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The skinny

The skinny: Scientists identify head of France's King Henry IV

Regarding Henry

French ID the head of their royal house

After nine months of tests, researchers in France have identified the head of France's King Henry IV, who was assassinated in 1610 at age 57. The scientific tests helped identify the late monarch's embalmed head, which was shuffled between private collections since it disappeared during the French Revolution in 1793. Henry IV was buried in the Basilica of Saint Denis near Paris, but during the frenzy of the revolution, the royal graves were dug up and revolutionaries chopped off Henry's head, which was then snatched. "This case was considered with the same (level of severity) as if it were a recent forensic case," said Philippe Charlier, a forensic medical examiner at University Hospital R Poincare in Garches, who led the team.

who is watson?

Human intelligence put to the test

Jeopardy! will pit man against machine in a competition that will show how successful scientists are in creating a computer that can mimic human intelligence. Two of the venerable game show's most successful champions — Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter — will play two games against "Watson," a computer program developed by IBM's artificial intelligence team. "Watson" is named for IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, and its on-screen appearance Feb. 14-16 will be represented by a round avatar.

change for a penny

U.S. Mint coins a new phase

You may have noticed a small change in your small change. More likely, you haven't. Gone from the new Lincoln penny is the reproduction of the Lincoln Memorial, complete with a really tiny seated Lincoln, that has been "tails" since 1959. In its place is a "Union Shield," a simple acorn of 13 stripes capped with the motto "E Pluribus Unum." On the "heads" side, the iconic profile of the 16th president by Victor David Brenner remains unchanged. The U.S. Mint has been stamping out the new design since February; presses in Philadelphia and Denver have produced more than 3.6 billion. But officials said the down economy has made banks slow to request new coins.

It's enlightening

Scientists show off their X-ray vision

Researchers for the first time have captured X-ray images of lightning, a feat they hope will help them better predict how lightning moves. A team from the Florida Institute of Technology and University of Florida launched small rockets into thunderclouds during the summer. Using a special camera, the researchers recorded X-rays coming from the resulting light flashes before they hit the ground.

Compiled from Times wires.

The skinny: Scientists identify head of France's King Henry IV 12/14/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 6:12pm]

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