I for one welcome our robot overlords.
June 28, 2010
Work on one of Britain’s least understood ancient sites is to start.
Marden Henge has been almost destroyed by ploughing and no longer has any standing stones, but encloses an area of 15 hectares (37 acres).
A mound at the centre of the Wiltshire site still exists, which English Heritage archaeologists plan to spend six weeks delving into.
Historians found new clues about life in Colonial Petersburg from artifacts found during an archaeological dig on the site of the former Golden Ball Tavern on the corner of Old and Market streets in Old Towne.
“We’ve learned that this area was a lot more self-sustaining in the 1760s than we originally believed,” said Dr. Christopher Stevenson of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
However, it remains unclear what will happen to the site once the most recent dig is finished. Archaeologists hope that the unearthed foundations of the tavern will be preserved for future generations.
Archeologists have spent the last week diving off Key Largo to try and determine the origin of a century-old shipwreck.
Researchers with the Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society in Washington were expected to finish documenting the wreck on Saturday.
The society’s board president says the ship is likely a barge because of its lack of motorized parts.
Not very old.
CASE closed – the “hobbits” that lived on the Indonesian island of Flores only 13,000 years ago were a unique species of hominin.
This was the first thought when the remains of a tiny, 18,000-year-old female were uncovered in 2003. Then in 2008 Peter Obendorf of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, claimed the remains were of a modern human with cretinism, a disease caused by iodine deficiency.
“I have put that claim to rest,” says Colin Groves of the Australian National University in Canberra.
I doubt any skeletal metrics will really put anything to rest; DNA will end up being the true arbiter.
June 27, 2010
I am thinking it has to be Rush.
I’ve been listening to a bunch of their stuff for the past few weeks, mostly Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves and a couple of the 1980s albums which I have on CD/iPod. I have 2112 and Archives on vinyl. Admittedly, I kind of lost interest in them during the latter part of the ’80s when they went more to keyboards and synth and I was in grad school and not listening to much except classical and New Age (how are those for combinations?). I think Signals started their “downfall” if you will, at least with me. Unlike when, say, Styx or REO Speedwagon started making pop-y music, I didn’t think of them as “selling out”; I just figured they were going off in a different direction that didn’t really interest me. Some tracks I did like. . . .Time Stand Still from Hold Your Fire, for example (which I just discovered that Aimee Mann did some vocals on, which is AFAIK the only other musician they ever used).
Mainly I bring this up because there’s a documentary on about them, Beyond the Lighted Stage. It’s just fascinating. I was never a real fanboy going to see them all the time, following them, going to their web site, etc., although I’ve played the heck out of most of the albums I’ve got.
They have never gotten the critical acclaim they deserve. At some point the critics just decided they just weren’t hip enough and despite having a longer and far more productive career than most music critics, they aren’t even in the R&R Hall of Fame. They’re all around the top of the lists of musicians just for their technical skill (there’s a joke about drummers: they have WWNPD? bumper stickers). They didn’t start making “normal” albums for a long time; most of their early stuff had long songs, and, well, rather odd lyrics. Not “odd” really. . . .”literate” let’s say. But the great thing about them was that even though they had non-traditional lyrics, they were sensible, not some bizarre stream-of-consciousness stuff that only the terminally hip can get into and pretend to like. Same thing with the instrumentation; it was complicated but accessible. Their stuff was always very musical, the songs were very songlike with strong melodies, and they still freakin’ rocked.
They tended to appeal mostly to male nerds, so that explains a lot of it for me, I guess.
I have to confess, I’ve only seen them once live. I think in about 1986 or so. The sad thing is, I don’t remember much about it. I, errrrm, went to dinner and drank a bunch of beer with a young lady — whose name, face, or anything else I can’t remember either! — and ended up getting there late, having to run to the bathroom a lot because of the beer, and was generally a lousy guest. So, it ticks me off, even though I’m sure I had a lot of fun. Pathetic, I know. That must be remedied.
Anyway, try to catch the doc. It’s interesting even if you’re not all that into them. I’m starting to look into some of their more recent stuff, because apparently they went back to more traditional hard rock stuff.
June 26, 2010
Looks kinda cute rummaging around for food and stuff. I admit my eyes got pretty wide during that.
Legendary pharaoh Tutankhamun was probably killed by the genetic blood disorder sickle cell disease, German scientists said Wednesday, rejecting earlier research that suggested he died of malaria.
The team at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in the northern city of Hamburg questioned the conclusions of a major Egyptian study released in February on the enigmatic boy-king’s early demise.
That examination, involving DNA tests and computerised tomography (CT) scans on Tutankhamun’s mummy, said he died of malaria after suffering a fall, putting to rest the theory that he was murdered.
JAMA published several letters critical of the original article.
An archaeological site in southeastern Europe has shown its metal. This ancient settlement contains the oldest securely dated evidence of copper making, from 7,000 years ago, and suggests that copper smelting may been invented in separate parts of Asia and Europe at that time rather than spreading from a single source.
The find extends the known record of copper smelting by about 500 years, an archaeological team headed by Miljana Radivojević and Thilo Rehren of University College London reports in an upcoming Journal of Archaeological Science. The pair were joined by Serbian researchers, led by Dušan Šljivar of the National Museum Belgrade, and German scientists directed by Ernst Pernicka of the University of Tübingen.
English archaeologists said Friday they are trying to figure out why 97 babies were buried around a Roman-era villa that may have been used as a brothel.
Because childbirth in Roman times was more dangerous than it is today, infant mortality was high and infant burials are common at Roman villas. However, the massive number found at the site in Buckinghamshire, just northwest of London, is far higher than at any other Roman villa in Britain, the Buckinghamshire County Council said.
Recent examination of the Roman-era bodies shows “the infants almost all died around the time of birth, suggesting this may be an example of deliberate infanticide,” the council said.
The brothel idea seems plausible to me, although they don’t really say why it is thought to have been a brothel.