January 23, 2015

8:00 AM | No One’s Really Sure What Happened To Van Gogh’s Ear
Everyone knows that van Gogh once took a straight razor to his own ear and lopped off a good part of it. That's the story that's been as much a part of pop culture as it has been art history, but a review of contemporary documents suggests that it didn't happen that way at all. Another theory is that his ear was cut off by his longtime friend and roommate, the French artist Paul Gauguin, whom he was involved in an argument with. Because the two witnesses to the actual event aren't talking---and […]
6:17 AM | Book review: One Magic Square
One Magic Square, by Lolo Houbein Sometimes I’m offered a book for review that I might overlook if I passed it on the gardening shelf of the local bookshop. One Magic Square by Lolo Houbein is such a book – it’s a basics guide to growing your own food, starting with one square metre (and, if you have the space and the time) building up a larger garden gradually. It’s an expansion of the Square Foot gardening method, and as such perhaps not an instant draw to those of […]

January 22, 2015

9:00 PM | Deflategate: How Players Alter Footballs and Why
The Patriots are being accused of breaking an NFL rule by deflating game balls. Learn how the level of inflation affects the ball in play.
7:00 PM | Human-Like Hands Came Before Actual Humans
Some of the earliest members of our family tree were able to do relatively sophisticated tasks with their hands.
10:00 AM | Your money at, waste: the million genomes project
Bulletin from the Boondoggle DepartmentIn desperate need for a huge new mega-project to lock up even more NIH funds before the Republicans (or other research projects that are actually focused on a real problem) take them away, or before individual investigators who actually have some scientific ideas to test, we read that Francis Collins has apparently persuaded someone who's not paying attention to fund the genome sequencing of a million people!  Well, why not?  First we had the […]
8:00 AM | ‘Moby-Dick’ Was Inspired By Two Real Marauding Whales
Many literature professors consider Herman Melville’s classic tale of whale vs. whalers the first and only American epic. Whatever we may think of Moby-Dick; or The Whale, a story about an albino sperm whale fighting back seems like, well, a fish story. While Melville’s story is fictional, it was inspired by two real whales who took on their human hunters with deadly results. The post ‘Moby-Dick’ Was Inspired By Two Real Marauding Whales appeared first on […]

January 21, 2015

6:00 PM | Perennial broccolis through the season
This short video from Food Forest Farm explains how two perennial vegetables, Sea kale (Crambe maritima) and Turkish rocket (Bunias orientalis) can provide you with fresh broccoli in spring and also stir-fry greens in the autumn, and demonstrates how these plants are propagated :) Perennial Broccolis Through the Seasons from Jonathan Bates on Vimeo. This blog posting is © copyright Emma Cooper 2015. Unauthorized duplication and/or republication is not permitted.
5:20 PM | Boy's 'Spontaneous Combustion' May Be Child Abuse
The parents of a boy claimed to be a victim of spontaneous human combustion in 2013 now have a second child with the same 'problem' and police are skeptical.
5:02 PM | DNews: Finally an Answer: Here's The Deal with Airline Food
Airlines have heard your mockery and are starting to apply scientific research to how they cook and serve their in-flight meals. If you've ever wondered, NOT in jest, why airplane food leaves something to be desired, here's why.
1:55 PM | Coffee May Protect Against Some Skin Cancers
People who drink coffee regularly may be protected against malignant melanoma, the leading cause of skin-cancer death in the U.S.
12:45 PM | Microfossil of the Month: Plant Stomata
For 2015 I have decided to replace my Micrograph of the Month feature with Microfossil of the Month. I will likely return to the thin section micrographs at some point, but as I am going to be working on phytolith and ash samples for most of this year, I figured it would make sense to feature some of these on the blog! Who knows how long I will be able to keep it up - from past experience of the sites I am working on, I may be limited in the range of examples that I will find! As a refresher […]
11:00 AM | How Sleep Keeps You Healthy, Helps You Heal
Sleep probably gets less credit than it should for battling illness since much of its work is under cover.
10:00 AM | Dragonfly the hunter
For vertebrates and invertebrates alike, hunting is a complex behavior.  Even if it seems to involve just a simple flick of the tongue, the hunter must first note the presence of its prey, and then successfully capture it, even when the prey makes unpredictable moves. Vertebrates hunt by predicting and planning, relying on what philosophers of mind call 'internal models' that allow them to anticipate the movement of their prey and respond accordingly, but whether invertebrates do the same […]
8:00 AM | How To Starve To Death While Stuffing Yourself With Rabbit Meat
While some people can't fathom eating a cute, fuzzy little rabbit, the reality is that they are a good source of food. With their renown for breeding and their widespread habitat range, they are an effective source of nutrition. However, one must be careful when eating rabbit, as eating nothing but rabbit can actually kill you. It's called rabbit starvation, and it's one of the more paradoxical things out there. The post How To Starve To Death While Stuffing Yourself With Rabbit Meat appeared […]

January 20, 2015

2:25 PM | Why Sleep Paralysis Can Make You See Ghosts
Sleep paralysis might be an evolutionary adaptation that keeps people from acting out their dreams.
2:00 PM | Mostly Dead, but Slightly Alive: The Life After Death of Dismembered Remains in Ancient Peru
In the Princess Bride, the deceased body of Westley is brought to Miracle Max in order to bring him back to life. Famously, May says ‘There’s a big difference between mostly dead […]

Tung, T. (2014). Agency, ‘Til Death Do Us Part? Inquiring about the Agency of Dead Bodies from the Ancient Andes, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 24 (03) 437-452. DOI: 10.1017/S0959774314000614

Arnold, B. (2014). Life After Life: Bioarchaeology and Post-mortem Agency, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 24 (03) 523-529. DOI: 10.1017/S0959774314000572

Editor's Pick
12:43 PM | Why People Believed Boy's 'Visit to Heaven' Story
A boy who wrote a best-selling book about visiting heaven has admitted the story is false. Here's why it was widely believed.
8:00 AM | The First Machine To Successfully Imitate Human Intelligence
For over 65 years, computer scientists have used the Turing Test as a way to judge computer intelligence. Programs that pass the test (by convincing a group of people that they are having a conversation with another real human) are said to exhibit human-like intelligence. In 2014, a computer finally beat the test. Although some in the AI industry are unimpressed by the feat, there's no denying the machine met all the required criteria. The post The First Machine To Successfully Imitate Human […]
8:00 AM | AirAsia Plane Climbed at Speed 'Beyond Normal' Then Stalled
In the final minutes, the plane climbed at a speed which was beyond normal, radar data shows.

January 19, 2015

4:35 PM | We can see the beast....but it's been us!
The unfathomable horrors of what the 'Islamists' are doing these days can hardly be exaggerated.  It is completely legitimate, from the usual mainstream perspective at least, to denigrate the perpetrators in the clearest possible way, as simply absolute evil.  But a deeper understanding raises sobering questions.It's 'us' pointing at 'them' at the moment, and some aspects of what's going on reflect religious beliefs: Islam vs Christianity, Judaism, or the secular western 'faith'. […]
12:55 PM | Pizza Prescription: Kids Should Eat Less
Kids in the United States eat so much pizza that some researchers now argue the food should join the ranks of sugary drinks and fast foods.
10:44 AM | Cartoonesque 18 – Charlie Hebdo: Moderne missionarissen en de heiliging van cartoons
Je zou het bijna vergeten, maar de gewelddadige aanval op Charlie Hebdo is een aanval op politieke satire die in Nederland helemaal niet zo bekend was. Dat geldt zeker ook voor de moslims die...
8:00 AM | When The Capital Of The Roman Empire Was In England
Rome wasn't always the capital of the Roman Empire, and from A.D. 208--211 and again from 305--306, the capital of the empire was York. During its initial run as capital city, York was home to Rome's first African emperor, Septimius Severus, during his campaign to stop Caledonian aggression against Roman lands in Britain. Later, York would be the place that the emperor Constantine died, and the place that his son, later Constantine the Great, would be installed as emperor. The post When The […]

January 18, 2015

8:00 AM | The Many Different Kinds Of Noise
We're familiar with white noise, and some of us even rely on it to get to sleep at night. While that's noise that includes all frequencies, other kinds of noise are defined by the relationship between frequency and power. Pink noise had greater power at lower frequencies, while blue noise has greater power at higher frequencies. Brown noise is an extreme version of pink noise, and grey noise is stronger at the high and low ends of frequency. The post The Many Different Kinds Of Noise appeared […]

January 17, 2015

8:39 AM | Pallet unwrapped - did you guess correctly?
The contents of the pallet that was delivered on Wednesday was wooden planters for the front garden. Ryan and I looked long and hard for the right ones – I wanted a decent planting depth, and they had to fit in the space and look nice and tidy as they will be on view all the time. We spotted these ones outside a garden centre before Christmas, looking suitably festive filled with standard bay trees dressed with red ribbons. But we ordered them direct from the manufacturer, Adams […]
8:00 AM | The Heated Debate On The Existence Of Wind Chill
Wind chill is a mathematically derived number designed to let us know what the outdoor temperature feels like to our human skin, not how it affects the mercury in a thermometer. Some want to do away with it, arguing that a limited formula can't accurately predict how the weather will "feel" to every person in their own unique environment. Those who support it say that even with its flaws, the wind chill still gives folks a better idea of what to expect before they go outside. For those with […]

January 16, 2015

2:52 PM | Human Metasystem Transition (HMST) Theory
NEW PAPER: Human Metasystem Transition (HMST) Theory Human evolution has been a collective, systemic process.  Throughout our history and our maturation the systems we have operated within have generated higher levels of selection, and emergent cultural and technological phenomenon.  In my latest paper I attempt to develop a theory – Human Metasystem Transition (HMST) Theory – […]Human Metasystem Transition (HMST) Theory was first posted on January 16, 2015 at […]
2:50 PM | To Catch Terrorists, Teamwork Works Best
Solo-working experts and secrecy are a recipe for disaster, experts warn, when it comes to hunting terrorists.
1:52 PM | Pinus cembra, Tamangur, Las Gondas and the Mesolithic
“The Stone pine, each its own, unmistakable: born and growing on this very spot, while birds came and moved along and other birds came and left again. And she has turned old, ancient, she became ever more beautiful, more free, … Continue reading →
8:00 AM | The Unfortunate Legacy Of Gary Thomasson
Gary Thomasson was an American baseball player who lost his mojo when he moved to Japan. But despite his less-than-stellar career, his name still lives on today. Thanks to Japanese artist Akasegawa Genpei, Thomasson has became an eponym for a truly bizarre type of architecture: objects that are completely useless but still carefully maintained. The post The Unfortunate Legacy Of Gary Thomasson appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.
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