November 01, 2014

8:09 AM | Glutbusters: November 2014
Disappearing ‘Chinese lanterns’, the ornamental Physalis alkekengi It has been a long, warm autumn in my area, and we have yet to experience the first frost of winter – but the leaves are falling and it’s clear that colder weather is on the way. Very little sown or planted now will put on much growth, as the days are short and there isn’t enough light. But bulbs, perennials and hardy veg will be putting down roots, ready to emerge as the days begin to get longer […]
7:00 AM | The Exciting Future Of Hoverboard Technology
If you've watched the Back to the Future trilogy, then you probably remember the iconic hoverboard that Marty McFly rides. For the longest time, people thought this technology was impossible, but we may soon have truly functioning hoverboards on the market. The board currently in development uses magnetic fields to make the board hover about an inch above the ground with a fully grown human standing on it, although it can only work over non-ferrous metallic surfaces because of the […]

October 31, 2014

7:09 PM | Who needs an osteologist? (Installment 20)
This story seems to have slipped my notice over the last two weeks, but a team of radiologists in West Palm Beach, Florida, scanned an Egyptian mummy dating to 30-300 AD in advance of its going on display at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.According to the news reports, which aren't terribly great, 40 years ago the mummy was studied, and researchers thought the mummy was that of a girl between the ages of 4-9 who died of tuberculosis.  The diagnosis rested on missing […]
6:47 PM | Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival LXV
Welp, I seem to have missed last month's RBC.  Oops.  So here's an extra-large helping of Roman(ish) bioarchaeology news for the last couple of months!Italy and Greece"Witch girl". Via Discovery News.6 October. Skeleton of possible 'witch girl' found (Discovery News). An adolescent skeleton in Liguria was found buried face-down; date is unclear, but possibly as early as the 6th century AD.  I heavily critiqued this interpretation in Which girl? Witch girl!Britain23 October. […]
4:00 PM | Horrid Halloween Myths Debunked, Truths Be Told
A list of what not to worry about and what to watch out for.
3:52 PM | Nutcracker Man or Human Cow?
After discussing orbital forcing of climate and how we can judge its effects in the geological record, I thought I should return to talking about hominins, but not without a smooth segue between the two. Two more proxies can also indirectly tell us what ancient climate was like, and these are are isotopes of carbon, […]
12:27 PM | Humans Would Beat Neanderthals in Marathon
It turns out Neanderthals may have had more brawn, but modern humans could run -- and run.
11:00 AM | 7 Facts About Sugar That May Surprise You
Sure, a spoonful helps the medicine go down, but what else can it do?
10:05 AM | DNews: What Happens to the Body After We Die?
When people talk about what happens after we die, they're usually talking about afterlife questions and not the gross details of a slowly decaying corpse. Luckily, from the moment of death until things get really gooey, we have that information too!
7:00 AM | The Difference Between Occultism And Mysticism
Both practices involve the alleged ability of the human mind to reach out and experience that which is beyond our regularly experienced senses. Mysticism often exists within the context of organized, established religion, while the same religion condemns occultism. Occultism is an experience of conflict whereby the person practicing it is attempting to control something or learn something that they shouldn't know, while those who practice mysticism are striving to exist in harmony and peace […]

October 30, 2014

6:34 PM | Week 27 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
This week has been a bit slow of me but every Thursday I have something to look forward to and volunteering always picks me up. I was also cheered up by seeing soldiers selling poppies for rememberence day and a man playing the bag pipeline Waterloo station. After a quick walk to the College I […]
5:30 PM | DNews: How Young is Too Young to Use Technology?
"Kids these days..." They're using tablets practically right out of the womb! Other than embarrassing people 40 times their age who can't even figure out how to visit Youtube, is there any harm in letting the little ones loose so early?
4:10 PM | How Diseases Inspired Movie Monsters
The forensics of movie monsters reveals that most popular Halloween and horror film characters aren't fearsome. They're just not feeling well. Continue reading →
10:27 AM | New York City’s Resident Raptor
Pale Male is a red-tailed hawk that has lived in New York City for 24 years. He’s managed to survive in the dangerous and poisoned rat--infested environment while seven of his mates have died or disappeared. His hardiness, beauty, and uniqueness have made him a local icon and arguably the most well-known hawk in the world. The post New York City’s Resident Raptor appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.
9:57 AM | DNews: How Humans Survive Falling Faster Than Sound
Felix Baumgartner and now Google exec Alan Eustace have each broken the sound barrier without mechanical engine thrust to aid them. How on Earth can a person fall THAT fast and still live to see terra firma again?
9:00 AM | Do scientists have heroes? Should we?
Yes, science has Nobel prizes and MacArthur 'genius' grants and NIH-funded "Centers of Excellence" and highly selective journals, among other ways of plucking ordinary people from the scientific masses and turning them into heroes.  Or at least treating them as such.  Purported major journals are now deifying the greats and near-greats with interviews and splashy stories that match what can be found in mags near the checkout counter.  We've got lists ranking scientists by number […]
7:00 AM | The Sad Tale Of The Other Abraham Lincoln
Everyone has heard of the famous President Abraham Lincoln, but many people don't realize there was another Abraham Lincoln. The president was actually named for his grandfather, who was a Captain in the American forces during the Revolutionary War. Captain Abraham Lincoln was killed in a raid by Native Americans shortly after bringing his entire family to Kentucky. The post The Sad Tale Of The Other Abraham Lincoln appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

October 29, 2014

3:09 PM | Brain Scans Show Abnormalities in Chronic Fatigue Patients
Brains of people who experience chronic fatigue are different than those of people who don't. Continue reading →
1:20 PM | Are Ebola Politics Snuffing Out the Science?
Spats between politicians and the public over how to react to the Ebola virus may threaten public trust and could keep workers from going to Africa.
1:05 PM | Halloween Horrors: Evidence of Torture in the Prehistoric Southwest US
With Halloween coming up right around the corner, there have been an increase in the attention paid to the spookier aspects of archaeology. We are increasingly able to find evidence of […]

Osterholtz, A. (2012). The social role of hobbling and torture: Violence in the prehistoric Southwest, International Journal of Paleopathology, 2 (2-3) 148-155. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpp.2012.09.011

12:33 PM | Cashel Man, A 4,000 Year Old Bog Body
I have just finished watching the BBC programme ‘4,000-year-Old Cold Case: the Body in the Bog‘. I have also been interested in the bog bodies ever since reading the poems by Seamus Heaney. I haven’t explored the research around the bodies personally but I will any news article or watch any programme on the subject.  […]
9:00 AM | Shelling out for Sheldon....again (but without the nudes)!
In the 1940s and into the 50s, WH Sheldon carried out a project on the science, or even (modestly claimed) the new science of human morphological and behavioral science.  The work became known in various ways, but one important term that described it was somatotyping.  WH Sheldon, from the Wikipage about himIn this project, students at our most Ivied universities were compelled to pose au naturel for front, side, and back photos, so their shapes and ultimately […]
7:00 AM | The Fog That Killed 12,000 People
In 1952, weather conditions led to a massive smog descending on and gathering over London. Visibility was less than 30 centimeters (12 in), the air was black with coal and pollution, and the usually bustling city ground to a standstill. By the time the smog had cleared, 4,000 people had died from exposure to the pollution, and another 8,000 would die in the following weeks from complications. The smog would lead to increased awareness of the problems of pollution over city centers. The post […]

October 28, 2014

9:40 PM | Scientists Resurrect 700-Year-Old Virus
An entire plant virus is reconstituted from DNA in the 700-year-old sample.
9:14 PM | Could Ebola Cure Be Crowd-Funded?
A researcher raised over $100,000 in two weeks to buy a piece of equipment used in Ebola drug research. Continue reading →
1:25 PM | When Spirits 'Dictate' Books: What's to Believe?
Many popular books are claimed to have been written by the dead through psychics. Continue reading →
11:45 AM | Murderers May Be Hardwired to Kill
Two mutated genes help to explain why the majority of all violent crimes are committed by a small group of antisocial, repeat male offenders.
9:56 AM | DNews: Eyes vs. Cameras: How They See Things
Is a camera just a human eye by another name? Trace takes a look at what each of these complex imaging devices can and can't achieve.
9:00 AM | Brain plasticity -- why should intelligence be an exception?
We live in an age that demands we multitask if we're going to get everything done that we need to do.  Answering email, picking up the children, submitting grants for every deadline, getting in 30 minutes of exercise everyday, eating right, keeping up with the literature -- so much pressure.  Fortunately someone's got our backs, and we can now answer email on one screen at our treadmill desks and work on that grant proposal on another, all while we have lunch.  So much easier, so […]
7:00 AM | There Is No Reliable Evidence For Repressed Memories
According to some practitioners, if you use the right methods, you can find memories that someone repressed---sometimes of past abuse or even of alien abductions. However, despite the claims of those who try to recover repressed memories, there is no solid evidence for a single provable case. It's not recognized officially by mental health researchers, and many researchers feel that therapists are unwittingly helping people create false memories, rather than finding repressed ones. The post […]
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