Archive for March, 2017

Gutenberg’s Bible is the oldest printed book, right? Think again…

The oldest book in the world…and it comes with such an incredible, mystery-infused discovery story. Enjoy!



From The Huffington Post,

Buddhism’s Diamond Sutra: The Extraordinary Discovery Of The World’s Oldest Book

By Joyce Morgan


“Ask people to name the world’s oldest printed book and the common reply is Gutenberg’s Bible. Few venture that the answer is a revered Buddhist text called the Diamond Sutra, printed in 868 A.D. Or that by the time Gutenberg got ink on his fingers nearly 600 years later — and his revolutionary technology helped usher in the Enlightenment — this copy of the Diamond Sutra had been hidden for several centuries in a sacred cave on the edge of the Gobi Desert and would remain there for several more.


Its discovery is the result of a series of accidents and its significance realized belatedly. The book unwittingly came to light when a Chinese monk clearing sand from a Buddhist meditation cave in 1900 noticed a crack in a wall. It suggested the outline of a doorway. Plastered over and painted, the entrance had been deliberately concealed.


The monk, Abbot Wang Yuanlu, broke in and discovered a small chamber, about nine feet square and full from floor to ceiling with scrolls. They had been hidden and perfectly preserved in the dark, dry grotto for 1,000 years. Although he didn’t know it, among the nearly 60,000 scrolls was the Diamond Sutra of 868 A.D., a woodblock printed scroll, more than 16 feet long, complete and dated, with an instruction that it be given away for free.


Ironically, this enduring scroll, with its illustrated frontispiece depicting the Buddha teaching his disciples, is about impermanence. The Diamond Sutra, for centuries a revered and popular scripture, distills Buddhism’s central belief: that all is change…”


For the rest, click here.


Mysterious secret places and spaces around the world!

What’s cooler than a secret compartment in a Leonardo da Vinci statue? — Maybe the secret apartments inside the New York Public Library?


The back bedroom of Fort Washington Library’s secret apartment. (Sarah Laskow for Atlas Obscura)


From Atlas Obscura,


11 Secret Spaces Hiding in Famous Places
Thousands of people pass through these destinations each day unaware there’s a hidden gem tucked inside.
by Meg Neal


“When planning a trip, it’s easy to feel torn between wanting to experience a city’s must-see iconic landmarks and discovering something unknown to the most passersby. As it happens, there’s a third category that checks off both of these things at once: unknown spaces hiding in extremely well-known places.


These secret gems can add an extra layer of exploration to checklist destinations like Times Square or the Eiffel Tower—if you know where to find them. We combed through the Atlas to pull out 11 of the least obvious spaces lurking in the most obvious places…”


For the list, click here. It’s fantastic!




BrainGate2 – incredible science allows paralyzed man to move again


From NPR, something truly incredible. The human brain and body are mysteries that we have only just started to unravel…and with a name like BrainGate2 — well, you’ll see…


Bill Kochevar received an implanted brain-recording and muscle-stimulating system that allowed him to move limbs he hadn’t been able to move in eight years.
Cleveland FES Center


“A paralyzed man has regained the use of his arm and hand using a system that decodes his thoughts and controls his muscles.


“I thought about moving my arm and I could move it,” says Bill Kochevar, 56. “I ate a pretzel, I drank water,” he says in a video produced by Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.


Kochevar was paralyzed in a bicycle accident when he was in his 40s. And for the next eight years, he was unable to move any part of his body below his shoulders.


The damage to his spine meant signals from his brain had no way to reach those distant muscles.


Then researchers offered Kochevar a chance to try an experimental system called BrainGate2. The effort to restore movement to his arm and hand is described in The Lancet. It involved Case Western, the Cleveland VA Medical Center and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.


The idea was to create a new connection between Kochevar’s brain and his right arm and hand…”


For a video and more, click here.





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