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Top Science News

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Muse nude in 12 photos

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bela fleck

Hoedown by Béla Fleck and The Flecktones on Grooveshark

Frontiers by Béla Fleck and The Flecktones on Grooveshark

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Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole @ Barbican- Tu Seras Avec Moi

Cedric Watson on gourd banjo “Keep That Skillet Good & Greasy”

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Scientists create possible precursor to life

How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions not only occupy the minds of scientists interested in the origin of life, but 14-scientistscralso researchers working with technology of the future. If we can create artificial living systems, we may not only understand the origin of life – we can also revolutionize the future of technology.
—Protocells are the simplest, most primitive living systems, you can think of. The oldest ancestor of life on Earth was a protocell, and when we see, what it eventually managed to evolve into, we understand why science is so fascinated with protocells. If science can create an artificial protocell, we get a very basic ingredient for creating more advanced artificial life.
—However, creating an artificial protocell is far from simple, and so far no one has managed to do that. One of the challenges is to create the information strings that can be inherited by cell offspring, including protocells. Such information strings are like modern DNA or RNA strings, and they are needed to control cell metabolism and provide the cell with instructions about how to divide.
—Essential for life

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Photo by sbazell [my son in thailand]

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10 Great Popular Science Books

A great popular science book needs to strike a balance between being accessible and entertaining to the general public, whilst being informative enough to satisfy the most inquisitive minds. When an author is successful in doing this, great popular science books are born. 22F6LabTo ensure some diversity I have only included one entry per author and excluded books mentioned in other lists. Due to this many other great books by these authors weren’t included. Though most of these are best-sellers this is clearly a subjective list and I would love to hear your thoughts on what could be included in a follow-up list. The list is in no particular order.

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Evidence for huge mountains that fed early life discovered

Roots of the ancient mountain range, long since eroded, were found in Northeast Brazil.
–Scientists have found evidence for a huge mountain range that sustained an explosion of life on Earth 600 million years ago.jm08O6B
–The mountain range was similar in scale to the Himalayas and spanned at least 2,500 kilometers of modern west Africa and northeast Brazil, which at that time were part of the supercontinent Gondwana.
–“Just like the Himalayas, this range was eroded intensely because it was so huge. As the sediments washed into the oceans they provided the perfect nutrients for life to flourish,” said Professor Daniela Rubatto of the Research School of Earth Sciences at The Australian National University (ANU).
–“Scientists have speculated that such a large mountain range must have been feeding the oceans because of the way life thrived and ocean chemistry changed at this time, and finally we have found it.”

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American Navajo Indians from the Southwest United States, members of the 158th U.S. Infantry, are seen on a beach in the Solomon Islands. They are in their traditional dress for a tribal ceremony at Christmastime. December 1943.

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bob weir

Wabash Cannonball (with Bob Weir) by Dan Zanes And Friends on Grooveshark

I'll Be Doggone by Bob Weir on Grooveshark

Looks Like Rain by Bob Weir & Ratdog on Grooveshark

Autumn Colors 2014 – The Big Picture

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Clowns:: gallery

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Common Mythconceptions – World’s Most Contagious Falsehoods

HOW MANY OF THESE DO YOU BELIEVE…TILL NOW?

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A history of the blackboard: How the blackboard became an effective and ubiquitous teaching tool.

ASRc3jtWhy the board-centered classroom is still the best place to teach and learn.
By Lewis Buzbee
A professor at a chalkboard
The chalkboard-centered classroom offers more than pedagogical efficiency; it also offers an effective set of teaching possibilities.
—Excerpted from Blackboard: A Personal History of the Classroom by Lewis Buzbee. Out now from Graywolf Press.
—The blackboard is a recent innovation. Erasable slates, a cheap but durable substitute for costly paper and ink, had been in use for centuries. Students could practice reading and writing and math on their slates, in the classroom or at home. But it wasn’t until 1800 that James Pillans, headmaster of the Old High School of Edinburgh, Scotland, wanting to offer geography lessons to his students that required larger maps, connected a number of smaller slates into a single grand field. And in 1801, George Baron, a West Point mathematics teacher, also began to use a board of connected slates, the most effective way, he found, to illustrate complex formulas to a larger audience.
—Although the term blackboard did not appear until 1815, the use of these cobbled-together slates spread quickly; by 1809, every public school in Philadelphia was using them. Teachers now had a flexible and versatile visual aid, a device that was both textbook and blank page, as well as a laboratory, and most importantly, a point of focus. The blackboard illustrates and is illustrated. Students no longer simply listened to the teacher; they had reason to look up from their desks.

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Wonder Woman’s Kinky Feminist Roots -

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Hong Kong Protests Photos

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Funeral fashion at the Met: Death Becomes Her – in pictures


Mourning ensemble from the 1870s.
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A new exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art looks at the evolution of mourning garments through the 19th and 20th centuries. Here we take our own look at the historic funeral attire. Death Becomes Her runs from 21 October 2014 until 1 February 2015

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Sex? It all started 385 million years ago (w/ Video)

It may not have been love as we know it, but around 385 million years ago, our very distant ancestors—armoured fish called placodermsmicrobrachius_mating_scene_finale1—developed the art of intercourse.
—So suggest a team of evolutionary scientists, who point to the fossil of a placoderm species blessed with the name of Microbrachius dicki.
—Measuring about eight centimetres (four inches) in length, M. dicki lived in habitats in modern-day Scotland—where the first specimen was found in 1888—and in Estonia and China.
—Placoderms have previously been found to be the most primitive jawed animal—the earliest known vertebrate forerunner of humans.
—But they now have an even more honoured place in the book of life.

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Renato Guttuso, I tetti di via Leonina con rampicante, 1962-1964, olio su tela, cm 106 x 85 – courtesy Galleria d’Arte Maggiore, Bologna<...viα.

Blowing the Whistle on CIA Torture from Beyond the Grave

In the fall of 2006, Nathaniel Raymond, a researcher with the advocacy group Physicians for Human Rights, got a call from a ScWreifman professing to be a CIA contractor. Scott Gerwehr was a behavioral science researcher who specialized in “deception detection,” or figuring out when someone was lying. Gerwehr told Raymond “practically in the first five minutes” that he had been at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo in the summer of 2006, but had left after his suggestion to install video-recording equipment in detainee interrogation rooms was rejected. “He said, ‘I wouldn’t operate at a facility that didn’t tape. It protects the interrogators and it protects the detainees,’” Raymond recalls.
—Gerwehr also told Raymond that that he had read the CIA inspector general’s report on detainee abuse, which at the time had not been made public. But “he didn’t behave like a traditional white knight,” Raymond told The Intercept. Though he had reached out to Raymond and perhaps others, he didn’t seem like a prototypical whistleblower. He didn’t say what he was trying to do or ask for help; he just dropped the information. Raymond put him in touch with a handful of reporters, and their contact ended in 2007.

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Don’t Back Into Things – Jeremy Bernstein

[A GREAT WRITING LESSON]

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New York City, 1953 by Vivian Maier.

Andres Wertheim: The Museum’s Ghosts takes a surreal look at fine art and the crowds who look at it (PHOTOS).

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India Timelapse w/video

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edouard boubat:: photo gallery

BIOGRAPHY

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Trading Dime Bags for Salvador Dali

The head of the cartel is called ‘El Elegante.’ His rich-boy buddy styles himself ‘Indiana Jones.’ 14135349417336One tried to corner the drug market—the other went after art.

MEXICO CITY, Mexico—Through all the battles waged in Mexico in recent years over the shipment routes and markets for narcotics, San Miguel de Allende has remained as neutral as Switzerland in the Second World War. San Miguel, a 500-year old city nestled high in the Bajío Mountains of central Mexico, seemed to be literally above the fray, and to most of the artists and expats who inhabit it the drug violence at lower altitudes is a distant affair. The prevailing wisdom has it that narcos don’t shoot up the places where they invest their money.

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Today’s picture shows the cotton being weighed at the end of the pay. Workers were paid based on how much they picked, so their bags had to be weighed. The picture was taken in 1935 in Arkansas.

via Old Picture of the Day.

Man falls into sea on live TV while possibly taking selfie– w/video

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 6.48.32 AM

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Saint Helena Island: The Place of Napoleon’s Imprisonment |

Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory, is a remote island located in the South Atlantic Ocean about 1,950 km west of the south-western coast of Africa. The nearest land is Ascension Island, the site of a US Air Force auxiliary airfield, which is 1,125 km to the north-west. The most remote inhabited island in the world, Tristan da Cunha, is located 2,100 km to the south. Uninhabited when first discovered by the Portuguese in 1502, Saint Helena was garrisoned by the British during the 17th century, and for a long time served as an important stopover for ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa. its importance as a port of call declined after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.
—Saint Helena’s most famous resident was Napoleon Bonaparte, who was exiled there by the British from 1815 until his death in 1821. You can still visit his flower-laden gravesite and residence there. Today, the island is home to some 4,000 residents.

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Unidentified Photographer, [Two Cadets Wearing Masks in Mock Sword Fight], ca. 1875, 2008.81.48

via Fans in a Flashbulb.

The Pale Cast of Thought

Can ayahuasca cure writer’s block?/b>

In this story: the fear of death,[1] William S. Burroughs,[2] hallucinogens (ayahuasca, LSD, etc),[3] transcendental botany,[4] whale sounds,[5] Gravity’s Rainbow,[6] feats of human endurance,[7] and Jedi mind tricks.[8]
—wrote this essay one Sunday in May 2013. A friend of mine had recently attended an ayahuasca ceremony in upstate New York, and he came back full of big news about ascension to the shared plane of human consciousness and resulting inability to live a lie.
—Now Matt’s a regular guy, intelligent, notable for the care he takes to be measured. He’s a writer who cares about not exaggerating for effect, and I’ve never known him to be unkind to or about someone for a punch line. He’s also hilarious—his brand of comedy comes not from exaggeration, but from the exhilaration of hitting the nail squarely on the head. Comedy as truth, told faster than normal. He’s also an excellent poker player. All in all, here is someone whose insights I consider worth a damn; and he told me that if, as an experience, marijuana gets five stars out of five, then ayahuasca gets thirteen, and he would put me in touch with the organizers if I wanted.
—I did not want. Ayahuasca is the psychoactive tea used in indigenous Quechuan—South American—religion, something along the lines of peyote but stronger, whose users report massive psychological revelation, access to the collective consciousness, telepathy, encounters with God, and catastrophic vomiting. William S. Burroughs called it the most powerful drug he had ever experienced.

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Count on Me: Bruno Mars |

TUNE.

Where Mud Is Archaeological Gold, Russian History Grew on Trees

A boy left a message and drawing on a birch scroll in Old Novgorod language, a precursor to Russian. The scroll was dug from the preservative Zx1ZVRAmud of Veliky Novgorod. Credit Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times
—VELIKY NOVGOROD, Russia — The note, from father to son, was the sort of routine shopping list that today would be dashed off on a smartphone. In 14th century Russia, it was etched into the bark of a birch tree and curled into a scroll.
—“Send me a shirt, towel, trousers, reins, and, for my sister, send fabric,” the father, whose name was Onus, wrote to his son, Danilo, the block letters of Old Novgorod language, a precursor to Russian, neatly carved into the wood with a stylus. Onus ended with a bit of humor. “If I am alive,” he wrote, “I will pay for it.”

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Old Hollywood’s Elite Were the Last to Use LSD for Therapy

Cary Grant, who championed LSD’s therapeutic qualities. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

My first experience with LSD was not pleasant. Six hours spent staring at bugs on London’s Hampstead Heath were punctuated by a fat man calling me a prick and someone showing me a book of autopsy photos. It was harsh and boring, and I didn’t gain one new bit of insight—no secrets of the cosmos were revealed; I just learned that looking at human corpses while you’re tripping makes you feel kind of weird and upset.

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15 Tales of Female Ghosts | Mental Floss

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World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries ::slide show

A visit to these hauntingly beautiful cemeteries illuminates more than just mortality.

From November 2014 By Lanee Lee

A self-proclaimed taphophile—someone fascinated by death and cemeteries—Loren Rhoads has documented more than 150 sites for her blog CemeteryTravel.com.

“Visiting cemeteries on vacation helps me understand what the surrounding community values; it makes me feel more connected to people, to the past, and to life itself,” says Rhoads, also the author of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel.

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Mural faces uncertain future with Amherst [Ma] redevelopment

I visited the Emily Dickinson museum this weekend and also the cemetery where she and her family buried. i spotted this mural, facing the cemetery

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Here is close up of Emily Dickinson on this mural:

You Can Look It Up: The Wikipedia Story

In an excerpt from his new book, The Innovators, Walter Isaacson recounts the improbable story of the online encyclopedia that has proven s8ozOLVits detractors wrong time and again.

Ward Cunningham, Jimmy Wales, and the Wonder of Wikis

When he launched the Web in 1991, Tim Berners-Lee intended it to be used as a collaboration tool, which is why he was dismayed that the Mosaic browser did not give users the ability to edit the Web pages they were viewing. It turned Web surfers into passive consumers of published content. That lapse was partly mitigated by the rise of blog­ging, which encouraged user-generated content.

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Intellectual cowardice

“Are you afraid to finish your book?” My colleague was in the habit of needling his fellow scholars with this question. It struck particularly deep with me, because my book was about being afraid – or rather, it was about being excessively afraid and therefore failing to do what you should do. It was about cowardice.

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Banksy, Bristol

via this isn’t happiness™ Peteski.

Camille Rowe –gallery

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Dinosaur Curtains -

Dinosaur Curtains

A young couple, low on money but rich in spirit, challenge popular conceptions of Middle America

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New York citizens waiting for a May day parade at Union Square in 1947, by Jerome Liebling ,/B.

Alan Moore: I am in charge of this universe

Everything and Moore

The legendary comics author Alan Moore has written a million-word novel, tribute to every eternal speck in his universe

MOREn.

Trying to Live in the Moment (and Not on the Phone)

There’s a scene in the movie “Her,” a love story between a lonely writer and an artificially intelligent software program, that shows dozens of 19-BITS-tmagArticlepeople riding the subway, deeply absorbed in their smartphones, oblivious to the world around them. They all seem much more comfortable interacting with their devices than with one another. That scene was disturbingly familiar — and seeing it from afar cast it in an unsettling light.

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Inside the Ebola Wars

How genomics research can help contain the outbreak.

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