Showing posts from August, 2012

Cave Girl's DNA secret

No, I don't mean Bat Girl, I mean a cave girl's remains are yielding an immense amount of DNA secrets.Not a modern human, nor a Neanderthal, she was another form of human. Her DNA strain continues to exist in the people of New Guinea and the Han people. She had brown hair, eyes, and skin. I wonder if we will ever do DNA tests on ancient manuscripts and show which peoples and places they past through while acquiring their provenance. This is cool. To read more click here


I've always been fascinated by words and names. Books, manuscripts, and e-info are full of words. I've always admired those with impressive vocabs. Mine is pretty good, but I try not to overuse it in conversations.

So I'm always wondering where do certain words and names come from? Why do some people use certain words and not others? What is the evolution or etymology of a given word? How come someone's name is spelled that way-ignorance, creativity, cultural difference, language variance, too much beer?  Here are two related articles I think are really cool that answer some of my questions.

First, scientists have discovered that the beginning of the English language, and other European languages, began there. They used a computer software system which examines the spread of disease. Languages apparently spread and morph in a similar fashion. Scientists compared examples of words that are similar, like water and wasser (water in German), to follow this evolution. This …

lloking for dead king in parking lot

Richard III's body may be underneath a paved parkinglot.When he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, ending Plantangent rule,  his body was stripped (how cruel) and put on display (even worse- no Christian charity exhibited by that act) and then buried by a church, which later burnt. Historians believe they have found the spot based on a variety of historical sources. If he's naked and doesn't have a crown, how will they prove it is him, you ask? Well it turns out he has a great-great-something nephew, who actually looks a lot like him, and they will do a DNA analysis. I think it's amazing that 500 years later the nephew resembles his great ancestor. For more info click here Cool facts for those of you who have forgotten your English history: Richard III was the last Plantagent king and the last English king killed in battle. Richard III ruled for only 2 years, and died at age 32. He is supposedly re…

update on the repairing of the Washington Monument

For all the architectural historians out there, the Washington Monument is still under repair. The time frame is not specific, but the monument may be closed into 2014. Interior and exterior repairs are required. For more read here

Real art conservation!

Here's what a professional conservation project involves, in this case, 27 years of professionals working on Michaelangelo's famous doors of the Batistry of San Giovanni. Had to study this in Art History 101 at UM. Gorgeous.

Why not to do your own art restoration project

A woman in Spain with good intentions and clearly no conservation or restoration skills attempted to restore a 19th c. mural without permission. This is something that should not be attempted on your own. The painter's granddaughter is not pleased. Will it be restored and what will the cost be? See the hideous result here.

CS Lewis letters donated to archives

For all of you Children Lit buffs and archivists out there, ten of CS Lewis' unpublished letters to his friend, Capt. Acworth, describe his [changing] views on a number of topics including the teaching of evolution, his marriage, and feelings about Donegal, were recently donated to Queen's University Archives in Belfast by Acworth's son and granddaughter. Lewis was born in Belfast. For more click here

Wikileaks founder granted asylum

Well he isn't going to trial on sex charges, but Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is living in the London Ecuadorian embassy. Apparently, he's been there for awhile. Now he's issuing statements about the US launching a witch hunt against him. What's in it for Ecuador? Maybe they think he'll move them into the top eschelon of computer technology and get computer info for them from their enemies, level the playing field as it were. How are they going to charge him for sex crimes? How long will the ring of bobbies stay outside the embassy? For more click here

So you think you can get away with abusive anonymous postings?

Google has been ordered to identify people who anonymously posted abusive messages about an Irish firm. The accounts were soon closed due to the abuse, but now the owners of them must be revealed. This may be the first of many future court-ordered revelations. For those who think nobody can access your private accounts or figure out what you wrote about your boss or job, read this article and wake up at

Scott's polar exploration ship wreck found

100 years after Scott and his men died in the Arctic, the wreck of his ship, Terra Nova, has been located under water. Shipwrecks are so cool. Click here for more info.

Google and Vigin Media to fight pirate sites

The latest efforts against pirate websites will be lead by ISPs Goggle and Virgin Media. More are sure to follow.  Now that should get some results. Google will change how its searching works so legitimate sites will appear in the results above pirate sites.  For more click here  Virgin Media is now blocking a pirate site called Newzbin 2, an action ordered by the Motion Picture Association. For more click here  The music and film industries want to control their product and enforce copyright. The ISPs have agreed to follow court ordered enforcement rules but also want copyright reviewed and amended. This is undoubtedly going to affect users, creators, artists, and copyright in the end.

power of a WWI diary

A man came to know his grandfather, killed in WWI, through his WWI diary. Harry Biles was killed by a sniper in 1915 during the invasion of Gallipoli. His descendants traced his last months of life and service, located his grave, came to know him through his diary, left aboard ship. Neat article. Read about it here

archives job at Meijer Gardens

The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park Archives is looking for help.  The institutional archives collects papers, photographs, realia, and digital materials.  They would like assistance inventorying, processing and cataloging collections.  They are looking for advice for this developing archives.  The archives consists of one staff member as well as volunteers.  If you would like to help, please contact Shelly Kilroy, 1000 E. Beltline NE, Grand Rapids, MI  49525, email, phone 616-975-3144, hours Monday-Friday 9am-6pm.

a new era in reading

Amazon announced that it now sells more e-books on Kindle than paper books (114 ebks to 100 paper books). People who have Kindles are buying more books online than they did in paper prior to owning a Kindle. Speaking for myself, I enjoy the tactile pleasure of holding a book and the social experience of going to my public library. I actually rarely buy books and usually only when I'm 1) stuck in an airport and run out of reading material; 2) I read a library book and decide it is so good I must own it, which rarely happens; or 3) buy it as a requirement for a class.  Children's books are still very popular for people to buy in paper form. I hope I never see the day when books in paper completely disappear. I bet all the publishers are really worried now. For more read here

MI History Skills Workshops

I'm teaching 2 workshops for the Historical Society of MI this fall. The schedule is listed below. Workshop topics to be offered in fall include basic and advanced archives, historic textiles, grant writing, copyright, exhibits, and photos. Click for more info.

First Folio of Shakespeare's plays to go online

The great Bodleian Library of Oxford U. is trying to raise 20,000 British pounds to put 1,000 pages of Shakespeare's plays online as a resource for academics, theatrical professionals, and others. The Bodleian has a First Folio of the plays, some of which are a bit, how shall I put it,  tattered with age, others look great. I suppose someone looking at the original printing and notations will ask for a translation on a disc. To read more click here To donate, contact the Bodleian.

4 internet giants unite

Recently 4 giants of the Internet age, Facebook, Google, EBay and, united their political might into a political action group. Does this mean that soon they will all look alike while uniting against government control or to limit interference from government? Together they could accomplish more than separately in a variety of arenas. Stay tuned for future impact.  For more read the article at