Guardian.UK: World breaks temperature record for June after hottest May.
“Global temperature records go back to 1880 and June was the 352nd hotter-than-average month in a row.”
NCBI/PubMed: Judgments About Fact and Fiction by Children, Religious and Secular.
“Secular children were more likely than religious children to judge the protagonist in such fantastical stories to be fictional. The results suggest that exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children’s differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories.”
Archaeology News Network: Ancient temple to be buried under apartment block.
BBC: The Cornish beaches where Lego keeps washing up.
“The incident is a perfect example of how even when inside a steel container, sunken items don’t stay sunken. They can be carried around the world, seemingly randomly, but subject to the planet’s currents and tides.” No mention of how many fish are choking on small Lego parts.
Mosaic: Can meditation really slow ageing?
“Researchers have since linked perceived stress to shorter telomeres in healthy women as well as in Alzheimer’s caregivers, victims of domestic abuse and early life trauma, and people with major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Past Horizons: 70,000 year-old African settlement unearthed.
“This find, according to the researchers, seems to contradict the previously held belief that the construction of permanent structures was associated with the so-called Great Exodus from Africa and occupation of the colder regions of Europe and Asia.”
SciAm: Bread Wheat Genome Contains “Shocking” Plot Twist.
“In short, the wheat family tree is beginning to look distressingly similar to that of the Hapsburgs.” Worth the read, even if you don’t share an interest in such things. You can baffle the foodies in your social circle.
Popular Archaeology: Archaeologists Uncover Lost Population of Ancient Amarna.
The many builders who lived short and hard lives.
The Economist: Low-cost fertility treatment - Maybe babies.
“Last year Belgian researchers tested a shoebox-sized IVF laboratory built from cheap glass tubes that uses baking soda and citric acid to create the carbon dioxide needed for fertilisation to occur. Pregnancy rates matched those from a standard laboratory and set-up costs are 85-90% lower.” The turkey-baster solution.
Metafilter: Evolution is wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.
Learn of creationism, and how far people can rationalize belief. I think back to my own childhood, in which I got both versions ground into my brain. I have to say I rationalized the Biblical story as a nice narrative that was more archetypal than literal - symbolic, in other words. Had no words for that perception as a child, but I clearly remember that was the flavor of my unspoken thoughts. I preferred evolution because, at the time, it gave me dinosaurs. And I loved dinosaurs. Genesis, Adam and Eve didn’t stand a chance against Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex. Especially when I could walk over to Guyot Hall on the Princeton campus and see a real Tyrannosaurus skull (larger than I was, black as the hinges of Hades, teeth longer than my child’s hand).
New Yorker: How to Be a Better Online Reader.
New Republic: Interruptions at Work Make You Way Less Productive.
“Researchers have known for a while that interruptions inhibit our ability to carry out many tasks—from detecting traffic signals to performing surgery. This study is unique, though, in looking at—and quantifying—how distractions affect the caliber of creative work.”
Past Horizons: Prehistoric tooth plaque provides dietary insight.
“The researchers found ingestion of the purple nut sedge in both pre-agricultural and agricultural periods. They suggest that the plant’s ability to inhibit Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium which contributes to tooth decay, may have contributed to the unexpectedly low level of cavities found in the agricultural population.” If you trace Google search term use, “purple nut sedge” is going to transition from being ‘nuisance’ to being a paleo food fave. Mark my words.
Mashable: Early Lab Tests Find a Modified Cat Parasite Can Treat Cancer.
AuthorityNutrition: Does Green Coffee Bean Extract Work? A Detailed Review.
Seems to. There are caveats. If you suffer from stress and anxiety, the extra caffeine may not be a welcome influence.
Reuters: Embracing skeletons unearthed in Russia.
It gets stranger. Listen to the entire video.
WaPo: There’s so much that science will never be able to explain.
“Science works under strict boundaries, and as hard as we may try, we can’t go beyond them. To know all answers, we need to start by knowing all questions. And that is simply impossible. Our view of the world will always be incomplete.” That’s not necessarily ‘bad’.
Telegraph.UK: Mysterious giant hole appears in Siberia.
Think twice, if you see an inscription saying “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate.”
SciAm: Killing Big Animals Allows Rodents (and Their Fleas) to Flourish.
I believe the local version of this is … after a wet winter, rodents flourish. Carnivores (mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, eagles, hawks, owls) respond by gaining in numbers thanks to plentiful and easy-to-snag foodstuffs. When a ‘balance’ is achieved, both populations come down to more normal levels.
WalesOnline: Police operation launched after Welsh relic, thought to be the Holy Grail is stolen.
Popular Archaeology: Archaeologists Discover One of the Oldest Known Clovis Hunting Sites in North A
Bicycling: A PSA on PSA for Cyclists.
“Our study does not show cause and effect relationships and so we do not conclude cycling causes prostate cancer. [snip] It is likely that cycling affects the way people are investigated rather than making them more likely to develop prostate cancer.”
NY TImes: How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall? Talent.
Somewhat misleading title. This is about practice, and the efficacy thereof.
Clark Planetarium: Rare Coin Found on Mars!
SciAm: Why Alzheimer’s Drugs Keep Failing.
I’m counting on assisted suicide as being an option, if I ever get diagnosed as such (and if there are no working therapies available). I have no wish to burden anyone else; the ‘dirt nap’ would be my preferred therapy.