Sunday, 10 July 2016

Ten more trivial items you may enjoy

Why bother reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula?
via OUP Blog by Roger Luckhurst
The date-line is 2014. An outbreak of a deadly disease is happening in a remote region, beyond the borders of a complacent Europe. Local deaths multiply. The risk does not end with death, either, because corpses hold the highest risk of contamination and you must work to contain their threat. All this is barely even reported at first, until the health of a Western visitor, a professional man, breaks down. Too late: the disease has found a vector out of the margins and into fortress Europe. A carrier has travelled along the transport networks. Soon enough, the disease spreads from the entry port to the very heart of London. Only a few dedicated experts stand in the way of catastrophe.
Continue reading

World’s fastest trains – in 45 seconds
via BBC
A Japanese magnetic levitation train has broken the world speed record. In a test run near Mount Fuji, the train reached a top speed of 603km/h (374mph). However, Japan is not the only country to boast rail travel of such super speeds.
The BBC takes a look at some of the fastest passenger trains around the world.
Watch the video here

Did Affluence Spur the Rise of Modern Religions?
via 3 Quarks Daily: Bret Stetka in Scientific American

About 2,500 years ago something changed the way humans think. Within the span of two centuries, in three separate regions of Eurasia, spiritual movements emerged that would give rise to the world's major moral religions, those preaching some combination of compassion, humility and asceticism. Scholars often attribute the rise of these moral religions – Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity included – to population growth, seeing morality as a necessary social stabilizer in increasingly large and volatile human communities. Yet findings from a recent study published in Current Biology point to a different factor: rising affluence.
Continue reading

Iridescent insect sculptures from ewaste

UK artist Julie Alice Chapell’s Computer Component Bugs sculptures are iridescent, intricate assemblage sculptures made from ewaste.
Continue reading

The long history of World War II
World War Two timeline
via OUP Blog by Richard Overy
World War Two was the most devastating conflict in recorded human history. It was both global in extent and total in character. It has understandably left a long and dark shadow across the decades. Yet it is three generations since hostilities formally ended in 1945 and the conflict is now a lived memory for only a few. And this growing distance in time has allowed historians to think differently about how to describe it, how to explain its course, and what subjects to focus on when considering the wartime experience.
Continue reading

The Source of 15 Major World Rivers
via Red Ferret by Nigel
It’s a fact that our civilization relies on the constant flow of water down the main rivers in each country. We build cities near them, use their water for our industrial systems, and enjoy their beauty in our leisure time. But how many of us think about the source of these majestic water flows? Well here’s a great set of images highlighting the source of 15 of the world’s biggest rivers for you to enjoy.
The mind-blowing thing about these photos is how humbly all rivers start out, just a trickle or a puddle of water, which gradually grows over the miles until you get the Amazon, Nile, Rhine, Mississippi, Yangtze, Ganga and more. Incredible.
Check the pictures for yourself (BEWARE: this is a massive time suck)

Blocked Italian toilet leads to thousands of years of buried history
via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

A restaurateur in Lecce, Italy dug up the plumbing for his perennially blocked toilets and discovered thousands of years' worth of tunnels beneath the building, including a Messapian tomb.
Continue reading

Detroit Iron: 1903
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive – Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Detroit Iron: 1903
“Detroit Iron and Steel Co. mill”
One of the wonders of the Rust Belt
8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company
View original post

Biophilia Celebrates Colorful Creatures, Icky and Otherwise
via 3 Quarks Daily: Dana Jennings in The New York Times
Christopher Marley’s Biophilia is much more than a sumptuous coffee-table pleasure. It is also an elegant manifesto meant to nudge us off our couches and easy chairs and out the door. “It is clear to me that we are designed to experience as much of the natural world as possible with all five of our senses,” Mr. Marley writes. And later: “Without meaningful interactions with nature, we begin to deteriorate emotionally and spiritually”.
Biophilia offers hundreds of spectacular color images of insects, sea creatures, reptiles, birds and fossils and minerals (the last perhaps to remind us that we, too, eventually return to dust).
Continue reading

The most valuable semen in all the land
via Boing Boing by Gastropod
WARNING: Animal cruelty
In the 1920s, the USDA encouraged rural communities around the U.S. to put bulls on the witness stand – to hold a legal trial, complete with lawyers and witnesses and a watching public – to determine whether the bull was fit to breed. … Prepare to be horrified and amazed in equal measure.
Continue reading

No comments: