Saturday, September 18, 2004
"There is nothing physically impossible in the idea that Caesar could drink an orange soda. It could theoretically have happened:
In conquering Gaul, Caesar may well have visited the mineral springs of Perrier, where the water is naturally carbonated -- in effect, club soda bubbling up from the ground. While there, he may well have drunk some of the local specialty.
Oranges might theoretically have been imported from China in Caesar's time, since we know that there was trade between China and Rome. The fact that oranges are not attested in Rome until much later (mid-4th century, according to this site) does not absolutely prove that a very few were not imported earlier. And if they were imported, it might have occurred to someone to squeeze some of the juice into a container full of Perrier water, perhaps with some honey to sweeten it. (Otherwise, it would more flavored seltzer than orange soda.)
Glass vessels were far less common in Caesar's time than they would be a century or two later, after rapid advances in glass-making technology in the first century A.D., but it's conceivable that some local Gallic craftsman was ahead of the technological curve.
A century or more after Caesar's time, wealthy Romans and members of the imperial family did have ice from the Alps to cool their drinks in the summer. I don't have the reference, since my books are in storage, but apparently a large enough block of ice, covered with blankets, can be transported from the Alps to Rome even on a horsedrawn wagon before all of it melts away -- we know this because the Romans sometimes did so in later years. Though he was almost certainly too busy conquering Gaul to worry about such things, it's conceivable that a wealthy and powerful politician like Caesar could have arranged similar shipments of ice to his headquarters in Gaul, and had them chopped by hand into well-matched conveniently-sized cubes by a skilled local craftsman to cool his hypothetical drink."
The FAQ reveals the release dates (more accurately, over the next 2 weeks):
"Q. When is Rome: Total War (RTW) out?
A. We're aiming for publication in Autumn 2004, or "Fall 2004" if you happen to live in one of the old Thirteen Colonies. Then again, you colonial chappies are deprived of Marmite as well as Autumn. One has to feel sorry for you. :D"
Powerline has been another one driving this story and has the latest, including a link to a flash animation of the recreation of the document.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
"I'm not a terrorist, I'm a physiotherapist"....
Sunday, September 12, 2004
""This is Harden's, the guide that is written by its readers, so it doesn't matter at all. The book and its conclusions are utterly, utterly irrelevant. Because it is written by you. And you, pal, know nothing at all about restaurants. No shut up. You' don't. I'm not interested. If you've got an opinion, go tell it to the Harden boys."
Giles Coren in The Times (hopefully somewhat tongue in cheek), neatly sums up what practically all chefs and most food journalists think of public opinion."