Posts

December 03, 2014

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12:15 PM | Week 31 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
This week I was in on Tuesday instead of Thursday because there were the volunteer Christmas drinks in the evening. It was really nice and interesting to meet some of the other volunteers as well as spending time with the museum staff outside of the normal hours. The director made a nice speech thanking all […]
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10:00 AM | Rhododendron walks into a bar...
By Anne Buchanan and Ken WeissPlants may be stuck in one place, but they aren't just sitting there twiddling their thumbs.  That they respond to environmental cues has long been known, of course, and the hormonal and molecular mechanisms for responding to light, temperature, moisture and so forth are well-established.  Some responses evoked by one part of a plant, such as attack by predator, can communicate to other parts or even to nearby plants.  But it has only fairly recently […]
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9:47 AM | DNews: How Fish Farms Feed Their Captive Catch
We farm plants and other animals, so why not fish? But are today's fish farms doing their best to keep their manufactured catch good for us and the fish? Trace looks into the good, bad and ugly behind fish farms.
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8:00 AM | You Can’t Help But Walk In Circles If You’re Really Lost
It seems unlikely that once external reference points have been removed, we all have no choice but to wander aimlessly in circles, like a child's wind-up toy from the 1950s. But it's absolutely true. Researchers aren’t completely sure why we do it, although they do have some theories. What they have proven, though, is that if you remove any external guidance points, we as a species are completely unable to walk in a straight line. The post You Can’t Help But Walk In Circles If […]

December 02, 2014

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9:32 PM | 84% of Vegetarians and Vegans Return to Meat. Why?
I was shocked when my long-time vegetarian daughter asked me for suggestions about what types of meat she might enjoy. I should not have been surprised. According to new research, the vast majority of vegetarians and even vegans eventually return to meat-eating. Here are the implications for the animal rights movement.read more
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5:01 PM | Another Reason to Skip Late-Night Snacking
When it comes to controlling your weight, WHEN you eat can be as important as WHAT you eat, research shows.
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12:30 PM | Origins of Human Alcohol Consumption Revealed
Human ancestors may have begun evolving the knack for consuming alcohol about 10 million years ago.
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10:00 AM | "You're being elementary, my dear Watson!"
Poor Jim Watson!  As a young, adventurous technical scientist, he and Francis Crick heated up the scientific world with the incredibly powerful discovery of the chemical nature of DNA and all that that entailed about biology.  The Cambridge bar where they celebrated, The Eagle, is now itself celebrated, and for the rest of their lives Watson and Crick had it made.*  The Nobel prize that they shared (though others should perhaps have at least been given some of the credit for the […]
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8:00 AM | International Justice Might Not Be Blind
Set up in the aftermath of the bloody Yugoslav Wars, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was the world’s first step toward truly international justice. It was followed by the Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and, in 2002, the birth of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Since its founding, dozens of war criminals have been tried and convicted there. Yet there are many who claim the tribunal is not independent, but really just playing to deeply vested […]

December 01, 2014

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10:30 PM | Qatar Court Acquits US Couple
A Qatari court on Sunday acquitted a US couple charged with neglect leading to the death of their adopted daughter.
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9:00 PM | Airline Changes Flight Following 'Psychic' Warning
An airline recently changed the flight number of plane that a psychic claimed was doomed -- here's why.
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7:50 PM | Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival LXVI
Not too much Roman stuff this month, so I've thrown in some ancient Greek news as well...Roman StuffRoman-era finger bonesvia Archaeology.org3 November - Remains may have been rural Roman farmers (Archaeology). Two Roman-period skeletons were found in Worcestershire, England.  Possibly farmhands, both bodies seem to have evidence of hard work.  This pic of interphalangeal joint facets looks particularly rough. More on the find, with pictures of the hobnails from the female's shoes, at […]
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6:01 PM | The landscape of Stonehenge?
Stonehenge c. 1885. Wikipedia.10th battalion CEF marching past Stonehenge1914–15 WikipediaIt was announced earlier today that the A303 road which currently runs past Stonehenge will be re-routed through a tunnel, to remove it from view of the monument. This follows the closing of the A344 earlier last year. Although this is being done for the benefit of visitors who apparently complain about the road, I myself have mixed feelings about it. Which is odd, as I am the sort of person who […]
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5:09 PM | DNews: What Makes Mice Such Good Research Subjects?
Mice are everywhere! No, not in your house -- in research! They're so ubiquitous in laboratories that it seems like everything is tested on them first, in advance of human subjects. "Why mice?" you wonder. Trace has the answer.
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10:00 AM | The Lock Mess Monstrosity
I came across this story, with a moral so unintentionally genetic that I had to pass it on.  Exercise, Aesop's fable-style. "I had just finished taking a nice, long, luxuriant hot and foamy shower after working up a hearty sweat at the local gym.  I got my towel and began to dry myself off, in a soft, slow, leisurely way, before leaving.   Then, having largely dried my (lissome) body, I felt a bit chilled and, covering myself somewhat modestly with the (one small) towel wrapped […]
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9:13 AM | DNews: Power Naps Improve with a Boost from ... Coffee?
Sleep science takes a turn for the paradoxical, as new research shows your 20-30 minute power nap can be greatly enhanced by coffee, of all things.
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8:00 AM | The Utterly Strange Ganzfeld Experiment
The Ganzfeld is an experiment wherein the volunteer is put in a temporary state of sensory deprivation for the purpose of testing psi phenomena. While parapsychological researchers have claimed conclusive results, others have been unable to replicate their findings. The post The Utterly Strange Ganzfeld Experiment appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

November 30, 2014

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4:17 PM | England’s 7,000-Year-Old Footprints
There are few places that allow us to get close to the everyday life of our Neolithic ancestors---one place is Formby Point on England's west coast. Once an expanse of muddy hunting grounds and today a beach, Formby is the site of the fleeting glimpse of traces of our ancestors. As erosion takes its toll on the ancient site, footprints once dried in the mud and preserved in the sand slowly come to the surface---and vanish within hours. Studying the footprints has given us an oddly intimate look […]
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11:59 AM | Review: Flamingo Gifts
There’s nothing like adding a few personal touches to the garden, to really make it your own. My garden planning is very much in the early stages, and there’s not much I can do until the weather perks up a bit. So it was nice to be offered a box of goodies from Flamingo Gifts to review, and to be able to choose a few things that will make the garden feel like mine next next year. Flamingo Gifts pride themselves on offering some unique gifts, and they certainly had an eclectic […]
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10:38 AM | Angkor, la ciudad perdida
Ambicioso Oriente se despoja de las cosas que guarda en sí más bellas; Ceilán cuantas su esfera exhala roja engasta en el mejor metal centellas; de sus veneros registró Camboya las que a pesar del sol ostentó estrellas: el esplendor, … Sigue leyendo →

November 29, 2014

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3:53 PM | A garden of succulent edibles
‘Egglings’, planted with succulents Whilst I was munching my way through a particularly nice sandwich one lunch time, I began pondering the word succulent, and its various uses. In terms of food, succulent means tender and juicy. In my mind it has the same slightly indecent feel to it as moist, luscious, lush and pleasurable. But succulent food is definitely a good thing. For a botanist, a succulent plant is one that has one of more fleshy parts that are used to store water in […]
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8:44 AM | The Stupid Limping Fad Of Victorian Britain
After her marriage to Prince Albert, Alexandra of Denmark became a British superstar and fashion icon. Devoted fans copied her dresses and necklaces, but things got really weird after Alexandra developed a pronounced limp. Suddenly, women across the UK were limping around on mismatched shoes, all in the name of fashion. The post The Stupid Limping Fad Of Victorian Britain appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

November 28, 2014

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8:00 AM | How The US Government Betrayed Charles Horman
In 1973, American journalist Charles Horman found himself sitting on the story of a lifetime. The Chilean military, under the control of Augusto Pinochet, had just overthrown the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende and there were rumors that the US was involved. So when Horman overheard US military personnel boasting about their role in the coup, he naturally assumed it would lead to a front page headline. What he couldn’t have known that it would lead to was his own […]
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6:51 AM | How many posts do you want?
This is my 24th consecutive daily blog post, and there’s only a few more days in November, when I challenged myself to write a blog post every day. Some days have been quite a challenge, but overall it has been fun and I have enjoyed emptying my brain onto these pages. Quite a few of you have left comments, or sent me messages on Twitter (thank you). I haven’t done any statistics, but it feels as though a higher rate of posts from me is producing a higher rate of interaction from […]

November 27, 2014

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10:00 PM | Thanksgiving Tidbits
Now that you’ve filled yourself with good company and good food and you’re settled on your couch, how about some light reading before the tryptophan sets in? I’ve assembled some of... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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10:00 PM | Thanksgiving Tidbits
Now that you’ve filled yourself with good company and good food and you’re settled on your couch, how about some light reading before the tryptophan sets in? I’ve assembled some of... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:24 PM | Week 31 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
I had a shorter day at the College today as I wasn’t feel too great which was annoying. However, I did take photos and updated some on the museum database entries of quite a few specimens before I had to leave. There is little to add this week as most of the specimens displayed signs […]
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3:00 PM | Does Gratitude Bring Happiness?
Psychologists, religious leaders, and scientists have said that giving thanks should be more than a once-a-year tradition.
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10:00 AM | Some Holiday Thoughts
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8:00 AM | The Terrible Attack On Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home
Built in Wisconsin, Taliesin was home to Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress Martha Borthwick. On the outside, the house was an architectural wonder. On the inside, something was very wrong, especially with Julian Carlton. The household servant, Carlton mysteriously snapped and, one day in 1914, went on a rampage straight out of a horror movie. The post The Terrible Attack On Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.
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