Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Most Infamous Pope in History? | Socyberty

by Mr Ghaz


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Octavian, the count of Tusculum, was barely 18 when he was consecrated pope on December 16, 955. His reign as Pope John XII was one of the worst in history.
Few were less suited to the office. As described by contemporary chronicles, John’s major preoccupations were fighting (he donned armor and led an unsuccessful expedition against rival princes), mutilating enemies, arson, hunting, and gambling. He also frequently indulged in affairs with married women, and rewarded his many mistresses with gifts plundered from St. Peter’s.

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Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Most Infamous Pope in History? | Socyberty

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Edutainment: Piltdown Man: Britain's Greatest Hoax

 

 
The story of Piltdown Man came out at just the time when scientists were in a desperate race to find the missing link in the theory of evolution. Since Charles Darwin had published his theory on the origin of species in 1859, the hunt had been on for clues to the ancient ancestor that linked apes to humans.
Sensational finds of fossil ancestors, named Neanderthals, had already occurred in Germany and France. British Scientists, however, were desperate to prove that Britain had also played its part in the story of human evolution, and Piltdown Man was the answer to their prayers - because of him, Britain could claim to be the birthplace of mankind.
Charles Dawson had made a name for himself by finding fossils in Sussex, and passing them on to Sir Arthur Smith Woodward at what is now the Natural History Museum, London. Dawson now claimed that at some point before 1910, a workman had handed him a dark-stained and thick piece of human skull. He said that recognising that this might be part of an ancient human, he had continued to dig at the site and collected more pieces of skull.
On 14 February 1912, he wrote to Woodward with news of exciting discoveries, and that summer Woodward joined him to excavate at Piltdown. They found more fragments of skull, and the bones and teeth of extinct British animals such as elephants, rhinos and beavers. They also found primitive stone tools, and a remarkable ape-like jaw.
Full story:
Edutainment: Piltdown Man: Britain's Greatest Hoax

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Leonardo Da Vinci: The Artist That Solved The Riddle of Earthshine

by Lauren Axelrod, Factoidz Writer  


Leonardo Da Vinci is generally known to many as an artist above all accomplishments, however he excelled in other areas including mathematics, engineering, and oddly, astronomy. Leonardo Da Vinci’s works remain undiminished, as does his mind which was restlessly inquiring for higher knowledge. His deep understanding of nature and the world and his quest for understanding, led him down an illuminated path. He fashioned flying machines, crossbows, and cannons, using his deep interest in science to figure out any technical matter. Using his wild imagination, he turned his sights to the moon. Leonardo Da Vinci pushed forward using his ideals of shadow and light to observe the moon, thus formulating the Codex Leicester explaining earthshine and his contrasting beliefs, leading to what earthshine really is defined as.




Source
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Leonardo Da Vinci: The Artist That Solved The Riddle of Earthshine

Moon Rescues The Sun: Tales That Captivated a City

by Mr Ghaz
 
In August 1835 citizens in New York City received extraordinary news. According to the New York Sun, the British astronomer Sir John Herschel had found proof of life on the moon.


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In August 1835 citizens in New York City received extraordinary news. According to the New York Sun, the British astronomer Sir John Herschel had found proof of life on the moon.
Using an enormously powerful telescope able to magnify objects 42,000 times, Sir John had distinguished a wide range of flora and fauna with astonishing clarity. In just one area of the moon, the newspaper disclosed, he had observed 38 species of forest trees, twice that number of other plants, and different creatures, including small reindeer like animals, elks, moose, bears with horns, and beavers with no tails and only two feet.
Full article:
Moon Rescues The Sun: Tales That Captivated a City | Socyberty

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

6 Bizarre Mysteries (That Are Still Totally Unanswered) - Weird Worm

By Editor: rale 
There are thousands of UFO, Big Foot or other cryptozoological sightings recorded around the world every year, and most of them can easily be proven as fakes or the ramblings of some mad-man. Yet, among these absurdities there are some rare events which simply have no explanation, and leave even skeptics puzzled. Here are six of the most peculiar mysteries that no one can find a good explanation for.


1.
Valentich disappearance

valentich

I want to believe… that this isn’t just a pie tin on a string.
Frederick Valentich was an experienced pilot, with over 150 hours of air time. He was flying a Cessna 182L light aircraft on a perfectly clear day with no wind, perfect visibility and no technical problems, when suddenly he disappeared without a trace.
The case sounds like an urban legend about the Bermuda Triangle; however this is a well documented disappearance that left authorities puzzled. A search and rescue mission was sent out only minutes after the plane disappeared from radar, however there was no trace of the plane. All Cessena aircrafts are meant to stay afloat for up to an hour after crashing in water, but in this case the plane was simply nowhere to be found. Valentich did have a life vest inside the cockpit, so why he didn’t attempt the highly complex technique known as “getting out of the plane” is unknown. Further, why the radio beacon that he had on board didn’t activate is another mystery.
Perhaps the strangest detail of the disappearance is that only minutes before he crashed, Valentich reported that he was staring down an UFO. His last, vaguely unsettling message was: “It’s not an aircraft.” This strange detail has lead to two conclusions. Some figure Valentich suffered some sort of non-hilarious stroke and started seeing things, in which case we still don’t know why his plane couldn’t be found. Other’s lean towards the possibility that Valentich was indeed kidnapped by little green men.

Full article:
6 Bizarre Mysteries (That Are Still Totally Unanswered) - Weird Worm

Monday, May 10, 2010

Top 10 Mysterious People - Listverse

Over the centuries, history is filled with wonderful tales of mysterious people – many of whom are never identified. This list is a selection of the most significant or mysterious people of this variety.
 


10 Monsieur Chouchani

418Px-Emmanuel Levinas

Monsieur Chouchani (died 1968) is the nickname of an anonymous and mysterious Jewish teacher who taught a number of highly regarded students including Emmanual Levinas (pictured above) and Elie Wiesel in Europe after World War II. Very little is known about Chouchani, including his real name. His origins and entire life history were kept a closely guarded secret. His gravestone in Montevideo, Uraguay where he died reads: “The wise Rabbi Chouchani of blessed memory. His birth and his life are sealed in enigma.” The text was written by Elie Wiesel who also paid for the gravestone.
There is no known body of work by Chouchani himself, but he left a very strong intellectual legacy via his students. Chouchani dressed like a vagabond but was a master of vast areas of human knowledge, including science, mathematics, philosophy and especially the Talmud. Most of the details of his life that are known come from the writings and interviews with his students.
Full List:
Top 10 Mysterious People - Listverse

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mozart Requiem: Were Secret Hidden in a Common Grave? | Musicouch

 by Mr Ghaz

Shortly after Mozart’s death, however, rumors about the circumstances of his illness began to circulate: An angel of death had been pursuing him. Mozart had been poisoned. The husband of a favorite piano pupil had attacked Mozart.

 
Image Credit

Image Credit

Only a handful of mourners attended the funeral at St. Marx churchyard outside Vienna on December 7, 1791. Sewn into a plain shroud that was coated with quicklime, the deceased was placed in a communal pauper’s grave. No grave marker of any kind graced the final resting place of one of the world’s greatest musicians, dead two months before his 36th birthday: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Full story:
Mozart Requiem: Were Secret Hidden in a Common Grave? | Musicouch

Monday, May 03, 2010

5 Unethical Experiments Done in the Name of Science - Weird Worm

5 Unethical Experiments Done in the Name of Science

Editor: rale 
We all know that since the dawn of time man has wanted nothing more than to get inside another person’s mind and see what kind of stuff they are thinking about. If you don’t feel this desire you’re probably not a psychologist and therefore are in serious danger of being experimented on by the government/mad scientists and just about anyone who decides they should run an experiment. Just so you can prepare yourself here is a list of unethical experiments that could be run on you:
1.
Robbers Cave Experiments
Thanks to sites that publish interesting lists everybody seems to know about the Stanford Prison experiment. By now anyone you ask will tell you that this was a horrible study where university students were placed in one of two conflicting groups in order to replicate the conditions inside a prison. The experiment was so bad that it had to be stopped weeks before it was supposed to end. What few people know is that the same experiment was done with twelve year old kids that didn’t even know they were in an experiment, and it was done THREE TIMES!
A group of scientists led by Carolyn Wood Sherif gathered several 11 and 12 year old boys and took them on a summer camping trip, without telling anyone that this was actually an experiment. The scientists had them divided into two groups, making sure to break apart any friendships that the boys had established previously. Once on the campgrounds the scientists encouraged the boys to call each other names and pull pranks on the other group. But don’t worry they also had planned some group-building activities at the end of the whole experiment, such as cutting the water supply and let the kids figure out how to avoid thirst.

robbers cave
This looks like a great place to conduct a traumatizing experiment.
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5 Unethical Experiments Done in the Name of Science - Weird Worm