NY Times: A sunken kingdom re-emerges.
“Scanning the army of ghostly spikes protruding from the sand here one recent morning, Dr. Bates said it was as if nature were making a point: The recent torrential rains, linked by a growing number of climatologists to human-induced climate change, have provided an ancient laboratory to study how humans coped with catastrophic climate change in the past.”
Alyxandria: I Can’t Afford a Bachelor’s Degree, So I’m Making My Own.
Some have been talking about ‘disruption’ … a great example, on the hoof.
Chicago Trib: How do actors learn their lines?
Nice to hear it took some months to memorize a 75 minute dialog. I have tended to assume actresses/actors do this quickly and well because of long practice.
Ask a Mathematician/Physicist: How can we see the early universe and the Big Bang?
“If the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe were as straightforward as an explosion and things flying away from that explosion, then the earliest light would be on the front of our ever-expanding universe. If that were the case (and it seems to be from the images and videos presented in, like, every documentary evar), then there’s no way you’d be able to see the light from the early universe.” Thought it might be useful.
The New Yorker: The Many Virtues of Optimism.
U of Oxford.UK: Critical Reasoning for Beginners.
Vox: The theft of Native Americans’ land, in one animated map.
Since the concept of reparations has been broached … one should understand why “reparations have never figured prominently into American Indian calls for justice”.
SlashGear: NASA spaceship concept showcases warp drive future.
Pretty, but interstellar debris (asteroids, etc.) would turn this into Swiss cheese unless it had a massively powerful working deflector system.
Past Horizons: Viking Age Revninge woman, an exceptional find.
“It is the three-lobed item of jewellery that sits between her hands that is causing the greatest excitement. Archaeologists had never seen where it was really meant to be located during the life, as when found in graves it is usually placed on the chest area.” A guy with a metal detector, again.
The Observer.UK: Why antibiotics are making us all ill.
PS Mag: Seduced by Gore Vidal.
“Whereas Buckley produces one of Evelyn Waugh’s anti-socialist epigrams idly, like removing a kerchief from the pocket of his blazer, Vidal’s points of reference in these televised sparring matches are precise, sedulously selected from his self-compiled encyclopedia of a brain.”
Archaeology News Network: Extensive cataloguing of human proteins uncovers 193 new ones.
Foreshortened title for space. “In a summary of the effort, to be published May 29 in the journal Nature, the team also reports the identification of 193 novel proteins that came from regions of the genome not predicted to code for proteins, suggesting that the human genome is more complex than previously thought.”
Time: Cosmic Deflation - Doubts Raised Over Blockbuster Big Bang Study.
“Traditionally, peer review of a new result—especially such an important one — doesn’t normally happen in such a public way, and some scientists have criticized the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) for holding a press conference to tout it before other scientists have had a chance to weigh in.” This kind of situation will happen more and more; the question is how to deal with it.
WSJ: Lawsuit Filed Over Cooper Union Tuition.
Past Horizons: Burial reveals complex origins of metallurgy.
“Tel Tsaf contained a rich assemblage of over 2,500 beads made of ostrich egg-shell, obsidian items originating in Anatolia or Armenia, four Ubaid pottery shards imported from either north Syria or Mesopotamia and a Nilotic shell from Egypt. These finds exhibit connections of unexpected distance and diversity.”
Guardian.UK: Battered pot found in Cornish garage unlocks Egypt excavation secrets.
“It was known that he gave pieces to individuals, at a time when a visit to a celebrity archaeologist’s dig was the highlight of any tourist or VIP trip down the Nile. The little label proves this was done on a systematic basis not previously guessed at. It is a neat commercially printed card, with an Egyptianate border, boasting that the ‘Libyan Pottery’ from 3,000 BC was discovered by Prof WM Flinders Petrie in 1894-5. The card was clearly one of many, but pot, card, and excavation record are linked by the faintly pencilled number 1754.” Simple cards may allow the discovery of more missing treasures. Take a look at the photo; see if your family owns any.
Guardian.UK: Stars in their eyes - architects and scientists mull designs for ark in space.
Use an asteroid. I’m tellin’ ya. Lots of ablative material, put the habitable areas on the backside (away from the direction of travel).
Medium: Mathematical Proof That The Universe Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing.
Not ashamed to admit it’s a bit beyond my ken.
Related: ScienceMag - Doubts shroud Big Bang discovery.
Slate: Quote websites are frequently inaccurate, but we use them anyway.
“These sites — your quotefreak.coms, your thinkexist.coms — cater to a growing appetite for filleted wisdom, for deboned wit, for the mechanically separated meat of literature.” I’ve found too many bad quotes over the years; I like to cross-reference through Gutenberg or other originals source. Checking context doesn’t hurt, either.
PS Mag: Hazards Ahead - The Problem With Trigger Warnings.
“Making trauma central to one’s identity bodes poorly for survivors.” My emphasis. Boy howdy.
Smithsonian: Listening to the Big Bang.
“Now, not only do we know the universe is expanding, not only do we have a credible proposal for what ignited the expansion, we’re detecting the imprint of quantum processes that tickled space during that fiery first fraction of a second.” More backstory and info within.
Dazed: Chile’s student Robin Hood burns $500m of loan documents.
BBC: Scans bring new insights into lives of Egyptian mummies
“Never before has anyone seen mummy hair, muscles and bone at such fine resolution. It is enabling scientists for the first time to tell their age of the mummies, what they ate, the diseases they suffered from, and how they died.” There’s a video to go with it, but I’ll put an ‘overzealous music accompaniment’ warning on the video. Seriously. Watch your eardrums.
Aeon: Beauty is truth? There’s a false equation.
“What generally brings a work of art alive is not its inevitability so much as the decisions that the artist made. We gasp not because the words, the notes, the brushstrokes are ‘right’, but because they are revelatory: they show us not a deterministic process but a sensitive mind making surprising and delightful choices. In fact, pure mathematicians often say that it is precisely this quality that delights them in a great proof: not that it is correct but that it shows a personal, tangibly human genius taking steps in a direction we’d never have guessed.”
The Nation: University Presses Under Fire.
IMHO, the mistake is expecting university presses to pay their way. There are many things that *need* to be published, that will never make more than two nickels to rub together. When they lay off their professional editing staff (people who know their narrow niches almost as well as the authors) and start using generalist freelancers, it’s the end of good scholarly works. UP’s are a mere shadow of their former glory, and this fact hurts us all, one way or another.