The Spanish Catholic conquerors of Peru did not care for traditional Andean burial practices, especially the creation of mummies. So they destroyed thousands of graves and hacked up thousands of mummies. It looks like the people of one region might have gathered up the bones scattered in this way and strung them together along lengths of reed, leaving many bizarre collections of bones. (Smithsonian)
New study says Australia's aboriginal people were not cut off from the outside world, but made long trading voyages in seagoing canoes 5,000 years ago and continued doing so into the 1700s AD.
Whalers reported centuries ago that orcas sometimes killed and ate blue whales, but this was never confirmed by biologists until recently, when three cases were filmed off Australia.
If everything is trauma, is anything really traumatic? "When we start to talk about ordinary adversities as ‘traumas’ there is a risk that we’ll see them as harder to overcome and see ourselves as more damaged by them." Amen to that. (NY Times)
David Brooks looks at the fragmentation within Evangelical churches, torn apart over politics, sexual abuse, and questions about power and obedience. (NY Times)
Bronze Age drinking straws, likely used for communal beer drinking from large pots.
Article about and strange video of the synchronized swimming of the tiny nematodes known as vinegar eels.
MIT scientists create new polymer that forms 2-dimensional sheets rather than 1-D chains; they say these sheets can be stacked to create materials with the structural strength of steel but 1/6 the weight. They call it 2DPA-1. Another interesting feature is that these sheets are impermeable to water and to most gases.
The rise of Multicultural London English. (The New Yorker)
Worried about a tsunami that some geologists say is inevitable, one school district in coastal Washington wants to build "evacuation towers" tall and strong enough that its students could survive even a 20-foot wave. (NY Times; more on this topic here and here)
Michael Makowsky ponders why so many writers live in Brooklyn. His conclusion is that both fiction and journalism provide high status rewards but low pay, leading writers to live in areas where other people who value their status are concentrated.
And Makowsky on Pfumvudza, a kind of no-till, mulched farming ("conservation farming") spreading in Zimbabwe.
The contemporary cooking scene is full of people who grew up watching cooking shows on the Food Network, dreaming about cooking but also about having their own cooking shows. (NY Times)
Good NPR article on that Tennessee pre-K study, including comments from one of the authors.
The family tree of Covid-19: the Omicron variant appeared pretty much out of nowhere, with no antecedents other than the original strain, and no relationship to other known variants.
Words better known by men than women, and vice versa.
Who are the Canadian "truckers" protesting vaccine mandates? NY Times summary, Guardian story on the leaders, long first-person narrative by someone who has been there. Makes me wonder why protests like this haven't happened more often.