Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com – @BednarChuck Advances in robotics and artificial intelligence could may wind up costing you your job within the next 20 years, researchers from the Oxford Martin Program on Technology and Employment have discovered using a new machine-learning algorithm. According to Engadget, the algorithm analyzed data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics…
It doesn't look like much from the outside, but a building in central Rome holds a hidden treasure in the basement: the remains of a Roman era home, including elaborate mosaics.
At the entrance of the 1950s building at the foot of Rome's Aventine Hill, all appears normal, with a resident loaded with shopping bags kindly holding the door.
But venture a bit further, and down a short flight of stairs one arrives at the prize, hiding behind an ordinary grey metal door.
It is there where mosaics from a Roman "domus", or home, dating from between the first century BC to the second century AD, are visible.
Ensuing generations of Romans imposed six different levels of floors over the ages until in 2014, the remains were revealed by excavations to transform the former headquarters of the National Bank of Labour into an apartment building after its purchase by French bank BNP Paribas.
"We are here inside an 'archaeological box'... an architectural structure having two functions: to protect the mosaics and to allow the public to have access to it," Roberto Narducci, an archaeologist from Rome's Directorate of Cultural Assets, told AFP.
The mosaics depict sinewy vines creeping from pots, black and white geometric patterns, and even a bright green parrot perched atop a branch.
Doors opened to the public on Friday after four years of technologicallycomplex excavation work that was completed in 2018.
"Here we're inside a private building... just where they were planning to build eight garages," Narducci said, smiling.
- Goodbye garages -
The garage plan was shelved after an agreement with BNP Paribas, which financed work on the excavations, he said.
A multimedia visit greets the public, using plays of light and a soundtrack punctuated with bird songs to transform the atmosphere once again into the Roman "domus" of a wealthy family.
The light show imposes brightly colored paintings reminiscent of those of Pompeian villas on the walls, while missing portions of mosaics are replaced as if by magic.
Undoubtedly, the former home better evokes more of its original splendor -- even after the passing of more than 2,000 years -- through the chosen format rather than transforming all elements to a museum.
"We had the opportunity to study several layers of mosaics that were superimposed on each other over the centuries, six in total: from a scientific point of view, this happens very rarely," said Narducci.
During the study of an area of over 2,000 square meters (21,528 square feet), archaeologists unearthed even more finds, some dating back as far as the eighth century BC, including the remains of a military construction that may have been a watchtower. Its foundations are still visible.
And how do the co-owners of the building react to this unusual presence under their feet?
Residents are "proud" of the former Roman home below them, according to Narducci, and they have preferential access when the site is open to the public.
A deal between Rome's cultural assets department and the condominium provides for visits by the public on the first and third Friday of each month, under the supervision of a guide.
"It's true we're inside a residential building, but we are also on an archaeological site where the objects belong to the state," Narducci said.
© 2021 AFP
Donald Trump is singling out the Republican Party's most prominent families for revenge after his election loss.
The twice-impeached one-term president is carrying out a vendetta against the GOP's political dynasties -- the Cheneys, the Bushes, the Romneys, the McCains and the Murkowskis -- as he brings the party fully under his control, reported Politico.
"It's a tragedy," said Arne Carlson, a former two-term GOP governor of Minnesota. "The problem with the revolution is they continue to get more and more extreme. Whereas Liz Cheney was on the right, she now finds herself being pushed into the middle and, ultimately, off the cliff."
Trump has criticized the GOP's leading lights -- Ronald Reagan, Pat Buchanan and the Bush family -- since before he entered politics, and he has continued to denigrate the once esteemed families who defined the Republican Party for generations since entering and then exiting the White House.
"He sh*ts on everybody, even former presidents," said Mark Graul, a Republican strategist who oversaw George W. Bush's 2004 campaign in Wisconsin. "[Rep. Liz Cheney] happens to be the daughter of the [former] vice president."
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has gone along with Trump's efforts to punish Cheney for her impeachment vote and refusal to endorse his election lies, but Carlson warned that he can't expect that to save his own neck from the former president's political bloodlust.
"What he doesn't realize is he may be the next one to go," Carlson said. "The people who set the guillotines in motion ultimately have their necks under it, as they get into these endless battles about who's more loyal, who's more pure."
Scandal-plagued Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is scheduled to visit The Villages retirement community in Florida on Friday, and many residents told CNN this week that they're "horrified" at the prospect.
Villages resident Chris Stanley told CNN that she's "absolutely horrified" that Gaetz will be visiting her community with QAnon-loving Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
Stanley said that while the accusations against Gaetz are deadly serious, his district is "so red that he could be re-elected if he was in prison."
Fellow resident Mike Faulk told CNN that Gaetz is touring The Villages with Greene as a way to get Americans to forget that he's being investigated on potential sex trafficking charges involving an underage girl.
"By coming down here, he's really kind of doing a distraction tour," he said.
Republican Villages resident Dave Davidson told CNN that he's not buying Gaetz's story that the allegations swirling around him are all part of an elaborate extortion scheme against his family.
"It's a nice story," he said sarcastically of Gaetz's extortion claims.
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