Today's SWL is from Scott, who loves roaming through living history...
Everyone knows about Pompeii. Old city, destroyed by volcano, tragedy beyond measure, great Bastille song. And I've been to Pompeii. Pompeii is cool, if you don't mind staying on the city streets and staring longingly into the ruins.
But what if I told you there was a place in Italy where you could wander madly through the ruins? Climbing under and over them, getting lost in them, without anyone complaining or kicking you out?
Welcome to Ostia Antica.
Seriously, this place is amazing. At one time, the city sat at the mouth of the Tiber River, and was Rome's port city, where thousands of tons of trade goods came and went. Silting from the river has now moved the coast about three kilometers away.
When we were there a few years back, Mark and our friends walked down the main road, but I was all over those ruins.
There's a restored villa, a stadium, two museums (including one with some amazing homoerotic sculpture and statuary) and even a cafeteria so you can grab lunch and go back out exploring again.
It's just a short train ride from Rome. Truly one of the hi-lights of our visits to Italy.
Today's SWL is from Angel, who sometimes gets frustrated with tech...
This topic occurs to me as I'm getting ready for conventions, but it's also getting close to That Time Of Year (not saying the Ch-word) so it's doubly relevant.
Shopping online encroaches on in-store shopping a little more every year. While Business News Daily asserts that the majority of consumers still prefer to shop in-store (WHY???) the fact is that most of us, 51% according to UPS, made our purchases online last year.
That's huge. I ask very little of a shopping website - don't care if it's pretty or runs on a mobile device, or is particularly fast. Really. Don't care. What I do want is ease of shopping. Can I find products easily? (e.g. Are there nice categories that make sense? Is there a good search function?) Can I check out easily, or has the merchant made it some convoluted process with different kinds of logins and no mention of payment types until I've jumped through a hundred hoops?
Lemme give you an example: A certain chocolatier's website I was on this week? Terrible. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but on the PC version of the site, there's no actual list of products. There are limited categories that make little to no sense. In order to find "nuggets" I had to know the name of the product and use the search function specifically. I could have signed up as a "Member" in order the check out, but I didn't want to do that. Instead, I used the "Guest" log in, only to find on the very last page of the purchase that I couldn't use PayPal with that login type.
In contrast, most book websites are set up for greatest ease of purchase. Various ways to search, easy checkout, generally clear payment methods, easy delivery options whether it's electronic or physical delivery.
This might be why I buy more books than anything else...