Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In the news 6/9

As I perused the morning paper while eating my humongous Golden Delicious apple* a couple of fun stories stood out.

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) -- Two of Galileo's fingers, removed from his corpse by admirers in the 18th century, have gone on display in a Florence museum now named after the astronomer.

Wait, what? I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this. My gut reaction is "eww".  Also on display is a tooth and in a different location, his vertebra. I really don't think there's any historical value in Galileo's specific body parts. Is it a connection thing? As in, "Wow, those are the actual fingers of the guy who discovered Jupiter's moons!". I'm just not sure I get it. On the other hand the museum also has some instruments designed and used by Galileo—now that would be more interesting to me.


PEABODY — As she leafed through stacks of papers and other material that had accumulated over the years on her classroom’s bookshelf, fourth-grade social studies teacher Michelle Eugenio found several sheets of faux parchment paper, designed to have the look and feel of a Colonial period document. “Obviously they were fake,’’ she said yesterday, standing in her classroom in Peabody’s Center School.

But the next document she found caused quite a different reaction. It was a single sheet of linen paper, contained in a rigid, clear-plastic sheath, and had torn and browned edges. It looked old, very old. And it looked original. Eugenio said that as she held it in her hands about two weeks ago and looked at the date printed on the lower right corner, April 1792, her heart raced. “I had a feeling it was real.’’

Maybe this makes me a geek, but I can just imagine the thrill this teacher must have felt when she first saw this document and thought it might be original. I'm not a history buff particularly, but finding something you think has been lost to history or undiscovered has got to be the coolest thing. I remember a fun hike T and I took that ended with us unexpectedly finding a dilapidated home—what was once obviously a rather grand home—seemingly in the middle of nowhere. That was so exciting and fun to explore even though we assumed that others must also know about it. To find something truly undiscovered, wow!


*Seriously, when did apples get so big? I swear my hand cramped up while eating it and getting the first couple bites was a feat in itself. I have to buy mini apples for the boys now since they can't possibly eat an entire regular one.


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