Humanities

Guest Digging At Birka

When I tell people I’m an archaeologist, they often ask ”So have you dug at Birka?”. As of yesterday I can finally proudly reply ”yeah, a bit”. ”Birka” is a Latinate attempt to write Biærkey, ”Birch Island”. It’s an island in Lake Mälaren, two hours by slow boat from Stockholm. For a bit more than…

Kids Keep You Young

A week or so ago, this statistical analysis of listening trends in pop music got a bunch of play on Twitter and Facebook, but I was too busy to do anything with it. The headline result, reported with all the accuracy you should expect of such things is people stop listening to popular music at…

The Department of Labor proposes a new rule to help miners with black lung disease; federal lawmakers introduce new hike to the minimum wage; worker safety outreach in Houston highlights the impact of new reporting rules; and a new museum is opening in honor of coal miners.

“When I was a kid, my world was five streets long. I never got away, except in books. I lived a thousand lives through books.” –George R.R. Martin If you aren’t enthralled by Game of Thrones (or for you bibliophiles, A Song of Fire and Ice), have I ever got an introduction for you. First,…

So, Kate and I hired a babysitter last night, and went to see the new Avengers movie. You might not have heard of it, it’s kind of obscure… (There will be some mild SPOILERS below; if you’re intensely opposed to that sort of thing, don’t read the rest of this…) So, I didn’t realize it…

Giant Ants and Illegal Acts

A month or so back, when I went to Vanderbilt to give a talk, I met Robert Scherrer, the department chair down there, who mentioned he was starting a blog soon. That blog is Cosmic Yarns, and has now been live for a while, but I’ve been too busy to do a proper link. He’s…

Students Experience the Field Trip of a Lifetime at the X-STEM Symposium!

This past Tuesday, over 3,500 students, in grades 6-12, traveled to the Washington D.C. Convention Center to engage in presentations and hands-on workshops from some of the most creative and inspiring minds in STEM at the 2nd X-STEM Symposium. Sponsored by MedImmune, the X-STEM Symposium featured over 30 speaker presentations from advanced luminaries in STEM…

The association between financial hardship and medical care isn’t new. Even in wealthy countries such as the U.S., medical bills contribute to a large percentage of personal bankruptcies. Now, a new global study finds that dental care can also contribute to families falling into poverty and being left with fewer financial resources for basic necessities.

Today, Maine’s legislature held a hearing on the Toxic Chemicals in the Workplace Act, a proposal to require employers to identify harmful chemicals in the workplace and replace them with safer alternatives. It’s the perfect example of state action on behalf of worker safety and exactly the kind of measure that might no longer be possible under two congressional proposals aimed at overhauling the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.

Over the last month or so, it’s been kind of hard to avoid this book, even before it hit stores. Big excerpts in the New York Times and The Guardian generated a good deal of buzz, and arguments on social media. Unsurprisingly, as one of the main elements of the book is a look at…