Elder_PlinyI have a confession: I have TONES of interests: cross stitch, technology, reading, SF, Fantasy, RPGs (table top and computer), and history, among many others. Only the first two are truly passions, but any time that I can combine any of them, especially one of the first two with any of the others, I am enthralled.

Ah, history. I don’t mean the dry, dull stuff you had to read in primary and secondary school or the in-depth scholarly stuff you had to do in college. I mean reading the quirky, daily stuff that happened as people LIVED it.

It kind of started years ago, when I was still on LiveJournal (before Facebook and Twitter) when a literature student started real-time posting from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. That was So Amazing, reading it not all at once, but on the dates that the items from the story (because it really is written as diary entries and newspaper articles). It gave it a life, and an anticipation for what was to be next. It took over a year to read in its entirety and was just fascinating to me.

Then, about a year ago, I either read an article or a retweet about @RealTimeWWII. This is a project started by Oxford University graduate Alwyn Collinson to cover the daily events, large but mostly small, from 1939 through 1945. The project started in 2011 and will end in 2016. If you have any interest at all in modern history, go follow this. It’s an amazingly human look at this event from many perspectives.

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A friend of mine called me this morning as I was on my way to work (no, I wasn’t driving) and told me that Pliny the Elder was going to start tweeting live about the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius!

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In case you’ve forgotten, or didn’t pay attention in that boring high school world history class, Mt. Vesuvius was the volcano that covered the Roman city of Pompeii in lava and ash, perfectly preserving it for over 1,700 years.

As of this moment, 24 August at 10:24 US Eastern time, there are only 2 tweets, but things should start to heat up soon. I’ve never read Pliny’s account of the eruption, but I can’t wait to “watch it unfold.”

(This seems to be a bit of PR/Advertising for an exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, “A Day in Pompeii: The last XXIV Hours.”  I’m fine with that – it should still be fun and interesting.  Check out the site: it has Google Maps of the areas that Pliny describes, and even has items for you to find and click on to learn more about them.  It’s nicely done.)

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