ROME—In 2009, the straight world swooned when archeologists discovered two ancient skeletons from between the fourth and sixth centuries A.D. holding hands in a grave in Modena, Italy. They were dubbed the “Lovers of Modena” and have become synonymous with heterosexual romance, their image now often used in Italy to symbolize undying love.
When they were discovered, archeologists said the bones were in such a state of decay that the usual genetic-based methods used in confirming the biological sex of ancient remains was of no use. Still, one of the figures was slightly smaller than the other, so it was assumed they were male and female. The individuals did not die in situ—their hands were placed holding each other’s by whoever buried them, most likely to represent a relationship between the two people. Eleven people were buried in the cemetery where they were found, all initially thought to be soldiers and victims of an ancient war based on wounds consistent with battles. The consensus among anthropologists was that the presumed female hand-holder was the lover of one of the warriors.
This week, scientists with the University of Bologna announced the “Lovers of Modena” were actually both biologically male, thanks to a revolutionary process they used to examine tooth enamel. A certain peptide that is present only in males was present in all 16 teeth extracted from both skeletons. The scientists also found that only one of the 11 individuals buried in the cemetery was female, and she wasn’t holding anyone’s hand.
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New Orleans has long been known as a Mecca of “civilized drinking,” boasting a long history of venerable bars, saloons and “coffee houses.” It’s also, of course, the ancestral home to an all-star menu of cocktails, including the Sazerac, the Vieux Carré, the Ramos Gin Fizz, the Hurricane, the Monsoon, the La Louisiane, the Roffignac, the Brandy Crusta, the Obituary Cocktail, the Absinthe Frappe and, of course, the infamous Hand Grenade.
Even with all these important drinks and establishments, there is a one-block stretch that, in my book, stands out and is the most holy of holy spots for drinkers. I bet you’re thinking it’s somewhere in the French Quarter, which is certainly reasonably given the number of famous watering holes there. But it’s not.
Make your way over to the uptown side of Gravier Street between St. Charles and Carondelet. While there’s currently not one place on this stretch to wet your whistle (yes, there is a block in New Orleans without a bar), back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, this was the place to go. This unassuming stretch was the likely birthplace of the Brandy Crusta and the Ramos Gin Fizz, and the post-Prohibition home of the Sazerac Bar.
Days after calling for the end of the “Groundhog Day spectacle” of Trump investigations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reassured a fraught Sean Hannity on Thursday night that Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr’s (R-NC) subpoena of Donald Trump Jr. was no big deal. Noting that McConnell had declared “case closed” on the Mueller report, […]
24 years after getting canned from the show that helped propel him to superstardom, Adam Sandler returned to Saturday Night Live to host the long-running sketch comedy program for the first time ever. And he poked fun at the way he departed the show back in 1995, with a little help from an old castmate. […]
As concerns mount that Russia will again unleash its hackers and its online disinformation brigades to wreak havoc in another American election, senior U.S. officials are taking a second look at a technology handed down from the age of Gorbachev and Reagan: an emergency “hotline” between officials in the U.S. and Russia that might someday […]
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I like Max Watman. I like his writing. I like the way he thinks, and the all-too-few times we’ve shared space, well, I just plain like the dude. But damn it, Max, why’d you have to run down column stills in your story, The Reason Why Your Whiskey Should Come From a Pot Still? It […]
As the mourning for the 11 victims of the assault on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh continues, the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht is upon us. On November 9 and 10, 1938, Nazi storm troopers led a wave of violent attacks on Jews throughout Germany that foreshadowed the coming of the Holocaust. During the […]
In a little-known chapter of World War II, thousands of African-American troops trained to fly barrage balloons, defensive weapons used to protect Allied soldiers from dive-bombing enemy planes during the D-Day invasion. This is their story. Part 2: Omaha Beach, France William Garfield Dabney plunged from a flat-bottomed metal boat into waist-deep water holding […]
Just minutes after the Department of Justice announced its plans to monitor the states’ compliance with federal voting laws during Tuesday’s midterm elections, President Trump tweeted out what read like last-ditch effort of voter suppression. “Law Enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any ILLEGAL VOTING which may take place in Tuesday’s Election […]