%history   3

The Scientists Who Starved to Death Surrounded By Food | Amusing Planet
But the scientists hadn’t barricaded themselves in the vault with food grains to save their lives, but rather to protect these seeds from the Nazis as well as from the starving people plundering through the streets in search for anything to eat.

The collection filled 16 rooms, in which no one was allowed to remain alone. Workers guarded the storage in shifts all round the clock, numb with cold and emaciated from hunger. As the siege dragged out, one by one these heroic men started dying of hunger, but not a single grain was eaten. In January 1942, Alexander Stchukin, a peanut specialist, died at his writing table. Botanist Dmitri Ivanov also died of starvation while surrounded by several thousand packs of rice that he was guarding. By the end of the siege in the Spring of 1944, nine of them had starved to death watching over all that food. Many of the crops that we eat today came from cross-breeding with varieties the scientists saved from destruction.
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8 weeks ago by lemeb
Ancient Rome’s Collapse Is Written Into Arctic Ice - The Atlantic
But for all those years, the source material for the arguments have remained largely the same. Archeologists can locate new sites and excavate for coins, plates, or jewelry; scholars can read and reread Roman writers like Cicero, Sallust, and Catullus, who all documented Caesar. These have been the techniques for learning about Rome for centuries, and they are indispensable. But lately, they have been joined by something new.

On Monday, scientists announced the discovery of an entirely new resource that has the potential to remake some of those centuries-old arguments over Roman politics and history. A team of archeologists, historians, and climate scientists have constructed a history of Rome’s lead pollution, which allows them to approximate Mediterranean economic activity from 1,100 b.c. to 800 a.d. They found it hiding thousands of miles from the Roman Forum: deep in the Greenland Ice Sheet, the enormous, miles-thick plate of ice that entombs the North Atlantic island.

In short, they have reconstructed year-by-year economic data documenting the rise and fall of the Roman Republic and Empire. The first news of the record was published Monday afternoon in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


science ftw
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may 2018 by lemeb
[paper] Religious Competition and Reallocation: The Political Economy of Secularization in the Protestant Reformation
the effect of the protestant reformation on the secularization of the west
Consistent with our framework, religious competition changed the balance of power between secular and religious elites: secular authorities acquired enormous amounts of wealth from monasteries closed during the Reformation, particularly in Protestant regions. This transfer of resources had important consequences. First, it shifted the allocation of upper-tail human capital. Graduates of Protestant universities increasingly took secular, especially administrative, occupations. Protestant university students increas- ingly studied secular subjects, especially degrees that prepared students for public sector jobs, rather than church sector-specific theology. Second, it affected the sectoral composition of fixed investment. Particularly in Protestant regions, new construction from religious toward secular purposes, especially the building of palaces and administrative buildings, which reflected the increased wealth and power of secular lords. Reallocation was not driven by pre-existing eco- nomic or cultural differences. Our findings indicate that the Reformation played an important causal role in the secularization of the West.
%econ  %history  %theory 
may 2018 by lemeb

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