Posts

November 02, 2014

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1:48 AM | The Great Sausage Duel of 1865
(Tip o’ the hat to Blake Stacey for first pointing this story out to me!) The history of science is filled with macabre tales of self-experimentation, amoral experimentation on others, horrific accidents, and even mysterious and sinister disappearances. Perhaps the … Continue reading →

November 01, 2014

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9:54 AM | Physics Week in Review: November 1, 2014
Hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween festivities. Here’s a few other related links: The ghostly glow of St. Elmo’s fire: it works the same way that a neon light glows.  The Levitating... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:03 AM | Nos vemos en Cuenca [SciFest]
Los próximos 14 y 15 de noviembre tenemos una cita en Cuenca en el SCIFEST 2014, un evento diseñado para el fomento de la cultura científica, organizado por los amigos de Principia y en el que es para mí es un todo honor participar gracias a la invitación de Quique Royuela. Es solo el principio de un prometedor proyecto más ambicioso que acaba de nacer como spin-off de Journal of Feelsynapsis. De momento comienza en Cuenca con un […]

October 31, 2014

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9:48 PM | Dark Pits of Disease: Mining’s History of Hookworm
Mining is low on the list of enviable occupations. The hazards one faces when plying one of humanity’s most ancient professions, burrowing deep into the earth to harvest its hidden treasures in the form of precious stones and metals, range from grungy to downright gruesome. The occupation is widely considered to be one of the […]The post Dark Pits of Disease: Mining’s History of Hookworm appeared first on Body Horrors.
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3:45 PM | Explainer: Hong Kong Under the Specter of Chinese Rule
Protests in Hong Kong present an ominous backdrop to ongoing concerns from citizens there that they could lose the fragile freedoms and rule of law that distinguish their home from life on mainland China.
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3:15 PM | The (Zombie-)Toad-in-the-Hole
May 8, 1733 two workers, Anders Halfwarder and Olof Sigräfwer, reported excited to superintendent Johan Gråberg, who was inspecting the quarry of Nybro near the village of Wamlingebo (Gotland, Sweden), a very strange discovery. While cutting large blocks of sandstone (of the 419Ma old Silurian Hamra-formation), Halfwarder spotted a frog sitting in the middle of [...]
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3:15 PM | The (Zombie-)Toad-in-the-Hole
May 8, 1733 two workers, Anders Halfwarder and Olof Sigräfwer, reported excited to superintendent Johan Gråberg, who was inspecting the quarry of Nybro near the village of Wamlingebo (Gotland,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:19 PM | Before last week my understanding of space suits was based on...
Before last week my understanding of space suits was based on their depiction in movies, such as 2013’s Gravity. The actors in the film effortlessly move their arms and legs, and the audience never sees the invisible life-support systems keeping the astronauts alive. The focus is on spaceships and explosions, not the bulky, utilitarian suits. On October 21, Carly Watts, a NASA space-suit engineer, came to CHF to speak about her work. After listening to her talk, I realized that space […]
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2:19 PM | Before last week my understanding of space suits was based on...
Before last week my understanding of space suits was based on their depiction in movies, such as 2013’s Gravity. The actors in the film effortlessly move their arms and legs, and the audience never sees the invisible life-support systems keeping the astronauts alive. The focus is on spaceships and explosions, not the bulky, utilitarian suits. On October 21, Carly Watts, a NASA space-suit engineer, came to CHF to speak about her work. After listening to her talk, I realized that space […]
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1:20 PM | Ancient Stone Circles in Mideast Baffle Archaeologists
Huge stone circles in the Middle East have been imaged from above, revealing details of structures that have been shrouded in mystery for decades.
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6:44 AM | Gastronomía en el límite (I): Fugu
Por petición popular y tras el éxito obtenido en el IV Congreso Internacional de Micología Soria Gastronómica os presento una nueva serie de entradas donde contaré unas cuantas experiencias gastronómicas extremas que nos pueden poner en el límite de nuestra salud, y hablaré de la ciencia que se esconde en ellas. He creado una nueva etiqueta para hablar de cocina en general, y lo haré desde una perspectiva científica y […]

October 30, 2014

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7:32 PM | Mesozoic Miscellany 67
The Big News: Mega-Freaky Deinocheirus editionThe publication of new Deinocheirus mirificus material, finally fleshing out the body that was attached to those enormous arms, made a huge splash last week. Or, I should say, finally officially fleshing it out. We've known about the new Deinocheirus in broad strokes in a back-channel, unofficial sense, since last year, after paleontologists and other attendees of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology's 2013 meeting had a peek at it. It only took […]
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5:06 PM | Financing Tycho’s little piece of heaven
On Chris Graney’s recent guest post I linked to an earlier guest post that he had written about the Danish Renaissance astronomer Tycho Brahe and one of the new readers, that this link attracted, posted a question that I seem … Continue reading →
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3:39 PM | Having lots of letters after your name doesn’t protect you from spouting rubbish
The eloquently excellent Elegant Fowl (aka Pete Langman @elegantfowl) just drew my attention to a piece of high-grade seventeenth-century history of science rubbish on the website of my favourite newspaper The Guardian. In the books section a certain Ian Mortimer … Continue reading →
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2:45 PM | Explainers: The Women of ISIS
What's causing hundreds of women to join ISIS, a group that holds abominable views about females? Tara examines some of the reasons women join the terrorist group.
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1:50 AM | Halloween Treats 2014
It’s that time again to post a collection of “Halloween Treats”: classic ghost and horror stories to be read in the dark of night!  I’ve been doing this since 2007, and you can read the old editions here:   2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and my … Continue reading →

October 29, 2014

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10:04 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: The BBC Book of Dinosaurs
In terms of saurian-related output, the BBC is best known these days for Walking With Dinosaurs, the super-expensive CG-laden Brannagh-narrated behemoth, sire of numerous tie-in books (and a movie that we won't mention). Nine years earlier, however, Auntie Beeb saw fit to give its endorsement to this little lost nugget of dinosauriana - The BBC Book of Dinosaurs. Authored by Paul Appleby and illustrated by Gill Tomblin, this rather obscure book is sweetly nostalgic for those of us raised on […]
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4:00 PM | Explainer: France's Influence on the World Stage
Does France really deserve the reputation it has in some corners for being a bit too easily inclined to surrender? Tara takes a look at the country's surprisingly formidable role in the world, considering the middling size of its military.
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9:29 AM | NEW BOOK: "La Description de l'Egypte" de Jean-Jacques Rifaud (1813-1826)
Marie-Cécile BRUWIER, Wouter CLAES, Arnaud QUERTINMONT (Eds), "La Description de l'Egypte" de Jean-Jacques Rifaud (1813-1826), Éditions Safran288 pages, 28 x 38 cm (collection Connaissance de l'Égypte ancienne, 16)ISBN: 978-2-87457-076-659 euroshttp://www.safran.be/proddetail.php?prod=RIFAUD 
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9:21 AM | BOOK REVIEW: Dialogues with the Dead
David Gange, Dialogues with the Dead: Egyptology in British Culture and Religion, 1822-1922. Classical presences.   Oxford; New York:  Oxford University Press, 2013.  Pp. ix, 357.  ISBN 9780199653102.  $150.00.Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.05.36Reviewed by Daniele Salvoldi, Freie Universität, Berlin​
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12:50 AM | Where Amelia Earhart Plane Fragment Came From: Photos
A fragment of Amelia Earhart's lost aircraft has been identified, but where did it come from?

October 28, 2014

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11:30 PM | Amelia Earhart Plane Fragment Identified
A fragment of Amelia Earhart's lost aircraft has been identified to a high degree of certainty for the first time.
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9:16 PM | Human ancestor Lucy celebrates 40th anniversary
Paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson recalls the discovery 40 years ago of the human ancestor known as Lucy.
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9:06 PM | Human ancestor Lucy celebrates 40th anniversary
Donald Johanson recalls pivotal discovery of A. afarensis fossil in 1974 ContextHuman Evolution,Anthropology by Tom Siegfried 5:16pm, October 28, 2014 Next month paleoanthropologists will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the discovery of bones of a primitive human forerunner now known as Lucy.120/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.5)Donald Johanson is always looking at the […]
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5:53 PM | ucsdspecialcollections: Images from the Jonas Salk Papers,...
ucsdspecialcollections: Images from the Jonas Salk Papers, 1926-1991 Dr. Jonas Salk was born on this day in 1914 Dr. Jonas Salk is best known for his development of the world’s first successful vaccine for the prevention of poliomyelitis, licensed in the U.S. in 1955. He has also conducted important research in the prevention and treatment of influenza, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The Salk Papers constitute an exhaustive source of documentation […]
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5:53 PM | ucsdspecialcollections: Images from the Jonas Salk Papers,...
ucsdspecialcollections: Images from the Jonas Salk Papers, 1926-1991 Dr. Jonas Salk was born on this day in 1914 Dr. Jonas Salk is best known for his development of the world’s first successful vaccine for the prevention of poliomyelitis, licensed in the U.S. in 1955. He has also conducted important research in the prevention and treatment of influenza, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The Salk Papers constitute an exhaustive source of documentation […]
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4:28 PM | Copernicus and the calendar
A recent blog post on Yovisto repeats a very widespread myth concerning Copernicus, his De revolutionibus and the calendar reform of 1582. This particular myth is so prevalent that I have no illusions about stamping it out but as a … Continue reading →
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3:00 PM | Prehistoric Art Highlights 'Supernatural' Sound Effects
Sounds thought to have been supernatural, such as echoes in caves and canyons, appear to have inspired many early artists. Continue reading →
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1:55 PM | Explainer: Midterm Elections at the State and Local Level
Every two years, midterm elections take place for officeholders and challengers at the federal, state, and local levels. Trace takes a look at elections closer to home, in our states and localities, and offers examples of ballot issues decided there.

October 27, 2014

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10:25 PM | DinosaurChannel.tv Needs You!
Bob Walters and Tess Kissinger, known for their terrific paleoart studio, have launched a multimedia educational website called DinosaurChannel.tv. In order to pack it full of cool content, they need a bit of help, and have launched a Kickstarter campaign. Here's their video. The site is up, though not updated with a lot of content, but the Kickstarter project video here gives a good taste of what they'd like to do. I especially liked the illustrated title cards for the different series, which […]
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