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    Sunken German World War Two warship found off Norway

    The wreckage of a major German warship has been discovered off the coast of Norway some 80 years after it was sunk in a World War Two battle, Norwegian power grid operator Statnett and a maritime archaeologist said.

    Identified this year from images and sonar scans of its hull and of details such as the position of gun turrets, the cruiser Karlsruhe was first detected in 2017 just 15 meters (50 feet) from a subsea power cable that has been operating since 1977.

    Built in the 1920s, the ship was later fitted with a Nazi-era swastika that was also captured in subsea images taken by Statnett and its partners, and first televised by Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

    The 174-metre vessel, part of the German force that invaded Norway in April 1940, was struck by a British submarine torpedo shortly after starting its return voyage from the southern Norwegian port of Kristiansand.

    The ship’s crew subsequently evacuated and the vessel was finally sunk by the Germans themselves, resting upright on the seabed at a depth of 490 meters, some 13 nautical miles (24 kilometers) off the coast.

    “You can find Karlsruhe’s fate in history books, but no one has known exactly where the ship sunk,” Norwegian Maritime Museum archaeologist and researcher Frode Kvaloe said.

    Statnett said its subsea power cable, which connects Norway with Denmark, would have been laid further away from the wreckage if its location had been known at the time of construction.

    The Apr. 9, 1940, attack marked the start of the Nazi invasion of Norway, forcing the government and the king to flee to Britain, where they were exiled until Germany’s capitulation in 1945.: -

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

  • #2
    Maya Gabeira Breaks Guinness World Record for the Largest Wave By a Woman | 73.5 Feet at Nazaré

    Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira breaks own world record for largest wave surfed by a woman

    Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira is officially the Guinness World Record holder for the largest wave surfed – unlimited, for a female. The previous record holder? Maya Gabeira. That's right, the 33-year-old broke her own record by five and a half feet, surfing a 73.5-foot wave (22.4 meters).

    The video is just as epic as you'd expect:

    She broke the record on February 11, 2020 at the inaugural WSL Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge event in Praia do Norte, Portugal, but Guinness World Record announced it on Thursday. She set the old record at Praia do Norte, Portugal in 2018.

    "The wave was pretty special although it was terrifying as well!" is how Gabeira described the moment to Guinness World Records.

    Teams from the University of Southern California, WaveCo Science Team and Scripps Institution of Oceanography all had to study the footage to get an accurate reading on how big it actually was. That helps explain why it took months to validate the record. They used coordinates, scientific calculations and referencing the surfers height and board length to determine the size of the wave.:

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


    • #3
      About 380 pilot whales dead after mass stranding on Tasmania's West Coast, 50 saved

      Rescuers say they have managed to save 50 whales from a large group beached on Tasmania's West Coast — but 380 animals have died and 30 more are still stranded and clinging to life.

      Today is the third day of the rescue operation taking place at several locations near Macquarie Heads, about 190 kilometres from Hobart.

      Earlier, it was confirmed another group of pilot whales had been spotted during an aerial survey, bringing to over 450 the number of animals in distress.

      The event is now the largest of its kind in Australia's recorded history.

      "If they are still alive and in water, there is certainly hope for them, but as time goes on they get more fatigued and their chances of survival reduces," Parks and Wildlife Tasmania regional manager Nic Deka, said on Wednesday afternoon.

      Rescue efforts are being concentrated on whales assessed as having the best chance to survive.

      Crews are towing the animals into deeper water, where they are released with the hope they will not turn around to rejoin their pod in the shallows.

      Wildlife biologist Kris Carlyon said it is believed the whales, which were found spread out in several groups, had become stranded in the same event.

      "Pilot whales can travel in pods of up to 1,000 … so [groups of this size] are not unusual," he said.

      Dr Carlyon said of the 50 whales which had been saved, 25 of them were rescued today, with the rest moved into deeper water over previous days.

      He said researchers had observed animals freed after stranding events go on to "regroup and demonstrate normal and natural behaviour".

      But he said there was no doubt this event would be "hugely stressful for those animals".:

      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • #4
        Very Large Telescope spots galaxies trapped in the web of a supermassive black hole

        With the help of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have found six galaxies lying around a supermassive black hole when the Universe was less than a billion years old. This is the first time such a close grouping has been seen so soon after the Big Bang and the finding helps us better understand how supermassive black holes, one of which exists at the centre of our Milky Way, formed and grew to their enormous sizes so quickly. It supports the theory that black holes can grow rapidly within large, web-like structures which contain plenty of gas to fuel them.

        This research was mainly driven by the desire to understand some of the most challenging astronomical objects—supermassive black holes in the early Universe. These are extreme systems and to date we have had no good explanation for their existence," said Marco Mignoli, an astronomer at the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) in Bologna, Italy, and lead author of the new research published today in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

        The new observations with ESO's VLT revealed several galaxies surrounding a supermassive black hole, all lying in a cosmic "spider's web" of gas extending to over 300 times the size of the Milky Way. "The cosmic web filaments are like spider's web threads," explains Mignoli. "The galaxies stand and grow where the filaments cross, and streams of gas—available to fuel both the galaxies and the central supermassive black hole—can flow along the filaments."

        The light from this large web-like structure, with its black hole of one billion solar masses, has travelled to us from a time when the Universe was only 0.9 billion years old. "Our work has placed an important piece in the largely incomplete puzzle that is the formation and growth of such extreme, yet relatively abundant, objects so quickly after the Big Bang," says co-author Roberto Gilli, also an astronomer at INAF in Bologna, referring to supermassive black holes.

        The very first black holes, thought to have formed from the collapse of the first stars, must have grown very fast to reach masses of a billion suns within the first 0.9 billion years of the Universe's life. But astronomers have struggled to explain how sufficiently large amounts of "black hole fuel" could have been available to enable these objects to grow to such enormous sizes in such a short time. The new-found structure offers a likely explanation: the "spider's web" and the galaxies within it contain enough gas to provide the fuel that the central black hole needs to quickly become a supermassive giant.

        But how did such large web-like structures form in the first place? Astronomers think giant halos of mysterious dark matter are key. These large regions of invisible matter are thought to attract huge amounts of gas in the early Universe; together, the gas and the invisible dark matter form the web-like structures where galaxies and black holes can evolve.

        "Our finding lends support to the idea that the most distant and massive black holes form and grow within massive dark matter halos in large-scale structures, and that the absence of earlier detections of such structures was likely due to observational limitations," says Colin Norman of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US, also a co-author on the study.

        The galaxies now detected are some of the faintest that current telescopes can observe. This discovery required observations over several hours using the largest optical telescopes available, including ESO's VLT. Using the MUSE and FORS2 instruments on the VLT at ESO's Paranal Observatory in the Chilean Atacama Desert, the team confirmed the link between four of the six galaxies and the black hole. "We believe we have just seen the tip of the iceberg, and that the few galaxies discovered so far around this supermassive black hole are only the brightest ones," said co-author Barbara Balmaverde, an astronomer at INAF in Torino, Italy.

        These results contribute to our understanding of how supermassive black holes and large cosmic structures formed and evolved. ESO's Extremely Large Telescope, currently under construction in Chile, will be able to build on this research by observing many more fainter galaxies around massive black holes in the early Universe using its powerful instruments.: -

        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


        • #5
          Ancient mummies unearthed in Egypt after more than 2,600 years

          A sealed door was also unearthed where it is expected more mummies may lie behind, said Khaled el-Anany the first Minister of Antiquities and Tourism.

          These sarcophagi were among 59 discovered at the burial site near Egypt's ancient Saqqara necropolis in Giza.

          SAQQARA, Egypt — More than 2,600 years since they were buried, archaeologists in Egypt said Saturday they had found at least 59 ancient coffins in a vast necropolis south of the country's capital Cairo, one containing the pristine mummy of an ancient priest.

          The ornate sarcophagi have remained unopened since they were entombed near the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, according to Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

          Footage shared by the ministry showed colorful sarcophagi decorated with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Other artifacts and at least 28 statues were found in the two deep wells, the ministry said.

          A sealed door was also unearthed where it is expected more mummies may lie behind, said Khaled el-Anany the first Minister of Antiquities and Tourism, adding that the artifacts were in an excellent state of preservation and would be displayed in the Grand Egyptian museum next year.

          Mostafa Waziri, the general director of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told NBC News that the find reminded him of the tomb of King Tutankhamun, because both had been discovered almost intact.

          The Saqqara plateau is part of the necropolis of Egypt's ancient city of Memphis. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1970s, it includes the famed Giza Pyramids. It is also home to tombs created across thousands of years between the 1st Dynasty (2920 B.C.-2770 B.C.) and the Coptic period (395-642).

          Hundreds of mummified animals, birds and crocodiles, as well as two mummified lion cubs were found in the region last year.

          Egypt has heavily promoted new archaeological finds to international media and diplomats in recent years, in an effort to revive its tourism sector, which has suffered since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

          The sector was dealt a further blow this year by the coronavirus pandemic.

          Last week, the ministry displayed a bronze statue of the god "Nefertam," one of the artifacts discovered with the ancient wooden coffins.

          Inlaid with precious stones red agate, turquoise and lapis lazuli, it reached a height of 35 cm (14 in) and on its base is inscribed with the name of the owner of the statue, a priest called "Badi Amun.":

          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


          • #6
            Peru unveils giant cat etching at famous Nazca site

            A giant 2,000-year-old figure of a feline that was on the brink of disappearing will be the new cat's meow when Peru's remarkable Nazca Lines attraction reopens to tourists in November.

            The geoglyph is around 120 feet (37 meters) long and was recently discovered by a drone on a hillside, the culture ministry said.

            "The figure was barely visible and was about to disappear due to the effects of natural erosion as it's on a fairly steep slope," said the ministry.

            A group of archeologists took on the job of cleaning and preserving the geoglyph, which shows a cat with its body in profile but its head front on.

            The lines making up its outline were mostly well defined and 12-15 inches (30-40 centimeters) wide.

            Experts say its stylistic features mean it is from the late Paracas period, more than 2,000 years ago and older than the other famous Nazca figures such as the mockingbird, monkey, and spider.

            "Feline representations of this type are common in the iconography of ceramics and textiles of the Paracas society," said the ministry.

            The people that formed the Nazca civilization in that area of southwestern Peru lived there from 200 to 700 AD, but the cat dates from 200-100 BC.

            The Paracas culture lived in the area from 800-100 BC and is believed to have been responsible for the Palpa Lines, which are similar to but less famous than the nearby Nazca ones.

            The Nazca Lines, most of which are only visible from the sky, were made by people making incisions on the desert floor to leave different colored dirt exposed.

            They are made up of thousands of lines including geometric patterns as well as the more famous animal figures.

            The reason for their creation is unknown but soe theories include astrological and religious significance, as well as indicators of water sources.

            The area, some 220 miles (350 kilometers) south of Peru's capital Lima, is a Unesco World Heritage site.:

            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


            • #7
              Banksy artwork sells for almost $10 million at auction

              Banksy’s playful take on a famous Impressionist painting has sold at auction for 7.6 million pounds ($9.8 million), the second-highest price ever paid for a work by the British street artist.

              “Show Me the Monet” sold to an unidentified bidder at Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday evening, surpassing its upper pre-sale estimate of 5 million pounds.

              In the 2005 work, Banksy added abandoned shopping carts and an orange traffic cone to Claude Monet’s image of water lilies in his garden at Giverny.

              Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art, said the work was one of the “strongest and most iconic” Banksy works to appear at auction.

              Banksy, whose real name has never been officially confirmed, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England, and has become one of the world’s best-known artists.

              Another Banksy work, “Devolved Parliament,” sold last year at Sotheby’s in London for 9.9 million pounds. Earlier this month, his graffiti-style piece “Forgive Us Our Trespassing” sold for $8.3 million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.:

              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


              • #8
                Painstaking race against time to uncover Viking ship's secrets

                Inch by inch, they gently pick through the soil in search of thousand-year-old relics. Racing against onsetting mould yet painstakingly meticulous, archaeologists in Norway are exhuming a rare Viking ship grave in hopes of uncovering the secrets within.

                Who is buried here? Under which ritual? What is left of the burial offerings? And what can they tell us about the society that lived here?

                Now reduced to tiny fragments almost indistinguishable from the turf that covers it, the 20-metre (65-foot) wooden longship raises a slew of questions.

                The team of archaeologists is rushing to solve at least some of the mystery before the structure is entirely ravaged by microscopic fungi.

                It's an exhilarating task: there hasn't been a Viking ship to dig up in more than a century.

                The last was in 1904 when the Oseberg longship was excavated, not far away on the other side of the Oslo Fjord, in which the remains of two women were discovered among the finds.

                "We have very few burial ships," says the head of the dig, Camilla Cecilie Wenn of the University of Oslo's Museum of Cultural History.

                "I'm incredibly lucky, few archaeologists get such an opportunity in their career."

                Under a giant grey and white tent placed in the middle of ancient burial grounds near the southeastern town of Halden, a dozen workers in high visibility vests kneel or lie on the ground, examining the earth.

                Buried underground, the contours of the longship were detected in 2018 by geological radar equipment, as experts searched the known Viking site.

                When the first test digs revealed the ship's advanced state of decomposition, the decision was taken to quickly excavate it.

                - Viking VIP -

                So far, only parts of the keel have been dug out in reasonable condition.

                Analyses of the pieces have determined that the ship was probably raised on land around the ninth century, placed in a pit and buried under a mound of earth as a final resting place.

                But for whom? "If you're buried with a ship, then it's clear you were a VIP in your lifetime," Wenn says.

                A king? A queen? A Viking nobleman, known as a jarl? The answer may lie in the bones or objects yet to be found -- weapons, jewels, vessels, tools, etc -- that are typical in graves from the Viking Age, from the mid-eighth to mid-11th centuries.

                The site has however been disturbed several times, accelerating the ship's disintegration and reducing the chance of finding relics.

                At the end of the 19th century, the burial mound was razed to make space for farmland, entirely destroying the upper part of the hull and damaging what is believed to have been the funeral chamber.

                It's also possible that the grave may have been plundered long before that, by other Vikings keen to get their hands on some of the precious burial offerings and to symbolically assert their power and legitimacy.

                - Animal bones -

                So far the archaeologists' bounty is pretty meagre: lots of iron rivets used for the boat's assembly, most heavily corroded over time, as well as a few bones.

                "These bones are too big to be human," says field assistant Karine Fure Andreassen, as she leans over a large, orange-tinged bone.

                "This is not a Viking chief we're looking at unfortunately, it's probably a horse or cattle."

                "It's a sign of power. You were so rich that an animal could be sacrificed to be put in your grave," she explains.

                Beside the tent, Jan Berge looks like he's panning for gold. He's sifting soil and spraying it with water in hopes of finding a little nugget from the past.

                "Make an exceptional find? I doubt it," admits the archaeologist. "The most precious items have probably already been taken. And anything made of iron or organic material has eroded over time or completely disappeared."

                But Berge, whose big bushy beard gives him the air of a Viking, is not easily discouraged.

                "I'm not here for a treasure hunt," he says. "What interests me is finding out what happened here, how the funeral was carried out, how to interpret the actions of the time.":

                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                • #9
                  Egyptian Scuba Diver Sets World Record after Spending 6 Days Underwater in Red Sea

                  There is a new world record in the underwater extreme sport this month after an Egyptian scuba diver spent six full days underwater. Saddam Al-Kilany went underwater in the Red Sea for 145 hours and 30 minutes. Doing so, the 29-year-old overcame the record of 142 hours and 47 minutes held by Cem Karabay, a Turkish diver, in 2016.

                  Al-Kilany also managed to beat his personal best of 121 hours, which he had created in 2017. After diving off the Egyptian coast of Dahab on November 5, Al-Kilany had planned on to stay underwater for 150 hours however he was withdrawn four-and-a-half hours early due to health concerns, reports LadBible

                  The new record set by the Egyptian diver though has not been formally confirmed by the Guinness World Records as of now. Al-Kilany's love for life underwater especially near his country is such that he refused to complete the challenge anywhere else, said reports. The diver has even held his engagement to his Dr. Pia Legora, a fellow diver, underwater.

                  Just a few days earlier, another record was created in extreme sports when Slovenian freediver Alenka Artnik descended more than 374 feet beneath the surface of the sea. Artnik achieved this feat on November 8 as she dove into the Red Sea off the Sharm el-Sheikh coast in Egypt.

                  Freediving is a lethal sport which requires the player to dive as deeply as possible without the aid of a breathing apparatus.

                  Another woman, Maya Gabeira set a world record by becoming the first woman to surf the biggest wave of the season. She surfed a 73.5 foot (22.4 metres) wave breaking her own record for the largest wave surfed by a woman, and was subsequently confirmed as the bigges wave surfed in this season.:

                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                  • #10
                    Large Metal Monolith Mysteriously Appears In Remote Region Of Utah's Red Rock Country

                    State officials were flying over southeastern Utah looking for sheep as part of a routine task. Instead they found something straight out of a sci-fi movie.

                    From a helicopter, officers from the Utah Department of Public Safety spotted a large metal monolith — a single block of metal — last week. It was sitting in Utah's Red Rock Country in the southeast. Officials have no idea how or when it got there — or who might have placed it.

                    "That's been about the strangest thing that I've come across out there in all my years of flying," helicopter pilot Bret Hutchings told KSL TV.

                    Hutchings said the structure appeared to be 10 to 12 feet tall and looked like it was planted there — not dropped from the air. In any case, officials said it isn't legal.

                    "It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands," said the Utah Department of Public Safety in a statement, "no matter what planet you're from."

                    It also referenced the structure's out-of-this-world appearance on social media.

                    As for would-be visitors, officials decided not to disclose the exact location of the monolith. It's in a remote area — and if people attempt to visit it, "there is a significant possibility they may become stranded and require rescue," the department said in its statement.

                    Utah's Bureau of Land Management is assessing whether further investigation is necessary.

                    Hutchings has his own theory.

                    In the classic sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey, a group of prehistoric ape-men was baffled by a large black monolith that appeared in an African desert.

                    "I'm assuming it's some new-wave artist or something," Hutchings said, according to KSL TV. "Somebody that was a big fan [of the film].":

                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                    • #11
                      Texas hospital performs complicated, 10-person kidney swap

                      A Texas hospital's kidney swap program faced one of its greatest logistical challenges when doctors pulled off a 10-way organ transplant that saved the lives of five people.

                      Doctors at Houston Methodist hospital said the complicated swap originated when John "HB" Berliski lost both of his kidneys to polycystic kidney disease and his wife, Tara, offered to give him one of hers.

                      The doctors explained to the couple that while they were a match, John Berliski had type AB blood, which means he is a universal recipient and could accept a kidney from anyone. The unique situation made the couple ideal participants in the hospital's kidney swap program.

                      Misael Gonzalez, who was also diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, was offered a kidney by his mother, Teresa Salcedo, but they decided to join the kidney swap program so he could receive an organ from a younger donor.

                      Meanwhile, Debra Lewing, who was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy, was offered a kidney by her boss, Dawn Thomas, but the women discovered their blood types did not match.

                      The six people ended up in the same kidney swap chain, along with a pair of cousins and a pair of sisters, and five kidneys were taken from donors and placed into recipients. John Berliski received a kidney from an AB type donor, who can only donate to another AB type patient, while his wife's kidney went to Justin Barrow, whose cousin was not a close enough match.

                      "It's a very complex, logistical task, but the happiness the patients display, the fact that they can get their transplants, really have new hope for resuming their life, is very gratifying," Dr. Osama Gaber, director of surgery at Houston Methodist, told KTRK-TV.:

                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                      • #12
                        Glaucoma treatment hope after scientists reverse ageing in mice cells, ‘milestone’ finding with applications for dementia and other age-related diseases

                        Scientists have restored sight in mice using a “milestone” treatment that returns cells to a more youthful state and could one day help treat glaucoma and other age-related diseases.

                        The process offers the tantalising possibility of effectively turning back time at the cellular level, helping cells recover the ability to heal damage caused by injury, disease and age.

                        “I’m excited about being able to rejuvenate organs and tissues that fail due to ageing and disease, especially where there are no effective treatments, such as dementia,” said the senior author of the study, David Sinclair. “We hope to treat glaucoma in human patients (at the trial stage) in two years,” added Sinclair, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School.

                        The treatment is based on the properties that cells have when the body is developing as an embryo. At that time, cells can repair and regenerate themselves, but that capacity declines rapidly with age. The scientists reasoned that if cells could be induced to return to that youthful state, they would be able to repair damage.

                        To turn back the clock, they modified a process usually used to create the “blank slate” cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells. Those cells are created by injecting a cocktail of four proteins that help reprogram it.

                        The team did not want to reprogram cells all the way back to that blank-slate status, but to restore them to a more youthful condition. So they tweaked the cocktail, using just three of the “youth-restoring” proteins – dubbed OSK – in the hope they could turn the clock back to just the right point.

                        They targeted retinal ganglion cells in the eye, which are linked to the brain through connections called axons. These axons form the optic nerve – and damage to them caused by injury, ageing or disease results in poor vision and blindness.

                        To test the effects of the cocktail, they first injected OSK into the eyes of mice with optic nerve injuries.

                        They saw a twofold increase in the number of surviving retinal ganglion cells and a fivefold increase in nerve regrowth. “The treatment allowed the nerves to grow back towards the brain. Normally they would simply die,” Sinclair said.

                        With signs OSK could reverse damage caused by injury, the team turned to countering the effects of disease – specifically glaucoma, which is the leading cause of blindness in humans. They replicated the conditions of the disease, where a build-up of pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve, in several dozen mice.

                        Those who received the OSK treatment saw “significant” benefits, according to the study published in the journal Nature. Tests showed “that half of the visual acuity lost from increased intraocular pressure was restored”.

                        The treatment offered similarly promising results in elderly mice with poor vision caused by age. After the cocktail was injected, the mice’s vision improved and their optic nerve cells displayed electrical signals and other features akin to those in younger mice.

                        The study was conducted over the course of a year, and the mice displayed no side effects.

                        Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist at Stanford University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research, said the findings were “bound to ignite great excitement”.

                        The results will need to be confirmed in further animal tests, with a potentially long path before humans can be treated, but Huberman said they nevertheless represented “a milestone in the field”.

                        “The effects of OSK in people remain to be tested but the existing results suggest that OSK is likely to reprogram brain neurons across species,” he wrote in a review commissioned by Nature.

                        “For decades, it was argued that understanding normal neural developmental processes would one day lead to the tools to repair the aged or damaged brain … (this) work makes it clear: that era has now arrived.”:

                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                        • #13
                          GENEVA: A nearly 40-million-year-old skeleton belonging to what is popularly called a sabre-toothed tiger has sold for $84,350, a year after its discovery on a US ranch.

                          The skeleton, about 120 centimetres (nearly four feet) long, was snapped up by a private collector in just one minute at an auction in Geneva on Tuesday.

                          The original bones are those of a Hoplophoneus -- not technically cats, they are an extinct genus of the Nimravidae family and once stalked the plains of North America.

                          Such extinct predatory mammals are commonly known as sabre-toothed tigers.

                          Also on sale was a Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth which fetched just over $6,000, while a 85-cm long fin from a mosasaur -- a marine reptile that in the Cretaceous period was at the top of the submarine food chain -- was bought for almost $8,000.

                          A 75-million-year-old ammolite -- an opal-like organic gemstone in shades of red and orange -- measuring 40 cm long by 36 cm wide remained unsold because the reserve price was not met.

                          Debate rages as to the right balance between the scientific value of such items and their worth on the open market.

                          Some palaeontologists insist animal or plant fossils are not decorative objects for collectors, but witness to the evolution of life on Earth and therefore scientific articles that ought to be studied and then shared with the public in museums.

                          Before the sale, Swiss collector Yann Cuenin told AFP: "If we're talking about the sabre-toothed tiger, for example, it's not a skeleton which is of major scientific interest, in the sense that it's something which is already known to science.

                          "I am all for museums, but I am also in favour of objects living among us; for there to be collectors, for pieces to be bought and sold -- that's what brings culture to life.":

                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                          • #14
                            Divers find Nazis' Enigma code machine in Baltic Sea

                            German divers who recently fished an Enigma encryption machine out of the Baltic Sea, used by the Nazis to send coded messages during World War II, handed their rare find over to a museum for restoration on Friday.

                            The legendary code machine was discovered last month during a search for abandoned fishing nets in the Bay of Gelting in northeast Germany, by divers on assignment for environmental group WWF.

                            "A colleague swam up and said: there's a net there with an old typewriter in it," Florian Huber, the lead diver, told the DPA news agency.

                            The team quickly realised they had stumbled across a historic artefact and alerted the authorities.

                            Ulf Ickerodt, head of the state archaeological office in Germany's Schleswig-Holstein region, said the machine would be restored by experts at the state's archaeology museum.

                            The delicate process, including a thorough desalination process after seven decades in the Baltic seabed, "will take about a year", he said.

                            After that, the Enigma will go on display at the museum.

                            Naval historian Jann Witt from the German Naval Association told DPA that he believes the machine, which has three rotors, was thrown overboard from a German warship in the final days of the war.

                            It is less likely that it came from a scuttled submarine, he said, because Adolf Hitler's U-boats used the more complex four-rotor Enigma machines.

                            A naval historian said he believes the machine was thrown overboard from a German warship in the final days of WWII

                            The Allied forces worked tirelessly to decrypt the codes produced by the Enigma machine, which were changed every 24 hours.

                            British mathematician Alan Turing, seen as the father of modern computing, spearheaded a team at Britain's Bletchley Park that cracked the code in 1941.

                            The breakthrough helped the Allies decipher crucial radio messages about German military movements. Historians believe it shortened the war by about two years.

                            The story was turned into a 2014 movie called "The Imitation Game", starring Oscar-nominated British actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing.:

                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                            • #15
                              Precious painting lost at German airport found at dumpster

                              A surrealist painting worth more than a quarter million euros (dollars) that was forgotten by a businessman at Duesseldorf’s airport has been recovered from a nearby recycling dumpster, police said Thursday.

                              The businessman, whose identity was not given, accidentally left behind the painting by French surrealist Yves Tanguy at a check-in counter as he boarded a flight from Duesseldorf to Tel Aviv on Nov. 27.

                              By the time he landed in Israel and contacted Duesseldorf police, the 280,000-Euro (340,000-dollar) oeuvre, which had been wrapped in cardboard, had disappeared.

                              Despite multiple emails with details about the 40×60-centimeter (16X24-inch) painting, authorities could not locate the artwork, police spokesman Andre Hartwig said.

                              It was only after the businessman’s nephew traveled to the airport from neighboring Belgium and talked with police directly with more information that an inspector was able to trace the painting to paper recycling dumpster used by the airport’s cleaning company.

                              “This was definitely one of our happiest stories this year,” Hartwig said. “It was real detective work.”:

                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


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