Last month I read Philip Matyszak's informative and entertaining book Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw on ReadWriteWeb that Google is going to work with the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities to embed the Rome Reborn project into Google Earth. This means Google will overlay ancient Rome onto Google Earth. Fabulous, now when you do your online stalking (I mean research) via Google Earth you can step back in time.
Not surprisingly (given they own it) Google has also loaded onto YouTube a great short video about this project. The URL for the YouTube video is at http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=MqMXIRwQniA but I have also embedded it into this post.
Interestingly, Google has also released Mail Goggles. What is this I hear you say. Well, according to Google, Mail Goggles stops you sending email you might latter regret.
For example, you are attending an ancient Roman bacchanalia, and after drinking too much wine, and flirting with too many slaves, you stupidly fire off an email to the Emperor telling him that his wife looks like the side of the Colosseum. 'Buggerous' you think to your self, now you are going to end up in a staring role with a hungry lion at the said Colosseum. But don't worry, because it is Friday night and you only use gmail you are safe. Set to late-night Friday and Saturday by default, Mail Goggles can be configured to give you pause any day of the week at any time period you prefer. During the nominated time period the email won't be sent until you first answer some maths questions. The theory being that if you are drunk you will not be able to do the sums and the email will be blocked. Of course if you are a wiz at maths when drunk your stuffed and you will end up as lunch for some lion.
For more on Mail Goggles go to the Gmail lab settings.
As an aside, between Edward Gibbons and Hollywood, there is the general impression that ancient Romans loved their drunken orgies. However, if you have ever seen an episode of the UK TV shows "Ladettes to Ladies" or "Footballer's Wives", I am not sure that we in the twentieth century can point the finger at the ancient Romans. It looks like there may indeed be a role for Mail Goggles after all.