|Jews Receive Apology Over Spanish Inquisition Executions|
May 06, 2011, The Telegraph (UK) by Fiona Govan
Francesc Antich, the regional president of the Balearic Islands, issued an official condemnation of the killings in what was heralded by Jewish groups as the first of its kind in Spain.
"We have dared to gather here to recognise the grave injustice committed against those Majorcans who were accused, persecuted, charged and condemned to death for their faith and their beliefs," Mr Antich said at a memorial service held in Palma de Majorca.
At the end of the 15th century King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella set up the Spanish Inquisition to root out remnants of Islam and Judaism after the reconquest of Spain. Over the following two centuries thousands of so-called heretics were burned at the stake.
|Bradley Cooper to Play Lucifer?|
May 05, 2011, Female First (UK) by Staff
The 'Limitless' actor is set to take on the dark role in a film adaptation of John Milton's 17th century poem, in which the evil archangel wars with heavenly forces and tempts biblical figures Adam and Eve from God's path, leading to their expulsion from paradise.
|George Washington's Beer Recipe|
May 05, 2011, The Telegraph (UK) by Jon Swaine
A handwritten recipe for "small beer" created by Washington in 1757, while serving in the Virginia militia, has been published by the New York Public Library.
The recipe, which was found in Washington's "Notebook as a Virginia Colonel", lists the ingredients as bran hops, yeast and molasses – an addition that may explain his infamously rotten teeth.
|Stradivarius to be Sold to Raise Money for Japan Quake|
May 02, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
An exceptionally well-preserved Stradivarius violin, the Lady Blunt, which fetched $10m at its last sale in 2008, is to be auctioned for charity.
The 1721 violin is being sold by the Nippon Music Foundation, with the entire proceeds going to their Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.
|Man Discovers Priceless Book in his Attic. Why is it Called a “Chronicle?”|
May 02, 2011, The Hot Word by Staff
Imagine this: your beloved great uncle bequeaths to you an old book; so old that it is literally coming apart at the seams. You tuck away the tattered tome in the attic, where it will stay for decades. One day you decide to unearth the inherited manuscript and have it appraised. To your astonishment, your great uncle left you a highly coveted artifact that dates back to the 15th century. This biblio-fairy tale turned into a true story for one Sandy, Utah resident.
The discovery of the partial copy of the 500-year-old Nuremberg Chronicle left antique book dealer, Ken Sanders, flabbergasted. “You don’t expect to see one of the oldest printed books pop up in Sandy, Utah” Sanders said. It’s a long journey indeed; one that begins in Nuremberg, Germany.
|Boswell's Scots Dictionary Found after 200 years|
May 01, 2011, The Scotsman (Scotland) by Tim Cornwell
A LOST dictionary of the Scots language compiled by the famous 18th century biographer James Boswell has been rediscovered after more than 200 years.
The unsigned manuscript, confirmed by top Boswell scholars as in his hand-writing, includes 39 pages of the writer and lawyer's draft dictionary and covers about 800 Scots words and phrases.
|Plans to Reopen West Coast Pilgrims' Way|
May 01, 2011, The Scotsman (Scotland) by Martyn McLaughlin
IT HAS been closed since the 16th-century when pilgrimages were banned as part of the Protestant Reformation.
But plans are now being developed to reopen the ancient pilgrim's way which once stretched down the Ayrshire coast to Whithorn, Scotland's "cradle of Christianity."
|'We've Just Scratched the Surface': Divers Find 'Oldest Shipwreck in the Caribbean'.... and Treasure that Could be Worth MILLIONS|
April 29, 2011, The Daily Mail (UK) by Amy Oliver
A chance encounter with a fisherman has led one team of treasure hunters to discover what they believe is the oldest shipwreck in the Caribbean.
And after only diving the site - located off the Dominican Republic coast - a handful of times, the team at Deep Blue Marine has unearthed some serious treasure.
At the last count Captain Billy Rawson and his crew had uncovered 700 silver coins that could be worth millions, jade figurines and even a mirrored stone that was possibly used in Shamanic rituals.
Everything was in pretty good condition, despite dating back to the 1500s.
|Shatner, Branagh and Hill for Shakespeare Show|
April 29, 2011, WENN by Staff
Star Trek legend William Shatner is set to join renowned thespian Kenneth Branagh and country singer Faith Hill in a one-off production of a Shakespeare play in Los Angeles.
|Lovecraft’s ‘The Shunned House’ Is For Sale|
April 28, 2011, Disinformation by Jacob Sloan
Interested in investing in demonic real estate? The home was built in 1763 by Stephen Harris, a wealthy merchant. Subsequently his children died and his wife descended into madness — in real life, not the Lovecraft story. Additionally, there likely are colonial-era corpses buried in the backyard.
|The Forgotten Patriot|
April 28, 2011, The Boston Globe (MA) by James Wermuth
AS RHODE Island prepares to celebrate the 350th anniversary of an extraordinary American document, its author remains all but forgotten. In the summer of 1663, against seemingly insurmountable odds, an improbable patriot living in an unlikely place changed the course of world civilization.
|Redrawing the Boundaries of British Democracy? Census Data and the Great Reform Act, 1832-2011|
April 28, 2011, History & Policy by Stephen Thompson
The UK government is currently engaged in a programme of major political and constitutional reform. The Deputy Prime Minister has drawn parallels between today's changes and those brought in by the 1832 Reform Act.
Current policy is based on the claim that the state has too much control over citizens, most notably as a result of laws that have increased surveillance.
The main purpose of the 1832 Reform Act was to make parliamentary representation more equal by transferring seats from less densely inhabited places ('rotten boroughs') to fast-growing industrial towns and counties. Reformers objected to rotten boroughs because the MPs who sat for them were accountable to the borough patron, rather than the electorate. This system helped to perpetuate the influence of the executive, at the expense of the legislature.
|Installation of Audio Guide System at Taj Mahal Disappoints iits Lovers|
April 27, 2011, Sify News (India) by Staff
The installation work of an audio guide system in the corridor of India's famous monument to love, Taj Mahal, has created a sense of apprehension that it may get commercialized and lose the charm of its originality.
Agra Tourist Guide Association President Samsuddin Shah said the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has deliberately attempted to bring commercialisation in Taj Mahal by introducing the audio guide system.
|Italy: Hunt Begins in Florence for Mona Lisa Model|
April 27, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
A team of researchers in Italy has begun a search for the tomb of a woman who may have been the model for Leonardo Da Vinci's painting Mona Lisa.
The team is using a special radar device at the convent in the city of Florence where it thinks the body of the woman, Lisa Gherardini, is buried.
It hopes to find skull fragments and to try to create a facial reconstruction.
|Italian Princess Ancestor of 'Mona Lisa' Says Remains Should be Left in Peace|
April 27, 2011, The Telegraph (UK) by Nick Squires
Natalia Guicciardini Strozzi, a member of one of Florence's oldest noble families, said that searching for and exhuming the remains of Lisa Gherardini was "a sacrilegious act".
Gherardini was the wife of a rich Florentine silk merchant and is believed by many art historians to have been the model for Leonardo da Vinci's best known painting, which today hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
|All at Sea With No Biscuit? Duchy Originals, Female Heirs and the British Throne|
April 27, 2011, History & Policy by Ann Lyon
There has been much discussion in recent years of amending the Act of Settlement 1701 so that the first child will succeed to the throne rather than the first son - though at the time it was passed it was a pragmatic piece of legislation, and quite advanced, in that it provided for female succession at all. Less attention has been given to how the heir to the throne is supported - but if we want to change the succession, we will need to look at a Royal Patent of 1337 as well as an Act of Parliament of 1701.
...Mary II died of smallpox in 1694, leaving no children, and William did not remarry. Anne's son followed Mary to the grave in 1700. James II had given up hopes of his own restoration, but his son James had the active support of Louis XIV of France, whose purposes would be only too well served by having a client king on the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland. There was thus a very real threat of invasion in support of the younger James, and the civil wars of the 1640s were within living memory. Meanwhile, the death of the Spanish king Carlos II without obvious heirs precipitated a general European war between supporters of the rival candidates. This was what the Act of Settlement was designed to prevent.
|The War Within: David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion|
April 27, 2011, The Smart Set by Morgan Meis
David Hume turns 300 on May 7. It is fitting, I suppose, that a man so resolutely mortal should be enjoying such immortality. Most of Hume's contemporaries are long forgotten. Hume, somehow, endures. His old pal Adam Smith (author of The Wealth of Nations), relates that in Hume's dying days he told his friends, "I have done every thing of consequence which I ever meant to do, and I could at no time expect to leave my relations and friends in a better situation than that in which I am likely to leave them: I therefore have all reason to die contented."
|200-Year-Old Cannonballs Found|
April 26, 2011, The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog by noelbynature
A cache of cannonballs, thought to be from the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), were found in Hue during some construction works along the An Cuu river embankment.
|John James Audubon: Why Birds Flock Around Google's Doodle|
April 26, 2011, National Geographic News by Ker Than
The Internet has gone to the birds today, with a Google doodle honoring the 226th birthday of John James Audubon, famed naturalist and painter.
Born April 26, 1785, Audubon is credited with changing the way everyday people thought about birds, thanks to his enormous tome of avian illustrations entitled The Birds of America.
|Chinese 'Buyer' of £53 Million Qing-Dynasty Vase 'has Nothing to do with Sale'|
April 25, 2011, The Telegraph (UK) by Peter Foster
A Chinese property billionaire who is accused breaking the hearts of a British couple by failing to pay for a £53 million Qing-dynasty vase that was found in the house of a deceased relative had "absolutely nothing" to do with the 'sale', his connections said on Monday.
Wang Jianlin, the chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, has been named by several publications, including the Antiques Trade Gazette, as the man behind the record-breaking bid for the vase which fetched more than 65 times its £800,000 estimate.
...Initially the sale was celebrated as the ultimate good luck story, after it emerged that the owners, a solicitor from the Isle of Wight, Anthony Johnson and his elderly mother, had inherited the 16in vase which was identified as a piece from the prized Qianlong-era of the 1740s.
|500-Year-Old Book Surfaces in Utah|
April 25, 2011, The Associated Press by Staff
Book dealer Ken Sanders has seen a lot of nothing in his decades appraising "rare" finds pulled from attics and basements, storage sheds and closets.
Sanders, who occasionally appraises items for PBS's Antiques Roadshow, often employs "the fine art of letting people down gently."
But on a recent Saturday while volunteering at a fundraiser for the small town museum in Sandy, Utah, just south of Salt Lake, Sanders got the surprise of a lifetime.
|War And Consequences: The American Indian Movement Vs. The National Park Service At Fort Laramie|
April 25, 2011, National Park Traveler by Richard West Sellars
But what was it about Fort Laramie’s history that would, more than 80 years after the army abandoned the place, ignite the level of hostility evident in AIM’s threats? Knowing only the general outlines of the fort’s history, or that of the Northern Plains, I arrived at Fort Laramie in early 1973, nearly 140 years after mountain men established a fur-trading post in the vicinity in 1834. Subsequent owners rebuilt the post closer to the Laramie River. It developed into an important center where the Lakota Sioux (largest and most powerful of the Northern Plains Indians), along with the Northern Cheyenne and Northern Arapaho, among other free-roaming tribes, came to barter furs and buffalo hides for trade goods. Trade and social interaction with the Native groups, including intermarriage, continued after the U.S. Army bought the post in 1849 as a means of protecting national interests in the area.
|Sweden's Vasa Marks 50 Years out of the Water|
April 24, 2011, The Local (Sweden) by Staff
Half a century has passed since the sunken 17th century royal warship Vasa was brought to the surface, but the story of how one of Sweden's biggest failures became a national treasure still fascinate
"The first thing we saw was a little wooden head, and after some time came another wooden head... It was a fantastic sight," said retired navy commander Jarl Ellsen, ahead of Sunday's 50th anniversary of the raising of the ship.
|Mission-Era Artifacts Found in Downtown Ventura are Well-Preserved|
April 24, 2011, Ventura County Star (CA) by Tony Biasotti
The archaeologists digging at the corner of Main and Palm streets in downtown Ventura aren't exactly unearthing long-buried secrets. In this spot, Ventura's past is close to the surface. It's long been known that this lot — until recently, a city parking lot with the Top Hat Burger Palace in one corner — was once home to the easternmost wing of San Buenaventura Mission. This wing was added sometime after the original mission was built in 1792, and it was torn down in the 1880s, said John Foster, the lead architect on the project.
|Historic Home - With Ghost - For Sale|
April 24, 2011, The Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) by Barrett J. Brunsman
One of Clermont County's oldest houses, an architectural landmark said to be home to the friendly ghost of a girl, is for sale.
The asking price of $900,000 includes the 4,000-square-foot manor house, a four-car garage, a guesthouse, an outbuilding called a summer kitchen, a tobacco barn, a fishing pond and 98.5 acres, much of which is wooded.
The two-story brick house, built nearly 200 years ago by brothers John and Edward Salt, is on the National Register of Historic Places.