Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Photo gives face to Anne Frank's "one true love"

"By Alexandra Hudson Tue Feb 26, 9:48 AM ET

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A photograph of the boy with the "beautiful brown eyes" who Anne Frank recalled as her "one true love" in the diary she wrote whilst in hiding in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands is to go on display in Amsterdam.

The photo of Peter Schiff was donated to the Anne Frank museum by his former childhood friend Ernst Michaelis who realized after rereading Anne's diary recently there were no known pictures of Schiff, a museum spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

A picture of Peter Schiff, the young boy who Anne Frank wrote of in her diary, is seen in a card to his school friend Ernst Michaelis in this handout picture received February 26, 2008.
REUTERS/Courtesy of Ernst Michaelis/Anne Frank House/Handout

Frank's Jewish family fled Nazi Germany in 1933 and settled in Amsterdam. During World War Two the Nazis occupied the Netherlands and began deporting Jews to the death camps in 1942, prompting the Frank family to go into hiding.

They lived in a secret annex in a canal-side house for more than two years before their hiding place was betrayed and the family sent to concentration camps.

Anne recorded her years in the attic hideaway in her diaries. A Dutch woman who helped the family found them in the annex after Anne's arrest and gave them to her father Otto who survived the Holocaust. They became famous around the world.

She writes in her diary: "I forgot that I haven't yet told you the story of my one true love."

"Peter was the ideal boy: tall, slim and good-looking, with a serious, quiet and intelligent face," Anne wrote of the 13-year-old she had fallen for in 1940 when she was just 11.


They would collect each other from school and walk hand in hand through their local neighborhood.

"He had dark hair, beautiful brown eyes, ruddy cheeks and a nicely pointed nose. I was crazy about his smile, which made him look so boyish and mischievous."

Peter later died in Auschwitz, while Anne died in Bergen Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Michaelis, now 81, had attended a Jewish school with Schiff in Berlin in the 1930s before both families fled the Nazis. When they parted, the boys exchanged photographs.

"He read the diary in the 1950s and thought that Peter Schiff was very likely his friend. But it was only when reading it later that he saw there were no photos and so he contacted us," said a museum spokeswoman.

Anne last saw Peter a few days before she moved into the annexe, but wrote of him in her diary more than 1-1/2 years later after dreaming of him.

"I've never had such a clear mental image of him. I don't need a photograph, I can see him oh so well," she said.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson)"

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Electron filmed for first time ever

Electron filmed for first time ever from

Now it is possible to see a movie of an electron. The movie shows how an electron rides on a light wave after just having been pulled away from an atom. This is the first time an electron has ever been filmed, and the results are presented in the latest issue of Physical Review Letters.


You need to scroll down the a bit on the page, linked just above, in order to view the movie. I wish the article explained more clearly what it is we're actually seeing!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The White House and whales redux

My January 16th blog entry, linked here, dealt with President Bush's exemption to the Navy from environmental laws that would otherwise limit its ability to use certain kinds of sonar used in anti-submarine warfare training, even if that sonar causes harm to cetaceans.

Here's my brother's take on it:

click on cartoon to enlarge

Revealed: Secrets of the Camouflage Masters

From the New York Times:

"After decades of dives, a scientist offers a theory to explain the spectacular deceptions of cephalopods."

Read the full article here, and see a neat video of a cuttlefish in 'action'.

Lake Norman monster

"In 1964 the Catawba River in North Carolina turned into Lake Norman and 39 years later is on the web claiming there's a monster in it."

Read more here.

Yes, it's been nicknamed Normie. I swear I was nowhere near the lake at the time of the sightings.

Spy Satellite Blast is Caught on Tape

The U.S. Navy was apparently successful in destroying the errant USA-193 high resolution radar satellite, which was launched on December 14th, 2006 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The launch vehicle was a Delta II. Shortly after reaching orbit, ground controllers lost the ability to control the satellite, and have never regained it.

My brother, Bruce Pritchard, has his own take on the event:

Click on cartoon to enlarge

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Paddle and Return Ticket

From the New York Times:

Wang Chen is one of two American table tennis players ranked high enough in the world to automatically qualify for the Olympics this summer in Beijing. Yet she has no coach and she receives no direct financing from the sport’s national governing body.

Joyce Dopkeen The New York Times

What Wang does have is the support of Jerry Wartski, a 77-year-old New York City landlord who, like Wang, ended his formal education at 9 and was separated from his family, albeit under entirely different circumstances. He is a Holocaust survivor.

Read the whole story here, as well as watch a very nice video.

Read Just Don't Call it Ping Pong

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books (in case you haven't heard), handwrote and illustrated seven copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a children's book which she mentioned in the last book of the Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

The first six copies were given to individuals who helped Rowling during the many years spent writing the Potter books. The seventh copy was put up for auction to raise money for The Children's Voice campaign, a charity she co-founded to help improve the lives of institutionalized children across Europe. ended up winning the auction for the purchase price was £1,950,000.

Follow this link to see the full story of this book, more photographs and a short video from

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I've bled blue since I was a child. It used to be my togetherness with my father. He passed away 20 years ago and my mother -- who is now 84 -- put on the shoulder pads.

New York celebrates the Giants.