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March 27, 2014

Archaeologists think they've discovered the remains if Attila the Hun and his magic sword

If they didn't already know where it was how did they harvest his DNA to form Serpentor? Hungary: Archeologists Discover Tomb of Attila the Hun
“This site is absolutely incredible!” explains Albrecht Rümschtein, an historian from the Lorand Eötvös University in Budapest and member of the team of specialists investigating the tomb. “We found many horse skeletons, as well as various weapons and other artefacts, all traditionally associated with Huns. These objects include a large sword made of meteoric iron, which could certainly be Attila’s legendary “Holy War Sword of the Scythians”, allegedly given to him by the god Mars himself. In fact, this definitely seems to be the resting place of the almighty Attila, but further analysis needs to be done to confirm it.” Nicknamed “the scourge of God” by roman historians, Attila was the ruler of the Huns, a nomadic people originating possibly from Central Asia. He ruled from 434 A.D., until his death in 453 after a feast celebrating his latest marriage to a beautiful and young gothic princess named Ildico. He led many military raids on both the Eastern and Western Roman Empires provoquing what has become knowned as the Barbarian Invasions or the Great Migration, a large movement of germanic populations that greatly accelerated the fall of Rome and the advent of the Middle Ages in Europe. He his considered by most Hungarians, as the founder of the country. The discovery of this funerary site could bring many clarifications concerning the origins and identity of the hunnic people and of Attila himself, which have both been sources of debate for centuries. The analysis of pieces of pottery and jewelry found on the site, should bring a new light on their cultural origins and trade networks, and help scientists better understand this badly documented people. . . .

February 10, 2014

There were black Knights of the Round Table

Sure, the Knights of the Round Table didn't *actually* exist, but there is a canon associated with them and in that canon are multiple Knights of color. (One of those colors happens to be green.) Not All the Knights of the Round Table Were White | Smart News | Smithsonian
The blog MedievalPoC points out that Morien has been largely forgotten or white-washed in modern depictions of the round table. But early texts describe him pretty clearly as not-white. The blog quotes from the translated saga of Morien: He was all black, even as I tell ye: his head, his body, and his hands were all black, saving only his teeth. His shield and his armour were even those of a Moor, and black as a raven… Had they not heard him call upon God no man had dared face him, deeming that he was the devil or one of his fellows out of hell, for that his steed was so great, and he was taller even than Sir Lancelot, and black withal, as I said afore… When the Moor heard these words he laughed with heart and mouth (his teeth were white as chalk, otherwise was he altogether black)… Morien isn’t even the only knight who isn’t white in the Arthurian folklore as the blog Elodie Under Glass points out: First off, six percent of the Knights of the Round Table were men of color. Granted, that’s only three out of 49 men, but the entire expanded United States Congress is hovering around 13% people of color and only has one black Senator. Although, it's worth noting, one of those three men is green. But he’s definitely not white. So why do all our modern renditions of the round table include a team of totally white guys?

February 09, 2014

Deja Vu All Over Again: Anti-LGBTQ Pogroms Brewing in Russia

Pogroms where the Russian solution to the "Jewish Problem." These...

January 27, 2014

New York's water towers are digusting

They are beautiful and iconic and full of muck and e.coli. Inside City’s Water Tanks, Layers of Neglect - NYTimes.com
But inside these rustic-looking vessels, there are often thick layers of muddy sediment. Many have not been cleaned or inspected in years. And regulations governing water tanks are rarely enforced, an examination by The New York Times shows. Even some that are routinely maintained contain E. coli, a bacterium that is used by public health officials to predict the presence of viruses, bacteria and parasites that can cause disease. When found in drinking water, E. coli, a microbe carried in the feces of mammals and birds, requires the issuance of a boil-water order, according to federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Samplings taken by The New York Times from water towers at 12 buildings in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn found E. coli in five tanks, and coliform in those tanks and three more. Coliform by itself is not harmful, but does indicate that conditions are ripe for the growth of potentially dangerous microorganisms. The positive results all came from the bottoms of the tanks, below the pipe that feeds the buildings’ taps, though public health experts say the contamination is still a concern because the water circulates throughout the inside of the tanks.