Daily Bread for 8.24.15 – 2017

Good morning, Whitewater.

Monday in town will be partly cloudy with a high of sixty-eight.  Sunrise is 6:11 and sunset 7:42, for 13h 30m 51s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 67.1% of its visible disk illuminated.


Restored version of John Martin's Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Via Wikipedia.
Restored version of John Martin’s Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Via Wikipedia.

Around this day in AD 79, Mount Vesuvius erupts, killing thousands:

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD was one of the most catastrophic and infamous volcanic eruptions in European history. Historians have learned about the eruption from the eyewitness account of Pliny the Younger, a Roman administrator and poet.[1]

Mount Vesuvius spewed a deadly cloud of volcanic gas, stones, and ash to a height of 33 kilometres (21 mi), ejecting molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy of the Hiroshima bombing.[2] Several Roman settlements were obliterated and buried underneath massive pyroclastic surges and ashfall deposits, the most well known being Pompeii and Herculaneum.[1][2]

The number of deaths is difficult to evaluate. The remains of about 1500 people have been found at Pompeii and Herculaneum, but it is not known whether they represent a small or a large part of the overall deaths….

The year of the eruption is pinned to AD 79 (that is, the corresponding year of the Roman ab urbe condita calendar era) by references in contemporary Roman writers, a number of them apart from Pliny the Younger, and has never been seriously questioned. It is determined by the well-known events of the reign of Titus. Vespasian died that year. When Titus visited Pompeii to give orders for the relief of the displaced population, he was the sole ruler. In the year after the eruption, AD 80, he faced another disaster, a great fire at Rome.

The time of year is stated once in one historical document, the first letter of Pliny the Younger to Tacitus,[25] as “nonum kal. Septembres”, which is not a regular syntactic unit and has no syntax (the grammarians say, indeclinable), but would seem to be an abbreviation of a standard date. By 79 the Julian Calendar was in use. The inscribing of dates was abbreviational and formulaic. Whether anyone knew exactly what the abbreviation stood for is questionable (compare English Mr. and Mrs.); certainly, literary representations such as Pliny’s left out or misinterpreted key elements that would be required for the understanding of a produced meaning. Pliny’s date (supposing that the date we now find in the text is the same one given by Pliny) would have been a.d. IX kal. sept., to be interpreted as “the ninth day before the Kalends of September”, which would have been eight days before September 1, or August 24 (the Romans counted September 1 as one of the nine)….

On this date in 1970, a bombing on the UW-Madison campus proves deadly:

1970 – Sterling Hall Bombing on UW-Madison Campus
On this date a car bomb exploded outside Sterling Hall, killing research scientist Richard Fassnacht. Sterling Hall was targeted for housing the Army Mathematics Research Center and was bombed in protest of the war in Vietnam. The homemade bomb (2,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate soaked in aviation fuel) was detonated by the New Year’s Gang, aka Vanguard of the Revolution, who demanded that a Milwaukee Black Panther official be released from police custody, ROTC be expelled from the UW campus, and “women’s hours” be abolished on campus. The entire New Year’s Gang fled to Canada the evening of the explosion. Four men were charged with this crime: Karleton Armstrong, David Fine, Dwight Armstrong, and Leo Burt. All but Burt were captured and served time for their participation. Leo Burt remains at large.[Source: On Wisconsin Summer 2005]

A Google a Day asks a question about art:

Many of the cave paintings at Lascaux show the animals with heads in profile, but with horns facing forward. This is an example of what convention of representation?

Related posts:

Leave a Reply