It’s a shame, really, because what we know already suggests that this was a hub of commerce, trade and activity in the Eastern Roman Empire.

Space Opera

In my entry about Brin’s weblog, Brad asks what my choice for second best Space Opera, if I admit that, as I did in that entry, that A Deepness in the Sky by Vinge is the best one I’ve ever read.
I’ll do better and give a top five. Brin doesn’t make the top five, although if I extended it to ten, he might get in there. As Ginger pointed out in the comments to the entry cited above, his ham handed advocacy of his politics can mar his storytelling ability in the exact same way that, say, L. Neil Smith does on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Continue reading Space Opera

Milky Way–A Barred Spiral?

Making Light: Everything you know is wrong
Patrick provides a link to a space.com story with an interesting assertion. Recent evidence suggests that the Milky Way is not a classic spiral galaxy a la M 31, Andromeda. Instead, its something even cooler, a barred spiral galaxy.
Bars in spiral galaxies are fairly common, but until this, it was thought the Milky Way was just an ordinary one, like Andromeda is.
Jim Knodle in comments suggests this might be evidence for a supermassive black hole in the Galactic Center. It certainly sounds plausible to me.

David Brin has a Weblog

Brad DeLong’s Semi-Daily Journal: David Brin Has a Weblog
Via Brad De Long, we learn that David Brin has a timesink of his own, that is to say, a Blog.
I disagree with Brad’s assertion that Brin has written the second best space opera ever written–although his choice for best (as revealed in the comments to the entry), a Deepness in the Sky is a pretty strong contender for number one.
Don’t play hide and pounce with arachnids!