Of Human Interest: News lite

By ELLEN BECK, United Press International   |   July 11, 2002 at 4:30 AM
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The Smithsonian's National Museum of Design in New York says a chalk drawing of a candelabrum found by a Scottish scholar in an old box of drawings is an authentic original by Michelangelo, the Italian Renaissance master.

"The drawing was discovered last April by Sir Timothy Clifford, a Renaissance scholar who is director of the National Galleries of Scotland, when he was visiting our museum," said Stephen Malmberg, museum spokesman.

"It has been verified by several other experts as being from the hand of Michelangelo, although it is unsigned, and we plan to exhibit it sometime in the future," Malmberg said. "We acquired the drawing in 1942 along with four other unsigned drawings for the price of $60."

Malmberg declined to put any value on the find, but Michelangelo drawings regularly have brought more than $1 million at auction in recent years. The artist, best known for his sculpture, was also an architect, and the new find is believed to relate to one of his design commissions.

(Thanks to UPI's Fred Winship)


Seventy-six rare antique maps of the Earth's northern regions are on display at Scandinavia House's galleries in New York through Aug. 16. The maps are from the collection of William B. Ginsberg, a semi-retired telecommunications executive.

Although many old maps are available to collectors for modest sums, this is quite a rare collection containing Gerard Mercator's 1595 map of Scandinavia and other cartographic masterpieces requiring considerable financial investment.

The show, titled "Scandia: Important Early Maps of the Northern Regions," includes maps and sea charts showing Scandinavia, from the first map of the area in 1482 to the elaborate maps made by major cartographers of the 17th century and the detailed maps of the 19th century.

There also are world maps such as the Italian Gastaldi Map of 1546 and the Rosaccio Map of 1597 made as a wall hanging of the type seen in paintings by Jan Vermeer.

Most printed cartography prior to the 19th century was carefully hand-tinted in delicate watercolor pinks, greens, blues and yellow and many of them include handsome decorative elements that enhance their visual allure.


The New England Journal of Medicine reports arthroscopic knee surgery to reduce the symptoms and effects of arthritis has about the same impact as doing nothing.

Researchers at the Houston Veterans Affairs Medical Center say patients who had two types of arthroscopic knee surgery for osteoarthritis were compared to a group of patients who had a so-called placebo operation -- a little sedative and a few small incisions, but no real surgery.

All patients in both groups reported reduced pain and better knee function and, authors say, there was no difference in outcome between those who had real surgery and those who had no real intervention.

Arthroscopic knee surgery costs thousands of dollars and is performed on several hundred thousand patients a year.


Only a small percentage of physicians screen new patients for domestic violence but when they do encounter the problem their interventions are intensive, according to a study released Thursday.

"Only 19 percent of (of physicians surveyed) reported screening new patients for domestic violence compared with 98 percent for tobacco use, 90 percent for alcohol abuse, and 47 percent for HIV and sexually transmitted disease risks," says lead investigator Barbara Gerbert of the University of California-San Francisco.

However, once the problem of domestic violence was identified, the "respondents reported intervening at comparable or greater frequencies ... compared with tobacco, alcohol, or HIV/STD risks," Gerbert reports.

Her team's findings also indicate physicians spent longer time periods counseling identified domestic violence victims than patients identified as having any of the other three health risks. The study appears in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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