Archaeology News Network: Antikythera Mechanism older than thought.
“Starting with the ways the device’s eclipse patterns fit Babylonian eclipse records, the two scientists used a process of elimination to reach a conclusion that the ‘epoch date,’ or starting point, of the Antikythera Mechanism’s calendar was 50 years to a century earlier than had been generally believed.” Any links to Archimedes are getting thinner (at the moment).
Guardian.UK: Muscular dystrophy experts on brink of therapy breakthrough.
Guardian.UK: Reflecting sunlight into space has terrifying consequences, say scientists.
SciAm: Vivid Dreams Comfort the Dying.
Science of Us/Sleep Hack: Keep Your Feet Outside Your Covers.
I seem to have inherited this habit from my maternal grandmother. Cover my feet, I get too hot, can’t sleep. At least one foot has to have fresh air. Weirdsville, but ... it works.
Science of Us: How Much Can You Really Change After 30?
“It’s not that personality is fixed and can’t change. [snip] But it’s relatively stable and consistent. What you see at 35, 40 is what you’re going to see at 85, 90.” Note in particular what they say about newborns; I reference Hillman’s “acorn theory.” When you have a child you’re not so much creating a personality, as revealing it.
365/2: 326. Hydrometeors and snow virga.
Vox: Why vitamin D pills are probably worthless for most people.
Oh, piffle. Depends on which studies you cherry-pick. I don’t think there’s a single vitamin that’s done more noticeable good for me. SAD, fitness, you name it. Get tested if you think you need it; ignore mere news reports.
Youtube: Antares rocket explosion from the launch pad.
My ears hurt, even with the sound turned down.
Brain Mic: There’s a Suicide Epidemic in Utah — And One Neuroscientist Thinks He Knows Why.
Altitude, really? Flagging this for further study results.
CosmosUp: Astronomers Find Cluster of Quasars Aligned Perfectly Across Billion Light Years.
Nature, or proof of intelligent life ... ? (ducking.)
io9: This 2000-Year-Old Pigment Can Eliminate The Third Dimension.
So cool. The Chinese had ‘flat UI’ before we did.
Archaeology News Network: Ancient Coptic ‘Handbook of Spells’ deciphered.
“This codex, with its mix of Sethian and Orthodox Christian invocations, may in fact be a transitional document, written before all Sethian invocations were purged from magical texts, the researchers said.” Cool. So much was destroyed by Christian zealots of later periods, chipping and burning ‘heresies’.
Mashable: New Mexico lawmakers concerned about Spaceport America’s future.
“Build it and they will come”? I hate, hate to say it, but ... perhaps only after it’s gone bankrupt and they can pick it up for pennies on the dollar, beholden to none.
365/2: 322. Meet ‘Flit’, our wintering hummingbird.
We have a wintering hummingbird. Up at 6AM to give him warm sugar water (it’s below 27 at night here, when sugar water freezes). He’s skittish as all get-out, and I have to sneak up on him to get any image at all. Tight crop, through a screen. Hopefully he’ll get tamer if he sticks around.
Job #1 right now is keeping him alive through these cold nights. The skittish behavior is something we’ve observed before, when instinct takes over. He obviously would love to migrate, but can’t lace up enough food sources to make it ... so he’ll disappear for a day, half a day, and then reappear. If he could make it to the Bosque down in Albuquerque, he’d have food sources all the way down to Mexico. It’s this first 75 miles that’s brutal for late migrators.
SciAm: Why Do People Believe in Conspiracy Theories?
“Encouragingly, Uscinski and Parent found that education makes a difference in reducing conspiratorial thinking: 42 percent of those without a high school diploma are high in conspiratorial predispositions, compared with 23 percent with postgraduate degrees. Even so, that means more than one in five Americans with postgraduate degrees show a high predisposition for conspiratorial belief.”
PS Mag: How Old Brains Learn New Tricks.
“In visual learning experiments in which participants must remember sets of images or look for minute changes in an image, older experimental subjects can learn at about the same rate as younger people.” An opening for online learning, certainly.
TNR: A Defense of Reason.
Stanford.EDU: Stanford archaeologist reveals health care in the ancient world.
“At Deir el-Medina, we see two health care networks happening. [snip] There’s a professional, state-subsidized network so the state can get what it wants – a nice tomb for the king. Parallel to this, there’s a private network of families and friends. And this network has pressure to take care of its members, for fear of public shaming, such as being divorced for neglect or even disinherited.”
DiscoverMag: Buffalo Suburbs May Have Set a Record for 24-Hour Snowfall in a Populated Area.
76 inches in 24 hours. Ouch.
PS Mag: Online Brain Exercises Are Probably Useless.
BBC : Comet landing - Organic molecules detected by Philae.
“The fact that we landed up against something may actually be in our favour. If we’d landed on the main surface, the dust layer may have been even thicker and it’s possible we might not have gone down [to the ice].”
Archaeology News Network: Majestic mosaic unearthed in Northern Greece.
“Archaeologists have uncovered another section of the majestic mosaic at the Roman baths in Plotinopolis, Didymoteicho, in northern Greece. 90 square metres out of a total of 140 square metres have been currently uncovered and present the unusual – for the area – theme of sea creatures.” Sea creatures. In a bath. And this is a mystery, even if landlocked? I suppose ...
PS Mag: The Enduring Allure of Badly Behaved Men.
“Today’s male is listless, it’s said — emotionally paralyzed, indecisive, and insufficiently libidinal, on and off the page. With men transformed into soft-bellied unemployable losers, more and more women are left high and dry in the romance and mating department. They’ve lost it, apparently: their edge is gone, they’re lumpish, unemployed, and increasingly obsolete.” The author of this article does a good job ripping the book to pieces - this is a pullquote from the book being reviewed. Women want the same power, the same entitlements as men. Fine. Browbeating husbands or male offspring won’t turn Sparta into Athens; and if ill-done, the male Athenians will bypass women entirely. There need to be a better strategies than the old and tired ones, if equality is desired. Exactly what, is a fraught subject that I’ll bypass for the moment. Just calling attention to the link, for now.
[Slightly humorously, I blame American male consumption of unfermented soy, the favorite filler of food manufacturers in this country. The symptoms echo the above pullquote. Interestingly, while digging for that link, I found one study that mentions soy is twice the endocrine disruptor that BPA is. It seems we’ve collectively freaked out about the wrong compound.]
Tangential: Stumbled upon this. Inside the world of men and dolls. It seems my theorized Athenians are finding other outlets already ...