Aotearoa Reads Podcast / Vote for Helen Lowe in the Gemmell Legend Awards - The New Zealand Book Council were kind enough to ask me to take part in their Aotearoa Reads podcast series, and the podcast I took part in, the second in...
2 days ago
Each stand offered samples of their honeys, and after a few tastings I could see there really is a range of taste and texture in the stuff. It ranged from sandstone beige to molasses black, with textures from wet sand to motor oil. And the aftertastes were downright weird. A lot of them were dung-based, but not unpleasantly so. Others were synthetic, cologne-like, or close to menthol. I could see being a honey critic more easily than a wine critic. I wouldn't feel as fake. More range.
The stalls were grouped by region. Altai honey was drawing big crowds, as was Kislovodsk and other Caucasian towns. There was also "mountain honey," "forest honey," and, for the fence-sitters, "mountain forest honey." I ended up buying a kilo of Tambov buckwheat honey, which was four times as much as I meant to buy, but I figured it was my mumbling or improperly-declined numbers that caused the mix up.
In Pontus are found bees exceedingly white in colour, and
these bees produce their honey twice a month. (The bees in Themiscyra,
on the banks of the river Thermodon, build honeycombs in the ground
and in hives, and these honeycombs are furnished with very little wax
but with honey of great consistency; and the honeycomb, by the way,
is smooth and level.) But this is not always the case with these bees,
but only in the winter season; for in Pontus the ivy is abundant,
and it flowers at this time of the year, and it is from the ivy-flower
that they derive their honey. A white and very consistent honey is
brought down from the upper country to Amisus, which is deposited by
bees on trees without the employment of honeycombs: and this kind of
honey is produced in other districts in Pontus.
`But I will tell you another thing, Son of all-
glorious Maia and Zeus who holds the aegis, luck-bringing genius
of the gods. There are certain holy ones, sisters born -- three
virgins gifted with wings: their heads are besprinkled with
white meal, and they dwell under a ridge of Parnassus. These are
teachers of divination apart from me, the art which I practised
while yet a boy following herds, though my father paid no heed to
it. From their home they fly now here, now there, feeding on
honey-comb and bringing all things to pass. And when they are
inspired through eating yellow honey, they are willing to speak
truth; but if they be deprived of the gods' sweet food, then they
speak falsely, as they swarm in and out together. These, then, I
give you; enquire of them strictly and delight your heart: and if
you should teach any mortal so to do, often will he hear your
response -- if he have good fortune. Take these, Son of Maia,
and tend the wild roving, horned oxen and horses and patient mules.'
An ancient burial pit containing 45 severed skulls, that could be a mass war grave dating back to Roman times, has been found under a road being built for the 2012 British Olympics.[....]
The grave site is close to Maiden Castle -- Europe's largest Iron Age hill fort where local tribes are said to have staged a last stand against the Roman legions after the invasion.
Some historians believe the Romans sacked the site, butchering its population including women and children, before burning it to the ground.
[dig head, David Score, of Oxford Archaeology] said they had counted 45 skulls so far in the 6-meter wide pit, together with a tangle of torsos, arms and legs, More could be found in the coming weeks.
Most of the skulls were those of young men, supporting the theory they could have been killed in battle or executed en masse.
The most important challenges HCP now faces, that of establishing basic infrastructure for the ancient city (drains, protective shelters, site access for works, etc.) and evolving successful models of continuous care to guarantee the site’s long-term survival. They must be sustainable strategies for the
public arm of the project to take forward after the private partner has gone since it was, after all, the failure of such routine maintenance programmes that led to the state of neglect that the site found itself in the 1990s. 
Saviano says the problem for authorities is that the Camorra's criminal enterprises are so closely enmeshed with legitimate businesses they are practically unassailable.
The Italian state and the European community are faced with a dilemma, the organized crime in Italy generates huge sums of money. The three major mafias have a turnover of 100 billion euros a year.
The small-business federation says organized crime is the biggest business in Italy — it accounts for 7 percent of GNP. This means that in an area where no one invests, organized crime is a major provider of jobs and controls votes.
Saviano says this means that one-third of Italy is in the grips of organized crime and condemned to a permanent state of underdevelopment. 
[W]hen we had this boy, what was to be his name? It was the cause of much quarrelling with my loving wife. She insisted on having some reference to a horse in his name, that he should be called Xanthippus, Charippus or Callippides. I wanted to name him Phidonides after his grandfather. We disputed long, and finally agreed to style him Phidippides....She used to fondle and coax him, saying, "Oh! what a joy it
will be to me when you have grown up, to see you, like my father, Megacles, clothed in purple and standing up straight in your chariot driving your steeds toward the town." And I would say to him, "When, like your father, you will go, dressed in a skin, to fetch back your goats from Phelleus."
Alas! he never listened to me and his madness for horses has shattered my fortune.
Olympia IV: Processional for Psaumios of Camarina: Victory with Chariot 3
Charioteer on high, your team has hoofs of thunder --
O Zeus: for again these are your Hours,
That to my lyre dance, my dappled song,
Who circle, who summon me
Bear witness here at this highest of Contests.
A friend fares well; true friends rejoice,
And the news is sweet.
Ah yes, O Cronos' son, who lord Mount Aetna,
Windswept trap to clamp down storming hundred-headed Typho,
Consecrate your Olympic
Victor; grace these our revels --
Light most late, far-shining burst of sun's
Strength, excellence: Psaumios has come!
He is riding by; the olive of Pisa crowns him:
May Camarina awake
With him to glory; may god grant
Fulfillment to his prayers! Hear his eulogy: he has raised
a line of thoroughbreds;
Philanthropist, all strangers are his guests, his land asylum;
His motto: Peace, not Politics -- Civic Concord, Patriotism!
No lie shall taint
My praise: No, for truth will out.
It happened so with Clymenos' son.
That Lemnian women
Scorned his love -- at first.
But then he won the race, all brazen in his armor,
And spoke thus to Hypsipyle, when he came to get his crown:
"Well, here I am: you've seen me run!
And heart can equal legs.
Often the hair grows grey -- too soon,
Belying a young man's age...
*Did Pindar compose the song on the spot, incorporating extracts of pre-prepared work and then suiting it to the specifics of the occasion? Or did he have a long period to work on it?
*Did he write it down first or compose it orally?
*Did he sing or chant the poem?
*Where was the poem performed? The stadium? A banquet?
*Was it performed in the day or at night?
*Did the dancers enact scenes from the poem, or did they follow set choreography?
*Did they wear costumes? (ie was it a visual as well as an aural display?)
*Was the stadium lit by fire as well as moonlight?
*What did the audience do? Stand? Sit? Dance along?
*Was the audience everyone -- or just a select few (aristocrats/winners)?
*How much practice did the chorus have to do?
*choreographed dances at modern Olympic Games
*gospel (songs of praise to God)
*stirring songs overlaying TV montages of sports victories
*New Orleans Wild Tchapatoulas call and response