I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Monday, April 8, 2024

Watching the watchers

So, you may have heard there was an eclipse today.

It was only a partial eclipse here in New York, and although I would love to see another total eclipse, I just couldn't handle traveling in the middle of the semester. And I consoled myself with the lousy weather forecasts, thinking I might scramble to get somewhere in the path of totality and not be able to see anything. (I do have to admit that when I saw there were actually going to be clear skies in Vermont today I was tempted to jump in the car and drive to Burlington.)

Instead I enjoyed walking around the neighborhood and watching the people watching the eclipse on what turned out to be a mostly clear and quite lovely day. I didn't have glasses, but someone let me borrow theirs for a couple of minutes, so I even saw the eclipse.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Return to Petra

I don't have the time or energy to start on Ephesus, so here are a few pictures from the Siq at Petra instead.

I took so many pictures the first time I was there I didn't think I could possibly have found any more interesting stone formations, but I was wrong.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Astronomy Tuesday

I haven't posted one of these in a while, but I couldn't resist this image.

Sagittarius A (usually written as Sgr A*) is the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Obviously you can't just take a picture of a black hole; you can only observe the effects it has on everything around it. The gases spinning around and falling into black holes are called the accretion disk; this image, taken in polarized light, show the structures and strength of the magnetic fields in the accretion disk. Our universe is so endlessly cool.

Credit: EHT Collaboration

The Minotaur cafe

Which is next door to Labyrinth Souvenirs.

Say what?

That statue of Marcus Aurelius is a fine example of good Roman art; however, this depiction of Hades and Persephone just made me laugh. Who knew that the three heads of the fearsome Cerberus were all the size of chihuahuas?

Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them

By 36 BC Knossos was a Roman colony. I love this bust of Marcus Aurelius in the museum.

Minoan culture

Sarcophagi in the museum.

The pyramids at Giza are only a few hundred years older than Knossos, and the Minoans are sometimes described as the first civilization in Europe. But we don't actually know very much about them. They used two forms of writing, a kind of hieroglyphics and later, Linear A, that we can't read. We don't even know what they called themselves. Referring to them as the Minoans—derived from the myth of King Minos—was popularized by Arthur Evans.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Random things I saw at Knossos

The Grand Staircase

This staircase has four levels, which I think is pretty impressive for a something built almost four thousand years ago.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Cats in Greece

Of course there was a cat. There were always cats.


These giant storage containers are some of the few authentic relics left in place on the site. Although everyone still refers to it as a palace, this was less a royal residence and more of a religious and administrative center. With a LOT of storage.

Update: I just noticed that this is entry number 5000 in this blog. Wow. I keep thinking I'm going to have to give it up, but whatever happens this is kind of an accomplishment.

The original

The original relief fresco of the bull from the North Gate is in the museum.

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