July 22, 2002 |
The people known as Sumerians are credited with starting the first civilization and building the first settlements worthy of being called cities. They also invented writing, and then they wrote and wrote and wrote, filling millions of tablets with their intricate, detailed characters. They left behind everything from religious texts to poetry to receipts, much of which remains preserved 5,000 years later. Understanding the symbols they etched in clay is another matter. The oldest language known left no descendants.
June 15, 2002 |
The Drug Enforcement Administration is expanding its operations in the Netherlands to curb that country's exports of the fashionable but illegal drug ecstasy, Director Asa Hutchinson said yesterday. At the same time, the DEA is reducing its presence in Thailand, whose role in world heroin traffic is declining, Hutchinson said. Both moves are part of the DEA chief's efforts to do more with less as Washington focuses its attention on the war on terrorism and away from its long-standing war on drugs.
April 3, 2002 |
It would be called Freedom's Place. Not only would there be the Ten Commandments, but the Declaration of Independence, Penn's Charter, the Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta, too: A patchwork of history surrounding the controversial bronze plaque of the Ten Commandments that hangs on the Chester County courthouse wall in West Chester and is at the center of a federal lawsuit. That was the plan advanced yesterday by the county commissioners. But would making the commandments part of a larger tableau change the meaning of the plaque, whose display a U.S. District Court judge ruled in March is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of church and state?
March 30, 2002 |
An Upper Darby pharmacist was arrested yesterday and accused of making $900,000 by illegally selling more than 75,000 tablets of OxyContin and 200,000 tablets of other narcotic painkillers between 1998 and last October. Federal prosecutors say Antonio J. Caniglia continued selling highly addictive and potentially deadly painkillers even after his business, the Highland Park Pharmacy at 23 Park Ave., was raided by federal and Delaware County law-enforcement officials in June. Investigators said the case was unusual because, unlike others involving area pharmacists and doctors in recent years, this one did not involve fraudulent prescriptions.
December 20, 2001 |
Federal authorities said yesterday they had shut down a drug ring that used a busy Allentown office park as the crossroads in a scheme to move one million doses of ecstasy from the Netherlands to Miami. In what U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan described as the region's largest drug-smuggling case, five men have been indicted on charges of transporting $20 million worth of the hallucinogenic drug using mail carriers such as Federal Express and UPS between April and November. Agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have recovered 500,000 of the tablets, Meehan said.
September 7, 1998 |
The phenomenal success of Viagra for men has sparked some sexual envy among women. Many say their sex life isn't what it used to be and they want help, too. Some are even experimenting with Viagra, although the drug isn't approved for use by women. While the little blue pills may spectacularly enhance erections, they do little to remedy the lack of desire that is women's chief sexual complaint. But there's no need for hand-me-down drugs, experts say. Women already have a powerful tool to fuel sexual desire, and it has been on pharmacy shelves for years.
May 16, 1997 |
Quigley Corp., the Doylestown marketer of zinc cold lozenges, profited greatly on its customers' colds and sniffles last winter. The maker of Cold-Eeze tablets, which sold out on many drugstore shelves, yesterday reported net income of $6.5 million for the first quarter, compared with a $77,000 loss a year earlier. The company said it now is increasing production to build inventory for next winter's cold season. Last week, Quigley said it had $10 million in cash to spend on producing Cold-Eeze, and has obtained a "multimillion dollar" line of credit if it needs additional financing.
May 2, 1997 |
"Commandments" is meant to be a serious-minded examination of what happens when people without faith are forced to confront religious questions. This attempt at spiritual substance is almost historic, given the current climate in Hollywood. Most movies nowadays treat mainstream religion as fodder for pederast dramas or sarcastic humor. "Commandments," on the other hand, is a mostly respectful attempt to bring Judeo-Christian images and ideas to bear on a story about people who have lost contact with their religious roots.
August 6, 1996 |
"Hermann here," said Hermann Behrens on the phone. A friend and Roman Catholic priest, the caller also happened to be a world-class scholar on the planet's first known written language. In July he was named editor-in-chief of a long-running University of Pennsylvania Museum project to create a dictionary of the language, Sumerian. Behrens and his team of three other experts look at little triangular marks pressed into clay tablets and decide what each one means. It is slow, frustrating work.
April 6, 1996 |
Few objects are as evocative as a musical instrument standing silent. The two lyres in the University of Pennsylvania Museum's exhibit "Ancient Mesopotamia: Royal Tombs of Ur" are especially tantalizing, for scholars have moved closer to understanding just how those instruments sounded and how they were tuned and played by Mesopotamians two thousand years before Christ. The lyres have long been part of the museum's treasures. The larger of the two is for the most part a reconstruction of a large wooden lyre, its strings as long as those of a string bass.