Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Russia casts doubt on Hitler skull theory

Russia has questioned the credibility of new research claiming Adolf Hitler may have escaped at the end of the Second World War.

Officials in Moscow say they have no record of a US researcher who claims to have examined a skull fragment said to belong to the late Nazi dictator.

Russia responded after a History Channel documentary claimed to have subjected the bone, which is kept in Moscow, to DNA testing and discovered it belonged to a woman and not Hitler.

The program suggested its findings bolstered the theory that Hitler did not commit suicide in 1945 as is widely thought.

But Vladimir Kozlov, deputy director of Russia's state archive where the fragment is stored, has cast doubt on the programme. He says he has no record that an American scientist called Nick Bellantoni who is shown in the program taking samples from the skull had ever been granted access.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Emperor's rotating banquet hall unveiled in Rome

ROME – Not only was Nero a Roman emperor, it turns out he may also have been the father of the revolving restaurant. Archaeologists unveiled Tuesday what they think are the remains of Nero's extravagant banquet hall, a circular space that rotated day and night to imitate the Earth's movement and impress his guests.

The room, part of Nero's Golden Palace, a sprawling residence built in the first century A.D., is thought to have been built to entertain government officials and VIPs, said lead archaeologist Francoise Villedieu.

The emperor, known for his lavish and depraved lifestyle, was born in 37 A.D. and ruled from 54 A.D. to 68 A.D.

The dig so far has turned up the foundations of the room, the rotating mechanism underneath and part of an attached space believed to be the kitchens, she said.

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Emotional Bunny says: "Yes, it's quite lovely, isn't it? And the sun sets every evening on the right - er, no, I mean - the left side of the room..."

Uncertainty over Hitler's death after tests on bullet hole skull reveal it belonged to a woman

Adolf Hitler may not have shot himself dead, new DNA evidence shows.

A skull fragment believed for decades to be the Nazi leader’s has turned out to be that of a woman under 40 after DNA analysis.

Scientists and historians had long thought it to be conclusive proof that Hitler shot himself in the head after taking a cyanide pill on 30 April 1945 rather than face the ignominy of capture.

The piece of skull - complete with bullet hole - had been taken from outside the Fuhrer’s bunker by the Russian Army and preserved by Soviet intelligence.

Now the story of Hitler’s death will have to rewritten as a mystery - and conspiracy theorists are likely to latch on to the possibility that he may not have died in the bunker at all.

Thomas Edison's Personal Laboratory Opens to the Public

Thomas Edison's inventions changed the world, and starting on October 10th you'll be able to tour his laboratory complex at Thomas Edison National Historical Park in New Jersey. Key areas, including Edison’s private laboratory, original music recording studio and a photography studio will open to the public for the first time in the history of the site.

It would be hard for most Americans alive today to imagine life without recorded music, movies or electric lighting, and those are only a few of Edison's contributions to technology. The inventor earned 1,093 United States patents, a record number for one person that still stands. Beginning October 10th you can visit the impressive laboratory complex in West Orange, New Jersey, where Edison worked from 1887 until his death in 1931.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

H.G. WELLS: 9 Predictions That Have, And Haven't, Come True

September 21, 2009--Actor Rod Taylor "tests" a time machine in a still from the 1960 film The Time Machine, inspired by a 1895 novella by British writer H.G. Wells. One of the founders of modern science fiction, H.G. Wells would have celebrated his 143rd birthday today.

The time machine was one of many future technologies that H.G. Wells popularized in his 20 novels and dozens of short stories. Although such a device isn't one of Wells's fancies that has since come to fruition, a time machine is within the realm of possibility, said Richard Muller, a physicist at the University of California, Berkeley.
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Koreans prepare for rare reunion

BBC News, Seoul - Sitting on the floor, with her suitcase in front of her, 100-year-old Kim Yu-jung is preparing for a remarkable journey.

Surrounded by four of her children, the youngest of them now in his late 50s, she is packing some winter clothes for the colder weather in the North.

The family is one of a small number given a rare chance to meet their long-lost relatives from the other side of the border that cuts this peninsula, and the lives of its people, in half.

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History textbook says USA first landed on moon in 1979, JFK president in 1960

An official history textbook used by thousands of GCSE pupils contains embarrassing errors, including the assertion that the United States won the race to the moon in 1979.

The new book, written by examiners, also tells pupils that John F Kennedy was president of America in 1960.

Entitled History: The Making of the Modern World, the textbook for a new Edexcel GCSE history exam, the inaccuracies have been slammed by historians and teachers.

"You have got to get these things right," said Sean Lang, a senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, in Cambridgeshire, and honorary secretary of the Historical Association. "The whole issue of exam boards putting out official exam text books that students then buy is highly suspect as it is, but if they are going to do it, you expect it to be right.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Huge hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure uncovered in UK

LONDON – It's an unprecedented find that could revolutionize ideas about medieval England's Germanic rulers: An amateur treasure-hunter searching a farmer's field with a metal detector unearthed a huge collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver artifacts.

The discovery sent a thrill through Britain's archaeological community, which said Thursday that it offers new insight into the world of the Anglo-Saxons, who ruled England from the fifth century until the 1066 Norman invasion and whose cultural influence is still felt throughout the English-speaking world.

"This is just a fantastic find completely out of the blue," Roger Bland, who managed the cache's excavation, told The Associated Press. "It will make us rethink the Dark Ages."

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

A short history of long speeches

This is a Linked! article - relevant content for both HHZ-History and HHZ-English

For 96 long minutes, Colonel Gaddafi spoke to UN delegates about Somali pirates, the death of JFK, jet lag and his conspiracy theories about swine flu. Call that a long speech? It's but a tiddler.

After an hour and a half of Mr Gaddafi speaking in person, it is not known how many of those listening logged on for more.

Four hours and 29 minutes is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest speech in front of the General Assembly, given in September 1960 by Fidel Castro. The former Cuban leader is known for his interminable speeches - his longest on record in Cuba clocking up seven hours and 10 minutes at the 1986 Communist Party Congress.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rare Discovery: Engraved Gemstone Carrying A Portrait Of Alexander The Great

ScienceDaily (Sep. 22, 2009) — A rare and surprising archaeological discovery at Tel Dor: A gemstone engraved with the portrait of Alexander the Great was uncovered during excavations by an archaeological team directed by Dr. Ayelet Gilboa of the University of Haifa and Dr. Ilan Sharon of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

"Despite its miniature dimensions – the stone is less than a centimeter high and its width is less than half a centimeter – the engraver was able to depict the bust of Alexander on the gem without omitting any of the ruler's characteristics," notes Dr. Gilboa, Chair of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Haifa. "The emperor is portrayed as young and forceful, with a strong chin, straight nose and long curly hair held in place by a diadem."

(Image Credit: No'a Raban-Gerstel, University of Haifa)

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Rice existed 4,000 years ago in Yangtze basin

Source: Epoch Times (9-17-09)New findings indicate that farming in the Yangtze Basin existed as early as 4,000 years ago. Excavation in the Xiezi Area of Hubei Province yielded a total of 402 cultural relics, including carbonized rice.

Stone tools, pottery, bronze, jade and porcelain were unearthed, as well as a number of spinning wheels, drop spindles made of clay and other textile tools. There were also stone mounds and smelting relics such as slag. A variety of grains and seeds were found, and experts believe there may be carbonized wheat among the plant findings at the site.

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Emotional Bunny Says: "A couple drops of water + pan + stove = yum!"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Theory: Stone Age People had Sophisticated Navigation Networks

This is a Linked! article - relevant content for HHZ-History and HHZ-Math

( -- A new theory based on studies of locations of large landmarks in Britain, such as stone structures, hill forts and earthworks, suggests they were part of a grid used for navigation around 5,000 years ago, which implies people at the time were not as primitive as previously thought.

The theory, put forward by Tom Brooks, a retired marketing executive turned amateur historian, claims landmarks such as Silbury Hill and Stonehenge were part of a navigation network that allowed people to travel long distances without maps.

Analyzing 1,500 sites in southern England and Wales, Brooks found that all the known sites could be connected to at least two others to make isosceles triangles, which have two equal sides. Some of the triangles have sides greater than 100 miles long, and the equal sides are accurate to +/- 110 yards, which Brooks says could not have happened by chance.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Monopoly's Hidden Maps for WWII Prisoners

It's a story that will forever change the way you think of the phrase, "Get Out of Jail Free."

During World War II, as the number of British airmen held hostage behind enemy lines escalated, the country's secret service enlisted an unlikely partner in the ongoing war effort: The board game Monopoly.

It was the perfect accomplice.

Included in the items the German army allowed humanitarian groups to distribute in care packages to imprisoned soldiers, the game was too innocent to raise suspicion. But it was the ideal size for a top-secret escape kit that could help spring British POWs from German war camps.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

U.S. returns stolen fossils to China

Federal investigators Monday returned dinosaurs eggs, saber-toothed cat and other fossils stolen from China. Customs official had seized the fossils, taken without permission from China, and asked researchers at Chicago's Field Museum and the Virginia Museum of Natural History to evaluate them.

"These pre-historic fossils are an invaluable part of the history of the People’s Republic of China and they will undoubtedly contribute to the scientific exploration of that nation’s past,” said the Department of Homeland Security's John Morton, in a statement.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Last Letter of Mary Queen of Scott Appears, Briefly

EDINBURGH (Reuters Life!) – At 2 a.m. on a frigid February morning in 1587, Mary Queen of Scots sat at her table and penned a last letter before her execution in the great hall of Fotheringhay Castle in the English midlands.

"Tonight, after dinner, I have been advised of my sentence: I am to be executed like a criminal at eight in the morning," she wrote to her brother-in-law, the king of France.

Fragile with age but in remarkably good condition, the letter by one of the great tragic figures of Scottish history is making a rare appearance until Sept 21 at the National Library of Scotland.

Library spokesman Bruce Blacklaw said the library wanted to promote a new visitors' center and bring to public view treasures tucked away in the library's vaults.

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The Real ‘Obama before Obama’

By Daniel Sauerwein
Mr. Sauerwein is a Breaking News Editor at HNN

Recently, HNN ran a breaking news story published by the Washington Post entitled “The ‘Obama before Obama’ ” by Kevin Merida. The article begins with the story of the purportedly first African American elected to public office, John Mercer Langston, who was from Virginia and was elected township clerk in Brownhelm, Ohio in 1855. Merida also discusses Langston’s other achievements, including being founder of the future Howard University Law School.

".....Unfortunately, there is a major error regarding the historical record with this article. Based upon two encyclopedias dealing with African American history, HNN has learned that John Langston was not the first African American elected to public office. Indeed, there were two men before him."

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

History in danger as only 30% of pupils take subject at GCSE

A survey showed that one in three primary school pupils thought Winston Churchill was the first man on the moon

Monday, September 14, 2009

Charles Darwin film 'too controversial for religious America'

A British film about Charles Darwin has failed to find a US distributor because his theory of evolution is too controversial for American audiences, according to its producer.

Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin's "struggle between faith and reason" as he wrote On The Origin of Species. It depicts him as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter, Annie.

The film was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival and has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia.

However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

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FBI Probing 'Stolen' Jackie Kennedy Note

DALLAS — A Dallas newspaper reports that the FBI is investigating a "stolen" handwritten condolence note by Jacqueline Kennedy to Ethel Kennedy that was penned shortly after Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 assassination.

The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday that investigators and Kennedy family members suspect the note was taken from Robert and Ethel Kennedy's Virginia home.

The note has changed hands several times and has sold for as much as $25,000.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Extinct Eagle May Have Hunted Humans

Sept. 11, 2009 -- Sophisticated computer scans of fossils have helped solve a mystery over the nature of a giant, ancient raptor known as the Haast's eagle which became extinct about 500 years ago, researchers said Friday.

The researchers say they have determined that the eagle -- which lived in the mountains of New Zealand and weighed about 40 pounds (18 kilograms) -- was a predator and not a mere scavenger as many thought.

Much larger than modern eagles, Haast's eagle would have swooped to prey on flightless birds -- and possibly even the rare unlucky human.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Search hopes to find 510-year-old Nfld. church

Randy Boswell, Canwest News Service Published: Sunday, September 06, 2009

Newfoundland; Site may be oldest Christian site in New World

Newfoundland and Labrador's top archeologist has revealed plans to search for the remains of a 510-year-old church on the western shore of Conception Bay -- a project aimed at adding to a string of recent discoveries about explorer John Cabot's history-making voyages to Canada in the late 15th century.

If the purported church is found near the town of Carbonear -- the site targeted by Memorial University's Peter Pope in what he calls a "longshot" dig proposed for next summer -- the discovery of North America's earliest Christian settlement would join the 1,000-year-old Viking site at Newfoundland's L'Anse-aux-Meadows, Jacques Cartier's recently unearthed 1541 fort near Quebec City and Virginia's Jamestown ruins among the continent's most important archeological sites.

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Tuzki Bunny Emoticon

Emotional Bunny Says: "OK, SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY GETTING OUT OF HAND HERE. Does anyone recall a certain pair of articles I posted last week? Here they are, just to refresh your memory:

'Massive' ancient wall uncovered in Jerusalem


16th-Century Convent "Reappears" After 40 Years

Can someone please explain?? Did we discover the Lost City of Atlantis, only it broke apart and floated beneath the Earth's surface?"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Walt Disney originals found in Blackpool attic

Original Walt Disney drawings have been found in an attic office in Blackpool.

The 15 mint condition black and white and colour drawings, which could be worth up to $20,000 (£12,000) each, were in the middle of hundreds of files gathered in over a century of Blackpool Illuminations.

....The material is now being catalogued and will be archived for future public viewing for the first time.

The Disney drawings were sent from Hollywood to Blackpool by Walt Disney himself.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hun-y History (The Huns)!

The Huns appear officially in history only when their hordes coming from the east reach the Roman Empire and in a very short time they conquer most of Europe.
Before that time, they have been numbered among the nomadic tribes of the Asian steppes and their origin was almost unknown. Now we have many research elements that have brought more light about this people, or complex of peoples, and have discovered that they were present in the most ancient times in Mesopotamia, and that have even been linked in some way, though not ethnically, with the Israelites in different times along history.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Taiwan's plan to take back mainland

By Cindy Sui

Taoyuan County, Taiwan

Most people in China and Taiwan might think they know what happened after the long and bloody civil war between the Chinese Nationalist Party and the Communist Party ended in 1949.

But recently declassified government archives have revealed a previously unknown secretive plan by Taiwan's late President Chiang Kai-shek to take back mainland China.

Chiang and his troops had fled to Taiwan after losing the war to the Communists, but despite great obstacles he was obsessed with the idea of taking back the land he had lost.

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Could Texas's Gingrich-Based High School History Curriculum Go National?
While Republicans are busy gnashing their teeth over President Obama's imminent indoctrination of the nation's schoolchildren, there's an education story bubbling up in Texas that could have considerably more far-reaching consequences.

......Approved textbooks, the standards say, must teach the Texan student to "identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly, and the Moral Majority." No analogous liberal figures or groups are required, prompting protests from some legislators and committee members. (Read an excerpt here.)

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

'Massive' ancient wall uncovered in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- An archaeological dig in Jerusalem has turned up a 3,700-year-old wall that is the largest and oldest of its kind found in the region, experts say.

Standing 8 meters (26 feet) high, the wall of huge cut stones is a marvel to archaeologists.

"To build straight walls up 8 meters ... I don't know how to do it today without mechanical equipment," said the excavation's director, Ronny Reich. "I don't think that any engineer today without electrical power [could] do it."

Archaeologist Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority added, "You see all the big boulders -- all the boulders are 4 to 5 tons."

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Tuzki Bunny Emoticon

Emotional Bunny Says: "Is it just me, or are there an unusual amount of "discovered" buildings, walls, etc.? See previous post."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

16th-Century Convent "Reappears" After 40 Years

© 2009 National Geographic (AP)
Unedited Transcript

September 2, 2009—
Low water levels at a southern Mexico reservoir have revealed the remains of a 16th-century convent submerged when the lake was created 40 years ago.

A 16th Century convent in Mexico has re-emerged as water levels in a dam reservoir have fallen to low levels.

Low water levels at the Malpaso hydroelectric dam in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas have uncovered part of the convent, which was submerged along with the community of Quechula 40 years ago when the dam was built.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Who Needs Presidential Libraries When You've Got the Web?

The Kennedy family, you might have heard, quickly erected a Twitter account (at @kennedynews) to push out information on and observations from Senator Ted Kennedy's "memorial and funeral activities," said the feed. But that's the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the digital memorialization of the senator's life that has begun to take place. And consider this. Ted Kennedy is today lying in repose in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. That Boston edifice, dedicated to his brother's life and career, cost of more than $20 million and took more than 15 years to build after JFK's sudden death in 1963. For heck's sake, President Jimmy Carter did the dedication.

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