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The Senoi people from the highlands of Malaysia were said to have power over their dreams
https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/09/04/the-senoi-people-from-the-highlands-of-malaysia-were-said-to-have-power-over-their-dreams/

The Senoi are a tribe that lives deep in the highlands of Malaysia and can be reached only by a helicopter or a boat. Along with the Negrito and Orang Malayu Asli, the Senoi are one of the three main Orang Asli groups, which are the oldest people of the region, the indigenous of Malaysia. Almost any written source about the tribe discusses the Senoi with dreams, so quite often they are mentioned as “the dream people.”

Every morning, a Senoi family would gather for breakfast and the children would start telling their dreams to the elders, and together they would analyze them. They didn’t have an established system of symbols according to which they would interpret the dream, but rather, they would analyze the plot and the story of the dream.

Their “dreaming rules” were very simple. First of all, children were taught to confront and conquer danger because in the dream it would most likely have a positive outcome. For example, if they dreamed of a dangerous animal, they were taught not to fear it but to confront it to see what would happen. If they needed help, the children should look for their dream friends rather than wake up.

If a child dreamed of falling down, the elders encouraged him to fall rather than escape from the dream. They taught the children to fall, knowing they wouldn’t be hurt, and to climb, to travel, or fly to unknown places, to unknown cultures, to learn new things. If they woke up instead, they would be advised not to escape from such dreams the next time they occurred.

During their teen years, the Senoi already had the practice of confronting any discomfort in their dreams, so dreaming for them was a process of learning. They were told they should always bring something back from their dreams to share with the group that listens to their dreams. If they fly, they should fly as far as possible and bring a song, a poem, or music from that place.

They were taught and encouraged to advance toward pleasure and so if they dreamed of making love with some dream lover, then they should go through an orgasm and ask for a “souvenir” from their lover, such as a sentence or a poem. Later, the whole experience would be discussed and analyzed in the group. Aside from individually, the Senoi grew collectively through their dreams and dreaming practice.

Also, if a dreamer dreamed that he had been mistreated by a friend in his dream, that friend should be notified so that they could repair their behavior next time. The whole group was concerned with individual dreams and they tried to improve their experiences and lives based on their dreaming. They exercised lucid dreaming as well as collective dreaming, and there is an account saying that they even built their houses in accordance to their dreams.

However, the claims about the controlled dreaming among the Senoi people were disputed after some academics who traveled to Malaysia to study them faced the disappointment of discovering that, although familiar with the concept of lucid dreaming, the Senoi didn’t remember any dreaming education within their group. Additionally, professors such as George William Domhoff claimed that the Senoi didn’t have such a culture of controlling their dreams.

Stewart wasn’t the only one who lived among the Senoi; there were many anthropologists after him. Whether they exaggerated the group’s concept of dreams and techniques of lucid dreaming or if the Senoi really were, in fact, as the Westerners described them, at least there is a story that keeps our faith in magic. Whether it is true or not, these dream practices do exist and they are said to have great health benefits for any individual or group who practice them.
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Interesting skull

http://www.harunyahya.com/image/Atlas_of_creation_v3/38_39_antelope_Skull.jpg

Now if anyone wanted to say that this was a demon's skull... not one of ours of course but still..... It has an oddly humanoid look for an antelope.
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parcial eclipse

The sun through the leaves is casting crescent shaped shadows. We've got only a partial eclipse here.
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Why the Eclipse travels from West to East
https://www.livescience.com/60127-total-solar-eclipse-moves-west-to-east.html?utm_source=notification

Why the Eclipse travels from West to East
The moon's shadow, projected on Earth during a total solar eclipse, as seen from space. While the moon normally rises in the east and sets in the west, a total solar eclipse moves from west to east.
Credit: NASA/DSCOVR-EPIC Team

There are a couple videos clips on the original link

Paul Sutter is an astrophysicist at The Ohio State University and the chief scientist at COSI Science Center. Sutter leads science-themed tours around the world at AstroTouring.com.

Every day, the same routine. The sun rises in the east. Breakfast. Off to work. Work. Home from work. Dinner. The sun sets in the west. Repeat. It's a pattern familiar to everyone on Earth. For countless generations, we've relied on the regular cycles of the heavens to help demarcate our days.

But a total solar eclipse, like the big one coming to the continental United States on Aug. 21, will break the routine. In addition to the moon completely covering the face of the sun — which, let's admit, is already pretty spectacular — the event will move in an unfamiliar and possibly disquieting direction: from west to east. [Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely)]


The normal, daily rising and setting of celestial objects isn't due to their own movement, but rather the rotation of Earth. As our planet spins on its axis, the heavens appear to rise up from the east, arch their way across the sky, and settle into the west.

It's hard to blame our ancestors for assuming that Earth — which seemed very large and strong — was incapable of movement, with the ethereal denizens of the heavens gliding along their nested crystal spheres, giving humans our familiar, clockwork celestial movements.

After centuries of serious work, people realized that Earth does indeed spin, and the motion of the sun, moon and stars is only apparent. But when it comes to solar eclipses we're faced with a new incongruity: why does the path of a solar eclipse start in the west and end in the east?


The answer is simple, but it's not something we're accustomed to thinking about: the moon itself orbits Earth from west to east. In other words, if you could rocket up high above the North Pole, the moon would trace out a counterclockwise circle. But Earth rotates about 30 times for a single lunar orbit, so it's not something we normally notice. During a solar eclipse, the path of the moon's shadow must follow the motion of the moon itself — to the east.

The solar eclipse is a wonderful opportunity to experience astronomy at its most basic: understanding the intricate dance of heavenly objects.

Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.
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Today at a Beginning of the School Year Meeting

I learned:
With plastic screw cap type bottles, when you take a drink from the bottle you replace the cap and then with your hand squeeze the bottle. The person, who was demonstrating this, did this. The bottle became rigid and hissed when he reopened the bottle. He said that it forced the carbonation back into the fluid so that it retained its bubbles longer.
My mind says that all it's doing is forcing some of the bubbles out of the fluid that would have come out anyway. Perhaps this pressure prevents move of the bubbles from coming out of the fluid or he just thinks the drink stays carbonated longer.

I have to ration my carbonated drink drinking. My tummy doesn't like it, my belly becomes painful with cramping. So this is one for the Science Fair topics.
science of fizz
science of fizz 2
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Deirochelys reticularia miaria

Title: Good vibrations: a novel method for sexing turtles or The Sexing of Turtles
Author: charisstoma
Word count: 822

“What do you think would happen if we..” Tom held up the toy. “Gets a rise outa me.”

“I think this was not a good time to have come into a store like this after the bar,” Sam replied.

“Good time to come,” Tom giggled, “in a store like this? What do you think they do in the booths over there?”

“Nothing I want to do while drunk.”

“Wasn’t offering. Still let’s get one of these and see if it works, you know.”

“Okay but if it does how do we write it up?”

“We’ll think of that if it comes.” Tom took off giggling again.Read more... )
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identity chip

Free Microchip Implants, the New Employee Perk?
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2017/07/24/microchip-implants-employees/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=News0_DSC_170727_000000_Final%20remainder&utm_content=&spMailingID=29950140&spUserID=MTE2MDc4NjI0MjEyS0&spJobID=1083401264&spReportId=MTA4MzQwMTI2NAS2#.WXp1i4jyvIU

A Wisconsin company will be the first in the United States to implant microchips beneath the skin of its employees.

Three Squared Market (32M), a break-room kiosk company, has offered to give its workers subdermal RFID tags, tiny rice-grain-sized pellets that can hold information like credit card numbers and passwords. With their “handy” chips, they’ll be able to unlock doors, log in to computers, and, of course, buy snacks from the company vending machines—all with a wave of their hand.

A Chip in the Hand…

The chips, which the company emphasizes are completely voluntary, get injected just beneath the skin between the thumb and forefinger. The procedure is quick and simple, requiring little more than a needle. Once securely in place, all employees need to do is hold a hand near a chip reader for it to work, much like a key fob or credit card chip scanner. They say they expect roughly 50 people to take part.

“We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals. Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc,” said 32M CEO Todd Westby in a statement.

The company will cover the roughly $300 in costs associated with the procedure, which is being done in conjunction with Biohax, a Swedish biohacking company. Biohax has performed similar operations for the employees of Epicenter, a start-up hub in Sweden, where employees have even begun throwing parties for newly initiated implantees, according to the Telegraph. On Aug. 1, 32M plans to hold its own party for chipped employees.

…Is Worth What Exactly?

The chips will not track employees’ movements or gather other personal information, as they rely on near field communication (NFC) technology, which requires a nearby transponder to generate the power necessary to exchange information. Still, this hasn’t stemmed worries about hackers’ ability to steal information from our chip-enabled credit cards, however. One company even sells wallets, purses and other accessories specifically designed to block the transmission of any information. Such fears may be overblown, however, at least for the moment. So few people have RFID tags, or even contact-less credit cards, that it’s not worth most hackers’ time to attempt to steal them. And even if they tried, they would have to get uncomfortably close to do so.

And though they make life easier inside 32M’s walls, the chips will have little use in the rest of the world. The technology to pay for things with a swipe of the chip-enabled hand isn’t in place in most establishments, as one Buzzfeed writer found out when he tried to go cashless and credit card-less for a month. He did finally succeed in buying a meal with his chip, but only after some custom coding and a whole lot of patience.
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Bunny Harvestman
http://petslady.com/article/creepy-cute-bunny-harvestman-could-give-arachnid-arachnophobia

Creepy Cute Bunny Harvestman
Posted by Creature Features on July 20, 2017

This bizarre looking “Bunny Harvestman” from the South American rainforest looks like a mad scientist grafted a rabbit's head onto an octet of spindly spider legs.

Metagryne bicolumnata, to give it its official scientific name, was beautifully photographed on July 11th of 2017 by Flickr member Andreas Kay (Ecuador Megadiverso).

Though members of the Arachnid class, harvestmen (also known as “daddy longlegs”) are not spiders though they do have eight legs. We're sure that factoid makes you feel better, assuming you haven't already run off screaming.
Bunny Harvestman 1
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That Time the TSA Found a Scientist’s 3-D-Printed Mouse Penis
And other tales from the intersection of science and airport security

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/05/that-time-the-tsa-found-a-scientists-3d-printed-mouse-penis/527673/


Other scientists who responded to a call for stories on Twitter have flown with bottles of monkey pee, chameleon and skate embryos, 5,000 year old human bones, remotely operated vehicles, and, well, a bunch of rocks. (“I’m a geologist. I study rocks.”) Astrophysicist Brian Schimdt was once stopped by airport officials on his way to North Dakota because he was carrying his Nobel Prize—a half-pound gold disk that showed up as completely black on the security scanners.
“Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?” they said. “The King of Sweden,” he replied. “Why did he give this to you?,” they probed. “Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating.”....


Several people have stories about more animate luggage. Jonathan Klassen from the University of Connecticut studies leafcutter ants, and the permits that allow him to collect wild colonies stipulate that he must hand-carry them onto planes. “Inevitably, some poor security officer gets a duffle bag full of 10,000 ants and gets really confused,” he says. Indeed, many animals have to be hand-carried onto planes because they don’t fare well in the cold of cargo holds, (and often can’t be shipped for similar reasons). That’s certainly the case for the amblypygids—docile relatives of spiders with utterly nightmarish appearances—that Alexander Vaughan once tried to carry onto a domestic flight. “My strategy was to pretend that everything I was doing was perfectly normal,” he tells me. ....

Others were more upfront about their unorthodox cargo. Ondine Cleaver from UT Southwestern Medical Center once tried carrying tupperware containers full of frogs from New York to Austin. At security, she realized that she couldn’t possibly subject the animals to harmful doses of X-rays, so she explained the contents of her bag to a TSA agent. “She totally freaked out, but had to peek in the container,” says Cleaver. “We opened it just a slit, and there were 12-14 eyes staring at her. She screamed. She did this 3 times. A few other agents came by to see, and none could deal with the container being opened more than a bit. But they had to make sure there was nothing nefarious inside, so we went through cycles of opening the container, screaming, closing it laughing, and again.” They eventually let her through. ....

Many scientists have had tougher experiences because their equipment looks suspicious. The bio-logging collars that Luca Borger uses to track cattle in the Alps look a lot like explosive belts. And the Petterson D500x bat detector, which Daniella Rabaiotti uses to record bat calls, is a “big, black box with blinking lights on the front.” She had one in her backpack on a flight going into Houston. “The security people said, ‘Take your laptop out,” and I did that. But they don’t really say, ‘Take your bat detector out,’ and I forgot about it.”

When the scanner went off, she had to explain her research to a suspicious and stand-offish TSA official, who wasn’t clear how anyone could manage to record bat calls, let alone why anyone would want to do that. So Rabaiotti showed him some sonograms, pulled out her laptop, and played him some calls—all while other passengers were going about their more mundane checks. “By the end of it, he said: Oh, I never knew bats were so interesting,” she says.

Many of the stories I heard had similar endings. The TSA once stopped Michael Polito, an Antarctic researcher from Louisiana State University, because his bag contained 50 vials of white powder. When he explained that the powder was freeze-dried Antarctic fur seal milk, he got a mixed reaction. “Some officers just wanted to just wave me on,” he says. “Others wanted me to stay and answer their questions, like: How do you milk a fur seal? I was almost late for my flight.” ....
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https://www.livescience.com/59056-orcas-may-be-killing-great-white-sharks.html?utm_source=notification#ooid=BvbnE1YjE6qYz11QtNqip7vvvWuTK9tR

Now, a fourth dead, liverless shark has washed ashore, according to a post today (June 26) on the Marine Dynamics blog, a site hosted by a shark cage diving company. The newly discovered 13-foot-long (4 meters) male shark was missing its liver, testes and stomach, according to the blog post. [See Photos of the Shark Necropsies]




I can see them eating the liver and the stomach, liver is rich in nutrients and seeing as sharks and orca eat pretty much the same things the stomach makes sense, but the testes? What's with that?

orca kills shark

Hellbenders

Jun. 1st, 2017 07:36 pm
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What the Heck Is a Hellbender—And How Can We Make More of Them?
Why the Saint Louis Zoo decided to invest in this slimy, surprisingly adorable amphibian

Hellbenders

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/giving-them-hellbenders-at-saint-louis-zoo-180963417/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170601-daily-responsive&spMailingID=29232096&spUserID=NDQ0NTE0NTI4NDQ2S0&spJobID=1060159914&spReportId=MTA2MDE1OTkxNAS2

Jeff Briggler is leaning face-down in a freezing Missouri stream. Breathing through a snorkel and soaked up to his wetsuit-clad armpits, the Missouri resource scientist peers under rocks and probes into dark, underwater crevices. This is how you look for the rare, elusive survivors of the Carboniferous period, commonly known as hellbenders.

When he emerges, Briggler is holding a wriggling, pebbled and frankly adorable creature the size of a man's forearm. This slimy serpent is actually an endangered Ozark hellbender—though that modifier may be changing. The animal that Briggler drops into a blue mesh bag was born in captivity and has thrived in the wild against all odds, thanks to a series of conservation experiments by the Saint Louis Zoo.
.......

A Sandfall

Apr. 25th, 2017 08:16 pm
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Click on the link below

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Captured: First 'Image' of the Dark Matter That Holds Universe Together
By Nancy Atkinson, Seeker April 18, 2017 07:27am ET

http://www.livescience.com/58720-first-image-of-dark-matter-filaments.html?utm_source=notification
dark matter
Dark matter filaments bridge the space between galaxies in this false color map. The locations of bright galaxies are shown by the white regions and the presence of a dark matter filament bridging the galaxies is shown in red.
Credit: S. Epps/M. Hudson/University of Waterloo

For decades, scientists have tracked hints of a thread-like structure that ties together galaxies across the universe. Theories, computer models, and indirect observations have indicated that there is a cosmic web of dark matter that connects galaxies and constitutes the large-scale structure of the cosmos. But while the filaments that make up this web are massive, dark matter is incredibly difficult to observe.

Now, researchers have produced what they say is the first composite image of a dark matter filament that connects galaxies together.

"This image moves us beyond predictions to something we can see and measure," said Mike Hudson, a professor of astronomy at the University of Waterloo in Canada, co-author of a new study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Dark matter, an elusive substance that is estimated to make up around 27 percent of the universe, doesn't give off, reflect, or absorb light. This has made it virtually impossible to detect, except for its effects when it exerts a gravitational tug or when it warps the light of distant galaxies in what is called gravitational lensing.

For their work, Hudson and co-author Seth Epps, who was a master's student at the University of Waterloo at the time of the research, employed a technique called weak gravitational lensing — a statistical measurement of the slight bends that occur in the path of light passing near mass. The effect produces illustrations of galaxies that appear slightly warped owing to the presence of celestial mass, such as dark matter.

In their paper, they explained that in order to study the weak lensing signal of the dark matter filaments, they required two sets of data: a catalog of galaxy cluster pairs that were lensed, and a catalog of background source galaxies with accurate distance measurements.

They combined lensing data from a multi-year sky survey at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope with information from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that mapped luminous red galaxies (LRGs), which are massive, distant, and very old galaxies.

"LRGs are very bright galaxies," Hudson told Seeker via email. "They tend to be more massive than the average galaxy and live in more massive dark matter 'halos.' It's reasonable to expect that the filament or bridge between them might also be more massive than the average."

RELATED: The Andromeda Galaxy Could Be Buzzing With Dark Matter

Hudson and Epps combined or "stacked" more than 23,000 galaxy pairs, all located about 4.5 billion light-years away. This allowed them to create a composite image or map that shows the presence of dark matter between galaxies. Hudson told Seeker that the filament in their "image" is the average of all 23,000 pairs.

"The primary reason that we used these galaxies is that they had precise distances (as measured by another team)," Hudson explained. "These distance measurements allowed us to distinguish between pairs of galaxies that were actual pairs in 3D (meaning both are at the same distance from us) as opposed to two galaxies that appeared close on the sky but were actually at very different distances."

3D pairs would be physically close to each other and hence, will have a bridge whereas the second group are not physically close to each other, and so would not have a bridge between them. Hudson and Epps said their results show the dark matter filament bridge is strongest between systems less than 40 million light years apart.

"By using this technique, we're not only able to see that these dark matter filaments in the universe exist, we're able to see the extent to which these filaments connect galaxies together," Epps said in a statement.

The Big Bang theory predicts that variations in the density of matter in the very first moments of the universe led the bulk of the matter in the cosmos to condense into a web of tangled filaments. To explain this, astronomer Fritz Zwicky first introduced the concept of dark matter in 1933, when his measurements of galaxies moving within a galaxy cluster showed they must have at least ten times more invisible matter than what is visible.

But it wasn't until the 1970s that dark matter was taken seriously. Vera Rubin and Kent Ford Jr. mapped the motions of stars within galaxies close to our own Milky Way, and they also concluded that each galaxy had to include enormous amounts of unseen matter, far more than all the visible matter. Later, computer simulations confirmed this and suggested the existence of dark matter, structured like a web, with long filaments that connect to each other at the locations of massive galaxy clusters.

In their paper, Hudson and Epps list dozens of previous studies that have attempted to measure and observe the dark matter web, and they say they hope their stacking techniques to measure the filaments between groups and clusters of galaxies can serve as a foundation for future filament studies. They hope upcoming surveys and telescopes will continue to further our understanding of dark matter.

*grins* and isn't this scary: there's a link on the site- Camouflaged Dark Matter Galaxy Discovered
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Armadillo lizard (Ouroborus cataphractus )

The Armadillo lizard (Ouroborus cataphractus )is a lizard endemic to desert areas of southern Africa. The natural habitat of this lizard is scrub and rocky outcrops. It is diurnal. It hides in rock cracks and crevices. It lives in social groups of up to 30. The Armadillo Lizard possesses an uncommon antipredator adaptation, in which it takes its tail in its mouth and rolls into a ball when frightened.
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Do farts carry germs? Well, it depends on whether you are wearing pants.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/seriouslyscience/2014/08/27/farts-carry-germs-depends-wearing-pants/#.WO5yv_nysdU

It’s pretty straightforward, so instead of an introductory blurb, we’ll warm you up with this video of a fart caught on an infrared airport camera:



Hot air?

“It all started with an enquiry from a nurse,” Dr Karl Kruszelnicki told listeners to his science phone-in show on the Triple J radio station in Brisbane. “She wanted to know whether she was contaminating the operating theatre she worked in by quietly farting in the sterile environment during operations, and I realised that I didn’t know. But I was determined to find out.”

Dr Kruszelnicki then described the method by which he had established whether human flatus was germ-laden, or merely malodorous. “I contacted Luke Tennent, a microbiologist in Canberra, and together we devised an experiment. He asked a colleague to break wind directly onto two Petri dishes from a distance of 5 centimetres, first fully clothed, then with his trousers down. Then he observed what happened. Overnight, the second Petri dish sprouted visible lumps of two types of bacteria that are usually found only in the gut and on the skin. But the flatus which had passed through clothing caused no bacteria to sprout, which suggests that clothing acts as a filter.

Our deduction is that the enteric zone in the second Petri dish was caused by the flatus itself, and the splatter ring around that was caused by the sheer velocity of the fart, which blew skin bacteria from the cheeks and blasted it onto the dish. It seems, therefore, that flatus can cause infection if the emitter is naked, but not if he or she is clothed. But the results of the experiment should not be considered alarming, because neither type of bacterium is harmful. In fact, they’re similar to the ‘friendly’ bacteria found in yoghurt.

Our final conclusion? Don’t fart naked near food. All right, it’s not rocket science. But then again, maybe it is?
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Anteros renaldus Stoll

Anteros renaldus Stoll, 1790 (Lycaenidae), Colombia, Valle de Cauca, near Cali

Victor Sinyaev
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New Study Fleshes Out the Nutritional Value of Human Meat
The caloric value of the human body is surprisingly low compared to other prehistoric food options
By Brigit Katz smithsonian.com
April 7, 2017 2:46PM


Meat
Don't worry: It's beef. (Lisovskaya via iStock)


Why did our early ancestors eat one another? Some scientists say it may have been because they were hungry. But as Nicholas St. Fleur reports for The New York Times, a new study suggests that humans aren't particularly nutritious and speculates that ancient cannibals had other reasons for chowing down on their fellow bipeds.

James Cole, an archaeologist at the University of Brighton, is the sole author of the study, which was published recently in the journal Scientific Reports. Archaeological evidence shows that hominin species were eating each other as early as the Pleistocene era, prompting Cole to wonder whether humans constitute a nutritious snack. Armed with this rather macabre curiosity, he set out to calculate the number of calories contained within the human body.

He turned to studies from the 1940s and 50s, which analyzed the protein and fat content of four adult men, Alessandra Potenza explains in The Verge. Based on those analyses, Cole was able to calculate an average caloric value for various human body parts. The torso and head, for instance, contain 5,419 calories, according to Cole’s calculations. Meaty human thighs have 13,355 calories. The heart clocks in at around 651 calories, while the brain, spinal cord and nerve trunks collectively contain 2,706 calories.

All told, Cole concludes, the human body contains about 125,822 calories. Read more... )

“The issue is not one of nutrition as an alternative to large game,” Erik Trinkaus, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, told Engelhaupt. “It is an issue of survival when there are no other food sources, members of one's social group have died, and the surviving members consume the bodies of already-dead people.”

Ultimately, every cannibalistic episode happened under different circumstances, Cole writes in his study, and no one can say for sure why our ancestors opted for the occasional human smorgasbord. But Cole’s findings lend further credence to the notion that some ancient cannibals were acting out of choice, not desperation.




Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/ancient-cannibals-did-not-eat-humans-nutrition-study-says-180962823/#GYQw1vvxmFRz5U96.99

Vantablack

Mar. 29th, 2017 07:53 pm
charisstoma: (default)
http://www.sciencealert.com/this-object-has-been-sprayed-with-the-world-s-blackest-pigment-and-it-s-freaking-us-out

If you're not familiar with Vantablack, it was invented by British researchers back in 2014, and soon after, it was declared the darkest material ever produced in the lab, capable of absorbing 99.96 percent of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light.

Since then, the team behind the invention - from Surrey NanoSystems - has upped its blackness, and in early 2016, announced that no spectrometer in the world was powerful enough to measure how much light it absorbs.

"Even running a high power laser pointer across it barely reflects anything back to the viewer," the researchers explain in a YouTube video. "We have never before made a material so 'black' that it can't be picked up on our spectrometers in the infrared."

In order to make this thing more marketable, the team has now released a 'spray-on' form, which isn't quite as black - it only blocks 99.8 percent of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light - but that's enough to make three-dimensional objects appear distinctly two-dimensional.

So how does it actually work?

In its original, blackest form, Vantablack isn't a paint, pigment, or fabric, but is actually a special coating made from millions of carbon nanotubes, each one measuring around 20 nanometres (roughly 3,500 times smaller than a human hair) by 14 to 50 microns. To put that in perspective, 1 nanometre equals 0.001 microns.

So a surface area of Vantablack measuring just 1 cm squared would contain around 1,000 million of these tiny nanotubes.

When light hits this arrangement, it enters the gaps between the nanotubes, and is almost instantly trapped and absorbed as it bounces between them.

"The near total lack of reflectance creates an almost perfect black surface," say the researchers.

"To understand this effect, try to visualise walking through a forest in which the trees are around 3 km tall instead of the usual 10 to 20 metres. It's easy to imagine just how little light, if any, would reach you."

Vantablack is so dark, it's almost impossible for the human eye to perceive it - we need some order of reflected light for our brains to be able to process what's in front of us. As a result, the team says the observer's ability to perceive gets confused, and some people say looking at Vantablack is like looking into a bottomless hole.

Their new spray-on version, called Vantablack S-VIS, now allows them to apply Vantablack to much larger objects, which means there really is a possibility of stealth jets being painted in the stuff.

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