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Scientists Are Making Modern-Day Mummies in the Lab

The ancient Egyptian practice of preserving bodies throughshutterstock_141537154 mummification is no longer the preferred method to pay homage to our dead, but it is still alive and well in research labs.
—We’ve learned a lot about mummification from historical texts and actual mummies, but to truly understand the original embalmers’ secrets, scientists are following millennia-old recipes to make modern-day mummies. In turn, these 21st century mummies are producing new insights about their ancient forebears.
Making Mummies

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Early men and women were equal, say scientists

Our prehistoric forebears are often portrayed as spear-wielding savages, but the earliest b11fb5f4-2812-4f95-bf41-13059d6964c3-1020x612human societies are likely to have been founded on enlightened egalitarian principles, according to scientists.
—A study has shown that in contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, men and women tend to have equal influence on where their group lives and who they live with. The findings challenge the idea that sexual equality is a recent invention, suggesting that it has been the norm for humans for most of our evolutionary history.
—Mark Dyble, an anthropologist who led the study at University College London, said: “There is still this wider perception that hunter-gatherers are more macho or male-dominated. We’d argue it was only with the emergence of agriculture, when people could start to accumulate resources, that inequality emerged.”

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China’s new silk road could change global economics forever

Part 1: The New Silk Roadsilk-road-5
—Beginning with the marvelous tales of Marco Polo’s travels across Eurasia to China, the Silk Road has never ceased to entrance the world. Now, the ancient cities of Samarkand, Baku, Tashkent, and Bukhara are once again firing the world’s imagination.
—China is building the world’s greatest economic development and construction project ever undertaken: The New Silk Road. The project aims at no less than a revolutionary change in the economic map of the world. It is also seen by many as the first shot in a battle between east and west for dominance in Eurasia.


mel tillis: ruby don’t take your love to town


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Why Do We Experience Awe?

HERE’S a curious fact about goose bumps. In many 24GRAY-master675nonhuman mammals, goose bumps — that physiological reaction in which the muscles surrounding hair follicles contract — occur when individuals, along with other members of their species, face a threat. We humans, by contrast, can get goose bumps when we experience awe, that often-positive feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world.
—Why do humans experience awe? Years ago, one of us, Professor Keltner, argued (along with the psychologist Jonathan Haidt) that awe is the ultimate “collective” emotion, for it motivates people to do things that enhance the greater good.

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The Richat Structure – Earth’s Bull’s-Eye ~ Kuriositas


Imagine if you were an alien species intent on conquering the earth by force. Now, you might just appear over the various capital cities of the world and wait for your countdown to get to zero or you might, being a little timid of the explosive force that you are about to unleash, wish to do it from a safe distance. What you would need to look for, then, is a handy bull’s-eye – on the bull’s-eye that is the Earth itself.


How Today’s Developers Maintain Jim Crow Housing Segregation

What’s the value of black lives when it comes to housing lead_largediscrimination? A Brooklyn property developer answered that question recently when writer D. W. Gibson spoke with him for New York magazine about his real-estate management practices:
–“The average price for a black person here in Bed-Stuy is $30,000 dollars. Up over there in East New York, it’s $10,000 dollars.”
—This is how much it would cost to pay off African-American residents to leave a building that he (given the alias Ephraim in the piece so he could speak candidly) wanted to develop. The buyout, Ephraim explains, is so he can replace them with white tenants. The reason for this is that white tenant prospects had gotten “riled up” at the thought of having to live next to black people, he told Gibson.

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1938. A girl and her grandmother in the streets of Madrid during the Spanish Civil War

Monte Testaccio: The 2,000-year-old Garbage Dump in Rome

On the outskirts of Rome, near the Horrea Galbae, a short distance away from the east bank of the River Tiber, lies an enormous mound overgrown will grass and small trees. It might seem just like an ordinary hill, but is in fact, an ancient landfill from the Roman era and one of the largest landfill of the ancient world. It has a circumference of nearly a kilometer at its base covering an area of 20,000 square meters, and it stands 35 meters tall, though it was probably a lot higher in ancient times. The hill is made entirely out of discarded Roman amphorae, a type of ceramic jar used to store olive oil. It has been estimated that the hill contains the remains of as many as 53 million olive oil amphorae, in which some 6 billion liters of oil were imported.



One Man’s Millions Turn a Community in Florida Around

ORLANDO, Fla. — Two decades ago, Harris Rosen, who grew up poor on the Lower East 00tangelo-web01-master675Side of Manhattan and became wealthy in the Florida hotel business, decided to shepherd part of his fortune into a troubled community with the melodious sounding name of Tangelo Park.
—A quick snap from the city’s tourist engine, this neighborhood of small, once-charming houses seemed a world away from theme park pleasures as its leaders tried to beat back drugs, crime and too many shuttered homes. Nearly half its students had dropped out of school.

The once-troubled community of Tangelo Park has become an education success story with the financial backing of a hotel executive who grew up in Manhattan.


Smoked Mummy Helps Villagers Connect with ‘Ghost World’

In Photos: The Smoked Mummies of Papua New Guinea

In 2008, researchers helped villagers in Papua New nelson-beckett-gemtasuGuinea restore the mummified remains of a former shaman and warrior named Moimango. Here, Andrew Nelson (left) and Ronald Beckett (center) stand behind the smoked mummy of Moimango as his son Gemtasu looks on.
—The smoked mummy of a village chief in Papua New Guinea has gotten a makeover, helping members of his clan connect with his spirit in the “ghost world.”
—The mummy, also a former shaman and warrior named Moimango, was lashed by the elements over the past several decades, causing his body to deteriorate. But scientists were able to restore Moimango’s body using materials from the jungle.

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Crossover Potential

The parishioners were lined up ready to take their shots at us. sarah-wamboldFrom the edge of the casket they let loose their opinions about the discoloration on the hands, the arrangement of the flowers, the seating of the family. I was waiting for Roy, the other funeral apprentice, to arrive with the makeup kit. When he finally did, he assisted me in turning the casket around so we could dab cosmetic on the hands in private. As we turned the casket back, we knocked over a flower stand. The parishioners, now doubly armed with the deceased’s family by their side, weren’t satisfied with that arrangement either. In the end, I went back outside where it was colder and let the funeral director I was assisting take over. Roy left me holding a bouquet of funeral flags and headed back.

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That time Harvard and Yale took Naked Photos of all their Freshmen Students


Somewhere out there is a naked photograph of Hillary Clinton. Between the 1940s and the 1970s, several ivy league colleges had a very strange requirement for all their incoming freshmen students. Harvard, Yale, Wellesley College, Vassar as well as Brown University, were among the elite American colleges that asked all the young men and women enrolled in their first year, to pose nude. Thousands and thousands of pictures were taken of students, including such notable names such as George Bush, Diane Sawye


Infidelity Lurks in Your Genes

Richard A. Friedman
—AMERICANS disapprove of marital infidelity. Ninety-one 24AFFAIR-blog427percent of them find it morally wrong, more than the number that reject polygamy, human cloning or suicide, according to a 2013 Gallup poll.
—Yet the number of Americans who actually cheat on their partners is rather substantial: Over the past two decades, the rate of infidelity has been pretty constant at around 21 percent for married men, and between 10 to 15 percent for married women, according to the General Social Survey at the University of Chicago’s independent research organization, NORC.

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william eggleston photography

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Alice Smeets and Atis Rezistans recreate the Rider Waite tarot deck in Haiti with a new deck, the Ghetto Tarot.



Chinatown: 1930San Francisco circa 1930. “Grant Avenue at Sacramento Street.”


Eyeglasses taken from the Auschwitz prisoners before they were taken to the gas chamber. Found after the liberation, piled up in the six remaining warehouses at the camp. 14 Oct 1945

Why Graduates Dress the Way They Do | Mental Floss


Graduation attire may seem weird, but it’s born of tradition, honor, and rank.


Banks say practices that led to conspiracy charges will continue

Several major banks pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to manipulate currency prices this week, imrsagreeing to pay some $6 billion in fines. In letters to their clients Thursday about the plea, those banks then said that they would keep right on doing the very same things they’d been fined for.
—The banks are permitted more or less to do what they want — as long as their clients know they’re doing it, explains Bloomberg’s Matt Levine:
— Whenever a wave of bank scandals breaks — mortgage-backed securities, Libor, FX, “bond lies” — an important theme is always the mutual incomprehension of regulators and the public, on the one hand, who find the banks’ behavior obviously abhorrent, and the banks, on the other hand, who are like, “What? This? We’ve done this forever. We thought it was fine.”…

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Slumming Angels

A producer who last year was toying with the idea of making a 1432377915576.cachedtelevision series featuring my private detective Lew Archer asked me over lunch at Perino’s if Archer was based on any actual person. “Yes,” I said. “Myself.” He gave me a semi-pitying Hollywood look. I tried to explain that while I had known some excellent detectives and watched them work, Archer was created from the inside out. I wasn’t Archer, exactly, but Archer was me.
—The conversation went downhill from there, as if I had made a damaging admission. But I believe most detective-story writers would give the same answer. A close paternal or fraternal relationship between writer and detective is a marked peculiarity of the form. Throughout its history, from Poe to Chandler and beyond, the detective hero has represented his creator and carried his values into action in society.

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A Family Reduced to Ash: TR Ericsson and the Ephemeral Image of Lamentation

Ericsson’s reliquary and totemic works concern his mother who suicided. The experience left Ericsson to re-work his familial and maternal understanding. In this re-examination, he has made works from his mother’s ashes, which imbibe a hauntological sense of absence. In a way, it reasons that these works are a process of coming to terms with umbilical severance and the loss that accompanies one’s bond with his/her origins into the world. The abyss is never far away, but these works also become clear insights into memory, biological dialectic conversations, and the nuanced examination of self under the duration of mourning.


American songbook

Ain’t Misbehavin’
1929 Waller, Thomas “Fats”; Brooks, Harry

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16 Stunning Portraits of French Cellist Maurice Baquet with His Cello in the 1950s

These stunning black and white photos of Maurice Baquet were taken by French photographer Robert Doisneau in the late 1950s.


Rare Photos Showing A Different View Of History

We know how much you like world history, and we know how much you like weird history. But these historical images really show us exactly what life was like in days past. They give us a glimpse of how people, not too different from us, were affected by their times. Take a trip back to the weirder times and learn what life used to be like.

A slave dealer in Alexandria, Virginia, 1861-65



Pablo Picasso Le Sculpteur 1931



This is really awesome.
An Eagle’s flight from the top of the world’s tallest building to his handler below. You can see him looking, looking, looking for the trainer, invisible to a human eye, then fold his/her wings and then drop like a bullet to that trainer… very cool.
On Saturday, 14th March, an eagle was fitted with a camera . . . and “Eaglecam” and took flight from that building, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai. Here is the film. The eagle would have no idea where that speck of land was or what it looked like. It actually had to pick out and recognize the trainer.
W hat surprises me is how smooth the flight is with no camera shake whatsoever.
Here is the film. Enjoy. Truly amazing !!

Felice Beato’s photos depicting life in 19th century Japan

The photographs are the work of early photojournalist Felice Beato who spent 14 years documenting the lives of people living in Edo-era Japan – among them samurai and courtesans.


see under the fold for more

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This Museum Is Like A Nightmare Come To Life


The Mutter Museum in downtown Philadelphia specializes in showing off unique medical experiments. From the looks of things it also specializes in creating nightmares too.


The Big Picture – The Boston Globe

A section of pipeline off Refugio State Beach in California ruptured on Tuesday, spilling about 105,000 gallons of crude oil. Nine miles of the scenic coast are affected and the governor declared a state of emergency. Crews have been cleaning the habitat and helping the wildlife caught in the oil slick all week.– By Leanne Burden Seidel (31 photos total)



How Simple Can Life Get? It’s Complicated

The microbe Escherichia coli has just 4,100 protein-coding 04zimmer-master675-v2genes. Scientists have found, by systematically shutting those genes off one at a time, that only 302 are absolutely essential to its survival.
—In the pageant of life, we are genetically bloated. The human genome contains around 20,000 protein-coding genes. Many other species get by with a lot less. The gut microbe Escherichia coli, for example, has just 4,100 genes.

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Welcome to whaling week. We will be looking at that now extinct career of hunting and processing whales. This picture was taken in 1903 and shows a killed whaled being processed alongside the whaling ship.


London’s Most Mysterious Mansion

The house’s owners have built a vast basement that amounts to 150601_r26572-320an underground village. Credit Illustration by Michael Kirkham
—Witanhurst, London’s largest private house, was built between 1913 and 1920 on an eleven-acre plot in Highgate, a wealthy hilltop neighborhood north of the city center. First owned by Arthur Crosfield, an English soap magnate, the mansion was designed in the Queen Anne style and contained twenty-five bedrooms, a seventy-foot-long ballroom, and a glass rotunda; the views from its gardens, over Hampstead Heath and across the capital, were among the loveliest in London. For decades, parties at Witanhurst attracted potentates and royals—including, in 1951, Elizabeth, the future Queen.

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this isn’t happiness™ Peteski

art, photography, design, & disappointment


Lowly ‘new girl’ chimps form stronger female bonds

Low-ranking “new girl” chimpanzees seek out other gal pals with2015052111031540 similar status, finds a new study of social relationships in the wild apes. The study is available online and is scheduled to appear in the July 2015 issue of the journal Animal Behaviour.
—Unlike most primates, female chimps are loners compared to males. “They spend about half their time alone or with dependent kids,” said Duke University research scientist Steffen Foerster, who co-authored the study.

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GOODSTUFFs CYBER WORLD: A Fun Payload of Nuclear Radioactivities

This humor book is certainly a product of the time. I was of the generation that E7FOHr5hid under school desks in order to avoid The Bomb. This cracks me up. After you survive the atomic bomb, you can get all your post nuclear holocaust activities and fun in this one book


Clootie Wells: The Celtic Wishing Trees | Amusing Planet

“Clootie” is a Scottish word that means cloth. To make an offering, pieces of cloth or cloot are generally dipped in the water of the holy well and then tied to a branch while a prayer of supplication is said to the spirit of the well. At some wells, the affected part of the body is washed with the wet rag before tying it to the tree. As the rag disintegrates over time, the ailment is supposed to fade away as well. Over the centuries strips of cloths gave way to complete garments. Today, you can find socks, dresses, t-shirts and even pants along with pieces of rotten cloths.



Death Denial

Does our terror of dying drive almost everything we do?photo_69581_wide_large
By Marc Parry
—In October 1984, a young Skidmore College professor, Sheldon Solomon, traveled to a Utah ski lodge to introduce what would become a major theory of social psychology. The setting was a conference of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, a prestigious professional organization. Solomon’s theory explained that people embrace cultural worldviews and strive for self-esteem largely to cope with the fear of death. The reception he got was as frosty as the snow piled up outside.
—The crowd’s unease was apparent as he began talking about thinkers who had influenced him, such as Marx, Kierkegaard, and Freud. At least half the audience disappeared before Solomon could lay out the full theory, recalls Jeff Greenberg, a psychologist at the University of Arizona who had developed the ideas with Solomon and was watching the talk from the back of the room. Greenberg saw some well-known psychologists physically shaking. “It was like a visceral negative reaction to what Sheldon was conveying,” he says.

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The Trouble With Scientists

by Philip Ball Illustration By Carmen Segovia h3UKYN6
—Sometimes it seems surprising that science functions at all. In 2005, medical science was shaken by a paper with the provocative title “Why most published research findings are false.”1 Written by John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, it didn’t actually show that any particular result was wrong. Instead, it showed that the statistics of reported positive findings was not consistent with how often one should expect to find them. As Ioannidis concluded more recently, “many published research findings are false or exaggerated, and an estimated 85 percent of research resources are wasted.”2
—It’s likely that some researchers are consciously cherry-picking data to get their work published. And some of the problems surely lie with journal publication policies.

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America’s Alzheimer’s time bomb

A looming epidemic of dementia has left scientists racing to RTR27W5Ifind a cure for a disease that destroys minds. Here’s everything you need to know:
—How common is Alzheimer’s?
More than 5.3 million people in the U.S. currently suffer from the debilitating brain disorder, and that number is about to skyrocket. In 2011, the first of the 76 million Baby Boomers turned 65 — the forerunners of a “silver tsunami” that will double the number of senior citizens by 2050. Alzheimer’s predominantly affects the elderly, so scientists predict the number of people afflicted will balloon to as many as 13.8 million in coming decades. With drug companies yet to find a way to cure, prevent, or even delay this highly complex disease, Alzheimer’s treatment costs could hit $1.1 trillion and consume as much as 31 percent of Medicare’s budget.

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Ashley Gilbertson Bedrooms of the Fallen: bedrooms of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan (PHOTOS).


14 Free Things On The Internet Everyone Should Be Taking Advantage Of –

Make your personal space on the web a more productive and pleasant place, without…