morning 03.13.17

I skipped the past couple of days for no good reason. Yes, I read more but it’s escapist pulp sci-fi. shrug.

Neanderthal Dental Plaque Shows What a Paleo Diet Really Looks Like. Lots more detail and good speculation in this Atlantic piece.

Exceptional grave reveals 7,000-year-old garments Stone Age man was buried in.

Colossus probably depicting Ramses II found in Egypt. The images of the unearthed statue stuck in the squalor that the people of Egypt leave in today are unsettling.

Passion Rules the World. Maybe I didn’t fuck up by not grabbing The Complete Works of Isaac Babel yet. (I’ve read none of his work yet.) This new translation of Odessa Stories looks great.

Dwarf planet 2007 OR10  is the 10th trans-Neptunian object discovered to have a moon. Ten TNOs over 1,000 km in diameter are known.

Could Mysterious Cosmic Light Flashes Be Powering Alien Spacecraft? Using FRBs to power light sails. The transmitter that could create such powerful transmissions would be twice the size of the Earth.

The Complicated Friendship of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Barlow. Poor bastard. I barely remembered him. I forgot about Barlow’s later years altogether.

Death in al Ghayil. FFS. There are no surprises here but the insistence that this raid “was a very, very well thought out and executed effort” is shamelessly evil. U.S. soldiers are being used by certain Saudi factions to assassinate rivals and dissenters. This doesn’t come off as fighting terrorism in any fashion whatsoever.

Mike Cernovich, Alan Dershowitz and the Jeffery Epstein Underage Sex Trafficking Case. Creepy shit. Let’s never forget this is tied both to Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. This rabbit hole gets creepier when one remembers how pedophile Dennis Hastert had some peculiar connections to Turkey. (Tony Podesta and Hastert are longtime buddies BTW.) Add the dimension of Flynn’s lobbying for Turkey and his son’s peculiar obsession with nonsensical Pizzagate. The recurring themes are disconcerting.

Ivanka Trump’s landlord suing US government. Chilean billionaire with mining interests in Minnesota.

Fury in Cambodia as US asks to be paid back hundreds of millions in war debts. Yes, it really does look like this is something that was recently directed to be readdressed by the Trump administration. The rumors about Jared Kushner really being the guy in charge of foreign policy might tie into this, as he comes off as a profoundly stupid man.

I’ve been listening to Heatmiser’s Mic City Sons this morning. They weren’t a band I listened to back then and probably was barely aware of. Dug up a 2015 interview to see what the rest of the band is up to. It seems Neil Gust went on to a career as an editor. Smith’s embarrassment of the band is mystifying because none of the material on this album is as cringeworthy as I’ve been finding Sebadoh. I’m not feeling Dead Air though.

another interpretation of FRB 150418

There’s a very different take on the Fast Radio Burst 121102 published this week on Nature than the one published last week. A team using the Arecibo Observatory reports that the reported burst was accompanied by ten more bursts, and qualifying it as repeating. There’s so much weird speculation that still seems plausible that I’m baffled. They dispute that the origin of the FRB is 6 billion light years away, emitting from two colliding neutron stars.

the source of a series of fast radio bursts identified

A series of FRBs have been traced to two colliding neutron stars in a galaxy 6 billion light years away. Because LIGO is in the news, it popped into my head that LIGO could have picked up on one of these bursts too, but:


Well, damn. It’s still cool. Why is it significant?

Now that Keane and his team know the distance to the new FRB, they can use the length of the signal to reveal how much material it passed through. This could solve a longstanding mystery: precise measurements of the cosmic microwave background — the afterglow of the Big Bang — suggest that around 4% of the observable Universe today should be composed of ordinary matter (not dark energy or dark matter). But after totting up what they can see, researchers say around half that matter remains unaccounted for.

From the data Keane’s team has, it looks like the matter is really there.