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Scottish wool shrinking in warmth

Artist: fresco may include Michelangelo

The restoration of Michelangelo's frescoes in the Vatican's Pauline Chapel may have produced a special prize — a previously unknown self-portrait of the artist. Chief Vatican restorer Maurizio De Luca said Thursday that the face of a man on horseback in the artist's The Crucifixion of St. Peter could be the artist, though he admitted that nobody will ever know "with absolute certainty that the face is Michelangelo's." The frescoes were commissioned by Pope Paul III and painted between 1542 and 1549. They were Michelangelo's last works.

Copy of Declaration found ... in Britain

British researchers have announced the discovery of a rare original copy of America's Declaration of Independence. Katrina McClintock, a spokeswoman at the National Archives, said Thursday that a researcher accidentally discovered the "Dunlap print," named after a printer, several months ago. The find was announced only after it could be properly catalogued. Edward Hampshire, the National Archives' specialist in colonial materials, said the find was exciting. "It is likely that only around 200 of these were ever printed, so uncovering a new one nearly 250 years later is extremely rare," he said. The last Dunlap print to be found was sold at an auction for $8.14 million in 2000.

Now global warming seems to be shrinking sheep. On average, wild Soay sheep on Scotland's island Hirta are 5 percent smaller today than they were in 1985, according to a team of researchers from Imperial College London. "The decrease in body size was due to a reduction in growth rates caused, in part, by the changing climate," research leader Tim Coulson. Evolution favors the development of large sheep, which can more easily survive harsh winters, Coulson explained. So the researchers became curious about the overall decline in size of the animals on Hirta. They discovered that as the climate has grown milder, small lambs that would not have survived previous winters were now living to grow up and reproduce. Since size is inherited, the survival and reproduction of these smaller animals lowered the average size of the herd.

By the numbers: Fourth of July cookouts

1 in 4

The chance that your pork hot dog or sausage originated in Iowa.

1 in 6

The chance that your beef hot dog, steak or burger originated in Texas. Nebraska and Kansas are the next-most-likely states.

6

Number of states in which the revenue from broiler chickens was $1 billion or greater (Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas).

4 in 10

The chance that your baked beans originated in North Dakota.

6 in 10

The chance, nationwide, that your corn on the cob originated in Florida, California, Georgia or New York.

1 in 2

The chance that your potato dish originated in Idaho or Washington.

3 in 4

The chance that they lettuce on your burger came from California.

7 in 10

The chance that your fresh tomatoes came from California or Florida. However, 96 percent of tomatoes used in ketchup are from California.

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Scottish wool shrinking in warmth 07/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 2, 2009 9:43pm]

    

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