Last 24 Hours

“Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.” -Stephen Hawking Throw a book into a black hole, and the information must somehow wind up inside. Same goes for a star, a planet, or even a single proton: that information must be maintained. But allow enough time to pass, and quantum theory…

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…

The Orderly Transition of Twitter

I’m not sure this has happened before, and most people are unaware, so I thought a quick note was in order. If you were previously following the President of the United States on Twitter, when it was Barack Obama, you followed @POTUS. Twitter has created an account called @POTUS44, which is for President Obama. You…

Fake news has become an enormous problem. Here, Orac takes a look at a rather fascinating tidbit of fake news aimed at the antivaccine movement. Did the FBI really raid the CDC with the “CDC whistleblower” showing them what to find? Of course not. But a story like this is nearly irresistible to true believers that vaccines cause autism.

The cause of stomach rumbling

The stomach and small intestine of many species moves rhythmically during fasting, something called the rhythmic ‘migrating motor complex’, or MMC. The MMC has 3 phases: no contraction, intermittent small contractions followed by regular large contractions. These contractions are thought to help clean the GI tract by moving along debris and bacteria as well as preparing our guts for the…

April 2016, white house correspondents dinner:

“Men of genius are often dull and inert in society; as the blazing meteor, when it descends to earth, is only a stone.” -Henry W. Longfellow When you look at the meteors striking Earth today, as well as over the past 466 million years, you find something surprising: they don’t line up with the population…

Everything old is new again in China. Just as Chairman Mao promoted the “integration” of traditional Chinese medicine with “Western” medicine 65 years ago, the Chinese government today is doing the same thing for the same reasons.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” -Neil Gaiman Here we are, at the…

A missing piece of the puzzle

I’ve been puzzling over the rationale for some recent events… Exxon has a large contract to develop oil and natural gas resources in the Russia. This can only go forward if sanctions on Russia are lifted, which seems likely to happen in the near future. But, there is too much oil and capacity to surge…

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…

While I’m working on a major update to my Documenting the Donald Trump War on Science: Pre-Inauguration Edition and preparing for the first of the post-inauguration posts, I thought I’d whet everyone’s appetite with a post celebrating all the various efforts to save environmental, climate and various kinds of scientific and other data from potential…

I was going to write something much harsher than this; but then I chanced upon “ignorant armies” and hence was reminded of Dover Beach and it was so gloriously beautiful again that I can’t bring myself to be unkind, at least for a while. So instead I’ll just quietly point out that the vast slew…

“It was a strange lightness, a drifting feeling. Zero gravity. I understood that everything that once seemed solid and immovable might just float away.” -Lisa Unger If you want to experience zero gravity, all you need to do is go to space, turn your rocket off and feel that weightless sensation, right? Except, from up…

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…