Guardian.UK: Royal settlement linked to Sutton Hoo treasures.
“The low mounds on a ridge overlooking the river Deben were well known, but archaeologists believed grave robbers had emptied them centuries ago, until an eccentric landowner, Edith Pretty, insisted that she had seen ghostly figures walking on them.” Do the wee ghosties get credit for the finds?
Discover Magazine: Birth of El Niño?
“If unusually strong westerly winds continue over the equatorial Western Pacific during March and April, this Kelvin wave has the potential to trigger a strong El Niño event over the Eastern Pacific later this year.” Hey, Aeolus, eat some garlic. We need to get this moving.
Guardian.UK: Fukushima’s children at centre of debate over rates of thyroid cancer.
If equipment sensitivity is suspected, it’s easy to prove. Pick another group of children, far removed from Fukushima, and run the same tests. Every experiment needs a control.
Guardian.UK: 4,000-year-old Dartmoor burial find rewrites British bronze age history.
“The discovery of her remains is rewriting the history of the bronze age moor. The bundle contained a treasury of unique objects: a tin bead and 34 tin studs, which are the earliest evidence of metal-working in the south-west; textiles, including a unique nettle fibre belt with a leather fringe; jewellery, including amber from the Baltic and shale from Whitby; and wooden ear studs, which are the earliest examples of wood turning ever found in Britain.”
ArtDaily: Rare group of 9,000-year-old stone masks united for first time at the Israel Museum.
“Originating from the Judean Hills and nearby Judean Desert, the twelve masks on view each share striking stylistic features. Large eye holes and gaping mouths create the expression of a human skull. Perforations on the periphery may have been used for wearing them, for the attachment of hair, which would have given the masks a more human appearance, or for suspending the masks from pillars or other constructed forms.” Wild.
SciAm: Did Dark Matter Kill the Dinosaurs?
“The authors suggest that as the Sun oscillates up and down, it crosses a denser layer of dark matter — like the ham in the middle — causing a gravitational push and pull that disturbs comets in the Oort cloud.” I’ve thought about this sort of scenario since starting sci-fi books back in the ‘60’s. Cool that they’ll be able to test it. Frightening the implications.
Ghost in the Machine: My God It’s Full of Stars.
Ursa Major, in almost … unbearable … detail.
MotherJones: Science Says Your Soul Is Like a Traffic Jam.
“Every time we remember something, we are rebuilding it. [snip] We’re not actually remembering what happened, we’re remembering what happened the last time we remembered it. And as a result, we embellish, little bits and details get changed.” More and more reason to keep a journal. Not many reviews on the author’s book yet.
Byzantine Blog: Irony And Humor In The Semantically Subversive Byzantine Empire.
After Constantine’s death, they’d need a sense of humor.
NY Times: A Successor to Sagan Reboots ‘Cosmos’.
Sunday. The previews have pretty cheesy effects; don’t know if I can stomach it if they’re all on this par.
PubMed: High-dose of vitamin C supplementation reduce amyloid plaque burden …
Eat your fruits.
Mashable: Scientists - El Nino (May Be) A-Comin’
“According to both L’Heureux and McPhaden, scientists issued this outlook without the benefit of their full complement of available data. A network of ocean observing buoys strategically located throughout the central and eastern tropical Pacific and designed specifically for improving El Niño forecasts, is now only 40% operational, largely due to federal budget cuts.” Oy. My emphasis. Well, El Niño would be welcome moisture here, if it does form. We need it. Roofers in the area will be mightily pleased, too.
La Jicarita: What’s Wrong with WIPP.
“If the leak came from panel 7, it could be from one or more of the 258 contact-handled (CH) waste containers, containing 388 cubic meters that were emplaced between January 25 and February 5. Eighteen canisters, containing 16 cubic meters of more highly radioactive remote-handled (RH) waste, had been put into that panel starting in late September 2013.” A great deal more serious than we’re being told. I still wonder why there are no robotic means to investigate the mines. Antennae could have been placed for ease of operation. Probes down ventilation shafts? Seriously? I would, if I were the DOE, be testing the fracking workers at those nearby wellheads … if for no other reason than to prevent possible spread to family members.
Later: The exposed workers will “be unlikely to experience any health effects.” No radioactive dose amounts were reported. Luckily they had no evidence of plutonium or americium. But it would be nice to know how much radiation they experienced. Between the fire and this particular event, the plant must be running out of un-radiated workers.
Guardian.UK: HIV gene therapy using GM cells hailed a success after trial.
“Tests on people enrolled in the trial found that the disease-resistant cells multiplied in their bodies. Half of patients were taken off their usual drugs for three months and scientists recorded reduced levels of the virus.”
Guardian.UK: Animal protein-rich diets could be as harmful to health as smoking.
“The apparently harmful effects of a high-protein diet might be down to one or more other substances in meat, or driven by lifestyle factors that are more common in regular red meat eaters versus vegetarians.” Needs more research. From my reading, IGF-1 is the likely culprit, but research conflicts over whether protein from red meat is a direct influence. Dairy intake is pretty unequivocal. Plant-based proteins may actually reduce IGF-1. The elephant in the room is livestock supplementation; rBST gooses the IGF-1 in dairy products; jury’s out on meat itself. It would be very interesting to see them repeat this with organic foods. Overall, the studies need to be targeted better; comparing to smoking is purely to generate a knee-jerk reaction.
Later: Others noted the sensationalist, misleading nature of these stories.
Guardian.UK: Nikola Tesla’s ashes spark row between Serbian scientists and Orthodox church.
Mother Jones: Matthew McConaughey Is Right - Science Does Prove the Value of Gratitude.
“A decade of research has defined gratitude as a social emotion that, while related to empathy, is nonetheless distinct from it. Feeling gratitude helps bind us to our groups and communities and enhances social relationships.” An unexpected messenger.
SciAm: Exosuit Pushes Limits of Undersea Exploration.
I sort of expected something like this thirty or more years ago. Not complaining, mind you. Just a bit surprised it’s taken this long.
SciAm: Can Acupuncture Reverse Killer Inflammation?
“A research group at Rutgers University New Jersey Medical School, Newark, reported online in Nature Medicine on Feb. 23 that stimulating ST36 Zusanli with an electrical current passed through an acupuncture needle activated two nerve tracts in mice that led to the production of a biochemical that quieted a sepsis-like inflammatory reaction that had been induced in mice.” Now, now … don’t go hooking your knees up to truck batteries, please.
Telegraph.UK: Heavy rains bring down Pompeii wall.
If they can’t afford to repair it, perhaps they should re-bury it. Preserve it for a future generation that can afford to keep it in good shape.
ScienceDaily: Talking Neanderthals challenge the origins of speech.
“Mog like scientists. They taste good.”
Sploid: Revolutionary membrane can keep your heart beating perfectly forever.
Awesome. Why replace, when you can make it a cyborg?
CBC.CA: Aboriginal people may have lived on Beringia for millenia.
MeFi: The great Medieval water myth.
Youtube/GoPro: Pelican Learns To Fly.
Neat. [I hope the pelican was not harmed by mounting the GoPro. No real info on the vid.]