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Your Daddy Is A Neanderthal

from New Scientist

We may have mated with Neanderthals more than 219,000 years ago

By Aylin Woodward

Ancient human skullsWe have a thing for Neanderthals – ZUMA Press, Inc/Alamy Stock Photo

It’s a sex-laced mystery. If modern humans didn’t reach Europe until about 60,000 years ago, how has DNA from them turned up in a Neanderthal fossil in Germany from 124,000 years ago?

The answer seems to be that there was a previous migration of early humans – more than 219,000 years ago. One that we’re only just starting to reveal from piecemeal evidence that is DNA extracted from fossilised bones.

The story, as far as we knew it, was that the ancestors of modern humans diverged from Neanderthals and Denisovans between 550,000 and 765,000 years ago. While Neanderthals and Denisovans inhabited Eurasia, modern humans stayed in Africa until about 60,000 years ago. Then they entered Europe, too.

[ click to continue reading at New Scientist ]

Posted on July 20, 2017 by Editor

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Bandido

Posted on July 19, 2017 by Editor

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Space Hotel

from MASHABLE

Looking for a vacation splurge? Consider this space hotel

BY MARGARET SULLIVAN

A rendering of the space hotel MarinaIMAGE: MIT MARINA PROJECT TEAM

Do you have a hankering for adventure and several million dollars laying around? Then this might be the perfect getaway opportunity for you, if you can hold on tight for a few years.

NASA recently held a competition, which was won by a team of graduate students from MIT, to design a commercially enabled habitable module for use low in Earth’s orbit.

Translation: the MIT team basically just won a competition to design a luxury space hotel.

The hotel would float just about 100-1,200 miles above Earth’s surface, and be made up of eight inflatable rooms arranged in a circle, kind of like a ceiling fan, attached to a NASA space station at the center.

[ click to continue reading at MASHABLE ]

Posted on July 18, 2017 by Editor

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Bodacious

Posted on July 17, 2017 by Editor

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Romero Gone

from Deadline Hollywood

George A. Romero Dies: ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ Director Was 77

by Greg Evans

George A. Romero, the director who all but invented the modern zombie genre with his 1968 horror classic Night of the Living Dead, has died at 77 of lung cancer.

Infused with social commentary and a realistic, midnight-movie terror, Romero’s brazenly stark thriller, and the sequels that followed, made as large an impact on the genre and a culture’s nightmares as any horror film since the Universal Studios monster chillers of the 1930s.

The Pittsburgh native’s low-budget, black and white film went from cult favorite to blockbuster franchise with Romero’s 1978 sequel Dawn of the Dead, 1985’s Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007) and finally 2009’s Survival of the Dead. His take on the vampire genre, Martin, was released in 1978, and he wrote the 1990 Night remake, directed by Tom Savini.

As a producer, Romero delivered TV’s seminal 1980s horror anthology Tales From the Dark Side.

“Hard to quantify how much he inspired me & what he did for cinema,” tweeted Hostel director Eli Roth. (See other Hollywood reactions here.)

[ click to read full obit at Deadline ]

Posted on July 16, 2017 by Editor

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Oil Porn

from Dangerous Minds

ARTIST PAINTS ‘ORGASM FACES’ BASED ON STILLS FROM VINTAGE PORN FILMS 

by Cherrybomb

A painting from artist Alexandra Rubinstein’s series “Looking for Mr. Goodsex.”

In her bio, Russian born Brooklyn-based artist Alexandra Rubinstein notes that she is focused on “crushing the patriarchy one male figure at a time” and boy, do we need you now more than EVER Ms. Rubinstein. Alexandra’s works are quite provocative, to say the least—and even the titles of her work, such as her amusing 2014 series “Men Eating Pussy” which features paintings of men muff diving that was created using vintage stills from pornographic movies, though in Rubinstein’s paintings the female recipient has been replaced by “negative space.”

For this post, I’m going to focus on another one of Rubinstein’s collections “Looking for Mr. Goodsex.” For the 2013/2014 series, Rubinstein painted portraits inspired by un-cropped stills taken from films such as Deep Throat and others that originated during the “Golden Age” of porn.

There’s also a few pictures from one of her most recent accomplishments, a series called “Thirsty” in which the artist reproduced images from vintage Playgirl magazines then covered up the bare crotches of the vintage studs with fully functional, wall-mounted bottle openers. Rubinstein’s goal with “Thirsty” was to convey the role of a woman as a consumer for a change and not the object or vehicle utilized to promote or sell something. Since I’ve mentioned the words “porn” and “pussy” a few times in this post, I hope you’ve arrived at the conclusion that the images in this post are somewhat NSFW.

[ click to continue viewing at Dangerous Minds ]

Posted on July 15, 2017 by Editor

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Pieces of Donkeys Who Are Damned

from The New Yorker

The Toscanini Wars

No maestro was more revered—or more reviled. On the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of his birth, it’s time to give him a fair hearing.

By David Denby

What is the most familiar piece of classical music? The most thoroughly roasted chestnut? A piece so overplayed that it has passed into the automatic schlock-recognition zone of every American? Surely it is the final, galloping section of Rossini’s “William Tell” Overture—the Lone Ranger music, the musical image of righteousness on horseback. The music seems almost a joke. But there was one conductor who rode this piece as if his life, and the lives of his players, depended on it.

I remember my parents calling me out of my bedroom. The year was 1952, so I must have been eight. On our television, a tiny black-and-white screen sunk into a large mahogany console, an old man with a full head of white hair and an elegantly clipped mustache was beating time with his right arm and leading a furious performance of the horse music. I certainly knew the tune (“The Lone Ranger” TV series began running in 1949), but I didn’t know it could sound like this—the skittering string figures played with amazing speed and clean articulation, the entire piece brought off with precision and power, the muscular timpani strokes outlining phrases and asserting a blood-raising pressure under the crescendos. You can easily see this performance right now, exactly as I did, on YouTube: Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony in the televised concert of March 15, 1952. If you listen with good headphones, the sound, though hard-edged, is solid and clear, and the astonishing performance comes through. Toscanini was then two weeks shy of his eighty-fifth birthday.

For many years, Arturo Toscanini was the pinnacle of musical excitement for classical-music lovers in this country—and also for many casual listeners, who enjoyed the sensation of having their pulse rate raised. He was at the center of an American experiment in art and commerce that now scarcely seems credible: late in the Depression, in 1937, RCA, which owned two NBC radio networks, created a virtuoso orchestra especially for him, and kept it going until 1954. The NBC Symphony gave concerts in New York that were broadcast on national radio, and then, starting in 1948, on national television.

RCA hyped Toscanini, and the media responded gratefully, some would say shamelessly: Toscanini was widely profiled and photographed, lionized and domesticated by Life and countless other publications. His NBC years were probably the high-water mark of classical music’s popularity in America. Some of that popularity was doubtless swelled by the excruciating and often condescending music explainers ubiquitous on the radio, in books, in schools, all eager to sell great music to the masses. Still, it was not unusual for earnest middle-class children to struggle with an upright at home, to sing Handel in a school chorus, to play Mendelssohn in the school orchestra. At the time, both amateur and professional musicians, listening to the NBC Symphony broadcasts, did their best to play along.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on July 14, 2017 by Editor

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We Could Be Next

from The Daily Express

END OF WORLD WARNING: Watch biggest explosion EVER on Moon as NASA warns we could be next

A METEOR with the explosive power of TEN cruise missiles has struck the Moon – sparking a massive explosion visible with the naked eye.

By PAUL BALDWIN

MoonThe moon was struck by a meteor creating the an explosion visible with the naked eye / GETTY

And terrifyingly the 56,000 mph collision – captured by NASA scientists highlighting the catastrophic danger planet earth faces from similar meteors – was caused by a space rock weighing no more than 88 lbs (40 kilos).

Despite the meteor’s tiny proportions – about the size of a small boulder and the weight of an average 10-year-old boy – the impact damage was colossal and the explosion shone with the brightness of a magnitude 4 star.

A similar strike against a city on earth would create a crater 65feet (20m) deep and create a devastating kill zone equivalent to TEN Tomahawk cruise missile striking in exactly the same place.

Experts fear the death toll would run into thousands.

[ click to continue reading The Daily Express ]

Posted on July 13, 2017 by Editor

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Pittacus Rises NYT #2

from Facebook

[ click to view on Facebook ]

Posted on July 12, 2017 by Editor

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Our Insane World

Posted on July 11, 2017 by Editor

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Monster Black Holes, Cool

from SPACE

Monster Black Holes Spotted Orbiting Each Other for 1st Time Ever

By Charles Q. Choi

Monster Black Holes Spotted Orbiting Each Other for 1st Time EverArtist’s conception of two supermassive black holes orbiting each other at the center of galaxy 0402+379, located 750 million light-years from Earth.
Credit: Josh Valenzuela/University of New Mexico

For the first time ever, scientists have directly spotted a pair of supermassive black holes orbiting each other, a new study suggests.

This orbital motion — which was noted in observations made over the course of a dozen years — may be the smallest-ever movement detected of an object across the sky, the researchers said.

Supermassive black holes harbor millions to billions of times the mass of Earth’s sun and form the hearts of most, if not all, large galaxies. Much remains uncertain about how these giant black holes grow and influence the universe around them. [Images: Black Holes of the Universe]

One way to gain insights on black hole growth is to look at black holes on the verge of merging with one another. As such, researchers have analyzed the center of a giant elliptical galaxy called 0402+379, which is located about 750 million light-years from Earth. In 2006, scientists found that the galaxy’s core apparently holds two supermassive black holes.

Judging by the gravitational effects these black holes had on their surroundings, the two behemoths harbor a combined mass about 15 billion times that of the sun, the researchers said. It remains uncertain just how big each black hole is, but the limited data that astronomers currently have suggest that one of the black holes might be two or even four times bigger than the other, said study co-author Roger Romani, an astrophysicist at Stanford University.

[ click to continue reading at SPACE.com ]

Posted on July 10, 2017 by Editor

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Tide Power

from Hakai Magazine

Watts in the Water

Our oceans contain enough energy to power the planet—if we could just get our hands on it.

by Bruce Grierson

Another innovative scheme to draw power from the sea is through underwater kites placed in ocean currents. The idea is to harness the energy produced as the water perpetually pushes the kites into figure-eight patterns. Video courtesy of Minesto

Edinburgh isn’t known as a hotbed of industrial espionage. But one cool and quiet spring night in the Scottish city, a high-stakes burglary was underway. Down at the old port district of Leith, thieves breached a perimeter fence and broke into the offices of a company called Pelamis Wave Power. They homed in on four laptop computers and walked right past much more expensive equipment. Pelamis, at the time (March of 2011), was riding a wave of good fortune. Company engineers had produced the first commercial-scale machine for extracting energy from waves, vaulting Pelamis to top-dog status in the marine-energy industry. Already there was interest from several European utility companies, and a Portuguese company had placed an order. So promising was the technology that just two months earlier, a delegation of 60 Chinese officials had paid a visit, with a juicy investment deal presumably in the balance. The world was getting excited about wave power. The visitors donned white hard hats and Pelamis founder and director Richard Yemm led Li Keqiang, the vice premier of China (now premier), and his charges across the factory floor during a key phase of production. Yemm was likely thinking only of the dizzying future on the other side of so much hard work, so many stillborn dreams. Protecting his company’s valuable intellectual property was not top of mind.

Yemm’s optimism was justified. At some point in 2013, the world’s energy scales tipped: for the first time, more new energy was produced by renewables than by fossil fuels. The shift is officially on. North Sea oil rigs are being dismantled. The run of coal as energy champion of Europe is over, and plans for hundreds of new coal plants across Asia have been shelved. The business case for solar is solid. One hundred percent of Dutch trains run on wind. Google just announced that its server farms and offices will be powered entirely by renewables—mostly wind and solar—by the end of 2017.

And ocean power?

Close to 200 trillion watts of kinetic energy lurk in the seas: more than enough to power the planet, if we could somehow extract it all.

[ click to continue reading at Hakai Magazine ]

Posted on July 9, 2017 by Editor

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Is my husband gay, is my wife crazy?

from Vox

Proof that Americans are lying about their sexual desires

by Sean Illing

Two weeks ago, I interviewed Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of Everybody Lies, a new book that uses data on America’s Google habits as an insight into our national consciousness.

Two findings from the book dominated the conversation: America is riddled with racist and selfish people, and there may be a self-induced abortion crisis in this country.

But there was plenty more revelatory data in the book that we didn’t cover. So I wanted to follow up with Stephens-Davidowitz to talk about some of the other provocative claims he is making.

I was particularly interested in sexuality and online porn. If, as Stephens-Davidowitz puts it, “Google is a digital truth serum,” then what else does it tell us about our private thoughts and desires? What else are we hiding from our friends, neighbors, and colleagues?

A lot, apparently.

Among other things, Stephens-Davidowitz’s data suggests that there are more gay men in the closet than we think; that many men prefer overweight women to skinny women but are afraid to act on it; that married women are disproportionately worried their husband is gay; that a lot of straight women watch lesbian porn; and that porn featuring violence against women is more popular among women than men.

I asked Stephens-Davidowitz to explain the data behind all of this. Here’s what he told me.

[ click to continue reading at Vox ]

Posted on July 8, 2017 by Editor

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More Skull Cult

from Reuters

Tower of human skulls in Mexico casts new light on Aztecs

By Roberto Ramirez | MEXICO CITY

Skulls are seen at a site where more than 650 skulls caked in lime and thousands of fragments were found in the cylindrical edifice near Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City, Mexico June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero

A tower of human skulls unearthed beneath the heart of Mexico City has raised new questions about the culture of sacrifice in the Aztec Empire after crania of women and children surfaced among the hundreds embedded in the forbidding structure.

Archaeologists have found more than 650 skulls caked in lime and thousands of fragments in the cylindrical edifice near the site of the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City.

The tower is believed to form part of the Huey Tzompantli, a massive array of skulls that struck fear into the Spanish conquistadores when they captured the city under Hernan Cortes, and mentioned the structure in contemporary accounts.

Historians relate how the severed heads of captured warriors adorned tzompantli, or skull racks, found in a number of Mesoamerican cultures before the Spanish conquest.

[ click to continue reading at Reuters ]

Posted on July 7, 2017 by Editor

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Skull Cult

from National Geographic

Hints of Skull Cult Found at World’s Oldest Temple

Carved human skull fragments from a Stone Age archaeological site hint at a surprisingly complex culture.

By Shaena Montanari

Göbekli Tepe, site of the possible skull cult, is considerd the world’s oldest temple. PHOTOGRAPH BY VINCENT MUSI, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

Around 10,000 years ago, the already striking presence of Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey could have been even more impressive—as human skulls might have dangled in what is considered the world’s oldest temple.

According to new research published in Science Advances, three Neolithic skull fragments discovered by archaeologists at Göbekli Tepe show evidence of a unique type of post-mortem skull modification at the site.

(Read more about Göbekli Tepe, the “world’s oldest temple.)

The deep, purposeful linear grooves are a unique form of skull alteration never before seen anywhere in the world in any context, says Julia Gresky, lead author on the study and an anthropologist at the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. Detailed analysis with a special microscope shows the grooves were deliberately made with a flint tool. One of the fragments even has a hole drilled in it, resembling skull modifications made by the Naga people of India who used the hole to hang the skull on a string.

[ click to continue reading at NatGeo ]

Posted on July 6, 2017 by Editor

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A little too much magnesium, I guess.

Posted on July 5, 2017 by Editor

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Happy Independence Day

Posted on July 4, 2017 by Editor

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Top 10 Wieners

from The New York Times

We Taste-Tested 10 Hot Dogs. Here Are the Best.

By JULIA MOSKIN

The 10 hot dogs that were part of the taste test, clockwise from top left: Applegate, Nathan’s, Oscar Mayer, Wellshire Farms, Boar’s Head, Trader Joe’s, Niman Ranch, Ball Park, Brooklyn Hot Dog Company and Hebrew National. Credit: Karsten Moran for The New York Times

The New York Times Food department hasn’t taken a close look at hot dogs in some time. Back when hot dogs were on every list of foods to avoid — alarming additives, questionable cuts, salt and fat galore — home cooks didn’t want to know too much about what was in them.

But cooks are different now, and so are hot dogs. We want to know that what we’re eating is as good as it can be. Hot dogs are made from better ingredients, with fewer additives.

One thing hasn’t changed: Billions of hot dogs will be eaten at cookouts this summer, and serving them is one of the easiest ways we know to make people happy.

And so, we present our first official hot dog blind tasting.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on July 3, 2017 by Editor

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NASA Asteroid Killer

from CNN via ClickOrlando

NASA unveils plan to test asteroid defense technique

DART launch set for October 2022

By DAKIN ANDONE, CNN

(CNN) – Humanity could face one less doomsday scenario if NASA has its way.

On Friday, the space agency announced plans to redirect the course of a small asteroid approaching Earth, as part of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), according to a NASA press release.

The release notes that asteroids hit Earth nearly every day, but most are small enough to burn up in the atmosphere.

But the DART project — a joint effort between NASA and the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland — is for the asteroids that are too big to break up — those that could have severe consequences for the Earth if they hit.

“DART would be NASA’s first mission to demonstrate what’s known as the kinetic impactor technique — striking the asteroid to shift its orbit — to defend against a potential future asteroid impact,” said Lindley Johnson, NASA’s planetary defense officer in Washington, in the press release.

“This approval step advances the project toward an historic test with a non-threatening small asteroid.”

[ click to continue reading at ClickOrlando ]

Posted on July 2, 2017 by Editor

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The Evel Museum

from NPR

A New Museum Dares To Showcase Stuntman Evel Knievel

by Frank Morris

Half a century ago war, protests, and political scandal rocked the United States. Sound familiar? But, out of all that a small-time hoodlum from Butte, Montana rocketed into national prominence, on a motorbike. Evel Knievel’s career took off like a rocket, but crashed even faster. Now a new museum celebrates all that is Evel.

Robert Craig Knievel was the kind of kid you’d probably medicate these days— an ornery, reckless small town guy always in trouble with the law. He tried lots of careers: mining, insurance, semi-pro hockey, and selling Honda motorcycles, before declaring himself a professional daredevil. He started with a jump over two mountain lions, and a box of agitated rattle snakes. By his late 20s he’d hustled his way into the national spotlight.

“Evel Knievel was an original. And to a lot of people, young people, he was a super hero,” says Brad Zimmerman, director of the Evel Knievel Museum, in Topeka, Kansas.

Evel certainly dressed the part. With his flamboyant red, white and blue, motorbikes, helmets, leather jumpsuits, and, yes, capes, Knievel was part Elvis, part Liberace, part John Wayne.

[ click to continue reading at NPR ]

Posted on July 1, 2017 by Editor

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