Monday, April 18, 2005
Decoded at last: the 'classical holy grail' that may rewrite the history of the world
Scientists begin to unlock the secrets of papyrus scraps bearing long-lost words by the literary giants of Greece and Rome
By David Keys and Nicholas Pyk
For more than a century, it has caused excitement and frustration in equal measure - a collection of Greek and Roman writings so vast it could redraw the map of classical civilisation. If only it was legible.
Now, in a breakthrough described as the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail, Oxford University scientists have employed infra-red technology to open up the hoard, known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and with it the prospect that hundreds of lost Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems will soon be revealed.
In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia. They even believe they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament.
Ann Coulter on Time's cover
WND columnist subject of 6,000-word story, strange photo
The new issue of Time magazine hitting the streets today boasts a cover story on conservative flamethrowing WND columnist and author Ann Coulter – and a cover photo some fans are calling "bizarre."
Coulter told Matt Drudge last night Time used a more flattering photo of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.
While the story itself, written by Time's John Cloud, is generally quite favorable, Coulter and her fans are focused on the strange cover photo that seems to distort the image of the tall, thin, blond pundit.
Coulter is compared with other conservatives on the scene – from Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity to George Will and Thomas Sowell.
"But no one on the right is so iconic, such a totem of this particular moment," writes Cloud. "Coulter epitomizes the way politics is now discussed on the airwaves, where opinions must come violently fast and cause as much friction as possible. No one, right or left, delivers the required apothegmatic commentary on the world with as much glee or effectiveness as Coulter. It is almost impossible to watch her and not be sluiced into rage or elation, depending on your views. As a congressional staff member 10 years ago, Coulter used to help write the nation's laws. Now she is far more powerful: she helps set the nation's tone."
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Save Jordan's giant jugs
TODAY The Sun launches a campaign to save two of Britain’s most outstanding monuments — Jordan’s boobs.
Yesterday the model revealed she wants to have surgery to reduce the much-loved landmarks. It left many upset the national treasures will be lost for ever. Often open to the public, the silicon edifices have become one of Britain’s biggest attractions. But Jordan — who boosted her original 32B assets to 32FF — now says they are "a little big."
Last night the National Trust reluctantly insisted they would be unable to step in to preserve the massive monuments. Spokesman Julian Lloyd said: "Our remit is to preserve places of outstanding natural beauty – so we will have to pass on this." Now it’s up to readers to Save Jordan’s Giant Jugs – so e-mail your support today.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Sideways' side effects
|"If anyone orders merlot, I'm leaving. I am not drinking any fuckin' merlot."|
About halfway through the wine-loving buddy movie "Sideways," the film's main character shows shocking disdain for merlot, America's most popular varietal of red wine. It was a throwaway line that the movie's writers didn't think would generate much reaction from audiences, but now merlot, a drinkable and uncomplicated Everyman's red, is fighting to be cool again. Its sales growth sputtered a bit when the movie came out and it's been the butt of jokes among the wine-savvy.
On the flip side, in the wake of the success of "Sideways," sales of pinot noir jumped 15 percent in the three months ended Jan. 15, according to ACNielsen. Retailers and wineries, pushing pinot with all kinds of "Sideways" tie-ins, say the movie has prompted the biggest buzz in the wine industry since a 1991 "60 Minutes" program touted the health benefits of red wine.
Friday, April 08, 2005
Click here for a new Pope
Surely, it's only a matter of time now before someone sets up a website that lets you vote online for the next pope. There have been quite a few articles on how the next pope needs to be hip to technology and new media, and certainly the old pope blessed the internet and was an early adaptor - the Vatican has had a website since 1999. In these past days, journalists were informed of the Pope's health and eventual passing by official Vatican SMS messages.
On 3QuarksDaily a reader suggests a wiki with information about each candidate, and a feedback system that helps the 117 cardinals come to a decision. e-Democracy meets the Catholic church. "Do we even need the Church or can we DIY this?" asks Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing. It may seem silly now, but I sincerely believe this will happen someday. How else would you poll 1 billion Catholics around the world? The difficult part is getting the Church to care what they think in the first place.
Brad's Jolie good time
Here's the burning question about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, is it just an innocent friendship?
"They were kissing and holding each other. He was rubbing her back. It looked romantic," an eyewitness tells Us magazine about Pitt and Jolie's four-day Easter weekend at a secluded villa at the posh Parker Palm Springs hotel.
"It's obvious they were a couple," hotel employee Levi Sotomayor dishes.
Another staffer (who prudently remained anonymous) chimes in: "Brad and Angelina were definitely having an intense romantic relationship, from what I saw. They did not behave like just friends." The two spent a lot of time indoors, Us reports, and Saturday night Jolie called room service and ordered a pricey bottle of Pinot Grigio and a dark chocolate marquise dessert with pistachio sauce.
Jenna in dirty disco dance
April 7, 2005 -- VIDEOTAPE of Jenna Bush in very high spirits at a bachelorette party is being sold and could end up on national TV by the end of the week. Luckily for Jenna, the cameraman missed "the high point . . . Jenna on all fours doing 'the butt dance' — and doing it very well — as guys were ogling her thong," said our source. Club patrons do the suggestive dance when the deejay plays the 1988 hit "Da Butt," by E.U. The president's blond daughter arrived at NerveAna, a '90s-themed lounge on Varick Street, at 10:30 p.m. last Friday with several other pretty young things in a battered old blue minivan. Sources said it was Jenna's third visit to the club, which features replicas of Monica Lewinsky's blue dress and O.J. Simpson's white Bronco. Jenna, who plans to teach school in D.C. next fall, wore jeans, moccasin boots and a midriff-baring, satiny blue top. She lit up a cigarette "and she was very polite when she was told she'd have to go outside to smoke," said our source. Before leaving at 3:30 a.m., Jenna and her pals gamely joined a conga line and danced around the club.