ancient aqueduct

when i learned how many early american settlers died from pooping in their own water supply, it led me down a wikipedia rabbit hole of the global history of sewage systems and listen, basically manhole covers and the architecture of “modern” waste management systems have been found dating back to the Bronze Age. Ancient Rome had the aqueducts, but Minoans had sewers and sanitation measures in 3200 BCE. Indus Valley civilization cities (what is now northeast Afghanistan and Pakistan) had sewer systems by 1700 BCE. Iran has crumbling remains of sewer systems that date back 2000 years BEFORE that. Europeans didn’t really get large scale sewage systems until the Industrial ages, in London- when filth and animals filled the urban streets. Before then, only royalty had flush toilets that emptied to a nearby stinking cesspool. America didn’t begin to standardize city-wide sewage systems until the 1940’s in New York. to me this bit of history feels like another strong bit of evidence for why Europeans and Americans can never, ever, ever pretend to be more enlightened. ever. because THEY WERE POOPING IN THEIR WATER SUPPLY FOR A THOUSAND YEARS. BEFORE THE INDUSTRIAL AGE, IN EARLY SETTLEMENTS AND CITIES THERE WAS POOP EVERYWHERE. POOP. EVERYWHERE. HUMAN AND ANIMAL POOP. 

the non‐existing pure Gaze of the big Other…is the gaze for which, on ancient Roman aqueducts, the details were carved on the reliefs at the top, invisible to any human eye; the gaze for which the ancient Incas made their gigantic drawings out of stones whose form could be seen only from high up in the air; the gaze for which the Stalinists organized their gigantic public spectacles.

anonymous asked:

Wrong dorm room or mailman delivers sex toys Lara/Sam

Did the first one. 
Lara comes home from a long day and finds a stranger sleeping in her bed. 

Okay, so. 

There’s a half-naked girl in my bed. 

No wait, that’s probably not how I should start. There’s a half-naked girl passed out in my bed, and I’ve just gotten home from a long day at the central London Library studying up on the construction of ancient Greek aqueducts. 

Let me clarify further. I do not know this girl. I don’t have a dormmate and I certainly wasn’t expecting company. But here she is, curled up in my purple cotton sheets and drooling on my pillow; her clothing is strewn out all over the floor, socks and high-heels and pink shorts and a space shirt that had the words ‘BANG BANG’ written in a sloppy white lettering. 

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anonymous asked:

Aw yeah, I was right. I'm going to Italy in July with my orchestra. Any cool places there that you'd possibly recommend to go, if we're near any of them?

I haven’t lived in Italy since I was 6 years old, so I can’t recommend specific restaurants and things… but my favorite places are where my Italian family lives, like Malcesine. It has a castle, a beautiful lake with swans, cute boats in a small harbor, lots of little family-owned shops, and the streets are narrow and cobbly and winding.  I often dream that I am there again. Just Googling pictures of it makes me tear up a little, I miss it a lot.

If you visit Malcesine, be sure to visit the main bar and tell the lady running it that Elena sent you. She’s my aunt. =P

My second favorite place is Positano, where my family used to go on vacations.  It’s a gorgeous, colorful littletown town clinging for dear life to the cliff overlooking the sea. I think it’s gotten a lot more touristy since I’ve last been there, which is sad, but not surprising.  My family used to stay in a hotel called “Barilotto del Nonno” (Grandpa’s Barrel).  I still remember the smell of the beach and candles and spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams) quite vividly.

I also remember that the sand at the beach had lots of colorful, smooth, polished tiles that you could arrange into mosaics. My parents told me this was due to locals throwing spare tiles into the sea.  You can also take a short boat tour on a boat called “La Sirena” (the Mermaid).

If you go, please build a mosaic for me!

I would also not miss an opportunity to see Florence, the home of the Renaissance Movement, if you can. (This is the inspiration for “The Capital” in Claire’s world.)

There’s more beautiful art and architecture in Florence than you can shake a stick at. Here’s a picture of me being a daredevil on one of the bridges:

And if you go to Florence, you must also see the gorgeous Tuscan countryside just minutes away. (Where Claire’s abbey is based!) It’s so beautiful you could just die. But don’t die, because the food there is excellent. I’m drawing a blank on the hotel my family stayed at, but they used to have a cute dog named Stella, and a beautiful breakfast balcony that overlooked the city with wisteria blossoming all around.

There are more places too- Verona, where most of my family is based, and where my father was born. It’s the home of Romeo and Juliet (you can visit their balcony, but it’s covered in grafitti) and my favorite anime/manga store where I bought all my italian-dubbed Utena VHS tapes.

I can’t not mention Rome, my own hometown.  It’s dirty and old and the people there can be real dickheads sometimes, but a piece of me has stayed there, and it will always feel like some sort of home.  There are gorgeous marble statues all over the place, as I child I took them for granted and was surprised not to have them in the USA.

There’s all sorts of ancient artifacts too, the aqueducts and colosseum and the Pope.

Since you’re going with an orchestra group, I doubt you’ll have time to get away to all of these places, or even just a few of them, and there are countless more I didn’t touch on: the magical Blue Grotto, or Cinque Terre, and I could think of more all day… But I hope that one day you can see some of them!  There’s far too much in Italy to see in one short trip.