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Yet another awesome science-y website (the likes of which are the webpage/magazine equivalent to Discovery Channel Documentaries) called 'How Stuff Works'. Reminds me of the old 'The Way Things Work' series that had that mammoth mascott. Anyone? No? Well, I wanted one as a pet until someone crushed my dreams and told me they were an extinct species. Found this very useful page with some background info for a new short story I'm scribbling away. This one will at least make sure I get the basics right, too.

I caught a fascinating documentary about Cleopatra on the History Channel. I know, I know, sounds like a load of old hat - they only ever seem to do Romans and Egyptians (and always Cleopatra), and never the really interesting topics - but it was an investigation into the historical accounts of her death and a rethink of just how true they are. First of all they eliminated the possibility of suicide by snakebite or hemlock (the former having elements of traditional Isis based mythologies and thus probably a popular legend at the time, transmitted to and mistakenly interepreted by us as history. The latter was ruled out due to timing. Hmelock would take too long for her to be discovered dead once the guards broke into the apartments after Octavian had read the note). Using personality profiling (or at least, as much as you can with an historical firgure that's been dead 2000 years...) they actually ruled out suicide altogether and came to the conclusion that a murder theory with Octavian as the chief suspect wouldn't be completely erroneous, especially considering that she would have been more use to him dead than alive - the idea he'd want to keep her for a triumphal march could be propaganda or a possibility he had considered before deciding to finally bump her off.

Have started re reading Pharyngula's blog and am mostly enjoying it. It's funny how one's tastes change, though. I loved it when I was younger, but it seems I've become a lot more mainstream since then. Or maybe just more discerning. It's hard to tell sometimes.


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