Monday, October 26, 2009

Possible Expedition to Titanic Shipwreck Planned for 2010

NORFOLK, Va. — The company that has exclusive rights to salvage the Titanic is planning a possible expedition to the world's most famous shipwreck in 2010.

The first expedition to the North Atlantic wreck site since 2004 is revealed in a filing by RMS Titanic Inc. in U.S. District Court, where four days of hearings are scheduled to begin Monday on the company's claim for a salvage award.

Lawyers for RMS Titanic Inc. confirmed the expedition plans but declined to discuss them in detail.

The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage in international waters on April 15, 1912, and has been subject to competing legal claims since an international team led by oceanographer Robert Ballard found it in 1985. Since then, RMS Titanic has retrieved artifacts during six dives.

Read more....

(Image credit:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Painting Sold At Garage Sale For $2 Might Be a Picasso

Woman May Have Sold an Original Picasso Painting at a Garage Sale

This week the Shreveport, La., resident learned that she might have had an original Picasso painting in her possession, potentially worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars but sold it at a garage sale for $2.

"I was floored. I had no idea in my wildest dreams that I could possibly have had millions in my driveway and sold it for $2," said Parker, who lives in a Shreveport trailer park.

Parker held the sale to help out the relatives of an an 84-year-old neighbor -- a frequent art collector -- who had recently died.

The neighbor's relatives lived out of town and had tried to sell his belongings at an estate sale the week before, but didn't want to transport the unsold items back home with them, and gave them to Parker.

Among those items was a painting that had "Picasso" written on it, but when she asked her neighbors' relatives about it, they said it was a fake and told not to worry about it, she said.

"I kept looking at this picture and said, Well it don't look like much, and it was in this cheap little frame," Parker said.

Read more....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

WW II veteran's color war films discovered

MEDINA -- A World War II veteran is making another contribution to U.S. history, more than 60 years after the Bronze Star recipient served his country.

Herman Graebner, 89, remembers virtually every detail of his four years in the U.S. Army. What he didn't reveal until recently though, was that he had shot two reels of color movie film of the action he saw in the war.

Three daughters and more than 60 years later, Captain Graebner's re-discovered treasures will become part of a History Channel documentary series.

"The value of what Herm has captured on 8 millimeter film is not only a documentary, but a record that will soon be gone," says Dr. James Banks, Graebner's neighbor, and an historian with the Crile Archives at Tri-C West.

"I say that they'll be gone because 15 years from now there might not be any World War II vets left to give us their first-hand accounts of what they did and what they saw," Banks tells WKYC.

Read more....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Researchers claim a third of dinosaurs might never have existed

( -- A new ten-year study by US paleontologists suggests that up to a third of dinosaur fossils may have been incorrectly identified as new species, when they are actually juveniles of species in which there was a dramatic change as they developed.

Jack Horner, of Montana State University, said in a new documentary to be aired on the National Geographic channel, that one example was the Nanotyrannus, which was identified as a separate species but which may in fact be a juvenile , whose changed dramatically as it matured, becoming much less elongated. This was suggested after a dinosaur mid-way between the size of a Nanotyrannus and Tyrannosaurus Rex was discovered.

Read more....
New discoveries at world's oldest submerged town

Archaeologists surveying the world’s oldest submerged town have found ceramics dating back to the Final Neolithic. Their discovery suggests that Pavlopetri, off the southern Laconia coast of Greece, was occupied some 5,000 years ago — at least 1,200 years earlier than originally thought.

The Pavlopetri Underwater Archaeology Project aims to establish exactly when the site was occupied, what it was used for and through a systematic study of the geomorphology of the area, how the town became submerged.

This summer the team carried out a detailed digital underwater survey and study of the structural remains, which until this year were thought to belong to the Mycenaean period — around 1600 to 1000 BC. The survey surpassed all their expectations. Their investigations revealed another 150 square metres of new buildings as well as ceramics that suggest the site was occupied throughout the Bronze Age — from at least 2800 BC to 1100 BC.

Read more....

(Image credit:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ancient Aramaic Records Meet Technology

ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2009) New technologies and academic collaborations are helping scholars at the University of Chicago analyze hundreds of ancient documents in Aramaic, one of the Middle East’s oldest continuously spoken and written languages.

Members of the West Semitic Research Project at the University of Southern California are helping the University’s Oriental Institute make very high-quality electronic images of nearly 700 Aramaic administrative documents. The Aramaic texts were incised in the surfaces of clay tablets with styluses or inked on the tablets with brushes or pens. Some tablets have both incised and inked texts.

Read more....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Leonardo da Vinci picture discovered by a fingerprint

A previously unknown portrait by Leonardo da Vinci potentially worth tens of millions of pounds is thought to have been discovered thanks to a fingerprint.

The painting, titled Young Girl in Profile in Renaissance Dress, recently sold for a mere £12,000 ($19,000). It was billed at a Christie's sale in 1998 as "German, early 19th century".

Peter Silverman, the Canadian-born owner, thought there was more to it and decided to get the drawing checked out after buying it in 2007.

His hunch appears to have paid off.

A Paris laboratory discovered that a fingerprint from the tip of an index or middle-finger, found on the top left of the picture, was "highly comparable" to one found on da Vinci's work St Jerome, which he painted early in his career when he did not have assistants, according to the Antiques Trade Gazette.

Read more....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2012 Isn't the End of the World, Mayans Insist

December 21, 2012 isn't the end of the world. Or is it?

Definitely not, a Mayan Indian elder, Chile Pixtun, insists. "I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff."

...Chile Pixtun, a Guatemalan, says the doomsday theories spring from Western, not Mayan ideas.

A significant time period for the Mayas does end on the date, and enthusiasts have found a series of astronomical alignments they say coincide in 2012, including one that happens roughly only once every 25,800 years.

But most archaeologists, astronomers and Maya say the only thing likely to hit Earth is a meteor shower of New Age philosophy, pop astronomy, Internet doomsday rumors and TV specials.

..."If I went to some Mayan-speaking communities and asked people what is going to happen in 2012, they wouldn't have any idea," said Jose Huchim, a Yucatan Mayan archaeologist. "That the world is going to end? They wouldn't believe you. We have real concerns these days, like rain."

Read more....

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bible Wrongly Translated For Years;
God Did NOT Create The Earth,
According to Respected Old Testament Scholar

The notion of God as the Creator is wrong, claims a top academic, who says the Bible has been wrongly translated for thousands of years.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent

Professor Ellen van Wolde, a respected Old Testament scholar and author, claims the first sentence of Genesis "in the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth" is not a true translation of the Hebrew.

She claims she has carried out fresh textual analysis that suggests the writers of the great book never intended to suggest that God created the world -- and in fact the Earth was already there when he created humans and animals.

...She said she eventually concluded the Hebrew verb "bara", which is used in the first sentence of the book of Genesis, does not mean "to create" but to "spatially separate".

The first sentence should now read "in the beginning God separated the Heaven and the Earth"

Read more....

(Image credits:,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

18th Century Ships' Logs Predict Future Weather Forecast

ScienceDaily (Oct. 6, 2009) — One hundred and fifty years ago, Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species revolutionised how we view the natural world. Now his voyages on HMS Beagle are influencing modern research on the evolution of our climate.

The UK Colonial Registers and Royal Navy Logbooks (CORRAL) project has digitised nearly 300 ships’ logbooks dating back to the 1760s. The accurate weather information they contain is being used to reconstruct past climate change – hitherto untapped scientific data.

Research team leader Dr Dennis Wheeler of the University of Sunderland comments: “The observations from the logbooks on wind force and weather are astonishingly good and often better than modern logbooks. Of course the sailors had to be conscientious – the thought that you could hit a reef was a great incentive to get your observations absolutely right!

Read more....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

French general planned 18th-century invasion of Britain using American force

From Julius Caesar to Adolf Hitler, the invasion of Britain has been a constant theme in the history of these islands, even if the successful attempts have been heavily outnumbered by the unsuccessful ones.

Until now, however, one plan has remained unknown: an 18th-century plot to invade with an American army during that country’s War of Independence.

Drawn up by a French general, the scheme was to bring over an American force of 10,000 that would find a Britain so distracted by the war on the other side of the Atlantic, that victory would seem certain. Just to make sure, however, the general suggested that the force include a corps of Native Americans, or “sauvages”, as he termed them, who would strike such fear in British troops that any resistance would collapse immediately.

Read more....

(Image credit:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Remains of World's Oldest Brain Found in Armenia

Washington, October 1 - ANI: An Armenian-American-Irish archeological expedition claims to have found the remains of the worlds oldest human brain, estimated to be over 5,000 years old.

The discovery was made recently in a cave in southeastern Armenia.

An analysis performed by the Keck Carbon Cycle Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory at the University of California, Irvine confirmed that one of three human skulls found at the site contains particles of a human brain dating to around the first quarter of the 4th millennium BC.

The preliminary results of the laboratory analysis prove this is the oldest of the human brains so far discovered in the world, said Dr. Boris Gasparian, one of the excavations leaders and an archeologist from the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Yerevan.

Read more....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Our Ancestor: Not Chimp, Not Human

A petite female early human climbed along tree branches on all fours but spent time upright on the ground some 4.4 million years ago in her woodland home in what is now Ethiopia.

This ancestral image comes from a partial skeleton of a hominid nicknamed "Ardi," who weighed in at 110 pounds (50 kg) with a height of just under 4 feet (120 cm).

...The species brings scientists closer than ever to the last common ancestor we shared with chimpanzees and gorillas, which lived about 6 million or more years ago just before early humans split off from the chimpanzees and bonobos. (Anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens, didn't appear on the scene until about 200,000 years ago.)

Read more....