Found a fascinating article on the The Verge this week; a designer created photo realistic images for the first 54 Roman emperors. From Augustus to Numerian, he took historical busts, statues, paintings and coins, fed the images into an AI called ArtBreeder repeatedly, and created realistic images of what these emperors looked like. He tweaked the results with actual photos of celebrities and fed the image back into ArtBreeder; like using Daniel Craig as a reference point for Augustus. The results are amazing. None of that creepy, not-quite-human look that so many CGI renders have. If your interested, let me throw in a plug for one of my favorite podcasts; The History of Rome. This podcast is no longer active, but it covers the history of Rome from its mythical and/or actual founding, through the Republic and Empire, to end of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD. The podcast ended eight long years ago, but I cannot recommend it enough to anyone with an interest in history or the ancient world.
The month of August has not been great on Guam. The number of COVID cases has skyrocketed in the first half of the month, prompting a return to lockdown here on the island. The number of positive cases in the first half of August accounted for almost half the total cases on Guam since March. There are currently well over 100 active cases, with many hospitalized. Four patients are in the ICU tonight, and one of them is on a ventilator. Last week the governor announced that she was battling a mild case of COVID-19, followed by the lieutenant governor announcing he was positive mid-week. The governor announced a return to lockdown for two weeks, starting last Saturday. So businesses are closed, schools are closed, parks and beaches are closed, any public gathering is banned. It sucks, but I guess this is going to be par for the course for the remainder of this year and into 2021. And just to continue the theme, I came across this long article last week that laid out the cost of COVID-19 on health care workers across the United States. A sobering read indeed.