Friday, December 25, 2009

Shakespeare was 'secret Catholic'

article with HHZ-English

The leading English seminary in Rome has unveiled documents that suggest William Shakespeare was a Roman Catholic.

The Venerable English College has claimed that England's leading playwright was a secret Catholic who spent "lost years" in Rome.

Father Andrew Headon, the vice-rector of the college, said that college records correspond with a previously undocumented period in Shakespeare's life after he left Stratford in 1585 and before he emerged as a playwright in London in 1592. "There are several years which are unaccounted for in Shakespeare's life," said Father Headon.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cereal is much older than we thought -
100,000 years, to be exact

OTTAWA (AFP) – Starting the day right by eating a bowl of cereal in the morning dates back more than 100,000 years, according to Canadian researchers in a study to be released Friday.

"The consumption of wild cereals among prehistoric hunters and gatherers appears to be far more ancient than previously thought," said study author Julio Mercader.

Indeed, scientific evidence until now showed the practice started only 12,000 years ago at the closing stages of the last Ice Age.

The University of Calgary archeologist recovered dozens of stone tools, animal bones and plant remains dating back more than 100,000 years ago.

Thousands of starch grains on excavated plant grinders and scrapers showed that wild sorghum -- the ancestor of the chief cereal consumed today in sub-Saharan Africa for flours, breads, porridges and alcoholic beverages -- was brought to the cave and processed systematically, said the study.

"This happened during the Middle Stone Age, a time when the collecting of wild grains has conventionally been perceived as an irrelevant activity and not as important as that of roots, fruits and nuts," Mercader said.

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Monument In Cleopatra's Underwater City

Archaeologists on Thursday hoisted a 9-ton temple pylon from the waters of the Mediterranean that was part of the palace complex of the fabled Cleopatra before it became submerged for centuries in the harbor of Alexandria.

The pylon, which once stood at the entrance to a temple of Isis, is to be the centerpiece of an ambitious underwater museum planned by Egypt to showcase the sunken city, believed to have been toppled into the sea by earthquakes in the 4th century.

The pylon was part of a sprawling palace from which the Ptolemaic dynasty ruled Egypt and where 1st Century B.C. Queen Cleopatra wooed the Roman general Marc Antony before they both committed suicide after their defeat by Augustus Caesar.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ancient Tablets Decoded; Shed Light on Assyrian Empire

Meticulous ancient notetakers have given archaeologists a glimpse of what life was like 3,000 years ago in the Assyrian Empire, which controlled much of the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf. Clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform, an ancient script once common in the Middle East, were unearthed in summer 2009 in an ancient palace in present-day southeastern Turkey.

Palace scribes jotted down seemingly mundane state affairs on the tablets during the Late Iron Age—which lasted from roughly the end of the ninth century B.C. until the mid-seventh century B.C.

But these everyday details, now in the early stages of decoding, may open up some of the inner workings of the Assyrian government—and the people who toiled in the empire, experts say.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Student Finds Thomas Jefferson Personal Letter

(CNN) -- In a nondescript conference room tucked inside the library at the University of Delaware, a graduate student found a historian's equivalent to a needle in a haystack.

Amanda Daddona said she discovered a personal letter from Thomas Jefferson amid one of 200 boxes of legal documents, minutes from meetings and day-to-day correspondence of a prominent Delaware family.

"The first thing I recognized was his signature," said Daddona, 22, who is getting her master's degree in history. "It was really, really exciting. I just sat with it for a few minutes and looked it over and savored the moment."

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WWII plane recovered from Lake Michigan

WAUKEGAN, Ill. - A World War II Fighter Plane has been recovered from the bottom of Lake Michigan.

A crane pulled the plane out Monday at Waukegan Harbor, but the process has been going on for months.

It was back in 1945, when the F6F-3 Hellcat sank, during a training flight. The pilot, Walter B. Elcock, now 89, barely survived the crash. While he couldn't make it to the recovery, his grandson, Hunter Brawley did.

Brawley recalls his grandfather telling him all about the plane crash as a kid and was excited to be at the recovery.

"I'm shocked, flabbergasted, this is history and it's amazing," said Brawley.

Brawley says he carefully recorded Monday's event to share with his Grandfather.

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