Advertisements

Monthly Archives: March 2015

Search for ‘White City’ uncovers lost civilization

Heard of the long-lost “White City” or “City of the Monkey God”? A group of experts who entered a Honduran rainforest in search of it emerged last Wednesday saying they have found a lost city—one that’s totally untouched,National Geographic reports.

As writer Douglas Preston explains, “Archaeologists no longer believe in the existence of … Ciudad Blanca, as described in the legends” but suspect there are many such cities secreted away in this rainforest, “which taken together represent something far more important—a lost civilization.” This find points to that: an unnamed, “scarcely studied” civilization that apparently flourished a thousand years ago and disappeared.

Among the exposed remains are an earthen pyramid, mounds, large plazas, sculptures, and ceremonial seats. More may be buried, and a team member dates what was found to AD 1000 to 1400.

“The undisturbed context is unique,” archaeologist Christopher Fisher tellsNational Geographic, which explains the found objects, many poking through the earth, have not been excavated. The hunt for the White City—the first recorded mention of which may lie in a 1526 letter from Hernán Cortés to Spain’s Charles V—allegedly made headway in 1940 when explorer Theodore Morde emerged from the Mosquitia rainforest with a huge cache of apparent White City artifacts, but he killed himself before divulging the location.

Documentary filmmakers spotted the current Mosquitia location (which remains secret) in 2012 by scanning a Honduran valley with a plane-mounted lidar scanner, reported a previous New Yorker article also by Preston.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Smallest Chihuahua…

Good things DO come in small packages: Tiny Toudi is smaller than a can of Coke, can fit in the palm of your hand and is the smallest Chihuahua in the world

  • Toudi from Wroclaw, Poland is 12 weeks old, 7cm tall and weighs just 300g
  • The adorable pooch is believed to be the smallest Chihuahua in the world
  • Tiny pup is smaller than a can of coke and can fit in the palm of your hand
  • It is hoped Toudi will soon appear in the Guinness World Records book 

The adorable pooch is smaller than a can of coke, a little bigger than a pear and can fit in the palm of your hand.

Scroll down for video 

Tiny Toudi: This little pup from Poland is shorter than a can of coke and can easily fit in the palm of your hand

Tiny Toudi: This little pup from Poland is shorter than a can of coke and can easily fit in the palm of your hand

Similar size: Toudi is so small he could be mistaken for a cuddly toy. His owner says they have to be careful because he is the same size as the floor

Some mock the little Chihuahua, claiming he looks more like a hamster

Others are mesmerised by him

Some mock the little Chihuahua, claiming he looks more like a hamster, while others are mesmerised by him

No comparison: Toudi's sister may be much bigger than he is, but he is arguably far more adorable

No comparison: Toudi’s sister may be much bigger than he is, but he is arguably far more adorable

The three-month-old, from Wroclaw, Poland is considerably smaller than his sister and eats very little food each day.

Toudi’s owner says he provides a lot of fun for the family but that they have to be careful where they stand because he is the same colour as the floor.

Some mock the little Chihuahua, claiming he looks more like a hamster, while others are mesmerised by him.

It is hoped Toudi will soon appear in the Guinness World Records book.

 Toudi is believed to be the smallest chihuahua in the world

Toudi's owner says he provides a lot of fun for the family. These sunglasses are maybe a little too big for this pup

Toudi’s owner says he provides a lot of fun for the family. These sunglasses are maybe a little too big for this pup

Perfect pear: Toudi is a only slightly bigger than a pear, but he can't even be described as 'pint-sized' because he's smaller than a can of coke

Perfect pear: Toudi is a only slightly bigger than a pear, but he can’t even be described as ‘pint-sized’ because he’s smaller than a can of coke

Fun and games: It is hoped little Toudi, from Poland, will soon appear in the Guinness World Records book

Fun and games: It is hoped little Toudi, from Poland, will soon appear in the Guinness World Records book

Toudi's owner doesn't have to spend too much on him because he only eats a very small amount of food each day

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3011359/Tiny-Toudi-smaller-Coke-fit-palm-hand-smallest-Chihuahua-world.html#ixzz3VYbkbF68

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Leave a comment

Filed under Animals

Why was a 9th century Viking woman buried with a ring that says ‘for Allah’ on it?

The Washington Post
Adam Taylor
A ring discovered in a Viking grave in Birka, a historic trading center in what is now Sweden.© Christer Ahlin/Statens historiska museum A ring discovered in a Viking grave in Birka, a historic trading center in what is now Sweden.In the modern-era, Scandinavian countries have become known for their sometimes awkward embrace of migrants from the Arab and Muslim world. But the history behind that relationship goes back far further than you might expect.

Consider the case of a ring discovered in a Viking grave in Birka, a historic trading center in what is now Sweden. The woman in the grave died in the 9th century and was discovered around a thousand years later by the famous Swedish archaeologist Hjalmar Stolpe, who spent years excavating the grave sites around Birka.

The ring is unique. Made of silver alloy, it contained a stone with an inscription written in the Kufic Arabic script widely used between the 8th and 10th centuries. “For/to Allah,” the inscription read. It was the only known Viking Age ring with an Arabic inscription to be found in the entire of Scandinavia. Exactly how the woman got the ring wasn’t clear — she was found wearing typical Scandinavian dress, so presumably the ring arrived through trade.

Now, new research from biophysicist Sebastian Wärmländer of Stockholm University and his colleagues has confirmed exactly how unique the ring was. In the journal Scanning, the researchers recount how they used a scanning electron microscope to investigate the origins of the ring. Notably, they discovered that the stone in the ring is actually colored glass — at the time an exotic material for the Vikings, though it had been made for thousands of years in the Middle East and North Africa.

© Bernard WalshEven more notably, the ring displayed a remarkable lack of wear, leading the authors to speculate that it had few — if any — owners in-between its creator and its Viking owner. Instead, Wärmländer and his colleagues suggest, it appears to show direct contact between Viking society and the Abbasid Caliphate that dominated much of the Middle East and North Africa. The authors write, “it is not impossible that the woman herself, or someone close to her, might have visited — or even originate from — the Caliphate or its surrounding regions.”

While physical evidence of it is unusual, there have been plenty of accounts of Scandinavians from this period crossing paths with the early Muslim world. By the 11th century Vikings had become known for their lengthy sea voyages, journeying as far west as the Americas and likely reaching Constantinople and even Baghdad when they traveled the other way. And while contemporary accounts of Vikings from Western Europe suggests terrifying invaders, most accounts suggest the Vikings, likely fearful of the more sophisticated warriors in the region, instead looked for trade when they went east.

“The Vikings were very interested in silver, not so much in gold,” Farhat Hussain, a historian,told the National newspaper of Abu Dhabi in 2008. “It was a status symbol for Viking men and women, they even wanted to be buried with silver.”

Still, the Scandinavians did raise some eyebrows on their journeys. In an otherwise complimentary description of people now believed to be Vikings, Ahmad ibn Fadlan, an emissary of the Abbasid Caliph, wasn’t so sure about their hygiene. “They are the filthiest of all Allah’s creatures,” the Arab writer wrote in the 10th century. “They do not purify themselves after excreting or urinating or wash themselves when in a state of ritual impurity after coitus and do not even wash their hands after food.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Not just any old iron: Collection of Victorian wrought-iron horse-drawn carriages set to sell for £1.5million

  • Group of 28 coaches have been amassed by a European-based collector over the past 30 years
  • An 1835 Traveling Landauer wagon that was commissioned by the Royal Mews is worth £300,000

The group of 28 coaches, which were built long before the invention of the automobile, have been amassed by a European-based collector over the past 30 years.

The pick of the group is an 1835 Traveling Landauer wagon that was commissioned by the Royal Mews worth £300,000.

A collection of Victorian wrought-iron horse-drawn carriages is to sell for an expected £1.5million. Pictured, the 1835 Traveling Landauer

The level of luxury that went into making the extravagant Traveling Landauer wagon is said to be beyond that of Rolls Royce standard of today

The extravagant coach was made by Adams & Hooper of London and used to carry King William IV on his Royal duties until his death just two years later.

The level of luxury and detail that went into making it is said to be beyond that of Rolls Royce standard of today.

And a carriage once owned by luxury champagne producers Veuve Clicquot to take clients to their vineyards is valued at £25,000.

As well as the 28 carriages, there are six children-sized coaches and more than 150 items of memorabilia, including period lamps, luggage, picnic sets, tack and photographs.

The 1892 Road Coach made by renowned coachbuilders Holland & Holland that is expected to sell for £150,000

As well as the carriages, there are six children-sized coaches and 150 memorabilia items for sale. Pictured, the 1910 German Mylord

Rob Hubbard, of London auctioneers Bonhams, said: ‘The owner is a Dutch collector but a lot of the carriages he has were made by English coachbuilders.

‘He has spent over 30 years collecting but he is now aged in his 80s and he no longer has any horses left and has decided now to pass it on to somebody else.

‘These carriages are all exceptional in quality, you rarely see them in such good condition.

‘The Royal Mews carriage is luxurious and has 50 yards of individually stitched cord. The attention to detail is beyond the Rolls Royce standard while the Veuve Clicquot carriage’s seats are made from pure silk.’

The auction takes place on March 7.

The interior of the 1880 Holland & Holland Drag, which has an estimated value of £90,000. The auction takes place on March 7

The group of 28 wrought-iron coaches that were built long before the invention of the automobile. Pictured, 1895 - 1898 Road Coach

Rob Hubbard, of London auctioneers Bonhams said the carriages are ‘exceptional in quality’. Pictured, the 1895 – 1898 Road Coach has an estimated value of £100,000
Mr Hubbard added that 'you rarely see them in such good condition'. Pictured, the 1908 Motor Buggy valued at £40,000

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2905576/Not-just-old-iron-Collection-Victorian-wrought-iron-horse-drawn-carriages-set-sell-1-5million.html#ixzz3VMd7s0QO
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Cute Dogs for Your Monday Blues

I’m in Washington, D.C. for a week for a conference, so I apologize for slow posts, including missing the cosplay weekend…

Nonetheless, here are some cute dog pictures to cheer up your week.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Scientists implant tiny robots inside live mice

mice1.jpg

File photo. (Reuters)

Can robots travel inside living animals? It sounds like science fiction, but scientists have just made it a reality by implanting tiny nano-robots inside living mice. Researchers from the Department of Nanoengineering at the University of California, San Diego, published their report on the first successful tests of implanting micro robots designed to disperse drugs within a body, reports SmithsonianMag.com.

As the research report states, these kinds of robots have been tested “in vitro,” or outside the body, in the past, while this is the first time that this technology has been studied “in vivo,” or inside the body. The zinc-based robots — only the width of a strand of human hair — were ingested orally by the mice. The zinc reacted with the animal’s stomach acid, producing hydrogen bubbles that propelled the robots into the stomach lining. As soon as the robots attached to the stomach, they dissolved, delivering the medicine into the stomach tissue, i09 reports.

For the researchers, this work could pave the way for implanting similar robots in humans. This could be an effective way of delivering drugs to the stomach in order to treat something like a peptic ulcer, the BBC reports.

“While additional ‘in vivo’ characterizations are warranted to further evaluate the performance and functionalities of various man-made micromotors in living organisms, this study represents the very first steps toward such a goal,” reads the research report. According to the researchers, this work moves toward “expanding the horizon of man-made nanomachines in medicine.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Animals, Humor and Observations

Cool Vehicles – If you could only pick one…

Which of the following vehicles would you pick if you could have only one?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: