Happy weekend everyone! Here is an Open Thread/News Lounge where the usual ‘no links’ rule has been lifted in the name of sharing and lounging. Please use this post as your general point for chiming in about whatever news of the day is stuck in your craw 🙂

Here are some history notes to get us started:

Libyans battle to protect ancient treasures from looting

…Local townspeople aided by the site’s archeological police patrolled 24/7. The Leptis Magna museum scattered its precious artifacts around various tightly secured warehouses.

Its director went one step further, distributing a thoroughly documented inventory to friends in the capital an hour’s drive away, so even if the town were destroyed during the war its history would not be lost. Indiana Jones would have been impressed.

And it explains why UNESCO’s senior crisis first responder, lawyer and archeological expert Louise Haxthausen was so happy during her recent visit. No signs of damage and its treasures intact. But it’s a different story a day’s drive to the east in Benghazi.

Haxthausen says the museum there has had some of its most valuable and historic exhibits stolen, and to make matters worse for tracking them no photographic documentation has so far come to light.

King Henri IV of France’s severed head ‘should be reunited with body’

Louis de Bourbon said the embalmed head, identified by forensic scientists in December, should now be reinterred with his body so that one of France’s best-loved monarchs can “rest in peace”.

Henri IV was 57-years-old when he was assassinated by a Catholic militant in 1610.

He was buried alongside France’s other kings in the Basilica of Saint Denis, outside Paris. French revolutionaries dug up his body in 1793 but a mystery admirer of “Good King Henri” managed to make off with his head.

Over the next 200 years, it was lost from view until a private collector finally handed it over to Louis de Bourbon, 37, the Duke of Anjou, a banker and King Henri’s direct descendant.

A lesion near his nose, a pierced ear and a healed facial wound – from a previous assassination attempt – were among the marks that finally identified the head.
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Now Louis de Bourbon has written to President Nicolas Sarkozy asking for it to be returned to its rightful resting place.

Scientists Solve Puzzle of Black Death’s DNA

After the Black Death reached London in 1348, about 2,400 people were buried in East Smithfield, near the Tower of London, in a cemetery that had been prepared for the plague’s arrival. From the teeth of four of those victims, researchers have now reconstructed the full DNA of a microbe that within five years felled one-third to one-half of the population of Western Europe…

The bacterium that causes plague, Yersinia pestis, is still highly virulent today but has different symptoms, leading some historians to doubt that it was the agent of the Black Death.

Those doubts were laid to rest last year by detection of the bacterium’s DNA in plague victims from mass graves across Europe. With the full genome now in hand, the researchers hope to recreate the microbe itself so as to understand what made the Black Death outbreak so deadly.

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26 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. angelaisms says:

    “With the full genome now in hand, the researchers hope to recreate the microbe itself so as to understand what made the Black Death outbreak so deadly.”

    …what could possibly go wrong? o__O

  2. sohali99 says:

    Someone needs to fix the link in News Wire for The Telegraph “Death Panel” story. It takes you to the Bachmann story from ABC.

  3. otlset says:

    “Ah Monsieur Bourbon, I am a private head collector, and I’ve recently run across one in particular you might be interested in…”

    I think it would be a good thing joining back together King Henri’s head to the rest of him after all these years. We must let him rest in peace. Will Sarkozy give up the head? Or will he callously allow poor Henri to rest fitfully? His political future may come to a head over this.

  4. Ralph says:


    Consumption taxes and Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan have received some interest here. I suggest people might like to listen to Peter Schiff’s latest video blog:


    He outlines the benefits of indirect taxes but shows the big flaw in Mr Cain’s proposal.



  5. Maynard says:

    It seems possible that the report of a faster-than-light neutrino has been explained as an error. I was expecting something like this. One way or another, I doubt the claim of faster-than-light travel will stand up to scrutiny.

  6. jiaconis says:

    Was there a weekend podcast today, I tried to download it and nothing came up. I realize that it’s no longer called the Palin report, however, I was under the impression that Tammy was still going to have a weekend report??

  7. Shifra says:

    jiaconis, Tammy tweeted this evening:

    Happy Saturday everyone? Just FYI the Weekend Update podcast will post tomorrow 🙂

  8. Ladybug13USA says:

    I dont know if this appropriate for this thread..no history or news. I wanted to share one of my all time favorite dog videos for the dog loving TAMS. My brother has 2 border Collies that are being trained as search dogs. He sent me this. Its hilarious. Hope you enjoy it. Extreme Sheep Herding: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2FX9rviEhw&feature=player_embedded

  9. kmsimchak says:

    1793: Marie-Antoinette guillotined
    After the French Revolution began, Marie-Antoinette, queen consort of Louis XVI, was targeted by agitators who, enraged by her extravagance and attempts to save the monarchy, ultimately guillotined her on this day in 1793. ENcy Brittanica…


  10. Mutnodjmet says:

    Here is something to add to the collection:

    The story behind the world’s oldest museum, built by a Babylonian princess 2,500 years ago: In 1925, archaeologist Leonard Woolley discovered a curious collection of artifacts while excavating a Babylonian palace. They were from many different times and places, and yet they were neatly organized and even labeled. Woolley had discovered the world’s first museum.


  11. Mutnodjmet says:

    I also have this from Egypt:

    Two reliefs stolen from Egypt’s Hetepka tomb found:

    “The Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Police have succeeded in recovering two well-preserved limestone reliefs stolen in 1986 by
    an international antiquities smuggling gang from Saqqara
    archaeological storehouses. The objects belong to the Fifth
    Dynasty tomb of the king’s royal hairdresser Hetepka, discovered
    by British archaeologists Geoffrey Martin in the late 1960’s at
    the Old Kingdom cemetery at Saqqara necropolis.”


  12. strider says:

    Why not a retro microbe to go along with retro television and movies and cars?

  13. sweetexp says:

    This Department of Defense/Leon Panetta and Pentagon mess that we have is disheartening. Deep down this is part of the reason that I am moving on from a life of military service. I will continue be serving in my community though! We can clearly see why things like the military retirement is in jeopardy and more… This “stuff” (accounting and budgeting) is just so very heinous!!

  14. dennisl59 says:

    And speaking of eyebrows…

    At the last debate, Ron Paul’s Right Eyebrow caused a minor stir in the Chatroom. Well, it seems that the Daily Caller(for what their worth) picked up on this ‘grooming issue’ and has posted an expose’ on what I will now deem as ‘The Eyebrow Factor’.


    This is a very short list, and why no women politicans just to ‘be fair’?

    But thanks to the Interwebtubes, and ~5 seconds of a search we found these:


    For more ‘fun’, go to youtubedotcom and type in ‘eyebrow dance’. The Cadbury advert is funny.

    And so for the Toast!

    Please raise your glass(and your eyebrows) and salute the Ultimate Eyebrows of the Twisted Mentat from the House of Harkonnen, Piter De Vries!!!

    posted 10/16 1145am Texan for [Fill in the Blank] Time.

  15. Pat_S says:

    Vincent van Gogh “shot dead by two boys”

    Vincent van Gogh was accidentally shot dead by two boys rather than kill himself, as is usually said, two American art historians claim in a new biography.

  16. nillabean says:


    Ok i have been in a couple of chat rooms of the years but i have never bloged so cut some slack for this old, white, baptist, mother of 4 from Oklahoma. A little back ground I have worked and done everything. My passion has always been waiting tables, for it filled my desire to help others serving is my passion. I do not have a college degree but consider myself self educated. In “The Millionaire Next Door” the average first generation millionaire reads 2 non-fiction books a month. Turn off the boob-tube and never quit educating yourself. Ok i will try to take off my mommy hat and move on. I have worked with the Repbulican Party in the state of Oklahoma for quite a while and have moved our state from Democrat to Republican dominant. The reason I am at this time supporting Herman Cain is i am a mother. I am patient and belive in dicipline. The word dicipline comes from the word deciple meaning to teach. The Republican party and the United States needs to be decipled on so many levels. The Republican party has gotten way to big for its britches to use an old mommy term. Too many in the leadership has goten to think they know better than We the People, and need to be brought down a peg or fourteen. This nation did not get where we are in one election cycle. Many people I know thought the 2010 cycle would teach them something but anyone with children know you don’t teach something in one lesson especially when arrigance is envolved. Anyone who knows there Bible and even today the Jews are called the Children of Israel God knows lessons must be taught over and over again. We as independent Americans need to take on the task of teaching the leadership to be good leaders by listening to the people that are really in charge. The Republican party is a big dinosour that has not learned how to move forward in the real world, and we will have to bring the real world to them. We live in a microwave society in a crock pot world. We dont mind the hard work but we want instant sucess. We have failed in guiding the Repbulican party into the 21st century so we are gonna have to get ahold of their ear and jerk them there like a 4 year old in the grocery store “oh how many times I have left a basket full of grocery’s in the middle of the store to dicipline one of our children it did not take that many times because it hurt”. The United States needs to be deciplined in learing that color does not matter. Mr. Cain is a Hero. He went to school, worked hard, joined the navy and was litterely a rocket scientist for the Navy so understands the chain of command. He will be able to inspire all americans but especially the “black community” He also has serious marketing knowledge. Tell me the last marketing stragety that has come out of the RNC. No me either. Our current president does not have a clue how to run a balance sheet or what a job is. A employers are not there to give people jobs, vacation, and insurance, employers are there to make money and serve people well, case in point Steve Jobs. Everyone should read “Thou shall Prosper”. We wil not win every battle “Angle, O’Donald”, the focus has to be winning the war. More Senators that have the heart of a servant, and Congressmen with common sense and heart of a servant we will all be better off. And a President that can pull the american people along with us. Was Herman Cain my first choice by being here yall should know the answer is no, but we have to live in the world we live in not the world we wish we live in and work to get it there. I waited tables in the same resturant for 10 years, and by investing money every monday morning of the world my daughter’s college fund is funded and she is 15 and my husband and I have a comfortable nest egg and a paid for house, but it was not quick it was $ 10-20 or 50 dollars at a time. So do i love the 9-9-9 plan I have problems with it but it is a start and remember OBama Care is totally wraped up in the tax code so if the tax code is gone so is Obama Care. And it brings the flat tax and the fair tax people to the table because both sides have heals dug in that their idea is the best. It is a compromise in the middle and no Congress or President can bind the next one but by throwing out the whole tax code you will start taking the power to manipulate us thru it. Every election is marketed as the most important election of our life time and elections come and go. Yes the world seems to be going to Hell in a hand basket but it always has been just ask your parents. So be thoughtfull and start taking on the whole system. Rember the only way a pygme eats an elephant is one bite at a time.

    • Maynard says:

      Some TAMs were disappointed when Allen West supported the budget compromise in Congress, but I thought West got it right. He offered the metaphor of the opening salvo in a long war, or in the wisdom of going for a calculated and achievable first down rather than betting the farm on an impossible touchdown. Yes, as much as I want instant gratification (and indeed, I fear that if we don’t make a lot of progress very quickly, our days are numbered), my adult brain understands that this is a gradual process. We must stay in this game for as long as it takes, all the while doing what we can and testifying to the truth. For this we will be condemned by evil counselors and their foolish followers who have been seduced by illusions that are tempting but toxic. So be it.

      As for Cain…I think every TAM admires the man, and I think Cain is pulling the debate in a positive direction. I hope he plays a role in the coming administration, although I’m not sure he’s ready to play the number 1 role. We’ll all be watching him.

      A silly song posted on YouTube: “Beat Obama with a Cain”.

      P.S. Yes, you do indeed eat an elephant one bite at a time. I’ll remember that if I ever want to eat an elephant.

    • I don’t smoke and I don’t chew, and I don’t read blogposts that aren’t broken up into paragraphs like nilla’s, yoo hoo.

      Put in some paragraph breaks nilla please next time, your post above is very hard to read.

  17. Trish S says:

    I find it odd that Sarah Palin has not commented officially regarding the Occupests.

  18. Maynard says:

    Leno sez:

    Unemployment is still at 9.1 percent. Well, 9.2 percent if you count Hank Williams, Jr.

    China is now expected to surpass Japan as the 2nd richest country in the world. They could become the richest, but that’s only if we pay them the money we owe them, and that’s not going to happen.

    There’s a proposal in Congress to allow rich people who feel they don’t pay enough income tax to voluntarily pay more. Economists say this could bring in as much as $75 a year.

    Christopher Columbus claimed America for Spain. If the British had never come here, we would all be speaking Spanish — as opposed to just half of the country speaking Spanish.

    Two Americans won the Nobel Prize for economics. That’s like the Chinese winning for child day care.

    A Florida report says there are fewer bad drivers because the economy is keeping people off the road. Now, the White House is saying they don’t have a failed economic plan, they have a successful highway safety plan.

    San Francisco hosted the first medical marijuana job fair. The keynote speech was titled, “Jobs and How to Avoid Getting One.”

    Chris Christie has officially endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Christie said President Obama is “shrinking the American pie.” And believe me, if there’s one thing Christie hates, it’s a small pie.

    The Saudi government is upset about this plot to assassinate their ambassador. As you know, Saudi Arabia condemns all acts of terrorism unless, of course, they’re sponsoring them.

    White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley announced he’ll be leaving the White House after the election. I get the feeling a lot of people are going to be leaving the White House after the election.

  19. RuBegonia, once again, you say exactly what I’m thinking. WOOF!

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