Thonis-Heracleion (the Egyptian and Greek names of the city) is a city lost between legend and reality. Before the foundation of Alexandria in 331 BC, the city knew glorious times as the obligatory port of entry to Egypt for all ships coming from the Greek world. It had also a religious importance because of the temple of Amun, which played an important role in rites associated with dynasty continuity. The city was founded probably around the 8th century BC, underwent diverse natural catastrophes, and finally sunk entirely into the depths of the Mediterranean in the 8th century AD. […]
With his unique survey-based approach that utilises the most sophisticated technical equipment, Franck Goddio and his team from the IEASM, in cooperation with the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, were able to locate, map and excavate parts of the city of Thonis-Heracleion, which lies 6.5 kilometres off today’s coastline.
The Republican-controlled Legislature in this state known as the buckle of the Bible Belt authorized the privately funded Ten Commandments monument in 2009, and it was placed on the Capitol grounds last year despite criticism from legal experts who questioned its constitutionality. The Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit seeking its removal.
But the New York-based Satanic Temple saw an opportunity. It notified the state’s Capitol Preservation Commission that it wants to donate a monument and plans to submit one of several possible designs this month, said Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the temple.
Goddamn, “Lucien Greaves” is the perfect name for the spokesperson for a Satanic tempe.
'Ili: “state known as the buckle of the Bible Belt”
Uri Friendman in The Atlantic on a statue of Vladimir Lenin that was toppled in the Ukraine on Sunday during protests about a European Union trade deal’s recent rejection by President Viktor Yanukovych:
The fight over the Lenin sculpture in Kiev mirrors a larger battle in Ukraine over monuments to the country’s communist past—one primarily waged between the traditionally nationalist west and pro-Russian east. In August, RIA Novosti noted that at least 12 Lenin statues had been defaced in Ukraine since 2009 as part of a “statue war” between communists and nationalists. In perhaps the most bizarre manifestation of this conflict, a promotional video for the Euro 2012 soccer championships in Kharkiv edited out a Lenin statue from a shot of the city’s main square to avoid showing “images of a commercial and political nature”
The phrase “statue war” is unfortunately a lot less exciting in this context than it could potentially be elsewhere.
Silicon Valley battery startup Envia Systems once claimed that its next-generation lithium ion battery tech was such a breakthrough that it could bring electric vehicles to the masses. Those claims brought in millions of dollars of funds from the Department of Energy’s APRA-E program, Valley venture capitalists, and a deal with car giant GM, which makes the Volt electric car. But according to information revealed in two lawsuits against Envia, the company is alleged to have used other companies’ technology in its battery tech (one part allegedly stolen, one part purchased and used as if it was their own), and hasn’t been able to recreate the breakthrough battery results for its GM deal, leading to that deal allegedly being cancelled.
I’ve never heard of these guys before, but the tech sounds like it’d be pretty cool if it actually worked. Envia has denied the allegations.
Yes, men and women probably do have differently wired brains, but there is little convincing evidence to suggest these variations are caused by anything other than cultural factors. Males develop improved spatial skills not because of an innate superiority but because they are expected and encouraged to be strong at sport, which requires expertise at catching and throwing. Similarly, it is anticipated that girls will be more emotional and talkative, and so their verbal skills are emphasised by teachers and parents. As the years pass, these different lifestyles produce variations in brain wiring – which is a lot more plastic than most biological determinists realise.
Boston researchers are reporting the return of the HIV virus in two patients who had become virus-free after undergoing bone marrow transplants, dashing hopes of a possible cure that had generated widespread excitement.
The rebound of the virus shows its persistence, and that it can hide in places in the body where it’s hard to find, said the lead scientist, Dr. Timothy Henrich of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
A disappointing result, but since the procedure was slightly effective, it might lead to future research.
"Level Up" is Stacy Eduarte’s second-year film in the UCLA Animation Workshop:
I wanted to have a bit of silly fun this school year and make a little parody on older videogames I grew up with. Coincidentally, some time later that fall after I started working on the storyboard, Disney released information about their upcoming film “Wreck-It Ralph”.
I don’t have any commentary on this beyond that pixels are neato.
Time for another poetry performance from Button Poetry. This time we’ve got Guante delivering “Ten Responses to the Phrase ‘Man Up’,” which is an excellent complement to Lily Myers’s “Shrinking Women.”
Killzone: Shadow Fall is one of the launch titles for the PlayStation 4. I’m not really super interested in the game, but Richard Leadbetter wrote a pretty cool look into the audio and visual technologies of the game for Eurogamer. The piece is a little fluffy, with a lot of oohing and ahhing about what Guerrilla Games has done, but if you can look past that there’s actually a lot of pretty technical details about visual rendering, audio reflections, and other neat things.
"Everywhere in the game you have materials - walls, rocks, different things - that for geometry purposes are tagged with what material they are," says lead sound designer, Lewis James. "Now in the real world, when you fire a gun, the sound is just a byproduct of what what’s happening inside the gun. That’s the only part of the actual event that games tend to care about normally - the sound of the shot.
"But there’s all sorts of things happening - a pressure wave that comes out of the gun interacts with the surfaces it touches when it has sufficient force. So that’s what we do. It’s a system called MADDER - Material Dependent Early Reflections. We bounce the shockwaves of the gun off every surface in the game, all the time. That defines the sound. The point is that there should be no illusion that it’s reverb - because it isn’t. It’s real-time reflections based on geometry."
The idea that organisms can stably inherit characteristics they acquire during their lifetimes was discarded a long time ago; the fact that it doesn’t seem to happen was a big strike against the pre-Darwinian idea about evolution. But over the last few decades, that idea has been making a bit of a comeback. We’ve identified a few forms of epigenetic inheritance—primarily chemical modifications of DNA—that can be changed during the life of an organism but can still be passed down to its progeny. There’s clear evidence that this sort of inheritance is used in plants, and there are a few hints that it could influence significant traits in animals.
Yesterday, Nature Neuroscience published a paper that provides the strongest evidence yet that an acquired trait can be passed down for several generations in mice. Animals that were trained to associate a specific smell with pain produced progeny that also were sensitive to the smell—even when their entire role in producing the next generation was limited to being a sperm donor.
The paper itself inadvertently indicates just how radical this idea is. Early in its introduction, the authors (Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler) write, “An important, but often ignored, factor that influences adult nervous systems is exposure of parents to salient environmental stimuli before the conception of their offspring.” Well, yes, it has been ignored. But that’s largely because nobody had any evidence that it actually happens.