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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nat Geo Channel highlights priceless cultural heritage with TREASURES OF EGYPT

A side view of Tutankhamen gold sarcophagus. (Photo Credit: National Geographic Channel)

In light of the historic events that have been unfolding in Egypt, the National Geographic Channel is presenting  — Treasures of Egypt — spotlighting the antiquities of one of mankind’s most significant ancient cultures. Beginning tonight, Tuesday, February 22 and all week long at 8PM ET/PT, Treasures of Egypt will showcase five best of National Geographic Channel’s Egypt programming, with newly produced segments to introduce the subjects of the shows within the context of recent events.

Segments will be hosted by Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer, and will include an exclusive interview with Dr. Zahi Hawass, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and most recently the Egypt’s minister of state for antiquities affairs. In an interview with NGC, Hawass — who himself has come under pressure and faced criticism in recent days — candidly recounts the break-in at the Cairo Museum in new detail, reveals how some stolen treasures have already been recovered and takes us into the Cairo Museum’s conservation lab to show antiquities that have been restored or are in the process of being restored:

Treasures of Egypt Week

February 22 at 8PM ET/PT Treasures of Egypt:Tut’s Treasures

More than 80 years after the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, the great-grandson of Lord Carnarvon returns to Egypt for a new analysis of Tut’s treasures. With special access to the artifacts in the Cairo Museum, NGC uses the latest techniques to help the real pharaoh emerge — a very different pharaoh than the King Tut we’ve long imagined.

Video below: “Pharaoh’s Curse” – A curse may have found the finder of Tut’s tomb.

February 23 at 8PM ET/PT Treasures of Egypt: King Tut’s Final Secrets

He is the most famous Egyptian king in history, but he ruled for only 10 years before his mysterious death. King Tut’s Final Secrets offers a high-tech forensic investigation that presents new findings from behind the iconic mask, including the first-ever reconstruction of Tut’s face and head using revolutionary 3-D CT scan imaging — revealing what he looked like on the day he died.

Video below: “The Mummy of King Tut” (features Dr. Zahi Hawass) – An archaeologist’s first look at King Tut reveals his mummy to be in worse condition than expected – but how did it get this way?

February 24 at 8PM ET/PT Treasures of Egypt: King Tut and the Lost Dynasty

One of Egypt’s enduring mysteries … what happened to Nefertiti and her husband, the pharaoh Akhenaten, the likely father of King Tut? In a dark and mysterious tomb located in the Valley of the Kings, there is a small chamber with two mummies that scholars, filmmakers and historians have identified as Nefertiti and Akhenaten. But the evidence has been circumstantial at best. Now, for the first time, NGC and Dr. Zahi Hawass use a CT scanner in search of scientific evidence. Narrated by Emmy Award-winning Alfre Woodard, the program documents this high-tech forensic investigation dedicated to resolving the fate of the famed Queen Nefertiti and the possible father of King Tut.

Video below: “Mummy Scan” – Watch scientists scan Egyptian royal mummies.

February 25 at 8PM ET/PT  The Real Cleopatra

Legend portrays her as a self-indulgent temptress who used seduction to cement her rule. But she became queen at 18 and was highly educated, so what was she really like? We’ll reveal archaeological findings, including underwater sculptures that shed light on her life and home. And watch as scientists seek to unravel the mystery of her legendary beauty by converting artifacts with her likeness into a 3-D model, presenting a new reflection of one of history’s most powerful women.

Video below “Last of the Ptolemies” – There’s more to Cleopatra than the Romans would have you believe.

February 26 at 8PM ET/PT  Secrets of the Valley of the Kings

Built over 500 years, spanning nearly two and a half miles and holding 63 tombs, Egypt’s Valley of the Kings is a staggering, complex set of enigmas locked beneath the sands for 3,500 years. What drove Egypt’s greatest pharaohs to seek out this secluded valley? How did the ancient craftsmen achieve such feats of engineering? And why was this sacred site finally abandoned? Join National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Zahi Hawass and a team of experts as they uncover new evidence about how early engineers were able to construct the elaborate structures of tombs and chambers.

Video below: “Egyptian Doodles” – Ancient artifacts reveal how Egyptian construction workers sketched and took notes in their free time.

Treasures of Egypt will also include a marathon “stack” of shows on Saturday, February 26, starting at 2PM ET/PT through 8PM ET/PT. For further information on each of the episodes, please click on the highlighted link.

Treasures of Egypt Marathon

Saturday, February 26 at 2PM ET/PT Treasures of Egypt: The Pyramid Code

Saturday, February 26 at 3PM ET/PT Treasures of Egypt: Secrets of the Sphinx

Saturday, February 26 at 4PM ET/PT Treasures of Egypt: The Real Ramses

Saturday, February 26 at 5PM ET/PT Treasures of Egypt: Alexander the Great’s Lost Tomb

Saturday, February 26 at 6PM ET/PT Treasures of Egypt: The Scorpion King

Saturday, February 26 at 7PM ET/PT Treasures of Egypt: Mystery of the Screaming Man

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Finding the lost art of handwriting…


“A signature always reveals a man's character - and sometimes even his name.” ~ Evan Esar ~

I don’t know about you, but one of the things that I miss the most in our technologically driven social network society is the element of face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball interaction, as well as getting a simple handwritten message now and then – the latter truly makes my day.

Yes, there are computer webcams and Skype that keep people connected, but not everyone has that luxury.

It takes a lot more time to write a note by hand because emotions are often tethered to the act of writing – just ask graphologists.

A handwritten note might be an indication that someone doesn’t have access to a computer, but more often, it’s says someone cared enough to carve time out of their day to pen a message.

Well, technology has come full circle, and you can send a handwritten note with a little help from your computer and a nifty program you download free from Pilot Handwriting.

Save this one to your “Gizmos, Gadgets and Stuff File” – the Pilot Handwriting program makes it relatively simple to translate your very own script to your email via an easy process of transferring your handwritten alphabet to a downloadable form, and then scanning that form into your computer, and et voilĂ  ! You now have the ability to send handwritten messages that blossom from your keyboard. Not quite the same as pen to paper, but pretty cool nonetheless.

IMHO, in a pinch, from script to screen works for me, but please don’t totally give up your gel pen. I’m headed to my mailbox now to see if anyone has sent me a letter.

Take a look at the Pilot Handwriting video below. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Celebrating Groundhog Day

"The Groundhog of Lenoir -  photo by Grubbmeister cc 3.0

"This is like deja vu all over again." ~ Yogi Berra ~

Today we turn our attention to the Marmota monax, better known as the groundhog (aka woodchuck or land beaver) and we not only celebrate his prognostications, but call attention to a true classic film released in 1993 from Columbia Pictures, GROUNDHOG DAY starring Bill Murray and Andy MacDowell.

The film honors Punxsutawney Phil and his annual prediction for the start of spring, but the true crux of the story highlights an unusual premise and asks: “What would it be like if you had to live one day in your life, over, and over, and over again, just so you could get it right?”

As most of the nation is currently digging out from the great snowstorm of 2011, this comedic/fantasy/love story is sure to make you feel a tad bit better (along with the fact that Phil has predicted an early spring, however, this remains to be seen.)

The movie is rated PG for “some thematic elements” and is available to download free from StageVu.

It’s a fun fantasy romp, which is thought provoking and worth revisiting, particularly in the depths of winter.

IMHO, the movie provides lots of excellent ”what if” talking points.

If you could live your life over again until you got it right, what would you do differently?