November 08, 2014

8:00 AM | The Difference Between Mist, Fog, Smog, Haze And Vog
There are a lot of different names for that stuff that causes reduced visibility---and an agonizingly long commute---in the morning. Mist and fog are caused by water droplets in the air, and the only difference is how far you can see. Haze is the reflection of sunlight off air pollution, while smog is what happens when pollution causes low-lying ozone. And vog only happens when a nearby volcano is releasing sulfur dioxide into the air to react with what's already there. The post The […]

November 07, 2014

5:29 PM | Scented leaf pelargoniums
My mistreated scented geraniums As previously mentioned, among the plants that I have rescued from the allotment so far are two scented leaf pelargoniums (aka scented geraniums). I’d wanted to add some of these edible flowers to the garden for years, and so in February I ordered a collection of four plants from Otter Farm. And then life kicked off (as it does) and they ended up being dumped on the allotment and left to fend for themselves while I took care of buying the new house. The […]
4:40 PM | European-Neanderthal Sex Detailed in Ancient DNA
There is a surprising genetic unity between the earliest known Europeans and contemporary Europeans, ancient DNA reveals.
2:34 PM | Week 28 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
To be honest there isn’t much to add to previous posts about my volunteering work. I’ve been carrying out the same processes and tasks as last week, but with new specimens. I realise that some may find this boring/tedious but I love it. Thursdays at the College are my relief, I really enjoy being sat […]
12:00 PM | Why the Rural-Urban Political Divide?
Does having lots of space around you make you more conservative?
9:04 AM | Charla “El hombre no desciende del mono”
Como ya saben, hace unos días tuve el placer de participar en la presentación en Málaga del evento de divulgación Desgranando Ciencia 2014 bajo un formato muy interesante: ofrecimos un total de tres charlas divulgativas (de los más variados temas) … Continue reading →
8:00 AM | The Duck You Definitely Don’t Want To Mess With
Taking a trip to Chile or Argentina? Better stay away from the water. South America is home to the steamer duck, one of the nastiest birds on the planet. Armed with bony knobs and bad tempers, these ducks will take on all comers . . . and sometimes they go hunting for helpless victims. The post The Duck You Definitely Don’t Want To Mess With appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

November 06, 2014

7:46 PM | Could Sideline Robots Diagnose Concussions?
VGo is a four-feet-tall robot with a screen and camera for a head, and can be controlled by brain specialists from miles away. Continue reading →
5:00 PM | Do Ghosts Live in Our Brains?
The sensation some people get of a foreign presence in a room can be recreated in a lab. The research could help patients with schizophrenia. Continue reading →
1:46 PM | Moslims zijn geen marionetten
Arabist Kwarten maakt een fout die we zo vaak tegenkomen bij arabisten en islamologen die ongetwijfeld alles weten over de bronnen van de islam, maar totaal geen kaas hebben gegeten van de manier waarop moslims in hun dagelijks leven met die bronnen omgaan.
12:00 PM | Ebola Researchers Can't Get Samples
Demand for Ebola samples is high among scientists developing treatments, but fear of exposure is holding up transportation of samples. Continue reading →
10:00 AM | Laughing at our ancestors. When is it legitimate?
We've recently posted on the subject of laughing at the arrogance or self-assurance, and sometimes societally hurtful but false reasoning that can pass as scientific truth when said from the pulpit, and presumed imprimatur of major universities.  We picked on WH Sheldon in one post, pointing out the problems with his photos of naked Ivy League university students with the aim of showing that humans came in discrete body types which were windows into individual personality--that is, into an […]
9:30 AM | DNews: Milk Does a Body Good ... Or Does It?
Got milk? A new study takes a look at our beloved moo-moo beverage and finds something startling: the more you drink, the faster you might die.
8:02 AM | The Serial Killer Who Never Killed Anyone
Sture Bergwall was Sweden's most notorious serial killer. He murdered, raped, and cannibalized over 30 victims . . . or at least that's what he said. As it turns out, Bergwall was a manipulative liar and never actually killed anyone. The post The Serial Killer Who Never Killed Anyone appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

November 05, 2014

6:44 PM | Why People Decide to Disappear
Every month people choose to suddenly disappear and walk away from their lives. Here's a look at some reasons why. Continue reading →
5:49 PM | Thoughts on: Exotic
A view up through the canopy in the Eden Project’s tropical biome It’s November, and across the world hundreds of thousands of writers are taking part in NaNoWriMo – a month-long sprint to write 50,000 words of fiction. I have no current interest in writing a novel, and indeed I doubt I could manage NaNoWriMo this year. So much has happened that I am struggling to write at all. And so I thought I might take up a different challenge and try and blog every day in November. […]
2:52 PM | Democracy = the Ostrich Bill of Rights
Well, an incredible election has just taken place in this country, and the Ostriches have scored a substantial victory.  The Ostrich Party has a cover name, but is the tribe that does not want to know uncomfortable things. Ostriches don't want to know the truth, that they are being fleeced economically every day.  Few of them are in the top 1%, but they support Big Ostriches' riches by buying the latters' use of fear and emotional arguments about side issues.Ostriches with heads in […]
1:34 PM | Changes in Society and Diet from the Merovingian to Viking Age
Vikings are a hot topic right now. While I would hope this would be due to their interesting maritime culture, fascinating burial practices or an increased understanding in the important role […]

Naumann E, Price TD & Richards MP (2014). Changes in dietary practices and social organization during the pivotal late iron age period in Norway (AD 550-1030): Isotope analyses of merovingian and viking age human remains., American journal of physical anthropology, 155 (3) 322-31. PMID:

10:00 AM | Laughing at our ancestors (is that OK?)
The other day I tried to make a point about current state-of-the-art science at the expense of one WH Sheldon, purveyor of then state-of-the-art science some 60 years ago.  In pursuit of a new science of somatotyping, he took many photos of college students and classified them into body type, from which he then went on to assess personality.  I suggested that his work was misguided, in the same way that phrenology was misguided, and in the same way that modern ideas to assess […]
8:49 AM | The Modern Greeks Who Still Worship Zeus
Sixteen centuries ago, Christianity finally came to Greece, sweeping away the old religions. Today, around 98 percent of Greeks identify themselves as Orthodox Christians, with the remaining 2 percent mostly made up of Muslims and a handful of Jews. Yet there’s a growing number of Greeks who oppose the Abrahamic religions---not in favor of Hinduism, Buddhism, or even atheism, but in favor of Zeus. The post The Modern Greeks Who Still Worship Zeus appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

November 04, 2014

7:52 PM | Waking Up During Surgery: Nightmare or Reality?
It doesn't happen often, but a new study finds that occasionally people wake up during surgery. Continue reading →
5:09 PM | Republicans More Likely to Let Kids Play Football: Poll
Voting Democrat or Republican? Well, would you let you your kid play football...? Continue reading →
4:47 PM | Costa Concordia: Last Victim Found
The remains of missing Indian waiter Russel Rebello are found, three years after the ship went aground. Continue reading →
11:02 AM | DNews: Your Colon Probably Doesn't Need a Cleansing
A small but dedicated population out there is sold on the idea of regular colon cleansings, and while in some people that might be necessary, for most of us it might do more harm than good.
11:00 AM | Apes Have Better Gut Bugs than Humans
Americans have gut microbes that are 70 percent different than chimps', which isn't a good thing.
10:00 AM | Somatic mutation: easily dismissible, or mistakenly overlooked?
The numbers of cell divisions that occur in a human embryo is huge, and the number of cells even in a new baby is huge.  An adult is estimated to have many billions if not closer to a trillion cells.  In the mid-80s I estimated that there have been only about 160 billion individuals in the entire history of our species (i.e., Homo sapiens, not our ancestors). Each cell division produces two daughter cells, and these then divide and so on, generating an expanding tree of cellular […]
8:00 AM | The Mysterious Disappearance Of JFK’s Brain
In 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and his brain was locked away in the National Archives. However, three years later, government officials discovered the president's brain had disappeared without a trace. Needless to say, the disappearance of JFK's organ has given rise to some pretty crazy conspiracy theories. The post The Mysterious Disappearance Of JFK’s Brain appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

November 03, 2014

6:45 PM | Will Humans Keep Running Faster and Faster?
Some experts say it's only a matter of time before runners pull off what previously seemed unthinkable: finishing a marathon in less than 2 hours.
5:48 PM | Introducing the new garden
Well, we’ve been here a couple of weeks now, so it’s time I introduced you to the garden :) It’s a real blank canvas at the moment, waiting for me to have the time to start working on it. The front garden is the sunniest spot, and can be considered to be in full sun: My front garden The front garden is 6.8 m along the house and 3.1 m wide. That trellis panel is prime plant real estate – possibly the best spot in the garden for something that likes it sunny. I […]
5:02 PM | DNews: Brain Games Make Us Better at ... Playing Brain Games
With a plethora of brain games on the market, promising all manner of cognitive improvements, a group of scientists has signed a letter expressing its doubts. The scientists argue the brain isn't improving in the way game makers suggest it will.
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