Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Forgotten Treasure: Library Janitor Discovers Silver Coin Cache

A curious library caretaker in the Bavarian city of Passau has discovered a treasure trove of ancient silver coins and medals that went overlooked for more than two centuries. The surprise find is reportedly worth as much as six figures.
Janitor Tanja Höls had often passed by an unassuming wooden box stowed away in an archive in Passau's historic state library, but it wasn't until about two weeks ago that curiosity got the best of her and she was decided take a look inside.
What she found were dozens of coins, most of them made of silver. "I had no idea that I'd found a treasure," the 43-year-old told the German news agency DAPD on Wednesday. But when she told the head of the library in the Bavarian city what she had seen, he soon realized their value.
"This find is a real bonanza," Markus Wennerhold said, adding that it happened to coincide with preparations for the library's 400th anniversary.
The library believes that the collection of 172 well-preserved coins likely belonged to Passau's prince-bishops. Wennerhold suspects that they were hidden there around 1803 during Germany's secularization, when such church assets were transferred to the state. They may have wanted to keep them out of the hands of tax officials.
Old Furniture and a Stuffed Crocodile
Dating back from the years between the Roman Empire and Napoleon's rule, initial Internet research has revealed that the coins are worth a "low six-figure sum," Wennerhold said. Experts must now determine their exact value. The most valuable pieces will likely turn out to be decorative medals from the Baroque era, Wennerhold estimated.
The coins were probably forgotten because their value was underestimated by past library workers, Wennerhold told DAPD. "None of the current workers here knew that these coins existed," he said.
Library janitor Höls said she frequently goes to the fourth-floor archive -- where old furniture and even a stuffed crocodile are also stored -- in order to retrieve books for library patrons. The wooden box containing the coins was even periodically dusted by library employees without an inkling as to what was inside, Wennerhold said.
This week the Passau state library plans to release photos of each coin on its homepage. Next year they will be put on display as part of the library's anniversary celebration. Founded in 1612 as part of a Jesuit college, the library claims to be home to one of the oldest book collections in Germany.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ryan Braun tests positive for PED, says 'It's BS'

Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League Most Valuable player and the cornerstone of the Milwaukee Brewers' franchise, tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and could face a 50-game suspension to begin 2012, a blow for the Brewers and a sport that seemed to put the worst of its steroid era behind it.

GALLERY:  Ryan Braun

Braun, however, plans a vigorous defense of the positive test. He will appeal any suspension and on Saturday night told USA TODAY of the result: "It's BS."
ESPN first reported that Braun had tested positive, and that he'd provided a urine sample during the 2011 playoffs, then was informed of the positive result in late October. A source told ESPN the positive result came about from elevated levels of testosterone in Braun's system, and a subsequent test revealed the testosterone was synthetic.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The 6 Most Common Mistakes You're Making with Rice

Over a billion people depend on rice as a food staple. But surprisingly, there's some confusion about how to cook it. Do you stir it? Should you let it boil the whole time? What's the proper liquid-to-grain ratio? Do you cook white rice the same way as brown? We asked our food editors to clear up the questions surrounding this starchy staple. Find their advice for making the fluffiest rice, below.

6 Common Rice Cooking Mistakes

1. Following Directions on the Package
"The directions given on packaging are usually wrong, even from reputable producers. If you're using a new bag from a company that you're unfamiliar with, use this technique: Make a small pot using 1/2 cup rice and 1 cup of water (for brown rice, change that to 1/2 cup rice and 1 1/4 cup water). You're looking for fluffy rice where each grain is tender and holds its individual character. If you don't add enough water, the rice will be underdone and likely burn on the bottom before it's done gently steaming. If you add too much water, the rice will be sodden, mushy, and overcooked. So cook it, taste it, and adjust your rice-to-water ratio accordingly for larger pots of rice the next time."

2. Treating Brown Rice Like White Rice
"When cooking brown rice, use 1/4-1/2 cup more water per cup of rice than you would for white rice."

3. Not Letting It Steam
"Let the rice sit covered for 10 minutes after it's done cooking. Then fluff it with a fork."

4. Stirring It
"NEVER stir your rice! Stirring activates starch and will make your rice gloppy. That's what makes risotto so creamy."

5. Not Adding Salt
"Rice is like pasta--you have to salt the water, or else you'll have bland rice. I put a 1/2 tsp. to a tsp for each cup of rice."

6. Cooking It at a High Temperature
"Start with a boil, then bring it down to a low heat. If you cook rice too quickly, the water will evaporate and the rice will be undercooked. Low heat keeps kernels intact."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rosie O'donnell Engaged To Marry Michelle Rounds

Rosie Odonnell, the famous US chat show host, has announced that she's engaged to partner Michelle Rounds whom she started dating in the late-summer of this year. Congratulations to the pair, even if the news seems quick. O'Donnell has a history of relationships since coming out back in 2002 and has been married before - to former Nickelodeon marketing executive Kelli Carpenter back in 2004. Carpenter moved out in 2007 though, despite the pair being parents of three adopted children; O'Donnell then went on to date Tracy Kachtick-Anders for two years, splitting up in February this year. 

Given that it's perhaps not surprising O'Donnell has announced an engagement so soon after meeting Rounds; a source told Us Weekly that the television personality's other half "is very attractive and friendly. Rosie was really proud and showing her off... They seem really happy." Speaking on 'The Rosie Show' the 49 year-old had told her audience that she expected to marry over the festive season. The pair made their debut as a couple only in September at the Rosie Theatre Kids Gala in New York. 

Elsewhere it's been announced that O'Donnell will appear as a special guest in the second season of Lisa Kudrow's 'Web Therapy' next year. Reuters reports that other cameos will come from Conan O Brien and MINNIE DRIVER.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Extending Your WiFi Range

           If you use a wifi network at home, there are undoubtedly limits to where you can access the signal. You might get a strong connection at the kitchen table, but take your laptop to the living room and you lose the signal. If you're looking to boost your signal a few feet or get a strong connection all the way upstairs in the back bedroom, we've got a handful of simple tricks and more advanced techniques to get you on connected to your home wifi from anywhere in your house. Here are things you should considered to know.

  1. Move your router
  2. Technical tweaks
  3. Invest in network extension options

For more details about this article read this article - Upgrade Your Life: How to Extend Your Wifi Range