Posts

July 14, 2014

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9:00 AM | On the mythology of natural selection. Part I: Introduction
Charles Darrwin turned the world on its head with his exceedingly insightful realizations. Rather than a mind (of God) creating the organisms of the world, the organisms created the mind that realized how things became what they are.Prior to Darwin (and a few scattered predecessors who just guessed or didn't really develop the theory), it was only natural, or even sane, to assume some kind of creation was responsible for the highly organized state of living nature--the structures and […]
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8:45 AM | DNews: Alcohol and Pillow Talk: Why They Don't Mix
Sex and alcohol both make us feel good, but one of them is a bit of a liar in the long run. Trace explains which is the deceiver, and what each does to couples' communication skills.
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7:00 AM | All The Different Kinds Of Lightning
Throughout the centuries, lightning has been mistaken for many things, from UFOs to the spirits of the dead. There are so many different kinds of lightning that it's not surprising that sometimes people just don't recognize it for what it is. In addition to the most common lightning that accompanies thunderstorms, there's also the ball lightning that many see as a UFO, the jellyfish-like red sprites, blue jets that are more often seen from the sky than from the ground, and the rather disturbing […]
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5:20 AM | Earliest War Victims Lived Brutal Lives
A collection of 13,000-year-old bones from a northern Sudan cemetery reveal the horrific deaths of the humans in the area.

July 13, 2014

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3:00 PM | Ancient Graffiti to Street Art: Rome Tells Its Story
From wealthy neighborhoods in the city's north to working class suburbs in the south, Romans are not shy about scrawling on walls.
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2:50 PM | Photos: Rome's Street Art Has International Flair
In a city where fine arts academies abound, graffiti is both technical and gorgeous.
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2:00 PM | DNews: Between Boredom and Pain, Humans Will Take Pain
In sad-but-true, and probably not even unexpected, news, researchers observed that an alarmingly high number of people would rather shock themselves than be bored. Tara has the details.
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8:00 AM | DNews: Is Cycling Harmful for Men?
There's no question that cycling has major health benefits, putting your whole body into workout mode. But the debate rages on about whether all of that pedaling can cause a number of serious maladies in men.
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7:00 AM | The Uzbek Scholar Who Discovered America Centuries Before Columbus
Abu Raihan al-Biruni was born in what is now Uzbekistan and spent most of his life in Central Asia, miles from the sea. Arguably the greatest scholar of his era, his work on the Earth's circumference led him to realize that there must be another large landmass to the West---and that it must be inhabited. He died in 1048, more than four centuries before Columbus set off, confidently expecting to sail to Asia. The post The Uzbek Scholar Who Discovered America Centuries Before Columbus appeared […]

July 12, 2014

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10:52 PM | Some Figures from the Discworld
As I’m visiting my Mum this weekend I don’t have the ‘Wit and Wisdom of Discworld’ on me. However, I do have all of my Mum’s books and figurines of the Discworld figures so I thought I would share some of my favourites instead. Every since I can remember my Mum has been collecting the […]
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7:00 PM | DNews: Can Certain Foods Trigger Bad Dreams?
Does sugar give you nightmares? What about eating some pasta or pizza? Will they have you sitting up straight in fear? Laci takes a look at the relationship between food and our shut-eye.
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2:00 PM | DNews: What Makes Awkward Silence So, Well, Awkward?
We've all been there. Someone says something and them whooosh! Drop. Dead. Silence. What happens to the poor speaker of the words that caused the silence, as the agonizing dearth of noise unfolds?
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12:40 PM | Star Maps Used by Aboriginals for Night Routes
Oral histories reveal that Aboriginal language groups have uses specific stars to remember waypoints while traveling.
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12:03 PM | Mintylicious
This isn’t a fantasy alien landscape, its an image of a mint leaf, taken with a scanning electron microscope by Annie Cavanagh. This low-res version is available from Wellcome Images with a Creative Commons license, which allows me to show you how awesome plants are. The spike is a trichome (a hair, essentially). The blobs are oil, sitting on oil glands, and are what gives mint is delicious flavour. The oval structures that look a bit like seeds scattered on the surface, are stomata, […]
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12:00 PM | Legendary Jazz Bassist Charlie Haden Dies
Three-time Grammy Awards winner dies at age 76.
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7:00 AM | Why Eyeballs Don’t Freeze At Subzero Temperatures
If our hands, toes, noses, and other body parts are susceptible to freezing and getting frostbitten, it might seem unusual that our eyeballs can survive the cold totally unprotected. But, unlike other bodily extremities, the eyes are constantly pumped with a strong supply of warm blood---even in the coldest situations. Furthermore, our eyes are nestled rather deeply in our heads where bone, tissue, and fat also help keep them warm. Essentially, it's virtually impossible for the eyes to freeze […]

July 11, 2014

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7:40 PM | Berkely Seeking Free Pot for Poor
The Berkeley City Council wants to require marijuana dispensaries to give 2 percent to the poor. Continue reading →
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7:28 PM | Humanity on a high
Altitude sickness comes from lack of oxygen in the atmosphere, but lack of oxygen can cause other complications. Despite this, some specific populations across the globe compensate through biochemical specialisations in the way their bodies operate. This is particularly obvious in tribes living the Andes or high up on the Tibetan plateau, some 4000m above […]
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6:20 PM | Smallpox Vials Found: Could It Strike Again?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now running tests on six forgotten vials of smallpox recently discovered in an unsecured laboratory.
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5:12 PM | Day of Archaeology 2014: Codes, Bones and a Backstory
Happy Day of Archaeology 2014! It is a day where archaeologists from all around the world share what they are doing in order to spread awareness of the breadth and diversity […]
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3:30 PM | Human Skin's Nine Most Amazing Features
Skin does much more than most people probably suspect.
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1:43 PM | DNews: How Do Psychedelic Mushrooms Work Their Magic?
Psychedelic mushrooms have been around for thousands of years, and have been used for research purposes and in religious ceremonies. Tara has the skinny on how 'shrooms can expand one's mind.
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1:10 PM | Baby Thought Cleared of HIV Has the Virus Again
Girl's story had raised hopes that, with strong anti-retroviral drugs shortly after birth, young children born HIV-positive could be cured.
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9:00 AM | The anti-Lamarckian gut reaction: keep the bar high--but your minds open
Biologists tend to ridicule Jean-Baptiste Lamarck for his version of evolution, expressed in his 1809 Philosophie Zoologique.  Laughing at him is one of our favorite sports.  Of course most of those who do the laughing never bothered to do any actual reading of Lamarck's famous book, but who's gonna sweat the details?So what was it that he said, and why was it so risible?Larmarckian InheritanceJean Baptiste de LamarckAbout 50 years before Darwin's famous theory was […]
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7:43 AM | The Toad That Fights With Its Mustache
Think you've got an awesome mustache? Well, your facial fur is nothing compared to the Emei mustache toad's. Once a year, this Chinese amphibian grows a needle-sharp mustache . . . only it isn't for looks. The toad uses these spikes to do battle with rivals, and the winner earns the right to mate. The post The Toad That Fights With Its Mustache appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

July 10, 2014

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11:37 PM | Los libros del 2014 (1ª parte)
Internet es una herramienta muy útil pero también puede ser un problema. Basta que perdamos la conexión para sentir verdadero pánico, una sensación de vacío como si nos faltara el aire imprescindible para respirar. En este sentido hay quien ha acuñado el término … Continue reading →
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8:00 PM | Trying to Sell Your Haunted House? Try Exorcism
While some are eager to move into supposedly haunted houses, many aren't so sure.
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7:44 PM | Dzień dobry!
Dzień dobry! Greetings from Poland! Czy mówisz po polsku? Do you speak Polish? This summer Katie Lee and Mary Rogers (that’s us!) from LEE are doing field work in Southern Poland. We will have a few blog posts over the summer about our experiences. Jedziemy do Polski!  Poland was chosen as our field site for a variety of reasons. Our badania (research) asks questions about life experiences and reproductive health. The area of Poland in which we are recruiting study […]
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6:05 PM | Week 15 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
A slightly greyer and cooler day yesterday – a good insight into the British weather! One week it’s gorgeous sunshine the next it’s grey and threatening to rain! Never mind, what ever the weather I always enjoy my Thursdays. This week I wasn’t in my own but had another volunteering working with me. It was […]
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9:30 AM | elimination now
In last years’ presidential address at the American Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene meeting, now published here, David H. Walker asks: “After malaria is controlled, what’s next?”  I find this to be a peculiar but illustrative question for several reasons.  I’ll return to that in a bit, but first a few terms that are frequently thrown around:Control: reducing the numbers of new infections to an acceptable low levelElimination: getting rid of a […]
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