|Ohio Millstones Have French Origins|
June 04, 2014, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History by Glenda Bogar
A geologist studied fossils to confirm that stones used in 19th century Ohio grain mills originated from France. Fossils embedded in these millstones were analyzed to determine that stones known as French buhr were imported from regions near Paris, France, to Ohio in the United States. Dr. Joseph Hannibal, curator of invertebrate paleontology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, was lead author on research published in the Society for Sedimentary Geology journal PALAIOS.
The study documents a technique that uses fossils to definitively distinguish French buhr from similar-looking Ohio chert (also known as flint). The most revealing fossil is a one-millimeter wide reproductive structure of a charophyte (a type of algae also known as a stonewort) that occurs in the rocks of the Paris Basin, a geological province centered around Paris, France.
|The Ice King Cometh|
May 30, 2014, Now I Know by Dan Lewis
The 2013 movie Frozen (which you probably should watch if you haven’t) opens with an squadron of men, armed with sharp objects, transversing the ice and snow in frigid, remote areas. While plunder is on their minds, in a sense, they aren’t going to war. They’re going to a lake. Their goal: to harvest as much ice as possible and carry it back with them to their kingdom.
In modern times, this seems kind of strange. We have things called freezers which, when furnished with a tray filled with water, can provide us with enough cubes of ice to make any drink invitingly cold. Some refrigerators even come with ice makers which can provide ice almost on command. But that wasn’t always the case, and in the 1800s, a man named Frederic Tudor skated his way to riches because of it.
|How A Cryptoanalyst Discovered The Identity Of The Man In The Iron Mask|
May 26, 2014, IO9 by Esther Inglis-Arkell
For those of you who have only seen the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, the Man in the Iron Mask was an actual historical figure. He was a mysterious prisoner in the time of Louis XIV. Two centuries later, a cryptoanalyst finally discovered his probable identity.
In 1698, the Man in the Iron Mask had gained quite a reputation for himself (some said herself) when he had been in a prison in Savoy. In Paris, he was the subject of so much gossip that he became a legend for centuries to come. Theorists tried to work out his identity. Some, most famously, Alexandre Dumas, made up an identity, and spun a tale in which the Man in the Iron Mask was the secret twin of Louis XIV. Twins were a threat to orderly succession, but no one could kill a prince of royal blood, so the second twin was masked and imprisoned.
|New exhibit on Revolutionary War in SC opening|
May 24, 2014, The Associated Press by Staff
A new exhibit chronicling the American Revolution is opening at the South Carolina State Museum.
The exhibit opens at the museum in Columbia on Saturday and runs through Aug. 17.
|Plas Newydd: Heat from the sea to warm historic house|
May 22, 2014, BBC News )UK) by Roger Harrabin
One of the finest old mansions in Wales is making history with a new technology that sucks heat from sea water.
Plas Newydd, with spectacular views of Snowdon from Anglesey, will in future have its collection of past military uniforms warmed by a heat pump.
|$50K book prize goes to Revolutionary War writer|
May 21, 2014, The Associated Press by Staff
The author of a revisionist account of the British leaders who lost the North American colonies in the Revolutionary War has won one of the nation’s largest literary awards.
University of Virginia history professor Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, author of “The Men who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire,” won the $50,000 George Washington Book Prize Tuesday night at a reception at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.
|Military museum slates program on Iroquois battle|
May 19, 2014, The Associated Press by Staff
The American offensive against the Iroquois Confederacy in western New York during the Revolutionary War is the subject of an upcoming program at the New York State Military Museum.
The free Memorial Day weekend program at the museum in Saratoga Springs on Saturday will be presented by sociologist, artist and writer Robert Spiegelman.
May 16, 2014, Now I Know by Dan Lewis
The term “coronal mass ejection” sounds like something best avoided, even if one has no idea what it means. It’s true — they’re particularly troublesome and, in some contexts, rather dangerous. That’s because, as Wikipedia notes, coronal mass ejections — CMEs, for short — release “huge quantities of matter and electromagnetic radiation into space” when they occur. And they happen pretty often. Depending on the time of year, we could see as many as three CMEs daily. Unfortunately, we can’t avoid them. Thankfully, CMEs occur on the Sun, and it’s rare that they have much of an effect on Earth.
But they can — and have.
On August 28, 1859, a British astronomer named Richard Carrington was observing and tracking sunspots, like he typically did. But that was hardly a typical day. Carrington noticed a pair of solar flares – NASA describes them as “two brilliant beads of blinding white light” — which shrunk only a few minutes after. The oddity, though, wasn’t lost on Carrington, who grabbed a witness. The two, together, watched the white lights disappear quickly thereafter.
|Explorer: Underwater pirates looted what he says is likely Santa Maria|
May 15, 2014, CNN by Ashley Fantz, Jethro Mullen and Haimy Assefa
An underwater explorer who says he's confident he's discovered the Santa Maria, Christopher Columbus' flagship, said Wednesday that there's evidence that the ship has been looted.
During a news conference, 68-year-old Barry Clifford said that the remains of the possible ship off the coast of Haiti probably hold "a great deal of cultural material" but that he and his team of divers can tell that thieves have disrupted the wreck and taken things.
|These Maps Reveal How Slavery Expanded Across the United States|
May 15, 2014, Smithsonian Magazine by Lincoln Mullen
In September of 1861, the U.S. Coast Survey published a large map, approximately two feet by three feet, titled a "Map showing the distribution of the slave population of the southern states of the United States." Based on the population statistics gathered in the 1860 Census, and certified by the superintendent of the Census Office, the map depicted the percentage of the population enslaved in each county. At a glance, the viewer could see the large-scale patterns of the economic system that kept nearly 4 million people in bondage: slavery was concentrated along the Chesapeake Bay and in eastern Virginia; along the South Carolina and Georgia coasts; in a crescent of lands in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi; and most of all, in the Mississippi River Valley. With each county labeled with the exact percentage of people enslaved, the map demanded some closer examination.
|The Art of a Beautiful Friendship: George Washington Portrait at the Battle of Princeton|
May 15, 2014, Epoch Times by Yvonne Marcotte
One spring morning I visited Princeton, N.J. I drove down Mercer, crossed Nassau Street, and headed toward the Princeton Museum of Art. I wanted to see an exhibit of drawing masterpieces then on display. Afterward, I thought I’d take in a guided tour of selected pieces throughout the museum.
Toward the end of the tour, our group approached a large painting placed prominently on the wall at the entrance of a side gallery. The guide brought us to a commemorative portrayal of George Washington’s victory at Princeton in 1777 by Charles Willson Peale. The artist placed Washington front and center in a heroic contrapposto stance. He holds a sword and the flag of the new country waves in the dark clouds.
|The Strange, Secret History of Isaac Newton’s Papers|
May 14, 2014, Wired Magazine by Adam Mann
When Sir Isaac Newton died in 1727, he left behind no will and an enormous stack of papers. His surviving correspondences, notes, and manuscripts contain an estimated 10 million words, enough to fill up roughly 150 novel-length books. There are pages upon pages of scientific and mathematical brilliance. But there are also pages that reveal another side of Newton, a side his descendants tried to keep hidden from the public.
|10 European colonies in America that failed before Jamestown|
May 14, 2014, National Constitution Center by Staff
The Jamestown settlement in Virginia, which officially was started on May 14, 1607, was one of the first European colonies to last in North America, and was historically significant for hosting the first parliamentary assembly in America.
But Jamestown barely survived, as recent headlines about the confirmation of cannibalism at the colony confirm. The adaption to the North American continent by the early Europeans was extremely problematic.
|Thomas Jefferson letter on land inheritance for grandchildren expected to fetch $35,000|
May 14, 2014, Fox News by Joshua Rhett Miller
A previously unknown letter written by President Thomas Jefferson offers a rare glimpse into the personal life of the Founding Father, a dealer of historical documents told FoxNews.com.
The July 24, 1805, letter from Jefferson to Bowling Clark — his friend and real estate manager who once oversaw Jefferson's home of Monticello — details the then-62-year-old president’s desire to commission the appraisal of his 4,812-acre Poplar Forest plantation so the property could later be divided up for his eight grandchildren.
|Exclusive: Found after 500 years, the wreck of Christopher Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria|
May 13, 2014, The Independent (UK) by David Keys
More than five centuries after Christopher Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria, was wrecked in the Caribbean, archaeological investigators think they may have discovered the vessel’s long-lost remains – lying at the bottom of the sea off the north coast of Haiti. It’s likely to be one of the world’s most important underwater archaeological discoveries.
|Revolutionary War re-enactors keep history alive|
May 12, 2014, The Associated Press by Shelly Birkelo
When Bill and Marilyn Hess participate in a Revolutionary War re-enactment, they transform into those who lived 18th century life.
Bill, 75, becomes a captain in Alexander Hamilton’s New York Provincial Company of Artillery.
Marilyn, 75, portrays an officer’s wife, a woman traveling with the Army or an 18th century prostitute.
|'Vampire' Skeleton Unearthed in Poland|
May 07, 2014, Discovery News by Rossella Lorenzi
Archaeologists in Poland say they have discovered a skeleton with a brick stuck into the mouth — evidence that the subject was believed to be a vampire.
Dated to the 16th-17th century, the grave was unearthed during excavations in the town of Kamien Pomorski, in northwestern Poland, the Kamienskie.info website reported.
In addition to the brick, which was wedged so violently into the mouth to knock out the upper teeth, the skeleton featured a leg with a hole likely made from a puncture. This would suggest the leg had been staked to the ground to prevent the individual from rising from its grave.
|Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient|
May 06, 2014, Slate by Sam Kean
On Sept. 13, 1848, at around 4:30 p.m., the time of day when the mind might start wandering, a railroad foreman named Phineas Gage filled a drill hole with gunpowder and turned his head to check on his men. It was the last normal moment of his life.
Other victims in the annals of medicine are almost always referred to by initials or pseudonyms. Not Gage: His is the most famous name in neuroscience. How ironic, then, that we know so little else about the man—and that much of what we think we know, especially about his life unraveling after his accident, is probably bunk.
|Not All Greek: Mystery Script in Rare Copy of Homer's 'Odyssey' Solved|
May 05, 2014, NBC News by James Eng
An Italian computer engineer with a keen interest in languages has solved the mystery of some perplexing scribblings found in the margins of a centuries-old copy of Homer’s “The Odyssey.”
The handwritten notations, a combination of French and a mystery script, appear on about 20 pages throughout Book 11 of a 1504 Venetian edition of “Odyssey” that was donated to the University of Chicago Library in 2007 by collector M.C. Lang. The script was thought to date back to the mid-19th century, but nothing else was known about it.
|Jonesin’ For the Queen|
May 05, 2014, Now I Know by Dan Lewis
Thomas Edward Jones was born in 1824 in England, the son of a tailor from Westminster. The last time his name made the newspaper, save for his obituary, was in 1844, when he fell off a boat traveling between Tunis and Algeirs. After that, though, he disappeared from the public consciousness, living out the remainder of his nearly fifty years in relative obscurity. He somehow ended up in Australia where at one point, he became the town crier of Perth. He passed away in 1893. If Jones’s adulthood was all history cared about, he’d be hardly worth of a passing mention. He was even buried in an unmarked grave.
But before his 18th birthday, Jones was one of the Great Britain’s most famous scofflaws. His crime?
He stole Queen Victoria’s underpants.
|The Volcano That Rewrote History|
May 05, 2014, The Daily Beast by William O’Connor
If you think this winter was unseasonably long and cold, you’re playing history’s tiniest violin.
Instead, with a year without summer, famines on multiples continents, an explosion in the Chinese opium trade, the global scourge of cholera, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a golden age of Arctic exploration, and modern meteorology on its résumé, that distinction belongs to Tambora and its eruption in 1815 on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia.
|Shipwreck hunter recovers first gold from what could be $80m find|
May 05, 2014, Mining.com by Frik Els
The wreck was discovered in 1988 and the Florida-based company said during the dive, gold bars and other artifacts were clearly visible on the surface of the shipwreck site. Archaeological excavation will now be conducted to recover the remaining gold.
The Central America, carrying mainly mine workers and bosses returning east from the California gold rush was caught in a hurricane and sank on September 12, 1857 roughly 260 kilometres off the South Carolina coast.
|Artist’s Skill Brings Visual Life to Famed Chickasaw Leader|
May 04, 2014, Indian Country Today by Chickasaw Nation Release
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby reached back in time to move toward the future in Tishomingo, Oklahoma on April 28, dedicating a statue honoring arguably one of the most pivotally important and influential Chickasaws in modern history.
For generations, people called him Piomingo. The tribe, through historical research and in consultation with its language department, discovered the great Mountain Leader should be addressed as Piominko.” “Minko” is Chickasaw for “leader.”
|Dido Belle: the slave's daughter who lived in Georgian elegance|
May 03, 2014, The Guardian (UK) by Vanessa Thorpe
She wore the finest silks, lived in one of London's most desirable homes and studied in a library still regarded as one of the greatest achievements of the renowned 18th-century designer John Adam. Yet Dido Belle was the daughter of an unknown black slave woman so could not sit at the dinner table with her adopted family at Kenwood House in north London.
Belle, a film directed by Amma Asante and released in America this weekend, tells the story of the illegitimate young woman who found herself among the household of Lord Mansfield, one of the greatest men of the Georgian age. As lord chief justice, in 1772 he ruled that a master could not take a slave out of Britain by force, a judgment seen as a key stage in the eventual abolition of the slave trade.
|Michelangelo's 'David' sculpture at risk of collapse, experts say|
May 02, 2014, LA Times (CA) by David Ng
Michelangelo's famous statue of the biblical figure David is at risk of collapse due to the weakening of the artwork's legs and ankles, according to a report published this week by art experts.
The findings, which were made public by Italy's National Research Council, show micro-fractures in the ankle and leg areas.