ThysdrusRoman Coliseum of El-Jem

Panem et Circensis

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Location: Tunis, Tunisia, Tunisia

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Chiffre Du Jour

En Tunisie, 53% de la population sont des fumeurs...

(Via Babnet)

Ancient Female Skeleton Found In Rome

ROME (AP) - Archaeologists said Tuesday they have dug up a woman skeleton dating to the 10th century B.C. in an ancient necropolis in the heart of Rome.
Alessandro Delfino, another archaeologist who took part in the excavations, said Monday's discovery highlighted a "social change" in the funerary habits of the people who dwelled in the area, from incinerating to burying the dead.
(Via Drudge)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Photorealism: The Case Of Robert Bechtle

I came across this painter while doing some googling and I was really impressed by this genre of painting. Here are some of his works.

Woman Fears Having " Anti-Christ" Baby

Strangely enough, a woman in England due to give birth on June 6 is fighting with her hospital to induce her sooner to avoid delivering on the demonic date of 6/6/6.

(Via Drudge)

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Omen: The Remake

The Omen, is a remake of the 1976 horror classic and its debut is set for June 6, 2006, or 06/06/06, which the studio conveniently has shortened to 666 in the film's logo.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Lyrics Of The Day

A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orcahrd white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

Robert Frost

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Which Came First, The Chicken Or The Egg?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? According to a scientist, a philosopher and a chicken farmer, it was the egg, British newspapers reported. But who laid the egg??

(Via Sploid)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Quote Of The Day

"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

~Berthold Auerbach

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Islam-Based Business In America

Today's Washington Post, has a neat special report on "Faith" in the United States. One of the subjects raised in this report deals with the new trend of market faith-based philosophy and particularly the one related to Islam and Muslims in the USA.

Management and investing courses [..] are an example of what scholars say is a new phase for the U.S. Muslim immigrant community, which once consisted mostly of engineers, academics, doctors and other professionals. As the community grows larger and more heavily populated by business people, it is creating its own financial culture.

The trend is part of an effort to build an indigenous "American Islam," said Yvonne Haddad, who studies Islam in the West and teaches the history of the faith at Georgetown University. Muslim immigrants, who began coming to the United States in large numbers in the 1960s and '70s, "are trying to engage in the economic sphere . . . and this is an effort to help them feel comfortable engaging in business."

Mysterious Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe, or Edgar Poe as the french like to call him, is one of my favorite american poets and authors.Besides writing poetry, Poe was known for his short stories and mainly his macabre style that characterized most of his detective fiction and crime fiction. Edgar Allan Poe is credited with inventing mystery fiction, yet his own death is still a subject of intense speculation.In his book titled "The Poe Shadow", Matthew Pearl investigates one of the most peculiar puzzles in literary history.

( Via Arts & Letters Daily)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Riddler

I like riddles. Here are some riddles for you to answer:

1-What unusual natural phenomenon is capable of speaking in any language?
2-A barrel of water weighs 20 pounds. What do you have to add to make it weigh 12 pounds?
3-Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain on Earth?
4-What word starts with an "e", ends with an "e" and usually contains one letter?
5-Foward I am heavy, but backward I am not. What am I?
6-He has married many women, but has never been married. Who is he?
7-How many bricks does it take to complete a building made of brick?
8-How many of each animal did Moses take on the ark?
9-If you have it, you want to share it. If you share it, you don't have it. What is it?
10-In Okmulgee, Oklahoma, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?
11-The more you have of it, the less you see. What is it?
12-The more you take, the more you leave behind. What are they?
13-The one who makes it, sells it. The one who buys it, never uses it. The one who uses it, never knows that he's using it. What is it?
14-What can go up a chimney down but can't go down a chimney up?
15-What crime is punishable if attempted, but is not punishable if committed?
16-What happened in the middle of the 20th century that will not happen again for 4,000 years?
17-What is the center of gravity?
18-What question can you never honestly answer " yes" to ?
19-You can't keep this until you have given it.

Answers will follow!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Egypt To Excavate Roman City Submerged In The Mediterranean

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Egyptian authorities have given the go ahead for the underwater exploration of what appears to be a Roman city submerged in the Mediterranean...

(Via Drudge)

Strange Laws

Believe it or not, these laws are real.

In Macomb, Illinois, it's illegal for a car to impersonate a wolf.

In Rumford, Maine, it's against the law to bite your landlord.

An ordinance in San Francisco bans picking up used confetti to throw again.

In Atlanta,Georgia, it's against the law to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or street lamp.

It's against the law in Chicago to eat in a place that is on fire.

In International Falls, Minnesota, it's against the law for a cat to chase a dog up a telephone pole.

It's illegal to catch fish while on horseback in Washington, DC.

It's illegal to take a lion to the theater in Maryland.

It's against the law to drive more than 2,000 sheep down Hollywood Boulevard.

Brawley, California, passed a resolution banning snow within the city limits.

In Tennessee, it's illegal to drive a car while your're asleep.

Anyone found underneath a sidewalk in Florida is guilty of disorderly conduct.

It's illegal in New Jersey to slurp your soup.

A Texas law states that when two trains meet at a railroad crossing, each must come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other has gone.

It's illegal in Hartford, Connecticut, to kiss your wife on a Sunday.

It's against the law in Kentucky to remarry the same man four times.

In Marshalltown, Iowa, it's illegal for a horse to eat a fire hydrant.

In Tennessee, it's against the law to shoot game other than whales from a moving car.

It's illegal in Fairbanks, Alaska, for two moose to have sex on city sidewalks.

Source U.J's B.R.

Monday, May 22, 2006

"The Da Vinci Crackpots"

Yesterday I went to see "The Da Vinci Code".I will post something on my personal appreciation of this movie very soon, but in the meantime here is an article I came across via Arts & Letters Daily and which I think is worth reading.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Bosnian Pyramid

VISOKO, Bosnia - An Egyptian geologist said on Wednesday that a hill in central Bosnia appeared to be a primitive human-made pyramid of uncertain age. (Via Sploid)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Mysterious Mona Lisa

Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," widely considered the world's most recognizable work of art, turns 500 this year. Maybe.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Quote Of The Day

"A man paints with his brains and not with his hands"


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Human Ancestors May Have Interbred With Chimps

Today's The Washington Post has piece on a new theory which claims that chimps and humans shared a common apelike ancestor much more recently than was thought. Furthermore, when the two emerging species split from each other, it was not a clean break. Some members of the two groups seem to have interbred about 1.2 million years after they first diverged -- before going their separate ways for good.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Price Of Lying

More on Ayaan Hirsi Ali: a woman without a country at least for the past 24 hours.

(Via Arts & Letters Daily)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

DOD To Release Video Showing Alleged Plane Striking The Pentagon

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon said Tuesday it planned to release video images of American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the military headquarters building and killing 184 people in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Monday, May 15, 2006

S.M. Zbiss: Pionnier De L'Archéologie En Tunisie

C'est la première fois que j'entends parler du feu Slimane Mustapha Zbiss, le pionnier de la l'Archéologie en Tunisie.La Presse a consacré un article pour parler de cette figure nationale.

Consultez le site web qui a été concu à la mémoire de cet éminent chercheur et fervent amoureux de l’histoire et du patrimoine.

US To Renew Normal Diplomatic Ties With Libya

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration said Monday it will restore normal diplomatic relations with Libya for the first time in over a quarter century after deciding to remove Moammar Gadhafi’s country from a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Accused Of Bogus Political Asylum Request

According to (arabic), Dutch political sources accused the notorious somali born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, of bogus political asylum request. The same sources stated that in 1990, Hirsi Ali applied successfully for political asylum based on falsified information: she changed her name from Ayaan Hirsi Magan to Ayaan hirsi Ali and falsified her birth date...

Update: according to dutch sources again, it seems that under the growing pressure, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is considering to leave the Netherlands for good. Her next destination is the United States where she is going to work for a conservative think tank.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

To my wonderful Mom, I wish her a Happy Mother's Day and to all the Moms of the world furher happiness!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Quote Of The Day

"Experiences are savings which a miser puts aside. Wisdom is an inheritance which a wastrel cannot exhaust."

~Karl Kraus

Friday, May 12, 2006

Reinterpreting The Word "Barbarian"

A neat article via Arts & Letters Daily that looks at the reinterpretation of the word " Barbarian".
The Roman interpretation became the only one that counted, and the peoples whom they called Barbarians became for ever branded — be they Spaniards, Britons, Gauls, Germans, Scythians, Persians or Syrians. And, of course, “barbarian” has become a byword for the very opposite of everything that we consider civilised.

The fact that we still think of the Celts, the Huns, the Vandals, the Goths and so on as “barbarians” means that we have all fallen hook, line and sinker for Roman propaganda. We actually owe far more to the so-called “barbarians” than we do to the men in togas.

In the past 30 years, however, the story has begun to change. Archeological discoveries have shed new light on the ancient texts that have survived and this has led to new interpretations of the past. In Roman eyes the Celts may have lacked battle strategy, but their arms and equipment were in no way inferior to the Roman army’s. In fact the Celts had better helmets and better shields.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Star Ac Again & Again

A méditer...

Festival De La Mosaïque A Thysdrus

Procession Dionysiaque, Musée d'ElJem

L'ancienne ville romaine Thysdrus, actuelle ElJem, a abrité du 5 au 7 mai 2006, le Festival de la Mosaïque.
Dans cette petite ville, la mosaïque est plus qu’une image « des offrandes aux senteurs de fruits mûrs, d’ivresse de Dionysos, les charmes de Vénus ». Elle est l’espoir d’une jeunesse qui a besoin de rêver.
(Via La Presse)

A la proposition de notre cher ami Adib, je publie ici le commentaire de notre cher ami Roumi, expert en la matière, sur cette mosaique.

"Elle provient d'une maison dénommée "maison de la procession dionysiaque" à cause de cette fameuse mosaïque qui représente le dieu Dionysos/Bacchus.

On reconnaît de gauche à droite :
- un petit autel avec des guirlandes et un récipient en métal doré posé dessus
- une bacchante, c'est à dire une dévote du dieu Bacchus, à moitié nue, tenant un tambourin et coiffée d'une couronne faite de feuilles de vigne et de grappes de raisin. Cette femme était à la fois danseuse et musicienne ; on peut imaginer qu'on la faisait beaucoup boire pour qu'elle entre dans une sorte de transe durant les fêtes.
- un arbre sans feuilles. Il a l'air tout sec ; on dirait plutôt un cep de vigne !
- un personnage masculin (satyre), le torse nu, qui tient une sorte de flûte de pan (c'est donc un flûtiste... un de mes lointains ancêtres !)
- Dionysos/Bacchus, représenté sous les traits d'un jeune enfant, monté sur un lion, qu'il guide avec des rènes. Le lion a la tête baissée, en signe de soumission, car Bacchus avait le pouvoir de dompter les animaux sauvages. Bacchus est coiffé d'une couronne faite de feuilles de vigne et de grappes de raisins. Il tient un grand vase doré (cratère). Sous les pieds du lion il y a un autre tambourin.
- un monument en forme de colonne sur lequel est attaché un tambourin. Il s'agirait d'un monument représentant une sorte de phallus symbolique.
- un personnage masculin (satyre), torse nu, avec une sorte de grande couronne de feuilles de vigne autour du cou et une couronne végétale sur la tête
- Silène, le vieil homme, totalement nu, assis sur un dromadaire. On voit un sorte de panier sous son bras droit et une corne d'abondance sous son bras gauche.
- une panthère, animal commun dans les représentations du cortège de Bacchus, se trouve sous le dromadaire.
- Mystis, la femme qui clôt le cortège et qui a élevé Bacchus. Elle porte sur sa tête une sorte de grand panier, qui avait servi de berceau à Bacchus enfant, et qui contient diverses offrandes (des fruits et un phallus, c'est à dire des symboles de la fertilité).

Ce genre de scène, on l'appelle "thiase bacchique" c'est à dire une procession rituelle du dieu Bacchus. De telles scènes sont relativement fréquentes dans les représentations figurées d'époque romaine. Pour les mosaïques, on en connaît plusieurs en Afrique avec le même thème ; il y a plusieurs autres exemplaires de cette scène à El Jem notamment. Il y a aussi une très belle mosaïque avec le même thème au musée de Sousse (Bacchus y figure sur un char tiré par quatre tigres... cette mosaïque est sublime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).
Les thiases bacchiques rappelent la grande dévotion qui existait pour Bacchus dans l'antiquité ; ce dieu était associé à la fertilité.

Je pense que les mosaïques d'El Jem sont les plus belles d'Afrique romaine. Je ne pense pas être aveuglé par mon amour pour El Jem en disant cela. Je pense qu'elles sont effectivement d'une qualité technique remarquable et qu'elle possède une excellente qualité esthétique."

Jewish Annual Pilgrimage To Al Ghriba Synagogue

Every year and as it is the custom ,the Island of Djerba, southern Tunisia, will welcome on May 15-16, 2006, thousands of Jewish pilgrims from all over the world, who travel to the Island to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Lag B'Omer.

Our friend Zizou from Djerba has a neat piece on this event (French).

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Warhol's Canvas Auctions Off Nearly 11,8 Million Dollars

An Andy Warhol canvas portraying a can of Campbell's Soup was auctioned off here for nearly 11.8 million dollars, Christie's auction house reported.

The sale of "Small Torn Campbell's Soup Can (Pepper Pot)," a 1962 canvas, set a record for work from the artist's "Campbell Soup" series.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Titanic: The Sequel

A sneak peek at the trailer for the sequel to Titanic.

Can you guess what's wrong here?

More On Star Ac Hysteria

حلّ نجوم برنامج "ستار أكاديمي 3" ضيوفاً على تونس وذلك للمشاركة في حفلتين متتاليتين، الأولى كانت ليلة السبت في مدينة صفاقس - 250 كيلو متر جنوب العاصمة، والحفلة الثانية كانت في قبّة المنتزه بوسط العاصمة.
النجوم التسعة حظوا بعناية خاصة منذ وصولهم إلى المطار يوم السبت في تمام الساعة الثالثة والنصف فجراً حيث إستقبلتهم فرقة شعبية خاصة وجماهير غفيرة أتت من كل حدب وصوب لرؤية المجموعة كاملة، وبعد أن أخذوا قسطاً من الراحة نظمت لهم جمعية فرحة شباب تونس عدة لقاءات صحفية مع وسائل الإعلام التونسية المختلفة، ثم توجهوا لمدينة صفاقس لإحياء الحفل الأول الذي حضره أكثر من عشرة الأف شخص، وفور عودتهم للعاصمة نظمت لهم الجمعية جولة في قلب العاصمة حيث ركبوا على عربات مجرورة بالخيل، وفي تمام الساعة الرابعة بعد الظهر بدأت جماهير ستار أكاديمي تتجمع بجانب المسرح الذي أغلقت أبوابه بعد أن غصّت القاعة بالمعجبين والحالمين برؤية نجوم الأكاديمية ، تاركين آلاف المحبين في الخارج يذرفون دموع الحسرة والآلم .
مع العلم أن كل الجولات التي نظمتها الجمعية للمشتركين التسعة تخللتها العديد من المواقف الطريفة من المعجبين الذين تتدافعوا بالآلاف لرؤية المجموعة ، كما تم إلغاء بعض اللقاءات المقررة بسبب الهستريا التي أصيب بها محبي البرنامج ومن بين هذه المواقف الطريفة هروب هاني من المطار، وضياعه وذلك بعد أن ركضت خلفه مجموعة من الفتيات على طريقة كليب نجوى كرم الجديد " شوهالحلا " ، كما أصيب أحمد الشريف بعدة خدوش وكدمات عندما زار المجموعة في مدينة " صفاقس" من جراء تدافع المعجبات عليه

Pay Scale

A buffet restaurant in Yuexiu, China, has adopted an innovative way to charge children for its all-you-can-eat meals: Kids under 4 feet tall pay according to their weight. For example, a child who weighs 55 pounds would pay $3.12 to eat, while one who weighs in at 57 pounds would pay $3.25. The restaurant's policy is popular with parents, especially those of thinner children who they say do not eat as much.

(Via The Express, a daily publication of the Washington Post)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Shaima, Shame On You!

هرج ومرج في طائرة الخطوط التونسية القادمة من بيروت نحو تونس ... فقد شعر ركاب الدرجة الاولى في الطائرة وأغلبهم من الشخصيات المرموقة ورجال الاعمال وبينهم وزير.... أن معهم في الطائرة " روضة" جوية... فالهرج كثير ... بسبب مجموعة ستار أكاديمي القادمين من بيروت إلى تونس ... وهم التسعة فنانين الشبان ...وقد احدثوا في الطائرة هرجا أزعج بعض الركاب .... وكأنهم أطفال في روضة طائرة...!!

ملاحظة: تتدعي شيماء أنها أصيلة مدينة الجم والحقيقة أنها لاتمت لهذه المدينة بأيّ صلة فهي من مكان يبعد على مدينة الجم بحوالي 6 أو 7 كيلومترات.لست جهويا ولكن أردت أن أوضح هذه المعلومة

The Truth About UFOs

LONDON: Britain's defence intelligence chiefs have come up with a detailed scientific explanation to solve the mystery of unidentified flying objects.
After a four-year inquiry, they have concluded that most UFO sightings can be explained by a little-understood atmospheric phenomenon.

Defence Intelligence Staff scientists describe how glowing "plasmas" of gas are created by charges of electricity. Airflows then sculpt the plasmas into aerodynamic shapes which appear to fly at extraordinary speeds through the sky.

(Via The Australian)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Long-Distance Marriage

An Indian couple exchanged wedding vows over the telephone after the bridegrom could not make it to the ceremony due to Hindu-Muslim clashes in the bride's city.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Quote Of The Day

"Beauty is indeed a good gift of God;but the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked"

Saint Augustine

Friday, May 05, 2006

World's Oldest Mother

LONDON (Reuters) - A 63-year-old British hospital consultant who is to become one of the world's oldest mothers after undergoing fertility treatment abroad told reporters on Thursday she was delighted with her pregnancy.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Gaddafi Opera

The English National Opera (ENO) is working on a new opera about the lybian leader Gaddafi.
The Company presents Gaddafi, a production that explores a contradictory enigma and the power of myth. Featuring members of the ENO Orchestra and live North African musicians, this new work will draw on real-life incidents to highlight the themes of power, politics and media representation. David Freeman and Es Devlin bring their opera experience and collaborate with an exciting creative team and performance artists in this world premiere.
For more information on this story check this link (arabic)

World's Oldest Person

SAN AGUSTIN, El Salvador (Reuters) - Friends and relatives of Cruz Hernandez's gathered on Wednesday to celebrate her 128th birthday, a milestone that might make her the world's oldest person.

(Via Drudge)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Heaviest Person In The World

ROME (Reuters) - A Mexican man who at 550 kg (1,200 lb) is possibly the heaviest person in the world hopes to travel to Italy for a life-saving operation to shed weight.
Manuel Uribe, bedridden for the past five years, cannot stand on his own and will need a special flight to take him from Monterrey, Mexico to Modena, where a surgical team has offered to perform an intestinal bypass free of charge.
( Via Drudge)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

World's Longest Bra Chain

The world's largest bra chain was completed by women in Cyprus in a bid to raise breast cancer awareness and encourage more people to have regular check-ups.
"We've done it... we have broken the record for sure, the chain stretched 111 kilometres (69 miles) consisting of a 114,782 bras," Dutch organiser Louise van Rooij told AFP Sunday.
( Via Sploid)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination."