A selection of master pin-up artist Gil Elvgren’s paintings and the models who posed for them.
The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage
Edgar Allan Poe moved to the Fordham (now Bronx) area in 1846 until the end of his life in 1849. Poe believed that the clear countryside air would aid his ailing wife Virginia. Here, Poe wrote some of his most famous works, including “Annabel Lee,” “Eureka,” and “The Bells.”
Currently reading this. Sickest cover I’ve seen so far :)
Did dark matter kill the dinosaurs?
A thin disk of dark matter running through the Galaxy might be behind the large meteorite strikes that are thought to be responsible for some of Earth’s mass extinctions, including that of the dinosaurs, two theoretical physicists have proposed.
The model is based on a hypothetical form of dark matter described by the authors and their collaborators last year as a means to solve a separate cosmic conundrum. The existence of such a ‘dark disk’ could be tested soon by astronomical observations. […]
Meteorites regularly pepper Earth’s surface. Thirty years ago, physicists suggested that this bombardment intensifies cyclically, pointing to some underlying cosmic cause. One proposed explanation is that the Sun has an as-yet-undetected companion star, dubbed ‘Nemesis’ or ‘Death Star’, that regularly swings by, sending comets from the remote Oort cloud flying into the inner Solar System.
In the latest paper, theoretical physicists Lisa Randall and Matthew Reece, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reignite another proposal, which puts the supposed periodicity down to the way the Sun — and the Solar System with it — move inside the Milky Way. As the Sun follows the swirling motion of the Galaxy’s arms, circling around the galactic centre, it also moves up and down, periodically crossing the plane that cuts the Galaxy into a top and a bottom half like the two bread slices in a sandwich. The authors suggest that as the Sun oscillates up and down, it crosses a denser layer of dark matter — like the ham in the middle — causing a gravitational push and pull that disturbs comets in the Oort cloud.
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She got down from the bed, cocked her head to one side, and regarded her handiwork with a critical eye. Her artistic talents were limited. The letters looked at best impressionistic. She had used red and blue ink. The message was written in caps over five lines that covered his belly, from his nipples to just above his genitals: I AM A SADISTIC PIG, A PERVERT, AND A RAPIST.
French King Henry IV’s head stars in forensic dispute
Doubt — and a reportedly royal severed head — haunts a murky corner of forensic science these days, as researchers squabble over an unearthed packet of mummified remains thought to have belonged to King Henry IV of France.
The mystery has produced a frightful case of regret among two researchers who were part of the first team to investigate the purportedly royal noggin. This week, French pathologist Geoffroy Lorin de la Grandmaison and Leslie Eisenberg, an American forensic anthropologist, wrote to the British Medical Journal and urged the retraction of the 2010 study that first identified the disembodied head as belonging to Henry.
At the heart of the macabre drama is an embalmed head with several vertebrae still attached. The remains were found in 1919 in the Royal Basilica of St. Denis outside Paris and reportedly secreted away by a civil servant. Reappearing almost a century later, the specimen still had its soft tissue and organs intact, right down to the open mouth and partially closed eyes.
On the basis of CT imaging and digital facial reconstruction, French medical examiner and forensic osteo-archaeologist Philippe Charlier and a multidisciplinary team — including Eisenberg and Lorin de la Grandmaison — in 2010 identified the head as that of the charming and rakish monarch known variously as “the Green Gallant” and “Good King Henry.”
Even a mushroom-like growth on his nose and evidence of a pierced right ear seemed to point to King Henry IV. Though beloved by most of his people, the Bourbon monarch was assassinated in 1610 after 21 years on the throne.
That was just the beginning of his misfortune. In 1793, marauding revolutionaries sacked Paris’ churches and desecrated the graves of many a purported royal. Legend had it that Henry’s remains got the same treatment that befell his descendant Louis XVI: Dead or not, it was off with his head.
But researchers from the University of Leuven in Belgium were not so sure the head belonged to Good King Henry.