Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Dead Sea Scroll

The deteriorating and much sought-after Dead Sea scrolls are being digitized and will be made available to the public and researchers on the Internet, Israel authorities announced this past week.

Israel Antiquities Authority, the keeper of the scrolls, said it has begun the two-year process to digitally photograph every fragment of the more than 2,000-year-old ancient text.

High-tech digital technology will not only help preserve the manuscripts and make it available to a wider audience, but will also help reveal text that is not visible to the naked eye.

“Just by applying the latest infrared technologies and shooting at very high detail, lots of resolution, we are already opening up new characters from the scrolls that are either extremely indistinct or you just couldn’t see them before,” said Simon Tanner, director of King’s Digital Consultancy Services, according to CNN.

Tanner is on the team in charge of the digital project, which includes Greg Bearman – a retired scientist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Bearman pioneered archaeological digital imaging.

“To switch over to digital is really the way to go, and people were resistant to it initially, because it was a new way of doing stuff,” Bearman said. “They want their light table and their magnifying glass.”

But with digital imaging, he said, “You can see where the ink has broken away and you can see the texture of the animal skin, so you can see more detail than you can see with the naked eye.”

The Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest written record of the Bible’s Old Testament found to date, and include texts that reveal the life of early Christians in the Holy land.

Some were initially discovered in 1947 by a Bedouin shepherd in a cave in the Judean Desert while searching for a lost sheep or goat. The scrolls were found wrapped in linen inside earthenware jars. More scrolls were then found in 11 caves.

“They show the connection between Christianity, Judaism and how everything evolved from the God – the God is one God,” said Shor, head of treatment and conservation at the Antiquities Authority. “The scrolls are meant to bring us all together.”

The scrolls have only once been photographed in the 1950s, but some of the images have disintegrated, the Antiquity Authority informed.

In the past, people complained that only a handful of scholars could examine the scrolls.

Now, Shor says that the digitalised scrolls can be available in its entirety online to everyone.

“The Bible is sacred to us and to you and to all the monotheistic religions, and therefore [the scrolls] are national treasures and world treasures, and therefore it is our duty to preserve them at least for 2,000 years more,” she said.

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PM umum dana RM10 juta pelajar PhD

KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak semalam mengumumkan penubuhan Ainuddin Wahid Endowment Fund dengan dana RM10 juta bagi membiayai pelajar peringkat ijazah doktor falsafah (PhD) di Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).

Perdana Menteri berkata, dana berkenaan akan diagihkan secara berperingkat dengan peruntukan RM2 juta setahun untuk tempoh lima tahun.

Ketika melancarkan biografi Ainuddin Pejuang Degil Melayu di UTM, Jalan Semarak di sini, beliau berkata, dana itu akan digunakan untuk membiayai lima pelajar PhD setiap tahun yang daripada kumpulan 'creme de la creme' iaitu yang terbaik.

"Pelajar-pelajar PhD yang dibiayai oleh dana ini juga berpeluang untuk mengikuti sandaran selama enam bulan semasa pengajian di salah sebuah institusi akademik tersohor dunia iaitu Universiti Oxford, Cambridge, MIT atau Imperial College," katanya.

Dalam ucapannya, Najib juga mengingatkan rakyat supaya tidak sekali-kali melupakan sejarah dan perjuangan pemimpin terdahulu yang menyumbang kepada kemakmuran negara yang dinikmati hari ini.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

160 million year fossil...

A five-year-old girl in Britain has found a massive 160 million-year-old fossil while digging with her plastic beach spade. Emily Baldry found the pre-historic specimen at Cotswold Water Park in Gloucestershire, Daily Express reported on Friday. She was digging when her plastic spade struck something hard.

Her father Jon and palaeontologist Neville Hollingworth helped Emily dig it out and were left amazed to find a rare fossil. It was of a mollusc that lived in the oceans in the Jurassic period. "She (Emily) is a very inquisitive little girl and got very excited about going on a proper dig. To find something like this was very special," Jon was quoted as saying. Palaeontologist Hollingworth said: "I have been looking for these for around 25 years and only found three."

Fosil 160 Juta Tahun

TAMAN AIR COTSWOLD, Britain - Seorang budak berusia lima tahun, Emily Baldry menemui fosil cangkerang berusia lebih 160 juta tahun selepas menggali tanah dengan menggunakan sebatang penyodok yang selalu digunakan untuk membina istana pasir, lapor sebuah akhbar semalam.

Emily menemui fosil seberat 57 kilogram itu yang jarang didapati itu di kawasan Taman Air Cotswold di sini dengan bantuan bapanya Jon, 40, pada Mac tahun lalu.

Fosil lengkap berdiameter hampir 40.6 sentimeter itu berasal daripada haiwan moluska yang mempunyai cangkerang yang hidup di lautan.

Ia kini disimpan di kediaman keluarga berkenaan di sini setelah ia dipamerkan kepada umum. Cangkerang itu diberi nama Spike oleh Emily.

Selepas cangkerang itu ditemui, dia menyerahkannya kepada seorang ahli geologi, Neville Hollingworth untuk dibersihkan.

Emily yang kini berusia enam tahun berasa gembira apabila melihat cangkerang itu yang kelihatan berkilat semasa ia dipamerkan di Pusat Penerangan Gateway dekat Cirencester pada Ahad lalu.

Menurut bapa Emily, cangkerang itu akan dibawa pulang ke rumah selepas tempoh ia dipamerkan.

Sumber artikel : Kosmo Online - Dunia
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