Archive - Nov 1, 2008

Alcohol factor in wave of vandalism of British historic sites

Drunken youths are being blamed for the wave of vandalism targeting Britain's historic buildings. More than 170 incidents involving castles, monasteries and stately homes, have been recorded during the past year.

Eunuch's-eye-view of China's Forbidden City

A new virtual tour of Beijing's Forbidden City allows visitors to step into the silk slippers of an imperial eunuch for a behind-the-scenes virtual tour of the cultural treasure.

"Millennium" sheds light on the Dark Ages

Millennium, a new book by Tom Holland, takes a look at the Dark Ages with special focus on politics, religion and the combination of the two: the Crusades. Christina Hardyment of The Independent has a review.

Afflication of the "Ugly Duchess" indentified

The painting entitled "Old Woman," but better known as the "Ugly Duchess," is one of the most popular in London's National Gallery. It depicts the face of a grotesquely-featured woman, and was painted by Flemish artist Quinten Massys in 1513. Now, experts believe that they have identified the illness suffered by this woman as a rare form of Paget's disease, which deforms the bones. (photo)