For us, dreaming is private. We think, as Heraclitus wrote, "The universe for those who are awake is single and common, while in sleep each person turns aside into a private universe." But in some cultures that is not so, and dreaming people enter shared worlds or arrange to share dreams together.
Review of the evidence that exposure to lead causes crime and other social ills.
Nine-minute NY Times video about efforts to locate and preserve slave cemeteries in Louisiana. Good on the researchers' techniques but they only talked to people fighting industrial development and should have talked to some plant workers and others who support it.
Shenzhen Terraces, a multi-level park for a very urban place.
Infrastructure costs: Kevin Drum has numbers showing that the cost of building new transit projects in the US is close to the global average, except in New York City, where it is far more than any other place in the US.
Roman building found under a movie theater in Verona may have been a hotel.
Tyler Cowen on nuclear waste repositories, kicking off from the question of how to mark them as dangerous in a way people will understand in 10,000 years.
The language of cults: "Montell concludes that language is the primary means by which any group, and not just a cult, establishes a sense of shared purpose and identity."
Was "We Can Work it Out" really a song about tensions within the Beatles that they could not work out? I continue to marvel that people in the midst of intense conflicts with each other can make art together, but you see it over and over. (In case you wondered, "Straussian" means saying the required thing while hinting that you actually believe the opposite.)
Standard weights spread from some place with a rigid royal bureaucracy, likely Mesopotamia or Egypt, across the Middle East and Europe, crossing boundaries and being used in places with hardly any government at all. Marketplace pressures enforced standards even with no government backing them up. The investigators present this as surprising but you often find a reverence for law in places with weak states, so this is only what I would expect.
Woke scholar publishes paper arguing that Vikings can't possibly have settled in the New World because this is exciting to white supremacists and therefore a "problematic myth." Personally I do not regard the archaeological evidence for Vikings at sites like L'Anse aux Meadows as 100% certain, but it is pretty good, and the resolution to the debate certainly has nothing to do with how offensive we find the answers.
Up close study of fire ant rafts.
The Hubble Space Telescope has been offline since its first-line memory module failed on June 13. The Hubble has three backup memory modules and a whole backup computer, but commands intended to bring those systems into operation have had no effect. So the problem must be something that impacts all those systems, and NASA doesn't know what that might be. At the moment, of course, NASA has no rocket system that could carry astronauts to the station. Maybe Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk could send a repair mission; that would make the splash they seem to want and actually be useful. Or maybe the Russians or the Chinese could do it, by way of international goodwill etc. To me, the Hubble has been the best thing humans have sent into space since the 1970s, and it would be sad if it dies because people are busy setting up pointless moon bases or whatever.
Since I have complained so much about the F-35 program, it's only fair for me to report that it easily won the open competition for Switzerland's next generation fighter bomber on both performance and cost effectiveness metrics. Amazing what a trillion dollars will buy.
Anissa Weier, sentenced to 25 years in a mental hospital for her part in the Slenderman Attack, has been freed by a judge after 3 years. Her partner in crime Morgan Geyser is still confined. Although they were 12 years old at the time of the attack, they were tried and sentenced as adults.
Remains of 8th century imperial palace found in Japan.
Cool relief sculpture found at fort along Hadrian's Wall.
Interesting group of Roman sarcophagi found in an olive grove near Iznik (Nicea) in Turkey.