Archaeologists exploring a 1st century Christian burial chamber have discovered an ancient inscription on a coffin lid which they believe could prove the site is the final resting place of Jesus.
Using a remote-controlled camera connected to a robotic arm to probe below a tower block in Jerusalem, the archaeologists were staggered to discover a set of 1st century ‘bone boxes’.
The lid on one of these limestone boxes, also known as ossuaries, carries an inscription in Greek which could be translated as ‘Divine Jehovah, raise up, raise up’.
Another carries a drawing of a fish with a stick figure in its mouth which is believed to refer to the story of Jonah and the Whale – one of the very first biblical stories.
The find is 200ft away from an earlier discovery known as the Jesus Family Tomb, which caused a huge amount of controversy after it was uncovered in the 1980s.
Archaeologists then claimed it contained ossuaries inscribed with names associated with Jesus’s family.
That discovery sprouted amazing theories including one that maintained Jesus had been buried there alongside Mary Magdalene who he had married and raised a family with.
However many leading theologians and archaeologists rubbished such claims as being completely unfounded.
The Jesus Family Tomb was only examined briefly before protests by Orthodox Jews, concerned about the disturbance of a grave site, ended the excavation.
It was then sealed up, and a tower block built over it.
However James Tabor, a scriptural scholar at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and documentary filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici were determined to continue the research.
The pair obtained permission from the Israeli government in 2010 to use the robotic arm to drill holes allowing them to explore the surrounding area.
This led to the discovery of a separate chamber which they named the ‘Patio Tomb’, as it sits almost directly below the patio of the building.
U.S. Census Bureau: American Fact Finder “American FactFinder is your source for population, housing, economic and geographic information.”
The Appalachian Trail goes through 14 states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.- Provided by The World Almanac 2012
Young rebels from the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo—whose fighters, according to UNHCR, are told to spray themselves with ‘magic water to protect themselves from bullets’—Lukweti, Masisi Territory, North Kivu, 2011. The photograph is titled Vintage Violence and appears in Infra, Richard Mosse’s book of infrared images of eastern Congo. The book includes an essay by Adam Hochschild and has just been published by Aperture and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
In December 2009, the Lord’s Resistance Army, a brutal African rebel group guided by a wig-wearing commander named Joseph Kony, massacred more than three hundred people in a remote corner of northeastern Congo. Most of the victims were clubbed to death, some were killed with machetes, a few were shot, and a few more were strangled. The LRA, as it is widely known—in Congo it’s simply called tonga-tonga, which means something like “those who attack silently”—had just kidnapped hundreds of people and was moving quickly through the bush. Anyone who couldn’t keep up was killed. Most often the other conscripts, many of them children, were forced to do the killing.
Because that corner of Congo is so isolated and sparsely populated, it took weeks for news of the massacre to filter out, unusual in today’s hyperconnected world. I had to charter a plane to reach the massacre area, because there were no functioning roads close to it. I flew into a little town called Niangara, an old trading post at the confluence of two rivers. During Belgian rule, Niangara was a boom town for cotton and coffee, though you would never know that now. The roofless old Belgian houses are sinking into the elephant grass and the once-paved roads are gluey mud. There was no evidence of war or distress when I landed, not even fresh-faced foreign aid workers in their white vests. When I stepped out of the plane, onto the red dirt landing strip, all I saw were huge leafy trees, their branches dripping with mangoes, and a group of skinny men on bicycles.
This is the story of conflict in Africa these days.
Why do some years have an extra leap day and what is it for?
Ötzi the Brown-Eyed Iceman’s Many Health Woes
In the 20 years since the mummified remains of Ötzi the Iceman were discovered in the Alps, much has been learned about how he lived and how he died. Yet the 5,300-year-old murder victim still has more secrets to reveal. Earlier mitochondrial DNA analysis only revealed hints about his origins, but his genome has now been fully sequenced, and it shows that his ancestors probably migrated from the Middle East. The analysis also reveals that Ötzi likely had brown eyes and type O blood, that he was lactose intolerant and predisposed to heart disease, and that he had the first known case of Lyme disease. More …
The US State Department this morning released a statement saying North Korea has agreed to halt all nuclear activities, including its uranium enrichment and nuclear missile tests, in exchange for 240,000 metric tons of food aid.
The six-nation disarmament-for-aid talks with the hermetic nation ceased in 2009, after North Korea withdrew.
International Atomic Energy inspectors will reportedly be allowed to confirm that moratorium conditions are being observed.
“The United States still has profound concerns regarding North Korean behavior across a wide range of areas, but today’s announcement reflects important, if limited, progress in addressing some of these,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Those words were echoed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who called the agreement a “modest first step in the right direction.”
The website of North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency also issued a statement about the development, but it has not yet been translated into English. Here, then, is a Google translation, courtesy of Vanity Fair:
Korea is not hostile to the United States no longer in a spirit of respect for sovereignty and equality are ready to enhance bilateral relations doeyeo jaehwakeonhayeotda learn that.
Below is one of the strangest stories in financial history, one involving the US government lying about hundreds of thousands of tons of imaginary gold, illegal wire transfers and loans totalling $15 trillion. The video, from the House of Lords, is amazing in itself.
What it doesn’t express is where the money came from though Lord James of Blackheath proves conclusively that an effort was made to say it came from a gold reserve in Brunei that, in fact, never existed.
At surface, it appears we have stumbled upon the largest terrorist organization in the world and have found original documents tracing its funding to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, two of the top financial officers in the US. A cursory review of terrorism statues in the US indicate that all transactions we will learn about are, in fact, to be assumed “terrorist money laundering” and that the only thing preventing the immediate arrest of hundreds of top financial officials is their political connections alone.
We will be able to offer an alternative, more insights, some hard intelligence and some very valuable background that we hope will offer insightful and realistic perspectives on this amazing story.
On February 16, 2012, Lord James of Blackheath, member of Britain’s House of Lords presented evidence of an illegal scheme begun, he has thus discovered, in 2009. His documents including originals signed by Alan Greenspan and Timothy Geithner, show the illegal “off the books” transfer by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of $15 trillion to, initially, HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation) London and then to the Bank of Scotland.
The Bank of Scotland, under royal charter but restricted from involvement in any such transactions, simply “gave” the money to 20 European banks to use in a highly profitable scheme of co-trading “fresh cut” MTN’s (mid-term notes), generating trillions of dollars in profits over 3 years, none of which is shown on books, none has been taxed or has benefited shareholders in those banks.
As Blackheath outlines, the “deception and cover” for this transfer is the imaginary seizure of 750,000 tons of gold by agents of an unspoken entity (confirmed by the highest official sources as the Bush family and CIA), the listed “source” of the money.
The government of Indonesia confirms this to be an utter fabrication and that the individual named had 700 tons of gold (about half of what Gaddafi was holding), not 750,000. It is noted that only 1,500 tons of gold have ever been traded in world history, as stated in the House of Lords.
Read it all HERE.
La Bougie du Sapeur (Sapper’s Candle) — named after a French comic-book character born on Leap Day — is a satirical newspaper founded in 1980 which is published only once every four years, on February 29th.
Jean d’Indy, editor of the quadrennial newspaper, says he and his writers gather at a restaurant ahead of Leap Day, and down a bottle of bubbly before getting down to brass tacks.
“We try not to be naughty; we just try to be funny,” d’Indy says. “But we are not funny. Life is funny. So, it’s the way of seeing life which is funny.”
Whatever that means.
The paper sells for $5 a copy, and all proceeds go to benefit charities. With a circulation of 150,000, La Bougie du Sapeur easily outsells all other French papers published today.
D’Indy says at one point he considered offering subscriptions, but dropped the idea when he realized it would too difficult to track down subscribers every four years.
When the news came last June that the New York State Senate had voted to legalize same-sex marriage, I was at a dinner party that felt like New Year’s Eve, only with genuine emotions. Everyone at the table—straight, gay, young, old—was elated. Later, as my wife and I headed home past an Empire State Building ablaze in the rainbow colors of Pride Week, we were still euphoric at having witnessed one of those rare nights when history is made. Same-sex-marriage adversaries constantly proclaim that gay unions threaten “traditional” marriage. But in truth, it’s a boon to discover that a right you’ve taken for granted is so treasured by others that they’ll fight to get their fair share of its rewards—and its trials.
Fran Lebowitz is correct to remind us that not all gay people (any more than all straight people) are beating down the doors to what she calls “the two most confining institutions on the planet, marriage and the military.” But for those who have been, the dawning of marital equality and the demise of “don’t ask, don’t tell” are twin peaks in the checkered cavalcade of American social justice.
Since that night, the good news on gay civil rights has kept coming. This month alone, legislative and judicial actions have made same-sex marriage the law in Washington State and Maryland and nudged it closer to reality in California and, Chris Christie notwithstanding, New Jersey. A Valentine’s week New York Times–CBS News poll, echoing others over the past year, found that Americans now favor marriage over separate-and-unequal civil unions as the legal option for gay couples; less than a third of the public believes that gay families should be denied both. Each day the gay-rights bandwagon attracts unexpected recruits in the vein of the legal odd couple of Ted Olson and David Boies. No less a pitchman than Lloyd Blankfein is making public-service ads for same-sex marriage. Bill O’Reilly is defending Ellen DeGeneres from American Family Association vigilantes demanding that JCPenney ditch her as a spokesperson.
By the time 64-year-old Laura Milson decided to undergo total knee replacement after 12 years of suffering from arthritis, even a short walk to the office printer was a struggle.
After her surgery last August at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Ms. Milson spent a week in rehabilitation and says she hasn’t stopped walking since. “My son says to me, ‘You have to slow down,’ and I say, ‘No, I have to catch up!,’ ” she said. “It’s a whole different life.”
For Ms. Milson, who lives in Shrewsbury, Pa., replacing the joint in her right knee came with a surprising bonus: a 20-pound weight loss in two months. “I joked with my doctor, ‘I think you put a diet chip in my knee,’ ” she said. “The weight just sort of came off.”
Now she has joined Weight Watchers to drop a few extra pounds and is training for a three-day breast cancer walk in October.
How to make the most of Leap Day.
Jones, the only musician signed to a studio deal before auditioning for Bob Rafelson’s and Bert Schneider’s made-for-TV music group The Monkees, was the lead vocalist on many of the band’s most memorable songs, including “Daydream Believer” and “I Wanna Be Free.”
After the Monkees’ disbanded in 1971, Jones continued to perform as a solo artist, and also made several appearances on TV shows, most often as himself.
Jones reunited last year with fellow band members Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork for a three-month tour of Europe and North American entitled An Evening with The Monkees: The 45th Anniversary Tour.
He is survived by his wife Jessica, and four daughters from previous marriages.
OPIUM’S VARIED DREAMS.
THE HABIT, THE VICTIM, THE RELIEF, AND THE DESPAIR. THIS CITY’S 25,000 OPIUM SMOKERS AND THEIR WAYS SINCE REFORM BROKE UP THEIR RESORTS—THE PIPE AND ITS HANDLING, AND THE HABITUE’S DEFENCE.
OPIUM SMOKING IN THIS country is believed to be more particularly a pastime of the Chinese, but in truth the greater number of the smokers are white men and white women. Chinatown furnishes the pipe, lamp, and yen-nock,bk but let a man once possess a layout, and a common American drug store furnishes him with the opium, and China is discernible only in the traditions that cling to the habit.
There are 25,000 opium smokers in the city of New York alone. At one time there were two great colonies, one in the Tenderloin, one, of course, in Chinatown. This was before the hammer of reform struck them. Now the two colonies are splintered into something less than 25,000 fragments. The smokers are disorganized, but they still exist.
The Tenderloin district of New York fell an early victim to opium. That part of the population which is known as the “sporting” class adopted the habit quickly. Cheap actors, race track touts, gamblers, and the different kinds of confidence men took to it generally. Opium raised its yellow banner over the Tenderloin, attaining the dignity of a common vice.
Splendid joints were not uncommon then in New York. There was one on Forty-second street which would have been palatial if it were not for the bad taste of the decorations. An occasional man from Fifth avenue or Madison avenue would have there his private layout, an elegant equipment of silver, ivory, and gold. The bunks which lined all sides of the two rooms were nightly crowded, and some of the people owned names which are not altogether unknown to the public. This place was raided because of sensational stories in the newspapers, and the little wicket no longer opens to allow the fiend to enter.
The importation of opium smoking in the Chinese manner to the West came with some of the thousands of Chinese sojourners who arrived in California during the Gold Rush that began in 1848. Within twenty years, recreational opium smoking (as opposed to the already established practice of taking opium in medicinal elixirs) had spread over much of North America. Similar migrations of Chinese to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa brought opium smoking to these places, but the habit failed to catch on with non-Chinese. The Chinese style of opium smoking arrived in Europe for the most part with Europeans returning home from their colonies in Asia or from treaty ports on the China coast. Only in France did opium smoking take hold in Europe, and the photographer Brassai captured images of an opium-smoking session in his famous photographic study of Parisian nightlife. The existence of opium smoking in London was, and continues to be, highly exaggerated. The complete lack of photographic evidence of opium smoking in London strongly suggests that tales of posh debauchery in London’s Limehouse district are nothing more than literary fantasy.
In October, a foreign national named Mike Fikri purchased a one-way plane ticket from Cairo to Miami, where he rented a condo. Over the previous few weeks, he’d made a number of large withdrawals from a Russian bank account and placed repeated calls to a few people in Syria. More recently, he rented a truck, drove to Orlando, and visited Walt Disney World by himself. As numerous security videos indicate, he did not frolic at the happiest place on earth. He spent his day taking pictures of crowded plazas and gate areas.
None of Fikri’s individual actions would raise suspicions. Lots of people rent trucks or have relations in Syria, and no doubt there are harmless eccentrics out there fascinated by amusement park infrastructure. Taken together, though, they suggested that Fikri was up to something. And yet, until about four years ago, his pre-attack prep work would have gone unnoticed. A CIA analyst might have flagged the plane ticket purchase; an FBI agent might have seen the bank transfers. But there was nothing to connect the two. Lucky for counterterror agents, not to mention tourists in Orlando, the government now has software made by Palantir Technologies, a Silicon Valley company that’s become the darling of the intelligence and law enforcement communities.
The day Fikri drives to Orlando, he gets a speeding ticket, which triggers an alert in the CIA’s Palantir system. An analyst types Fikri’s name into a search box and up pops a wealth of information pulled from every database at the government’s disposal. There’s fingerprint and DNA evidence for Fikri gathered by a CIA operative in Cairo; video of him going to an ATM in Miami; shots of his rental truck’s license plate at a tollbooth; phone records; and a map pinpointing his movements across the globe. All this information is then displayed on a clearly designed graphical interface that looks like something Tom Cruise would use in a Mission: Impossible movie.
In Silicon Valley offices, the framed founder’s doodle is as common as jewel-toned furniture and quirky conference-room names. But there’s something peculiar about the drawing hanging in the colorful lobby at YouSendIt, an online file-sharing service based outside San Jose, California.
It started with a pen, a piece of paper, and an idea… reads bright blue type above two pages of ballpoint scribbles—sketches of the company’s first homepage design, from 2003. Below the doodles is a vaguely inspirational quote: “Let’s help our users start new kinds of conversations, ones they couldn’t have before finding YouSendIt.” —Ranjith Kumaran, Founder
Ranjith Kumaran didn’t found YouSendIt on his own, though. Another man, one whom YouSendIt doesn’t like to talk about, wrote the original code, built the first servers by hand, and served as the first president. His name is Khalid Shaikh, and he’s 34. He was a computer-engineering student at McGill University and a former intern at Microsoft, and he once worked at Hewlett-Packard and Intel. More recently, he has been living in a Motel 6 outside Denver, awaiting sentencing for launching a cyberattack three years ago that crippled YouSendIt’s servers.
The story of why—how a talented young entrepreneur turned on the company he worked so hard to help create—is at once bizarre and weirdly typical in the world of Silicon Valley tech start-ups.
“I’ve been involved with a hundred companies, and YouSendIt’s development was very, very standard,” says Nick Sturiale, a YouSendIt board member and partner at Jafco Ventures, a Palo Alto, California, venture capital firm. When he first met Shaikh, Sturiale says, “There was nothing he ever said, nothing he did that would ever indicate things to come.”
Like so many entrepreneurs, Shaikh moved to Silicon Valley in 2000 with dreams of launching a tech company. Shaikh, who grew up in a blue-collar home in Montreal, the child of immigrants from Pakistan, fell in love with computers. At McGill, he had watched the dot-com boom from afar. He pictured Silicon Valley as being like The Gold Rush, a 1999 CNN documentary he loved, a place where Hotmail founder Sabeer Bhatia raced around in a Ferrari and venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson bet on start-ups as if he were working a roulette table.
Shaikh got a taste of the tech life during a Microsoft internship as a college sophomore. He took off as soon as he graduated: He married a conservative Muslim girl from Montreal (after getting permission from her father and his) and headed out to San Jose.
The boom was over when he arrived. Still, Shaikh had no trouble finding programming work. During his commutes, Shaikh marveled at how the Valley’s leafy towns and office parks appeared like those of any other suburb—until a Ferrari would rip down the highway. He would excitedly follow the sports car in his Mitsubishi. When it inevitably pulled into a tech company’s parking lot, his fantasies would rush back: Someday he would do that, too.
In 2009, The New York Times‘ David Barstow won the Pulitzer Prize for his two-part series on the use by television networks of retired Generals posing as objective “analysts” at exactly the same time they were participating — unbeknownst to viewers — in a Pentagon propaganda program. Many were also plagued by undisclosed conflicts of interest whereby they had financial stakes in many of the policies they were pushing on-air. One of the prime offenders was Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who was not only a member of the Pentagon’s propaganda program, but also, according to Barstow’s second stand-alone article, had his own “Military-Industrial-Media Complex,” deeply invested in many of the very war policies he pushed and advocated while posing as an NBC “analyst”:
Through seven years of war an exclusive club has quietly flourished at the intersection of network news and wartime commerce. Its members, mostly retired generals, have had a foot in both camps as influential network military analysts and defense industry rainmakers. It is a deeply opaque world, a place of privileged access to senior government officials, where war commentary can fit hand in glove with undisclosed commercial interests and network executives are sometimes oblivious to possible conflicts of interest.
This photograph shows the exterior of the Diner that we showed the interior of yesterday. From the sign, you can see it is the White Crystal Diner. To me, it is sort of sad how today everything looks the same. Strip mall after strip mall with the same old stores that look the same old way. Back in the day, each store, diner, or shop was a unique expression of the owner’s personality, interests, or preferences. Hence, life was interesting, as you would never know what you might find. Today we have Walmart, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. I really miss the old system of unique owner operated businesses.