I didn’t have a clue this was out. Oops. Kinda pricey for so short of a book though.
Archive for June 29th, 2012
John Hawks’ blog is one of my favorite blogs regardless. It’s the human evolution posts that I’ve linked many times, but this time it’s this post on his visit to the Altai last summer, describing the Afanasievo and Pazyryk kurgans. It’s beautiful country and there’s a lot of fascinating work being done there, aside from the discovery of the Denisovans.
American Zombie does great work investigating corruption. It’s shameful that the work he throws himself into is pretty much ignored by mainstream media. He and Lucy Bustamante found a wealth of evidence of fraud on the part of State Representative Lucas Leonard. He found 23 semi-fictitious non-profit organizations registered to Leonard Lucas and Audrey Walker dating to 2010. Lucy Busatamante found that 7 organizations based all at one address on St. Claude, allegedly helping the neighborhood. One neighbor recalled some turkeys given away one year, but that’s about it.
This is outside my normal area of interest, but it’s painful to see work like this go unrecognized when the Times-Picayune (which wasn’t even bothering to cover what he covers in the first place) has been completely gutted.
a student connects radiation spike in rings of Japanese cedar trees to 774 AD event in Anglo-Saxon ChronicleFriday, June 29th, 2012
A biochemistry student connects a report radiation spike in rings of Japanese cedar trees that he heard about on a Nature podcast to 774 AD event in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, just by rooting around Google. It seems to be a historical stellar event, with record of a “red crucifix” appearing in the sky.
That’s some beautiful, interdisciplinary amateur work. Kudos, Jonathon Allen.
Australopithecus sediba, a South African hominid identified in the past few years, ate bark and woody tissues. Its teeth were targeted by a laser to reveal certain carbons that would result only through that diet. Despite some of the articles that are popping up, it’s not yet known whether Australopithecus sediba would be a direct ancestor to modern man.
The Exile has an ongoing feature called the S.H.A.M.E. media transparency project. It made me very happy indeed when the first two people profiled were Malcolm Gladwell and Steven Levitt. These talking heads have been passing themselves off as public intellectuals to the young, trendy people who aspire to seem smart and counter-intuitive. Both are essentially corporate shills. It’s spooky how pervasive their influence has been this past decade or so.
Gladwell writes the Exile some “friendly” emails under the pretense of discussing the tobacco lobby details of his profile. This is not the sort of story in which one grudgingly admits that he has a sense of humor. Gladwell remains a shameless manipulator diligent in crafting his messages, looking for new ways to obfuscate the truth.