Monday, August 31, 2009

Medvedev defends Moscow's role in WWII

Source: Yahoo News (8-30-09)MOSCOW – Russia's president defended Moscow's role in World War II before the 70th anniversary of its outbreak, saying in an interview broadcast Sunday that anyone who lays equal blame on the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany is telling a "cynical lie."

Dmitry Medvedev's remarks were the latest salvo in Russia's bitter dispute with its neighbors over the war and its aftermath. The Kremlin has launched a campaign for universal acceptance of its portrayal of the Soviet Union as Europe's liberator.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Holocaust's untold heroes


Their story is rarely told, but Albanian Muslims took in fleeing Jews during World War II, saving thousands of lives.

When no other European country dared to withstand the wrath of Nazi Germany, it was the Muslims of Albania who saved a large number of Jewish people from extermination.

Albania, a Muslim majority country in Europe, opened its borders during World War II and took in thousands of Jews fleeing from different countries. They were treated like honored guests, and many were given fake names and even passports.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Australia discovers new dinosaur

Australian palaeontologists say they have discovered a new species of dinosaur on a sheep farm in the northern state of Queensland.

The fossil remains of the large plant-eating sauropod, nicknamed Zac, are about 97 million years old.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Is Unemployment the Worst Since the Great Depression?

The "Great Recession" is the name that has stuck for the economic decline that began in late 2007. But there's some reason to think that using the word recession is being kind.

The U.S. gross domestic product has shrunk 3.9 percent in the past year, the worst drop since the Great Depression. Plenty of observers are willing to say that this recession is much deeper than anything we've seen since the 1930s--including the big dip in the early 1980s, generally accepted as the other candidate for the worst recession since the Great Depression. "I think it's way worse today," says Ridgely Evers of Tapit Partners....

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Newly-Declassified CIA Histories Show Its Involvement in Every Aspect of the Indochina War

Source: The National Security Archive (8-26-09)

The Central Intelligence Agency participated in every aspect of the wars in Indochina, political and military, according to newly declassified CIA histories. The six volumes of formerly secret histories (the Agency's belated response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by National Security Archive senior fellow John Prados) document CIA activities in South and North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in unprecedented detail. The histories contain a great deal of new material and shed light on aspects of the CIA's work that were not well known or were poorly understood.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Edward Kennedy’s role in peace process helped change Irish history

Published: August 26, 2009 08:26 ET

DUBLIN — Nowhere outside the United States is the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy being mourned as much as in Ireland, the country from where his ancestors emigrated during the potato famine of the 19th century and to which he helped bring peace in recent years.

President Mary McAleese said he would be remembered as a “hugely important friend to the country during very difficult times,” and Prime Minister Brian Cowen commented that Ireland had lost a true friend who “worked valiantly for the cause of peace on this island.” (Read other international reactions to the senator's death here.)

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Policy Makers Seek to Learn From 1937's Stalled Comeback


WASHINGTON -- A few months ago, Obama administration officials were sounding the alarm about another 1929. These days, it's 1937 that has them in a sweat.

The Great Depression was W-shaped. The stock-market collapse led to a steep economic decline. But by 1933, the economy had rebounded. Then a series of monetary and fiscal blunders drove the country back into a deep recession at the end of 1937.

That episode is at the heart of the debate over how quickly the government and the U.S. Federal Reserve should unwind the emergency measures they have taken to fend off a Depression-like ...

Read more.....(you must subscribe to the Wall Street Journal to read more....sorry! This was enough info for me, though, without a subscription.... :-/ )

Monday, August 24, 2009

China's founding legend may not be true

China's founding dynasty may just be a myth, say archaeologists.

In a news report in the current Science, writer Andrew Lawler surveys a decade's worth of discoveries suggesting ancient China sprang from distinct regions, rather than possessing a single national culture some 4,300 years ago. "How China became China is no mere academic topic; it goes to the very heart of how the world’s most populous and economically vibrant nation sees itself and its role in the world," Lawler writes.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

A Short History of News

Some surprising facts about the history of journalsim
By Mitchell Stephens

Rather than some relatively recent craze, stimulated by the arrival of satellites, television or even the newspaper, the good news is that the frenzied, obsessive exchange of news is one of the oldest human activities.

Messengers were appointed to bring word, criers to proclaim it and busybodies to spread the word. The need to know helped attract people to crossroads, campfires and market places; it helped motivate journeyers; it helps explain the reception accorded travelers. In most parts of the pre-literate world the first question asked of a traveler was, as it was in Outer Mongolia in 1921, "What's new?" These preliterate peoples were probably better informed about events in their immediate neighborhood than are most modem, urban or suburban Americans.

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Tuzki Bunny Emoticon

Emotional Bunny says: " 'Emotional Bunny Times' coming soon to a news-stand near you!"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

London's Oldest "Boardwalk" Found?

August 17, 2009

London's oldest known timber structure could be the city's earliest "boardwalk," archaeologists say.

Preserved for more than 5,700 years, the structure was found in an ancient peat bog next to the Belmarsh prison in Plumstead, a suburb of East London near the banks of the River Thames (see map).

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Pharaohs' Tombs May Disappear, Egypt Warns

Aug. 19, 2009 -- The ornate pharaonic tombs in Egypt's Valley of the Kings are doomed to disappear within 150 to 500 years if they remain open to tourists, the head of antiquities has warned.

Zahi Hawass said humidity and fungus are eating into the walls of the royal tombs in the huge necropolis on the west bank of the Nile across from Luxor, which is swamped daily by several thousand tourists.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Strep Throat Killed Mozart, New Theory Argues

Researchers Say Mozart May Have Died from a Bacterial Infection, Not Poison or Fever

Two hundred and fifty years after his birth, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart might be the most known classical music composer, but his legacy is still shadowed by a mysterious death.
Buried in an unmarked grave, without a casket or his widow at the funeral, historians don't know exactly what killed the 35-year-old musical genius Dec. 5, 1791. His remains have been lost to history.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

History's Most Overlooked Mysteries

Though many of life's great mysteries remain unsolved, there are some lesser known ones that also have stumped researchers for centuries. While grand enigmas such as Egypt's great pyramids, Stonehenge, the Shroud of Turin and the downfall of Rome have garnered widespread interest, here are some perennial riddles that remain just as puzzling. -Tuan C. Nguyen

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Friday, August 14, 2009

When Did Humans Return After Last Ice Age?

ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2009) — The Cheddar Gorge in Somerset was one of the first sites to be inhabited by humans when they returned to Britain near the end of the last Ice Age. According to new radio carbon dating by Oxford University researchers, outlined in the latest issue of Quaternary Science Review, humans were living in Gough's Cave 14,700 years ago.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Early Fire Use Ignites Discussion about the Evolution of Human Brainpower

August 13, 2009

New evidence that early modern humans used fire in southern Africa in a controlled way to increase the quality and efficiency of stone tools is changing how researchers understand the evolution of human behavior, and in particular, the evolution of human brain power.

Curtis Marean and Kyle Brown, both paleoanthropologists with the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, and an international team of researchers with members from South Africa, England, Australia and France found 72,000-year-old, silcrete rocks that had been fired and flaked to make stone tools in a cave along the coast of the southern tip of Africa in Mossel Bay.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oldest Known Paralyzed Human Discovered

Aug. 6, 2009 -- The remains of a man who could be the world's oldest known paralysis victim have been unearthed by Australian bio-archaeologists in northern Vietnam.

Found at the Neolithic cemetery site of Man Bac, some 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Hanoi, the remains are between 3,500 and 4,000 years old and belong to an adult male who died around age 25.

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John Quincy Adams Entries Sent as Tweets

Aug. 4, 2009 -- It seems John Quincy Adams was way ahead of his time.

A high school student touring the sixth U.S. president's archives recently noticed his bite-sized diary entries looked a lot like tweets.

Starting Wednesday, history will meet modern technology as the Massachusetts Historical Society begins posting Adams' updates from 200 years ago on Twitter. The historical society will include a presidential tracker of sorts, linking maps to show Adam's progress on a diplomatic trek to Russia as U.S. minister.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tomb search could end riddle of Shakespeare's true identity

A sarcophagus in an English parish church could solve the centuries-old literary debate over who really wrote the plays of William Shakespeare.

Parishioners at St Mary's church in Warwick have sought permission to examine the contents of the 17th monument built by Fulke Greville, a writer and contemporary of Shakespeare who some believe is the true author of several of the Bard's works.

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Humanity’s upright gait may have roots in trees

By Bruce Bower

Monday, August 10, 2009

Extinct Walking Bat Found; Upends Evolutionary Theory

A walking bat in New Zealand took its marching orders from an ancestor, a new fossil-bat discovery reveals. Scientists had long thought that the lesser short-tailed bat evolved its walking preference independently.

Since the bat's native habitat lacks predators, researchers reasoned that—much like flightless birds on isolated islands—the bat had adapted to its safer surroundings in part by walking.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hollywood's distortion of the truth alters history in the eyes of schoolchildren

Hollywood's habit of playing with historical facts is leading schoolchildren to get it wrong too – even if they read the true story in classrooms, a new academic study shows.

Researchers have found that film is an incredibly powerful tool for teaching children about the past which can greatly increase historical knowledge.

However, it is so powerful that if the facts are wrong, pupils are more likely to believe them even if they are told otherwise by text books or teachers, they say.

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

UN nuclear agency helps unlock secrets buried with Egyptian mummies

6 July 2009 – The United Nations nuclear agency is using its expertise to help archaeologists unearth millennia-old secrets, from the supposed murder of King Tutankhamun to the mysterious death of Great Pharaoh Ramesses II, from Egyptian mummies.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Bird experiment shows Aesop's fable may be true

NEW YORK – From the goose that laid the golden egg to the race between the tortoise and the hare, Aesop's fables are known for teaching moral lessons rather than literally being true. But a new study says at least one such tale might really have happened.

It's the fable about a thirsty crow. The bird comes across a pitcher with the water level too low for him to reach. The crow raises the water level by dropping stones into the pitcher. (Moral: Little by little does the trick, or in other retellings, necessity is the mother of invention.)

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PICTURES: Prehistoric Spiders' Weapons Revealed via 3-D

August 6, 2009—
It was ever spider for itself in the brutal pre-dinosaur world of the Carboniferous period, new 3-D images reveal. About 359 to 299 million years ago, Earth teemed with newly evolved insects and hungry amphibians that had just crawled onto land.

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Roman Emperor Vespasian's Summer Villa Found

Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News

Aug. 6, 2009 -- The summer villa of Roman Emperor Vespasian has been found in the Sabine hill country northeast of Rome, Italian archaeologists announced today.

Titus Flavius Vespasianus is known for rebuilding the Roman Empire following the tumultuous reign of Emporer Nero. Vespasian changed the face of Rome by launching a major public works program, which included the construction of the Colosseum, the structure that arguably defines the glory of ancient Rome.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

2 newly discovered works attributed to Mozart

The results were announced for the first time in public at a news conference in a Mozart residence in Salzburg where the two pieces were performed on the master composer`s own fortepiano.

The International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, Austria, said two newly discovered pieces were probably composed by Wolfgang as a young boy, according to media reports Monday.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oetzi Iceman's Tattoos Came from Fireplace

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

July 17, 2009 -- The 57 tattoos sported by Oetzi, the 5300-year-old Tyrolean iceman mummy, were made from fireplace soot that contained glittering, colorful precious stone crystals, according to an upcoming study in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

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Computers Unlock More Secrets Of The Mysterious Indus Valley Script

ScienceDaily (Aug. 4, 2009) — Four-thousand years ago, an urban civilization lived and traded on what is now the border between Pakistan and India. During the past century, thousands of artifacts bearing hieroglyphics left by this prehistoric people have been discovered. Today, a team of Indian and American researchers are using mathematics and computer science to try to piece together information about the still-unknown script.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Criminal trials from 18th and 19th centuries go online for first time

On March 2, 1882, Roderick Maclean brandished a pistol outside Windsor railway station and attempted to shoot Queen Victoria.

Things did not go according to plan. The monarch lived and Maclean was charged with high treason, but acquitted on the ground of insanity. Ordered “to be kept in strict custody and gaol until Her Majesty’s pleasure shall be known”, he spent the rest of his life in Broadmoor Hospital.

His case is one of 1.4 million criminal trials from the 18th and 19th centuries that feature in registers that go online for the first time today.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ancient Fortress City Unearthed in Egypt

Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News

July 14, 2009 -- Egyptian archaeologists digging near the Suez Canal have discovered the remains of what is believed to be the largest fortress in the eastern Delta, Egypt's Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, announced.

Located at the site of Tell Dafna, between El-Manzala Lake and the Suez Canal, the remains reveal the foundation of a military town about 15 kilometers (nine miles) northeast of the city of western Qantara.

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