|Researchers Find Whaling Ship from 1823 Wreck|
February 11, 2011, The Associated Press by Audrey McAvoy
A fierce sperm whale sank the first whaling ship under George Pollard's command and inspired the classic American novel "Moby-Dick". A mere two years later, a second whaler captained by Pollard struck a coral reef during a night storm and sank in shallow water.
Marine archaeologists scouring remote atolls 600 miles northwest of Honolulu have found the wreck site of Pollard's second vessel — the Two Brothers — which went down in 1823.
|High Tea and the Opium War|
February 11, 2011, The China Beat by Staff
ave 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!
|Official Holy Site Near Green Bay|
February 11, 2011, WTMJ AM (WI) by Susan Kim
It has never happened in the entire United States, but now the Catholic Church makes a bold move right here in Wisconsin.
A site near Green Bay where a woman saw the Virgin Mary is declared official by the Catholic Church itself.
To the casual traveler, blink and you'll miss Champion, a town just outside Green Bay. Now it's getting worldwide attention for 'Our Lady of Good Help'--home to a tiny shrine where big miracles are happening.
It all started in 1859, when Belgium immigrant Adele Brise says the Virgin Mary visited her 3 times at that very site.
|Oh, Ship! Vessel Found at theBottom of the Gowanus|
February 10, 2011, The Brooklyn Paper (NY) by Gary Buiso
The Gowanus Canal is filthy — filthy with a rare archeological trove, that is.
Environmental Protection Agency sonar readings have revealed several sunken vessels — including the 60-foot -long hull of a wooden vessel near Fifth Street that may date back to its glory days as an industrial highway of the 17th century.
“It looks like it might have been a working boat,” said archeologist John Vetter who found the craft.
|Portsmouth Plans Dickens Statue, Despite Will Request|
February 10, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
A memorial statue of Charles Dickens could be erected in Portsmouth despite the Victorian author requesting that none should be built.
Plans are in place as part of the bicentenary of the Oliver Twist creator's birth in April 2012.
However in his will he wrote: "I conjure to my friends on no account to make me the subject of any monument, memorial or testimonial whatsoever."
|Researchers Think Old Grave Belongs to Ranger|
February 10, 2011, The Associated Press by Michael Graczyk
The restoration of a cemetery for plantation slaves may have led to the discovery of the grave of a pioneering Texas Ranger who died 174 years ago after an attack by Native Americans.
Anthropologists from the Smithsonian Institution joined researchers from the Texas Historical Commission on Thursday to excavate the grave and retrieve remains that will be tested to see if they belong to James Coryell, one of the earliest members of the iconic law enforcement group.
|Turf Roof Plan Hatched for Smailholm Tower|
February 10, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
A 15th century landmark in the Borders could be given a roof made from local turf in a bid to keep it watertight.
Smailholm Tower, between St Boswells and Kelso, has suffered damage to its upper floor with rain leaking through its stone flag roof.
|Stanford Libraries Share a Treasure Trove of American History|
February 10, 2011, Stanford University Press Release by Christina Farr
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.
|Salem Details Revealed|
February 10, 2011, IncGamers by Peter Parrish
Developer Seatribe has revealed more details about its recently-announced MMO, Salem. The game will take the bold move of combining "a charming and cute art-style" with, err, "permanent death." That's the sort of mismatched combination of features I can really admire. Salem will be free to play and will let people take the role of New England colonists, trying to survive in the New World. To help out with this, there will be a "unique crafting, farming and building system inspired by 17th century alchemy."
|Lighthouse Home Discovered on Sapelo Island|
February 09, 2011, Georgia Public Broadcasting by Orlando Montoya
A team of volunteer and professional archaeologists have discovered the site of the original lightkeeper's house on Georgia's Sapelo Island.
The structure housed generations of lightkeepers and their families starting in 1820 until its collapse in a hurricane in 1898.
Since the collapse of the ruins, probably in the early 1900s, its location had been lost.
|Nelson Exhibition in Yarmouth Examines His Private Life|
February 08, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
A new exhibition in Great Yarmouth is examining whether Admiral Lord Nelson was a philanderer or a family man.
Nelson infamously had an affair with Lady Emma Hamilton while still married to his wife Fanny.
The Nelson Museum's exhibition, which features items from his private life, will allow visitors to examine his life and draw their own conclusions.
|Shipwreck's 'Oldest Beer' to be Analysed, Brewed Again|
February 08, 2011, BBC (UK) by Jason Palmer
Samples of the world's oldest beer have been taken in a bid to determine its recipe - and brew it again.
In July 2010, a Baltic Sea shipwreck dated between 1800 to 1830 yielded many bottles of what is thought to be the world's oldest champagne.
Five of the bottles later proved to be the oldest drinkable beer yet found.
|Royal Marriage Rules: The Laws that Bind William and Kate’s Romance|
February 08, 2011, BBC America by Staff
What are the laws that govern royal marriages? Peter Hunt, BBC's royal correspondent, looks at the rules that bind Prince William and Kate Middleton as they prepare to walk down the aisle.
For a young man who craves a "normal" life, it was yet another reminder of just how abnormal his existence can sometimes be. Last year, Prince William had to check that his grandmother wouldn't object to him marrying Kate Middleton. It was both a formality and a requirement under British law. The Queen readily gave her consent. William can thank one of his royal ancestors for imposing this hurdle on his path to marriage.
Back in the 18th century, as well as dealing with the challenging issues of losing the American colonies and serious bouts of illness, King George III was also vexed by the behavior of his younger brother. The Duke of Cumberland had married, in secret, Lady Anne Horton. She was said to have "bewitching eyes" and was regarded by the King as highly disreputable. Incensed, he took action and a bill, known as the 1772 Royal Marriages Act, came in to being.
|The Battle for the 'Mercedes' Millions|
February 08, 2011, The Independent (UK) by Dale Fuchs
For 200 years, the silver coins settled silently into the Atlantic seabed, 3,000 feet beneath the waves. They gathered in clumps like rocks across a vast swath of ocean floor near southern Portugal, crusting over with sediment and weighing a total of 17 tonnes.
The coins were certainly of no use to the 250 sailors who carried them from Peru on what was probably the Spanish frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, which sank in 1804, torn apart by British cannon fire. But now, transported from their watery-yet-lucrative grave to litigious landlubbers, those 600,000 idle coins, reportedly worth up to $500 million, are working overtime.
|Rare Charles Dickens Statue Restored to Sydney Park After 40 Years Missing|
February 07, 2011, The Telegraph (UK) by Bonnie Malkin
The marble statue, which depicts a pensive Dickens holding a quill and a scroll of paper, went missing in 1972 after it was removed from Centennial Park in Sydney because of vandalism.
The only other known statue of Dickens is in Philadelphia, USA as the author stated in his will that he did not want any public monuments or memorials to him.
|Sotheby's Accused of Cover Up over Damaged Robert Cecil Painting|
February 06, 2011, The Telegraph (UK) by Jon Swaine
Sotheby's, the auction house, has been accused of forging a document to cover up the fact that it damaged a painting of the Jacobean spymaster Robert Cecil, a senior aide to both James I and Elizabeth I.
Sotheby’s staff are alleged to have added a hastily-written damage report - backdated to the day they collected the portrait, suggesting it was already damaged - to the painting’s paperwork.
Yet it is alleged they overlooked the fact that the owner, Aila Goodlin, had been given her own copy of the paperwork when the painting was collected in July last year.
|Activist Won't Stop Pushing for Revolutionary Heroes' Recognition|
February 06, 2011, South Coast Today by Jack Spillane
Right now it's just a small cemetery surrounded by a whitewashed fence with a few overgrown spots where the ruins of former houses once stood.
But the archeological site at "Parting Ways" on the town line of Plymouth and Kingston is arguably every bit as important as the Plimoth Plantation historical site across town.
Parting Ways is the name for a settlement that was home to four African-Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War.
|Tiny Clues Let Montpelier Identify Madison's Chess Set|
February 04, 2011, The Daily Progress (VA) by Joshua Barney
The small broken bits were unrecognizable when found in the ground outside Montpelier. Might be a sewing bobbin, the archaeologists thought.
Only later did they realize what they had: tiny pieces of James Madison’s chess set, likely the very set he used to engage Thomas Jefferson in hours-long competitions that pitted two great intellects of the 18th century against each other.
With nothing more than fragments of two ivory pawns in hand, Montpelier officials began a process of research and deduction that would allow them to identify the style of Madison’s chess set and then lead them to a London auction house, where they were able to purchase a period set they believe, with fair certainty, is an exact match for Madison’s original.
|Rembrandt ‘Mixed Flour with Paints’ for a Thicker Painting Stroke|
February 04, 2011, Discoveryon.com by Staff
A new study has found that 17th-century Dutch artist Rembrandt used wheat starch in some of his paint to achieve a thicker stroke.
Experts at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Brussels reveal new insights into the techniques that Rembrandt experimented with as he created his masterpieces.
|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.