Jun 212005
 

Great urban exploration site: Russian photos and text of abandoned soviet infrastructure

Long-Lost Da Vinci Masterpiece Found Behind Palazzo Walls

“A high-tech art sleuth finds a hollow space behind an Italian palazzo’s murals, and believes he may have discovered a Da Vinci masterpiece not seen since 1563. In a case of life imitating art, Maurizio Seracini, an internationally recognized expert in high-technology art analysis, has done just that – and, in an odd twist, he does indeed appear, as himself, in Dan Brown’s popular bestseller about secrets hidden in Leonardo’s work – the book’s only non-fictional character… Seracini, 55, an alumnus of the University of California, San Diego and a native Florentine, thinks he may be close to finding the lost fresco “Battle of Anghiari” behind murals by Giorgio Vasari in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio. Using radar, x-rays and other devices, he discovered a narrow cavity behind the Vasari fresco “Battle of Marciano,” and believes that the latter artist, an admirer of the great Leonardo, intentionally created the space to preserve the master’s work.”

“Archaeologists have discovered Europe’s oldest civilization, a network of dozens of temples, 2,000 years older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids. More than 150 gigantic monuments have been located beneath the fields and cities of modern-day Germany, Austria and Slovakia. They were built 7,000 years ago, between 4800BC and 4600BC. Their discovery, revealed today by The Independent, will revolutionize the study of prehistoric Europe, where an appetite for monumental architecture was thought to have developed later than in Mesopotamia and Egypt.”

Interesting book review from the NYT – Forget the Founding Fathers.

“Observed from across the Atlantic, the story of the Revolution looks very different from the one every American child grows up with. To see that story through British eyes, as Stanley Weintraub’s ”Iron Tears: America’s Battle for Freedom, Britain’s Quagmire: 1775-1783” enables us to do, is to see an all-too-familiar tale reinvigorated. Weintraub reminds us that justice did not necessarily reside with the rebels, that the past can always be viewed from multiple perspectives. And he confronts us with the fact that an American triumph was anything but inevitable. History of course belongs to the victors. If Britain’s generals had been more enterprising, if the French had failed to supply vital military and financial assistance, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and the rest would be known to us not as political and philosophical giants but as reckless (and hanged) losers, supporting players in a single act of Britain’s imperial drama. We would all be Canadians now, with lower prescription drug costs and an inordinate fondness for winter sports.”

Turn On, Tune In, Veg Out – Neal Stephenson (I like his books by the way) has some great thoughts on the new Star Wars and geek culture.

“All such content – as well as the long, beautiful, uncluttered shots of desert, sky, jungle and mountain that filled the early episodes – was banished in the first of the prequels (“Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” 1999). In the 16 years that separated it from the initial trilogy, a new universe of ancillary media had come into existence. These had made it possible to take the geek material offline so that the movies could consist of pure, uncut veg-out content, steeped in day-care-center ambience. These newer films don’t even pretend to tell the whole story; they are akin to PowerPoint presentations that summarize the main bullet points from a much more comprehensive body of work developed by and for a geek subculture.”

Careful Google.. power corrupts: Google plans pay service to rival PayPal

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