Seven years after London was selected to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Olympic Flame is on its way to England. Earlier today in Greece, performers dressed as priests and priestesses gathered for a ceremony in Olympia, the ancient birthplace of the Olympic games, where they appealed to the sun god Apollo to light the flame with the help of a parabolic mirror. The Olympic flame was then passed to swimmer Spyros Gianniotis to begin a seven-day relay through Greece, followed by a flight to Great Britain, where it will begin a 70-day journey, changing hands 8,000 times on its way to London.
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huffpostcomedy: annamarie: While in Austin this past weekend John, Joe Mande and I found almost all the locations from Friday Night Lights. John did his Buddy Garrity impression for most of the tour, which may account for why Joe only joined us on the first day of sight seeing. Yes, we did spend two days doing this.
On this week in 1863, the celebrated Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was returning from a nighttime reconnaissance ride near Chancellorsville, Virginia, when he was mistakenly shot by his own camp’s picket guards. On May 2, Jackson’s wounded arm was amputated; Jackson’s chaplain, Beverley Tucker Lacy, buried it the next day in a nearby family graveyard. Seemingly on the mend, Stonewall Jackson was removed far behind the battle lines to recuperate at Fairfield Plantation, but his condition soon worsened. Stonewall Jackson died eight days later, on May 10, 1863, of pneumonia.
General Robert E. Lee assessed the gravity of the situation for himself and the army when he first heard of Jackson’s amputation. “William,” Lee declared to his cook, “I have lost my right arm. I’m bleeding at the heart.”
The spot where Jackson was shot is marked today by a large boulder, just behind the Chancellorsville battlefield visitor center, and the outbuilding at Fairfield plantation where Jackson died is known to this day as the Stonewall Jackson Shrine. His lost limb is buried in a graveyard off the main Chancellorsville battlefield, at what was then Ellwood Plantation. Among the unmarked graves of men and women, mothers and sons, there is one monument—to an arm.
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If you can manage to decipher Leon Panetta’s chicken scratch, you too can read the final memo that launched the raid that killed America’s most hated enemy. The memo is part of Peter Bergen’s Time cover story on Osama bin Laden’s last days and Obama’s call to go ahead, despite Joe Biden and Robert Gates’ disapproval, with the Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden’s Abottabad complex. Here’s the transcription:
Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault. The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 am.