Friday, May 26, 2017

Rare William Caxton Medieval Text That was Part of One of the First Books Printed in England Discovered

Thrilling Discovery – Medieval Printed Text

An exceptional specimen of medieval printed text by discoverer William Caxton that had earlier been utilised in reinforcing the spine of a book has been considered as a `thrilling’ discovery. Dating back to late 1476 or early 1477, the two pages from a priest handbook had been discovered buried in a box at the collections of Reading University by librarian Erika Delbecque while she catalogued thousands of stuffs regarding the history of printing and graphic design.

Experts had suggested that the treasure was said to be among the first book that had been printed in England by the press of Caxton and could have fetched £100,000 had it been sent to market. Ms Delbecque had mentioned that she suspected that it was `special’ as soon as she had noticed it and informed that it was unbelievably rare to find an unknown Caxton leaf and surprisingly that it had been under our noses for so long.

She further stated that this well-preserved item happens to be the only one of its kind and one of just two remaining fragments from this medieval Caxton book in existence. The leaf had earlier been pasted to another book for the improper purpose of reinforcing its spine.

Original Caxton Leaf

She added that they understand that it was rescued by a librarian at the University of Cambridge in 1820 who had no idea that it was an original Caxton leaf. It had been written in MedievalLatin featuring black letter typeface, layout and red paragraph which had marked it out as a specimen of very early western European printing. No more copies of the pages that could have been printed side of a single leaf of paper have been found to have lasted.

Andrew Hunter, early printing specialist of Blackwells Books who had done the valuation had stated that discovery of even a fragment from among the earliest printing of Caxton in England had been thrilling to bibliophiles and of immense interest to the scholars and if this had come to the market, there would have been competition for the same.

 Moreover it would be a boundless prize for private collector as well as a feather in the cap for any institution. As per the British Library, Caxton was said to be the first to print a book in English as well as the first English printer.

Sarum Ordinal/Sarum Pye

At the time of working in the Low Countries and Germany, he comprehended the marketable potential of the latest technology. In late1475 or early 1476, Caxton had put uphis very own printing press in London. The discovery is said to be from a book known as the Sarum Ordinal or Sarum Pye that had assisted priests in prioritising religious feast days for English saints.

It had been part of a collection which had earlier belonged to late John Lewis, a typographer and his wife Griselda, a writer and book designer. The same had been bought by the university at an auction in 1997 for £70,000 with the aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund. As per the Reading University, the leaf then had laid among several thousands of other objects in the collections before it had been identified.

The only surviving fragment of the book is said to be at the British Library in London.This discovery would be on display at Merl Museum of Reading University on London road from May 9 to May 30.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Mysterious Flashes of Light Even NASA Can't Explain

Enigmatic Flashes

A spacecraft witnessing Earth had within a span of only one year, spotted hundreds of enigmatic `flashes’ which mirrored off the surface of our planet. The strange spectacle is said to be traced all the way back to the 1990s when Carl Sagan the astronomer had noted identical mysterious glints in images from the spacecraft of Galileo.

Though it was initially presumed that these mysterious flashes of light only seemed over oceans with the possibility of streamlining their source, it has now been discovered by the scientists that they can be viewed over the land also. Researchers have in a new investigation observed that these surges probably tend to be surprisingly small source, tiny, horizontal ice crystals that float high in the sky.

The Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera – EPIC of NASA aboard the NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory –DSCOVR had spotted 866 surges of light over the land between the launch of the observatory in 2015 and August 2016. DSCOVR deputy project scientist Alexander Marshak, had explained that the flashes which have been observed over the ocean could have simply been the reflection of sunlight over a smooth part of an ocean or lake. However the same could not be said regarding the flashes that were observed over the land.

Surge of Light Due to Water in Atmosphere

Marshak had informed that they had discovered some very bright flashes over land also and when they first witnessed it they thought that maybe there was some water there or a lake the sun seemed to be reflecting on.

 However the flint seemed to be quite big and so the same was not considered. EPIC tends to capture red, green and blue images many images apart resulting in the flashes to seem as tri-coloured fragments. The researchers suspected that if these strange occurrences had been caused due to reflected sunlight, they would be concentrated to distinct locations on Earth where the angle between the sun as well as the Earth would be similar as that between the spacecraft and Earth.

On plotting this it was discovered that the two matched. This seemed to be helpful, according to the researchers, to weed out lightning as a probable cause. Marshak had stated that lightning does not care about the sun and the location of EPIC. The researchers, in their study had imagined that the surge of light could be due to water high up in the atmosphere in the form of ice particles.

Presence of High Cirrus Clouds

In order to get an understanding, they plotted the angles of the reflections, tapping them into two channels on EPIC which enabled them to measure the height of clouds. The study showed the presence of high cirrus clouds 3 to 5 miles where these enigmatic flashes had been noticed. Besides these the angles suggested that they are positioned horizontally.

Marshak had informed that the cause of the flashes was definitely not on the ground and is certainly ice and most probably solar reflection off of horizontally focused on particles. This information is being utilised by the researchers to help in determining whether or not they have an impact on the extent of sunlight which tends to pass through the atmosphere.

The scientist state that in addition to the implications for Earth, glints like those spotted by DSCOVR could also be utilised to study exoplanet.

Monday, May 22, 2017

NASA Releases Stunning 'Action Cam' Footage of Astronauts Working 250 Miles Above Earth

Fascinating Recording Released on YouTube

Unbelievable action cam recording from spacewalk on the International SpaceStation has been revealed by NASA, providing a close look at what occurred when astronauts tend to step outside the orbiting craft. Initially it could be easy to overlook that they are 250 miles above the surface, as the astronauts tend to go about their tasks, though a quick change of perception revealing the curve of Earth faraway comes as a shuddering reminder.

Thomas Pesquet of ESA together with Shane Kimbrough of NASA had prepared the pressurized Mating Adapet-3 for a second International Docking Adapter that would permit profitable crew vehicles to berth. The fascinating recording which had been released on YouTube recently had been captured by Pesquet on March 24 in advance of the robotic move ofthe Pressurized Mating Adapter 3, on March 26.

The space agency had explained that the cables as well as the electrical connections had been disconnected by Pesquet and Kimbrough enabling PMA-3 to later on to move from the port side of the Tranquillity module to the space facing area of the Harmony module. The video had portrayed the task from the perception of the astronauts as they carried out the practical mission on the external of the ISS.

Peggy Whitson – Record Breaking Eighth Spacewalk

Besides it also provides a spectacular view of the Earth as perceived from distant above. The spacewalk had been directed to prep the PMA-3 for the docking adapter that would be provided by a SpaceX Dragon freight craft. Moreover, the team also installed a new computer relay box on the starboard zero truss, bringing in the innovative software to the adapter.

According to NASA, they had greased the latching end effector on the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator `extension’ for the Canadarm2 robotic arm, examined a radiator valve presumed to be leaking some amounts of ammonia, replaced cameras on the Japanese section of the outpost.It has been the second spacewalk of Pesquet while the fifth one for Kimbrough.

At the time of the interview on NASA TV the week of the spacewalk it had been admitted by Kimbrough that going outside was a gee-whiz moment for him. Days after the spacewalk had featured in the `action cam’ recording, Kimbrough had returned to the outside along with astronaut Peggy Whitson for her record breaking eighth spacewalk which is said to be the most performed ever by a woman.

Lost an Important Piece of Shielding

However the excursion had not been without any accidents. The spacewalking astronauts had lost an important piece of shielding at around 10.30 a.m. which was required for the International Space Station, compelling them to carry out an unplanned patch. The cloth bundle had floated away halfway through the spacewalk.

The lost fabric shield is comparatively huge weighing 18 pounds and when it tends to be folded measure around 5 feet by 2 feet and is around 2 inches thick. Spacewalkers had lost things earlier comprising of an entire tool kit in 2008. However the getaway items tend to be usually small, like bolts. Whitson had broken another record on achieving the longest time spent in space by an American. She had extended her trip by three months.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Unexplained Mystery of Granger Taylor

The Unexplained Mystery of Granger Taylor

Granger Taylor – Mechanical Genius

Granger Taylor was a self-taught mechanical genius, a dropout of school in the eighth grade. But at the age of fourteen he had built a one-cylinder automobile that is kept on display at the Duncan Forest Museum together with a steam locomotive which he had hauled out of the woods and renovated.

At the age of seventeen he had also overhauled a bulldozer which no one could repair. Besides that he had also built a model of a World War II fighter plane which had been snatched up by a collector for $20,000. Granger would always speculate on how Flying Saucer were driven and built his own from two satellite dishes one top and another bottom as a means of inspiration.

This flying saucer became a home away from home with a couch, TV together with a woodstove and he would regularly sleep in his space craft. Later on he informed that he had been in touch with extra-terrestrials who were going to display to him how their technology operated. He even went on to tell everyone that he intends going on a trip on an alien space ship and on one particular night in November 1980 he had disappeared, leaving a note for his family.


Great Canadian Mystery

Till date in spite of a RCMP investigation, he was never found nor did they find any probable clues regarding his whereabouts. This has been a great Canadian mystery and surely a person of his apparent mechanical talents could not go unobserved if he had only just slipped away in the night.

 After an investigation period of four years of thorough checks of hospital, employment, passport and vehicle records, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police did not come across a single lead to know where he could have been.

The Granger Taylor Flying Saucer is said to rest on stilts in the backyard area of his home at Duncan on Vancouver Island and is a mute memorial to young Granger Taylor who was its builder. Douglas Curran in his book – In Advance of the Landing: Folk Concepts of Outer Space (1985) had mentioned that `he had built his spaceship out of two satellite receiving dishes and outfitted it with a television, a couch and a wood-burning stove.

 He had become obsessed with finding out how flying saucers were powered, and spend hours sitting in the ship thinking and often falling off to sleep there’.

Disappeared – On Night of November 1984

On a night on November 1984, he had just disappeared leaving behind a yard strewn with old tractors, machine engines, vintage automobiles, a bulldozer together with a note that read- `Dear Mother and Father, I have gone away to walk aboard an alien ship.

As recurring dreams assured a 42 month interstellar voyage to explore the vast universe, then return. I am leaving behind all my possession to you as I will no longer require the use of any. Please use the instructions in my will as a guide to help. Love Granger. He had informed a friend a month before his disappearance that he was in spiritual contact with someone from another galaxy and he had received an invitation to go on a trip through the Solar System.

Curran had mentioned that on the night Granger disappeared, there was a storm which had struck the central area of Vancouver Island and hurricane winds were reported and electrical power had been affected. Granger had disappeared with his blue pick-up truck.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The secret room hidden under a trapdoor in Florence that experts believe contains a lost Michelangelo artwork unseen for centuries

Michelangelo artwork
Michelangelo’s Renaissance Secret

A Renaissance secret remained hidden below the Medici Chapels in Florence for hundreds of years, wherein behind a trapdoor beneath a wardrobe, a room with charcoal and chalk was discovered. According to the National Geographic Exclusive report, the room had been discovered in 1975 when Paola Dal Poggetto, the director then, of the Medici Chapels museum of Florence, had come across the Renaissance treasure.

 In the process of locating new options of exit for tourists, he together with his colleagues had found the trapdoor hidden near the new Sacristy which was a chamber intended to house the ornate tombs of Medici rulers. Beneath the trapdoor, some stone steps gave way to an oblong room packed with coal which appeared at first to be more than a storage space.

However, on the walls, they found the sketches which were believed to be the drawings of the famed artist, Michelangelo. Though the room had been closed to the public in order to safeguard the artwork, Paola Wools the National Geographic photographer had been granted exceptional access to capture its amazing content, thirty years after its discovery.So, while some may have been done by Michelangelo himself, the expert says others were likely to be done by some of his many assistants during their breaks
Michelangelo artwork


Removed Layers of Plaster from Wall – Insight to History of City

After discovering the room that had been occupied with coal, the experts started a cautious task of removing layers of plaster from the wall to know what laid beneath and would get an insight to the history of the city. It was then revealed that dozens of drawings seemed identical to some of the famous works of Michelangelo.

According to the National Geographic, from the pictures there was an image resembling a sculpture in the New Sacristy chamber of the chapel which had been designed by Michelangelo. It was also observed by the experts; equivalents between a specific sketch and the artist’s chalk drawing of the Resurrection of Christ, together with sketches significant of the depiction of Michelangelo of Leda and the swan. Others portrayed humans flying across the walls or dropping from the sky while the drawings are presumed to be a version of one of the figures in the paintings of the artist at the Sistine Chapel.

 According to Dal Poggetto together with the other experts, in 1530, Michelangelo had remained hidden in the oblong room for around two months. The artist is said to have been commissioned by the Medici family.
Michelangelo artwork


Betrayal in 1527

However he had betrayed them in 1527, during their exile by aligning himself against their rule with the others, which had put him in danger at a later stage according to National Geographic.

It was presumed that the artwork in the room had been an assortment of work which he had completed already as well as of those which he intended to complete, though this explanation has not convinced all. Moreover the pieces too are not signed and some of them have been considered to be too `amateurish’ to be actually completed by the famed artist.

As in the case of any unsigned centuries-old artwork, it tends to get difficult in confirming the origins of a drawing with confidence. The consensus is of the opinion that some of the sketches on the wall seem to be too unprofessional belonging to Michelangelo though the attribution of others tends to be a matter of opinion.