Category Archive 'Corrections and Retractions'

13 Apr 2015

Polish Prince Challenges UKIP Leader to a Duel

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Telegraph story

I don’t think there are any Zylinski families possessing a princely title, and I’m very skeptical of the successful-cavalry-charge-that-saved-6000-Jews story, but I do like his attitude.

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CORRECTION AND RETRACTION:

I should have looked it up before posting. There is indeed a Polish Princely Żyliński family, descended from Rurik, taking their name from a locality in the palatinate of Smolensk. That cavalry charge story sounds much more believable to me now.

29 Dec 2014

Mystery of Lost Colony Solved — BAD REPORT

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Croatoan

115 English colonists established a new colony on Roanoke Island, North Carolina on July 22, 1587. The first English child born in North America, Virginia Dare, was born on August 18th. Her grandfather, the colony’s governor, John White, left for England, later that year in search of aid and reinforcements for the new colony.

The arrival of the Spanish Armada and the consequent war with Spain delayed assistance and White’s return. He finally arrived back at Roanoke on August 18, 1590, his grand daughter’s third birthday. White found the colony deserted and the homes and fortifications dismantled. The only clue to the fate of the English colonists was the word “Croatoan” found carved in a tree.

World News Daily reports that recent archaeological investigations appear to have solved the mystery of what happened to the Lost Colony.

Archaeologists excavating an early 17th century Native American village near the Enoree River in Laurens County, North Carolina, have discovered seven contemporary Christian sepultures holding the skeletons of six males and one female of European origins. The bones have been proven through comparative DNA testing, to have belonged to members of the lost colony of Roanoke, established in 1585 on Roanoke Island, which disappeared mysteriously. …

The female skeleton has been identified thanks to DNA testing, as Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the Americas. The DNA of the skeleton which was found in October, was compared to that of modern day descendants of Governor John White, her grandfather. The test confirmed that the bones were indeed with more than 99.8% certainty, those of Ms. Dare. Four of the others corpses have also been identified through the same process by the scientists, including that of the girl’s father Ananias Dare, a tiler and bricklayer from London. The other identified skeletons are those of Arnold Archard and his son Thomas, as well as the young John Sampson. …

It is still unclear if the colonists were taken as prisoners or if they sought shelter with the Eno people, but Professor Monroe and his team believe that the colonists were most likely sold into slavery at some point in time and held captive by differing bands of the Eno tribe, who were known slave traders. They survived with the natives for many years, as Virginia Dare who was born in August 1587, was estimated to have been around twenty years old at the time of her death.

This astounding discovery seems to confirm the 17 th Century writings of William Strachey, a secretary of the Jamestown Colony. He wrote in his The historie of travaile into Virginia Britannia in 1612, that four English men, two boys and one girl had been sighted at the Eno settlement of Ritanoc, under the protection of a chief called Eyanoco. This mysterious settlement had however evaded discovery until now, as its location was not clearly mentioned by the author and no other mention of it or its chief have ever been recorded.

Strachey had reported that the captives were forced to beat copper for the natives. He explains that they had escaped an attack that had allegedly killed most of the other colonists. They would have fled up the Chaonoke river (the present-day Chowan River in Bertie County, North Carolina) only to be captured by Eno warriors.

Read the whole thing.

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CORRECTION AND RETRACTION, later on 12/29:

This is only the second time in many years I fell for a fake story. (The first time was when I first came across Duffleblog and failed to recognize that the story was appearing on a satire site.

This Roanoke story looked good and had a very plausible ring to it. There was no obvious giveaway.

But, one commenter, Gray, called the story out, and he is perfectly correct. There is no Professor William J. Monroe at Johns Hopkins or anywhere else. This story is otherwise completely unreported. There is no Laurens County in North Carolina. And “World News Daily” is just a totally irresponsible Israeli tabloid that evidently thinks making up stories like this is fun.

Apologies to Free Republic and American Digest. I’m off to eat a large plate of crow.

12 Sep 2014

Lightning Hitting Tree

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LightningHittingTree

Long exposure photo of a lightning bolt hitting a tree. Photo by Darren Pearson.

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A commenter linked Hoaxes.org, which explains:

[I]t is a long exposure shot, but not of lightning. It’s a photo created by “light painter” Darren Pearson (aka Darius Twin). Wikipedia defines light painting as “a photographic technique in which exposures are made by moving a hand-held light source or by moving the camera.”

Pearson light painted the blue flames at the base of the tree. He then cut-and-pasted the lightning bolt itself into the photo from a NOAA image of a lightning strike (below).

Pearson posted the image on his Facebook page on Oct. 17, 2013, with the caption “The old Benjamin Franklin trick wink”

So in its original context this was clearly presented as an art photo.

06 Aug 2009

Some of Us Thought the Real Estate Bubble Was Over

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Jim the Realtor from California describes a house being offered in Brooklyn.

Occupying what used to be a driveway, it’s a 1br/1ba home on a parcel of land 7.25 feet wide and 113.67 feet long. The interior area is just under 300 square feet: …ONLY $479,900!

I can remember a similar packing crate sort of residence located on top of Belmont Heights in San Francisco, in need of complete renovation, selling to a surgeon for $450,000 a few years ago.

Hat tip to Walter Olson.

Correction, August 6:
John brings to my attention in his comment a Daily News story debunking all this:

The house is actually in Toronto, and the price is only $179,000.

It was probably built in Kenya, too.

22 Mar 2009

Do We Really Want to be More Like Europe?

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The Telegraph describes the EU’s latest blow in favor of political correctness.

The European Parliament has banned the terms ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’ in case they offend female MEPs.

The politically correct rules also mean a ban on Continental titles, such as Madame and Mademoiselle, Frau and Fraulein and Senora and Senorita.

Guidance issued in a new ‘Gender-Neutral Language’ pamphlet instead orders politicians to address female members by their full name only.

Officials have also ordered that ‘sportsmen’ be called ‘athletes’, ‘statesmen’ be referred to as ‘political leaders’ and even that ‘synthetic’ or ‘artificial’ be used instead of ‘man-made’.

The guidance lists banned terms for describing professions, including fireman, air hostess, headmaster, policeman, salesman, manageress, cinema usherette and male nurse.

However MEPs are still allowed to refer to ‘midwives’ as there is no accepted male version of the job description.

The booklet also admits that “no gender-neutral term has been successfully proposed” to replace ‘waiter’ and ‘waitress’, allowing parliamentarians to use these words in a restaurant or café.

It has been circulated by Harold Romer, the parliament’s secretary general, to the 785 MEPs working in Brussels and Strasbourg.

Struan Stevenson, a Scottish Conservative MEP described the guidelines as “political correctness gone mad.”

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

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3/23:
A commenter who signs at “Chiara” points out the Spectator is engaging in characteristic journalistic exaggeration. The European Parliament merely issued (preposterous) suggested guidelines. It did not literally ban use of gender-specific nouns and titles.


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