An icon of the horrors of the Third Reich has been stolen. The Auschwitz concentration camp’s sign, which means “Work makes free” literally translated, may not be everybody’s idea of a collector’s item, but it’s been stolen. The sign was simply unscrewed and removed. All the thieves had to do was cut through some barbed wire. Security obviously wasn’t good. Apparently it hadn’t occurred to anyone that the camp might be souvenir heaven for the neo-Nazi merchandising industry that turns over quite a few million every year in Europe, the US, the UK and Russia.
The five-meter-long sign loomed above the gate at the main entrance to the former Nazi death camp like a sign from an earthly hell. Located in southern Poland, more than 1 million people died there during the second world war. The sign was unscrewed on one side and pulled off on the other, a Polish spokesperson said.
Continue reading "Icon of Third Reich Horrors Stolen: Auschwitz 'Arbeit Macht Frei' Sign" »
Much of ancient writing is clouded in mystery and fragments of faded papyrus. Whether it be who wrote it, whether the events that are recorded actually happened, or whether facts were manipulated for storytelling effect. One of the most contentious pieces of ancient literature is Homer’s Odyssey.
Most likely written towards the end of the eighth century, Odyssey is one of two major poems written by Homer, an ancient Greek epic poet (the other being the Iliad). The poem focuses on the Greek hero Odysseus (or Ulysses to the Romans) and the long journey he takes after the fall of Troy, following on from the story in the Iliad.
Continue reading "Celestial Clues Support Story of Homer’s Odyssey" »
The American continent was the last of the world’s continents to be populated. There are many contradictory and more or less well-founded scientific theories on when this occurred and where the first immigrants migrated from. The prevailing theory is based on findings of stone tools from the Clovis culture in soil layers dating back to approximately 13,000 BC. According to the theory, people from Siberia migrated, perhaps in search of mammoth, across the land bridge that once connected Siberia and North America. From there, they continued south and spread out across the American continent. The migration passed through a corridor that opened up approximately 14,000 years ago in the giant glacier that covered the American continent.
Continue reading "Prehistoric Migration to America -Revised" »
Oceangoing sailing rafts plied the waters of the equatorial Pacific long before Europeans arrived in the Americas, carrying trade goods for thousands of miles afrom modern-day Chile to western Mexico, according to new findings by MIT researchers.
Continue reading "MIT Study Shows Giant Oceangoing Rafts Spurred Growth of Pre-European Americas" »
Contrary to the historical record, the brutal seafaring Vikings dressed in vivid colors, flowing silk ribbons, and glittering bits of mirrors . Viking males apparently, were especially vain, and the women dressed provocatively, but with the advance of Christianity, fashions changed, according to Swedish archeologist Annika Larsson.
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The "Beyond lifetime achievement award for causing religious trouble" has just been awarded to Galileo Galilei. Forget your stem cells, this trooper has topped off a lifetime of conflict with the Catholic church by coming back for one last battle, over three centuries after his death. No, it's not Zombie Galileo (at least not yet), but a dispute about exhuming his remains for genetic testing. The Italian Institute and Museum of the History of Science wants to check if the entombed remains suspected be his actually are, and to find the cause of the blindness that afflicted him.
Some might say that this is a little late - what are they going to do, cure him? - but the quest for knowledge is undoubtedly one Galileo would support.
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This past August, when a Russian titanium flag was planted
on the sea bed at the North Pole, symbolically launching what might evolve into a new Cold War, the Kremlin compared it to Neil
Armstrong stepping on the moon.
The launch of Sputnik-1 on October 4, 1957, by the Soviet Union amazed
the world, spurred the United States to set up NASA and triggered the
first Cold War and the space race.
Continue reading "The Beep Heard 'Round the World & Beginning of the Space Age: The Untold Story of Sputnik" »
Two separate news stories came out recently about how Russia is beefing up its arsenal and trying to keep its population up, as well. At first glance the stories appear to be unrelated, but on closer inspection they do share a common theme—Russia’s ambition to become bigger and better in a post-communist world that has been a harsh struggle for many of its citizens.
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In the "The Doomsday Machine," a second-season episode of Star Trek, the starship Enterprise plays a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with an alien planet-killing machine described by Spock as "a robot, an automated machine of immense size and power", the function of which is to break down planets into rubble which it then consumes for fuel. Kirk believes that it is a doomsday machine, built by a long-dead civilization and was never meant to be used, much like the old H-bomb used to be on Earth.
In P.D. Smith's new book Doomsday Men physicists unwittingly mimicing Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film, Dr Strangelove, marched around their laboratories singing "Onward Christian Soldiers" (as did the eminent physicist Ernest Rutherford) in celebration of their super-weapon achievements to be used against the Axis Powers. At the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen, young scientists even parodied Goethe's great play, Faust, with leading physicists of the day in the roles of Mephistopheles, Faust and God.
Continue reading "'s "Doomsday" Machine: Is the 'Cold War' Really Over?" »