Archeologists Find 16th Century Golden Girl • Female Ski Jumpers Lose Bid To Compete In Vancouver

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• French experts believe Diane de Poitiers, mistress of 16th-century king, Henry II, was killed by her desire to stay youthful. Forensic experts found evidence of chronic gold intoxication - meaning she probably drank gold in attempts to stay pretty.


Interestingly enough, this was not an uncommon practice at the French court. Many people believed that drinking gold would harness the powers of the sun, and transfer its powers to the drinker. Instead it just killed them. • The New York Times looks into the claim that your stomach can shrink or enlarge depending on your eating habits. They found that, yes, you can stretch your tummy by binging, information that will doubtless come in useful when I finally begin my career in competitive eating. • Rudy Guede, one of the three people convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher in 2007, has successfully appealed his sentencing. He will now serve only 16 years in prison, down from 30. Amanda Knox, Kercher's roommate, was given 26 years for the same crime, but her lawyer says he plans a similar appeal. • R.I.P. Mary Curtis-Verna, opera-star and professor of music at the University of Washington. Curtis-Verna made her name in the 1950s and 60s playing the roles of "ailing, stranded or otherwise indisposed divas." • Pranksters in Florida hacked into several traffic signs on Monday night, programming them to read: "ZOMBIE ATTACK!! EVACUATE." Gina Busscher, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Transportation, says: "We've not seen any zombies on University Avenue, so apparently it worked well." • Late Saturday night police in Boston received a 911 call from a distraught mom, pleading for someone to help with her 14-year-old son, who wouldn't stop playing video games. Two officers responded, and persuaded the boy to save his game and get some sleep. • For £300 (that's $480!), you can get the 90-minute facial that may or may not be a favorite of famous people like Claudia Schiffer and Elle Macpherson. If the expense wasn't reason enough to avoid this beauty-treatment, the Daily Mail also informs us that it's very painful. But maybe kind of effective. • Weaver Dorcille Uwimana on healing Rwanda through hand-crafted baskets and a smart business plan: "As the weavers and women of Rwanda, we have taught the country to move beyond hatred... We sat together and decided we needed to move on. We realized we cannot always be angry at each other. We have to weave. We have to make our lives better." • Germany has voted, and the most popular performer in a televised talent contest (their answer to America's Got Talent) is a Jack Russell terrier named Prima Donna. Prima Donna can chase her own tail, walk on her hind legs, and jump through a hoop. And apparently that's all it takes to win the hearts of German viewers. • Yesterday Hope Solo became the first goalkeeper to win the U.S. Soccer Federation's Female Athlete of the Year award. Solo allowed one goal in six international matches. • Professor Roger Wotton from the University College of London has used science to prove that angels can't fly. In a paper published in the school's Opticon magazine he argues that "even a cursory examination of the evidence in representational arts shows that angels and cherubs cannot take off and cannot use powered flight." He later adds: "For sure, fairies don't fly." • In what some have called a case of "textbook discrimination," the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that they will not fight to overturn the IOC's decision to exclude women's ski jumping from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. We will now have to wait at least until the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia to watch women compete. •



I like to think that Diane de Poitiers died by ingesting poison that Catherine de Medici, Henri's wife and mother of his 10 children (and a personal hero of mine) slipped her after pretending to be chummy with her for all those years...