Tomb of Real ‘Gladiator’ Found in Rome

Friday, October 17, 2008

Italian archaeologists have discovered the tomb of the ancient Roman hero said to have inspired the character played by Russell Crowe in the film “Gladiator.” 

Daniela Rossi, an archaeologist based in Rome, said the discovery of the monumental marble tomb of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, including a large inscription bearing his name, was “an exceptional find.”

She said it was “the most important ancient Roman monument to come to light for twenty or thirty years.”

The tomb is on the banks of the Tiber near the via Flaminia, north of Rome. Cristiano Ranieri, who led the archeological team at the site, said the tomb had long ago collapsed into the mud but its columns, roof and decorations were intact. Some parts of the tomb had slipped into the river, but had been recovered.

Marcus Nonius Macrinus, born in Brescia in northern Italy, was a general and consul who led military campaigns for Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor from 161 AD to 180 AD.

He became part of the Emperor’s inner circle and one of his favorites, serving as proconsul in Asia.

• Click here for more photos.

• Click here to read the rest of this story at the Times of London.

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World’s Shortest Man Stops Traffic in New York City

Friday, September 19, 2008
Source: Associated Press

A short story – Smallest man is 2’5.37″ to launch 2009 Guinness’s World Book of Records

He Pingping from Inner Mongolia, the world's smallest man, sits on the lap of Svetlana Pankratova from Russia

He Pingping, the smallest man in the world

NEW YORK — It apparently takes a visit by the world’s shortest man to bring New York City to a halt.

Cab drivers, police officers and other busy New Yorkers paused in their hurried lives to look at tiny He Pingping as he walked along 42nd Street in Manhattan on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Chinese man is 2 feet 5.37 inches tall. He was in the city to launch the 2009 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. He is listed as the shortest man on the planet.

His brother-in-law told the Daily News in Friday editions that coming to New York is “like a dream” for Pingping, who lives in Mongolia and was born with primordial dwarfism.

Crowds in Manhattan stopped to gawk wherever he went. His brother-in-law said Pingping likes the attention.

New “7 Wonders Of The World” Announced 7/7/2007 After Online Poll

By REUTERS
Published: July 7, 2007
Filed at 10:09p.m. ET
REUTERS

Click on images for larger view.  Larger view source: FoxNews.com

Chichén Itzá, the most famous Mayan temple city, served as the political and economic center of the Mayan civilization. Its various structures – the pyramid of Kukulkan, the Temple of Chac Mool, the Hall of the Thousand Pillars, and the Playing Field of the Prisoners – can still be seen today and are demonstrative of an extraordinary commitment to architectural space and composition. The pyramid itself was the last, and arguably the greatest, of all  Mayan temples.

This statue of Jesus stands some 38 meters tall, atop the Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro. Designed by Brazilian Heitor da Silva Costa and created by French sculptor Paul Landowski, it is one of the world’s best-known monuments. The statue took five years to construct and was inaugurated on October 12, 1931. It has become a symbol of the city and of the warmth of the Brazilian people, who receive visitors with open arms.

 

The Great Wall of China was built to link existing fortifications into a united defense system and better keep invading Mongol tribes out of China. It is the largest man-made monument ever to have been built and it is disputed that it is the only one visible from space. Many thousands of people must have given their lives to build this colossal construction. 

 

In the 15th century, the Incan Emperor Pachacútec built a city in the clouds on the mountain known as Machu Picchu (“old mountain”). This extraordinary settlement lies halfway up the Andes Plateau, deep in the Amazon jungle and above the Urubamba River. It was probably abandoned by the Incas because of a smallpox outbreak and, after the Spanish defeated the Incan Empire, the city remained ‘lost’ for over three centuries. It was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911.

On the edge of the Arabian Desert, Petra was the glittering capital of the Nabataean empire of King Aretas IV (9 B.C. to 40 A.D.). Masters of water technology, the Nabataeans provided their city with great tunnel constructions and water chambers. A theater, modelled on Greek-Roman prototypes, had space for an audience of 4,000. Today, the Palace Tombs of Petra, with the 42-meter-high Hellenistic temple facade on the El-Deir Monastery, are impressive examples of Middle Eastern culture.

This great amphitheater in the centre of Rome was built to give favors to successful legionnaires and to celebrate the glory of the Roman Empire. Its design concept still stands to this very day, and virtually every modern sports stadium some 2,000 years later still bears the irresistible imprint of the Colosseum’s original design. Today, through films and history books, we are even more aware of the cruel fights and games that took place in this arena, all for the joy of the spectators.

This immense mausoleum was built on the orders of Shah Jahan, the fifth Muslim Mogul emperor, to honor the memory of his beloved late wife. Built out of white marble and standing in formally laid-out walled gardens, the Taj Mahal is regarded as the most perfect jewel of Muslim art in India. The emperor was consequently jailed and, it is said, could then only see the Taj Mahal out of his small cell window

The seven winners were announced at a glitzy show at the Benfica stadium in Lisbon after what is likely to be the biggest online poll at http://www.new7wonders.com.

“Never before in history have so many people participated in a global decision,” actress Hilary Swank said at the presentation.

The ancient seven wonders of the world all existed more than 2,000 years ago and were all in the Mediterranean region. Only one remains standing today — the Pyramids of Giza.

The originals were selected by one man, believed by many to be ancient Greek writer Antipater of Sidon.

The New 7 Wonders of the World organizers say the contest was a chance to level the global cultural playing field and recognize the achievements of societies outside Europe and the Middle East.

Only one European site, the Colosseum, was picked. The Eiffel Tower and the Acropolis had also been contenders.

“I am happy that for the first time in history the world was able to vote and decide,” said Jose Freitas do Amaral, commissioner of the New 7 Wonders of the World and Portugal’s former foreign minister

Geronimo’s Great-Grandson Wants Apache Leader’s Remains Returned

Monday, June 18, 2007

SANTA FE, N.M. —  Legend has it that Yale University’s ultrasecret “Skull and Bones” society swiped the remains of American Indian leader Geronimo nearly a century ago from an Army outpost in Oklahoma.

Now, Geronimo’s great-grandson wants the remains returned.

Harlyn Geronimo, 59, of Mescalero, N.M., wants to prove the skull and bones purportedly taken from a burial plot in Fort Sill, Okla., are indeed those of his great-grandfather. They’re now said to be in a stone tomb that serves as the club’s headquarters.

If they are proven to be those of, his great-grandson wants them buried near the Indian leader’s birthplace in southern New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness.

“He died as a prisoner of war, and he is still a prisoner of war because his remains were not returned to his homeland,” Harlyn Geronimo said. “Presently, we are looking for a proper consecrated burial.”

Harlyn Geronimo grew up hearing stories about his great-grandfather and other Apache warriors who fought the Mexican and U.S. armies.

After their families were captured and sent to Florida, Geronimo and 35 warriors surrendered to Gen. Nelson A. Miles near the Arizona-New Mexico border in 1886. Geronimo was eventually sent to Fort Sill, where he died of pneumonia in 1909.

If the bones at Yale aren’t those of Geronimo, Harlyn Geronimo believes they belonged to one of the Apache prisoners who died at Fort Sill. He said they should still be returned.

Harlyn Geronimo wrote last year to President Bush, seeking his help in recovering the bones. He thought that since the president’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, was allegedly one of those who helped steal the bones in 1918, the president would want to help return them.

But, Harlyn Geronimo said, “I haven’t heard a word.”

The White House did not respond to messages seeking comment.

President Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, both attended Yale and joined the elite club. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, is also a Bonesman, as are many other men in powerful government and industry positions.

Members are sworn to secrecy — and that’s one reason they won’t say whether the club has Geronimo’s bones.

“The reason there’s all these conspiracy theories around Skull and Bones is because their loyalty to one another goes beyond their public differences,” said historian and former Yale Alumni Magazine editor Marc Wortman.

Skull and Bones is one of a dozen secret Yale societies, according to Yale spokeswoman Gila Reinstein.

“If it’s true about the bones, that’s disrespectful and disturbing,” she said.

John Fryar, a retired Bureau of Indian Affairs special agent in antiquities recovery and a member of Acoma Pueblo, said if the secret society does have remains, they should be returned to Fort Sill.

“To ignore a request like this for the return of human remains is totally uncalled for. Look at our guys going to Vietnam to recover remains. It’s the same thing,” he said.

Boy Who Killed Monster Hog Says ‘It’s Not Fake’

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
By Sara Bonisteel

Due to the amount of negative posts on their web site, it prompted the family to respond and this is the response.  What do y’all think, is it real or fake? 
An 11-year-old Alabama boy caught in the center of a humongous hog controversy denied his monster kill was staged Wednesday in an interview with FOXNews.com.

“I just want to say it’s not fake,” said Jamison Stone of Pickensville, Ala

Stone made news last week when the world learned of his massive kill, a 1,051-pound feral hog, which he shot eight times with a pistol on a hunting preserve in eastern Alabama. But the young man soon found himself in a media maelstrom when some Web sites questioned the veracity of the photographs.

“He did kill that pig,” the boy’s father, Mike Stone, told FOXNews.com. “Those pictures are not doctored.”

“No pictures have been touched,” the 11-year-old said. “They first were saying I couldn’t shoot the gun, but I could and I did.”

What should have been a moment of fun in the spotlight for a middle schooler became a nightmare, with some bloggers asking Mike Stone to take measurements of his son’s skull to prove his claims, he said.

“Before we got to New York this was a feel good story, everybody was excited about it,” Mike Stone said. “And now all of a sudden my family is suffering because people are making fun of it and thinking that it’s not real.”

After Jamison bagged his pig May 3, the Stones took their prize to the Clay County Farmers Exchange in Lineville, Ala., where it weighed in at 1,051 and measured approximately 9 feet 4 inches.

In the heat of the moment, Mike Stone said, they snapped a few photographs for family and friends to share Jamison’s moment of pride.

“We would have took pictures of the scales, we would have took pictures of us measuring it, we would have took pictures of all the stuff if we would have thought this was going to be some big deal,” Mike Stone said.

Jerry Cunningham, owner of Jerry’s Taxidermy in Oxford, Ala., said the feral hog was one of the largest he’d seen.

“They’re about as twice as big as the normal pig,” Cunningham told FOXNews.com. “Five-hundred pounds is big, giant. Most of them that come in to be mounted are between 150 and 250.”

On Tuesday night, Cunningham showed Jamison the hog’s mounted skull. Mike Stone, who stresses to his family the importance of hunting for food, had the rest of the humongous hog made into breakfast sausage.

“We gave a lot of it away … some of them are going to use it at church fundraising breakfasts, some of them are going to use it for school fundraising breakfasts,” Mike Stone said. “We actually do have two big freezers completely full.”

The boy’s pig adventure is documented on http://www.monsterpig.com, where the response from the public has been about 85 percent positive, Mike Stone said.

“Regardless of what the negative e-mails say, we’re not ashamed of the fact that we actually hunt,” Mike Stone said.

Alabama Boy Kills 1,051-Pound Monster Pig, Bigger Than ‘Hogzilla’

Saturday, May 26, 2007

“Whew, now this is something to go “hog wild” over.”

An 11-year-old Alabama boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog that just may be the biggest pig ever found.

Jamison Stone’s father says the hog his son killed weighed a 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4 from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail. Think hams as big as car tires.

If the claims are accurate, Jamison’s trophy boar would be bigger than Hogzilla, the famed wild hog that grew to seemingly mythical proportions after being killed in south Georgia in 2004.

Click here to see a big pic of the big pig.

Hogzilla originally was thought to weigh 1,000 pounds and measure 12 feet in length. National Geographic experts who unearthed its remains believe the animal actually weighed about 800 pounds and was 8 feet long.

After seeing the pig in person, taxidermist Jerry Cunningham told The Anniston Star it was “the biggest thing I’d ever seen … it’s huge.”

The Anniston Star reported that the feral hog was weighed at the Clay County Farmer’s Exchange in Lineville. Workers at the co-op verified that the basic truck scales used were recently certified by the state. But no workers from the co-op were present when the hog was weighed.

Jamison is reveling in the attention over his pig, which has a Web site put up by his father — http://www.monsterpig.com — that is generating Internet buzz.

“It feels really good,” Jamison, of Pickensville, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “It’s a good accomplishment. I probably won’t ever kill anything else that big.”

Jamison, who killed his first deer at age 5, was hunting with father Mike Stone and two guides in east Alabama on May 3 when he bagged Hogzilla II. He said he shot the huge animal eight times with a .50-caliber revolver and chased it for three hours through hilly woods before finishing it off with a point-blank shot.

Through it all there was the fear that the animal would turn and charge them, as wild boars have a reputation of doing.

“I was a little bit scared, a little bit excited,” said Jamison, who just finished the sixth grade on the honor roll at Christian Heritage Academy, a small, private school.

His father said that, just to be extra safe, he and the guides had high-powered rifles aimed and ready to fire in case the beast with 5-inch tusks decided to charge.

With the pig finally dead in a creek bed on the 2,500-acre Lost Creek Plantation, a commercial hunting preserve in Delta, trees had to be cut down and a backhoe brought in to bring Jamison’s prize out of the woods.

It was hauled on a truck to the Clay County Farmers Exchange in Lineville, where Jeff Kinder said they used his scale, which was recently calibrated, to weigh the hog.

Kinder, who didn’t witness the weigh-in, said he was baffled to hear the reported weight of 1,051 pounds because his scale — an old, manual style with sliding weights — only measures to the nearest 10.

“I didn’t quite understand that,” he said.

Mike Stone said the scale balanced one notch past the 1,050-pound mark, and he thought it meant a weight of 1,051 pounds.

“It probably weighed 1,060 pounds. We were just afraid to change it once the story was out,” he said.

The hog’s head is now being mounted on an extra-large foam form by Cunningham of Jerry’s Taxidermy in Oxford. Cunningham said the animal measured 54 inches around the head, 74 inches around the shoulders and 11 inches from the eyes to the end of its snout.

Mike Stone is having sausage made from the rest of the animal. “We’ll probably get 500 to 700 pounds,” he said.

Jamison, meanwhile, has been offered a small part in “The Legend of Hogzilla,” a small-time horror flick based on the tale of the Georgia boar. The movie is holding casting calls with plans to begin filming in Georgia.

The Anniston Star reported that congratulatory calls have come all the way from California, where Jamison appeared on a radio talk show. Jamison apparently has gotten words of congratulation from Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd, country music star Kenny Chesney, Tom Knapp of Benelli firearms and Jerry Miculek of Smith & Wesson.

Jamison is enjoying the newfound celebrity generated by the hog hunt, but he said he prefers hunting pheasants to monster pigs.

“They are a little less dangerous.”