|Two days Before the Royal Wedding|
February 04, 2011, The Telegraph (UK) by Staff
When Katherine of Aragon made her entry into London, two days before her marriage to Prince Arthur, heir to the throne, she visited St Paul's and made an offering there at the shrine of St Erkenwald. It is a detail I was struck by in Giles Tremlett's splendid new biography of Henry VIII's eventual queen.
The wedding of Henry's doomed brother Arthur to Katherine took place on November 14, 1501, the saint's feast day, or rather the feast of the translation of his relics to their magnificent chapel in Old St Paul's. A chapel dedicated to St Erkenwald (and his sister St Ethelburga) remains at St Paul's, though you'd hardly know it, since Wren's chaste stonework is dominated by Holman Hunt's The Light of the World, a suitable enough painting for the Victorianised interior of the cathedral.
|Effort to Get Harriet Tubman into Statuary Hall Runs into Opposition|
February 03, 2011, Southern Maryland Online by Holly Nunn
An effort to replace the statue of a Revolutionary War-era Maryland politician with a Civil War-era former slave is sparking debate about whose contributions to history are more important.
The women's caucus and the Legislative Black Caucus are both supporting legislation to have Harriet Tubman replace a statue of John Hanson, a Charles County planter and the first president of the Continental Congress, but they're running into opposition from Sen. President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller Jr.
|Story of Boy Jones who Stole Queen Victoria's Underwear|
February 02, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
The story of a teenager who burgled Buckingham Palace and stole Queen Victoria's underwear sounds like it should be a work of fiction.
But Edward Jones's life was no fairytale and he was caught with the monarch's clothing down his trousers.
The story of possibly the original celebrity stalker has been fully chronicled for the first time.
|Male Model Behind the Mona Lisa, Expert Claims|
February 02, 2011, The Associated Press by Alessandra Rizzo
A male apprentice, longtime companion and possible lover of Leonardo da Vinci was the main influence and a model for the "Mona Lisa" painting, an Italian researcher said.
But the researcher, Silvano Vinceti, said Wednesday the portrait also represents a synthesis of Leonardo's scientific, artistic and philosophical beliefs. Because the artist worked on it at various intervals for many years, he was subjected to different influences and sources of inspiration, and the canvas is full of hidden symbolic meanings.
|Scientists Find Part of New Zealand’s Submerged “Pink Terraces"|
February 02, 2011, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution by Staff
They were called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Until the late 19th century, New Zealand’s Pink and White Terraces along Lake Rotomahana on the North Island, attracted tourists from around the world, interested in seeing the beautiful natural formations created by a large geothermal system. But the eruption of Mt. Tarawera on June 10, 1886, buried the terraces in sediment and caused the lake basin to enlarge, engulfing the land where the terraces stood. For more than a century, people have speculated whether any part of the Pink and White Terraces survived the eruption.
This week, scientists from New Zealand’s GNS Science, one of several government laboratories, in collaboration with engineers and scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and NOAA-PMEL, located portions of the long-lost Pink Terraces.
|The Real Leonardo was More Impressive than the Legend|
February 02, 2011, NewScientist by Jonathon Keats
A new exhibit in Milan, Italy, shows the astonishing breadth of da Vinci's genius - and renders him more human
Amo-as, diligo-is > per amare. Audio-as > per odire. Transcribing these simple conjugations, the middle-aged Leonardo da Vinci struggled to learn Latin, aspiring to read classical treatises on optics and mechanics. At the time, he was also trying to master algebra, and to improve his employment prospects by studying a book of letter-writing tips.
While admirable, these efforts hardly fit Leonardo's other-worldly reputation, most memorably expressed by the Renaissance biographer Georgio Vasari 31 years after Leonardo's death in 1519. "He has been specially endowed by the hand of God himself, and has not attained his pre-eminence by human teaching or the power of man," let alone - Vasari declined to mention - by self-administered grammar lessons.
|Shepherd's Monument 'Code' was 19th Century Graffiti|
February 01, 2011, The Telegraph (UK) by Nick Britten
Explanations for the eight-letter inscription on the 18th century Shepherd's Monument, at Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire, have ranged from a coded love letter to Biblical verse.
Some have even suggested that the letters OUOSVAVV – framed at either end by DM – were a sign left by the Knights Templar pointing to where the Holy Grail was buried.
|Ghoulish Mummies in the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Sicily|
February 01, 2011, The Telegraph (UK) by Staff
SLIDESHOW: The eerie Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo were constructed after the death of Silvestro of Gubbio, a famous 16th century monk. Four long limestone corridors underneath the Capuchin Church hold about 8,000 mummies, lying in repose or hung from hooks by their necks and feet and wearing their best clothes.
|Library of Congress to Show 1st US Map After Sale |
January 31, 2011, The Associated Press by Staff
A Washington businessman is loaning the first U.S. map printed in North America to the Library of Congress after buying it for $1.8 million.
The library announced Monday that David Rubenstein bought the 1784 map at auction in December. It had been held by the New Jersey Historical Society since 1862.
|Julian Assange Compares Wikileaks to US Founding Fathers|
January 31, 2011, The Telegraph (UK) by Peter Hutchison
In a CBS interview with 60 Minutes aired on Sunday night Mr Assange, who is currently under US criminal investigation over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret military reports and diplomatic cables, also denied that he was motivated by a dislike of America.
“Our founding values are those of the US revolution,” Mr Assange told Steve Kroft. “They are those of people like [Thomas] Jefferson and [James] Madison," he added.
|Kerala Government Told to Take Over Padmanabhaswamy Temple|
January 31, 2011, The India Gazette by Staff
The Kerala High Court Monday asked the state government to take over control of the 16th century Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in the heart of the capital city. The temple, at present, is maintained by the erstwhile royal family of Travancore.
...The foundation of the present 'gopuram' (gateway) was laid in 1566 and the temple has a 100-foot, seven-tier 'gopuram' besides a corridor with 365 and one-quarter sculptured granite-stone pillars with elaborate carvings.
|First U.S. Map Purchased for Record Price|
January 30, 2011, The Washington Post by Jacqueline Trescott
The first map of the United States, created in 1784, has been purchased for the record price of $1.8 million by Washington philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, who is lending it to the Library of Congress.
The Abel Buell map, named after the Connecticut cartographer who created it, has been a missing link in the library's vast collection of maps.
|Global Warming Uncovers Corpses Frozen in Time|
January 30, 2011, TreeHugger.com by Stephen Messenger
Five hundred years ago, three Inca children were left to freeze high in the cold Argentinian Andes as a religious sacrifice. In time, their bodies mummified, having been swallowed in snow and entombed within the glacier, lost to time. But centuries later, in a warmer world, their perfectly-preserved corpses were discovered beneath the melting snow -- an increasingly common sight. Experts say that as glaciers continue to recede throughout the world, more of their long-guarded secrets will be revealed in the warm grip of a changing climate.
|Toddler Helps translate Jonathan Swift Love Letters|
January 29, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
New research suggests that the language Gulliver's Travels author Jonathan Swift used in a series of letters to two women reflects the way babies talk.
Dr Abigail Williams - of St Peter's, Oxford University - has studied the early 18th Century correspondence sent by Swift from London to the women in Dublin.
She said her son had helped solve some of the mysteries of Swift's text.
|Titian Madonna and Child Sells for Record $16.9m|
January 28, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
A 450-year-old Madonna and Child work by Titian has sold for $16.9m (£10.7m) in New York, setting a new auction record for the Renaissance master.
..Sotheby's said the oil on canvas work - painted around 1560 - had changed hands only six times during its life.
|By Accident, 18th-Century Wharf Revealed|
January 27, 2011, The Boston Globe by Taryn Plumb
For years it has been buried, swallowed up by layers of earth, muck, and water, a once-prominent landmark concealed by time.
And the late-1700s wharf might have remained that way — embedded for the ages — had it not been for a recent accidental find.
|Jefferson's Monticello Makes Ale Inspired by Past|
January 27, 2011, The Associated Press by Zinie Chen Sampson
Thomas Jefferson is renowned for his many interests, including architecture, horticulture and inventing gadgets.
Among the third president's lesser-known pursuits was making beer, and modern-day visitors to his mountaintop estate at Monticello can soon get a taste of the past.
The Thomas Jefferson Foundation says it's working with Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet to offer Monticello Reserve Ale, inspired by what was produced and consumed regularly at Monticello. Brewing beer was among the plantation's important activities, and the drink was one of the "table liquors" served with meals, Monticello officials said.
|Johnsonville Statue Nears Funding Goal|
January 27, 2011, SC Now by Matt McColl
The long and controversial road to bring a statue of Revolutionary War Gen. Francis Marion to Johnsonville may be nearing its end.
Johnsonville City Administrator Scott Tanner said fundraising for the statue is closing in on its original goal of $100,000.
|Vietnam's Own 'Great Wall' Uncovered|
January 26, 2011, CNN by Adam Bray
Nestled in the mountain foothills of a remote province in central Vietnam, one of the country's most important archaeological discoveries in a century has recently come to light.
After five years of exploration and excavation, a team of archaeologists has uncovered a 127-kilometer (79-mile) wall -- which locals have called "Vietnam's Great Wall."
Construction of the Long Wall started in 1819 under the direction of Le Van Duyet, a high-ranking mandarin serving Emperor Gia Long.
|Lost Vivaldi Work gets World Premiere in Perth|
January 26, 2011, STV by Staff
A lost work by 18th century classical composer Vivaldi is to be performed in public for the first time in 250 years in Perth.
Visitors to Perth Concert Hall will have the opportunity to view a reproduction of the original score for Il Gran Mogol from Wednesday.
Conservators from the National Archives of Scotland have created the bound copy of the original music score to allow close inspection of this historic manuscript.
|Some Experiments with Severed Heads|
January 25, 2011, Charles Fort Institute by Mike Dash
Early on the morning of 18 February 1848, two men and a woman walked into the square in front of the Porte de Hal, in Brussels [below left], where a public execution was due to take place shortly after dawn. They were there to conduct a ground-breaking scientific study, and, by prior arrangement with the Belgian penal authorities, were permitted to climb onto the scaffold and wait next to the guillotine at the spot where the severed heads of two condemned criminals were scheduled to drop into a blood red sack.
One of the men was Antoine Joseph Wiertz, a well known Belgian painter and also a fine hypnotic subject. With him were his friend, Monsieur D_____, a noted hypnotist, and a witness. Wiertz’s purpose on that winter’s day was to carry out a unique and extraordinary experiment. Long haunted by the desire to know whether a severed head remained conscious after a guillotining, the painter had agreed to be hypnotised and instructed to identify himself with a man who was about to be executed for murder.
|Research Uses Space-Age Technology on 16th-Century History|
January 25, 2011, The Guardian (UK) by Chris Arnot
Cutting-edge space science technology of the sort used to analyse moon rock is being applied to fragments of 16th-century tombs. Scientists from the Space Research Centre in Leicester are working with an art historian from the nearby university as well as academics from Oxford and Yale in a three-year project that hopes to shed new light on our understanding of the Tudor Reformation.
The tombs, at the parish church in Framlingham, are close to the family seat of the Howards, the extremely wealthy and powerful Dukes of Norfolk. But they were originally sited 40 miles away at Thetford Priory, traditional resting place of the Howards until Henry VIII had it dissolved in 1539. They were moved and reassembled some time in the 1540s while the third duke languished in the Tower of London. (Henry was becoming increasingly paranoid about the threat that he posed to his infant heir.) The reassembly process was flawed, however. Some different materials were used.
|Chopin's Hallucinations Caused by Epilepsy: Scientists|
January 24, 2011, AFP (France) by Staff
In the great Polish composer, Frederic Chopin, towering genius combined with a wasted frame and a pallid face behind which lurked melancholy, a brooding over death, a disconnection from ordinary life and sometimes horrifying hallucinations.
A force that created this image was the French novelist George Sand, who described lyrically how her lover, cursed by prodigy and doomed by frailty to an early grave, would be shaken by ghostly visions.
|Clues to Ship's ID Elusive|
January 24, 2011, The St. Augustine Record (FL) by Anthony DeMatteo
As a large crowd of people peeked around one another Sunday to watch the event happening about 20 yards beyond her, Marie Valdes stared almost straight up at the St. Augustine Lighthouse, following her 2-year-old grandson, Desmond in pointing at its beacon.
About 150 people eagerly watched Lighthouse Archeological Maritime Program Archeological Conservator Starr Cox carefully chip crustations and debris from the bronze bell of a ship sunk a few miles off the St. Augustine Inlet more than two centuries ago. The bell was lifted from a water-filled crate in which it had been kept untouched since December.
|La Plaza Project Snubbed Historic Preservation in Digging up Old Burial Ground in L.A.|
January 21, 2011, The Los Angeles Times by Hector Tobar
A lot more questions should have been asked before excavation was allowed at the site of the new La Plaza de Cultura y Artes center. Bones from at least 100 bodies have been unearthed.
L.A. has flunked another history test.
Not the kind with questions about George Washington and the Constitution. This was a test of our ability to protect our local history — specifically one particular patch of land where many, if not most, of L.A.'s founders were buried.