It’s not always oil that we spill into the ecosystem. Every now and then a pet cockatoo is let loose or escapes, joins a wild flock, and teaches the natives how to speak. The phenomenon accounts for “numerous” reports by Australians who think they are hearing voices....more
Posts Tagged: science
Here is a map to help you visualize human migration over the course of our 200,000 year existence. Using data based on mitochondrial DNA difference, the map models migratory patterns as humans “moved outward from Africa into Asia, and later the Americas, Indonesia and Australia.” The visual distinguishes between land and water or temporary land/ice bridges, while highlighting genetic populations and the extent of ice....more
Fossils found in a South African cave may be “the most plausible known ancestor of archaic and modern humans,” argue the scientists who discovered the bones, citing the combination of apelike and human features in the newfound species—dubbed Australopithecus sediba.
Some scientists disagree that the fossils represent a transitional link between the australopithecines and humans, suggesting instead that the discovery provides important evidence of the extensive diversity of australopithecine apes and the difficulty of determining which is actually the ancestral species....more
Headed by the University of Vermont’s Isabel Klouman, a team of researchers did a massive language study that revealed an optimistic tendency of the English language—there are more positive words than negative. Compiling words from years of the New York Times, tweets, popular song lyrics and Google Books, they then analyzed the most common from each source, and finally rated each word’s relative positivity from the 10,122-word list....more
Atlantis just returned from its last mission and here we are with our feet firmly on the ground. But surely there is an alternative to NASA.
For inspiration into space travel here on earth experience the short film Life as An Independent Astronaut and an interview with the documentary’s star and director David Wilson....more
It turns out those trusty Law and Order-like forensic techniques are now being adopted for another function–the preservation of social norms via the avoidance of seemingly invasive questions!
Next time you feel the need to know somebody’s age, but feel too uncomfortable to ask, just get some of their DNA from their saliva....more
There’s an awesome Mother Jones article on how we intake our science like lawyers and how our reasoning is inextricably linked to our emotional centers. We’re used to scientific evidence and opinion-based beliefs competing or being on opposite sides of our reality spectrum, but they do, indeed, inform each other....more
There is a romantic idea that great genius emanates from the tower.
The novelist, the philosopher, the architect, all retreat to their places of solitude to channel their minds and await inspiration. A few hours, days, months, years later, they emerge with a masterpiece....more
“Results suggest that facial hair is worn to enhance a man’s marriage prospects by increasing physical attractiveness and perception of social status. Men shave their mustaches, possibly to convey an impression of trustworthiness, when the marriage market is weak and women might fear sexual exploitation and desertion.”
I mean, they used a regression....more
The Hubble has detected an alien spacecraft (or just a comet or something, whatever).
“Don’t you ever link to anything nonscience related?” Here are some pictures of a frozen house in Detroit....more
Today is the shortest day of the year, it’s all up from here.
The Korean airforce have developed a pedal powered airplane. Dang!
Meanwhile scientists have figured out to harness the power of bacteria, or something....more
Is the Bible too liberal for you? Too much of that “help the poor” and not enough sinner-smiting? Do you have no knowledge of ancient Greek and no experience in translation? Then you’re perfect for this project.
Shirley Dent talks about the difference between idiom and slang, especially as it relates to culture....more
In Sweden, official’s have decided to start rounding up bunny rabbits and burning them for bio-fuel. Looks like SOMEONE’S got a case of the Mondays!...more
Johnny Cash in German.
IS the Large Hadron Collider being sabotaged by ITS OWN FUTURE?
A behind the scenes look at Swedish rug mill. Because, really, why not?
One of my closest friend’s doesn’t have a sense of smell, if this article is correct that means he doesn’t feel any emotions at all!...more
90 Years of Vogue Magazine covers. You know, if that’s your thing.
New Scientist wants to tell you about the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in physics.
NY Magazine on Nicholson Baker’s creative process....more