15 Stories

Iraq's 'Garden of Eden' Added to Prestigious List

Wetlands of southern Iraq are one of 12 new UNESCO world heritage sites

(Newser) - Fed by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, vast and remote wetlands along the border with Iran in southern Iraq that are considered to be the biblical "Garden of Eden" have just been named a UNESCO world heritage site, the United Nations reports. Among the 12 new sites added to... More »

CDs Are Dying— And So Is Our Data

NPR: Miracle of the 1990s not lasting as long as we thought

(Newser) - Remember those shiny discs that played music before your iPod came along? Well, future generations may miss out on the classic '90s tunes they hold—and a whole lot more. It turns out CDs are literally rotting away, especially those stored in boxes where, "by increasing the relative... More »

Florida Abolishing 'City That Never Was'

Conservationists thwarted developers' plans for Islandia

(Newser) - Florida's smallest city, which spans 33 islands at the north end of the Florida Keys and is home to many more manatees than people, is about to be wiped off the map. The city of Islandia only ever really existed in the minds of developers, who declared it a... More »

Why Van Gogh's Yellows Are Turning Brown

Chemists seek to save 19th-century works

(Newser) - Vincent van Gogh's paintings of sunflowers aren't as vivid as they used to be and the sun is to blame, say researchers who have solved a problem that has long stumped art conservationists. A team of chemists experimenting with ultraviolet light and tubes of paint belonging to 19th-century artists found... More »

Tech Breathes New Life Into Ancient Manuscripts

Digitization, scanning of crumbling manuscripts preserves history

(Newser) - Ancient documents have long odds of making it to the present intact, between fires and bugs and the other ravages of time. But today’s technology can tease information even out of charred papyrus scrolls, thanks to CT scans, infrared imaging, and X-ray fluorescence. And from there, digital images can... More »

Supporters Battle to Save 'West Coast White House'

'West Coast White House' added to list of America's most endangered buildings

(Newser) - Fans of 20th-century architecture are rallying to save an LA landmark from the wrecking ball, reports the Los Angeles Times. Developers want to raze the '60s-modernist Century Plaza hotel—once known as the West Coast White House due to its appeal among politicians and celebs—but supporters have persuaded the... More »

McMansion Era May Be Over

Strapped Americans now prefer cozier homes

(Newser) - As strapped Americans develop a conscience and, er, sense of taste about living, the practice of razing existing homes to make way for super-size replacements is slowing, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Languid McMansion sales have brought quiet back to historic neighborhoods, drowned out for years by bulldozers and upset... More »

Terminator, Deliverance Join US Film History

(Newser) - The Terminator will live forever. The Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick is among 25 films being added this year to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, which seeks to preserve movies of historical, cultural, or aesthetic note. Also among the crop this year were Deliverance, The Asphalt Jungle, Sergeant York,... More »

As Everglades Deal Nears, Critics Cry Foul

(Newser) - As a revised deal by US Sugar to sell 180,000 Everglades acres to Florida nears completion, critics are stepping up their efforts to derail it, the Wall Street Journal reports. The deal, hailed by environmentalists, would allow the state to restore natural waterways, but opponents see it as a... More »

As Tomb Cracks, Army Mulls New Monument to Unknowns

Repeated patching leaves Arlington marker 'shabby,' but replacement may dim symbolism

(Newser) - The US Army’s proposal to build a replica of the cracked marble monument atop the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery is reigniting controversy, USA Today reports. “It is important to have the authentic tomb that was there when the first remains were interred,” said... More »

Vermont Begins Push to Save Historic Barns

Historical preservation effort counts every chicken coop and corn crib

(Newser) - To Vermonters, the aging barns dotting their landscape are as important to the state's character—and tourism—as maple syrup or skiing. But the cost of maintaining them and the decline in family farms have taken a heavy toll, the Boston Globe reports. Now the state is conducting a "... More »

Cracked Tomb of Unknowns Draws Fire

Officials, preservationists square off over future of Tomb of the Unknowns

(Newser) - Cracks marring the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery are driving a spirited debate on how to return the marble monument to its original glory, CNN reports. On one side stand cemetery officials, who would like to replace the sarcophagus with a replica; on the other, stand preservationists,... More »

Sacred History Resonates in Kathmandu

Traditional building practices coexist with global trade in Nepal's capital

(Newser) - Decades of restoration have kept up the medieval splendor of a region long hidden from the world: Kathmandu Valley. Started by Germany in the 1960s and later spearheaded by a Harvard professor, the repairs have maintained many of the area's stupas and pagodas, Lucinda Lambton writes for Vanity Fair—but... More »

Vivaldi Opera Revived 278 Years Later

Czech musician tracks down long-lost work in Germany

(Newser) - A long-lost opera by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi has resurfaced nearly 280 years after its Prague premiere, BBC reports. Argippo, a tale of love and deception set in an Indian maharaja’s court, was first performed in 1730 but vanished soon after, leaving only a libretto. But that was enough... More »

Nabokov's Ghost: Make Buck off Laura

Son's imagined convo with dead dad might've saved final manuscript

(Newser) - Dmitri Nabokov's decision not to destroy his famed father's unfinished manuscript followed an imagined conversation with Vladimir's ghost, writes Ron Rosenbaum for Slate. Rosenbaum, who sleuthed his way through the "to burn or not to burn" debate, was previously told by Dmitri—who hinted at the book's genius before... More »

15 Stories