Apropos of a bag of potting mix, the head groundskeeper at my workplace told me about integrated pest management being developed in turf/soil/landscaping management. Instead of using pesticides, he spikes the soil with a certain sugar/molasses mix, to encourage the soil microbes and nematodes to grow and compete with each other. This way, nature works its own way and hopefully the good microbes outcompete the harmful ones. And mould/fungal growth in a bag of potting mix doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s gone “off”. It could be benign. This gentleman is a wealth of knowledge, and happy to share it when asked. I have enormous respect for him.
Portraiture and busts/sculptures of Roman emperors, apropos of the carefully historical Emperors of Rome podcast. Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero, Caligula, Trajan, Nerva, Vespasian, Hadrian…. These men may have been emperors but they looked rather normal. And unique: so much variety in their faces, it’s fascinating. These portraits put human faces to two-millennia-old historical figures: they are no longer disembodied and mythic names from antiquity, but became people. I’d never anticipated that just looking at pictures of busts of Roman emperors would transform my perception of those men like this. It’s refreshing.
Porphyry, (“purple” in Ancient Greek), is an igneous rock and was valuable in antiquity. Versus alabaster, which is a mineral: gypsum, and softer.
Epigrams (from Ancient Greek), pithy poetic form. One long line and one short line with a kicker/barb at the end.
Roman baths. (So much great world-building inspiration here.)