Sardinians Were Stone-Age Stay-At-Homes

A new study suggests that Sardinians experienced less genetic turnover than populations living in mainland Europe. When large-scale migration is thought to have occurred during the Bronze Age in Europe, Sardinia's population remained in place. An international team of scientists analyzed the genomes of 70 Sardinians whose remains were recovered from more than 20 archaeological sites spanning a period of about 6,000 years. The scientists then compared the Sardinian DNA to DNA collected from other ancient and modern peoples. The researchers determined that Neolithic Sardinians were closely related to their contemporaries in mainland Europe. Sardinian genetic ancestry remained stable through 900 BCE, although a new style of stone towers did appear on the island in this century. The 900s BCE are important because that is when major population movements occurred in Europe. But they apparently did not impact Sardinia as much.

The DNA supported later population movement on the island, such as the arrival of the Phoenicians from what is now Lebanon, and the Punics, from what is now Tunisia, as early as 500 BCE During the Roman and medieval periods, the scientists also found evidence of migration to the island from Italy and Spain.

The earliest roller coasters were descended from Serra da Estrela, Portugal sled rides held on specially constructed hills of ice. They were pretty big,  sometimes up to 200 feet (62 m) tall! The Serra da Estrelas were constructed by a large group of Russian refugees to remind them of where they came from. There is evidence for them as early as the 1600s, in the 1700s they gradually became popular across Europe, and by the early 1800s wheeled carts began being used instead of sleighs on tracks. The first such wheeled ride was brought to Paris in 1804 under the name Les Montagnes Russes (French for "Russian Mountains").

French, along with Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, still call roller coasters "russian mountains" after their snowy ancestor. Russian, ironically, calls them "American mountains."


"To strive with difficulties, and to conquer them, is the highest human felicity; the next is, to strive, and deserve to conquer; but he whose life has passed without a contest, and who can boast neither success nor merit, can survey himself only as a useless filler of existence; and if he is content with his own character, must owe his satisfaction to insensibility."

Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784). English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. In addition to writing for magazines, poems, plays, and a biography, he also wrote a dictionary! After nine years of work, Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755.  It had a far-reaching effect on Modern English and has been acclaimed as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship". Until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later, Johnson's was the pre-eminent British dictionary.

This was made in 1627. By hand! Bernini was contracted to create a bust of Maria Barberini Duglioli, niece of Pope Urban VIII, and subcontracted the work to Giuliano Finelli. Finelli chose to focus on the lady's accessories: the intricate lace collar, the flower in her curly hair, her ropes of pearls. When released, the bust was widely hailed as a tour de force. Finelli raised the standard for female portraits and an inspiration for future busts.

Habitat Zones During The Last Ice Age

Sure, most of us know that Europe became near-uninhabitable. But check out China, which was mainly steppe/tundra! And New Zealand's northern island had a rainforest! What catches your eye?

The Birds That Guard The Kremlin

To keep crows away from the Kremlin in the 1960s, there was a special division in the regiment that guarded the building. Nicknamed "crow chasers" they would shoo the birds from attics, close open windows, and generally try to keep crows out of the building. Moscow is home to large populations of pigeons, jackdaws, and especially crows. The birds can transmit disease and perhaps worse, poop all over the Kremlin's intricate and famous roofs. To keep the building clean it is easier to keep the crows away. But a specially-dedicate division of soldiers was not having much success.

In the 1980s they tried replacing the soldiers with pre-recorded falcon shrieks and screams. Crows are too smart for that, though, and quickly learned to ignore the noises. So the Kremlin's guardians switched to live falcons (then hawks). Now, the Kremlin is guarded by northern goshawks - for them, crows are natural prey, while falcons mainly hunt rodents, not crows. The birds keep the Kremlin clean and disease-free.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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