Commentary: Fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral can be 'saved' another way: digitally
New reporting about last spring’s devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris — and, specifically, how the world-renowned structure is still at risk of collapse — offers yet another reminder of the fragility of humankind’s greatest creations and the stark reality that centuries of culture and history can be wiped out in minutes.Several years ago, in spring 2016, I was at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, one of the oldest and most renowned art museums in the world. I was there to announce the 3D digitization of the museum’s entire collection of 1,250 pieces of irreplaceable classica...
Wrestling with why Georgia opposes DNA testing in death cases
ATLANTA — The crude artifacts of murder: a couple of old guns, shell casings, beer cans.These objects helped convict the last three people scheduled for execution in Georgia: Jeff Cromartie, Jimmy Meders and Donnie Lance. All three denied committing their crimes, and all three asked for DNA testing of that evidence before they were to be strapped to a gurney and given a lethal injection.Could the DNA left on the items provide scientific proof that police and prosecutors got the right man? Or could it poke holes into what seemed like a solid murder case? And did the state have an obligation to ...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Frank Sinatra got a blank check to decorate an Atlantic City apartment. Now, you can buy his furniture
PHILADELPHIA — You, too, can live like the Chairman of the Board. Or at least you could be using one of his toilets, if you’ve got a spare few grand laying around.About 200 items from Frank Sinatra’s “Chairman Suite” in Atlantic City’s original Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino will hit the auction block on Sunday, courtesy of Swedesboro’s S&S Auction. The opportunity gives us “mere mortals” the chance to “own a piece of American history,” S&S sales manager David Berenblit said.“It’s nonsense. It’s insanity,” Berenblit said of Sinatra’s suite furnishings. “This guy had some gravitas. He could have ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Archaeologist overseeing irrigation dig in Newport News uncovers artifacts near historic sites
When Newport News takes on a construction project, that means allocating dollars, soliciting bids and lots of planning.And more frequently over the past few years, it has meant calling Aaron Lamb, the city’s archaeologist.Lamb’s boots, hands and trowel aren’t in the dirt for every project, but if crews plan to come near sites he knows have historic significance, they may reach out to him or he may come by to let them know he’s interested in what they may dig up.“I tell them that I’m not trying to delay their schedule,” Lamb said at the Golf Club at Deer Run next to Newport News Park, where he’...
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
LA's George Lucas museum acquires 'Separate Cinema' archive
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the billion-dollar brainchild of “Star Wars” creator George Lucas and Ariel Investments co-CEO and president Mellody Hobson, has acquired a vast collection known as the Separate Cinema Archive, comprising more than 37,000 film posters, scripts and exhibition and promotion relics dating back more than a century.The LA museum, scheduled to open in 2022, will come to fruition after a lengthy, contentious and ultimately thwarted attempt on behalf of Lucas and Hobson to build a museum in San Francisco, followed by a similar impasse in Chicago.Last year Mayor Lori ...
'We used to be there': The lost history and legacy of America's Indian School
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Several years ago as debate raged over whether two feathers stuck in the College of William & Mary logo was racist, anthropologist Danielle Moretti-Langholtz began getting phone calls from tribes out West.But the callers weren’t asking about the logo — they were asking about the Indian school that hasn’t existed at the college for more than 200 years.“We used to be there,” the callers said. “Can we come back?”For Moretti-Langholtz, director of the college’s American Indian Resource Center, the requests were puzzling. The Brafferton Indian School stopped taking students in 1...
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
Discovering the Baroque beauty of a revived Naples
On a trip to this thrumming city about 15 years ago, art historian Michael Stoughton hoped to visit a famous Baroque church in the Sanita neighborhood. An Italian friend said no — the area was too dangerous. If you must, the friend added, then take a taxi and make the driver wait for you.Today that same neighborhood attracts thousands of tourists every year, drawn by the lovely basilica, the Santa Maria della Sanita, and two nearby catacombs that are among the most remarkable in Europe.Sanita’s evolution is just one measure of the way Naples has transformed itself in the past decade, from a gr...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
'Unusual' stone artifact found in North Carolina likely dates from 3,000 to 1,000 BC
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nearly 50 years after a mysterious spear-shaped stone was found 30 miles east of Charlotte, N.C., archaeologists have a theory that likely dates the “unusual artifact” to between 3,000 and 1,000 BC.The stone, discovered in 1973 in Union County, was clearly too big and heavy to qualify as one of the ubiquitous arrowheads found in agricultural fields across the state.It’s 7.2 inches long, 2 inches tall and nearly an inch and a half wide, the N.C. Office of State Archaeology posted on Facebook.So what is it?David Cranford of the Office of State Archaeology believes what the land...
The Charlotte Observer
Televangelist opens his Bible-themed attraction — from wailing wall and catacombs to luxury lodging
SAN DIEGO — The golden-hued limestone facade rising above the freeway in San Diego came straight from a century-old quarry in Israel. The domed motion-seat theater, housed within the meandering 18-acre resort, draws inspiration from Disney alums.And those dancing, multicolored fountains at the project’s front door? Their muse was the now-iconic Bellagio water show in Vegas.Welcome to Legacy International Center, a $190 million Bible-themed resort rooted in a vision that 88-year-old pentecostal preacher Morris Cerullo says was handed down by God. Widely known for his overseas crusades and world...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The 1932 NFL championship. Indoors at Chicago Stadium. How one of the strangest games in Bears history changed the league.
CHICAGO — Virginia McCaskey has spent nearly a century watching pro football. She has been riveted by title games. She also has endured her share of stinkers.The playoff tiebreaker for the 1932 NFL championship was uniquely both.Literally.That year, when the NFL was as old as a seventh grader, the Bears played the Spartans of Portsmouth, Ohio, in an add-on game for the title.In the throes of the Great Depression, to ensure paying customers showed up in subfreezing temperatures on Dec. 18, the game was played at Chicago Stadium — yes, indoors — atop 8 inches of dirt spread over concrete.Almost ...