Name of source: Huffington Post
LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Newt Gingrich campaign has a robocall out in Florida claiming that Mitt Romney once took kosher food away from Holocaust survivors.
The allegation made in the call, obtained by anti-robocall activist Shaun Dakin, is undoubtedly targeted at Florida's large Jewish and elderly populations.
The text of the call:
As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes. Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher. Where is Mitt Romney's compassion for our seniors? Tuesday you can end Mitt Romney's hypocrisy on religious freedom, with a vote for Newt Gingrich. Paid for by Newt 2012....
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 16:43
Name of source: Florida Independent Alligator
The president of the Gainesville Tea Party said she "would probably disagree" with the Tennessee Tea Party's push to remove slavery from textbook references that make the Founding Fathers look bad.
"If they're asking for an accurate rendition of what happened, then yes, I'll support what they have to do, but I do not support a whitewash," said Laurie Newsom, president of the Gainesville Tea Party.
According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Tennessee Tea Party wants to remove material from textbooks so "no portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers."
Steven Noll, a UF American history professor, said he believes calling for the removal of slavery from textbooks is disparaging, dismissing and disrespectful....
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 14:16
Name of source: CBS News
It's been nearly a half-century since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
But new information from that day in Dallas has just been released -- audiotape of conversations between Air Force One and Washington.
For the first time, the complete audio record of the flight back from Dallas to Washington is available to the public online, from the National Archives, for free.
It helps to fill in the record of that day of sorrow, confusion and fear.
"Gonna put Mrs. Rose Kennedy on the line now," one voice can be heard saying....
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 14:15
Name of source: ESPN
The persuasive power of President Lyndon B. Johnson is the stuff of Washington legend. Selling ice to Eskimos is nothing. As the Senate majority leader and again as president, LBJ sold civil rights legislation to a Senate controlled by Southern segregationists.
But 40 years ago, in the winter of Johnson's life, when he had returned to his beloved Texas, he couldn't sell the Longhorns to one of the top recruits in the state. The running back went to Texas' archrival and fulfilled the potential that had prompted Longhorns coach Darrell K. Royal to enlist LBJ in the first place.
Recorded in the files of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin is the story of how the recruit, Joe Washington of Port Arthur, and his family refused an invitation from Johnson to go to the famed LBJ Ranch and meet the former president. Washington, a 5-foot-9 scatback, went to Oklahoma, where he became an All-American and, as a junior, finished third in the 1974 Heisman Trophy vote. After 10 years in the NFL, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame....
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 14:11
Name of source: CS Monitor
Sequences of explosive volcanic eruptions in the tropics were the likely trigger for the Little Ice Age, according to a new study.
The research attempts to answer two longstanding questions swirling around the roughly 400-year span of slightly cooler-than normal temperatures: Exactly when did it begin? And what was its initial trigger?
Previous estimates for the onset of the Little Ice Age range from as early as the late 1200s to as late as the 1500s, the research team notes. Globally, temperatures averaged a modest 0.6 degrees Celsius, or about 1 degree Fahrenheit cooler than usual.
But regionally, cooling could be profound. Glaciers in the Alps grew, bulldozing mountain villages. In Europe, the growing season became shorter, with spring and summers often cold and wet, triggering famines. In China, provinces that for centuries had produced bountiful citrus harvests no longer could provide them. With an additional climate-cooling blast from Mt. Tambora in Indonesia in 1815, North America and Europe experienced the year without summer in 1816....
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 10:49
Wherever Newt Gingrich goes these days – stumping in Florida, arguing on televised debates with fellow Republican presidential hopefuls, jotting down notes for his umpteenth book – he carries with him a scary but useful ghost: Saul Alinsky.
The radical community organizer (gone now these 40 years) is the specter on which Barack Obama has modeled his life, Mr. Gingrich warns. It’s no coincidence, he says, that both Alinsky and Mr. Obama were from Chicago or that the president passed up far more lucrative possibilities to become … a community organizer....
Born in Chicago in 1909 to Russian immigrant parents, Alinsky worked his way through the University of Chicago, then dropped out of grad school to organize the poor in the city’s slums, demanding better working and living conditions. He went on to do the same thing in other US cities.
Published the year before he died in 1972, Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals” has been compared with the writing of Thomas Paine, and it inspired many young idealists (including, apparently, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who wrote her Wellesley College senior thesis on Alinsky)....
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 10:48
Name of source: WaPo
MISURATA, Libya — Eight months after revolutionaries took control of Misurata, a strategic and bloody battlefield in Libya’s uprising against former leader Moammar Gaddafi, people are going about their lives once more.
Shops and schools have reopened, and a few valiant souls are beginning to patch up the sooty skeletons of buildings shattered by months of fighting.
But Misurata, 131 miles east of Tripoli, has not quite gone back to being a sleepy coastal city. Some former rebel fighters like to block the main street with trucks loaded with missiles so they can have races, executing screeching hand brake turns while irritated motorists are forced onto back streets. And the thousands who died here will not soon be forgotten, as ubiquitous memorials to fallen sons, fathers and colleagues testify....
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 10:42
Obama has spoken nostalgically of his grandparents’ generation and said he hopes to “restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”
Economists have come to call that period, following World War II, the “Great Compression,” because inequality dramatically declined as middle-class wages surged. It lasted until the 1970s.
Some economists today are skeptical about whether that could happen again.
The economy often achieved growth of nearly 4 percent per year in the decades after World War II, and much of the gains accrued to middle-class workers. Over the past 30 years, it has grown at an annual pace of less than 3 percent.
In 1960, there were more than five workers for every retiree. Today, there are fewer than three. And in 1960, the U.S. economy represented about 40 percent of the world economy. Today, it represents less than a quarter of the world economy.
“It’s a very different world and I don’t think it’s going to come back close,” said James Heckman, a Nobel winning economist at the University of Chicago.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 10:41
Richard Nixon was many things — crafty, criminal, self-pitying, vengeful, paranoid. But gay?
According to a book to be released Tuesday, “Nixon’s Darkest Secrets,” the former president and his best friend, Charles “Bebe” Rebozo, had a relationship of a “possibly homosexual nature.” But author Don Fulsom, a former radio reporter who covered the White House from Lyndon Johnson’s presidency to Bill Clinton’s, provides scant evidence for this claim. No new White House tapes. No love letters, incriminating pictures or diary entries. No recently declassified government documents. Just a recollection from retired journalist Bonnie Angelo, who, in an interview with me, confirmed the story she told Fulsom: In 1972, she saw a tipsy Nixon pull Rebozo into a group photo at a Florida restaurant and hold his hand for “upwards of a minute.”
That’s pretty thin gruel — but not so thin that it keeps the author from enthusiastic speculation. “Was Nixon’s tough-guy attitude toward gays just a cover for his own homosexuality, bisexuality or asexuality?” Fulsom writes. “Well, he isn’t still called ‘Tricky Dick’ for nothing.”...
Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 22:15
Name of source: NYT
The folklorist and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax was a prodigious collector of traditional music from all over the world and a tireless missionary for that cause. Long before the Internet existed, he envisioned a “global jukebox” to disseminate and analyze the material he had gathered during decades of fieldwork.
A decade after his death technology has finally caught up to Lomax’s imagination. Just as he dreamed, his vast archive — some 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts, much of it tucked away in forgotten or inaccessible corners — is being digitized so that the collection can be accessed online. About 17,000 music tracks will be available for free streaming by the end of February, and later some of that music may be for sale as CDs or digital downloads.
On Tuesday, to commemorate what would have been Lomax’s 97th birthday, the Global Jukebox label is releasing “The Alan Lomax Collection From the American Folklife Center,” a digital download sampler of 16 field recordings from different locales and stages of Lomax’s career....
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 10:37
Tucked away for decades in a cabinet in Thomas Edison’s laboratory, just behind the cot in which the great inventor napped, a trove of wax cylinder phonograph records has been brought back to life after more than a century of silence.
The cylinders, from 1889 and 1890, include the only known recording of the voice of the powerful chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Two preserve the voice of Helmuth von Moltke, a venerable German military strategist, reciting lines from Shakespeare and from Goethe’s “Faust” into a phonograph horn. (Moltke was 89 when he made the recordings — the only ones known to survive from someone born as early as 1800.) Other records found in the collection hold musical treasures — lieder and rhapsodies performed by German and Hungarian singers and pianists at the apex of the Romantic era, including what is thought to be the first recording of a work by Chopin.
Officials at Edison’s old laboratory in West Orange, N.J., now the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, unveiled the newly identified recordings on Monday....
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 10:36
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — “I’ll take you to see Mulberry Street,” said Guy McLain, the director of the Museum of Springfield History.
He meant the real Mulberry Street, the one that inspired the first of Dr. Seuss’ 44 children’s books.
I started to think what I might see on Mulberry Street. Truffula trees? Gerald McGrew? Gertrude McFuzz? A Once-ler or two?
That’s the thing about Dr. Seuss. He gets in your head and stays there.
I was listening to the radio last week when I heard an announcer say that this year is the 75th anniversary of the publication of “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.”...
Monday, January 30, 2012 - 10:44
A new ad on behalf of Mitt Romney pokes fun at Newt Gingrich, and says he is exaggerating his relationship with Ronald Reagan.
Mr. Gingrich frequently links himself to the former president, who is revered by many as the embodiment of modern conservatism — even as some Republicans question Mr. Gingrich’s conservative credentials.
The new ad asserts that Mr. Reagan, who died in 2004, did not return the love....
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 10:52
CAIRO — A huge demonstration on the first anniversary of the Egyptian revolution turned into a contest on Wednesday between Islamists and other activists over whether to celebrate the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak or to rally against the continued rule of the generals who took power.
Declared a national holiday, the occasion brought out teeming crowds in cities across the country, including an estimated 100,000 demonstrators packed into the revolution’s symbolic center in the capital’s Tahrir Square and the surrounding streets. The outpouring was as large as any during the original uprising. But the spirit of unity gave way to new divisions: Islamists against liberals, political winners against losers, dealmakers willing to compromise with the military against activists demanding its immediate exit from power....
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 10:47
For 66 years, they lay unseen, first in a vault on the Upper West Side, more recently in a special cabinet. Now the New-York Historical Society plans to put them on public display alongside a silver cigar box, a silver ice cream dish and the silver controller handle that Mayor George B. McClellan Jr. used when he drove the first subway train, in 1904: A knife and fork with the initials A and H, for Adolf Hitler.
The historical society is including the Hitler flatware, part of a dinner service made in celebration of his 50th birthday in 1939, in an exhibition of 150 of the “most aesthetically and historically compelling pieces” in its collection, according to a description on the society’s Web site.
The exhibition, “Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York,” promises to interpret “these compelling objects within a cultural context,” the Web site says. “Stories in Sterling” is scheduled to open on May 2 at the society’s recently renovated headquarters at 170 Central Park West, at West 77th Street....
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 10:41
POTSDAM, Germany — The official delegation honoring Frederick the Great’s 300th birthday had just finished laying a laurel wreath and a grand cross of white flowers at his grave here on Tuesday when a 70-year-old retiree quietly slipped in behind them and placed a small potato on the gray slab of stone that marks the monarch’s resting place.
“I’m a born Potsdamer and my father was, too, and I guess a little of the old Prussiandom is still in my veins,” said the man, Harry Günther, a retired engineer, standing before the yellow walls of Frederick’s magnificent summer palace, Sanssouci, on a chilly, foggy morning, a light coating of snow on the grass. He praised Frederick’s Prussian virtues, like hard work, honesty and thrift.
The potato, one of more than a dozen left by admirers, is a traditional token to honor Frederick’s role in spreading the cultivation of the food staple in his lands. “Old Fritz made sure they grew them,” Mr. Günther said, using the monarch’s popular nickname. “Plus, they last longer than flowers.”...
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 13:50
The Turkish government and press castigated France on Tuesday, accusing the parliament of racism and a breach of France’s own free speech principles after the French Senate passed a bill late Monday effectively criminalizing the denial that the slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenians in the early 20th century under the Ottoman Turks was a genocide.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 18:06
LOS ANGELES — No one expects to stumble across a cache of Picasso’s works in the middle of a desert. So who would think that just off bustling Wilshire Boulevard, tucked between the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the national headquarters of the Screen Actors Guild, lie buried some of the most exquisitely preserved fossils in the world?
The fossils of the La Brea Tar Pits are just that. They were first discovered in Maj. Henry Hancock’s asphalt mine in the 1870s, when Los Angeles was but a village. Since the early 20th century, more than one million bones have been excavated from the pits; when reassembled, they provide an extraordinary time capsule of the creatures that roamed Southern California 10,000 to 40,000 years ago.
Interest in these animals today, however, is more than a matter of prehistoric curiosity. Many of the species found at La Brea disappeared altogether as the planet warmed at the end of the last ice age. The reasons for their demise are not yet fully understood, but may be especially pertinent to understanding the effects of climate change on animal populations today....
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 14:14
ISTANBUL — For 1,600 years, this city — Turkey’s largest — has been built and destroyed, erected and erased, as layer upon layer of life has thrived on its seven hills.
Today, Istanbul is a city of 13 million, spread far beyond those hills. And on a long-farmed peninsula jutting into Lake Kucukcekmece, 13 miles west of the city center, archaeologists have made an extraordinary find.
The find is Bathonea, a substantial harbor town dating from the second century B.C. Discovered in 2007 after a drought lowered the lake’s water table, it has been yielding a trove of relics from the fourth to the sixth centuries A.D., a period that parallels Istanbul’s founding and its rise as Constantinople, a seat of power for three successive empires — the Eastern Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman....
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 14:13
PARIS — Relations between France and Turkey dipped to a nadir as the French Senate approved a bill late Monday criminalizing the denial of officially recognized genocides, including the Armenian genocide begun in 1915.
Turkey’s prime minister, anticipating the bill’s passage, called the move “incomprehensible” and pledged to “take steps.” Turkey has already suspended military cooperation, bilateral political agreement and economic contracts with France over the bill, and on Monday raised the possibility of withdrawing support for Euronews, an international news network based in France, in which Turkey’s national radio and television network holds a 15.5 percent stake.
After lengthy debate, the Senate voted 127 to 86 in favor of the legislation, while hundreds of Turks and Armenians demonstrated outside. If signed into law by President Nicolas Sarkozy, the legislation would call for up to one year in prison and a fine of about $58,000 for those who deny an officially recognized genocide. The bill does not make specific reference to the estimated 1.5 million Armenians slaughtered under the Ottoman Turks, but France recognizes only those deaths and the Holocaust as genocides and already specifically bans Holocaust denial....
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 14:12
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
A former US Marine claims to have had threesomes with the abdicated King Edward VIII and his wife Wallis Simpson in a new book.
Scotty Bowers, a former Marine, claims to have run a gay and bisexual prostitution ring for some of Hollywood's biggest names in the 1940s and beyond.
Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, George Cukor, Katherine Hepburn and Vivien Leigh are among those named by Bowers, now 88....
Monday, January 30, 2012 - 11:35
What is it about this middle-aged, double divorcee from Baltimore, square-jawed with a mole on her chin and hair scraped back into airplane wings, that suddenly we can’t get enough of? Either she, or an actress impersonating her, has been on almost as many front pages in the last year as she was at the height of her infamy in 1936, the period known as the Abdication Crisis (which perhaps should now be renamed the Abdication Solution, considering how well it all turned out).
Ever since the award-winning film, The King’s Speech, when Wallis had only a brief part – but was, of course, the catalyst for the entire story – there has been an explosion of interest in her: from William Boyd’s bestselling novel, Any Human Heart, recently adapted for television, to Caroline Blackwood’s book, The Last of the Duchess, transformed into a critically acclaimed stage play, and, of course, my own biography, That Woman. Partly based on a new cache of letters from Wallis to second husband Ernest Simpson, it dramatically revises the traditional interpretation of her story – of which more later.
And now, as celebrations begin for the Diamond Jubilee, Madonna’s film about Wallis, W.E., is released. It’s so-called because Wallis and Edward referred to themselves as W.E. – their joint initials, but also a dig at the royal “we”. Subversive, intimate, playful, their nickname reveals much about their relationship....
Monday, January 30, 2012 - 11:32
John Roos, the US Ambassador to Japan, has written to Kazumi Matsui, mayor of Hiroshima, to reassure him that the Manhattan Project National Historical Park will serve as "an educational and commemorative facility."
Mr Roos said that a speech by President Barack Obama in Prague in 2009 in which he promised to work towards a world without atomic weapons "marked the beginning of the end of the nuclear weapons era."
"As we look to the future and a world without nuclear weapons, it is fitting to remember that era through the lens of history, which the promised park aims to achieve."
The plans for the three-site park were first detailed in August 2011, with Cindy Kelly, president of the Atomic Heritage Foundation, stating "A national park site would deepen public understanding of the development of the atom bomb in the context of the time, including how its creators felt about it from a moral and personal perspective....
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 10:54
Name of source: Daily Mail (UK)
Discovery of prostate cancer in a 2,200-year-old mummy suggests the disease is caused by genetics – not the environment.
Professor Salima Ikram, of the American University in Cairo, Egypt, said: ‘Living conditions in ancient times were very different; there were no pollutants or modified foods, which leads us to believe that the disease is not necessarily only linked to industrial factors.’
Whether environment or genetics triggers cancer is key to understanding it.
The unnamed Ptolemaic mummy, which is kept at the National Archaeology Museum of Lisbon, had a pattern of round and dense tumours between its pelvis and lumbar spine - giveaway signs of man's modern-day killer....
Monday, January 30, 2012 - 11:30
A medieval barn described by the poet John Betjeman as the ‘cathedral of Middlesex’ has been rescued from decay and neglect for the nation, English Heritage said today.
Grade I-listed Harmondsworth Barn in west London joins the likes of Stonehenge, Osborne House and parts of Hadrian's Wall in the national collection of historic sites and monuments under the guardianship of English Heritage.
Built by Winchester College in 1426, the barn would have been used to store grain from the surrounding manor, owned by the Bishop of Winchester, with profits from the produce used to pay for the school....
Monday, January 30, 2012 - 11:29
A survey carried out two days before Holocaust Memorial Day shows more than a fifth of young Germans do not know the name of Auschwitz or what happened there.
Twenty one per cent of people aged between 18 and 30 quizzed about the most notorious Nazi extermination camp had not heard of it, the survey revealed.
And almost half of all those canvassed by the Forsa research institute said they had never visited a concentration camp despite the fact Germany has made all of those on its soil permanent memorials to the dead....
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 11:52
Dogs have been a loyal companion to mankind for more than 30,000 years, findings reveal.
Scientists believe that two 33,000-year-old skulls unearthed in digs in Siberia and Belgium show dogs were domesticated long before any other animal, such as sheep, cows or goats.
Researchers from the University of Arizona said the skulls had shorter snouts and wider jaws than undomesticated animals such as wolves, which use their longer snouts and narrower jaws to help them hunt....
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 10:52
Name of source: Examiner
A monument in Washington, DC to honor slaves and free blacks who fought in the American Revolution came once step closer to getting built. Legislation (S. 883) to authorize such a project was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar.
Similar legislation failed in the last Congress, however.
The bill would allow the National Mall Liberty Fund DC to raise private money for the memorial, which would go on an unspecified piece of public real estate in the District of Columbia to honor the 5,000 individuals in question who served in the U.S. military or otherwise helped in the War of Independence.
Since the monument would be built with non-federal funds, the Congressional Budget Office estimated federal costs as “insignificant.”...
Monday, January 30, 2012 - 11:25
Name of source: Star Tribune
A 150-year-old loop of rope, knotted into a hangman's noose, sits in a climate-controlled case in the underground archives of the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.
Some say it should be burned, buried or returned to the hands of the Dakota people.
Others argue it should be displayed, like piles of shoes at Holocaust museums, as a powerful artifact to help people confront the grim story of the U.S.-Dakota War, which erupted in Minnesota in 1862 and ended with the largest mass execution in U.S. history.
The noose, and just what to make of it, is one sign of the historical reckoning looming this year as Minnesotans wrestle with how to mark the 150th anniversary of one its ugliest, yet often overlooked, episodes.
"This will be a very challenging year -- the wounds are still deep," said Republican state Rep. Dean Urdahl, a longtime history teacher whose Grove City home is three miles from where the war broke out. His great-great-grandfather buried some of its first victims. "It was our state's greatest tragedy."...
Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 19:41
Name of source: Politico
President John Tyler’s grandson Harrison Tyler, 84, says he’s not impressed with the state of politics today and particularly thinks Newt Gingrich is a “big jerk” for his three marriages.
Incredibly, President Tyler, who was born in 1790 and became the 10th president in 1841, has two grandchildren still alive today. His grandson, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, currently maintains the Tyler presidential home, Sherwood Forest Plantation Foundation in Charles City, Va.
Harrison said he doesn’t spend much time focusing on the 2012 presidential race — “I can’t stand watching television” — but considers himself a conservative. His big problem this election, he said, is with the candidates.
“I don’t really like any of them,” he said in an interview.,,,
Saturday, January 28, 2012 - 18:07
Name of source: AP
WASHINGTON (AP) — Thomas Jefferson wrote "all men are created equal" to declare U.S. independence from Britain, yet he was also a lifelong slave owner who freed only nine of his more than 600 slaves during his lifetime.
That contradiction between ideals and reality is at the center of a new exhibit opening Friday as the Smithsonian Institution continues developing a national black history museum. It offers a look at Jefferson's Monticello plantation in Virginia through the lives of six slave families and artifacts unearthed from where they lived.
The exhibit, "Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty," was developed with Monticello and will be on view at the National Museum of American History through mid-October. It includes a look at the family of Sally Hemings, a slave. Most historians now believe she had an intimate relationship with the third president and that he fathered her children....
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 18:20
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Almost half of American Indians and Alaska Natives identify with multiple races, representing a group that grew by 39 percent over a decade, according to U.S. Census data released Wednesday.
Of the 5.2 million people counted as Natives in 2010, nearly 2.3 million reported being Native in combination with one or more of six other race categories, showcasing a growing diversity among Natives. Those who added black, white or both as a personal identifier made up 84 percent of the multi-racial group.
Tribal officials and organizations look to Census data for funding, to plan communities, to foster solidarity among tribes and for accountability from federal agencies that have a trust responsibility with tribal members....
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 11:58
TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese government’s worst-case scenario at the height of the nuclear crisis last year warned that tens of millions of people, including residents of Tokyo, might be forced to leave their homes, according to a report. Fearing widespread panic, officials kept the report secret.
The emergence of the 15-page internal document might add to complaints that the government withheld too much information about the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the world’s worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
It also casts doubt about whether the government was sufficiently prepared to handle what could have been an evacuation on an extraordinary scale....
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 10:50
Name of source: BBC News
A mass grave in Dorset containing 54 decapitated skeletons was a burial ground for violent Viking mercenaries, according to a Cambridge archaeologist.
The burial site at Ridgeway Hill was discovered in 2009.
Archaeologists found the bodies of 54 men who had all been decapitated and placed in shallow graves with their heads piled up to one side.
Carbon dating and isotype tests revealed the bodies were Scandinavian and dated from the 11th Century....
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 12:10
Archaeologists excavating what they claim is Britain's oldest house have secured more than £1m in funding.
The circular structure at Star Carr near Scarborough was found in 2008 and dates from 8,500BC.
Archaeologists from the Universities of Manchester and York say the site is deteriorating due to environmental changes.
The European Research Council has given them £1.23m to finish the work before information from the site is lost....
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 12:08
A British publisher who planned to sell extracts of Adolf Hitler's political manifesto Mein Kampf on the streets of Germany has backed down.
The state of Bavaria, which owns the copyright to the book, had threatened legal action if publisher Peter McGee sold pamphlets containing the extracts.
Mr McGee sells reproductions of Nazi-era newspapers along with historians' analysis of their content.
He will now render Hitler's text illegible when his pamphlets are sold.
Mr McGee publishes newspapers from 1933-45 in the form of a magazine called "Zeitungszeugen" (which roughly translates as "newspaper witnesses").
He had planned to include a supplement entitled The Unreadable Book, containing extracts from Mein Kampf along with a commentary from journalism professor Horst Poettker....
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 14:57
A row has erupted in Russia over the replacement of a Holocaust memorial plaque in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don which named Jews as victims.
In August 1942 Nazi German troops murdered at least 27,000 people at Zmiyevskaya Balka, regarded as the worst Holocaust atrocity in Russia.
More than half the victims were Jews, the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) says.
A new plaque does not mention Jews, but "peaceful citizens of Rostov-on-Don and Soviet prisoners-of-war".
The RJC, a secular foundation representing Russian Jews, says it will take legal action over the unauthorised decision to replace the former plaque, which spoke of "more than 27,000 Jews" murdered by the Nazis. That plaque had been put up in 2004....
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 10:56
A rare cast of the death mask of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin has been sold to an anonymous bidder for £3,600 at an auction in Shropshire.
The cast was taken in bronze from the original plaster death mask by an art dealer who was visiting Moscow in 1990.
Richard Westwood-Brookes, from Church Stretton-based auction house Mullock's, said: "There are, we believe, only two of these in the West."...
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 13:55
Name of source: LiveScience
"This is why I have the best job in the world," exclaimed Cynthia Sagers, a program manager from the National Science Foundation, when given the opportunity to see, smell, and even touch the very specimens that British naturalist and field biologist Alfred Russel Wallace collected nearly two centuries ago.
The bugs, butterflies, moths, shells, botanical samples and personal mementoes are a treasure trove of evidence not only of the man himself — an explorer, collector and scientist who was a contemporary of Charles Darwin — but also of his scientific theories on geographical biodiversity and natural selection that were foundational to many fields of modern biological science....
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 12:04
When Adam Rabinowitz was 15 years old, his aunt, an archaeologist, invited him to join her on a dig in Sicily.
More than two decades later, Rabinowitz, now the assistant director at the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin, is still travelling around the world getting dirt under his nails. And though much remains the same about archaeology since he first picked up a trowel, a lot has changed.
In previous eras, researchers logged their data in notebooks, which were preserved along with photographs, maps and objects, in a physical archive. Rabinowitz can still access the notebooks and negatives of people who conducted research more than a hundred years ago at the same sites he is exploring. Today, archaeologists are more likely to take thousands of digital photos, make notes in a database on a laptop or a tablet, and record careful, geographically referenced information that only a computer can interpret....
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 11:07
Name of source: Nature
Brendan Foley peels his wetsuit to the waist and perches on the side of an inflatable boat as it skims across the sea just north of the island of Crete. At his feet are the dripping remains of a vase that moments earlier had been resting on the sea floor, its home for more than a millennium. “It's our best day so far,” he says of his dive that morning. “We've discovered two ancient shipwrecks.”
Foley, a marine archaeologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, and his colleagues at Greece's Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities in Athens have spent the day diving near the cliffs of the tiny island of Dia in the eastern Mediterranean. They have identified two clusters of pottery dating from the first century BC and fifth century AD. Together with other remains that the team has discovered on the island's submerged slopes, the pots reveal that for centuries Greek, Roman and Byzantine traders used Dia as a refuge during storms, when they couldn't safely reach Crete.
It is a nice archaeological discovery, but Foley was hoping for something much older. His four-week survey of the waters around Crete last October is part of a long-term effort to catalogue large numbers of ancient shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea. And the grand prize would be a wreck from one of the most influential and enigmatic cultures of the ancient world — the Minoans, who ruled these seas more than 3,000 years ago.
Some researchers believe that quest to be close to impossible. But Foley and a few competitors are using high-tech approaches such as autonomous robots and new search strategies that they say have a good chance of locating the most ancient of shipwrecks. If they succeed, they could transform archaeologists' understanding of a crucial period in human history, when ancient mariners first ventured long distances across the sea....
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 12:03
Name of source: LA Times
A long-unknown, 150-year-old trove of handwritten ledgers and calfskin-covered code books that give a potentially revelatory glimpse into both the dawn of electronic battlefield communications and the day-to-day exchanges between Abraham Lincoln and his generals as they fought the Civil War now belongs to the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.
The collection, acquired in a private sale on Saturday and disclosed Wednesday, includes 40 cardboard-covered albums of messages that telegraph operators wrote down either before sending them in Morse code, or transcribed from telegraphic dots and dashes at the receiving end. There are also small, wallet-like booklets containing the key to code words Union commanders used to make sure their messages would remain unfathomable if intercepted by the Confederates.
"This opens up some new windows that we haven't really been able to look at. It's a major find," said James M. McPherson, a Princeton University historian who won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1988 study "Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era." Had it been available while he was researching his 2008 book, "Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief," McPherson said, "it would have enriched my own work."...
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 11:59
Name of source: Ynet News
Historians have cheered news that Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" will be reprinted in Germany for the first time since the Nazi dictator's fall in 1945, just as Holocaust survivors hit out at the move.
British publisher Peter McGee said he would put out excerpts from the anti-Semitic manifesto, which laid out the Fuehrer's vision long before he took power in 1933, alongside commentary putting the work in historical context
Academics said the time had come for some of the taboos surrounding the book in Germany to fall.
"I think we have a very inhibited approach to this material in Germany. You can read this book around the world – there is even a Hebrew translation in Israel," Journalism Professor Horst Poettker, who is providing some of the annotation for the project, told AFP....
Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 11:54
Name of source: Columbus Dispatch
When friends ask me what’s new at work, I occasionally (often enough to become tiresome) respond with, 'Nothing. Everything I work with is old.'
But that’s not entirely true. In archaeology, as in any field of science, there is always something new — whether it’s a new discovery or the development of new technologies that enable us to learn new things about old discoveries.
Ohio’s ancient earthworks certainly aren’t news. The Smithsonian Institution’s first publication, in 1848, included surveys of most of the largest sites.
Sadly, since then, many of these wonderful sites have been plowed over or leveled to make way for houses, stores and factories. For example, the authors of the Smithsonian report concluded, with regard to Newark’s once-sprawling earthworks, “The ancient lines can now be traced only at intervals, among gardens and outhouses.”...
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 11:05
Name of source: History of the Ancient World
A project directed by academics at the University of Sheffield has made the archaeology of the world-famous Stonehenge site more accessible than ever before.
Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge is the first application of its kind to transport users around a virtual prehistoric landscape, exploring the magnificent and internationally important monument, Stonehenge.
The application used data gathered from the University of Sheffield´s Stonehenge Riverside Project in conjunction with colleagues from the universities of Manchester, Bristol, Southampton and London. The application was developed by Bournemouth University archaeologists, adding layers of archaeological information to Google Earth to create Google Under-the-Earth.
The unique visual experience lets users interact with the past like never before. Highlights include taking a visit to the Neolithic village of Durrington Walls and a trip inside a prehistoric house. Users also have the opportunity to see reconstructions of Bluestonehenge at the end of the Stonehenge Avenue and the great timber monument called the Southern Circle, as they would have looked more than 4,000 years ago....
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 10:43
Name of source: Reuters
(Reuters) - When Patty Tegeler looks out the window of her home overlooking the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia, she sees trouble on the horizon.
"In an instant, anything can happen," she told Reuters. "And I firmly believe that you have to be prepared."
Tegeler is among a growing subculture of Americans who refer to themselves informally as "preppers." Some are driven by a fear of imminent societal collapse, others are worried about terrorism, and many have a vague concern that an escalating series of natural disasters is leading to some type of environmental cataclysm....
A sense of "suffering and being afraid" is usually at the root of this kind of thinking, according to Cathy Gutierrez, an expert on end-times beliefs at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Such feelings are not unnatural in a time of economic recession and concerns about a growing national debt, she said....
She compared the major technological developments of the past decade to the Industrial Revolution of the 1830s and 1840s, which led to the growth of the Millerites, the 19th-Century equivalent of the preppers. Followers of charismatic preacher Joseph Miller, many sold everything and gathered in 1844 for what they believed would be the second coming of Jesus Christ....
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 10:29
Name of source: Toronto Star
Joseph Stalin didn’t care about taxpayers.
That’s the most benefit-of-the-doubt way to take a radio comment made by Mayor Rob Ford on Tuesday morning, which likened five political rivals to the murderous Russian dictator.
Speaking on the John Oakley show, Ford told the AM640 host that certain councillors are “two steps left of Joe Stalin.”
Ford was being questioned as to whether he had lost support of council’s middle. Oakley pointed to the fact that self-proclaimed centrist Josh Matlow recently stated he would not back Ford’s plan to do away with the land transfer tax.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 21:57
Name of source: The Star (UK)
This much is known: rare, medieval Jewish manuscripts have been discovered along the fabled Silk Road in Afghanistan and are for sale.
Are they authentic? Scholars who have examined them say they are.
The rest — who found them, where they came from, whether there are more to unearth — remains a mystery.
But the discovery of the 200 or more documents, some in good condition and others crumpled or in fragments, has excited academic interest around the world....
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 14:03
Name of source: The Spectator (UK)
SOUTHAMPTON, ONT.—Wearing blue rubber gloves, Ken Cassavoy is carefully unfolding a threadbare flag on a boardroom table at the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre.
Though greatly faded, the red, white and blue of a British Red Ensign are clearly visible — a Union Jack in the top left-hand corner, surrounded by a sea of red.
This is the first time Cassavoy has unpacked the flag since he fetched it home on loan from Annapolis, Md., where for two centuries it has been a war trophy at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum.
As flags go, the ensign isn’t shy. It’s nearly 8 feet tall and is still almost 10 feet long, even after being shortened by about 4 feet when, at some point, the naval museum put a linen backing on it....
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 14:02
Name of source: Boston Globe
WASHINGTON—Newt Gingrich called rival Mitt Romney a "terrible historian" but flubbed his own history in Congress on Monday night when he claimed the nation ran four consecutive budget surpluses during his time as House speaker. Romney attacked Gingrich's financial links to Freddie Mac while ignoring his own.
GINGRICH: "When I was speaker, we had four consecutive balanced budgets."
THE FACTS: Actually, two.
The four straight years of budget surpluses were 1998 through 2001. Gingrich left Congress in 1999, so he only had a hand in surpluses for his last two years. The budget ran deficits for his first two years as speaker.
The highest surplus of that four-year string came in budget year 2000, after Gingrich was out of office.
Overall, the national debt went up during the four years Gingrich was speaker. In January 1995, when he assumed the leadership position, the gross national debt was $4.8 trillion. When he left four years later, it was $5.6 trillion, an increase of $800 billion....
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 14:00