Humanities

It is a good idea to occassionally experience history. This helps us understand ourselves, and our possible futures, better. Much of this is done through reading excellent texts. For example, I’m currently reading Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin’s objective is to contextualize Lincoln by looking at…

Can I afford the water that comes out of my tap? It’s not a question that Americans typically ask themselves. However, a new study finds that in the next few years, many more of us might be asking that very question as we open our utility bills and realize that we’re merely accustomed to affordable water — we don’t have a guaranteed right to it.

Fornvännen’s Summer Issue On-Line

Fornvännen 2016:2 is now on-line on Open Access. Ola George reports on a Migration Period chamber grave excavated at Björkå in Överlännäs parish, Ångermanland. Peter Persson surveys chamber graves in all of Västernorrland county. Ny Björn Gustafsson on radiocarbon-dated beeswax and metalworking on Viking Period Gotland. Gunnar Andersson et al. on a recent addition to…

Glöggt er gests augað

The Aspen Art Museum is doing a series of interdisciplinary lectures, titled “Another Look” Another Look Lecture: Gabriel Orozco & Cosmology – so this is a thing. I did one of the lectures. The first one, I gather. It was quite an interesting experience, for me at least. Good fun, riffing on the perspective from…

January Pieces Of My Mind #2

I just wrote a long drinking song in Swedish for the Stockholm Tolkien Society’s 5 x 9th anniversary. The first line translates to “Thranduil in Mirkwood imports beverages”. Like most archaeologists I use Academia.edu to share my work, but I have a somnolent placeholder account on ResearchGate as well. They keep pestering me to engage…

Occupational Health News Roundup

The New York Times interviews current, former workers at restaurants run by Trump’s labor secretary nominee; Kentucky lawmakers move to weaken unions; Maryland county votes to raise the minimum wage to $15; and Houston’s new police chief calls for better mental health services for police officers.

Ammonia tolerance of goldfish

Liver failure or congenital defects can lead to a build-up of ammonia in the brain of mammals resulting in life-threatening swelling, convulsions and comas. For goldfish (Carassius auratus), environmental exposure to ammonia causes reversible swelling of the brain. In a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, researchers wanted…

The newish hit movie La La Land is creating quite the tempest in a teapot in the jazz world these days, and even a few ripples of jazz-related commentary out side of it. The prospects for an awards bonanza are quite strong, starting with the recent Golden Globes and perhaps continuing to the Oscars. Which…

Science Communication FTW

Despite a greater percentage of people knowing about (and agreeing with) scientific issues, denialism remains a powerful political and psychological force that threatens to have its heyday under President Trump. As Peter Gleick writes on Significant Figures, “good policy without good science is difficult; good policy with bad science is impossible.” Peter asks: what is…

Spoiler Alert: Rogue One

Serving as an immediate prelude to the very first Star Wars film (A New Hope), Rogue One restores a measure of gravitas to the Star Wars canon that was seriously undermined by the goofiness of 2015’s The Force Awakens. Rogue One is still a remarkable nostalgia trip, thanks to the digital recreation of familiar Rebel…