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 […]
7:00 AM | Pele Was So Good At Soccer That He Stopped A War
During the 1960s, Nigeria was racked by a devastating civil war. But when soccer legend Pele and his team of Brazilian greats visited the country to play a match, both sides immediately agreed to a truce so they could watch the legend in action. The military even opened heavily guarded checkpoints so that people could make their way to the big game. The post Pele Was So Good At Soccer That He Stopped A War appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

October 13, 2014

2:20 PM | CDC's Dirty Dozen: 12 Diseases Watched as Terrorist Threats
Ebola made the cut, as did anthrax and botulism. Find what other diseases government officials are closely monitoring.
11:50 AM | Second US Ebola Case Raises Questions About Safety Protocols
A Texas Department of State Health Services insists that authorities were working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread.
11:28 AM | 5 Trowel Blazers who have influenced my career
I've been doing a lot of reading and thinking over the past year about women in archaeology. I've become increasingly aware of the concept of privilege and the impacts it has on the structure of academia, and since joining Twitter it is something I reflect on regularly. Twitter really is one of the best sources of information and interaction on this topic, letting you connect directly with so many people and understand different viewpoints. It is through Twitter that I became aware of the […]
9:56 AM | DNews: Why Do We Twitch Before Falling Asleep?
You know that jerky, twitchy, feels-like-you're-falling thing you feel sometimes just before you drift off to sleep? That's called the hypnogogic state, and Trace explains what going on with this phenomenon.
9:00 AM | Morgan's insight--and Morgan's restraint
Last week, we stirred the pot by asserting that it was at best misleading for the authors of the latest human stature mega-study to say, as if reassuringly, that the number of genome locations contributing to stature was in the thousands, but that at least it was finite. We questioned that 'finite' both figuratively and literally, because it has to do with the realities and manageability of this sort of causal landscape.  And this is for what appears to be a highly genetic and easily […]
7:00 AM | Fighting For Feces: The War For Guano
Believe it or not, but in the 19th century, petrified bird dung was a key economic resource. Its use as a fertilizer facilitated the more efficient agricultural sector necessary for industrializing countries. This placed immense focus on the western coast of South America, which contained the world's best deposits of guano, and, inevitably, wars were fought for control of bird excrement. The post Fighting For Feces: The War For Guano appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

October 12, 2014

11:49 PM | Social media and professional archaeology in retrospect
This is the first of two posts directed at students enrolled in an online topic that I teach at Flinders University on Professional Archaeology.  The focus of this week’s module is to encourage students to critically evaluate the role of social media in professional archaeology. It is naturally the case then that this is an […]
8:26 PM | Philip Who? On the recent reanalysis of skeletal remains from Vergina
Facade of the tomb at VerginaWhen I was an undergrad, one particular class lecture on Greek archaeology made a big impression on me.  We were learning about the amazing tomb discovered buried underneath a mound of dirt at Vergina in the late 1970s.  It's sort of a house-tomb style, with a gorgeous facade, wall paintings, and a slew of artifacts.  We also learned that the excavators had found the remains of at least four people in three tombs -- but that's all we learned, as […]
6:35 PM | Who needs an osteologist? (Installment 18)
A new "vampire" grave was just announced this week in Bulgaria.  But I'm not writing about the interpretation of the way the skeleton was buried, which honestly seems to fit with the current theory that, prior to the understanding of germ theory, many of these "revenant" graves are related to keeping the dead in their place so they don't infect the rest of the population with whatever plague was going around.No, the picture that accompanies every news story I've seen of the Bulgarian […]
2:02 PM | Human-made climate change, or climate change made humans?
We hear a lot in the news about accelerated climate change due to human activity, and for very good reasons. Just have a glance at the first half Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2014 report (IPCC 2014 Summary) if you want to know how we’ll all be affected by climate change in our own lifetimes. […]
1:00 PM | Second Possible Ebola Case Reported in Texas
A health care worker who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the man who died of Ebola, has tested positive for the disease.
9:41 AM | Garden visit: Roman Fishbourne Palace & Gardens
It was raining last weekend when Ryan and I went to visit Fishbourne Roman Palace & Gardens, the remains of what was one a high-status Roman building by the sea. It doesn’t make a difference to viewing the ruins, which are housed in a lovely, open-plan building with specially-constructed walkways that allow you to get reasonably close to the mosaic floors without any risk of damage to them. Which is important, as subsidence and algae (they were built without foundations, and water […]
7:00 AM | The Muslim Prince Who Lived In The Vatican
In the 15th century, Prince Djem (the brother of Ottoman Sultan Bajazet) became a guest of Pope Innocent VIII in the Vatican. Djem was actually a pawn in the political game between Sultan Bajazet and the Pope. But nonetheless, this Muslim prince lived in luxury at the very seat of Christendom. The incongruous situation of the Pope playing host to an infidel further eroded respect for the papacy. The post The Muslim Prince Who Lived In The Vatican appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

October 11, 2014

8:49 PM | The interdisciplinary continuum in studies of Humanity and the Earth
Sometimes I find it hard to put myself into a subject area box. I was a Geography undergraduate, a Geoarchaeology MSc student, and did a PhD jointly in Chemistry and Archaeology. What does that make me? I used to say I was a geoarchaeologist, applying the methods of geoscience to archaeological questions. But I realised that was too narrow, as even the methods I draw upon vary depending on the question being asked, and indeed a multi-proxy approach is something which I try  to promote. My […]
12:15 PM | Seven Accused African Witches Burned to Death
Seven people in East Africa were killed earlier this week after being accused of witchcraft. Continue reading →
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