Humans are Storytellers
Unique to humans, and universal across time and cultures, the trait that ties all humans together is our love of stories—especially fiction. It comes so naturally that writer Jonathan Gottschall doesn’t think scientists are paying nearly enough attention to it.
Climate Change Led to Collapse of Ancient Civilization
A new study combining the latest archaeological evidence with state-of-the-art geoscience technologies provides evidence that climate change was a key ingredient in the collapse of the great Indus or Harappan Civilization almost 4,000 years ago. The study also resolves a long-standing debate over the source and fate of the Sarasvati, the sacred river of Hindu mythology.
Once extending more than 1 million square kilometers across the plains of the Indus River from the Arabian Sea to the Ganges, over what is now Pakistan, northwest India and eastern Afghanistan, the Indus civilization was the largest — but least known — of the first great urban cultures that also included Egypt and Mesopotamia. Like their contemporaries, the Harappans, named for one of their largest cities, lived next to rivers owing their livelihoods to the fertility of annually watered lands.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Climate-Change-Key-to-Collapse-of-Ancient-Civilization-053012.aspx
Spring Equinox Surfers
Photograph by Matt Cardy, Getty Images
Surfin’ U.K.: British boarders in Gloucestershire on March 2, 2010, brave the Severn Bore, a tidal surge that reaches its highest heights around the vernal equinox, or spring equinox, due to the movements of the sun and moon.
The vernal equinox of 2010 falls on Saturday, March 20. The spring equinox is the first day of the solar new year and one of two days each year when day and night are equally long—at least in theory (vernal equinox facts).
Around the vernal equinox surfers, boaters, and nature enthusiasts flock to the Severn Estuary (map), which has one of the world’s greatest ranges between high and low tide. During a rising tide, the funnel shape of the estuary squeezes ocean water upriver, resulting in waves that can reach 4 feet (1.2 meters), as in this picture, or higher.
Updated March 18, 2010
(Click on the source for more beautiful images!)
Difference Between Astronomy and Astrology
by Carl Edward Sagan — From Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
There are two ways to view the stars, as they really are.. or as we might wish them to be. These, are the Pleadeas a group of young stars leaving their stellar nurseries, gas, and dust, and this.. is the Crab Nebula, a stellar graveyard where gas and dust are being dispersed back into the interstellar medium. Inside it lies a pulsar. Both the Pleadeas and the Crab Nebula are in a constellation where Astrologers long ago named Taurus The Bull, They imagined it to influence our daily lives. Astronomers say, that the Planet Saturn is an immense globe of hydrogen and helium and circled by a ring of snowballs 50,000 Kilometers wide and that Jupiter’s great red spot was a giant storm raging for perhaps a 1,000,0000 years.
But Astrologers see the Planets, as affecting human character and fate. Jupiter represent a regal baring and a gentle disposition and Saturn the gravedigger fosters they say, stress, suspicion & evil. The Astronomers Mars was as real as the Earth, a world awaiting exploration. But the Astrologers saw Mars as a warrior a creator of quarrels, violence, and destruction. Astronomy and Astrology were not so distinct, for most of human history the one encompassed the other. But there came a time when Astronomy escaped from the confines of Astrology. The two traditions became to diverge in the life and mind of Johannes Kepler. It was he who demystified the heavens by discovering that a physical force laid behind the motions of the Planets.
He was the first astrophysicist and the last scientific astrologer. Intellectual foundations of astrology were swept away 300 years ago and yet it is still taken serious by yet many people. You ever notice how easy it is to find a magazine about astrology? Virtually every newspaper in America has a column on Astrology. Almost none, have even a weekly column on Astronomy. People wore Astrological pendants, checked their Horoscopes before leaving the house, even our languages preserve some astrological consciousness. For example take the word, “Disaster” it comes from the Greek for “Bad Star” Italians believed disease was caused by the influence of the stars its the origin of our word “Influenza”. The Zodiacal signs used by Astrologers even ornament this statue of Prometheus in New York City.
Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods…
Captive dolphins have picked up some new vocabulary. Not from each other, but rather from a “sounds of the sea” tape played during their performances.
When their handlers noted strange sounds coming from the tanks at night, they compared them to known calls and discovered they were mimicking and practicing whale calls they had heard on tape.
When the researchers used a computer program to compare auditory recordings of the whale calls with the mysterious nighttime noises, it showed that the two sounds were very similar. And because the dolphins had been captive their entire lives, they couldn’t have picked them up from real whales.
To get a second opinion, the team asked 20 human volunteers to listen to humpback whale sounds and wild dolphin sounds. Then the researchers played the nighttime vocalizations and asked the volunteers whether the sounds came from a whale or a dolphin. About 76% of the time, the volunteers classified the imitations as sounds from real whales
The dolphins were last reported to be working on whale disguises, surely as part of their world domination plan.