Posts

August 13, 2014

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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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3:00 PM | Fisherman Pulls Up Beastly Evidence of Early Americans
A 22,000-year-old mastodon skull and tool dredged from the seafloor in the Chesapeake Bay hints of early settlers in North America.
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1:58 PM | The Teeth Beneath Your Feet: The Urban Archaeology Podcast
Where can you find a teacup, the molar of a goat, and an arrowhead all in one place? At an urban archaeology site, that’s where. This episode of Distillations goes underground, and reveals the fascinating worlds beneath our city shoes. “The Teeth Beneath Your Feet: Oddities in Urban Archaeology” features urban archaeologists Doug Mooney, senior archaeologist at URS corporation and president of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum, and Deirdre Kelleher, who is […]
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1:58 PM | The Teeth Beneath Your Feet: The Urban Archaeology Podcast
Where can you find a teacup, the molar of a goat, and an arrowhead all in one place? At an urban archaeology site, that’s where. This episode of Distillations goes underground, and reveals the fascinating worlds beneath our city shoes. “The Teeth Beneath Your Feet: Oddities in Urban Archaeology” features urban archaeologists Doug Mooney, senior archaeologist at URS corporation and president of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum, and Deirdre Kelleher, who is […]
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8:00 AM | A catalogue of quibbles
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August 12, 2014

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4:54 PM | Archaeology Exhibit
The photographs above are from an archaeology exhibit at the First Presbyterian Church of Kensington on July 17. These artifacts were found by Doug Mooney’s Digging I-95 project. The latest episode of Distillations podcast goes into more depth about the project and urban archaeology.
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4:54 PM | Archaeology Exhibit
The photographs above are from an archaeology exhibit at the First Presbyterian Church of Kensington on July 17. These artifacts were found by Doug Mooney’s Digging I-95 project. The latest episode of Distillations podcast goes into more depth about the project and urban archaeology.

August 11, 2014

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9:49 PM | Top 10 mathematical innovations
Nine mathematical innovations that rank right up there with logarithms.
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9:31 PM | Brontësaurus‏
Brontësaurus‏. Sepia ink and gouache on Strathmore grey toned paper, 151 x 147mm.'My literary and palaeo friends and audiences so rarely converge (which is a great pity), but I’m jolly well going to try.'So I said when I first shared this drawing on my own illustration blog, Twitter, and Facebook page a few weeks ago. It has since gained what was for me quite unprecedented attention for a single piece of work on any of those media platforms.* Why, it's even been spread about on […]
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7:20 PM | Chianti Wine's Origins Found Down a Well: Photos
The ancestor of Chianti wine may have been found in this ancient 105-foot-deep well in the Chiantishire region of Tuscany.
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6:40 PM | Chianti Wine Ancestor Found
The ancestor seeds of Chianti wine were found in an ancient well in Tuscany.
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5:01 PM | Explainer: Why the U.S. and China Are Investing in Africa
The United States just pledged $14 billion to invest in African businesses and infrastructure, while China has been doing so for years. Here's why both are betting on Africa as the next big thing.
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4:38 PM | Top 10 mathematical innovations
ContextHistory of Science,Numbers by Tom Siegfried 5:49pm, August 11, 2014 Of all the mathematical innovations since ancient times, only some are worthy of multicentenary celebrations. Certainly logarithms, celebrating their 400th anniversary this year, are among them. Ranking where logarithms rate among the rest is subjective, of course, but I’d put them 10th (they’d be […]
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2:45 PM | In a Philadelphia basement a family buried their pet dog and...
In a Philadelphia basement a family buried their pet dog and hamster with a doll’s head. More than 200 years later, archaeologists excavated the basement and found the curious burial ground. Why did the family bury their pets inside their home? What significance did the doll head have? No one knows, but a group of archaeologists working on the Digging I-95 project are studying a plethora of artifacts to learn about the lives of Philadelphians from the 1800s. Working for the URS […]
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2:45 PM | In a Philadelphia basement a family buried their pet dog and...
In a Philadelphia basement a family buried their pet dog and hamster with a doll’s head. More than 200 years later, archaeologists excavated the basement and found the curious burial ground. Why did the family bury their pets inside their home? What significance did the doll head have? No one knows, but a group of archaeologists working on the Digging I-95 project are studying a plethora of artifacts to learn about the lives of Philadelphians from the 1800s. Working for the URS […]

August 10, 2014

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11:30 AM | Inside an Operating Theatre of the 1900s: A Review of Cinemax’s “The Knick”
This post includes a review of Cinemax’s The Knick and contains minor spoilers. On arriving to Bellevue Hospital in New York in the 1880s, American surgeon Robert Morris (1857-1945) commented on the new surgical operating rooms at the institution: [T]he … Continue reading →

August 09, 2014

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10:28 PM | On city life, the history of science, and the genetics of race
BAM! A sharp thud on our little back deck about a yard from me the other day. I looked and saw a brick, lobbed over the fence by three kids in the alley. I yelled an obscenity and dashed for the gate. The kids took off and I gave chase, barefoot, indifferent to the shards […]
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9:10 AM | Physics Week in Review: August 9, 2014
The big news in space science this week: the Rosetta spacecraft catches its comet! Here’s what comes next. Why does it take 10 years to catch a comet? This computer simulation retraces... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

August 08, 2014

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3:47 PM | Explainer: How Many Countries Are Currently at War?
While some conflicts tend to lead the headlines on a daily basis, other countries are at also at war, in more places than might be imagined.
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3:30 PM | All Hail King Richard! Details of Elaborate Burial Unveiled
Officials have finally decided on the reinterment details for the remains of the 15th-century English ruler.
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3:22 PM |  Most people associate earthworms with nutrient-rich soil,...
 Most people associate earthworms with nutrient-rich soil, healthy gardens, and compost piles. It turns out these creatures, which can be so helpful to backyard gardeners, may be harming North American forests. Researchers suspect that the last ice age wiped out the vast majority of earthworm species in North America; almost no native earthworms can be found living in parts of the continent once covered by glaciers. European settlers reintroduced earthworms to regions that had developed […]
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3:22 PM |  Most people associate earthworms with nutrient-rich soil,...
 Most people associate earthworms with nutrient-rich soil, healthy gardens, and compost piles. It turns out these creatures, which can be so helpful to backyard gardeners, may be harming North American forests. Researchers suspect that the last ice age wiped out the vast majority of earthworm species in North America; almost no native earthworms can be found living in parts of the continent once covered by glaciers. European settlers reintroduced earthworms to regions that had developed […]
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11:30 AM | Surgeons & Surgical Kits
There’s always a scene in any movie or television show depicting a surgical operation: a nurse or assistant clad in scrubs, enters the room pushing a cart. On the cart lies several delicate instruments, their hard steel glistening under the … Continue reading →

August 07, 2014

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9:15 PM | New Nazca Lines Found in Peruvian Desert
A sandstorm exposes undiscovered geoglyphs near the mysterious Nazca rock lines.
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3:28 PM | kidsneedscience: Happy Birthday OXYGEN.  I guess.  Words enter...
kidsneedscience: Happy Birthday OXYGEN.  I guess.  Words enter language and sometimes words disappear-often as quickly as they appeared.  In the transition from the ancient ideas of the ‘four elements’ of earth, air, fire and water, to the modern Periodic table, scientists struggled to understand basic chemical reactions such as oxidation.  In 1730 the word phlogiston entered the scientific vocabulary, meaning a hypothetical inflammatory […]
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3:28 PM | kidsneedscience: Happy Birthday OXYGEN.  I guess.  Words enter...
kidsneedscience: Happy Birthday OXYGEN.  I guess.  Words enter language and sometimes words disappear-often as quickly as they appeared.  In the transition from the ancient ideas of the ‘four elements’ of earth, air, fire and water, to the modern Periodic table, scientists struggled to understand basic chemical reactions such as oxidation.  In 1730 the word phlogiston entered the scientific vocabulary, meaning a hypothetical inflammatory […]
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12:55 PM | Stone Age Skull May Contain Bits of Brain Matter
The skeletal fragment is about 8,000 years old and may have once belonged to an infant or a small child.

August 06, 2014

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7:29 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: The American Museum of Natural History's Book of Dinosaurs
Meeting our Vintage Dinosaur Art criterion by the slimmest of margins, The American Museum of Natural History's Book of Dinosaurs and Other Ancient Creatures (snappier titles are there none) is a mere twenty years old. However - and as I've said numerous times before - it's amazing how much has changed since the early '90s, even when it comes to restorations of dinosaurs that aren't (yet) known to have been feathered. The AMNH book (as I'm sure you won't mind me calling it) is also notable for […]
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3:41 PM | 6,500-Year-Old 'Noah' Skeleton Found in Museum Closet
Some have nicknamed the ancient skeleton Noah, since the man had survived a great flood that may have later inspired the Biblical story. Continue reading →
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3:20 PM | Ancient Skeleton Found in Closet: Photos
A 6,500-year-old skeleton was found in the basement of the Penn Museum. See photos.
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