December 30, 2014

Miscellany I forgot to post last week

Excited shelter dogs on their way to a new home   and more here:  They can practically smell the freedom

 Excited  Shelter Dogs-1

Is this REALLY an early Mona Lisa? Painting claimed to be by a younger Da Vinci - and showing younger version of the same woman - goes on show in Singapore, its first public display in 400 years.
 2 Monalisas

A group of historians claim Leonardo da Vinci painted the work, dubbed the 'Early Mona Lisa', more than a decade before his masterpiece portrait and depicted the same Italian merchant's wife.

It was unearthed before the First World War but lay hidden in a Swiss bank vault for 40 years, while a consortium carried out secret tests before unveiling it in 2012 - though many experts still insist it was one of a litany of inferior copies…..It has earned the seal of approval, at least partially, from modern experts including Renaissance historian Giorgio Vasari, art historian John Eyre, research physicist Professor John Asmus and Professor Alessandro Vezzosi, one of the most influential living experts on Da Vinci.


'It's like goosebumps on your brain': Maryland Maria draws YouTube audience of millions for her whispered voice which induces mysterious physical sensations. Millions listen to her hushed whispers on videos that can instill tranquility and even overcome insomnia.Scientists say the videos induce a physical sensation known as autonomous sensory meridian response which feels good.  Maria made her first ASMR video in February 2011

The mystery of the magical 'Ulfberht' Viking sword. Made by  German 'supermonks' believed to have forged the superstrong weapons of metal so pure  so pure it baffled archaeologists, who thought the technology to forge such metal was not invented for another 800 or more years, during the Industrial Revolution All of the mysterious weapons are inscribed with a single word - 'Ulfberht'.
Thomas Woods in Chapter 3 of his 2005 book, How the Catholic Church Built Civilization, focuses on the immense contributions of the monks who

taught metallurgy, introduced new crops, copied ancient texts, preserved literacy, pioneered in technology, invented champagne, improved the European landscape, provided for wanderers of every stripe, and looked after the lost and shipwrecked.

In particular,

The Cistercians were also known for their skill in metallurgy. “In their rapid expansion throughout Europe,” writes Jean Gimpel….Every monastery had a model factory, often as large as the church and only several feet away, and waterpower drove the machinery of the various indus- tries located on its floor.”  At times iron ore deposits were donated to the monks, nearly always along with the forges used to extract the iron, and at other times they purchased the deposits and forges. Although they needed iron for their own use, Cistercian monasteries would come in time to offer their surplus for sale; in fact, from the mid-thirteenth through the seventeenth century, the Cistercians were the leading iron producers in the Champagne region of France.

"Oh my God, it's Mom" A great C-Span moment.  Two brothers on CSpan with differing poitiical views face off.  Next caller.  who doesn't want them arguing when they visit her for Christmas.
Why the Colosseum hasn't collapsed: Roman concrete used 'secret' ingredient to stand the test of time - and now engineers want to copy it
According to an x-ray analysis of concrete, the mortars used to bind the concrete were made up of 85% volcanic ash which formed a crystalline structure that prevented cracks.  The process of production was also far more environmentally-friendly

Mysterious Boston woman is top Amazon reviewer  She is 5-foot-2, drives a Honda CR-V, and has very detailed opinions on printer cartridges, tax preparation software, and five flavors of Burt’s Bees lip balm.

Drunk birds sober up in Environment Yukon holding tank  Bohemian waxwings get tipsy on fermented berries

How a Massachusetts man invented the global ice market  An entrepreneur’s 1806 scheme to sell chunks of frozen New England ponds still shapes how we live

Posted by Jill Fallon at December 30, 2014 11:23 PM | Permalink