Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Al and Gwen

Earlier this evening, The News Hour interviewed Vice President Al Gore. Read the interview.

It's been a long time since I heard Mr. Gore. Of course, I remembered him as devastatingly intelligent, but I didn't remember him as so charming and engaging. What an all round great guy!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Has Anyone Seen The Kettle?

Today the BBC has a story that would please Arthur Dent: Tea Healthier Drink than Water. Well, we knew that, right? *grin*

In a related story (from a few days ago), Blair Pines for Good Cup of Tea. The PM's finally got his priorities straight. LOL

Monday, May 21, 2007

India Works to Shield Traditional Knowledge from Modern Copyrights

A new digital library in India is safeguarding ancient knowledge from patents, which can force royalty payments for knowledge that is common in that part of the world. NewsHour correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from New Delhi.

I found this fascinating, and most gratifying. It's about time people started fighting the modern propensity to copyright and pattent everything, whether they have a legitimate cause to do so or not, especially in the U.S.

This particular digital library program was brought on by several people claiming pattent rights on traditional Indian medicines and healing techniques. This seems to me only slightly less repugnant than pattenting new animals and plants. I hope the project flurishes.

Friday, May 18, 2007

History Pulitzer for Race and the Press

The 2007 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History is The Race Beat. This evening, The News Hour aired a conversation with the book's authors, in which they discuss the role of the press in popularizing the cause of Civil Rights.

As with all News Hour Arts reportage, the segment is available only in RealAudio format.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

India 'neglects' its historic heritage

As India celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first uprising against the British, the town where the first shot was fired by sepoy (soldier) Mangal Pandey is witnessing the gradual obliteration of its historical heritage.

Mangal Pandey fired the famous shot at a British officer on 29 March 1857 at the Barrackpore parade ground - now on the outskirts of Calcutta.

It was an action that stirred up a wave of rebellion in north India against the colonial power, and meant that Barrackpore would be a name always prominent in Indian history books.

But 150 years later, many of the sprawling bungalows and imposing structures from the colonial past have been completely swallowed by wild undergrowth.

I'm ambivalent about this. On the one hand, as a history buff, I naturally deplore neglect of historic sites. On the other hand, it seems to me that India has bigger problems and higher priorities than maintaining colonial era buildings. Parts of India are jungle, for Pete's sake! If these buildings are so all fired important, let britain maintain them.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

King Herod's ancient tomb 'found'

An Israeli archaeologist says he has found the tomb of King Herod, the ruler of Judea while it was under Roman administration in the first century BC.

After a search of more than 30 years, Ehud Netzer of the Hebrew University says he has located the tomb at Herodium, a site south of Jerusalem.

As exciting as this find is, I can't help but be reminded by it of the priceless archaeological treasures lost or destroyed forever by the current war and occupation in Iraq.

Friday, May 04, 2007

'Stunning' Nepal Buddha art find

Paintings of Buddha dating back at least to the 12th century have been discovered in a cave in a remote area of Nepal's north-central region.

Researchers made the find after being tipped off by a local sheep herder. They discovered a mural with 55 panels showing the story of Buddha's life.

The mural was uncovered in March, with the team using ice axes to break through a snow path to reach the cave.

The find was in the Mustang area, 250km (160 miles) north-west of Kathmandu.

Journalists jailed in Azerbaijan

Two journalists in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan have been jailed after publishing an article that some Muslims said insulted Islam.

Samir Sadaqatoglu and Rafiq Tagi, from Sanat newspaper, were sentenced to four and three years in prison respectively, for inciting religious hatred.

It is the latest in a series of jail sentences for journalists in energy-rich Azerbaijan.

Violence and reprisals, such as prison sentences, against journalists have been on the upswing for the past several months.

Related Links
Committee to Protect Journalists
Reporters Without Borders

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gladiators' graveyard discovered

Scientists believe they have for the first time identified an ancient graveyard for gladiators.

Analysis of their bones and injuries has given new insight into how they lived, fought and died.

The remains were found at Ephesus in Turkey, a major city of the Roman world, BBC Timewatch reports.