Hotel Pools Suitable for Lap Swim: Marriott Downtown Philadelphia

Most hotel swimming pools are too short for any sort of serious lap swimming. The pool at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown is an exception.

This past week I found the indoor 7th floor pool to be adequate and well maintained. Basically a lap pool (2 lanes wide) roughly 25 yards in length (North American winter short course), with a square lounge/play area off to one side. No lane ropes. Bottom lane marks, but none at ends. Ranging 3.5 - 4.5 feet deep. A newish looking vinyl liner. The water was clear, and tasted vaguely of salt (I guess they're using the new-fangled chemicals -- Ph was good). Open 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. I think. Changing rooms with showers adjacent, as well as a larger-than-average workout room with treadmills and so forth. Access with room cardkey.

Truncated Knowledge


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Follow-up: Digital Epigraphy at APA/AIA

Just a quick note -- for the moment -- to follow up on Saturday morning's panel. What a blast! Thanks to everyone who attended and to our presenters. And thanks to Paul Iversen for doing all the grunt work of setting up the session, issuing the call, and marshaling the administrative details. Thanks also to ASGLE for sponsoring our session.

Unfortunately, two of our scheduled presenters weren't able to deliver their papers, but Marion and then Gabby and Ryan produced well-honed, timely and interesting presentations on topic maps for representing historical analysis involving inscriptions and preliminary work in 3D laser scanning of curse tablets (respectively). I hope we'll have their slides to post soon.

Then Paul and I invited our audience to come back after the scheduled break for an open-ended discussion on epigraphy and digital methodologies. We were surprised and delighted to have over 25 people return! A challenging and interesting range of questions, ideas and project reports ensued. I intend to blog about these soon -- especially the things we identified as needing further attention and follow-up -- over at Current Epigraphy.

Stearn's Coffee Defunct

So Stearns Coffee, which I had staked out as a personal replacement for the recently shuttered Aromas but hadn't had a chance to visit prior to the December 1st fire, is now closed for good. The owners just sent the following note to their Facebook followers:

So as many of you have probably guessed or assumed by now, Stearns Coffee will be unable to re-open. After carefully considering all of our options, we’ve found that we just can’t rebound financially from this. With that said, we are truly lucky to have so many customers and friends who have offered their love and support. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve these people; you are what made our shop such a wonderful place to be. We will miss seeing your faces and allowing us to be a part of your lives.

Daniel & Marisa


So, in the monthly email newsletter on healthy living that I receive gratis from my beneficent employer, I read:

Find Yourself in the Stressed Lane?

When you find you need to take a moment to relax and slow down, contact The Relaxation Phone Line at [...]. This line is a recorded relaxation message that provides you with an opportunity to unwind and renew for a few minutes during your day. The Relaxation Phone Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Is there also a Relaxation Blog (with a relax-o-feed)? Or maybe an @relaxifier I can follow on Twitter?

Clearly I need more coffee ...

Paul Zimansky on Mashkan-shapir in Huntsville, 20 January 2009

On Tuesday, 20 January 2009 at 7:30 p.m. the North Alabama Society of the Archaeological Institute of America will host a lecture by Prof. Paul Zimanksy (Dept. of History, State University of New York, Stony Brook) entitled "City of the Grim Reaper: Rediscovery and Demise at Mashkan-shapir, Iraq."

The lecture will be held in the Chan Auditorium on the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (map, courtesy UAHuntsville Theatre).

The Study and Publication of Inscriptions in the Age of the Computer

Update (7 January 2009): added links to abstracts

This Saturday, 10 January 2009, Paul Iversen and I will be co-chairing the following panel at the Joint Annual Meetings of the American Philological Association and the Archaeological Institute of America. The panel, on the topic of digital study and publication of inscriptions, is sponsored by American Society of Greek and Latin Epigraphy. I hope to see you there!

Saturday, January 10, 8:30-11:00 a.m. in Independence I of the Marriott Hotel, Philadelphia:

  1. Publishing Image and Text in Digital Epigraphy
    Neel Smith (College of the Holy Cross)
    [ abstract not available ]
  2. Topic Maps and the Semantics of Inscriptions
    Marion Lamé (Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Italy and Université de Provence, Aix-Marseille 1, France)
    [ abstract in pdf (courtesy APA) ]
  3. An Efficient Method for Digitizing Squeezes & Performing Automated Epigraphic Analysis
    Eleni Bozia, Angelos Barmpoutis and Robert S. Wagman (University of Florida)
    [ abstract in msword (courtesy APA) ]
  4. Opportunities for Epigraphy in the Context of 3-D Digitization
    Gabriel Bodard (King’s College London) and Ryan Baumann (Univ. of Kentucky)
    [ abstract in pdf (courtesy APA) ]

End of an era

After four years of business success, the place I've dubbed my "coffice" is closing, so its owner and founder, Pete Abashian, can pursue other interests.

So the question for other regulars at Aromas is: who all is going to show up on the last day, Saturday, 20 December, to say goodbye and good luck to staff and friends?

And, gentle readers, if you've ever dreamed of owning and running a great coffee shop / cafe, this one is for sale.