September 2011

The Case of the Disappearing Plants

She put the crime scene photo up on FB, for all to view, and lament. Her freshly planted blood orange had been (musical crescendo) stolen! From her front yard! The suspect: the proverbial “Midnight Nursery”, on the prowl for boutique citrus trees even as their owners slept. Read More

Heart of Glass

Here they sit on my work table: thirteen precious fragments of  ancient Roman glass. I have purchased them from a young European collector at a show and sale of gems and objets d’art in San Francisco. Their cool green is that of seawater-turned-stone, touched in places by an iridescence like fish scales. One after another I lift the pieces, turn them in my palms. What… Read More

What Does Lie Beneath, Anyway?

Just last week, archaeologists working near Vienna announced an important discovery: the remains of a gladiatorial school nearly the size of the Ludus Magnus in Rome.  The find required no soil to be disturbed by clumsy backhoes, nor any painstaking shoveling or sifting to be done. Instead GRP — ground penetrating radar — was aimed straight down through the strata of the earth to reveal… Read More

My Big Fat Greek Lunch

This past weekend we in the US celebrated the holiday known as Labor Day. And in my neck of the woods that meant only one thing: The annual Greek Food Festival would be arriving in its convoy of chariots to set up at the local convention center, just like they’ve been doing for nearly 50 years. Of course we would come for the moppets dancing… Read More