Photograph via Wikimedia Commons.

New research into the tools carried by the 5,300-year-old Italian mummy called Otzi offer compelling new details into his life and final days.

Otzi was discovered in 1991 by tourists hiking in the Italian Alps. Initially, he was treated as a suspicious death because no other mummy so well-preserved had ever been discovered in the region. Since he was carbon dated to between 3100 and 3370 BCE, Otzi has been yielding new discoveries regularly.

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At the age of 76, Linda Brown, the African American woman at the center of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, has passed away. Brown was only eight-years-old when her father, Rev. Oliver Brown, sued the school district for denying her admission into an all-white elementary school. With the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Special Counsel Thurgood Marshall representing Oliver and Linda Brown, the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of desegregation, thus putting an end to the concept of “separate but equal.”

Despite speaking out in the 1970s about feeling exploited by the media as a poster child for desegregation, Linda Brown returned to the spotlight in 1979 when the American Civil Liberties Union reopened the Topeka, KS. According to the new case, the ACLU believed the city’s schools were still segregated, a belief that was echoed by the Court of Appeals that ruled in their favor.

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It might not be the most odious bet ever placed in the United States, but it may be America’s most evil wager that we know about. And now, climate change has unearthed more information about the last ship to bring slaves to these shores.

According to local legend, in the late 1850s, wealthy plantation owner Timothy Meaher was so certain that he could sneak illegal slaves kidnapped from Africa past federal officials, and into Alabama, that he was willing to put his money where his mouth was. Notwithstanding a 50-year-old law prohibiting any further international slave trade, Meaher hired Captain William Foster to sail a large schooner named the Clotilda to Africa where Foster purchased and transported 110 humans to the US in unspeakably brutal conditions. The men and women were smuggled ashore in Mobile under cover of darkness without anyone from federal government noticing their scheme, transferred to smaller boats, and delivered in chains to local plantation owners across the state.

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Are there 28 days in February this year or 29? Chances are that question will be asked quite a bit when people go to write the date on Thursday. The answer, in case you’re among the perplexed many, is 28. Every four years we experience a 12-month span that has 366 days instead of the 365 we’re used to and 2018 is not one of those years. But why? One would think if the calendar is based on the Earth’s rotations and revolutions, that science would dictate every year would be the same. That, actually, is where the issue comes in.

The calendar that is followed daily in many parts of the world, the United States included, isn’t entirely based on the science of a day. Civilizations throughout history have struggled to perfect a calendar that matches Mother Nature’s cycles, including the Sumerians that merely had a 12-month calendar of 30 days each. According to National Geographic, Egyptians and societies from Rome and China used a lunar calendar. Unfortunately, the 29.5 day month and 354-day year resulted in differing seasons each year.

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Red hearts and boxes of chocolate and the radiated anger from every jilted single person amplifies enough to heat a small office building. Annually, we go through the motions of Valentine’s Day, handing out love notes to those closest to us and finding new and unique ways of showing our affections. For many, it’s a happy, feel-good kind of day, but to those that know the origins of the holiday, it is quite ironic.

Valentine’s Day wasn’t always about sharing love. In fact, the history behind it is a muddied and often bloody and debaucherous mess that dates back to a time when Rome still stood. Depending on the version of the holiday’s origins, the placement of Valentine’s Day in the middle of February served one of two purposes. One popular theory is that the date is to commemorate the death of St. Valentine, the man for whom the holiday is named. Which St. Valentine the holiday is thought to celebrate is a mystery, however, as the Catholic Church makes mention of three different versions of who he was and why he was ultimately killed.

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The Dead Sea "Temple Scroll," shown outside Israel for the first time in Berlin, is one of the longest biblical texts found since the 1940s. Credit: MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images

Ever since the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered 70 years ago in the Qumran Caves, located in the Judaean Desert of the West Bank, the ancient manuscripts have fascinated scholars and historians with the mysteries of their origins, and their authors. Long have they debated the identity of the scrolls’ guardians, who once occupied the region where the caves were found. Now an exhumation of 33 skeletons at the West Bank site, Qumran, has begun to lift the shroud, providing answers to some of these questions, while raising new ones.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, also known as the Qumran Caves Scrolls, were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in 11 caves at the Qumran site. While some of the scrolls survived intact, most of them consist of thousands of fragile parchment and papyrus fragments dating from the third century BCE to the first century of the Common Era. These found manuscripts contain literature of religious and historical significance because they include pieces of the Hebrew Bible.

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Candles are lit on a menorah at a Yeshiva religious school during the Jewish holiday of Hannukah, the festival of lights, in the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv on December 28, 2016.

Hanukkah is just around the corner, so get those Menorahs out. The Jewish holiday will begin the evening of Tuesday, December 12, this year. It will end Wednesday, December 20.

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, lasts for eight days. During this time, families gather in honor of the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. Hanukkah is celebrated annually on the 25th day of the month of Kislev in the Jewish calendar, through to the second day of Tevet.

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