Archeology is always highly interesting. Here are three Celtic ceremonial shields found in rivers in England. Not meant for actual fighting, because the soft bronze would be easily penetrated, they were instead used for show and display. Burnished to a high shine, and often decorated with Mediterranean coral or red glass, they must have made an excellent show when brandished by a blue tatooed wild eyed Celtic warrior.
This one below is the Chertsey shield, and dates from somewhere between 400 and 200 BC. It was discovered in 1985 by a backhoe digging gravel from an old silted up channel of the Thames. Like the other shields, it was undoubtably thrown into the river on purpose as a sacrifice.
From the River Witham near the town of Washingborough, the Witham shield below was found in 1826. Originally the shape of a boar could be seen on the shield, but the image has faded over time. It is thought that the boar's form was created by a piece of leather attached to the outside, and although the leather itself has long rotted away, it's shadow remained. If the light is just right it can supposedly still be discerned. Can you see it in this picture? The shield below was found under the Battersea bridge on the Thames, hence it is known as the Battersea shield. The most highly decorated of the three shown here, it's designs are similar to Mandelbrott fractal designs. Comparable to the highest work of art from any age, this is a masterwork of design and form.
Pilloried as wild savages by the Romans, from whom we get most of our knowledge of the Celts, these shields and many other artifacts show that they were in fact accomplished artisans with highly developed senses of design and aesthetics.
Obama banters with hecklers for an extended period, as they successfully throw him off his message. Get used to it Captain O, because you have over two more years of this left to go. You don't get a pass any more because you are just so wonderful, clean and well spoken....oh no. Now you get to answer for all the socialism you are foisting on us against our will. You get to hear from the people whose wealth you are stealing, whose future you are mortgaging, and whose freedom you are expropriating. Listen up real good, because our voices are getting louder, as you are noticing, while yours are weakening. Time's up for you and your true believers. Welcome to the new world.
Some additional pictures of the wide open spaces out in Nevada. This is eastbound toward the Walker River.
Below is a back road going west towards the California state line. Be sure to click on the picture to maximize it so you can better see the patches of aspen up on the side of the distant mountain. We frequently could see far away gulches or mountain shoulders blazing away with the colorful display put on by these trees. It was really fine to be out in this country at this time of the year.
Below is the view south toward Walker Lake. Here the Walker River pools up for the last time into this mini inland sea. There is no outlet stream, so once the water gets here it stays, slowly sinking into the ground, or evaporating into the hot desert air. On the other side of the lake is Hawthorne, Nevada, where the army has a large ammo storage facility.
The Grumman A10 Warthog (feminine version Warthag) is the world's best close air support platform. In development, they literally began with the gatling gun in the nose, and built the plane around it.
Here is that same gun in comparison with a Volkswagen Beetle. Massive, and deadly. The gun that is, not the beetle. The Warthog is designed to absorb a massive amount of damage. It can fly without hydraulics of any kind. It's landing gear is designed to open with wind pressure only, and to lock into place safely.
This hog was racked with machine gun fire during the Iraq war, but pilot Kim Campbell was able to return to base and land it safely.
This last weekend we had our annual ¨man only¨ get together known as ¨Scratch and Spit.¨ The best part is the trek out into the wilds of Nevada and Eastern California, where we like to travel dirt roads and see little visited parts of these great states.
Below is a view of the landscape on Bodie Road down in the canyon behind the old ghost town of the same name. Notice the old ruins just behind the trucks where the reddish brush is growing, just to the right of the cowboy.
Although we saw the below sign, we ignored it immediately and fearlessly drove on. No one even got close to needing their four wheel drive, although there was a close squeeze where a large rock had fallen into the road, and one swampy spot that looked worse than it really was.
Wide open spaces are the attraction, and Nevada is the place to find it. You are looking toward Lucky Boy Pass, and beyond those mountains is Walker Lake and Hawthorne, Nevada.
Where ever there is water, there are aspens, and at this time of year they really put on a show of color among the otherwise drab green of the dominant Pinyon Pine forest.
This patch next to the road looked like they had been plugged in and electrified.
Coming off the Kingsbury grade, we got this view of the idyllic Carson Valley.
Autumn has arrived in California. Today was the first day enough rain has fallen to make the street wet since maybe April. The leaves are turning and falling faster and faster, and although this last week we had some days with temperatures in the nineties, it is most certainly getting cooler.
The pomegranates are swelling and developing a rich red color. Time to squeeze some juice.
The local pioneer cemetery is peaceful in it's patch of green amidst a sea of golden brown fields.
Something of a juxtaposition of shapes and colors. By the way, I never saw the dangerous dog.
The grapes are looking good. These are Chardonnay vines my vineyard tending neighbor gave us years ago. I eat them like normal table grapes, and they are actually pretty good, even if they are full of seeds.
The most likely explanation for this is simple blundering incompetence. These facilities are underground and are used for the storage and maintenance of Iran's most advanced missile systems. Probably during maintenance some corners were cut, or some bone headed behavior lit off the fire and subsequent explosion.
My next most likely guess is a version of the Stuxnet virus, or something similar, getting into their control system and causing this kaboom, and perhaps hindering the battle against the fire.
I can't see personal sabotage as being as likely, although it isn't impossible. One would imagine that anyone allowed into this facility would be properly vetted by the Iranians for reliability, but who really knows?
Whatever the reason, this will damage Iran's ability to make mischief among it's neighbors, and that is certainly a good thing for everyone involved.
President Obama now informs us that frightened Americans simply can't think clearly, and because of that, they just don't understand the benefits of all that Obama and the Democrats have done for them. On the contrary, I think it is someone else that can't think clearly, and it isn't the voters.
Wanna find out what the foreclosure crisis is all about, and what it might means to the economy? If so, read this, but not unless you want to experience a wave of nausea, and then a powerful urge to burn down every branch of every major bank within 50 miles of your home.
Recently in Cumbria England an amateur sleuth using a metal detector found what is only the third Roman parade helmet ever unearthed in the UK. Used in parades, and not in battle, these helmets were normally polished to a high shine for more spectacular effect. One can only imagine the sight of something like this, shining in the sun and adorned with colorful plumes. The local Celts must have been nicely impressed.
Below is what is known as the Ribchester helmet.
Finally, the Newstead helmet, found in Southern Scotland.
The time available to use the summer hammock is fast coming to a close. Trees are losing their leaves, and the evenings are much shorter and less useful. However, there are still a few weekends left where a lazy warm afternoon calls out to be experienced from a prone position outside. Gimme a cold one and a good book to read, and this is the spot.