Archive for May, 2009

One of the early discussions on this weblog revolved around Tony Robinson: thespian, comedian, writer, jolly nice chap and presenter of that urgent populist archaeology television show, ‘Time Team’.


This programme has been on air for about fifteen years now, and remains true to its original premise: that of uncovering some heretofore undiscovered Iron Age fort or Roman villa or Mediaeval bawdy house or somesuch, within a wholly artificial time frame: “As usual, we have only three days!” Hard to  imagine that some other professional would not pick up the slack in the ensuing un-televised few weeks.

timeteam_presentersJust like the civilizations it reveals, however,  the show is not immutable. Fast forward through the several series, and T Robinson’s waist grows subtly wider, his hairs fewer and shorter, and his spectacles less orbicular and owlish; the geophysics teams become less nerdish and their charts less impenetrable; and Phil Harding’s shorts get shorter as his speech turns ever more rustic.

Omnia mutantur nos et mutamur in illis (a phrase, incidentally, that could only be enhanced by Mr Harding’s rich Devonian vowels). The only thing evidently stuck in its era is Mick Aston’s irascibly loud candy-striped sweater, and the similarly-patterned cold-weather beanie-hat that was evidently fashioned from the left-over wool.

You know what else must be changing? And here’s the crux of this increasingly rambling treatise: the Earth itself.

Here’s the thing: these archaeologists always need to dig down (as opposed to up, I suppose) to disinter their finds. The older the subject the further they have to dig – layer after stratum after layer of soil and spoil. This can only mean, therefore, that the Earth has grown steadily fatter; and presumably gravity has increased. I bet the Ancient Egyptians couldn’t half jump high.

Nothing important here; parva leves capiunt animas.

And tempus fugit, so I must be off.


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Advertising goods for sale “on line” as I think the young ‘uns call it, with computers and broadbands and whatnot, leaves one open to all manner of scams and frauds from various nefarious scamps, scallywags and ne’er-do-wells.

This I have found to my, thankfully not material, chagrin.

There are a number of worms that have turned, in hilarious fashion, and swallowed their putative predators. You can find links to some of their enterprising shenanigans here: Scamming the Scammers. Pay particular attention, if you please, to the tattoo and to the carved wooden Commodore 64 keyboard (which link also takes you to the even funnier incredible shrinking Creature Comforts carving, both, it has to be said, beautifully realized).

creature comforts

Spare a thought while you chuckle, however, for those unfortunate Nigerian shoppers who really do wish to purchase your outdated laptop or your unwanted soda siphon, and are spurned as potential scammers before getting a virtual foot in your online door.

Even more seriously, though, we are all likely to ignore the West African benefactors and philanthropists who genuinely wish to enrich us with 50 million dollars of ex-presidential cash. They must be so frustrated.

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