Franck Goddio/Projects: Sunken civilizations - Heracleion.
“Thonis-Heracleion (the Egyptian and Greek names of the city) is a city lost between legend and reality.” Check the photos. Amazing trove. Would love to dive this.
Ancient Origins: Archaeologists recreate Elixir of Long Life recipe from unearthed bottle.
“Loorya enlisted researchers in Germany to track down the recipe in an old medical guide, which revealed that the potion contained ingredients such as aloe, which is anti-inflammatory, gentian root, which aids digestion, as well as rhubarb, zedoary, and Spanish saffron – ingredients still used by herbalists today.”
BBC: Newly-found gut virus ‘abundant in humans’.
Popular Archaeology: Ancient naval ram found in Phanagoria reveals history of unrest in 63 BC.
“When the ship was first discovered, scientists suggested the ship was an ancient Byzantine merchant vessel. However, the newly-found ram dismisses the previous version and proves that the ship was a bireme, an ancient oared warship with two decks of oars that Mithradates used to quell unrest. The ship was later burned by the protesters in 63 B.C.”
Guardian.UK: Shipwreck excavation may explain how 17th-century warship blew itself up.
“A surprising number of the human remains recovered so far have proved to be female, suggesting that as well as the 350 crew, plus extra gunners for the newly mounted artillery, the ship was carrying many of their wives and sweethearts.” In between tours, they’d allow wives and sweethearts on board, to prevent the crew from deserting if they got off the ship. Having read various maritime novels about the era, one could imagine the crew being pretty lax, what with the captain not on board, and wenches all over.
Dazed: Life on Earth is dying again.
“Don’t say we weren’t warned – yesterday several studies published in the journal Science advised that we’re in currently in the middle of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction. While the human population is flourishing (no doubt part of the problem), other species are in rapid decline.”
Discover Mag: Feathers More Common Among Dinosaurs Than Previously Thought.
Come on. Some must have had pompadours!
SciAm: The Evolutionary Psychology of Women’s Shoes.
SciAm: Farmers Fight Explosion of “Superweeds”.
“We have had numerous calls about poor control of Palmer amaranth with glyphosate this year.” Nature’s escalating the battle again.
Later, related: Happened to run across this, from 2010, when filing the above. Interesting that “Monsanto, which once argued that resistance would not become a major problem, now cautions against exaggerating its impact. ‘It’s a serious issue, but it’s manageable.’”
Archaeology News Network: Fossil footprints suggest tyrannosaurs hunted in packs.
Given the behavior of birds, I’m surprised it took this long to find.
Discover Mag: Does singing along to your favorite songs make you a worse driver?
“Collectively, results suggest that singing while driving alters driving performance and impairs hazard perception while at the same time increasing subjective mental workload.” What about punching buttons on the radio to find SOMETHING DECENT TO LISTEN TO? Definitely increases mental workload. And stress. Can we sue the radio monopolists, then? “Having to listen to ‘Radar Love’ on three different stations at the same time caused me to drive off the road, kill a herd of cows, gave me whiplash, and totalled my car ...”
WNYC: The Leonard Lopate Show - Do You Have to Be Crazy to Be a Genius?
“Neuroscientist and literary scholar Nancy C. Andreasen tries to answer the question: If high IQ does not indicate creative genius, then where does the trait come from, and why is it so often accompanied by mental illness?” Audio; linking it without having the time to listen to it yet, because it’s one of my favorite bugbears.
Pacific Standard: In Praise of Our Short Attention Spans.
Perhaps, but for web designers ... “Bounce rate can be improved by up to 30 percent with the reduction of page size and resulting speed improvements. A one second delay in page load time can result in 11 percent fewer page views, 16 percent decreased customer satisfaction and 7 percent lost conversions.”
NY Times/Well: Acetaminophen No Better Than Placebo for Back Pain.
“... there has never been much research to support the recommendation, and now a large, rigorous trial has found that acetaminophen works no better than a placebo.” It has *never* worked for me. For any kind of pain. I haven’t touched Tylenol in over two decades.
National Post: Student finds something that sets the archaeology world abuzz.
“We have found other religious objects in Ferryland but none from the 1620s, not from that time period when Calvert had cemented his vision of a colony of religious toleration. [snip] And then here we have it, the physical manifestation of his belief.”
Guardian.UK: Dogs feel jealous of rival pets, study finds.
Too many babies and toddlers lie under grass because owners say (tragically too late), “But my dog would NEVER do such a thing.”
Tangential: CNN gets in hot water for implying we should eat pets instead of euthanizing them. We haven’t always felt that way. Lewis & Clark would agree - over 200 dogs were eaten on their westward trek. Minimal-maintenance portable protein. Some of the natives encountered found the practice disgusting. Causes one to recontemplate the definition of ‘civilized’.
Guardian.UK: New stem cell operation could revolutionise treatment of knee injuries.
“The procedure, which is being trialled at Southampton general hospital, involves coating damaged cartilage with stem cells, taken from a patient’s own hip, and surgical glue.” Obviously, there is a ‘knee’d’ for this ...
Past Horizons: Well preserved Roman remains at Binchester.
“The trooper described his rank as ‘architectus’ and this is the only example from the whole of the Roman Empire, outside of Rome itself, which shows that architects were on the staff of auxiliary cavalry units and not just the legions of the Emperor’s personal protection unit, the Praetorian Guard.” Click through and check out the gorgeous ring.
SciAm: Error Discovered in Antarctic Sea-Ice Record.
“The finding raises two possibilities, Eisenman and his colleagues say. Either much of the recent mysterious growth trend is actually spurious, or the current figures are accurate but the trend could have been detected years earlier.” Oh, the naysayers are gonna eat this one up.
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.”