|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.
|Boy George Returns Stolen Icon|
January 21, 2011, NewsCore by Staff
BRITISH pop star and DJ Boy George returned an 18th century icon to Cyprus after he unwittingly bought the stolen artefact 26 years ago from a London art dealer.
An eagle-eyed priest spotted the post-Byzantine icon of Christ hanging on the singer's wall during a Dutch television show.
|George Washington: The Reluctant President|
January 21, 2011, Smithsonian Magazine by Ron Chernow
The Congressional delay in certifying George Washington’s election as president only allowed more time for doubts to fester as he considered the herculean task ahead. He savored his wait as a welcome “reprieve,” he told his former comrade in arms and future Secretary of War Henry Knox, adding that his “movements to the chair of government will be accompanied with feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution.” His “peaceful abode” at Mount Vernon, his fears that he lacked the requisite skills for the presidency, the “ocean of difficulties” facing the country—all gave him pause on the eve of his momentous trip to New York. In a letter to his friend Edward Rutledge, he made it seem as if the presidency was little short of a death sentence and that, in accepting it, he had given up “all expectations of private happiness in this world.”
|Enlightened Crusade to Save Adam Smith's Home|
January 20, 2011, The Scotsman (Scotland) by Brian Ferguson
CAMPAIGNERS have demanded action over the "sorry state" of the former home of Scotland's most celebrated 18th-century intellectual.
...Dating back to 1691, when it was built for the Earl of Panmure, the house was saved for the nation three years ago after being bought from its then owners, Edinburgh City Council, by Heriot-Watt University's business school.
|National Bard Robert Burns Makes iPhone Debut|
January 20, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
The complete works of Robert Burns have been made available free of charge on the iPhone for the first time.
The new iPhone application will allow enthusiasts around the world to download and instantly access Burns' poetry.
|Idaho GOP gets Ready to Nullify Health Care Reform|
January 20, 2011, The Miami Herald (FL) by John Miller
After leading the nation last year in passing a law to sue the federal government over the health care overhaul, Idaho's Republican-dominated Legislature now plans to use an obscure 18th century doctrine to declare President Barack Obama's signature bill null and void.
...Back in 1799, Thomas Jefferson wrote in his "Kentucky Resolution," a response to federal laws passed amid an undeclared naval war against France, that "nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts... is the rightful remedy."
|NAACP Draws Complaints for Covering George Washington Statue on Martin Luther King Day|
January 19, 2011, FOXNews by Staff
The NAACP's South Carolina office chose to cover a statue of George Washington during its annual rally honoring Martin Luther King Jr., drawing complaints from conservatives that the group was offending the legacy of the nation's Founding Father.
The state chapter of the civil rights group claims it meant no disrespect and only covered up the statue to provide a more suitable backdrop for speakers at Monday's event. Pictures taken at the event show the statue was completely covered on three sides by a wooden, box-like structure.
|Castle Masterpiece Work Unveiled|
January 18, 2011, The Scotsman (Scotland) by Staff
A hall at a Scottish castle has been restored to its 16th century glory with the recreation of a lost Renaissance masterpiece.
Replicas of the 37 oak medallions known as the Stirling Heads have been positioned on the ceiling of the King`s Inner Hall at Stirling Castle.
The metre-wide oak medallions were first installed in the 1540s in the royal palace of James V but the ceiling was taken down in 1777.
|Edo Castle Stones Found in Sagami Bay|
January 18, 2011, The Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan) by Staff
Four large stones believed to have been quarried on Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture more than 400 years ago for the reconstruction and expansion of Edo Castle have been found in Sagami Bay.
...The stones are believed to have been quarried in 1606 in a project carried out by feudal lords under the order of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1867).
|Smallpox: the Most Successful Vaccination Ever|
January 18, 2011, The Telegraph (UK) by Staff
As a 13-year-old, he observed that farm hands and milkmaids who contracted the less severe cowpox from cows were not afflicted during outbreaks of smallpox.
In 1796, as a young trained doctor, he took the fluid from a cowpox pustule on a sufferer's hand and inoculated an eight-year-old boy. The boy was then exposed to smallpox but failed to contract the disease. By 1800 about 100,000 people had been vaccinated worldwide.