Thread on new Covid variants, says this wave is not dominated by a single variant like previous waves have been.
Eighth-century royal hall of East Anglian kings may have been found in Suffolk.
In Bali, architecture designed to keep out demons.
Twenty-three wonderful ceilings, from Aachen cathedral to the Dali museum.
Why is it harder to help men? A follow up to the finding that many educational programs help women a lot but men not at all. The answer proposed is that men aren't being thwarted by external obstacles, but internal issues, especially a lack of any desire to be "successful." This applies 100% to the troubled young men I know. Their basic issue is that they are not attracted to any of the rewards our society offers to people who work hard and get ahead.
Today in archaeology: "76 child sacrifice victims with their hearts ripped out found in Peru excavation, many more likely to be found."
An interesting Twitter account, "Soviet visuals."
New, high-resolution close-up of Jupiter's moon Europa.
This study says some workers are less productive when they're happy. I mention this as part of my crusade against thinking that all good things are mutually supporting. They're not.
Leon Wieseltier on the threat of climate change: "Once nature mastered us. Then we mastered nature. Now we must master our mastery." Also why an "intersectional climate activism" that conflates carbon emissions with racism is a mistake that plays into the hands of polluters.
Strange 1913 essay about dolls by Rainer Maria Rilke: "Faced with the stolid and unchanging dolls of childhood, have we not wondered again and again, as we might of certain students, what was to become of them?"
Rebuilding Louisiana's eroding shoreline, using ground recycled glass to replace sand. Unfortunately the author of this piece thinks 16 tons a week is a lot, when it is a pittance. Still, every little bit helps, and this is a better use of old glass bottles and jars than trying to turn them into more bottles and jars, which takes more energy than making them from scratch.
Reassembled incription records a protest from the people of Aigai, Asia Minor, against the behavior of imperial agents collecting the tax on goat skins. The emperor responded by standardizing the tax. The habit of carving into stone any letter sent to the empeor has always amused me; there were even towns that erected carved stones when the emperor just said "no." The prestige of the Roman emperor was so great that getting any answer from him at all merited a stela in the center of town.
Just a note that Benito Mussolini's great-grandson, Caio Giulio Cesare Mussolini –yeah, that's Gaius Julius Caesar Mussolini – is a right-wing Italian politician allied to the new PM.
People worried about food waste are coming for "best before" food labels, which, they say, induce people to throw away canned foods and the like that are still perfectly edible.
The guy who tried to kayak down the San Jaoquin River, which has been heavily engineered into an irrigation canal/sewer.
In this National Geographic article, a Turkish researcher claims to have discovered living Silphium, a plant revered in the classical world but thought to have gone extinct by the 2nd century AD. (One story says Nero ate the last stalk.) Wikipedia is skeptical, says genetic studies show the subject plant is closely related to Anatolian species of the genus Ferula, not those in North African where the famous Silphium grew.
Large Pew survey of Black Americans finds they have pessimistic views about their situation; more than 60 percent say the recent political focus on racism has done no good. On the other hand only 15% say they regularly experience discrimination, which I bet is a huge improvement from 1960.
Interesting piece by Dennis Overbye in the NY Times on why some physicists think of the universe as a hologram, with all the information about our 3-dimensional space coded on some 2-dimensional surface. The core of the argument is that such an arrangement reconciles Stephen Hawkings' model of black holes eventually exploding with the widely accepted principle that information can never be destroyed.
How's this for the most perfect story about 2022 so far: "A Russian soldier stole a CCTV street camera in Ukraine. And installed it in his home for some reason. Now a group of enthusiasts in Ukraine enjoys a 24/7 direct stream from some weird home in Siberia."
Tyler Cowen ponders the future prospects for AI in the arts.
Neuroscientist admits "Neuroscience is a frustrating field to be in," because so little progress is being made on answering key questions like how memories are storied or how to define consciousness.
David Brooks says the real scandal in LA wasn't racist remarks, it was the underlying agenda of the meeting, which was to redraw electoral lines to benefit Mexican-American candidates. The participants all see the country as divided into monolithic ethnic blocks, and all think power is gained by manipulating them.
Igor Girkin goes full doom mode, says Russia may be headed toward a "1917 scenario." (I.e., military defeat leading to revolution.) On the other hand these Ukrainian politicians say that feeding thousands of mobilized troops into combat has allowed the Russians to stabilize their lines in both north and south.
Interview with a Ukrainian colonel, good stuff about the first days of the invasion. Of the fighting now he says, "the regular Russian army has almost ceased to exist."
Long, grim thread on the 5 months of fighting over the insignificant village of Dovhen'ke.
Retired American colonel trains Ukrainian troops, happy to be part of a war less morally ambiguous than Iraq and Afghanistan. (NY Times) Another American involved in this effort summed up the mix of motives: “I don’t like oppression. . . . If you’ve been in war, any war is interesting.”
In the missile barrage launched on October 10, in revenge for the bombing of the Kerch Bridge, Russia fired around 70-80 missiles with a value that Forbes calculates was at least $400 million. They killed fewer than 20 people, all civilians. It was an act of angry revenge that if anything hurt their chances in the war by depleting their missile supply for little return.
Visual count of vehicles and other significant systems lost by Russia is now over 7,000, including 1328 tanks, more than 2500 other armored vehicles, 1800 trucks, 231 self-propelled artillery pieces, 136 rocket launchers, 76 SAM systems, 62 jet aircraft, 53 helicopters, and 11 naval vessels.