French tourist Nathalie Rollandin came across a camera-happy seagull recently. She was visiting the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, when she set her GoPro camera down while its was recording. Before she knew it, the camera was being carried away in the mouth of an artsy gull. Once the bird was a safe distance away, it set the camera down and recorded some beautiful footage of itself flying away into the sunset.
Christopher Benfey, interim dean of faculty at Mount Holyoke College and an Emily Dickinson scholar, provides some insight into the recent discovery of a 19th-century daguerrotype that experts believe portrays the reclusive poet as a mature woman. The only other known image of the poet was taken when she was about 17 years old and a student at MHC.
Dickinson scholar Martha Nell Smith unveiled this image at a conference in Cleveland recently.
The new daguerreotype was purchased in 1995 (by a collector who chooses to remain anonymous) from among items of an “estate cleanout” offered for sale by a Springfield, MA, junk dealer. The buyer said he had a hunch at the time he acquired it that the woman who appears left-most to the viewer might be Emily Dickinson, and pursued several lines of inquiry to prove his theory. He began his odyssey by trying to determine who the other woman might be....much more at the Emily Dickinson Museum
The head statuary of Easter Island is instantly recognizable to people all over the world, but who would have guessed that, lurking beneath the soil, these famous mugs also had bodies?
The Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative, which is funded by the Archaeological Institute of America, has been excavating two of the enormous figures for the last several years, and have found unique petroglyphs carved on their backs that had been conserved in the soil. Their research has also yielded evidence of how the carvers were paid with food such as tuna and lobster, as well as clues to how the enormous structures were transported.
this article appeared in the July 2, 1990 edition of the Hartford Advocate
Big Bucks in the Asteroid Belt Is Michael Bowers a space case?
Some people look up in the sky and see stars. Some look up and see God. Michael Bowers looks up and sees dollar bills - lots of them.
The US should stop wasting its time on rinky-dink moon landings and think BIG for a change, this Hartford attorney says. Space stations, moon bases - in the quest for astral wealth, he envisions them all. "All this talk about Mars coming out of the White House," he says. "Mars is not the primary target."
Mars is just a necessary rest stop on the way to the real bucks in the universe, Bowers says: asteroids. There are over 40,000 asteroids up there, he points out. At least 25,000 are filled with valuable metals, including gold and silver, according to the team of scientific experts Bowers represents. With just a little focus and money, the US could mine these orbiting bankrolls, these space oysters people once called "vermin of the universe," and use the mountains of cash to end the national deficit, house the homeless and help the environment. His conservative estimate of the wealth skyward? $500 trillion.
Just to recap here: Is Bowers suggesting we lasso the little suckers and crack them open like walnuts?
Yup. "We could be dropping platinum into Fort Knox by 2000," he says.
Bowers even has a plan to finance the project: space bonds. Double E treasury bonds could be sold, with 12-14 percent interest backed by the platinum assets. In no time, Bowers says, the sales could raise the $200 billion or so needed to give the space program the financial boost it needs to really get off the ground.
With so much money at stake, why don't the Washington politicos seem more enamored of Bowers' idea? "they don't have any balls," Bowers says. "This requires big leadership people. Everyone in Washington is the problem. We have to bring the solutions."
Bowers is confident that if he can just prod the liberal, pablum-puking press and media into actually covering the issue, the American people will force wimpy politicians to take action. Like the Western frontier, he says, "People moved for macro-economic reasons."
That probably explains why Bowers blasted the editors of the New York Times in a letter this past January. Specifically, Bowers wanted to know why the Times, the nation's paper of record, refused to run an article on the wealth lying fallow in the asteroids.
"There isn't enough testosterone on Capitol Hill to float a microbe," he wrote. "It appears at this juncture that the dearth of testosterone is not on the Hill alone. The net effect of ignoring this wealth is to insure that the 'Big Lie' is perpetuated...that is that we in the US have 'thin wallets.' We don't have thin wallets. We have thin testes and thin cerebral cortexes in DC and elsewhere."
Clearly, Mr. Tact he is not. But no one could say he lacks commitment. Working out of Democratic headquarters in Hartford, he spends hours blitzing the phones, trying to convince the unenlightened that the sky's the limit - literally. When he has time, he practices a little law and works on hooking up Connecticut businesses with Poland.
In some ways his dedication is personal. "I'm not leaving my daughter a swill-pile of a planet," he explains, "and a $10 trillion debt."
"Some of us understand the concept of duty to the public," this former state policeman explains, adding, "but I don't want to get into that flag-waving shit. Stick to the economics."
Economics aside, Bowers advises thinking of space as a way to solve our environmental woes. Thanks to the greenhouse effect, "we could lose the entire southwest part of the West before these asses get their heads out of their fantails," he says. The same B Team that stands ready to mine asteroids could give the US a working model of the greenhouse effect in 90 days.
Now that, Bowers says, would be real progress. "What's [Senator Christopher] Dodd doing about the greenhouse effect? he says, "That little pudknocker. Child care."
Is James Cameron launching an asteroid mining company?
The lintel depicts Lady K'abal Xook, the wife or consort of Shield Jaguar III. She holds bloodletting apparatus in her left hand, and also supports a skull in her outstretched right hand,.as she gazes up at a spiritual being conjured out of the otherworld. The entity wears a militaristic costume directly associated with Teotihuacan, including a tláloc face mask and mosaic war helmet, and also carries a shield and a spear pointed at both ends.
The identification of this militaristic entity is debated. Martin and Grube (2000:125) have suggested that this represents Shield Jaguar III himself, as defender of his city. Yet the associated caption text suggests that this may represent Lady K'abal Xook herself, transformed into the guise of a Teotihuacan-related goddess. In any event, the date is the same as Shield Jaguar III's accession (known from other monuments), and probably takes its rationale from his elevation to the throne.
from The Peabody
The infamous Gunpowder Plot conspirator
Guy Fawkes, also known as Guido, was an Elizabethan nobleman, adventurer, and politician who became involved in the infamous Gunpowder Plot. The Plot was intended to overthrow the government and assassinate the monarch by blowing up the Houses of Parliament. It failed and, although he was a relatively minor player, it was Fawkes who was to have lit the fuse but was instead caught in the act. He therefore achieved notoriety and became, by association, the principal character of the Plot.
Elephants say goodbye to the whisperer.
For 12 hours the huge beasts slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of the man they loved – to say good-bye.
That, according to the son of conservationist and adventurer Lawrence Anthony, who passed away while on a business trip to Johannesburg last Friday, was the profoundly moving sight at Thula Thula Private Reserve this week.
Dubbed ‘the elephant whisperer’ for his unique ability to calm traumatised elephants and herds, Anthony became a legend when it came to light that he had rescued animals from the Baghdad Zoo during the Iraqi invasion.
There are two elephant herds at Thula Thula. According to his son Dylan, both herds arrived at the house after Anthony’s death.
“They had not visited the house for a year-and-a-half and it must have taken them about 12 hours to make the journey,” said Dylan.
The first herd arrived on Sunday and the second herd, a day later.
‘They all hung around for about two days before making their way back into the bush,” said Dylan
Fruit and seeds hidden in an Ice Age squirrel's burrow in Siberian permafrost have been resurrected into a flower by Russian scientists.
Using a pioneering experiment, the Sylene stenophylla has become the oldest plant ever to be regrown and it is fertile, producing white flowers and viable seeds.
via Sky News
Mark Twain on Joan of Arc
"Whatever thing men call great, look for it in Joan of Arc, and there you will find it."
- Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
"It took six thousand years to produce her; her like will not be seen in the earth again in fifty thousand."
- Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
"She is easily and by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever produced."
- "Saint Joan of Arc"
Joan of Arc on the web.
Joan of Arc on Facebook