The Hand of Woman

from artnet

A Woman’s Name Uncovered in the Margins of a 1,200-Year-Old Medieval Manuscript Provides a Fresh Clue About Its Real Significance

The discovery is a rare example of the involvement of women in medieval book culture.

by Richard Whiddington

Bodleian Library, MS. Selden Supra 30. Photo: courtesy University of Leicester.
Bodleian Library, MS. Selden Supra 30. Photo: courtesy University of Leicester.

While studying a rare medieval manuscript in Oxford’s Weston Library, PhD student Jessica Hodgkinson noticed something unusual: a series of small, barely visible indentations at the bottom of page 18. Together, the marks spelled out the name Eadburg, the abbess of a female religious community in Kent during the 8th-century.

The inscriptions, which state-of-the-art 3D recording technology discovered a further 14 times in one form or another throughout the volume, is rare evidence of women in medieval England owning, using, or creating manuscripts. So began Hodgkinson’s detective work into a highly educated woman who lived 1,200 years ago.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

The Siegfried & Roy Saga

from The Atlantic

The Original Tiger Kings

At the peak of their fame, they were arguably the most famous magicians since Houdini.

By Chris Jones and Michael J. Mooney

A Photograph of Sigfried and Roy feeding a white tiger.

Siegfried & Roy photographed at their residence in Las Vegas, Nevada, 1991 (Mark Seliger / AUGUST)

The last survivors of a lost empire live behind the Mirage, in Las Vegas, out back by the pool. On a good day, Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden will draw more than 1,000 visitors, the $25 adult admission fee justified mostly by the palm shade and tranquility it offers relative to the mania outside its walls. There are also long summer stretches when it’s 100 degrees and things get a little grim. During a recent visit, only a few families strolled through, surveying the five sleeping animals on display: three tigers, a lion, and a leopard. The Secret Garden ostensibly operates as an educational facility. “Look, a lion,” one young father said to his son, while pointing at a tiger.

Yet residual magic remains. The best time to visit is late afternoon, just before closing, when the heat has started to subside and the sleeping cats stir. If you’re lucky—in this city built on the premise that you, against all odds, will be lucky—a tiger will roar when you’re standing nearby. A tiger’s roar is more than audible. You feel it in your chest, in your teeth, in the prickles of your skin. And if you turn to look at its source, you might catch a tiger’s gaze, its haunting eyes staring into yours, tracking your every move, knowing what you’re about to do before you do it.

At the peak of their particular and possibly extinct brand of celebrity, Siegfried & Roy were arguably the most famous magicians since Houdini. They were without question the most famous German magicians performing with a large collection of apex predators. Depending on when you enter and exit their story, it’s either triumphant or tragic, surprising or inevitable. It can serve as a testament to the power of lies, including the ones we tell ourselves, or a cautionary tale about fiction’s limits, especially when fact takes the form of a fed-up tiger. Now it’s about to reach its sad, instructive conclusion, the way so many modern fables end: with a corporate takeover.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Mondrian Piet


A Piet Mondrian Painting Has Been Hanging Upside Down for More Than 75 Years

The work, first exhibited at New York’s MoMA, might have been accidentally mislabeled or turned over in a crate.

By Alexandra Tremayne-Pengelly

Two men look at the Mondrian painting, made up of red, yellow and blue lines of tape
The artwork in question, wrong side up. HENNING KAISER/DDP/AFP via Getty Images

An abstract art piece from Dutch painter Piet Mondrian has mistakenly been hanging upside down for the past 77 years.

Mondrian’s 1941 New York City 1, consisting of multi-colored taped lines, has been held at Germany’s Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen’s art collection since 1980. It was first exhibited at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1945.

However, a press conference for the Kunstsammlung’s new Mondrian exhibition included the surprising revelation that New York City 1 was displayed incorrectly by both institutions, as reported by German publication Monopol.

A photograph taken of Mondrian’s studio shortly after his death in 1944 pictured the artwork oriented opposite of how it has ben exhibited, said curator Susanne Meyer-Buser, who researched the museums’s upcoming Mondrian show. The placement of tape on the unsigned painting also indicates the piece was hung incorrectly.

[ click to continue reading at OBSERVER ]

Cuprate Crystals

from WIRED

The High-Temperature Superconductivity Mystery Is Finally Solved

An atomic-scale experiment all but settles the origin of the strong form of superconductivity seen in cuprate crystals, confirming a 35-year-old theory.


Atombyatom scans of a naturally wavy BSCCO crystal point to the origin of superconductivity in cuprates with bright pink...
Atom-by-atom scans of a naturally wavy BSCCO crystal point to the origin of superconductivity in cuprates. In zones where electrons require more energy to hop between neighboring atoms (bright pink bands spaced 2.6 nanometers apart, left), the electrons form fewer superconducting Cooper pairs (dark bands, right). PHOTOGRAPH: WANGPING REN AND SHANE O’MAHONY

FOR DECADES, A family of crystals has stumped physicists with its baffling ability to superconduct—that is, carry an electric current without any resistance—at far warmer temperatures than other materials.

Now, an experiment years in the making has directly visualized superconductivity on the atomic scale in one of these crystals, finally revealing the cause of the phenomenon to nearly everyone’s satisfaction. Electrons appear to nudge each other into a frictionless flow in a manner first suggested by a venerable theory nearly as old as the mystery itself.

“This evidence is really beautiful and direct,” said Subir Sachdev, a physicist at Harvard University who builds theories of the crystals, known as cuprates, and was not involved in the experiment.

“I’ve worked on this problem for 25 years, and I hope I have solved it,” said J. C. Séamus Davis, who led the new experiment at the University of Oxford. “I’m absolutely thrilled.”

The new measurement matches a prediction based on the theory, which attributes cuprate superconductivity to a quantum phenomenon called superexchange. “I’m amazed by the quantitative agreement,” said André-Marie Tremblay, a physicist at the University of Sherbrooke in Canada and the leader of the group that made the prediction last year.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]


from PASTE

Culver’s Curderburger Offers An Absurdist Glance Into An Untapped Meat Substitute: Cheese

By Charlie Wacholz

Culver's Curderburger Offers An Absurdist Glance Into An Untapped Meat Substitute: Cheese

Culver’s (in)famous Butterburger might be the best fast food burger out there. After all, its roots lie smack-dab in the middle of Wisconsin’s Burger Belt, a strip of burger goodness that runs between its two biggest cities, Milwaukee and Madison. The stretch of I-94 that runs between Wisconsin’s political and cultural capitals has given birth to some truly spectacular burgers. Local hits like Kopp’s, the Village Bar and Bubba’s all sit just off the well-worn interstate, but Culver’s is undoubtedly the Belt’s crowning achievement.

Bringing a buttery ‘Sconnie postcard to every town it graces, a trip to Culver’s is like a trip to the Burger Belt. Solid burgers aside, its menu offers a few tasty treats that can be tricky to come by outside of the Dairy State, including cheese curds and frozen custard. None of this is necessarily anything new. After all, Culver’s has been around for a while now, and curds and custards have been beloved treats in my neck of the woods for decades.

[ click to continue reading at PASTE ]

Map Of The Stars

from artnet

The World’s Oldest Map of the Stars, Lost for Thousands of Years, Has Been Found in the Pages of a Medieval Parchment

The ancient Greek astronomer Hipparchus catalogued the coordinates of the stars. Now, his efforts have finally been uncovered.

by Sarah Cascone

This cross-fade montage shows a detail of the palimpsest under ordinary lighting; under multispectral analysis; and with a reconstruction of the hidden text from long-lost star catalogue of the ancient Greek astronomer Hipparchus. Photo by Early Manuscripts Electronic Library/Lazarus Project, University of Rochester; multispectral processing by Keith T. Knox; tracings by Emanuel Zingg, courtesy of the Museum of the Bible Collection, ©Museum of the Bible, 2021.
This cross-fade montage shows a detail of the palimpsest under ordinary lighting; under multispectral analysis; and with a reconstruction of the hidden text from long-lost star catalogue of the ancient Greek astronomer Hipparchus. Photo by Early Manuscripts Electronic Library/Lazarus Project, University of Rochester; multispectral processing by Keith T. Knox; tracings by Emanuel Zingg; courtesy of the Museum of the Bible Collection, ©Museum of the Bible, 2021.

Scholars have discovered part of the ancient Greek astronomer Hipparchus’s long-lost star catalogue of the—believed to be the first map of the stars—in a manuscript from a Greek Orthodox monastery in Egypt.

The historic document, which comprises 146 folios, comes from St. Catherine’s in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, and the majority is now in the collection of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.

A new study published this week in the Journal for the History of Astronomy reveals that it is palimpsest manuscript, in which the original ink had been scraped off to reuse the parchment for a new project—and that traces of the original writings can still be deciphered, revealing what appears to be a reference to Hipparchus’s ambitious project to map the stars, including star coordinates.

Astronomy historian James Evans told the journal Nature that it was a “rare” and “remarkable” find.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Fungi’n In Jamaica

from Reuters

Psychedelic mushrooms expand Jamaica tourism beyond sunshine and reggae

By Kate Chappell and Brian Ellsworth

Psilocybin or "magic mushrooms" are seen in an undated photo provided by the DEA
Psilocybin or “magic mushrooms” are seen in an undated photo provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in Washington, U.S. May 7, 2019. DEA/Handout via REUTERS

TREASURE BEACH, Jamaica, Nov 24 (Reuters) – A new group of Jamaican resorts is promoting tourism that offers mystical experiences and stress relief through “magic mushrooms,” as the Caribbean nation seeks to develop a niche industry in natural psychedelics.

While mushrooms containing the psychoactive compound psilocybin remain illegal in most parts of Europe and the United States, Jamaica’s government has never outlawed the hallucinogenic fungus and is now cultivating investors in efforts to build up its psychedelics industry, which according to one estimate could be worth $8 billion globally by 2028.

[ click to continue reading at Reuters ]

Addams Family Pinball

from WIRED

The Wild History of the Beloved Addams Family Pinball Machine

It was the most popular game ever when Bally released it in 1991, and collectors clamor for the machines even now.


Eric Jones 7 from Denver joins dad Gary at the Addams Family machine at The Rocky Mtn. Pinball Showdown and Gameroom Exp...
Eric Jones, 7, from Denver joins dad Gary at the “Addams Family” machine during The Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown and Gameroom Expo in Denver on April 30th, 2011. PHOTOGRAPH: KATHRYN SCOTT OSLER/THE DENVER POST/GETTY IMAGES

FOR MORE THAN 80 years, the Addams Family has enjoyed a delightfully macabre existence. First introduced via a single-panel cartoon in The New Yorker in 1938, Chas Addams’ creepy clan has spawned multiple entertainment properties, including a surprisingly short-lived 1960s TV series, two beloved live-action movies from the ’90s, two recent animated kids films, an upcoming Netflix series based on the life of young Wednesday Addams, myriad books and collectibles, and even a Broadway musical starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth as Gomez and Morticia Addams.

To game lovers, though, the best of all that ephemera is The Addams Family pinball machine. Released in March 1992 by Bally Games and inspired by the 1991 live-action movie of the same name, The Addams Family is, to this day, the most popular and widely sold pinball machine of all time, moving more than 20,000 units. That’s a marvel not just because other “hit” games at the time were selling between 8,000 and 14,000 units, but because back then most pinball games were being sold to coin-op distributors or arcades rather than private collectors.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]


from Study Finds

Is our universe one big virtual reality? How to test if we’re really living in a computer simulation

By Melvin M. VopsonUniversity of Portsmouth

James Webb Space Telescope image
This image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago. It is the first of a series of photos snapped by NASA’s James Webb Telescope. (Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI)

Physicists have long struggled to explain why the universe started out with conditions suitable for life to evolve. Why do the physical laws and constants take the very specific values that allow stars, planets and ultimately life to develop? The expansive force of the universe, dark energy, for example, is much weaker than theory suggests it should be – allowing matter to clump together rather than being ripped apart.

A common answer is that we live in an infinite multiverse of universes, so we shouldn’t be surprised that at least one universe has turned out as ours. But another is that our universe is a computer simulation, with someone (perhaps an advanced alien species) fine-tuning the conditions.

The latter option is supported by a branch of science called information physics, which suggests that space-time and matter are not fundamental phenomena. Instead, the physical reality is fundamentally made up of bits of information, from which our experience of space-time emerges. By comparison, temperature “emerges” from the collective movement of atoms. No single atom fundamentally has temperature.

[ click to continue reading at Study Finds ]

Good, Doggie.

from CNN

What petting a dog can do for your brain

By Sandee LaMotte, CNN

On one side of the room sits the cutest life-size stuffed animal you’ve ever seen. On the other side rests a real dog — same size, shape and even the same name as the stuffed version.

You get to sit next to both of these fluffy friends and pet their fur. Guess which one will make your brain light up?

If you guessed the real dog, you’re right. Stuffed animals, as cute and cuddly as they may be, just don’t supercharge our frontal cortex, the part of the brain overseeing how we think and feel, according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.

“We chose to investigate the frontal cortex because this brain area is involved in several executive functions, such as attention, working memory, and problem-solving. But it is also involved in social and emotional processes,” said study lead author Rahel Marti, a doctoral student in the division of clinical psychology and animal-assisted interventions at the University of Basel in Switzerland, in an email.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Fenn’s Auction

from artnet

Forrest Fenn’s Famed Treasure Chest, a $2 Million Hoard Discovered After a 12-Year Hunt, Is Heading to Auction

The trove includes gold pieces, coins, jewelry, and other artifacts.

by Vittoria Benzine

A set of items from Forrest Fenn's treasure. Photo by Lynda M. González/Heritage Auctions.
A set of items from Forrest Fenn’s treasure. Photo by Lynda M. González/Heritage Auctions.

Ever wondered what was really in that 42-pound treasure chest that late antiquities dealer Forrest Fenn once buried in Wyoming’s Rocky Mountains? Wonder no more: 12 years after he sent the public on a treasure hunt, and two since it concluded, the once-hidden hoard is going on sale with Heritage Auctions.

Bids opened on Friday on 476 individual lots featuring gold pieces, coins, jewelry, and other artifacts—once collectively valued at $2 million. The auction ends December 12.

Born in 1930 in Temple, Texas, Fenn started collecting arrowheads at age nine and flew in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Though possessing no previous experience, he transitioned into antiquity dealing from his Santa Fe base from 1972, counting Gerald R. Ford, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Cher as clients.

In 2010, Fenn buried a treasure-filled bronze chest at an undisclosed location in Wyoming and launched a nationwide hunt for the case by leaving clues about its burial spot in his memoir. According to Heritage Auctions, Fenn “saw the treasure hunt as a fitting farewell to a life well lived” as much as an incentive for the public to get out and adventure into nature.

An estimated 350,000 people sought the treasure. Some even perished. It was found in 2020, and the successful hunter, a medical student named Jack Stuef, reluctantly identified himself that December.

“I thought that whoever found the chest would be absolutely hated,” Stuef said. “I put an end to something that meant so much to so many people.”

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Toad Lickers Not Welcome

from IndiaTimes

US: National Park Service Warns People To Stop Licking Toad That Causes Hallucinations

Story by Basit Aijaz


The US National Park Service is warning people to stop licking toads in the wild, due to their gland-secreted psychedelic substance that can create a hallucinogenic experience.  

In a Facebook post, the National Park Service (NPS) urged people to refrain from licking the Sonoran desert toad, also known as the Colorado river toad.

The agency said the creature is far from harmless, as it contains a potent toxin that can make people sick if they touch it or get the poison in their mouth. 

“These toads have prominent parotoid glands that secrete a potent toxin. It can make you sick if you handle the frog or get the poison in your mouth,” the National Park Service advised. 

[ click to to continue reading at IndiaTimes ]

Minks On The Run

from WBNS 10TV

Some 10,000 mink loose, missing after vandalism at northwest Ohio farm

The Van Wert Sheriff’s Office said the suspects destroyed fencing and approximately 25,000-40,000 mink were released.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Vandalism freed thousands of mink at a rural northwest Ohio farm, leaving an estimated 10,000 of the small carnivorous mammals unaccounted for Tuesday evening, the local sheriff said.

So many minks were killed crossing a nearby road that a plow was brought in to help clear the carcasses away, said Van Wert County Sheriff Thomas Riggenbach.

The property owner initially estimated 25,000 to 40,000 mink were released from their cages at Lion Farms, Riggenbach said. But he said employees at the farm were able to corral many of the ones that remained on the property, which is less than 15 miles from the Indiana state line.

[ click to continue reading at WBNS ]

Tonga’s strange volcanic eruption was even more massive than we knew

from National Geographic

Tonga’s strange volcanic eruption was even more massive than we knew


Photo from space of the eruption over the ocean.
This photograph, taken by an astronaut on board the International Space Station, shows clouds of ash lingering in the atmosphere a day after the intense explosion of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai PHOTOGRAPH BY NASA

Crimson hues flushed across the early morning skies over the Kingdom of Tonga as Grace Frontin-Rollet spotted a pair of small rocky islands from the bow of the RV Tangaroa. Though the scene was picturesque, a tinge of sulfur in the air reminded the marine geologist what she and a team of scientists had traveled for six days over rough waters to see. In the expansive gap between the two bits of land, hidden on the ocean floor, lay the crater of a massive volcano that erupted just months before in one of the largest and strangest blasts ever seen.

“I don’t think the scale of what had happened hit us until we reached the site,” says Frontin-Rollet, who is from New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

In December 2021, the volcano—called Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai after the two islands that sit on its rim—awoke in a series of tantrums that turned into outright turmoil on January 15, 2022. The peak unleashed a blast so loud it was heard in Alaska, some 6,000 miles away. But much of what happened that day has remained a mystery, until now. Scientists, including the team aboard the RV Tangaroa, are finally putting together the pieces, and the picture that has emerged is mind-boggling.

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

F Carmack

from The Drive

A Look at Video Game Legend John Carmack’s Sacrilegious Turbo Ferraris

The legendary programmer behind Doom and Quake also had a habit of building turbocharged Ferraris in the 1990s, and the results were incredible.


Carmack in his twin-turbo Ferrari F50 at the Texas Motorplex drag strip in 1998., YouTube | Eric H.

When most people pick up the controller to play their favorite first-person shooter, they’re not thinking of the history surrounding how the gaming industry got to where it is today. Maybe they should, though, because today’s favorites wouldn’t exist without milestones like Doom and Quake in the early- to mid-’90s. What’s more, some of the wildest Ferraris ever wouldn’t exist either if it weren’t for those games’ lead programmer: John Carmack.

Those old enough to remember picking up a copy of Wolfenstein 3D for the first time probably remember the name Id Software (stylized as “id Software”). The indie game studio built the framework for the first FPS games, creating hit after hit, and at the reins was Carmack, making him arguably the father of the entire genre. And during the height of the company’s success, there were two things he seemed to like more than anything else: cars and code.

[ click to continue reading at The Drive ]

Art For Synapses

from artnet

In an Astounding New Book, a Neuroscientist Reveals the Profound Real-World Benefits Art Has on Our Brains

Neuroscientist Pierre Lemarquis explains how we need “medicine that’s a little artistic.”

by Devorah Lauter

Pierre Lemarquis, author of the French book Art That Heals. Photo: Sylvain Thiollier
Pierre Lemarquis, author of the French book Art That Heals. Photo: Sylvain Thiollier

What can art do to help us? In the midst of a global health crisis, this question becomes even more urgent. While museums remain shuttered in many nations, there is science-backed evidence that seeing or making art can play a crucial role in healing our bodies and minds.

French neuroscientist, musician, and author Pierre Lemarquis has recently published a book on this fascinating subject. L’art Qui Guérit (translated: Art That Heals) takes the readers on an art tour through the centuries, spanning the Paleolithic period until the end of the 20th century, interpreting works through the lens of their healing powers—both for the viewer and the maker. The author weaves together art history, philosophy, and psychology while citing astounding current findings from his field of neuroscience about the healing power of art.

Research on the subject has been accumulating for some years. A 2019 World Health Organization report, based on evidence from over 3000 studies, “identified a major role for the arts” prevention of illnesses. And in 2018, doctors in Montreal, Canada, made headlines when they started prescribing patients who suffer from certain diseases with museum visits to visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

“A current is making its way in this direction,” says Lemarquis on a video call with Artnet News. He divides his time between actively “bringing back” the arts to the medical profession, working as a clinical neurologist, and teaching brain function at the University of Toulon in southern France.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]


from The Daily Star

‘Metaverse’ children to replace real kids by 2050 and ‘help with overpopulation’

An AI expert has predicted that ‘virtual children’ will become the norm in the next 50 years – you’ll be able to raise them in the metaverse without having to change a single nappie

By Ciaran Daly

Opening of £22.4 million national robotarium. The centre - a partnership between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh - is said to be the largest and most advanced robotics and artificial intelligence facility in the UK, and will use robotics and AI applied research and business collaboration to solve global challenges.
iCub which may have use in Healthcare and social care
One AI writer thinks metaverse kids could be the way to go in future (Image: Daily Record)

Virtual kids born in the metaverse could become more common in the next 50 years, according to an AI expert.

Author Catriona Campbell believes parents will want to care for digital children in virtual reality, using a headset to feel like they’re really there with a CGI kid.

These virtual kids would be just like the real thing but could be switched off at the touch of a button, and Campbell argues they’ll help the world deal with ‘overpopulation’.

In a book released this year, Campbell says a ‘Tamagotchi generation’ will be born and be available to parents for a ‘small monthly fee’.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Star ]

That’s No Asteroid, It’s A Spaceship

from The Daily Beast

Is Earth Being Pummeled by Derelict Alien Spacecraft?

THE GREAT BOMBARDMENT – One scientist thinks the exotic chemistry found in meteorites are actually the remnants of ancient alien technology.

by David Axe

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty

Between 1957 and 1968, scientists decided to try their hand at creating new minerals that could act as very effective conductors of electricity. They “invented” a pair: heideite and brezinaite.

After a few years, the same minerals unexpectedly started showing up in fragments of meteorites that had landed on Earth. As it turns out, these weren’t materials that had to be invented—though how they were able to form outside the lab remained a mystery to scientists.

Now, six decades later, a Venezuelan researcher is trying to connect the dots between the minerals those scientists made in labs and the same minerals that came crashing to Earth from space.

Maybe, just maybe, those superconducting minerals that came from space are also artificial, B.P. Embaid, a physicist at Central University of Venezuela, hypothesized in a study—not yet peer-reviewed—that appeared online on Sept. 13.

[ click to continue reading at TDB ]

Bad Kids

from The U.S. Sun

Voice assistants Siri and Alexa are making kids rude and antisocial, scientists fear

by Sam Blanchard

    Siri and Alexa are making kids rude and antisocial, scientists fearCredit: ALAMY

    Youngsters are not taught to say please and thank you, nor how to read body language.

    Cambridge University’s Dr Anmol Arora warned: “Interacting with the devices at a crucial stage in social and emotional development might have long-term consequences on empathy, compassion and critical thinking.”

    Writing in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, he added: “With digital devices there is no expectation that polite terms, such as please or thank you should be used.

    “There is no need to consider the tone of voice and whether the command being issued may be interpreted as rude or obnoxious.”

    [ click to continue reading at The U.S. Sun ]