December 12, 2014

8:00 AM | The General Who Lost The Same Leg In Two Different Wars
General Antonio López de Santa Anna played a pivotal role in Mexico’s early years. But his role was to lose more than he gained for his country. He lost half of Mexico’s territory during two of his 11 short presidencies. Extolled for winning an important battle early in his career, he lost nearly every battle afterward. Worse, his right leg became one of the few casualties in a ridiculous conflict known as the Pastry War. And when he got a prosthetic replacement, he lost […]

December 11, 2014

11:30 PM | Men Take Idiotic Risks, Study Confirms
The theory that men are more likely to take stupid risks is supported by the first systematic analysis of sex differences in risk-taking behavior.
7:32 PM | The Headless Romans: Headhunting, Defeated Gladiators or Natural River Movement?
In the Walbrook Valley near the city of London, large numbers of human remains, dating to the Roman occupation of England, have been recovered over the past 175 years- and […]

Redfern, R. & Bonney, H. (2014). Headhunting and amphitheatre combat in Roman London, England: new evidence from the Walbrook Valley, Journal of Archaeological Science, 43 214-226. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.12.013

5:56 PM | Week 33 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
Today was a shorter day at the College today as I was asked to come in a little later because there would be some items in the room I work. This meant I came in an hour later and to be honest it was nice having the extra time in bed! I know I don’t […]
4:55 PM | DNews: With Gift Giving, the Thought Doesn't Always Count
Are you happy with the relationship you're in? Or are you trying to enhance a new one with the perfect gift? Think hard, people! There's evidence to suggest if you choose wrong, you might just cost yourself much more than what you spent on the item.
3:42 PM | Alzheimer's Breakthrough Could Hold Key to Cure
Zeroing in on a tiny molecule in the brain could be the key to finding a way to reverse the disease.
12:18 PM | Presentatie onderzoeksrapport over militant islamitisch activisme in België, Nederland en Duitsland
Onderzoekers van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen en de Universiteit van Amsterdam hebben in 2012 en 2013 onderzoek gedaan naar de aard van het islamitische activisme in België, Nederland en Duitsland. Dit wordt gepresenteerd op dinsdag 16 december aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.
10:00 AM | Phenogenetic drift
Many people think that biological traits are due to specific genes and that variation in a trait is due to variation in that gene.  So it would follow that if a gene variant becomes more frequent, the trait variant it codes for becomes more frequent.  We get this idea from Mendel, but it explains only a small fraction of traits; most traits are due to many genes, and this fundamentally changes the specificity of the genotype phenotype connection.  To complicate this further, a […]
8:00 AM | The Factual Basis For The Story Of The Amazons
The Amazon women of Greek mythology were long thought to be just that---mythology. Now, though, archaeologists have uncovered the graves of female warriors whose bodies show the ravages of combat and a lifetime in the saddle. Buried alongside their weapons, these nomadic women rode alongside their husbands between the sixth and fourth centuries B.C., giving life to the myth of the Amazon warriors, and a likely real-life source for the stories. The post The Factual Basis For The Story Of The […]

December 10, 2014

8:00 PM | Why We torture When We Know It Doesn't Work
Authorities torture because of incompetence, revenge and a desire for control.
5:18 PM | The Botanist's Pocket
A strange thing happens to you when you become a keen gardener or a botanist – you start to wander round stuffing bits of plants into your pocket. It might be a cutting you’re hoping will take root in your own garden, or some seeds that just happen to be ripe when you’re walking past, and so prove to be irresistible. I’m sure there are some people who are organized enough to have suitable receptacles handy, but all of the ones I’ve spoken to who own up to this […]
10:18 AM | Micrograph of the Month: Krotovinas at Çatalhöyük
Did you know that there is a word for an animal burrow that becomes backfilled with soil/sediment? That word is krotovina! At Catalhoyuk, burrowing by small mammals is probably one of the most destructive forms of bioturbation on site. Ground squirrels, or suslik as they are known in Turkey, have a great time digging their way through the nice soft archaeological sediments, mixing up the deposits as they go. When marking out locations for micromorphology sampling we try and avoid these burrows, […]
10:00 AM | The "disturbance business"
The Reith Lectures, podcast and broadcast by the BBC (Radio 4), are an annual series of talks initiated in 1948 by the BBC's first director general, John Reith.  Each year an influential thinker is invited to give four separate lectures on a given topic.  This year's lectures are by Atul Gawande, a surgeon, Harvard Medical School professor, and a prolific writer of New Yorker pieces and popular OpEds about medicine. He is very persuasive and readable, and thoughtful.Gawande's lectures […]
8:44 AM | DNews Exclusive: Gags to Riches
Learn the story of how "Billy Bob's Gags to Riches" came to be.
8:00 AM | The Ancient Copyright Dispute That Cost 3,000 Lives
Around A.D. 560, the earliest recorded copyright dispute in history erupted in Ireland. At stake was the ownership of a copy of the Cathach, which today is the oldest surviving manuscript written in Ireland, attributed to St. Columba. Columba refused to acknowledge the ruling of King Diarmait MacCerbhaill that prohibited him from keeping his copy. He instigated an uprising against Diarmait, and the subsequent battle killed at least 3,000 of the king's troops. The post The Ancient Copyright […]

December 09, 2014

5:22 PM | The Difference Between The Spirit And The Soul
Spirit and soul are often used to refer to that non-tangible part of our consciousness that makes us who we are. There's a difference, though---the soul is what all living things have that make us living, while the spirit is the consciousness that makes us who we are. On the religious side, there's some overlap throughout the texts of the Bible, but in most cases the soul is with us while we're alive, and the spirit is with us in life and in death---as long as we believe. The post The […]

December 08, 2014

10:45 PM | Can't Sleep? A Week of Camping Could be the Fix
Night owls could use a week in the woods, reports a new study, which can fix what ails your circadian rhythms.
7:00 PM | How Placebos Can Help You Run Faster
Runners may benefit from the power of placebos -- even after they know they've been duped.
6:31 PM | Pope Francis Illuminates World's Largest Christmas Tree
Made of nearly 1,000 multi-colored lights connected by more than 5 miles of electrical cable, the tree is a lighting display laid out on the side of Mount Ingino.
2:30 PM | Gift List Circa 50,000 B.C.: Photos
Are you struggling with your holiday shopping list? Imagine what your options may have been more than 50,000 years ago.
10:00 AM | Genetics -- fiddling while Rome burns
Stories about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance generally include alarming predictions about the coming post-antibiotic era, about how even simple medical procedures that are now safe will become dangerous once we lose the ability to fight infections, and indeed simple infections will once again become life-threatening, as they might have been for most of human history.  We in the rich world can still imagine that this future might be avoidable, as we've still got useful drugs […]
8:02 AM | When Eggnog Started A Riot At West Point Academy
Even George Washington had a recipe for eggnog that included brandy, sherry, whiskey and rum, but he probably didn't intend for it to be used quite like this. In 1826, a group of West Point cadets decided to break one of the school's cardinal rules and secure some whiskey for their Christmas Eve eggnog. The drunken party soon turned violent, with shots fired, buildings destroyed, and cadets expelled. Leading the pack---but not expelled---was future Confederate president Jefferson Davis. The […]

December 07, 2014

9:34 AM | Glutbusters: December 2014
Frosted oca Oxalis tuberosa foliage I was beginning to think that my new garden might be the opposite of a frost pocket – a frost haven, if you like. Despite the sinking temperatures, and frost appearing outside the garden, there had been none inside. But this morning there’s a touch of frost on the ‘lawn’ (it’s mostly weeds), so that hope has gone out of the window! It might not be a frost pocket, but my garden will have to endure the winter weather that’s […]
8:00 AM | The Jewish Curator Who Helped Hitler Loot Europe’s Art
In February 2012, Munich police and tax investigators raided the apartment of a quiet hermit named Cornelius Gurlitt and found 1,400 works of art worth up to $1 billion. Many of the works were plundered from Jewish private collections in World War II. They were the legacy of Cornelius’s father, Hildebrand, a one-quarter Jew who helped Hitler steal them. Bending to the public outcry, Cornelius decided to return the plundered works to the families who once owned them. The post The […]

December 06, 2014

11:25 AM | Blackness in European Folklore – The Dutch Case: Black Pete
Quinsy Gario and Markus Balkenhol about the cultural history and the contestations surrounding the Dutch black-face holiday character Zwarte Piet (Black Pete).
8:00 AM | The Sun Is Not The Biggest Thing In Our Solar System
The Sun is a star, so it is much bigger even than Jupiter, our solar system's biggest planet. The outer atmosphere of this big ball of gas and plasma streams away as a big magnetic bubble made out of the solar wind and the Sun's magnetic field. This is the heliosphere, and it's the biggest continuous structure in the solar system. The post The Sun Is Not The Biggest Thing In Our Solar System appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.
5:15 AM | Left-Handed People Make Less Money, Finds Research
The differences in brain wiring could make lefties vulnerable to some learning disabilities.

December 05, 2014

11:35 PM | Brain Games Don't Improve Memory or Cognition
Many companies offer programs to help keep your mind sharp -- but do they work?
5:30 PM | DNews: You Don't Have to Be Awake to Have a Panic Attack
The middle-of-the-night, wake up and commence panicking about something thing is a feeling many know well. But why do we wake up in the first place and head straight into panic mode? Amy examines how our subconscious mind is a key panic problem.
11:35 AM | There’s No Such Thing As A Fish
Recently I was introduced to a podcast called ‘No Such Thing As A Fish‘. It’s a show hosted by the QI Elves who present their most interesting facts of the week. It’s an awesome programme with so many amazing and wonderful bits of information. If you’ve never heard of the show QI before you’ll have […]
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