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Posts Tagged ‘Roman Emperor

Uh-oh…

The shortwave radio station UVB-76 is known to DXers (serious shortwave listeners) as “The Buzzer” because it has been broadcasting a short, monotonous buzz tone (hear it here), repeating at a rate of approximately 25 tones per minute, 24 hours per day, since 1982…  that is, until this past weekend, when it stopped.

Satellite photo of the UVB-76 transmitter near Povarovo, Russia

Many believe that UVB-76 was being used to transmit encoded messages to spies, as is generally assumed for the many numbers stations that populate shortwave frequencies…. though no nation’s government will confirm or deny the existence of the stations or their purpose.  Or the constant transmission of its characteristic sound may have been signaling the availability or readiness of some kind of installation– a kind of “dead man’s switch” of a military or other installation– possibly for the infamous Dead Hand system.

But a more benign explanation is that the constant buzz was a High-Frequency Doppler used for ionosphere research of the sort described in the Russian Journal of Earth Sciences, in which radio waves are reflected from ionosphere inhomogeneities.  (This method involves comparing a continuous radio transmission which is reflected by the ionosphere with a stable basic generator.)  As it happens, the continuously-transmitted carrier frequency currently used for this research is the same as that of the UVB-76 (4.625 MHz).

Rest in peace (and quiet).

TotH to Above Top Secret.

As we keep our ears to the ground, we might note that this date, June 9, was a big one for the fifth and final Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, Nero:  On this date in 53 CE, he married his step-sister, Claudia Octavia.  Then on their anniversary in 62 CE, he had her executed. And on this date in 68 CE,  Nero committed suicide, after quoting Homer’s Iliad. (On hearing the approach of horsemen who’d been dispatched by the Senate, which had declared Nero a public enemy, the deposed Emperor declared “Hark, now strikes on my ear the trampling of swift-footed coursers!”)

Nero

Just the facts, ma’am…

Source: GoComics

Looking for an antidote?  Well there is Fora.tv (with Long Now seminars, TED Talks, and other delectables)…  and now, nearly 1000 non-fiction films (and growing) in dozens of categories, available for one’s pleasure and edification at Documentary Heaven.

source: UC Library

(On the other hand, if one wants to find any sequence from any film, one might amble over to AnyClip— thousands of films indexed so far; thousands more to come. Tres cool….)

As we search for the verite in cinema, we might recall that it was on this date in 37 CE that Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus– aka Caligula– became the Roman  Emperor, following the death of his great-uncle Tiberius.  Caligula reigned until his assassination three-and-a-half years later by members of his own Praetorian Guard; the first two years of his tenure were marked by moderation– but accounts of his reign thereafter paint a portrait of cruel, extravagant, and perverse tyranny…  leading many historians to suspect that Caligula succumbed in his last months to neurosyphilis.

A marble bust of Caligula restored to its original colors (which were identified from particles trapped in the marble)

No Hat, No Cattle…

Dallas, January 1978 (a club once owned by Jack Ruby)

From The Selvedge Yard, a blog that your correspondent regularly enjoys, “Vicious White Kids– the Sex Pistols Take on Rock ‘N Roll & the South.”

Read the entire instructive tale, see other photos, and check out the live Dallas performance footage here.

As tap our toes to “Anarchy in the U.K.,” we might recall that it was on this date in 321 that Roman Emperor Constantine I decreed:

On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.

… and dies Solis— day of the sun, “Sunday”– became the day of rest throughout the Roman Empire… and ultimately, the West.

Constantine (Capitoline Museums)

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