Cyclops as minion

one-eyed minionThe cutest and most huggable cyclops I have ever seen.  The perfect companion, with a wry and sometimes cutting sense of humor.  I would have no problem bringing one home to live in my basement so he can build rockets that can go to the moon.

Cyclops in space

Years ago, my brother took me out of school to see a movie at the Chicago Theater downtown.  We rode the EL (called the elevated) downtown to see the opening of a new mind-blowing movie called:  “2001, A Space Odyssey.”  He and his friends discussed the implications of the film all the way downtown, and ‘little Rob’ listened to the arguments back and forth enthralled by the plot points that I was about to see.  It wasn’t until yesterday that a thought struck me.  Was HAL 9000 a Cyclops?  The crew of the spaceship were sailors like those in the Odyssey…and HAL locked the ‘sailors’ out of the ship (cave) instead of in it.   What’s more, WHAT’S MORE…what Cyclops do you carry on your person right now in the form of a smartphone?  Can your ‘pocket cyclops’ be turned against you?  Just finished reading the book FUTURE CRIMES by Marc Goodman.  Read this and you may not be comfortable again.  WHAT CYCLOPS DO YOU NOW  CARRY IN YOUR POCKET?

l2_v331108_958_480_1130-1 smartphone-camera FCS


Need I say more?  Sirens.

Remind you of someone?

maxresdefaultWhat British Actor, who played a key classical role in the glory days of Hollywood, does this person remind you of?   Name the classical personage, name the British Actor, name the real actor.

Is it just me?

Serious Classical Crossword Action

RomanCWMy wife and I tend to spend some serious Starbuck time doing crossword puzzles.  She has been saying that I have been looking so much more attractive lately with my knowledge on words that have classical connections. Five letter Greek word for: open space used for assemblies and markets. A G O R A

“Oh, baby.”


Need assistance

I am looking for a map of what Ancient Rome looked like during the approx. date of 50 b.c.   So many years this way or that way is acceptable.  It should have the buildings and temples laid out, and the hills of Rome.  I have done an internet search and the most are imperial time frames.    If you could push me in the right direction, I would appreciate it.  Please help.

Atlantis and Down the Rabbit Hole

Reading about Atlantis is like going down the rabbit hole. What I mean it’s like a Lewis Carrol adventure, where you find yourself dropping away into an unfamiliar land. Reading about it makes me feel like Alice.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
Atlantis1Reading Meet Me in Atlantis by Mark Adams I feel that we walked long enough, but FAILED to get somewhere…ANYWHERE…on the subject. In fairness it is a hard subject.  In fairness I did enjoy the book.  It’s the subject that I have a hard time with, NOT his writing.  I learned a few things.  However, on Atlantis I feel that too much time has passed. There has been too much speculation on where Atlantis is supposed to be located or if it even existed at all.

We follow Adams around the world talking to people who made a study of it. Lowenstein Academic Building, Fordham University; Hartfort, Connecticut; Madrid; Gibralter; Santorini, Greece, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Cape Cod; Plato’s Academy, Athens (ca. 360 BC), and Athens, New York.

What started as a place beyond the Pillars of Hercules, this place seems to travel as easily as Adams who is reporting on this subject. His interview with experts hypothesizes the location of Atlantis as being in middle of the Atlantic; near Agadir, Morocco; Malta; or somehow that destruction of Thera (Santorini) is tied into the Atlantis myth and lore.

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

Atlantis was written about by Plato. In fact it was written about in a lot of detail. Theories are expounded that Atlantis was an example used as an antagonist naval power to show the power of “Ancient Athens” as the embodiment of Plato’s ideal state (see The Republic when you get a chance). Adams on page 9 of his book relates that Plato insisted that the story is true, which makes me ponder the following quote from Aristotle.

“He who invented it also destroyed it.”

Either way, it gives me a head ache. It is impossible to prove. It is impossible to nail down. Just out of reach, and sits on the edge of reality and fantasy.
I must confess…I do find the idea attractive. I want it to be real. It makes me hopeful. That if we press just a little harder THOUGH THE LOOKING GLASS we will find the true Atlantis spread out upon the ocean floor. It has a sort of a moral: Life ends, and it begins again.


The Explorers Club

The explorers club 2I came across mention of THE EXPLORERS’ CLUB while reading Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson.   Don’t be put off by the title. It’s a great book about the culture and psyche of archaeology, and its pun-o-zonian title (made that word up, by the way) is right on the mark for a great commentary on the lives of archeologists and what drives them.

I admit the whole idea of an explorers club draws up images of Phileas Fogg and the Reform Club as he is about to start his journey to circumvent the globe in 80 days (check out Jules Verne).

For others it may be Indiana Jones. Note. Ms. Johnson in her book comments on the Indiana Jones’s effect and a generation that went into the field fully understanding they wouldn’t be dodging NAZIs but “…crouching in a fetid hole and teasing out bits of ancient garbage had nowhere near the enchantment of snatching glittering artifacts…” She makes it abundantly clear that no one deluded themselves.

However, as much as I love the allure of fiction THE EXPLORERS’S CLUB is based on fact. This Upper East Side town house hosted generations of mountain climbers, divers, astronauts, and explorers.

It has just what you expect: archives, map rooms, and trophy rooms with photographs of such people as Thor Heyerdahl, Buss Aldrin, and Ernest Shackleton. Yes, there is a bar.

It is a snapshot in time…maybe a bit dated, and certainly not very politically correct with the stuffed animals on the wall, but considering it is a snapshot to the founders and particularly Teddy Roosevelt it should not be a surprise.

Wait…wait..of course…how could I forget the Narwhale tusk over the bar.

Not many cities in the U.S. have places like this (in Europe I imagine the numbers to be higher). In Chicago, I would volunteer THE ORIENTAL MUSEUM at the University of Chicago.  The stones are cut with Art Deco images of past civilizations, motifs and nods to the past that say: “There be ‘history’ here!” The marbled interior, cool in summer and echo ridden, is a snapshot as well. You could imagine a bespectacled Indiana Jones leading a group of undergrads from room to room. Oh, and by the way…the only thing ‘stuffed’ is the mummies.

Gladiators of Rome

I suppose there had to be an animated ‘Disney like’ film eventually.  Of course, the one to train our hero up to standard is a gladiatrix.   I wonder how they handle the killing part?


This commercial comes on and I  can’t help to chuckle.  My voice suddenly does an imitation of Liam Neesen in his role as Zeus.