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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-16-11)
The previously unseen picture, captured by Lance Corporal Guy Adderley of British Intelligence in May 1945, shows the Nazi second-in-command lying dead after biting a cyanide pill, still wearing his trademark round glasses.
Himmler, who had been arrested by Army officers, was due to be interrogated over his war crimes the following day.
After his death, propaganda photographs of his corpse slumped on a makeshift bed were released. But Adderley kept this grainy photograph among his wartime mementoes....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-11-11)
Oberleutnant Gunther Pluschow was the sole enemy servicemen to make it off the British mainland after breaking out of a PoW camp in Derbyshire, it can be revealed.
The airman displayed incredible effort and determination and enjoyed amazing good fortune during his daring escape in the summer of 1915.
After hoodwinking the authorities, changing his appearance and swimming across the Thames Estuary, Pluschow stowed away on a Dutch steamer ship at Tilbury docks.
He talked his way past a Dutch policeman before travelling to Germany by train. Upon his return home he received a hero's welcome and was presented with the Iron Cross First Class.
His astonishing story has now fully emerged after a British author spent seven years researching German archives to uncover details of the escape before publishing Pluschow's biography....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-17-11)
The bones showed precision cuts to extract the maximum amount of meat and the skulls had been carved into cups and bowls for drinking and eating.
The fragments – which are 14,700 years old- are thought to be the oldest examples in the world of skull cups and the first evidence of ritual killing in Britain.
What is particularly horrific is that at the time, humans knew how to bury their dead and so were not savages meaning the remains are most likely the result of premeditated cannibalism.
"At the time life was very tough," said Professor Chris Stringer, a palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum, who helped excavate the skull cups....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-16-11)
Haley Barbour, a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate, said he did not think the state legislature would approve the plate bearing the name of Gen Nathan Bedford Forrest that was proposed by the Mississippi Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans....
The anniversary of the country’s unification has exposed long-running regional tensions and recalled Metternich’s dismissive observation that Italy was nothing more than “a geographical expression”.
The biggest dampener on what is meant to be a joyous festival of national pride has come from the German-speaking, autonomous province of South Tyrol, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until it was ceded to Italy at the end of the First World War.
Luis Durnwalder, the president of the mountainous province, said he wants nothing to do with the celebrations on March 17, the day in 1861 when parliament proclaimed Victor Emmanuel II the first king of Italy.
“I hold nothing against Garibaldi (one of the main architects of unification) but for us the anniversary represents something else and recalls the separation from the motherland of Austria.
“German speakers have nothing to celebrate. In 1919 we were not asked if we wanted to become part of Italy and for this reason we won’t take part in the celebrations,” he said....
Some of the most famous images of Il Duce were taken as he harangued the crowds from the stone balustrade, which overlooks Piazza Venezia, Rome’s answer to Trafalgar Square.
It has been shuttered for decades, partly out of embarrassment for its historical connotations and because of concerns that it would become a place of pilgrimage for modern-day fascists.
The entrance to the balcony was cloaked in heavy black curtains and the balustrade itself crowded with flagpoles and a pair of large air conditioning units.
“It was in a state of abandonment and crammed with various bits of apparatus, and it could no longer be left like that,” said Francesco Giro, a cultural heritage official from Rome city council.
The fact that the balcony was so closely associated with Mussolini had given it notoriety but that had now begun to fade, he said....
Some of the most famous images of Il Duce were taken as he harangued the crowds from the stone balustrade, which overlooks Piazza Venezia, Rome’s answer to Trafalgar Square.
It has been shuttered for decades, partly out of embarrassment for its historical connotations and because of concerns that it would become a place of pilgrimage for modern-day fascists.
The entrance to the balcony was cloaked in heavy black curtains and the balustrade itself crowded with flagpoles and a pair of large air conditioning units....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-14-11)
Hungarian Sandor Kepiro, now 97, was charged with being "complicit in the execution of four innocent civilians in the town of Novi Sad between 21 and 23 January, 1942, as the commander of a patrol".
An estimated 1,200 Jews, gipsies and Serbs died in the massacre that was led by Nazi Germany's Hungarian allies in retaliation for operations carried out by Yugoslav partisans. Families were rounded up and shot on the banks of the River Danube or thrown alive into the frozen river after soldiers had fired into the ice to break it up.
The Wiesenthal Centre claims that Mr Kepiro helped organise the Novi Sad massacre, and the centre listed him in first place last year on its list of ten most-wanted Nazis.
In 1944 and 1946 Hungary's communist courts found him guilty of involvement in the slaughter, but by then he had fled to Argentina....
Name of source: Stanford University
SOURCE: Stanford University (2-16-11)
Stanford Libraries Share a Treasure Trove of American History
In a room filled with antiquarian books of all sizes, Stanford Library Exhibition Designer Elizabeth Fischbach selects an unassuming brown book and carefully opens it. She points out two signatures scrawled on the title page of the Dublin 1751 edition John Milton’s Paradise Lost. In faded ink, Thomas Jefferson's signature is clearly legible; nearby on the page, the traces of James Madison's signature are barely visible, as if it's been partially erased. Fischbach turns the page to reveal an additional four James Madison signatures.
This book, the only book known to have been signed by both Jefferson and Madison, does not reside in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., or in the Library of Congress. In fact, it’s clear across the country, one of many national treasures in Stanford University’s growing collection of rare books and historic manuscripts pertaining to early American history.
In recent years, Stanford’s early American holdings, particularly from the era of America’s founding fathers, have increased dramatically. As the collection grows, more scholars are finding themselves studying the nation's East Coast beginnings on the other side of the country.
“The American Enlightenment: Treasures from the Stanford University Libraries,” an exhibition that will display rare books from the great age of intellectual discovery and innovation that produced the American Revolution among other events, will open at Stanford’s Green Library on February 7, 2011. It is curated by Caroline Winterer, Professor of American History at Stanford University, in collaboration with John E. Mustain, Curator of Rare Books at the Stanford University Libraries.
The Story of a Growing Collection
Stanford’s collection of early American books and manuscripts has grown dramatically in the last twenty years. Two major recent acquisitions will be showcased in this exhibition.
One is the personal collection of more than 150 rare books previously owned by Jay Fliegelman, Coe Professor of American Literature at Stanford until his death in 2007. Fliegelman was especially fascinated by “association copies”: books owned by historically important people, who signed, annotated, or made notes on the pages. Fliegelman loved to show his private collection “at every opportunity to students and colleagues,” said Fischbach. This is the first time that books from it have been shown to the general public.
In the last two years, the library also received a generous gift of over 1,600 volumes that now make up the Charles J. Tanenbaum Collection of the Eighteenth Century. Tanenbaum was a passionate bibliophile especially interested in the Anglophone world of the eighteenth century. The collection is especially strong in history and politics but also includes voyages and travels, classical authors, Enlightenment thinkers, and law. Winterer and Mustain carefully selected examples from each collection and several others to include in the exhibit.
“The books pretty much chose themselves,” said Winterer. “Many are of major intellectual importance, showing how exciting ideas about politics, religion, and nature crossed the Atlantic in the eighteenth century. A few are movie stars: larger than life and full color. We were especially interested in books that revealed a personal connection to a famous owner.”
“The American Enlightenment” exhibition, in which illuminating contextual details will be displayed with each item, will be on display in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda on the second floor of the Bing Wing of Green Library through May 15, 2011. The exhibition is free and open to the public. An online version of the exhibition will be available for viewing after February 7th....
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (2-14-11)
The Catholic Church has recognized the chapel in Champion near Green Bay as the location of an official sighting of the Virgin Mary. WTMJ AM says it is the only site in the country with that distinction....
SOURCE: AP (2-15-11)
The short-term extension gives lawmakers a chance to review the measures that critics from both the right and left say are unconstitutional infringements on personal liberties.
The Senate voted 86-12 a day after the House of Representatives agreed to extend the three provisions, including two from the 2001 USA Patriot Act, until Dec. 8. The two chambers now must agree on a common approach. With Congress in recess next week, there is pressure to reach a compromise this week.
The measures include the authority to initiate roving wiretaps on multiple electronic devices and the authority to obtain court-approved access to business records considered relevant to terror investigations. The third "lone wolf" provision, part of a 2004 law, permits secret intelligence surveillance of non-U.S. individuals not known to be....
Name of source: Education Week
SOURCE: Education Week (2-16-11)
In “The State of State U.S. History Standards 2011,” the research and advocacy group says the average grade across all states was barely a D. The majority—28 states—received scores of D or lower and only one state, South Carolina, earned a straight-A score.
“If students are not going to get the history in K-12, they’re not going to get it at all,” said Sheldon M. Stern, a historian formerly with the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston and one of the study’s co-authors. “The irony in the whole thing is that it’s not very difficult to improve state standards.”
Since Fordham’s last such review in 2003, 45 states have changed their history standards. While some states improved, others worsened. Delaware, for instance, tumbled from a B to an F, while the District of Columbia jumped from an F to an A-minus.
Besides the District of Columbia, five states earned an A-minus rating: Alabama, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, and New York. Oklahoma, Georgia, and Michigan are the three states that earned ratings in the B range. Because it has not implemented statewide social studies standards, Rhode Island was the only state that did not receive a grade...
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (2-16-11)
But for the world’s despots, his ideas can be fatal.
Few Americans have heard of Mr. Sharp. But for decades, his practical writings on nonviolent revolution — most notably “From Dictatorship to Democracy,” a 93-page guide to toppling autocrats, available for download in 24 languages — have inspired dissidents around the world, including in Burma, Bosnia, Estonia and Zimbabwe, and now Tunisia and Egypt....
Based on studies of revolutionaries like Gandhi, nonviolent uprisings, civil rights struggles, economic boycotts and the like, he has concluded that advancing freedom takes careful strategy and meticulous planning, advice that Ms. Ziada said resonated among youth leaders in Egypt. Peaceful protest is best, he says — not for any moral reason, but because violence provokes autocrats to crack down. “If you fight with violence,” Mr. Sharp said, “you are fighting with your enemy’s best weapon, and you may be a brave but dead hero.”
Autocrats abhor Mr. Sharp. In 2007, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela denounced him, and officials in Myanmar, according to diplomatic cables obtained by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, accused him of being part of a conspiracy to set off demonstrations intended “to bring down the government.” (A year earlier, a cable from the United States Embassy in Damascus noted that Syrian dissidents had trained in nonviolence by reading Mr. Sharp’s writings.)...
Now, a fossilized foot bone from Hadar, Ethiopia, reveals that A. afarensis had arched feet, as do modern humans, and was fully committed to walking upright. The species lived between 3.7 million and 2.9 million years ago....
Dead letters? Not to Mr. Giacchino, who thinks of them more as correspondence with another century, addressed to the 146 victims of the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire.
As New York prepares to mark the centennial of the tragedy on March 25, he has mailed the letters to the places where each victim lived in 1911, as part of an art project to commemorate the workers and their place in the city. He is also reclaiming a part of Italian-American history — 39 Italian workers were among the dead — that has gone unexplored....
The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, N.C., which instigated the road trip in the name of scientific outreach, first held a workshop where seven of its Ph.D.’s staged role-playing games and practiced debunking misconceptions about evolution without sounding confrontational.
The group’s small-town hosts took their own precautions. A high school principal in Ringgold, Va., sent out permission slips so parents could opt out of sending their children to the event (two did). A museum vice president in Putnam, Iowa, publicized the festivities only to teachers, rather than risk riling members of her conservative Christian community.
Darwin Day, conceived as a way to promote science on the 202nd anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth — he was born Feb. 12, 1809 — had until this time been commemorated mostly by those inclined to science, at natural history museums, by secular humanist groups and in university biology departments....
Mr. Kunene, who says he supports the A.N.C.’s Youth League with his time and money, promptly retorted that his was “honest money spent on honest fun.” He describes his success as proof of the nation’s democracy, and he told Mr. Vavi, who is also black: “You remind me of what it felt like to live under apartheid. You are telling me, a black man, what I can and cannot do with my life.”
The Kunene story has crystallized a recurring question about life in post-apartheid South Africa: Is the accumulation and exhibition of such wealth a sign that blacks have finally arrived after an era when whites hogged the high life, or is it evidence of a moral decay undermining Nelson Mandela’s once great liberation movement?...
He was raised by his unemployed mother (an evangelical faith healer), his grandfather (a retired English teacher), and his grandmother (a midwife and the family’s only earner) in a black township outside of Odendaalsrus in what is now the Free State. The family could never afford to give him a birthday party, he said, and he always craved luxuries.
When he was a teenager during apartheid, he said he and his friends picked out the houses and cars in wealthy white areas they fantasized would one day be theirs. He dreamed of Porsches. “The objective was to overthrow the government and take everything that the white man had,” he said....
SOURCE: NYT (2-13-11)
“To me, it’s that God’s gracious hand moved,” said Chief Anne Kirkpatrick of the Spokane Police Department. “This was a bomb of significance that would have caused devastation.”
Nearly a month after a cleanup crew found the live bomb along the planned route of a large downtown march honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the F.B.I. is investigating the incident as an act of domestic terrorism. And Spokane has cycled from shock to relief to reassessment: have the white supremacists who once struck such fear here in the inland Northwest returned at a new level of dangerousness and sophistication?
“We don’t have that kind of intelligence level to make that kind of explosive,” said Shaun Winkler, a Pennsylvania native who recently returned to the region to start a landscaping company and a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
Mr. Winkler lives not far from Hayden Lake, Idaho, where he once was among the followers of Richard Butler, a white supremacist and Aryan Nations leader who spent more than two decades proclaiming the inland Northwest to be the capital of a new white homeland. Mr. Butler died in 2004 after losing the 20-acre Aryan Nations compound in a lawsuit and losing many of his followers, as well....
Name of source: Lee White at the National Coalition for History
SOURCE: Lee White at the National Coalition for History (2-16-11)
The National Coalition for History is asking you to email letters to your U.S. Senators as soon as possible urging them to save the Teaching American History (TAH) Grants Program and Civic Education funding (through competitive grants).
Legislation is currently being drafted in the Senate that would fund federal programs for the rest of this fiscal year, FY 2011. It is absolutely vital that our members send emails as soon as possible to save TAH and Civics funding in FY’11. We will be sending a separate sample letter regarding FY’12 appropriations and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) later this spring.
The immediate, critical first priority is to save these two funding streams in the FY’11 budget for the U.S Department of Education. The House of Representatives has already targeted TAH and civics education for elimination. However, the Senate is drafting its FY’11 funding bill now and there is still time to save these programs if we act quickly.
If you click here you will be directed to a sample letter. Please feel free to craft your own letter, the important paragraph to be sure you include is:
“To help our nation’s schools meet their civic mission to help students understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens, Congress should retain the Teaching American History Grants program and maintain federal funding support for civic education, while making the civics grants competitive. The civic education grants should go to non-profits with a demonstrated ability to deliver civic education programs, emphasis should be on programs serving currently under-served student populations.” You can put that in your own words, but be sure to get the points in that paragraph across.
Here is a link to the U.S. Senate website where you can easily find the email addresses of the Senators from your state.. To be effective, emails must come from constituents so only send them to your two Senators.
Please copy your letters to Civics.TAH@gmail.com so that those working the issue on the Hill will have a copy they can give the Senator’s offices.
If we lose the funding for these two vital programs at the Department of Education in FY’11 it will be very difficult to get that funding back in FY’12 appropriations and the ESEA re-authorization. That is why it is vital you send your e-letters to your US Senators today! Thank You!
SOURCE: Lee White at the National Coalition for History (2-15-11)
The President’s fiscal year 2012 budget request for the Department of Education once again eliminates Teaching American History grants (TAH) as a separately funded program. As it did in FY ’11 the Administration proposed consolidating history education into a new program called Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education. However, TAH faces a more immediate threat. All $119 million in current year funding for TAH would be cut in the FY ’11 continuing resolution under consideration on the House floor.
In FY ’11 the Administration proposed $265 million in funding for the new initiative. In FY ’12 that amount would be reduced to $246 million. The Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education program would support competitive grants to States, high-need LEAs, and nonprofit partners to develop and expand innovative practices to improve teaching and learning of the arts, foreign languages, history, government, economics and financial literacy, environmental education, physical education, health education, and other subjects. There would be no dedicated funding for any of the disciplines.
It is important to remember this reorganization is dependent on the passage of a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the law that governs K-12 education. Congress is expected to attempt a rewrite of the law later this year.
SOURCE: Lee White at the National Coalition for History (2-14-11)
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a report questioning the completion date, final cost and capabilities of the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Electronic Records Archive (ERA). Since 2001, NARA has been working to develop an IT system to preserve and provide access to massive volumes and all types of electronic records. NARA has repeatedly revised the program schedule and increased the estimated costs for completion of the project.
According to GAO, trends indicate that future cost overruns will likely be between $195 million and $433 million to fully develop ERA as planned and between $205 and $405 million at program end. GAO also found that the ERA system, at full operational capability, will likely be deployed at least 67 months behind schedule (in March 2017) and that the total life cycle cost for the program could be at least $1.2 billion (a 21 percent increase).
In response to the GAO report, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero questioned the findings, citing recent improvements in the development of the system that will allow it to be completed this coming September and at less cost than originally planned. Ferriero stated, “Our detailed records show that system development for ERA will total $282 million for the period ending in September 2011; including operations and maintenance costs, the total will be $463 million.”
GAO also questioned NARA’s ability to utilize a best practices concept known as “earned value management (EVM).” EVM is a project management approach that provides objective reports of project status and unbiased estimates of anticipated costs at completion. GAO found many problems and delays have been caused “in part because NARA lacks a comprehensive EVM policy, training, and specialized resources.”
Name of source: Polskie Radio
SOURCE: Polskie Radio (2-14-11)
The City Council has approved a plan to set aside a small section of the Historical Museum and arrange it as Edelman’s apartment, with the furniture, books, photographs and objects of everyday use recreating the atmosphere of his home inLodz .
The exhibit is to open in October, on the second anniversary of Edelman’s death.
It will be the third such special exhibit devoted to the most famous citizens of the city, after the ones honouring Jan Karski, the legendary war-time courier who reported to allied leaders and Western societies about the Holocaust, and the pianist Artur Rubinstein.
Marek Edelman was a co-founder of the Jewish Combat Organization during World War Two. Having miraculouly survived the liquidation of the Ghetto, he managed to escape, joined the underground Home Army and fought in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
After the war, he settled in Lodz and graduated from the city’s Medical Academy, developing a career as a cardiologist....
Name of source: Ahram online (Egypt)
SOURCE: Ahram online (Egypt) (2-14-11)
The objects were found on the ground at the eastern side of the museum beside the gift shop. These items are the heart-shaped amulet of Tutankhamun’s grandfather Yoya; one of his missing wooden ushabti figurines and a part of the broken, anthropoid wooden sarcophagus on display in the New Kingdom hall.
Minister of State for Antiquities Zahi Hawass announced that an inventory carried out at Darshour storage gallery, known as De-Morgans, by the site inspectors, reveals that there are eight missing amulets. A huge iron gate is to be erected around the gallery in an attempt to tighten security.
Hawass told Ahram Online that the news broadcast on CNN that the gold mask of Tutankhamun had been stolen is totally untrue. “How could a reliable news channel like CNN broadcast such an untrue story?” Hawass wonders.
He also said that the ABC news, as well as national and international news agencies and television channels, have entered the museum and photographed Tutankhamun’s gold mask, exhibited in a room along with two of the king’s gold sarcophagi.
Hawass invites all journalists and television crews to come to the museum on Wednesday to photograph the mask in its exhibition hall....
Name of source: Der Spiegel (Germany)
SOURCE: Der Spiegel (Germany) (2-15-11)
To an outsider, it could almost seem like just another item on a packed parliamentary calendar. Last week, Germany's federal parliament, the Bundestag -- led by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and her business-friendly coalition partners, the Free Democrats -- voted in favor of a proposal which could lead to the addition of another commemoration day to the German year.
But the event up for commemoration is anything but free of controversy. The day, should Merkel's cabinet choose to pursue the idea, would be in memory of the expulsion of millions of Germans from Eastern Europe in the wake of World War II. Past efforts to commemorate their suffering have reliably elicited outcries from both within Germany and abroad. Portraying Germans as victims of World War II, after all, is always a dicey proposition.
The Berlin opposition took the lead last week in blasting Merkel's conservatives. On Monday, they were joined by 68 leading historians from Germany and elsewhere in Europe, who published an open letter criticizing the idea.
Parliamentary support for such a commemoration day, the document reads, is "an incorrect historical-political signal."...
SOURCE: Der Spiegel (Germany) (2-16-11)
They called Johannes Clemens the "Tiger of Como." When an SS captain bore a nickname like that, it rarely meant anything good. Clemens belonged to a squad that shot 335 civilians in the Ardeatine Caves near Rome in 1944, one of the worst massacres on Italian soil during World War II.
Former chief inspector Georg Wilimzig also had blood on his hands. His 300-member squad, known as IV/2, murdered thousands of men, women and children following the German invasion of Poland in 1939.
After 1945, Clemens and Wilimzig both found themselves working for the same employer -- the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency.
It's no secret that intelligence agencies don't like to disclose too much information about their own histories. There is even less transparency when that history involves mass murderers among the ranks. For this reason, it is all the more remarkable that the current BND head, Ernst Uhrlau, has been pushing for years to have more light cast on the early years of his organization, as part of Germany's ongoing efforts to come to terms with its Nazi past. Uhrlau, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), has been trying since 2006 to move the issue forward....
Name of source: Variety Magazine
SOURCE: Variety Magazine (2-15-11)
Two 30 minute black and white propaganda films in 1936 were found by Australian director Philippe Mora, who is prepping a feature length documentary on how the Nazis used images to manipulate reality.
Mora broke new ground with his first film "Swastika" when it was released in 1973 featuring previously unseen color footage from Hitler's "home" movies shot on a 16mm camera by his mistress Eva Braun at the Berghof mountain retreat at Obersalzberg in the Bavarian alps.
Now he has discovered that the Nazis were decades ahead of Hollywood in developing a medium first popularized in the 1950s and now enjoying an international renaissance.
"The films are shot on 35mm -- apparently with a prism in front of two lenses," Mora who is at the Berlinale for his planned $13 million 3D biopic on Salvador Dali, starring Alan Cumming and Judy Davis that he plans to shoot in Germany, Australia and Spain....
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (2-15-11)
It had been the crime thriller writer's wish to be buried alongside Cissy Chandler, who died in 1954.
But because he left no instruction for what to do with her ashes after his death in 1959, it has taken more than five decades to bring them together.
More than 100 literary fans gathered on Monday to see a grave marker unveiled to commemorate their reunification.
"Everyone was thrilled," said historian Loren Latker, who found references suggesting Chandler wanted to be buried alongside his wife while researching the Anglo-American author.
With the help of John Wayne's lawyer daughter Aissa, he persuaded a Los Angeles judge in September to approve a reburial.
Cissy Chandler's ashes - previously stored at a nearby mausoleum - arrived in a caravan of vintage cars as a band played When the Saints Go Marching In....
SOURCE: BBC News (2-16-11)
The limited edition coin will enter circulation later this year. Special commemorative versions will be struck in gold and silver.
The Mary Rose sank during a battle with a French invasion fleet in 1545, and was raised from the sea bed in 1982.
A new museum to house the ship will open in Portsmouth in 2012.
The new £2 coin depicts the ship in a design created by the artist John Bergdahl. He said he got the idea during a trip to the current Mary Rose museum: "I was immediately inspired by the only acknowledged painting of this iconic vessel, an image that I used as the basis for my design."
The coin bears the ship's famous name in Tudor script, while the words YOUR NOBLEST SHIPPE 1511 are inscribed around the edge. The words are from a letter written by Sir Edward Howard, Lord Admiral onboard the Mary Rose, to the King in March 1513....
SOURCE: BBC News (2-13-11)
It is a letter, written from a young woman to her love, and is the first mention of the word Valentine in the English language. And, for the first time, the descendants of Margery Brews and her betrothed John Paston have been traced.
In 1477 Margery wrote a letter to her John pleading with him not to give her up, despite her parents' refusal to increase her dowry.
Addressing her "ryght welebeloued Voluntyne" (right well-beloved Valentine), she promised to be a good wife, adding: "Yf that ye loffe me as Itryste verely that ye do ye will not leffe me" (If you love me, I trust.. you will not leave me).
Her beloved might have had his mind on business, driving a hard bargain for her hand in marriage, but Margery still had her sights on romance, and so secured her place in English history....
Name of source: The China Beat (Blog)
SOURCE: The China Beat (Blog) (2-11-11)
Have you ever wondered how you might have fared as an opium trader in the early decades of the nineteenth century? Maybe not . . . but now you can try your hand at the trade nevertheless. UC Irvine grad student Christopher Heselton alerted us to this opportunity by sending along a link to High Tea, available free online from Armor Games. Players are given a tea order that they have to meet by a certain deadline, but must first raise capital to buy the tea by joining the ranks of opium smugglers operating around the Pearl River Delta. Watch out for the Qing authorities!...
Name of source: NJ.com
SOURCE: NJ.com (2-15-11)
Lots of space at 1.5 acres and a hilltop view of, well everything.
Cozy, too with 37 rooms.
And if you love beer, you gotta have this baby.
The Feigenspan Mansion, the brownstone landmark in Newark’s Central Ward built for a beer baron and his wife more than a century ago, is on the market.
Except for a caretaker, the house on the High Street hill hasn’t been lived in since 1999, when its last full-time occupants, a realtor and his artist wife, sold it to a community agency. That institution’s plans for a Central Ward social service hub, though, never gained traction. Persistent debt and the agency’s restructuring is forcing its sale....
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (2-15-11)
Speaking at a ceremony in Tokyo to inter the remains of 882 people found on the island last year, Kan said the authorities would locate the missing men as soon as possible.
"Many fallen soldiers remain," he said. "We vow to find them as soon as possible. We will do all we can to organise searches for them."
The US marines' assault on Iwo To on 19 February 1945 marked the start of a fierce battle in which 21,570 Japanese soldiers – almost the entire military contingent on the island – and 6,821 American soldiers died. The 36-day campaign is the most costly battle in the history of the US marine corps....
Name of source: VoA News
SOURCE: VoA News (2-14-11)
Born in 1914, she favored India's independence from Britain. But she put her feelings aside to help the British fight Nazi Germany. She was eventually caught in occupied France and executed at Dachau concentration camp.
Efforts are underway to raise about $155,000 to place a bronze bust of Noor Inayat Khan in the London square where she once lived. The bust would be the first memorial in Britain to either a Muslim or an Asian woman.
VOA's Sarah Williams spoke with with Shrabani Basu, author of the book “Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan," to learn more about the World World Two heroine....
Name of source: Sky News
SOURCE: Sky News (2-15-11)
Archaeologists made the remarkable discovery while excavating a muddy area of a former Roman settlement on the A1 near Leeming.
Helen Maclean of archaeology firm AECOM described the find as very rare.
Photographs show a right footprint clearly visible in soft ground followed by two left prints - suggesting that the boy or girl who made them was hopping or skipping.
The perfectly-preserved footprints were uncovered in 2010 during a dig at Healam Bridge, but photographs have only now been released after Sky News heard of their existence....
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (2-14-11)
Thailand urged its neighbour to return to the table for bilateral talks to settle the row centred on a 900-year-old temple, which erupted into four days of clashes earlier this month, leaving at least 10 people dead.
The two sides are at odds over a border area surrounding the Preah Vihear temple, an 11th century clifftop ruin that belongs to Cambodia but whose designation as a World Heritage site touched off the ire of Thai nationalists....
Name of source: Live Science
SOURCE: Live Science (2-15-11)
Researchers recently discovered nearly 2,000 tombs by peering through one high-resolution "window" at a rocky lava field east of the city of Jeddah — all without having to set foot in the Saudi desert.
Judging by the sheer number of stone ruins identified in Saudi Arabia, as well as in other research in Jordan, there may well be a million such sites scattered throughout the Arabian Peninsula, said David Kennedy, an archaeologist at the University of Western Australia who led the study....
SOURCE: Live Science (2-14-11)
The two toes — the Greville Chester housed in the British Museum and the Cairo toe at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo — date back to before 600 B.C., which the researchers say is much earlier than what had been considered the earliest known practical prosthesis (called the Roman Capua leg dating to around 300 B.C.)
The Greville Chester toe, named after the reverend who discovered it in Thebes near present-day Luxor in Egypt, is made of cartonnage, which is a type of papier maché made by soaking linen in animal glue and painting it with tinted plaster. It is shaped like a right big toe and at one time held a false toenail. The artificial toe shows considerable signs of wear, the researchers said, including signs of rubbing....
Name of source: BBC
James Clark, a former skipper of the Scot II, and his son Dan have started a project to save the rusting vessel.
The duo from Fort Augustus have been offered assistance from Babcock apprentices and staff and students at Fife's Carnegie College.
The cost of the full restoration has been estimated at £375,000.
Offers of help from volunteers had reduced the cost from its original estimate of £750,000.
Built at Henry Robb shipyards in Leith in 1931, the Scot II operated on the Caledonian Canal from its home berth at Fort Augustus.
It was later used as a pleasure cruiser, a floating bar and restaurant before sinking near a boatyard on Bute....
SOURCE: BBC (2-15-11)
They've each got a metal detector, a small spade and - the most optimistic among them - a bag for treasure.
They don't like to be labelled treasure hunters though. They prefer to call their hobby - quietly searching these bleak, rain-soaked slopes - metal detecting.
There has been a recent rise in interest in the pastime - since David Booth unearthed a hoard of Iron Age gold the first time he used his new metal detector.
He found the four neck ornaments - or torcs - dated from between the 1st and 3rd Century BC in a field near Stirling in September 2009.
Mr Booth is, like the others, intently listening to the electronic beeps from his metal detector against the constant background roar of traffic on the nearby M80....
SOURCE: BBC (2-15-11)
NI Water said the devices were discovered in Percy Bysshe quarry beside the Blue Lough in the Mournes. The quarry was used during the war as an artillery firing range.
Police and Army Technical officers secured the area before two controlled explosions were carried out....
A complex chemical reaction is behind the deterioration of the works.
The finding is a first step to understanding how to stop some of the Dutch master's most famous paintings from fading over time.
The results, published in the journal Analytical Chemistry, suggest shielding the affected paintings as much as possible from UV and sunlight.
Uncovering the secrets of the chemical reaction required the scientists to use an array of analytical tools....
But less widely known is the role of a mid Wales village in tackling another of the future monarch's afflictions.
The then Prince Albert sought refuge for three weeks in Llangurig, Powys, while recuperating from a duodenal ulcer.
He rested in the village in September 1917, shortly after serving in the Battle of Jutland during World War I.
The King's Speech picked up seven Baftas on Sunday with its focus on his relationship with his speech therapist, initially in secret, as he tried to overcome his impediment....
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (2-15-11)
The 15 will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is "presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors," the White House said.
President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will be at the ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
Along with Bush, Musial and Ma, 12 others will receive the prestigious honor.
The other recipients of the medal will be: German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Georgia congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis; Natural Resources Defense Council co-founder John Adams; poet Maya Angelou; investor Warren Buffett; artist Jasper Johns; Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein; humanitarian activist Tom Little, who was killed in Afghanistan; civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez; Boston Celtics NBA legend Bill Russell; nonprofit leader and former Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith....
SOURCE: CNN (2-15-11)
The findings come two and a half years after the FBI said that Army microbiologist Bruce Ivins was behind the anthrax mailings, and that the spores could be traced to a flask labeled RMR-1029 in his lab.
The scientific panel said the anthrax used in mailings to news organizations and members of Congress was the Ames strain Bacillus anthracis, and spores from the letters shared "a number of genetic similarities" with spores in Ivins' flask. But the findings say the FBI did not fully explore other possible explanations for those similarities.
Ivins knew he was under suspicion by the FBI and committed suicide in July 2008 before any charges were filed against him. Ivins was involved in anthrax vaccine research at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland.
In response to the report, the FBI said, while the scientific investigation could not pinpoint the source of the anthrax, it helped its agents and the Justice Department to focus resources and conclude that Ivins was behind the attacks....
SOURCE: CNN (2-14-11)
The Sons of Confederate Veterans has launched the campaign to recognize Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest on a specialty license plate.
Forrest, a popular and controversial figure, is best known as a leader of the KKK, the white supremacist group known for terrorizing blacks in the South after the Civil War.
He is also praised and criticized for an 1864 raid at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, where hundreds of black Union Army members were killed during the war. The controversy over whether Forrest conducted or condoned the massacre is still a matter for heated debate....
Name of source: Science Magazine
SOURCE: Science Magazine (2-12-11)
Hawass revealed 12 February in his blog that eight important objects are missing from the Egyptian Museum following the 29 January break-in by thieves. Those include two gilded statues of King Tutankhamen as well as a statue of Queen Nefertiti. An investigation is under way. He added that on 11 February looters emptied a storage area in Dashur, an important ancient necropolis in the southern part of the famous cemetery at Saqqara, which contained large blocks and small artifacts. "I am now concerned Egypt is not safe," he wrote. The thefts from the Egyptian Museum are likely to undermine Hawass's long-standing efforts to have important artifacts, such as a bust of Nefertiti now in Berlin, returned to Cairo (Science, 28 January, p. 382).
Meanwhile, Hawass faced other problems. On 10 February, dozens of museum workers protested for higher wages outside his office in the Cairo suburb of Zamalek, an unthinkable event in a country where, until January, the government kept a tight lid on criticism. And Hany Hanna, a senior conservator in the Supreme Council of Antiquities, urged Hawass in a widely circulated letter last week "to change the overall system of corruption and replace it with a professional scientific management." Hanna complained that party hacks riddle the council and prevent younger and more talented people from rising in the ranks. Hawass could not be reached for comment last week. But the Hany letter and Zamalek protests appear to be part of a wider move by Egyptians to air their opinions about the way their government has been run for the past 3 decades.
The 63-year-old Hawass has become an internationally known figure, sporting an Indiana Jones-style hat in television documentaries and ruling over Egypt's thousands of ancient sites with an iron hand (Science, 20 January 2006, p. 326). He is also one of archaeology's most controversial figures, winning praise from foreign archaeologists, who say he has done much to modernize an antiquated system, as well as scorn from those who say he claims credit for others' discoveries....
Name of source: The Washington Post
SOURCE: The Washington Post (2-14-11)
The slave might have believed, as West Africa's Yoruba culture held, that such stones had connections to Eshu-Elegba, the deity of fortune, and were left behind like mystical calling cards after a lightning strike.
The bond servant sealed the stone into the brickwork, where it would stay for generations, an artifact of the enslaved man as much as the god whose favor he sought.
On Monday the University of Maryland will unveil, among other things, details of the stone's discovery at the famous Wye House "orangery" - a jewel of European architecture, now found to have imprints of the slaves who built it.
The discoveries were made over the past few years by a team headed by anthropology professor Mark Leone on an Eastern Shore estate where abolitionist Frederick Douglass once was a slave.
The team also found West African-style charms buried at the entrance to what turned out to be the slave quarters at the orangery, which was a state-of-the art greenhouse, and pollen from exotic plants the slaves used....
Name of source: NJ
SOURCE: NJ (2-12-11)
The main attractions will be in place through March 15. The exhibit will continue from March 17 to 28 with some 100 artifacts from the "Silk Road" but without the mummies.
Silk Road debuted a week ago today after approximately a year of planning.
Three days prior to the scheduled opening, after the mummies and artifacts were displayed at museums in California and Texas, the Chinese government said it had not given permission for the items to be displayed at Penn.
Museum staffers recreated the mummies and used life-sized photos to replace such objects as gem-encrusted gold vessels, masks, jewelry, textiles and even a piece of fried dough that were promised for display....
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (2-11-11)
"Is it a code, a cipher of some kind?" asked Greg Hodgins, a physicist with the University of Arizona. "People are doing statistical analysis of letter use and word use -- the tools that have been used for code breaking. But they still haven't figured it out," Hodgins said....
Because the parchment pages of the Voynich manuscript were made from animal skin, they can be radiocarbon-dated. Hodgins, a chemist and archaeological scientist, used radiocarbon dating on tiny bits of the pages extracted with a scalpel to determine that the book dates back to the early 15th century, making it a century older than scholars had previously thought.
Carbon-14 dating places the book's creation to between 1404 and 1438, in the early Renaissance. It's not the oldest book in the world -- that would be The Diamond Sutra, a seven-page scroll printed with wood blocks on paper in China around 1,300 years ago. But it's older than the Gutenberg bible, the first book printed with modern presses, which rolled off the line in 1453....
Name of source: Progress-Index.com
SOURCE: Progress-Index.com (2-11-11)
The shell was discovered Thursday at around 1 p.m. after Park Rangers executed a search warrant on the home in the 1800 block of Oakland Street as part of a criminal investigation.
"Due to the dangers involved, when the shell was discovered we called the Petersburg police for assistance," said Petersburg National Battlefield Chief Ranger Kevin Taylor.
Petersburg police spokeswoman Esther Hyatt said that the local police provided assistance with traffic control by blocking off the streets, but that the State Police provided assistance with the artillery shell....