Showing posts from September, 2013

oldest bog body found

A 4,000-year-old bog body was unearthed in Cashel bog in County Laois in 2011. While the upper part of his body was crushed into a puddle-like formation, and some of his ribs were ruined when he was found, it is still clear that this body was once a living, breathing human. You can still see the hairs in his skin. Fascinating. He is way older than King Tut. A nice time line is provided. I first read about bog bodies in college. There was a book about them by the then leading expert that was in the UM School of Dentistry Library where I used to study. I had never heard of bog bodies before that. There are many found in various countries in central and northern Europe. This body is probably a young king whose people suffered from poor crops or bad weather. As a result, he was found guilty and killed as a sacrifice to alleviate the suffering of the people. The ancient Irish kings who were sacrificed had their nipples mutilated. That is how archaeologists can identify the kings. The damag…

first anti-Hitler film found in archives

Archives are such amazing treasure troves. Two years ago staff in a Brussels film archives called Cinematheque, realized they held the first known anti-Hitler film. It was produced by Cornelius Vanderbilt with amateur footage of "Nazi rallies, book-burnings and ransacking of Jewish shops,." which he smuggled out of Germany after he visited there in 1933. The film debuted successfully  in New York City in 1934, garnering protests from the German Embassy. It was then censored and shown in other cities, but was not as successful. Archivists believe someone in Belgium ordered a copy, which was never delivered. It was left in the Belgian customs office throughout WWII. In the 1970s, the film was transferred to the archives. It is now the only existing known copy of the film. Very interesting. Click here to read more about it

early Pickford film found

A 1911 film shown at a boys summer camp is an early Mary Pickford film. The man who found the film, with some others, did not realize they were nitrate-based and smoked around them, and kept them near his wood stove. It's amazing they did not catch fire and kill him. The film is being restored. Conservators are very excited about the state of the film which is far better than expected. To read more about it click here

amazing Hispanic collections

One of the largest Hispanic collections in the world is in the Library of Congress, including the first edition of Don Quixote (1605) and the first example of indigenous people using the white legal system of their captors to complain about their treatment (and they won)- fascinating. Click here to read more and view short video

NSA, Brazil and Internet companies

Very interesting article in MSN News. The president of Brazil is contemplating legislation to force  Internet companies doing business in Brazil to store information about Brazilians in Brazil to protect it from NSA spying. Google, FB, and other companies may be asked to comply. Will they comply? What will US spying networks do about it? Will it have an impact? Will the built-in back doors that NSA has accessed and the coding it has beaten prevent it from spying on Brazilians? Will the internet companies give ban Brazilians and go elsewhere? Brazil has a large population it would like to have as users. Will other nations follow Brazil's lead? How will the NSA get around this? Very interesting. To read more click here

Update on 10/16/13
Brazil's president has announced that yes, Brazil is going to have a separate email system to avoid monitoring and spying by the US. Where will this …

Me and HST 580

Yesterday I did a presentation about the Clarke and its collections (primary and secondary) for Prof. Jay Martin's HST 580 Public History class. The students will research Central Michigan University traditions and their A papers on the topics will come to the Clarke for others to use in their research. And, for those who wonder, no, we do not have a wrecking ball tradition on our campus. Here are some pics. Thanks to Kari Chrenka for taking them.

smallest books in the world

At the Clarke we have 2 examples of the smallest printed books in the world, well, they used to be. One is old King Cole and the other the Lord's prayer.  The National Library of Scotland has an exhibit. Guess what? They have old King Cole, just like the Clarke. There's is #4 of the limited printed edition, and ours is # 63. A smaller hand drawn book and now e-books have beaten the old record.  To read more about it and see cool images click here

cyber crime detective

Most crimes today leave some sort of cyber trace somewhere on some device, your phone, a camera, a computer, etc. Here's a very interesting short video explanation of forensic cyber detective work finding electronic evidence for everything from individual to massive terrorist crimes. Did you know that your cell phone is more powerful than computers of 15 years ago and provides a lot of data on you and your whereabouts and activities for cyber crime detectives. Very interesting. Click here

cows on the Internet

A new cow tracking pilot project has begun in Essex, UK. Cows were fitted with monitors with GPS tags to track their behavior. If their behavior is off their normal behavior, this could indicate that they are hurt or sick. Quickly determining if they are sick or hurt will save a lot of money in vet bills and meds. The cows don't seem to mind the monitors. Where will this lead? If you can track cows you can track other creatures. I'm thinking wouldn't it be great to track kids at daycare or camp? To see cute cow video click here

Bronze Age boats found

Boats found in sediment in the UK are older than originally thought, now date to the Bronze Age from sediment tests. They were made of oak, lime, and field maple. It appears that they were abandoned by their makers. Why? Burials? Bad vibes? Sacrifice to the gods for a good catch? To read more about it click here  And for those of you who stink at understanding diverse species of plants, field maples are maples indigenous to Europe not the US. Who knew?
Last Friday I blogged about Snowden's revelations that from the creation point of new software and systems, the government has worked with major software and social media .comes to make back door entry possible so they can monitor everything and break all codes and firewalls. Now there is a call for more security. Where will this lead? Who is going to be able to provide that kind of security? Most of the security evaders apparently were working for the US government. What do you say to NSA agents when they ask why you need that kind of privacy which would enable you to evade inquires by the US government? Saying it is not their business isn't going to fly anymore. Do you think the government will comply when still chasing terrorists? To read more about it click at

records management job posting

lost important Pakistani speech found

Mr. Jinnah's speech about each person, regardless of color, caste, or religion having equal rights as a member of the new state of Pakistan has been "lost" partially or totally over the years in an effort by some to re-write Pakistan's history. By eliminating certain passages, some people attempt to portray the Westernized Jinnah as an Islamist who established and Islamist state. A researcher searching for the recorded speeches had an awful time finding them. Sometimes it took several years to actually get to hear a recording after staff admitted they had the speech somewhere in their holdings. The finding and transcription and playing of these speeches is considered a crucial step in re-writing history correctly for the nation, to show the original efforts of Mr. Jinnah and other leaders to establish a nation where each could worship freely as he/she chose.  One important speech is still missing. Very interesting. I think again how important the archives are, to pro…

underground tunnels below Hadrian's palace in Rome

Today's topic-ancient architecture. After centuries of being ignored, caving experts are mapping the tunnel system below the Emperor Hadrian's palace near Rome. His palace is gorgeous and had lovely grounds, fountains, gardens, an island, and was surrounded by all the culture and sporting events that a Roman could desire.  Some of the tunnels were undoubtedly used by his slaves hauling goods and supplies from one place to another. I bet some were escape routes, just in case.  The experts think the total amount is double or triple what they have already been able to explore. To read more about it or see the cool short video click here

pirate ship off Cape Cod continues to yield treasure

In 1717 the Whydah, a pirate ship, sank off the Cape Cod with supposedly more than 400,000 gold coins. Some have been found and brought to the surface, but many others remain under the water. The ship is in a location where the pull from the ocean is rough which makes seeing and excavating very difficult and dangerous. To read more about it click here

US/UK broke all encryptions

On my way to work at 7 I heard about this on the LA station, that the NSA and its UK counterpart have broken all encryption codes to phones, computers, health records, shopping records, everything, working in conjunction with major companies such as Google and Facebook. There's no article yet in CNN but here's a nice one from the BBCNews. Who leaked this news? Snowden. Am I surprised? No. "Backdoors" to access the info were created before the encryption systems were completed and marketed. I bet some people out there are scared. So remember when they said, we know which phone calls and emails, but not what is in them? Right.... Now, of course they are doing this to monitor problematic people to keep the rest of us safe, but I would like to know when they are going to stop monitoring those of us in the non-problematic majority. Nobody is talking about that. There is also some discussion of the computers built to crunch the data. To read more about it, click here http:…

Ireland renovates lighthouses

Renovated lighthouses happen beyond MI. I like visiting them. 5 are to be renovated in Ireland, joining 6 which have already been renovated. Few jobs will be added, but the hope is it will improve tourism. Maybe that will eventually increase the number of jobs. Honestly, I'm surprised that an island which obviously had to have had lots of lighthouses is just getting this idea. MI and NY and many other states have used lighthouses successfully to bolster tourism for several decades now. To read more click here

Richard III suffered from round worms

Did you know roundworms, parasites spread spread through fecal matter which get into your intestines and absorb your nutrition instead of you, have eggs that can survive for several hundred years? Is that gross, or what? Archaeologists have now found proof that Richard III was infected with them. Poor guy. As bad as his reputation is, I feel sorry for him. Skull hacked up and roundworms. What a life.  To read more about it click here

Serbian museum stuck

No new exhibits, no visitors, repairs not completed, Serbia's Modern Art Museum still has exhibits from 6 years ago that were supposed to be gone by now. Too many unpleasant things happened simultaneously. Now it is strangely quiet there. To read more click here