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Creepy’ Doodles Emerge From Medieval Text

 

UV LIGHT REVEALS ERASED ADDITIONS TO THE WELSH ‘BLACK BOOK’

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2015

(NEWSER) – Experts have uncovered what LiveScience calls “ghostly” secrets hidden in a medieval manuscript, which happens to be one of the first to reference King Arthur and Merlin. “The Black Book of Carmarthen” was compiled around 1250, but contains poetry, religious verses, and other texts dating as far back as the 9th century. While perusing its old pages with an ultraviolet light, however, experts at the University of Cambridge uncovered additional lines of verse and “quite creepy” ghost-like faces, the Independent reports. High-resolution photos helped researchers get a closer look at what they now think are drawings added to the 54-page tome after its creation. They were perhaps erased by someone named Jaspar Gryffyth, who penned his name in the book now housed at the National Library of Wales.

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“It was a living text that was constantly added to,” but “this man in the 16th century went through the book tidying it up,” researcher Paul Russell tells the BBC. “The owner erased a lot of material from the left, right, top, and bottom margins. Anything he thought was an addition, he got rid of.” As the pages of the book are vellum, or stretched animal skin, Russell says a pumice stone was likely used. “It takes off a slight layer off the surface, but the ink has penetrated a bit further so what we can do is use UV light to bring out that ink.” Researchers were startled to find faces, a drawing of a fish, and what may be a never-before-seen Welsh poem. They’re continuing to search for more. (Another medieval discovery: a cemetery beneath Cambridge.)

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Hungry, Hungry Hippos – Latest Affect of Drug Lords…

Drug Lord’s Hippos Breeding Out of Control

Pablo Escobar’s foreign beasts terrifying fisherman, eating crops

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

 

Posted Jun 26, 2014 8:18 AM CDT | Updated Jun 29, 2014 11:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – Colombia is facing an overpopulation issue: a famed drug lord’s herd of hippos keeps expanding. Pablo Escobar built himself a zoo in the 1980s, smuggling in a host of exotic animals, including one male and three female hippos. Now, 20 years after the drug boss’s death, the hippos have found a welcoming climate—free of the drought that helps curb herd size in Africa—and apparently an appetite for sex. Estimates say there are now between 50 and 60 hippos (in 2006, the LAT pegged their population at 16), most living in one of 12 man-made lakes at Escobar’s former ranch. But a dozen have been confirmed as having broken away and into the nearby Magdalena River, meaning there could be many more; in 2009, one hippo was located 62 miles away.

Kenya Wildlife

While hippos in Africa tend to become sexually active as early as age seven for males and nine for females, the hippos in Colombia are breeding as early as three, the BBC reports. “It’s just like this crazy wildlife experiment that we’re left with,” says a San Diego University ecologist. “Gosh! I hope this goes well.” So far, it doesn’t seem to be. The beasts are terrifying fishermen, wreaking havoc on crops, and even crushing small cows. They can’t be moved back to Africa due to the possibility they carry disease, zoos aren’t interested in the adults, a reserve with hippo-proof fences would cost about $500,000, and castration would be expensive and risky for both the vets and the creatures, who the ecologist notes are highly sensitive to sedation. So how would a biologist working in the Amazon region solve the issue? “I think they should barbecue them and eat them,” he says. He isn’t kidding.

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