Do you know what this is?



I wouldn’t, if I hadn’t read the title on the page where I got it. The number of people who can identify it is infinitesimal; the number who can decode it even fewer. If it was a rock in the street you’d give it a kick. It almost looks like the process of erosion The process of discovering what it said - I can’t even imagine. It had to be found, of course, by someone who knew what it was. The marks had to be deciphered. Then you can imagine the feeling the translator got when he figured out the text. So small; surely the original was much greater. Yet this chunk contained a reference to one of the most important events of its time, one that would affect the lives of millions, the boundaries of nations, the course of human history itself.

This is why I wonder if we haven’t been contacted by aliens already. It’s not that we don’t know where to look; we don’t even know what to look for.

Here’s what it is: A Babylonian astronomical diary recording the death of Alexander the Great.

I was watching a DECISIVE BATTLES! show tonight - that 2000-era History channel series where you see ancient battles with "video game technology." They're on YouTube - not embeddable, but you might get a taste here. Crude as the graphics seem now, they do a fine job of giving you an idea how the battles played out.

Bottom line: lots of stabbing.


As I mentioned a while ago, I got scolded for taking photos in Southdale. They're renovating the Mall, and the result is quite - what's the word everyone uses when reaching for a basic superlative? Stunning. That's right: people react to the new design as though they have been struck in the head, hard.


It's very 50s. You can't quite tell from that shot, but the wood and palette is gorgeous. Not severe but restrained. Anyway, there were big boards showing us what the design would look like when finished. It was populated with people that came with the architectural design program, or perhaps were just clipped out of other pictures. The result was quite peculiar.

Part of the picture - it was big.



What's odd? Well, here are two women walking along, one of them ignoring her friend while talking on the phone:



Zoom out a bit for context: They're sinking! The floors have been poured, but haven't set!



Who is the woman talking to? Why, her twin sister.



Or maybe her triplet; she's also on the ground level. Two sets of triplets out for a shopping trip, it seems:



And they're between the escalators.



Say - that fellow in the blue shirt. He was in the other picture above. Leading the same child.



He's also on the second level on the other side of the mall:



Then someone uses the Oil Paint effect and pulls him out so he's fatter - but we're not fooled!



On the second floor again:



What of the gals?



They're outta here.

Sorry: no updates today. Really! I've run out of stuff.

Nah. Just haven't had the time to put together a new project for Wednesday - and you'll see why . . . next week. See you around. For example, here - this appears to be the permanent link for the Strib noontime blog. Make a note of it!







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