Ancient Transylvanians were flush with gold

Transylvania, the region of Romania today often associated with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was likely an area of untold riches in gold, suggests a new study of a cache of priceless, snake-shaped bracelets.

Demonstrating “no economy of gold at all,” craftsmen shaped each spiral cuff from an entire ingot, study author Bogdan Constantinescu said, according to a report in National Geographic.

“Most of the 2,000-year-old accessories tip the scales at about 2.2 pounds each — a heft that materials scientist Paul Craddock found ‘surprising,'” according to the report.

“Yes,” Craddock concluded, “they did have a lot of gold.”

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CFO quits – after regulators close bank

Two days after regulators shut down CommunitySouth Bank & Trust, Chief Financial Officer John Hobbs notified parent company CommunitySouth Financial Corp. that he was resigning as CFO of both the Easley-based company and its subsidiary bank.

Given that the bank no longer exists and the parent company is basically non-existent following Friday’s closure of CommunitySouth Bank by the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions, the move may seem unnecessary.

However, back on Dec. 31, 2008, Hobbs entered into a three-year employment agreement with CommunitySouth, according to information filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Secession was anything but unanimous

A century and a half ago, secession was in full swing throughout the South. South Carolina had left the Union in December 1860 and Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana all followed suit in January. Texas did likewise on Feb. 1, 1861.

But, according to the above map – which breaks down counties based on whether they were for secession, against it or divided – breaking away was anything but unanimous, even in the Deep South.

Not surprisingly, South Carolina was all in for leaving the Union, but North Carolina and Arkansas were also undivided in terms of counties favoring disunion.

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SC bank started big, goes out with whimper

Friday’s failure of CommunitySouth Bank and Trust marked an inglorious finale for a bank which began with the largest initial public stock offering for a community bank company in South Carolina history.

In 2005, CommunitySouth’s parent company, CommunitySouth Bancshares Inc., reported that its IPO generated $32.5 million in stock sales – $2.5 million more capital than it could accept. It sold 3 million shares to approximately 1,300 shareholders, according to the Greenville News.

That made CommunitySouth’s IPO the largest ever for a state-chartered bank at the time, according to a spokesman for the state Treasurer’s Office, the News added.

But less than six years later, CommunitySouth’s stock was trading for just 5 cents a share when its was closed by the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions. The company had has lost nearly $30 million over the past three years and was deemed critically undercapitalized by regulators late last year.

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Easley bank closed by regulators

CommunitySouth Bank & Trust of Easley was closed by the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions Friday, the fifth South Carolina bank to be shuttered over the past two years.

CommunitySouth has lost nearly $30 million over the past three years and was deemed critically undercapitalized by regulators late last year.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2010, the bank recorded a provision for loan losses of $5 million and net loan charge-offs of $6.5 million. That compares with a $6.3 million provision for loan losses and net loan charge-offs of $4.1 million during the same period last year.

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Time to bring SCETV out of the ’70s

Blogger Waldo Lydecker been a longtime critic of South Carolina ETV, the state’s version of public television, and rightly so.

Unless you have some sort of weird fetish for Clifford the Big Red Dog, 35-year-old British comedies and nature programs so dated that they may actually feature fauna now classified as extinct, criticism of the network is completely understandable.

Waldo, though, rejects calls to kill off SCETV. He says privatizing the network is a better solution:

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Can’t get enough inanity from your PC?

For those of you who want to peruse claptrap with just a bit more ease, the Sunlit Uplands blog is now apparently available to folks with Amazon Kindles.

At least, that’s what Sunlit is breathlessly reporting:

Sunlit Uplands is now one of a select number of blogs available to readers using the amazing, new Amazon Kindle!

The revolutionary reading device is Amazon’s #1 bestselling item for two years running. It’s also the most-wished-for, most-gifted, and has the most 5-star reviews of any product on Amazon.  
Wow, that second paragraph sounds just a lot like what’s already been written about the Kindle, such as here or here or, on Amazon’s site itself, here.