Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Michelangelo's David on the Roof on the Cathedral?

Michelangelo's David As It Was Meant To Be Seen
An exhibition in Florence this week is placing a fiberglass replica of Michelangelo's "David" in a variety of places around town--all the places where 16th-century people suggested it be placed. The original location was supposed to be the rooftop of the cathedral. See a picture of that wacky sight at the above link from

Monday, November 15, 2010

Top Words of 2010

Top Words of 2010 include "spillcam" and "Vuvuzela"
Statistics show...most common words in the news in 2010 included "spillcam" (that live shot CNN kept showing of the oil gushing into the Gulf) and "vuvuzela" (the horrible wasp-like noisemaker from the World Cup). Some non-words made the list, like SP's "refudiate" and Jersey Shore's "Guidette" (feminine of "Guido"). Other words on the list are pretty predictable--Lady Gaga, Tea Party, and iPad.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

AP Italian Lives!

College Board saves AP Italian test
First they tried to hold it hostage for $1.5 million. This was in the same episode where they killed AP Latin Literature (not Vergil).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Interview from Biblical Archaeology Review

Jesus of History vs. Jesus of Tradition
Hershel Shanks interviews Professor Sean Freyne of Trinity College Dublin about what he's learned from archaeology about the historicity of Jesus. If you can ignore Hershel's sometimes goofy questions, Professor Freyne gives some very interesting answers. Hang on until the part of the interview around the little map illustration, and you'll find some cool information about recent discoveries in the towns of Galilee. Not the last word on anything, but an exciting area of ongoing investigation.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dinosaur Skull Found in Church : Discovery News

Dinosaur Skull Found in Church : Discovery News
No. it hadn't been mistaken for a saint's bone or some sort of holy relic. It's a fossil embedded in the colored marble used to build the church. Very cool, if true.

Pompeii's Mystery Horse is a Donkey

Pompeii's Mystery Horse is a Donkey
(The link above is supposed to be a "permalink." We'll see about that.)
So...DNA of a supposedly extinct breed of horse thought to have been found at not. Seems the lab mixed horse DNA with donkey DNA, producing the illusion of an exciting new hybrid. But it's just a donkey. There's still something interesting, if you know your donkey breeds and their history.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

King Tut killed by hippo?

King Tut killed by hippo?
This is apparently not a new theory, but new to me. Seems fuzzy, but would be hilarious, especially for CLC fans!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Even Stone Age homes were painted

Even Stone Age homes were painted
(Ah-ha! I knew I was doing it wrong. I think I am now creating links more automatically, rather than cutting and pasting URLs. Mayb this will work.)

The ongoing project of excavating in the Orkney Islands has discovered some stones with pigment decorating them in definite designs (not a natural coloration of the rock). I can't tell from the article if it's the alleged "temple" or the homes that contained the painted rocks. I think the headline writer may be jumping to conclusions about "homes." Anyway, these things are 5000 years old, so they are the earliest known painted structures in Britain. Cool.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Black Death (too late for Halloween)

Geneticists get in on the act: they trace the genetic history of Yersinia pestis, the bug that causes bubonic plague, and find out that 1) the 14th-century "Black Death" plague in Europe was, indeed, Yersinia pestis (a fact which some have disputed, claiming that maybe it was anthrax)...and 2) all three major waves of plague (Justinian's 6th century AD, the 14th-cent. Black Death, and the Hong Kong outbreak in the late 19th century) originated in China, which seems to be the homeland of Yersinia pestis.
I have a great book about Mr. Yersin, who first isolated the bug in Hong Kong in the 1890s.
"Plague: A Story of Science, Rivalry, and the Scourge that Won't Go Away," by Edward Marriott (NY: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2002)

Ozzy's ancestors at Pompeii

Ozzy Osbourne has taken a DNA test, which reveals several things about his ancestry. One seems to be that his ancestors may have survived Vesuvius. Ozzy remarks that lava is nothing compared to other things he's done to his body.
And, just in case you've forgotten, you can hear a band of Estonians perform Black Sabbath songs in Latin: