Fictional British detective Sherlock Holmes is probably one of the most popular and well-known detectives in literary history. Known for his brilliant analytical skills and ability to decipher complicated clues, the consulting sleuth has been depicted on screen 254 times and even holds the Guinness World Record for the most portrayed literary human character in film & TV. Hence, it is not surprising to hear that the Royal Mint, responsible for producing coins in the United Kingdom, has honored the iconic detective with a commemorative coin.
American sports fans are mourning the loss of one of baseball's all-time greats: Frank Robinson, Major League Baseball's first African-American manager and the only player to win MVP in both leagues, passed away at his Bel Air, California home on February 7, 2019. The 83-year-old had been battling bone cancer for many years.
The Black Sea MAP (Maritime Archaeological Project) was established to survey the floor of the Black Sea to determine the impact of sea-level changes on early human settlements at the end of the last ice age. The search for answers has led to an unexpected bonus for historians – ancient shipwrecks which provide invaluable information about civilizations of the past. Since the project began three years ago, over 67 old vessels, most from the 14th to 19th centuries, have been found. On October 23, 2018, the team of international sailors and researchers led by University of Southampton Professor Jon Adams announced their most exciting find yet: an intact shipwreck that dates back over 2,400 years!
Veterans Day, celebrated annually on November 11, is a federal holiday to honor the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces. This includes everyone who has served in the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, National Guard, Air Force, and the Coast Guard. The holiday often gets confused with Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday of May. While both pay respect to our soldiers, they each serve a different purpose. Memorial Day honors all US military personnel who have died or sustained a wound in a war. Veterans Day, on the other hand, pays tribute to all servicemen and servicewomen – both living and dead. Its primary purpose, however, is to thank living veterans for their service and sacrifices.
Columbus Day, which is celebrated annually on the second Monday of October to honor the Italian explorer credited with “discovering” the Americas, has always been somewhat of a controversial holiday. That’s because while Christopher Columbus stumbled upon what we now call the Caribbean on October 12, 1492, he never set foot on the mainland – even on his subsequent three journeys. Besides, the North American had already been “discovered” by the Native Americans, who had been living there for many generations.
About a decade ago, Brigham Young University paleontologists stumbled upon thousands of fossils at the Saints and Sinners quarry, an ancient, dried-up water hole, in northeastern Utah. Since there were too many to extract at the site, the team, led by Brooks Britt, cut the slabs of sandstone in which the bones were preserved and took them to the laboratory. Over the years, they have identified the remains of several late Triassic inhabitants, including several sphenosuchians - small crocodile-like creatures – and two carnivorous dinosaurs. However, the most exciting discovery was that of a new species of pterosaur that dates back over 200 million years, when supercontinent Pangea was still intact.
Those of you born post-2001 are accustomed to the strict air travel rules that forbid taking even water past security gates. However, airports were not always like that. Seventeen years ago, passengers were not only allowed to carry on board all liquids, but also “dangerous” items such as baseball bats, box cutters, darts, knitting needles, scissors, and even four-inch blades. That changed on September 11, 2001, when members of the Islamic extremist organization Al Qaeda used airplanes as weapons to carry out the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil in U.S. history.
The most noticeable difference between the modern human face and that of the hunter-gatherers, who lived on Earth over 200,000 years ago, is the forehead. While we now have flat, smooth foreheads with visible eyebrows, our ancestors sported a pronounced brow ridge. Experts have always believed that the thick rim, and the evolution to the beautiful tufts of facial hair, served a physiological function. Now, a team of scientists from UK’s University of York and Portugal’s Universidade do Algarve suggest the distinct facial features help with our social relationships.