October 18, 2014

7:00 AM | Patience Worth, Writing From The Spirit World
Between 1913 and 1937, Patience Worth wrote almost four million words, and her works of literature were counted among the nation's best. The weirdness happens when you tried to talk to Patience. Patience was long dead, a spirit channeled through Pearl Lenore Curran, an uneducated housewife from St. Louis who began writing through a typewriter and dictation after abandoning the Ouija board she'd first used to contact the spirit. The post Patience Worth, Writing From The Spirit World appeared […]

October 17, 2014

7:09 PM | 'Plainclothes Man' Near Ebola Patient at Risk?
A look at guidelines concerning protective gear finds that there is a lot up to interpretation. Continue reading →
4:29 PM | Prehistoric climate – wish you were there?
Last week I wrote about how cyclical variation in Earth’s orbit influences the long-term climate here on the surface. I also left you on a cliff-hanger promising knowledge of how we know what we know regarding climate in the deep past. This week, I give you the answer: oxygen. Atoms or isotopes? A very quick […]
3:35 PM | Bones - Season 10, Episode 4 (Review)
The Geek in the GuckEpisode SummaryTwo tween boys trying to evade their parents' internet block manage to find a dead body on a satellite map of the shore along the Potomac River. Offscreen, the body is recovered and brought to the Jeffersonian.  Brennan and intern Jessica Warren see a narrow sciatic notch and partially defined lower extremity of the pubic face to conclude that the individual was a white male in his 20s. Hodgins estimates based on blowfly larvae that the body has been on […]
3:30 PM | New Technique Helps Find Consciousness in Coma Patients
Some patients who are in a coma may be aware of their surroundings even though they can't visibly communicate with others, and now, scientists have found a new way to help identify these patients.
1:30 PM | Junk Food Diet Worse for Male Brains
Eating a high-fat and high-carb diet resulted in inflammation in the brain -- at least in male mice.
12:03 PM | DNews: Living Near Highways Linked to Sudden Cardiac Death
A new study finds a correlation between living near a major roadway and an increased risk, in women, of suddenly becoming dead. Wait, what? Tara takes a closer look.
10:00 AM | Quarantines: Why They Don't Work Well
Even in the face of a disease like Ebola, people value freedom and convenience over the public good.
9:00 AM | BigData: scaling up, but no Big message
As technology has advanced dramatically during the past few decades, we have been able to look at the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes in ever more detail, and to address phenogenetic questions, that is to search for putative genomic causes of traits of interest on an ever and dramatically increasing scale. At each point, there has been excitement and a hope (and widespread promises) that as we overcome barriers of resolution, the elusive truth will be found. The claim has been […]
7:39 AM | And we're in
Ryan and I have (finally!) moved into our new house! And, whilst we had the use of a van, we collected all of the tall plants from the allotment. So the first refugees from my old garden have arrived in their new home. As well as my Christmas tree, there’s two cobnuts, a crab apple, a golden bamboo, a rosemary and a lavender, the medlar and one that remains unidentified until I can have a good look at it. I also brought back two scented pelargoniums that I uncovered from amongst the […]
7:00 AM | How A Gunshot Wound Cured One Man’s OCD
It was reported in 1988 that a 19-year-old man attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head. Not only did the man survive the brain injury, but it cured him of his debilitating obsessive-compulsive disorder without causing any other permanent brain damage. He went on to be a straight-A college student and live a relatively normal life. The post How A Gunshot Wound Cured One Man’s OCD appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

October 16, 2014

7:30 PM | Ebola Outbreak Was Quickly Contained in Congo: How?
A look at why one Ebola outbreak was contained, while the other spiraled out of control.
4:45 PM | DNews: Can You Literally Be Scared to Death?
We've all said, at one time or another, that we were "scared to death" by something freak-out-worthy. But unless we were speaking from beyond the grave, we weren't being literal. Can we actually get dead from sheer fright?
2:21 PM | NISIS Autumn School |The religious/secular divide in the Muslim world
From Tuesday 21 until Friday 24 October 2014, NISIS organises its fifth Autumn School. This year's theme is: "The religious/secular divide in the Muslim world."
9:00 AM | What if Rev Jenyns had agreed? Part III. 'Group' selection in individuals, too.
We have been using Darwin's and Wallace's somewhat different views of evolution to address some questions of evolutionary genetics and their consequences for todays attempt to understand the biological, especially genomic, basis of traits of interest. Darwin had a more particularistic individual focus and Wallace a more group-focused, ecological one, on the dynamics of evolutionary change.HMS Beagle in the Straits of MagellanAs a foil, we noted that a friend of Darwin's, Leonard Jenyns was […]
7:00 AM | The Dead Magician’s Final Trick
In the early 1900s, London was taken by storm by a magician billed as The Great Lafayette. Booked ten years in advance, getting to see him in person was a massive thrill---except for those who attended a fateful show on May 9, 1911. A fire broke out in the theater and ultimately killed several people, including the magician. His body was recovered and prepared for burial alongside his beloved dog, until workmen clearing through the rubble of the fire found him.... again. The second body was […]

October 15, 2014

11:57 PM | Pitfalls for new professional archaeology bloggers
This is the last of three posts for students in my Introduction to Professional Archaeology topic, as well as other people who are new to blogging about archaeology. You can read previous posts here and here. So you are considering starting a blog yourself—or have started one already. Great! In this post, I look at some of the […]
5:53 PM | Scary Clowns Plague California Towns
Scary, mysterious clowns have been spotted stalking two California towns. And it's not the first time. Continue reading →
3:54 PM | Second U.S. Ebola Patient Took Flight Just Before Diagnosis
The CDC is reaching out to all 132 passengers who flew on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct. 13. Continue reading →
12:50 PM | DNews: Frozen Poop Pills Poised to Save Lives
In what might be the most disgusting medical blessing ever, scientists have found that a pill full of poop may be the key to curing some very pesky, and often deadly, bacterial infections.
9:00 AM | What if Rev Jenyns had agreed? Part II. Would evolutionary theory be different from a population perspective?
In yesterday's post I noted some general differences between Darwin's individual-centered theory of evolution, and AR Wallace's more population-focused ideas.  Of course they both developed their ideas with the kinds of knowledge and technology then available, so we can use them to represent differing points of view we might hold today, but must realize that that is symbolic rather than literal. They were who they were, both skilled and perceptive, but their ideas were subject to […]
8:32 AM | The Company That Sent Telegrams To Heaven
In the early 1980s, Gabe Gabor operated a Los Angeles--based company called Heaven’s Union that collected messages from bereaved family and friends for a fee. He then gave the missives to terminally ill people and paid them to deliver the messages, once they died, to residents beyond the Pearly Gates. The post The Company That Sent Telegrams To Heaven appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

October 14, 2014

10:14 PM | The benefits of blogging
In a post earlier this week I provided a brief account of why blogging is of interest to archaeologists and also touched on aspects of the history of ‘archaeo. blogging’. I’ve taken the time to do this to provide students in my Introduction to Professional Archaeology class with a background to blogging and social media in archaeology, which I […]
4:51 PM | DNews: Exposure Therapy Helps People Control Their Fears
Could a therapeutic regimen retrain a person's brain and rid it of its fears? That's the idea behind exposure therapy, and Trace has the answer.
3:49 PM | New Morbid Terminology: Overburden
As funerary archaeologists, we need to consider the whole range of behavior surrounding death and burial. This includes the ritual surrounding preparation of the body for burial, modes of transportation […]

McGowan, G. & Prangnell, J. (2014). A method for calculating soil pressure overlying human burials, Journal of Archaeological Science, DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.09.016

1:40 PM | Elite Athletes Run the Risk of Bad Teeth
Athletes are often dogged by decaying teeth and gum disease, a problem in which sport drinks, high-carb diets and training regimens may play a part.
1:10 PM | Can You Get Ebola from a Sneeze?
Experts say Ebola could theoretically be spread by a sneeze, but that the chances of that happening are minute. Continue reading →
11:26 AM | DNews: Psychological Abuse the Most Common Childhood Trauma
Emotional abuse of children is the most prevalent and challenging form of neglect. So says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Why doesn't it seem to get the same attention as more visible forms of abuse?
10:29 AM | The Trail of the Yezidis
Guest Author: Eszter Spat   Already before the recent war in Iraq and Syria there appeared to be an increased interest in Yezidis in the last decades and one wonders how that is related...
9:00 AM | What if Rev Jenyns had agreed? Part I. Would evolutionary theory be different?
In 2006 I wrote an article about the long potential impact that historical quirks can have on science, based on the fact that in 1831 an Anglican cleric named Leonard Jenyns said "no, thanks" to an offer. It so happened that that offer was to be the naturalist on a surveying voyage to be undertaken by the Royal Navy. But Jenyns was interested in natural history as a hobby, rather than as a career, and he said he had to spend time with his parishioners and couldn't be away for the long years […]
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