Nineteenth-century science fiction authors explored human-caused climate change, some seeing disastrous results from trying to manipulate the climate.
Virtual tour of the Capitoline Museum in Rome.
Sign of the times: solar farm to be built on old Maryland coal mine.
Maya diplomat Apoch'Waal, "standard bearer" for the king of Calakmul, paid for one stair of a new temple to bear an inscription describing his glorious career – the Maya equivalent of putting your name on a park bench, I guess – but somehow ended up buried nearby in a very modest grave. The excavators think ill health (arthritis and tooth abscesses) may have contributed to his decline in status. On the other hand a diplomatic career always carries the risk of blundering badly and earning the extreme displeasure of your boss.
Plants grew in Greenland's interior a million or so years ago, meaning it has been ice free within the Pleistocene. And could presumably be so again, raising global sea levels 21 feet. (Washington Post) Another important discovery made in material that has been on a museum shelf for decades.
According to this study, becoming an expert in a field numbs the emotion you used to get from it. If true, this is a good argument for always pursuing new interests.
People with social anxiety are not looking forward to the pandemic's end. And that actually covers a lot of people; 43% of the respondents to one survey are at least ambivalent about the return of face to face interaction. (New York Times)
The Old Copper Culture: Native Americans around the Great Lakes began making copper implements as much as 9,500 years ago, certainly by 7,000 years ago. Then they stopped.
Pacific sperm whales learned how to avoid being killed by whalers, possibly by communicating with each other.
The scam of using a fake candidate to siphon votes seems to have flipped a state senate election in Florida.
That time William Butler Yeats kicked Alistair Crowley down a flight of stairs. (It was a white magic vs. black magic showdown, but physical force prevailed over incantations.)
Sometimes elections matter. On the other hand: Biden Keeps Trump's Title 42 Policy, Closing Off Asylum at the Border.
With Burmese pythons and green iguanas always in the news, Florida bans 16 species of exotic reptiles. (Washington Post)
Interesting piece on Georgia's Korean community focusing on the difference in generations (New York Times)
Twenty years ago environmentalists were very dubious of fish farms, many of which used wild fish for feed. But that is changing as fish food scientists (really) find ways to make nutritious meal from plants: "Between 2000 and 2017, the study found, the production of farmed fish tripled in volume, even as the catch of wild fish used to make fish feed and fish oil declined." (New York Times)
These economists studied England from 1250 to 1870, say productivity was unchanged from 1250 to 1600 but then started to rise around 4% per decade until 1810, when it accelerated to 18% per decade. Evidence is accumulating that 17th-century economic growth in Europe was real and impressive.
Mu magazine is a Japanese purveyor of stories about Bigfoot, Aliens, Atlantis, nuclear cover-ups and the like, but they wouldn't touch Q-Anon: “It’s too naïve for our readership,” their editor said. (New York Times)
Violence escalates in Myanmar/Burma, with Molotov cocktails thrown in cities and rebel militias training in the jungle. (New York Times) Honestly it sounds like the start of a Syria-sized disaster.
Covid-19 in the NBA: it would be hard to find a group of humans with better lung function than professional basketball players, but many players take a month to get back to normal even after "recovering" from an infection and returning to play, more than twice as long as for the flu.