Posts

August 22, 2014

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4:10 PM | Oldest Metal Object in Middle East Discovered in Grave
A copper awl is the oldest metal object unearthed to date in the Middle East.
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2:16 PM | Explainer: What Is a Lobbyist?
We hear often about this or that "lobby," representing this or that issue to our elected officials. What's the world of government lobbyists like, and can lobbying -- though deeply unpopular -- be a good thing?
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12:18 PM | [Photos] Patrimoine architectural d’Engadine: 30 façades de Scuol
En fond de vallée de l’Inn, en Basse-Engadine (canton des Grisons, Suisse), le vieux village de Scuol abrite une très belle collection de maisons engadines aux façades agrémentées de sgraffites, encorbellements, portes sculptées, encadrements ou fours à pains. The post [Photos] Patrimoine architectural d’Engadine: 30 façades de Scuol appeared first on Martin Grandjean.
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11:00 AM | Why Terrorists Behead Their Victims
Reporter James Foley's beheading in the Middle East was part of a long tradition of sending a gruesome message. Continue reading →

August 21, 2014

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6:03 PM | Sphinxes Emerge From Huge Ancient Greek Tomb
The seated, wingless sphinxes were likely placed there to guard the large burial site. Continue reading →
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2:30 PM | This is a detail of a Puck cartoon drawn in 1896 by Frederick...
This is a detail of a Puck cartoon drawn in 1896 by Frederick Burr Opper. It depicts Uncle Sam participating in the blue glass craze described in this audio clip. (Library of Congress)
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2:30 PM | This is a detail of a Puck cartoon drawn in 1896 by Frederick...
This is a detail of a Puck cartoon drawn in 1896 by Frederick Burr Opper. It depicts Uncle Sam participating in the blue glass craze described in this audio clip. (Library of Congress)
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1:15 PM | 2,800-Year-Old Zigzag Art Found in Greek Tomb
Several pottery vessels found beside the sarcophagus and 13 more inside a niche in the tomb.
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11:55 AM | Explainer: What Is The National Guard?
Missouri's governor has called in the National Guard, thanks to the current unrest in the city of Ferguson. Who makes up the National Guard and what exactly is it? Tara has the answers in this explainer.

August 20, 2014

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2:57 PM | Is blue-tinted glass good for your health? Augustus James...
Is blue-tinted glass good for your health? Augustus James Pleasonton, a general in the American Civil War, certainly believed so. In 1876 he  published The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Color of the Sky. In this audio clip, Doug Mooney, senior archaeologist at URS Corporation and president of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum, describes how his team dug up a pipe bowl during an archaeological survey of I-95 in Philadelphia. The pipe bowl was completely […]
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2:57 PM | Is blue-tinted glass good for your health? Augustus James...
Is blue-tinted glass good for your health? Augustus James Pleasonton, a general in the American Civil War, certainly believed so. In 1876 he  published The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Color of the Sky. In this audio clip, Doug Mooney, senior archaeologist at URS Corporation and president of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum, describes how his team dug up a pipe bowl during an archaeological survey of I-95 in Philadelphia. The pipe bowl was completely […]
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8:00 AM | A proverb in the hand…
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August 19, 2014

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7:34 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: The AMNH's Book of Dinosaurs, Part 2 - James Robins
Over the years of writing these blog posts, I'd like to think that I've matured somewhat - that the vodka-fuelled gratuity of my late university years has mellowed into something more thoughtful and, dare I say it, nuanced. (Oh yes. I went there.) Sure, I'll still point out shonky dinosaur art, but with less savagery, and an acknowledgement that, by contemporary standards, it's often not so bad. Plus, illustrators gotta eat.On the other hand, one is occasionally reminded that a few - a very few […]
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11:22 AM | Explainer: Why Are Police Allowed to Use Lethal Force?
With the recent controversy still simmering in Ferguson, Missouri, Trace examines the use of lethal force by police officers.

August 18, 2014

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9:28 PM | Evidence-based medicine actually isn’t
Demands for evidence-based medicine confront the contradiction that much of the evidence is worthless or skewed.
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9:26 PM | Evidence-based medicine actually isn’t
ContextClinical Trials,Biomedicine,Numbers by Tom Siegfried 5:28pm, August 18, 2014 In medical practice, the concept of evidence shares a lot with Saint Augustine’s understanding of time.He understood time perfectly well, of course, until somebody asked him to explain it. Medical evidence is similar. Everybody thinks they know what evidence means, but defining what counts as evidence is […]
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6:30 PM | Jesus Statue Found to Have Real Human Teeth
Exactly how the statue got its set of choppers is a mystery.
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4:12 PM | King Richard III Feasted on Wine and Swans
Analysis of the chemistry in the bones of the late king reveal his elitist diet. Continue reading →
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1:21 PM | Explainer: What Is Sharia Law?
We hear a lot these days about "Sharia," in relation to groups like the Taliban and ISIS. Tara examines life lived under its tenets.
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4:41 AM | Manh(a)ttan Recap: An Appetite for Self-Destruction
The residents of the Los Alamos base camp receive a special visitor in this week’s episode of Manh(a)ttan — none other than Niels Bohr, he of the infamous model of the atom and one of the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

August 16, 2014

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4:13 PM | 7 years of blogging!
I’ve been rather busy with my academic duties lately and haven’t had much time to update my blog with new science and fiction posts.  Because of this, I almost completely missed the fact that August 14th marked the 7th anniversary … Continue reading →
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9:21 AM | Physics Week in Review: August 16, 2014
This week on Virtually Speaking Science, I chatted with astrophysicist Katie Freese, author of a new book, The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter. Also, regular readers may have noticed... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

August 15, 2014

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4:01 PM | Three Ancient Maya Cities Found in Jungle
No other site has so far been located in this area, which extends over some 1800 square miles in the Mexican jungle.
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3:30 PM | Ancient Cities Found in Mexican Jungle: Photos
One of the cities featured an extraordinary facade with an entrance representing the open jaws of an earth monster.
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2:30 PM | Photo Essay: Vesalius at 500
Earlier this week I finally found the time to check out the exhibit, Vesalius at 500 at Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library in Toronto, curated by Philip Oldfield. The exhibit chronicles the history of anatomy and anatomical illustrations prior to, … Continue reading →
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12:05 PM | Explainer: Who's Running the Show in the Iraqi Government?
With its prime minister recently stepping down thanks to a lack of support, what is the current state of Iraq's government?

August 14, 2014

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12:11 PM | Explainer: With Huge Debt, Can the U.S. Still Be Called Wealthy?
It's massively in debt, to the tune of 17 trillion dollars, but the United States is still considered the wealthiest nation on Earth. Wait, what? Explain, please.

August 13, 2014

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10:11 PM | Manh(a)ttan Recap: The Human Cost of Wartime Scientific Progress [SPOILERS]
Last week’s episode of Manh(a)ttan closed with a bombshell — the shooting of physicist Sid Liao, who was being interrogated on suspicion of leaking classified documents — and as... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:00 PM | Mummy-Making Began Long Before Pharaohs
Ancient Egyptians may have started mummifying their dead 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.
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5:34 PM | Galileo, Foscarini, The Catholic Church, and heliocentricity in 1615 Part 1 – the occurrences: A Rough Guide.
I have been criticised for claiming, in a recent post, that given time the Catholic Church would have come to accept heliocentricity in the seventeenth-century and in fact because Galileo acted unadvisedly he drove the Church to reject and condemn … Continue reading →
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