LiDAR Reveals 'Medieval Manhattan' in Mexico

Hot on the heels of another success in Guatemala, researchers have used ground-breaking scanning technology to lift from obscurity a massive medieval settlement in what is now Mexico. Angamuco was built about A.D. 900 by the Purépecha, a civilization that rivaled the Aztecs. The Purépecha had a network of cities, including a capital at Tzintzúntzan, on the edge of Lake Pátzcuaro in today's western Mexico; descendants of those medieval people live in the area today. What the archaeologists investigating Angamuco discovered was that city was twice as big as the capital and perhaps as big as today's Manhattan. The population of Angamuco would not have been as high, however; estimates are a high of about 100,000, between A.D. 1000 and A.D. 1350.


New Pennsylvania Congressional Maps Released

February 19, 2018

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has released its newly redrawn congressional district maps, replacing the ones that the Republican-led legislature had drawn after the 2010 Census. The boundaries will apply for the state's May primary elections.


Tokyo Planning 1148-foot-tall Wooden Skyscraper

Tokyo's wooden skyscraper

A Tokyo skyscraper will commemorate the 350 anniversary of the founding of a forestry company–in 2041. It's the brainchild of Sumitomo Forestry Company, and the building will be made mostly of wood. The Japanese Government in 2010 passed a law requiring that wood be used for all public buildings three stories or smaller; the Sumitomo project envisions a building much larger: 1,148 feet and 70 floors. It will be the country's tallest building. The building, known as the W350 Project, will have 10 percent steel and 90 percent wood, with the beams, braces, and columns made of a hybrid of those two materials.


Benjamin Banneker
This free African-American thrived and became famous in 19th Century America. He published a scientifically accurate annual almanac and designed Washington, D.C.

Garrett Morgan
Garrett Morgan invented two very different and important things: the gas mask and the traffic signal. Find out more about this inventive and successful African-American.

George Washington Carver
This amazing inventor found extraordinary uses for ordinary things, like the peanut. Read his fascinating life story here.

Granville Woods
This inventor earned more than 50 patents. Learn more about his life.

Elijah McCoy
This inventor was so successful at one of his inventions that people took to asking for "the real McCoy."



John Glenn: 1st American to Orbit Earth

John Glenn, on Feb. 20, 1962, became the first American to orbit Earth. He spent three orbits inside a tiny space capsule and returned safely home. On that day in February, in the space capsule Friendship 7, he spent 4 hours and 56 minutes in space, travelling a total of 81,000 miles. His journey was not without incident. A malfunction near the end of his first orbit necessitated Glenn to fly the capsule manually for the final two orbits. As well, NASA controllers informed Glenn that their systems showed a loose heat shield on the capsule; this turned out to be a false alarm, but it created some nervous moments for Glenn and NASA.

Baron von Steuben and the Success of the Continental Army
Baron von Steuben was a Prussian officer who played a large part in molding the Continental Army into the fighting force that eventually won the Revolutionary War for the United States. An introduction through a mutual acquaintance to Benjamin Franklin resulted in Steuben’s traveling to America, with the promise of employment in the Continental Army. Steuben reported for duty at Valley Forge on Feb. 23, 1778. Steuben’s arrival must have presented a welcome boost to what was for the Continental Army an otherwise demanding winter.

The Postal Act of 1792

The Postal Act created the U.S. Postal Service. President George Washington signed the Act into law on Feb. 20, 1792. The Postal Act made formal and regular what, until that time, had been sporadic and informal. During colonial days in America, private couriers or friendly travelers carried mail from person to person, from place to place. Shops and taverns and other places where people gathered serviced as "post offices"–in function, if not in name.


It is large. It is varied. It is harmful to all who encounter it. It is dangerous.
2018 Winter Olympics logo

Investigation into Russian Curler's Failed Drug Test

February 19, 2018

Aleksandr Krushelnitckii has left the Winter Olympic Games after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium. He and his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova, won the bronze medal in mixed double curling; it was the debut of the event and Russia's first ever medal in the sport. Meldonium is a heart drug that boosts endurance and is the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list. Athletes are tested twice, creating an "A" sample and a "B" sample; the "B" sample is tested only if the "A" sample is positive. After the "B" sample test, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) opened an investigation into the athlete. The CAS has the power to take away medals from both athletes. Krushelnitckii is in Seoul, awaiting a decision by the CAS.

2018 Winter Olympics Digest

A tie in the bobsled, a historic alpine first, and more..

Unforgiving Places are the deserts, mountain ranges, and wastelands of the world. Find out more about these lonely yet intriguing places.

Significant Sevens are the highest, the lowest, the deepest, the farthest, the oldest, the youngest, and a host of other lists in economics, geography, history, and much more.

Cultural Icons are the instantly recognizable monuments, landforms, buildings, and many other kinds of landmarks that define a people, place, or culture.


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