Also Seen: Working Lady Gaga into the Aeneid

Alex Beam in the Boston Globe reveals 22 things he didn’t know (besides Lady Gaga’s real name), inter alia:

15. Here is something you don’t know: There have been four new translations of Virgil’s “Aeneid’’ in the past five years. Dude is Kardashian-level hot!

via Alex Beam doesn’t know Lady Gaga’s real name, among many other things – The Boston Globe.

… okay, I’m thinking Robert Fagles, Sarah Ruden, G.B. Cobbold, Stanley Lombardo, Frederick Ahl (that’s five) … People Magazine has Kim Kardashian as number 10 on their hot list so I think adding another translation will bump Vergil up to Victoria Beckham hot (number seven on People‘s list), primarily because we know she has a Latin phrase tattooed on her wrist (de integro) …

Destination Truth?

I’m kind of glad I don’t get Syfy … here’s an excerpt  from a television column:

“Destination Truth” is best described as the lovechild between “Ghost Hunters” and Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations,” as Gates spins off witty one-liners and asides in the fast and furious pace of the latter show, and then examines paranormal lore much like the former.

Facile of tongue and feet, Gates and his team investigate unexplained phenomenon around the world that can go from underwater locations to historic buildings or geographic hot spots of alleged ghosts and alien sightings. Nothing is off limits as Gates & Co. look for spirits, leprechauns, Nandi Bears, mermaids, and even Kraken-like giant squids. (Syfy’s Beast Legends premieres September 9 too, and covers the Kraken very well)

Gates and his crew use real ghostbuster equipment similar to the TAPS gang, as they go to old Italy in “Poltergeists of Pompeii” and then Kenya for “Nandi Bear” investigations this premiere episode.

Now if you remember from history class, Pompeii, Italy had a portion of the city obliterated and buried in ash from Vesuvius, which blew in 79 A.D. The explosion from the volcano and its spewing ash and lava killed the residents, whose remains were eerily encased in an ash entombment, later excavated by archaeologists and left as a reminder of the power of mother nature.

Then, Gates goes to the Isle of Ischia where an Italian mystic tells Josh to get a “bomba”, a spherical hollowed rock filled inside with quartz crystal that can be left at the Temple of Isis as an offering of sorts, to invoke the spirits of the ancient city who died so suddenly in the wake of the Vesuvian eruption which buried the city under hundreds of feet of ash.

The city has since been exhumed and is now carefully monitored by Italian officials so that tourists do not overrun the ruins or disturbs the remains that lay there still. The gang pulls an all-nighter to find some dead Italians milling about.

via Destination Truth Josh Gates interview, Nandi bears and Vesuvius in premiere – Monsters and Critics.

… Destination Squirrel seems a better appellation …

Thoughts on Acropolis Access

… from a Vanity Fair interview with Michael Lewis (inter alia, natch):

Which is a good segue to my next question. If you could buy the Acropolis, what would you do with it?

When I went over there, it was one of my missions to figure out what the Acropolis would cost me. I thought I would get a real-estate agent to drag me around and put values on the Greek islands and the various ruins, just to see what Greece could get if they needed to sell them. I got sidetracked, because the actual story got so much more interesting than I thought it was. So I don’t know what I would have to pay for the Acropolis, but assuming I could get my hands on it, I would, of course, turn it into a business.
The problem with the Acropolis is that they don’t manage the flow of people onto it. You get up there and the only thing you can see is the back of the head of the person who is taking the picture in front of you. And you can’t hear anything but the person behind you screaming to get out of the way because you’re standing in the way of their picture. There is no enjoying the Acropolis. It’s horrible. So if I owned it, I would start by rationing access to it and charging higher prices. I would also have an affirmative-action program where Greeks get in cheaply. I would make it more of a special event to get to the top of the Acropolis and wander around. I would have up-market tour guides, people who were experts in ancient Greece and in that site. It would be a privilege to go to the Acropolis rather than a right. I’m not sure I would make it a money thing. I want people to be able to earn their way up there. If they could demonstrate a proven interest.

Like some kind of entrance exam.

Yes, an entrance exam. I would let them in for free. But people just generally aren’t willing to work, so just assume that half the people that show up would not bother to take the test.

… would certainly open up the site for Classics types …