Old Bones Found Along Rail Line Yield Secrets Of The Black Death

human bones

Black death was not spread by rat fleas, say researchers.

Evidence from skulls in east London shows plague had to have been airborne to spread so quickly.

From the AP:

You can learn a lot from a tooth.

Molars taken from skeletons unearthed by work on a new London railway line are revealing secrets of the medieval Black Death — and of its victims.

This week, Don Walker, an osteologist with the Museum of London, outlined the biography of one man whose ancient bones were found by construction workers under London’s Charterhouse Square: He was breast-fed as a baby, moved to London from another part of England, had bad tooth decay in childhood, grew up to work as a laborer, and died in early adulthood from the bubonic plague that ravaged Europe in the 14th century.

Recent Research into Anal Gas Expulsion (“Farting”)

medical1[1]

Via Real Clear Science

Until recently, there hadn’t been formal studies to prove which foods would reduce anal gas expulsion (aka farting). The intent of recent research is to document the causes of extreme flatulence, flatulence-free foods and bacteria in the large intestine where the gas is generated.

Spanish researcher Fernando Azpiroz bolsters our scientific knowledge on passing gas. He published two new papers, one published in the journal Gut in June 2013, and the other just published to Neurogastroenterology and Motility. In his most recent paper, he documents how different diets affect flatulence.

It’s a good read, but you may prefer the summary, so i recommend you go to Real Clear Science for a great overview.

Trailer for Evolve

Though it doesn’t feature real gameplay, this is a pretty cool trailer for the game Evolve. This trailer is titled “Happy Hunting” and features the cover of Danzig’s Mother, performed by Lissie. The music aligns well with the atmosphere in the trailer.

 

Here’s more action…

 

Dr. Horrible Sequel Is In The Works!

Dr. HORRIBLE

My favorite supervillian, Dr. Horrible, is making a return after 5 years!

Entertainment Weekly caught up with the creator and director of the webseries, Joss Whedon, and asked him what’s the latest update on making progress to a long awaited sequel. Here’s a snippet of his reply, head on over to EW to read the full story:

“We know we have spoken publicly about a sequel in the near distance and our passion to create it, and I promise we have not been insincere. Horrible is still one of our favorite creations by humans who were also us. We have many songs written and the plot outlined, but needless to say, we’ve been busy…” –read the rest @ EW’s blog.

via – Nerdist

Majestic Sombrero Galaxy

This snap shows the Majestic Sombrero Galaxy, it’s my favorite galaxy out of the hundreds of billions out there. A brilliant white core is encircled by thick dust lanes in this spiral galaxy, seen edge-on in this view. The galaxy is 50,000 light-years across and 28 million light years from Earth.

Do you think there’s someone over there looking back at us? 🙂 Visit the SETI Institute to learn more on that subject.

image

Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Scientists Develop Light Bulb That Provides Access to Wireless Internet

Lightbulb

Shanghai’s Fudan University scientists have created an affordable and efficient one-watt light bulb that produces its own Wi-Fi signal. Scientists found that the prototype that uses a technology called Li-Fi, works faster than the average connection in China. The Li-Fi bulb featuring a microchip generates around 150 mbps, 20 times faster than average broadband connection in China.

Read more at University Herald

Well-Connected Hemispheres of Einstein’s Brain May Have Sparked Brilliance

Albert Einstein

From a Florida State University article – Research shows Albert Einstein’s brain had more extensive connections than other men.

The left and right hemispheres of Albert Einstein’s brain were unusually well connected to each other and may have contributed to his brilliance, according to a new study conducted in part by Florida State University evolutionary anthropologist Dean Falk.

“This study, more than any other to date, really gets at the ‘inside’ of Einstein’s brain,” Falk said. “It provides new information that helps make sense of what is known about the surface of Einstein’s brain.”

The study, “The Corpus Callosum of Albert Einstein’s Brain: Another Clue to His High Intelligence,” was published in the journal Brain. Unfortunately, an account is needed to access the full study, but you can read the extract here.

The Data Network: A New Star Trek Social Media Site

The Data Network is a new social media platform just for Star Trek fans and players. Users can follow each other and send messages to the network. The network was designed so that Star Trek fans had a unique place to go to share their thoughts, stories and experiences in the Star Trek universe. They appear to provide one place for Trekkies.

They also want to provide a place for gaming clans, fleets, and groups; have various fleets with their own accounts, and players will be able to inform other users of which fleet they belong too.

Check it out…

http://www.thedatanetwork.co.uk/

Join An Educational Opportunity At Evolutionary Robotics Course

University of Vermont

The University of Vermont is opening up it’s Evolutionary Robotics course to the public.

This is the Ludobots course which has an interesting method of student learning and participation requirements before being able to join in the bigger initiatives of the course, this is called the Discovery Track which you can learn more about in this video. The video outlines the 10 levels of work and participation with other students before becoming a ‘scientist’ asking and researching bigger questions in the robotics field.

There’s lot of coding opportunities, lots and lots of tutorial videos, you can also view the syllabus + assignments and much more.

From the professor of the program in his AMA on Reddit:

The prerequisites for the Ludobots course requires nothing more than a beginner’s background in programming. While the assignments may take longer depending on your experience level, we believe that the step-by-step progression each assignment has makes it accessible enough to a wide variety of people.

The course works with a ranking system. At the first rank you just submit an assignment; if you receive a passing grade you move on to the second rank. At every rank beyond the first you must grade an assignment that you have already done, using a rubric on each assignment page, and receive a passing grade on that rank’s assignment.

Once you have received a passing grade on each assignment you can work on evolutionary robotics research with us. Essentially the ranking system is in place to make sure that contributors to our research can be trusted. If your contribution is validated by others — or you provide a sufficiently interesting hypothesis of your own that others pursue — we will include you as a co-author and all write up a research paper together.

The ludobots site is an experiment for us as well: we’ve never tried this before, so we’re very eager to see the results!