Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 207

On Politics
Gov. Christie (R-NJ) is doing his best to dodge the Bridgegate bullets. Although I’m currently giving him the benefit of the doubt, he is directly responsible for setting the tone for his office … and that is one of the things bothering me about this situation.

Interesting how numerous Republicans are defending Gov. Christie by using Benghazi, which actually has nothing to do with the issue.

Here’s an interesting article about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting Congressional staff.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
English professor suddenly realizes student will believe literally anything she says
Pilot tells passengers he’s about to try something
Shy man narrowly evades free sample
Peewee hockey player wishes dad cared enough to fight at games
Vacationing man excited to try fast food franchise not found in hometown
Unemployed, miserable man still remembers teacher who made him fall in love with writing

Interesting Reads
Some economic myths
Pompeii and religion
For pet lovers: one for cat lovers, and one for dog lovers
The acquisition of California
Creating motion by clicking fast
Secret bid and the Hopi artifacts
The Onion’s tips for getting pregnant

On Potpourri
Short OITS and I haven’t been making my normal rounds – can you tell that my efforts are elsewhere at the moment?

Given the current craziness in at this end, I figure it’s a week-to-week situation. Therefore, I probably won’t post each day next week.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Fetish Day, Hot Buttered Rum Day, Hot Heads Chili Day, Cable Car Day, Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution Day
  • (Sat) Winnie the Pooh Day, Bald Eagle Appreciation Weekend, Thesaurus Day, Peking Duck Day
  • (Sun) Popcorn Day, Tin Can Day, Whisper “I Love You” Day, Brew a Potion Day

Let’s use an instrumental hit from 1972 to send everyone into the weekend, which also is very fitting for a Sunday celebration.  Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Pompeii: The Visit

The A Day in Pompeii exhibit stimulated many personal reflections. Even through the recent post, the wide variety of comments from readers added to my experience.

Although all of us recall our early thoughts of Pompeii during are elementary school years, some readers shared their experience of visiting the historic city. For us, the year was 2007. We were aboard Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas as it docked in Naples, the last stop before disembarking from our wonderful 12-day cruise of Italy and Croatia.

The day started as any other cruise day by me wondering about the view outside the cabin – and there was Mt. Vesuvius standing tall and quiet. We had a full day planned as we took a tour that included a brief stop in Sorrento,  driving the Amalfi Coast (simply stunning), and a wonderful lunch in the seaside resort town of Maiori before the final stop in Pompeii.

The day was full of sunshine and great views, yet as we approached Pompeii, a light drizzle came from the gray cloud cover now hovering over us. Given that we had already seen much on this day, our time in Pompeii would be limited to about 2 hours; yet, in that short time, we would capture the essence of the culture and the surreal nature among the ruins as Vesuvius watched our visit. Below are a few of our pictures.

Across the Forum to Vesuvius


Walking Down “Main Street”


One of Many Frescos


Courtyard for a Wealthy Homeowner


Directing the Way to the Bordello


Some Ruins


I also remember looking up toward Vesuvius wondering homes are up there. Since 79 A.D., Vesuvius has erupted at least 28 times, including three in the 1900s with the last being 1944. I took this at the exhibit. I wonder when the next eruption will happen. Will we ever learn?

PS (and a post-publish addition)

Here is a 4-5 minute tour of Pompeii by Rick Steves. Enjoy.

On Pompeii: The Exhibit

We recently attended the travelling exhibit A Day in Pompeii. Cookware, jewelry, armor, frescos, utensils, statues, mosaics, religious figurines, and more told visitors about life in this modern city of over 20,000. Our short visit to Pompeii (2007) helped us appreciate the exhibit even more. And to think that Pompeii was covered for 17 centuries!

Figuring the museum would prohibit photography, I did not take a camera. Once there, I was people taking pictures, but it was not until I was more than halfway through that I recall having the camera on my phone in my pocket.

The exhibit is at the Cincinnati Museum Center through August 12. (Image from the Cincinnati Museum Center)


Karl Briullov’s Last Day of Pompeii (not on display) (Image from Wikipedia)




Statues of garden statues of Hermes in front of outdoor frescos


Floor Mosaic


Replicas of Body Casts


Animations: Below are two segments of a computer animation of that last day. Although the full version is 3-4 minutes long, these two segments will stimulate your thought. Be patient with the second because the end is profound.