SciAm: Mass Shootings Are Contagious.
I believe we already sort of knew this.
SF Reporter: Was the disclosure of Acoma traditions exploitation or scholarship?
“... his decision to publish without consulting the Pueblo — even after promising he would do so — raises the question of an ethical or professional failure on his part.” There’s a turn-of-the-last-century arrogance about this, that goes beyond the moral/ethical question. The pueblos have their own native scholars, museums, research facilities. This history, this knowledge is not in danger of being lost. And they are more than willing to work with non-native scholars. This information will probably become available at some point in the future, given demographic trends among the pueblos - why the urgency to publish now? Noone’s life depends on seeing it in print. This whole thing feels wrong, beyond just the broken promise.
Western Digs: Oldest Human Footprints in the Southwest Discovered at Tucson Construction Site.
ScienceAlert: Ancient Egyptian papyrus contains earliest record of ‘demon star’.
“Scientists studying a 3,200 year-old papyrus document from ancient Egypt think they’ve found the earliest record of the variable star Algol - a three-star system that’s some 92.25 light-years away from Earth. It appears that not only could the Egyptians see the star without the aid of a telescope, its cycle influenced their religious calendars.” Star spotting is a safer bet than lunar calculations, when theorizing about ancients’ capabilities.
Salem News: Proctor’s Ledge in Salem confirmed as witch execution site.
FastCo: Federal Law Now Says Kids Can Walk To School Alone.
“Ironically, kids walking to school today are actually very safe — safer than their parents were. The crime level is back to what it was in 1963.” Jeebus, a bit of common sense actually passed. HOORAY FOR KIDS.
Archaeology News Network: Melting alpine snow exposes ancient history in Wyoming.
“One of the key things about the ice patches is that the record they contain about past environmental conditions is as important, if not more so, than the archaeology they contain. [snip] And as they melt, tremendous amounts of information are being lost.”
Cook Political: Trump, Cruz, and a Cage Fight.
I’m having a great deal of fun comparing and contrasting the Republican race to zero sum games and game theory, Nash equilibrium, minimax et al. I need a huge chalkboard, I want to create a game tree ...
Tangent: You folks know I love to bash starchitects. There is an instance where one starchitect ‘got it right’. In the new Thomas Laboratory building on the Princeton University campus, architect Robert Venturi designed slightly bowed semicircular ends on the long building. Glass and couches around the curved portion of the semicircle, facing blackboards and doors on the two sides of the blackboards. It’s PERFECT for casual groups to sit around and theorize. That’s EXACTLY what I am missing.
US News: The ‘lower risk of Alzheimer’s’ MIND Diet - What To Know.
Not draconian. I’d like to see the research first, though.
Ancient Origins: Archeologists discover Mythical Tomb of Osiris, God of the Dead, in Egypt.
Check the diagram of the tomb. Deep.
Ancient Origins: Kiya - The Most Mysterious Woman of Amarna.
Archaeology News Network: Study of skulls from Vanuatu cemetery sheds light on Polynesian migration.
PS Mag: Trigger Warnings on College Campuses Are Nothing but Censorship.
“Rather than engaging in dialogue about how these writers viewed their world, students want to see only that which supports their own point of view.” Is this something the internet’s exacerbated?
BBC: Virginia schools shut in Islam calligraphy row.
Teachers didn’t imagine this bit of script would be incendiary? How stupid can you be? Worst timing ever, to try using a statement of faith as a calligraphy lesson. Recitation of this in front of witnesses is considered the only formal step in conversion to Islam. And they offer this to kids in Baptist country. Jeez-oh-man.
NY Times: The Words That Killed Medieval Jews.
You don’t have to go so far afield. Scholars agree that the Gospel of Matthew is the source, written for a small community within the long Jewish storytelling tradition of betrayal and renewal. “His blood be upon us and upon our children!”
Fundamentalism is the problem. For all faiths.
ArtDaily: Suleiman the Magnificent’s tomb ‘almost certainly’ found by researchers in Hungary.
Archaeology News Network: Stonehenge ‘bluestone’ quarries found in Wales.
The image here is my favorite thing today.
Sefaria: a Living Library of Jewish Texts Online.
The Atlantic: Historical Commemoration and the Age of Marble.
“Princeton affixed Woodrow Wilson’s name to a residential college in 1968 (primarily in recognition of his role in Princeton’s development, though the controversy today involves his public record). But its two most recently built colleges are named for donors: the publishing tycoon Malcolm Forbes and a business executive, Meg Whitman. Quietly, the commemorative sphere has been eroded by the practice of naming buildings, not for figures of community esteem, but for the people who pay for them.” And boy, what eyesores some of them have put up. Hire a starchitect, build hyperexpensive albatrosses.
Phys.org: Unexpected wood source for Chaco Canyon great houses
“We think this is a powerful new method to use in the Southwest. We tested the method using modern trees and could determine their source of origin with 90 percent accuracy.” Very exciting. Via Jim O’Donnell, on FB.
Vox: What it’s like to be black at Princeton.
I shouldn’t, but I have to chuckle a bit. We kids used to torture the campus police. Climbing a statue, we’d get ‘interrogated’ for ‘doing thousands of dollars of damage to priceless architecture’. Security’s used to being bullies. Frightening the first time, not so much on the dozenth. I’m in no way minimizing the effect of her race - Princeton’s had a fraught relationship with race/nationality for a long time. I feel the need to explain the situation: it was the campus rapes in the 80’s/90’s that saw campus security turn into jackbooted no-accountability thugs. The ‘blue light’ safety phones popped up all over campus, and the grey searchlight-equipped cruisers would dash around the internal campus road system like “Starsky and Hutch.” They get bored, trump up excitement. A litterer will bring out the SWAT trucks, I’ll bet. I’m sure other campuses are similar. They all need serious oversight.
The U-Store’s security was a joke even when I grew up. Mix that with bored security people, add racial prejudice and ... a perfect storm of harmful stupidity.
But alas, minority/low income treatment is awful across the entire Ivy League. There are precious few parachutes for those working themselves to the bone, realizing their dream of attending such a storied institution. Noone should have to work so hard, feel so alone and isolated, they cannot excel. Alumni should band together and make a fund for such support; the affluent alumni probably wouldn’t lift a finger, but those who have kicked and scratched their way to diplomas should get together and do some meaningful good for future generations.
Washington Post: Young fogies - Modern illiberalism is led by students.
Orwell, 1984: “There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”
Do kids no longer read Orwell - or is this, in itself, requiring a ‘trigger warning’?
I’ve had a hell of a time on this blog, increasingly over the last half-dozen years, playing Devil’s Advocate. The younger generations just plain old don’t understand it.
Guardian.UK: What treasures could lurk inside Egypt’s lost chambers?
Um ... because we didn’t have such technology in the past, we don’t know if hidden storage chambers with painted-over entrances were routine. They might find similar features in other tombs, if they look for them, stuffed with ... I don’t know ... dried out foodstuffs. Still interesting, but not what they’re hoping for. So relax, until we see what’s actually there.