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Flecks of Blue on Old Teeth Reveal a Medieval Surprise
They couldn't figure out the blue. Scientists studying tartar from the teeth of medieval skeletons hoped to learn a thing or two of about diets of the Middle Ages. But when they put the teeth and jaw of one woman under a microscope, they were surprised to see hundreds of tiny flecks of blue, reports the BBC. After much sleuthing, they figured out that the blue came from lapis lazuli, a rare and expensive stone ground into powder to make dye for sacred manuscripts. Typically, male monks have gotten most of the credit for working on such texts, but the amount of lapis lazuli in the woman's mouth suggests that she—and presumably other women—were also on the job. Researchers' best guess is that the blue flecks ended up in her teeth because she kept putting the tip of her brush in her mouth, reports the AP.
middle_ages  gender_equality  conclusion07  women 
january 2019 by berendes
The Internet's Dark Ages - The Atlantic
In other formats, entire eras of meaningful work have been destroyed. Most of the films made in the United States between 1912 and 1929 have been lost. “And it’s not because we didn't know how to preserve them, it’s that we didn't think they were valuable,” Rumsey said. “The first 50 or 100 years of print after the printing press, most of what was produced was lost... People looked down on books as having less value in part because they were able to print things so rapidly and distribute them so much more rapidly that they seemed ephemeral.”

Books, in their infancy, were trivialized the way the web is sometimes denigrated today. The telegraph was similarly maligned as “superficial, sudden, unsifted, too fast for the truth,” as a critic in The New York Times put it in 1858. Transformative technologies in any era are met with initial skepticism, and that attitude often fuels indifference about initial preservation efforts. Historians and digital preservationists agree on this fact: The early web, today’s web, will be mostly lost to time.
conclusion07  printing_press  preservation  internet  archive  persistence 
december 2018 by berendes
Gruesome mammoth 'kill site' discovered | Fox News
Archaeologists in Austria have uncovered a gruesome ‘kill site’ where Stone Age people slaughtered mammoths.

The site, which was found during construction of a new bypass in Drasenhofen on the Czech border, contains mammoth tusks and bones. The remains have been dated to between 18,000 and 28,000 years ago.
mammoth  extinctions  hunter-gatherer  ice-age  conclusion07  europe 
september 2018 by berendes
Ancient farmers spared us from glaciers but profoundly changed Earth's climate
Millenia ago, ancient farmers cleared land to plant wheat and maize, potatoes and squash. They flooded fields to grow rice. They began to raise livestock. And unknowingly, they may have been fundamentally altering the climate of the Earth.

A study published in the journal Scientific Reports provides new evidence that ancient farming practices led to a rise in the atmospheric emission of the heat-trapping gases carbon dioxide and methane—a rise that has continued since, unlike the trend at any other time in Earth's geologic history.

It also shows that without this human influence, by the start of the Industrial Revolution, the planet would have likely been headed for another ice age.
agriculture  climate_change  conclusion07 
september 2018 by berendes
What Came First: The Village Or The Temple? Or, The Mystery Of Göbekli Tepe – The Bookworm Club
Yuval Noah Harari suggests that this chain of events may be backwards. In other words, the temple may have come first, and then the agriculture. The evidence he provides for this theory is a fascinating1 archeological site in southeastern Turkey called Göbekli Tepe (GT).
conclusion07  agriculture  religion  hunter-gatherer 
september 2018 by berendes
The Case for Applied History | History Today
the scepticism of the majority of professionals about ‘applied history’ is a shame. First, it displays a lack of awareness of the provenance of the discipline. Second, it implies a misunderstanding of causation – the very thing that historians are supposed to be specialists in. If one makes a claim to expertise in cause and effect, one should be trained to discern patterns and project trends forward. Third, it disregards what the public want from their historians (who they largely fund): a willingness to tackle big problems. Finally, the professional wariness about the ‘relevance’ of history is arguably one important reason why thousands of university students fret that their history degree will prove ‘useless’.
history  conclusion07 
september 2018 by berendes
Humans May Have Reached North America by More Than One Route
These two theories include the conventionally argued, but often maligned, Ice Free Corridor route, in which the first migrants crossed over from Beringia into the interior of Alaska, and then into the high plains of North America by venturing through two massive ice sheets around 15,500 to 13,500 years ago. The other is a newer hypothesis known as the North Pacific Coast route, also called the Kelp Highway Hypothesis, in which America’s first settlers arrived by hugging the coastline along southern Beringia and North America’s west coast, no earlier than about 17,000 years ago. ...

“... I think all the available evidence now suggests that the standstill likely occurred somewhere in Northeast Asia, where we actually have evidence of people at that time.”
north_america  migration  hunter-gatherer  conclusion07 
august 2018 by berendes
Germany's scientific texts were made free during and after WWII; analyzing them today shows the negative effect of paywalls on science / Boing Boing
"This artificial removal of copyright barriers led to a 25% decline in prices, and a 67% increase in citations. These results suggest that restrictive copyright policies slow down the progress of science considerably."
information_freedom  ww2  publishing  copyright  conclusion07 
may 2018 by berendes
What Really Happened to the Megafauna | JSTOR Daily
To try and sort out whether climate or humans were responsible, Christopher Sandom and colleagues reviewed the existing literature on the LQE in Proceedings: Biological Science. They examined distribution of humans as well as distribution of mega-mammals at the time of extinction, climate patterns in each region, and the relative impact of humans or climate in previous studies.
conclusion07  extinctions  pleistocene 
may 2018 by berendes
Coins and Scrolls: Thinking Medieval - Seeking Endarkenment
Using humor to convey the idea that another worldview and context can be remarkably different. Perhaps a way to talk about information revolutions?
middle_ages  mindset  epistemology  humor  conclusion07  information_revolution 
may 2018 by berendes
Harry Walker: Person, pictures and information -
But for Walker, the baseball season was not over. He joined the 71st Infantry Division Red Circlers along with Bob Ramazzotti, Ancil Moore, Johnny Wyrostek, Garland Lawing, Ewell Blackwell, Al Brazle, Russ Kern, Milt Ticco, Herb Bremer, Bill Ayers and Jimmy Gladd. Walker, playing centerfield, helped the team win the American League division of the Third Army baseball league and a five-game Third Army Championship Series followed in August 1945 against the National League division winners - the 76th Infantry Division Onaways. With two shutouts by Blackwell - including a no-hitter in the second game - the Red Circlers advanced to the Army Ground Force Championship Series and easily put aside the 29th Infantry Division in three games to move on to the ETO World Series against the OISE All-Stars from France.

In front of crowds of 25,000-plus at Soldiers’ Field in Nurnberg, Germany, the Red Circlers (representing the Third Army) won the first game, 10-6, before losing two straight to Sam Nahem's All-Stars. In the fourth game Walker helped even the series with a two-run home run in the first inning to help the Red Circlers to a 5-0 win behind the five-hit pitching of Bill Ayers. The celebrations, however, were short-lived as the OISE All-Stars came back the next day with a 2-1 win to clinch the ETO World Series title.
conclusion07  baseball  walker_harry  red_circlers 
april 2018 by berendes

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