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Archive for the 'on the web' Category

03 December
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Mount Hood Erupts

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From Today’s History Lesson:

The mighty battleship HMS Hood was felled in 1941 in spectacular (and catastrophic) fashion.  Engaged in a fight with the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen, her aft ammunition magazine was pierced by gunfire from theBismarck.  The Hood exploded in a conflagration that split her in two, sank her in minutes with nearly all hands, and reverberated through the British Admiralty all the way to Number 10 Downing.

Image from: KM Photography...

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02 December
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Navajo Code Talkers

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From Neatorama:

The Navajo language is incredibly complex, with syntax, tonal qualities and dialects that render it unintelligible to outsiders. A spoken language, it has no alphabet or symbols, and is used only in remote Navajo areas of the American Southwest.  For these reasons, it was selected as a code language during World War II by the U.S. Marines.
In 1942, Japanese translators and codebreakers were regularly intercepting U.S. military communications and sabotaging U.S. plans in the Pacific.  Philip Johnston, a white man who was raised on the Navajo Reservation, convinced Major General Clayton Vogel, commanding general of the Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet, that the Marines should recruit Navajos to transmit important military communications.

Image from Wolfgang Staudt.

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01 December
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Nature’s Stone Giants

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From mental_floss:

The Giant’s Causeway is on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland. Legend says that the giant Finn McCoolbuilt the causeway so he could fight his enemy Benandonner in Scotland. The rock formation looks like a set of mostly hexagonal man made stepping stones, but this is a natural formation of basalt laid down by volcanic activity. During the Tertiary period some 65 million years ago, this piece of land was near the equator. Lava tubes pressed up through a chalk layer to form the pillars. The geometric shapes were caused by crystallization of the basalt as it cooled and cracked. The causeway is open to the public and can be reached by a shuttle bus.Devil’s Postpile is a similar formation in California.

Image from jonmcalister.

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30 November
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Adopt a Pompeiian dog

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From The History Blog:

Dogs featured prominently in ancient Pompeii life before Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., and they still do, only now nobody owns them. Strays scrounge up a living amidst the “Cave Canem” (beware of the dog) mosaics and the plaster casts of their ancestors, trapped in their death agonies under 60 feet of ash and pumice.
Tourists with their fanny packs full of sammiches probably make for a fairly good feed, but even relatively well fed strays are unhealthy. Also, their constant foraging and excreting aren’t exactly good for the ruins, which have more than enough conservation problems to deal with on their own.
Today Pompeii’s emergency commissioner (Pompeii has been under an extended state of emergency a year and a half now) Marcello Fiori announced a new initiative to get all of Pompeii’s strays adopted. It’s a multistage process.

Image from au.st.in.

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29 November
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World War 2 Japanese Super-Submarine Found In Hawaii

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According to Dr Hans Van Tillburg, “[the I-201 submarine] was nothing like anybody had in the Second World War. It had a streamlined body and conning tower and retractable gun.” They just found it in Hawaii.

Read more at Gizmodo.  Image from Ianz.

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28 November
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The City-Sized Nuclear Bunker Chairman Mao Built

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500x_dsc_0663-635x426In 1969, Chairman Mao began work on a giant bunker beneath the city of Beijing to house the city’s population in the event of a nuclear attack. The underground city was never operational, but the tunnels and facilities still remain.  Read more and see more images at i09.  Image from i09.

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27 November
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Tiny “Flores Man” of Indonesia declared a new human species

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Homo floresiensis was a kind of adorably tiny human being that lived on the island of Flores up until 18,000 years ago. Nature says “These astonishing little people, nicknamed ‘hobbits’, made tools, hunted tiny elephants and lived at the same time as modern humans who were colonizing the area.”

Read the rest from Boing Boing.  Image from Mamoritai.

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26 November
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Happy Thanksgiving!

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You can listen to our Thanksgiving episode from 2005 here.

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25 November
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Seven Score and Six Years Ago…

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Another pearl from mental_floss:

Many years (146, to be exact) ago today, Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most powerful and meaningful speeches of all time. I bet a lot of us can still recite it (how many of you had to memorize it for school?), but here are a few more facts.
1. Talk about using words wisely. This deeply poignant speech was only 10 sentences long (and really only one run-on) and took a little over two minutes to deliver.

Follow the link above to read the rest.  Image from Rennett Stowe

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24 November
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9 Victims of King Tut’s Curse

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1. Lord Carnarvon, the man who financed the excavation of King Tut’s tomb, was the first to succumb to the supposed curse. He accidentally tore a mosquito bite open while shaving and ended up dying of blood poisoning shortly thereafter. This occurred a few months after the tomb was opened and a mere six weeks after the press started reporting on the “Mummy’s Curse” that was thought to afflict anyone associated with disturbing the mummy. Legend has it that when he died, all of the lights in the house mysteriously went out.

Read the rest from mental_floss.  Image from jparise.

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