Science (General/Chat)

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  • Look out, a soil model says more plants means massive carbon stores might be freed

    12/26/2014 12:11:20 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 5 replies
    Jjoannenova.com.au ^ | December 27th, 2014 | Jjjoanne
    The Doom message version 48.2a (subclause i) has been released.Forget methane clathrate pits, now extra plant growth (blame CO2) could cause  global soil to unleash massive amounts of carbon.Carbon dioxide (aka “pollution”) feeds plants. This is bad (didn’t you know?). An all new “first” computer model with plants, soil, and fungus, warns us that more plants could get soil microbes excited which might break down more soil carbon and release it into the air. Disaster! It’s a could-be-might-be-catastrophe. (At  least until paragraph 6 — see that caveat below).In the meantime this is is so big, it’s practically nuclear — the...
  • What Did You Get For Christmas?

    12/26/2014 12:01:48 PM PST · by blueunicorn6 · 18 replies
    Some Stuff | 12/26/14 | blueunicorn6
    What did you get for Christmas? I asked Santa for a Harley Davidson motorcycle. I've got a perfect place for it in the garage. I can't ride it. I'm a menace to society when I'm on a motorcycle. Not because I carry a switchblade. I just crash all the time. I was looking at a motorcycle once, and it fell on me. Engine wasn't even running. Just fell on me. I really rode in my younger days. I rode into cars. I rode into trees. Once, I even rode into a hill. You'd think that you could see a hill...
  • A Pint-Size Polar Predator

    12/26/2014 7:25:45 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    Discover ^ | Wednesday, December 10, 2014 | Gemma Tarlach
    Nanuqsaurus hoglundi was the big little dinosaur find that nearly got left behind. Classified in a March study, the hobbit T. rex, barely two-thirds the size of its more famous relative, roamed the Arctic some 70 million years ago. It's the only tyrannosaur ever found outside temperate latitudes, rewriting our understanding of the animals' diversity... In 2006, Fiorillo's team was above the Arctic Circle, on Alaska's North Slope. The polar season for fieldwork is brief, and they were busy excavating horned dinosaurs. But they also noticed a few interesting-looking, basketball-size rocks lying around the site. Fiorillo set them aside, thinking...
  • Oldest Horned Dinosaur in North American Discovered

    12/26/2014 7:25:41 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Paleontologists working in southern Montana unearthed a 3-inch beaked skull with pointed cheeks, which they believe is the oldest definitive evidence of a horned dinosaur in North America. Though small, the skull helps fill gaps in the evolutionary history of horned creatures on this continent... Fossil remains of horned dinosaurs, called neoceratopsian, have been found throughout North America, but the fossil record of these creatures is incredibly limited further back in time. That's been a hang-up for paleontologists because the late Early Cretaceous period (roughly 113 to 105 million years ago) was a time of important diversification for horned dinosaurs....
  • Exotic weapons buried in field could have arrived in Wales by long-distance sea travel [Europe]

    12/26/2014 3:10:14 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    Culture24 ^ | Wednesday, December 24, 2014 | Ben Miller
    Archaeologists investigating a 2.5-kilogram hoard of sword blades, scabbards and knives found by a metal detectorist in January 2013 say the plough-disturbed artefacts could have been delivered to Wales by sea from southern England or northern France. Two blade fragments, a scabbard fitting, a multi-edged knife and six copper ingot fragments were discovered by Adrian Young a few metres apart from each other in the corner of a field in Marloes and St Brides . The Coroner for Pembrokeshire has now officially declared the hoard treasure, with archaeologists at National Museum Wales dating it to between 2,800 and 3,000 years...
  • Scientists discover oldest stone tool ever found in Turkey

    12/26/2014 3:05:13 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    Royal Holloway, U of London ^ | Tuesday, December 23, 2014 | unattributed
    Scientists have discovered the oldest recorded stone tool ever to be found in Turkey, revealing that humans passed through the gateway from Asia to Europe much earlier than previously thought, approximately 1.2 million years ago. According to research published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews, the chance find of a humanly-worked quartzite flake, in ancient deposits of the river Gediz, in western Turkey, provides a major new insight into when and how early humans dispersed out of Africa and Asia. Researchers from Royal Holloway, together with an international team from the UK, Turkey and the Netherlands, used high-precision equipment to...
  • Geologist Speculates on Disappearance of Sanxingdui

    12/26/2014 2:58:09 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    Archaeology Magazine ^ | Christmas, Thursday, December 25, 2014 | editor
    Niannian Fan, a river sciences researcher at Tsinghua University in Chengdu, China, presented new thoughts on the disappearance of the Sanxingdui culture from a walled city on the banks of China's Minjiang River some 3,000 years ago, at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. "The current explanations for why it disappeared are war and flood, but both are not very convincing," Fan told Live Science. In the 1980s, scientists found two pits of broken Bronze Age jades, elephant tusks, and bronze sculptures. Similar artifacts have been found nearby at another ancient city known as Jinsha. Did the people...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cetus Duo M77 and NGC 1055

    12/26/2014 1:39:39 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | December 26, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: At the top right, large spiral galaxy NGC 1055 joins spiral Messier 77 in this sharp cosmic view toward the aquatic constellation Cetus. The narrowed, dusty appearance of edge-on spiral NGC 1055 contrasts nicely with the face-on view of M77's bright nucleus and spiral arms. Both over 100,000 light-years across, the pair are dominant members of a small galaxy group about 60 million light-years away. At that estimated distance, M77 is one of the most remote objects in Charles Messier's catalog and is separated from fellow island universe NGC 1055 by at least 500,000 light-years. The field of view...
  • Human Ancestors Were Consuming Alcohol 10 Million Years Ago

    12/25/2014 4:40:58 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 79 replies
    Discover 'blogs ^ | December 1, 2014 | Carl Engelking
    Using the tools of paleogenetics, scientists have recently traced the evolutionary history of an enzyme that helps us metabolize ethanol, the principal type of alcohol found in adult beverages. Scientists believe early human ancestors evolved their ethanol-digesting ability about 10 million years ago to fortify their diet as they shifted from a tree-based lifestyle to a more ground-based lifestyle... To help narrow that range, researchers studied the genetic evolution of alcohol-metabolizing enzyme ADH4, which has been present in primates, in one form or another, for at least 70 million years. Using genetic sequences from 28 different mammals, including 17 primates,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- This Comet Lovejoy

    12/25/2014 4:29:32 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | December 25, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2, is framed like a cosmic Christmas tree with starry decorations in this colorful telescopic portrait, snapped on December 16th. Its lovely coma is tinted green by diatomic C2 gas fluorescing in sunlight. Discovered in August of this year, this Comet Lovejoy is currently sweeping north through the constellation Columba, heading for Lepus south of Orion and bright enough to offer good binocular views. Not its first time through the inner Solar System, this Comet Lovejoy will pass closest to planet Earth on January 7, while its perihelion (closest point to the Sun) will be on...
  • NYC to LA in 45 Minutes Might Soon Become Reality Thanks to ‘Hyperloop'

    12/24/2014 11:08:59 PM PST · by wastedyears · 30 replies
    LuminaryDaily.com ^ | 12-21-2014 | LuminaryDaily
    NYC to LA in 45 Minutes Might Soon Become Reality Thanks to ‘Hyperloop'
  • Exploration into why a rich Temple-building civilization died out on Malta

    12/24/2014 6:25:33 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    Ancient Origins ^ | December 25, 2014 | Mark Miller
    The ancient Temple People civilization of Malta did not suffer invasions, widespread disease or famine, past research has shown. Why their culture died is a mystery. A large team of researchers is carrying out studies to determine why the Temple People’s civilization on the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo ended. The Temple People had an incredibly rich culture with unique art, stone temples and structures, huge burial sites and advanced agriculture going back to 4000 BC and ending around 2900 BC. The stone structures on the island are among the oldest free-standing stone structures in history, Malta Today says...
  • Family Holiday Survival: 12 Ways To Deal With That Climate Change Denier

    12/24/2014 11:45:57 AM PST · by PROCON · 36 replies
    science20.com ^ | Dec. 21, 2014 | The Conversation
    Try to avoid making this face when dealing with a climate change skeptic this holiday. bark/flickr, CC BY By Will J Grant, Australian National University and Rod Lamberts, Australian National University The end of the year is nigh and it’s a time for Christmas and New Year parties and gatherings. In the southern hemisphere that means barbecues and beaches. In the northern hemisphere it’s mulled wine and cozy fireplaces. But for all of us, it probably means we’ll be subjected to at least one ranting, fact-free sermon by a Typical Climate Change Denier (TCCD). You know the drill. Make an...
  • A New Way to Reach Mars Safely, Anytime and on the Cheap

    12/24/2014 8:54:36 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    scientificamerican. ^ | December 22, 2014 | By Adam Hadhazy
    The premise of a ballistic capture: Instead of shooting for the location Mars will be in its orbit where the spacecraft will meet it, as is conventionally done with Hohmann transfers, a spacecraft is casually lobbed into a Mars-like orbit so that it flies ahead of the planet. Although launch and cruise costs remain the same, the big burn to slow down and hit the Martian bull's-eye—as in the Hohmann scenario—is done away with. For ballistic capture, the spacecraft cruises a bit slower than Mars itself as the planet runs its orbital lap around the sun. Mars eventually creeps up...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Cliffs of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko

    12/24/2014 5:24:51 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | December 23, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: These high cliffs occur on the surface of a comet. They were discovered to be part of the dark nucleus of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko (CG) by Rosetta, a robotic spacecraft launched by ESA which began orbiting the comet in early August. The ragged cliffs, as featured here, were imaged by Rosetta about two weeks ago. Although towering about one kilometer high, the low surface gravity of Comet CG would likely make a jump from the cliffs, by a human, survivable. At the foot of the cliffs is relatively smooth terrain dotted with boulders as large as 20 meters across. Data...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Mysterious Methane of Mars

    12/24/2014 5:19:45 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | December 22, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's creating methane on Mars? Recent measurements from the robotic Curiosity rover currently rolling across Mars indicate a surprising 10-fold increase in atmospheric methane between measurements only months apart. Life is a major producer of methane on Earth, and so speculation is rampant that some sort of life -- possibly microbial life -- is creating methane beneath the surface of Mars. Other possibilities do exist, though, with a leading model being the sudden release of methane produced by the mixing of specific soil chemicals with underground water. Proposed origins of Martian methane are depicted in the featured illustration. The...
  • Activating hair growth with a little help from the skin

    12/23/2014 12:41:13 PM PST · by Red Badger · 27 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 12/22/2014 | Provided by Public Library of Science
    Restoring hair loss is a task undertaken not only by beauty practitioners. Previous studies have identified signals from the skin that help prompt new phases of hair growth. However, how different types of cells that reside in the skin communicate to activate hair growth has continued to puzzle biologists. An exciting study publishing on December 23 in the open access journal PLOS Biology reveals a new way to spur hair growth. A group from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) has discovered an unexpected connection—a link between the body's defense system and skin regeneration. It turns out that macrophages...
  • This Is How Fast Texas Wildfires Can Move (video)

    12/23/2014 4:19:15 AM PST · by servo1969 · 6 replies
    dump.com ^ | 12-23-2014 | Texas Park and Wildlife Department
    The engulfing flames of a Texas wildfire quickly shifted directions and burned two-thirds of the 6,000-acre park at Bastrop State Park. This clip from the Texas Park and Wildlife Department shows the intensity of the flames in real time.
  • WH Science Advisor: Make CO2 Emissions 'Close to Zero'

    12/22/2014 1:57:05 PM PST · by PROCON · 54 replies
    cnsnews ^ | Dec. 22, 2014 | Eric Scheiner
    (CNSNews.com) -White House Science Advisor John Holdren says the global goal is to have world-wide carbon dioxide emissions “close to zero by 2100.” As part of the White House “Open For Questions” video posted last week Holdren was asked: “Do you know the rate of reduction in carbon emissions the world would have to achieve in order to prevent an unstoppable process of methane release from the Arctic areas?” “No one knows for sure how much warming would be enough to produce this result, but it's thought to be considerably less likely to happen if the ultimate warming is less...
  • Meteoric Evidence Suggests Mars May Have a Subsurface Reservoir [of water]

    12/22/2014 11:13:01 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | December 22, 2014 | Matt Williams
    Basically, there is a gap between what is thought to have existed in the past, and what is observed today in the form of water ice. The findings made by Tomohiro and the international research team help to account for this. “The total inventory of “observable” current surface water (that mostly occurs as polar ice, ~10E6 km3) is more than one order magnitude smaller than the estimated volume of ancient surface water (~10E7 to 10E8 km3) that is thought to have covered the northern lowlands,” said Tomohiro. “The lack of water at the surface today was problematic for advocates of...
  • Is String Theory About to Unravel?

    12/22/2014 7:40:57 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 52 replies
    smithsonianmag.com ^ | Brian Greene
    The idea underlying string unification is as simple as it is seductive. Since the early 20th century, nature’s fundamental constituents have been modeled as indivisible particles—the most familiar being electrons, quarks and neutrinos—that can be pictured as infinitesimal dots devoid of internal machinery. String theory challenges this by proposing that at the heart of every particle is a tiny, vibrating string-like filament. And, according to the theory, the differences between one particle and another—their masses, electric charges and, more esoterically, their spin and nuclear properties—all arise from differences in how their internal strings vibrate. Much as the sonorous tones of...
  • BlackBerry works with Boeing on phone that self-destructs

    12/22/2014 7:34:41 AM PST · by McGruff · 15 replies
    REUTERS ^ | Dec 19, 2014
    BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO) is working with Boeing Co (BA.N) on Boeing's high-security Android-based smartphone, the Canadian mobile technology company's chief executive said on Friday. The Boeing Black phone being developed by the Chicago-based aerospace and defense contractor, which is best known for jetliners and fighter planes, can self-destruct if it is tampered with.
  • NASA wants to build a floating city above the clouds of Venus

    12/22/2014 7:32:55 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    cnet.com ^ | 22 December 2014 4:11 am GMT | Michelle Starr
    NASA thinks it might have a solution that will allow sending humans up to check it out, though: Cloud City. The High Altitude Venus Operational Concept -- HAVOC -- is a conceptual spacecraft designed by a team at the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center for the purposes of Venusian exploration. This lighter-than-air rocket would be designed to sit above the acidic clouds for a period of around 30 days, allowing a team of astronauts to collect data about the planet's atmosphere.
  • Indonesian Cave Art Among Science's Top 10 Breakthroughs of 2014

    12/22/2014 4:35:01 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Thursday, December 18, 2014 | press release of the AAAS
    ...among the top 10 breakthroughs was the realization, made public in October, 2014, by scientists that cave paintings discovered in 7 cave sites in the Maros karsts on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia were actually between 35,000 and 40,000 years old. The breakthrough was significant in that it was the first time that prehistoric human cave painting art found in Indonesia, or East Asia, for that matter, was found to date during time periods usually associated with the "first cave painter" works long known to exist in Europe. In the potential landmark study, the researchers used uranium-series dating of...
  • Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

    12/22/2014 4:27:00 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    University of Aberdeen News ^ | 18 December 2014 | Euan Wemyss
    Dr Garcia Losquino, who is from the region, was compelled to visit Galicia in Northern Spain unexpectedly when a number of Viking anchors were washed ashore in a storm in March 2014... "On the beach where the anchors were found there was a big mound which locals thought might have been a motte-and-bailey construction, which was used by the later Vikings in France. But with the help of a geographer using tomography we now think this was a longphort -- a Viking construction only found in Ireland during the early Viking age, and very similar to English Viking camps, where...
  • #AGU14 NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory shows surprising CO2 emissions in Southern Hemisphere

    12/21/2014 9:42:09 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 30 replies
    Wattsupwiththat.com ^ | December 20, 2014 | Anthony Watts
    Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from Oct. 1 through Nov. 11, as recorded by NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. Carbon dioxide concentrations are highest above northern Australia, southern Africa and eastern Brazil. Preliminary analysis of the African data shows the high levels there are largely driven by the burning of savannas and forests. Elevated carbon dioxide can also be seen above industrialized Northern Hemisphere regions in China, Europe and South America and Africa. Image credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechThe first global maps of atmospheric carbon dioxide from NASA’s new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission demonstrate its performance and promise, showing elevated carbon dioxide concentrations across...
  • Keep the Pyramids, give us the Colosseum

    12/21/2014 7:38:26 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    'blog ^ | September 11, 2014 | Simcha Jacobovici
    The Egyptian archaeological community is in a tizzy. They are accusing foreign Egyptologists of being Israeli agents hell bent on altering their history. It seems Israel's ultimate goal is to reclaim the Pyramids. This charge was recently laid by Amir Gamal of the "Non-Stop Robberies" movement. It was published in Egypt's Elaph newspaper... Some of this is funny, and some of this is not. When I filmed archaeology in Egypt in 2004 for a documentary film on the biblical Exodus, the Egyptians were watching us like hawks. In Egypt, the bible is current history. Even though the Qur'an says that...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Tyrrhenian Sea and Solstice Sky

    12/21/2014 1:43:42 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | December 21, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Today the solstice occurs at 23:03 Universal Time, the Sun reaching its southernmost declination in planet Earth's sky. Of course, the December solstice marks the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the south. When viewed from northern latitudes, and as shown in the above horizontally compressed image, the Sun will make its lowest arc through the sky along the southern horizon. So in the north, the solstice day has the shortest length of time between sunrise and sunset and fewest hours of daylight. This striking composite image follows the Sun's path through the December solstice...
  • Tonight will be the longest night in Earth's history

    12/21/2014 10:48:25 AM PST · by LucyT · 77 replies
    msn news ^ | Decembe 21, 2014 | Joseph Stromberg
    Today, you might already know, is the winter solstice. That means for people living in the Northern Hemisphere, it's the longest night of the year. However, as science blogger Colin Schultz points out, tonight will also be the longest night ever. At any location in the Northern Hemisphere, in other words, tonight's period of darkness will be slightly longer than any other, ever — at least, since the planet started spinning right around the time it was first formed some 4.5 billion years ago. The reason is that the rotation of the Earth is slowing over time. Every year, scientists...
  • Active Sun Unleashes Massive Solar Flare

    12/21/2014 8:53:31 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 27 replies
    space.com ^ | December 20, 2014 11:49am ET | Tariq Mailq
    The huge solar flare registered as an X1.8-class event, one of the most powerful types of flares possible, and was captured on camera by NASA's powerful Solar Dynamics Observatory. The flare triggered a strong radio blackout for parts of Earth as it peaked Friday at 7:28 p.m. EST (0028 Dec. 20 GMT), according to an alert from the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center overseen by NOAA.
  • The Hallelujah Chorus--All Parts Performed by 2 Singers in an Abandoned Bunker (YouTube vid, 4m22s)

    NASA and Handel hook up.
  • What Does “Happy New Year” Even Really Mean? (Physics: is time real?)

    12/20/2014 7:58:27 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 27 replies
    Smithsonian Magazine ^ | January 2015 | Sean M. Carroll
    When Albert Einstein’s good friend Michele Besso died in 1955, just a few weeks before Einstein’s own death, Einstein wrote a letter to Besso’s family in which he put forward a scientist’s consolation: “This is not important. For us who are convinced physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent.” The idea that time is an illusion is an old one, predating any Times Square ball drop or champagne celebrations. It reaches back to the days of Heraclitus and Parmenides, pre-Socratic thinkers who are staples of introductory philosophy courses. Heraclitus argued that the primary...
  • Former Egyptian antiquities minister faces questions over theft from pyramid

    12/20/2014 1:04:43 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | Wednesday 12 November 2014 | Patrick Kingsley
    In April 2013, the three Germans -- two amateur archaeologists and a film-making accomplice -- crept inside the inner sanctum of the Great Pyramid at Giza, the last the seven wonders of the ancient world to remain relatively intact. The trio, conspiracy theorists Dominique Gorlitz, Stefan Erdmann and Peter Hoefer, wanted to show that the pyramid was not the final resting place of the pharaoh Khufu, as has long been accepted, but was in fact a relic of an even older empire. In an attempt to prove this, they scraped off part of the pyramid's cartouche -- the insignia that...
  • Stonehenge dig finds 6,000-year-old encampment

    12/20/2014 11:21:34 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 37 replies
    BBC ^ | December19, 2014 | unattributed
    Archaeologists working on a site near Stonehenge say they have found an untouched 6,000-year-old encampment which "could rewrite British history". David Jacques, from the University of Buckingham, made the discovery at Blick Mead in October, and said the carbon dating results had just been confirmed. But he also raised concerns about possible damage to the site over plans to build a road tunnel past Stonehenge. The Department of Transport said it would "consult before any building". The Blick Mead site is about 1.5 miles (2.4km) from Stonehenge and archaeologists said "scientifically tested charcoal" dug up from the site had "revealed...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Apollo 11 Landing Site Panorama

    12/20/2014 6:54:38 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    NASA ^ | December 20, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Have you seen a panorama from another world lately? Assembled from high-resolution scans of the original film frames, this one sweeps across the magnificent desolation of the Apollo 11 landing site on the Moon's Sea of Tranquility. Taken by Neil Armstrong looking out his window of the Eagle Lunar Module, the frame at the far left (AS11-37-5449) is the first picture taken by a person on another world. Toward the south, thruster nozzles can be seen in the foreground on the left, while at the right, the shadow of the Eagle is visible toward the west. For scale, the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Reflections on the 1970s

    12/20/2014 6:50:51 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    NASA ^ | December 19, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The 1970s are sometimes ignored by astronomers, like this beautiful grouping of reflection nebulae in Orion - NGC 1977, NGC 1975, and NGC 1973 - usually overlooked in favor of the substantial glow from the nearby stellar nursery better known as the Orion Nebula. Found along Orion's sword just north of the bright Orion Nebula complex, these reflection nebulae are also associated with Orion's giant molecular cloud about 1,500 light-years away, but are dominated by the characteristic blue color of interstellar dust reflecting light from hot young stars. In this sharp color image a portion of the Orion Nebula...
  • Polish family treasure an archaeological sensation in Sweden

    12/19/2014 11:36:36 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland ^ | May 12, 2014 | Daniel Zysk
    A small gold plate belonging to Polish family Sielscy from the Swedish Malmoe turned out to be an archaeological sensation. According to the researchers, it is probably a souvenir from the funeral of the Danish King Harald Bluetooth on the island of Wolin, dated to c. 986 AD. The discovery was made by 11 years old Maja Sielska, who diligently did her school homework about the Middle Ages. While looking through pictures of coins from this period in the textbook and on the Internet, the girl saw a plate with mysterious inscriptions similar to the one she had received from...
  • Unique 7th century silver bowl found in South Holland

    12/19/2014 11:29:59 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | July 2, 2014 | Source: Leiden University
    On an excavation site in Oegstgeest (South Holland), Leiden University archaeologists discovered a silver bowl dating to the first half of the seventh century. The bowl is decorated with gold-plated representations of animals and plants and inlaid with semi-precious stones. The discovery suggests the existence of an Oegstgeest elite with a wide international network. Researchers believe that the bowl, which is 21 centimetres wide and 11 centimetres high, was buried as part of a ritual sacrifice. Such gilded discoveries are extremely rare. This one is exceptional because such bowls were usually made of bronze and were not, as a rule,...
  • Dental plaque reveals key plant in prehistoric Easter Island diet

    12/19/2014 11:22:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    University of Otago ^ | Tuesday, 16 December 2014 | Ms Monica Tromp
    Known to its Polynesian inhabitants as Rapa Nui, Easter Island is thought to have been colonised around the 13th Century and is famed for its mysterious large stone statues or moai. Otago Anatomy PhD student Monica Tromp and Idaho State University’s Dr John Dudgeon have just published new research clearing up their previous puzzling finding that suggested palm may have been a staple plant food for Rapa Nui’s population over several centuries. However, no other line of archaeological or ethnohistoric evidence supports palm having a dietary role on Easter Island; in fact evidence points to the palm becoming extinct soon...
  • Stone tools discovery prompts re-think of African theory

    12/19/2014 11:14:46 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | September 26, 2014 | unattributed
    The belief that a type of technology known as Levallois – where the flakes and blades of stones were used to make useful products such as hunting weapons was invented in Africa and then spread to other continents as the human population expanded can now be discounted say the researchers. At an archaeological site in Armenia called Nor Geghi 1, the researchers discovered that these types of tools already existed there between 325,000 and 335,000 years ago, suggesting that local populations developed them out of a more basic type of technology, known as biface, which was also found at the...
  • Earth May Have Created Its Own Water Deep Within; And There's Still Enough There To Fill The Pacific

    12/19/2014 7:32:52 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 46 replies
    hngn.com/ ^ | Dec 19, 2014 06:57 PM EST | Rebekah Marcarelli
    A team of researchers revealed evidence of an unknown geochemical pathway used by the Earth to sequester water deep within, releasing small amounts through plate tectonics in a process that feeds our oceans "from within," Ohio State University reported.
  • ISS astronaut needs a wrench, NASA successfully 'emails' him one

    12/19/2014 2:44:12 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 43 replies
    cnet.com ^ | 19 December 2014 9:46 pm GMT | Anthony Domanico
    An astronaut aboard the International Space Station needed a socket wrench, so NASA engineers emailed him designs for 3D-printing one.
  • Back to future with Roman architectural concrete

    12/19/2014 2:10:42 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    Eurekalert! ^ | December 15, 2014 | Lynn Yarris
    No visit to Rome is complete without a visit to the Pantheon, Trajan's Markets, the Colosseum, or the other spectacular examples of ancient Roman concrete monuments that have stood the test of time and the elements for nearly two thousand years... Working at ALS beamline 12.3.2, a superconducting bending magnet X-ray micro-diffraction beamline, the research team studied a reproduction of Roman volcanic ash-lime mortar that had been previously subjected to fracture testing experiments at Cornell University. In the concrete walls of Trajan's Markets, constructed around 110 CE, this mortar binds cobble-sized fragments of tuff and brick. Through observing the mineralogical...
  • Unique entry complex discovered at Herodian Hilltop Palace

    12/19/2014 2:03:42 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    Hebrew University of Jerusalem ^ | December 18, 2014 | dovs
    Archaeologists from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute of Archaeology have discovered a monumental entryway to the Herodian Hilltop Palace at the Herodium National Park. The unique complex was uncovered during excavations by The Herodium Expedition in Memory of Ehud Netzer over the past year, as part of a project to develop the site for tourism. The main feature of the entryway is an impressive corridor with a complex system of arches spanning its width on three separate levels. These arches buttressed the corridor's massive side-walls, allowing the King and his entourage direct passage into the Palace Courtyard. Thanks to...
  • Remains of 8,000-year-old olive oil found in Lower Galilee

    12/19/2014 1:59:07 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | December 17, 2014 | Daniel K. Eisenbud
    The earliest evidence of the use of olive oil in the country, and possibly the entire Middle East, was unearthed at an excavation site in the Lower Galilee, the Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday. The discovery was made after Dr. Ianir Milevski and Nimrod Getzov directed an archeological salvage excavation at Ein Tzipori between 2011 and 2013. The excavation led to research that indicated that olive oil was already being used in the country 8,000 years ago, during the 6th millennium BCE... These tests revealed that the pottery, dating to the Early Chalcolithic period, contained olive oil, the researchers concluded... Of...
  • Massive 2,800-year-old farmhouse found in central Israel

    12/19/2014 1:52:50 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | December 15, 2014 | Lazar Berman
    Structure in modern Rosh Ha'ayin was used during Assyrian, Persian and Hellenistic periods. Israeli archaeologists uncovered an ancient farmhouse in the area of modern day Rosh Ha'ayin, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Monday. The structure is believed to be 2,800 years old, and consists of 23 rooms. "The farm, which is extraordinarily well-preserved, extends across an area of 30 meters by 40 meters and was built in the eighth century BCE, the time of the Assyrian conquest," IAA excavation director Amit Shadman said. "Farm houses during this period served as small settlements of sorts whose inhabitants participated in processing agricultural produce....
  • Quantum physics just got less complicated

    12/19/2014 11:34:49 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 76 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | 12/19/14
    Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications. Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum 'uncertainty principle' in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one."The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you...
  • Get Ready for The Next Wave of Tech Disruptions

    12/19/2014 10:36:08 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 16 replies
    33rd Square ^ | 12/17/2014
    According to technology expert Vivek Wadhwa, "One of the things that has begun to worry me is the fact that I'm seeing change happening at a scale which is unimaginable before and that it's impacting industry after industry after industry." "Every industry I've looked at I've seen a trend of major disruption happening," says Wadhwa in a new piece for Big Think. Wadhwa is a fellow at Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, director of research at Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke, and Distinguished Fellow at Singularity University.  Wadhwa tells how manufacturing will be dramatically...
  • The massive supernova that could annihilate life on Earth (but don't panic- experts say luckily

    12/19/2014 7:00:13 AM PST · by C19fan · 28 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | December 19, 2014 | Mark Prigg
    It contains one of the biggest and brightest stars in our galaxy, weighing at least 90 times the mass of the sun. The Eta Carinae star system, however, also has a dark side - it could bring the end of life on Earth. However, the good news is that experts say this is 'extremely' unlikely - but cannot rule it out.
  • World's deepest fish found: Ghostly snailfish is found lurking 27,000ft below at the bottom

    12/19/2014 6:36:49 AM PST · by C19fan · 29 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | December 19, 2014 | Jonathan O'Callaghan
    A new record has been set for the deepest fish ever seen in the world, at an incredible depth of 26,722 feet (8,145 metres). The snailfish was found at the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, and breaks the previous record by almost 1,640 feet (500 metres). The finding was part of an international expedition that also found many other new species at the extreme depths.