I have a bunch of good stories which in no way connect to each other (much like my intro paragraph does not transition to this one), so I'm going to post an unthemed round up for today.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. made the news yet again (he of the arrested for breaking into his own home/grabbing a beer at the White House with the president). His research for a documentary led to two South Carolina men being posthumously pardoned for a murder they were convicted of 94 years ago.
Boston.com posted both the above and the following story on a Utah high school marching band that overcame personal grief to sweep the awards at the Rocky Mountain Marching Band Tournament. American Fork High School band lost its woodwinds instructor in a fatal bus crash just days before taking top honors. Heather Christensen grabbed the bus wheel when she noticed the driver had passed out; the bus crashed, killing Christensen, but all the students were unhurt.
Last week MSNBC reported on the potential discovery of a Leonardo da Vinci painting. Bought for $19,000 at an auction in 2007, what was thought to be a sketch by a 19th century German artist has been called the first da Vinci discovered in over 100 years. Da Vinci used his hands liberally when working, and analysis done by a Canadian forensic firm has proven there is a da Vinci fingerprint on this piece of art.
And finally, a blog on TIME's website reported on the first US reunion of the (living members of the) Monty Python comedy group in 40 years. Apparently, the show started a little slowly, with the actors a little uncomfortable with direct contact with the audience, but it picked up steam and the jokes started flying. I wish I had seen the program; I started watching Monty Python movies and sketches in middle school. It may have been my first taste of British humor, and it definitely left an impression. To this day, single lines from sketches like "The Spanish Inquisition" and "The Cheese Shop," not to mention from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and "Life of Brian" make me smile.