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-Beethoven’s 1st 9th: 2.1 million 2003-05-23

Posted by clype in Humanities.
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The working manuscript for Beethoven's Ninth Symphony has fetched 2.1 million GBP at auction.

Auctioneer Sotheby's had estimated that the manuscript would be sold for between 2 million GBP and 3 million GBP.

It contains the composer's handwritten revisions and is described as one of the most important musical works to go under the hammer.

A private buyer bade 1.9 million_GBP for the document over the phone at the London sale, after an opening bid of 1.5 million GBP. A premium is added to that figure, making a sale price of 2 133 600.00 GBP.

The record for a manuscript is 2 585 000.00 GBP, paid in 1987-05 for nine complete symphonies written by Mozart.


"Beethoven manuscript sold for �2.1m" Ananova 2003-05-22 Th 11:23

– Roman route re-opens after 1 600 years 2003-05-23

Posted by clype in Humanities, Scotland.
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Walkers will be able to follow the entire length of Hadrian's Wall in northern England [Southern Scotland] for the first time in 1 600 years.

A signposted trail along the 135 km Roman route from Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria to Wallsend, Tyneside will open on Friday.

The Countryside Agency has developed 50 km of new 'rights of way' to follow the wall's path, along with new gates, footbridges and stiles.

The work has also opened up stretches of the World Heritage Site for disabled access.

Parts of the wall have always been open to the public, but since the Romans left there has been no unbroken right of way to follow its route.

The Countryside Agency has spent 6 million GBP on developing the area for tourism – bringing employment to the rural economies of Northumberland and Cumbria.

Chief executive Mr.Richard Wakeford has spent the last week walking the Hadrian's Wall Path before the official opening ceremony at the Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend. He predicts 20 000 people/year will walk the route by 2006, adding:

'It's good news for holidaymakers, dedicated walkers and people who want a refreshing day out, and it is good news for local people who live and work along the wall'.

Mr.David Taylor, owner of the 15th century 'Centre of Britain' hotel in Haltwhistle, Northumberland, claimed the path would have as big an impact as the Romans had on the local economy. He said:

'The trail is the best thing to happen in this area since "Hadrian's Wall" was built.

'It has the potential to revolutionise the local economy'.

"Roman route re-opens after 1600 years ", Ananova 2003-05-22 Th 15:11 Thursday

-Looking for Happy Bits of the Brain 2003-05-22

Posted by clype in Science.

Buddhists may have led scientists to the secret of happiness.

Research in the U.S.A. suggests it lies just behind the forehead in the brain's left prefrontal lobes.

Scientists have found that in experienced, practising Buddhists, this part of the brain is consistently "lit up".

Persistent activity of the left prefrontal lobes is associated with positive emotions and good moods.

The preliminary findings emerged from research led by Mr.Richard Davidson, at the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Mr.Owen Flanagan, Professor of Philosophy at Duke University in North Carolina, said:

'We can now hypothesise with some confidence that those apparently happy, calm Buddhist souls one regularly comes across in places such as Dharamsala, India — the Dalai Lama's home — really are happy.

'Behind those calm exteriors lie persistently frisky left prefrontal lobes. If these findings are widely confirmed, they will be of great importance'.

He said it was likely that there was something about Buddhist practice that produced happiness.

"Buddhists lead scientists to 'seat of happiness'", Ananova, 2003-05-21 We 19:11

-Redundant Religious Buildings Removed from UK Maps 2003-05-10

Posted by clype in Intolerance.
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Old churches, mosques and synagogues will be removed from new Ordnance Survey maps if they are of no navigational use to walkers.

The distinctive black crosses will still appear on all active religious venues, and those old religious sites which boast a notable landmark such as a tower or minaret. But all the rest will be consigned to history when the new O.S. Explorer maps are introduced in late 2004 — a move English Heritage says will leave the maps weakened as a cultural resource. Mr.Richard Morris, of English Heritage, said:

'Deleting them from the way we present landscape is deleting one layer of our cultural habitat.

'It's "crazy"; maps are not just about getting from A to B, they're about understanding where we live'.

The organisation also said it was concerned about the effect the changes may have on the work of 'The Churches Conservation Trust'.

The aim of the Trust is "to promote these often exquisite jewels of architecture as places for everyone to discover and visit". A spokesman for the 'The Church of England' said:

'Even if a building has not got a tower or a spire, or something of long-range navigational importance, these are still distinctive buildings — often for all sorts of reasons — and people would quite like to know where they are'.

But Mr.Scott Sinclair of the Ordnance Survey insisted all important old religious sites would continue to be marked. He said:

'Where a former place of worship has no tower, spire, minaret or dome – and is therefore of little or no help for navigation — the building will continue to be shown, but it will not be highlighted with a symbol'.

He said a figure could not be put on the number of crosses to be removed, because a full O.S. geographical survey has still to be carried out. Mr.Sinclair said all former places of worship which were of architectural interest would remain on the map for walkers to enjoy. He said:

'The key point is to clarify the situation where places of worship have been turned into a cash and carry or a nightclub.

'It is obviously misleading if people go there and think it is a place of worship'.

Those churches, mosques and synagogues still in use or with significant navigational interest will now be termed "building/place of worship" in the map's key to suggest the building might have changed usage.

"Mapmaker rubs out redundant religious buildings ", Ananova 2003-05-09 Fr 16:19

-New Eye Implants Looking Good 2003-05-10

Posted by clype in Gizmo, Health.
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Researchers say an eye implant designed to restore sight to the blind, is showing encouraging results in its first patient trial.

Early findings one year into the trial show the artificial retina can enable a blind person to distinguish between everyday objects such as a cup or plate.

Three patients have been given the device, known as an intra-ocular retinal prosthesis.

The implant, a sliver of silicone and platinum, measures four by five millimetres and is studded with 16 electrodes.

It works by electrically stimulating a patient's remaining healthy retinal cells, which in turn pass visual information to the brain.

Results from the first phase of the trial were presented at a meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology in Ford Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A. Professor Mr.Mark Humayun, from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, said:


'We have successfully completed enrolment and implantation of three patients in the trial, and we have found that the devices are indeed electrically conducting, and can be used by the patients to detect light or even to distinguish between objects such as a cup or plate in forced choice tests conducted with one patient so far'.

The implant is intended to stand in for damaged retinal cells in people suffering from blinding disease such as retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.

Physicians operated on the first trial participant in 2002-02.

Patient #2 received an implant in 2002-07, and patient #3 underwent surgery in 2003-03.

Initial tests have shown that the patients can perceive light on each of the implant's 16 electrodes.

Patients were able to detect when light was turned on or off, describe the motion of an object, and even count separated objects.

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'Sight success in eye implant trials', Ananova 2003-05-08 Th 14:16

-Did Jesus Christ die at 3pm on 3rd April? 2003-05-09

Posted by clype in Intolerance, Science.
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Liviu Mircea and Tiberiu Oproiu claim to have pinpointed the exact time and date of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

The pair, from the Astronomic Observatory Institute in Cluj, Romania, say Jesus died at 15:00 on 0033-04-03 Fr (Friday 3rd, April, 33 AD) and rose again at 04:00 on 0033-04-05 Su (Sunday 5th April, 33AD).

They used a computer programme to check biblical references against historical astronomical data.

They said the ‘New Testament’ stated that Jesus died the day after the first night with a full moon, after the vernal equinox.

Using data gathered on the stars between 26 and 35 AD they established that in those nine years, the first full moon after the vernal equinox was registered twice — on Friday, 7th April, 30 AD, and on Friday, 3rd April 33 AD.

They were convinced the date of the crucifixion was 33 AD, and not 30 AD, because records showed a solar eclipse, as depicted in ‘The Bible’ at the time of Jesus’s crucifixion, occurred in Jerusalem that year.

“Astronomers ‘pinpoint time and date of crucifixion and resurrection’ “, Ananova: 2003-05-08 Th 11:33