((Hodge-Podge)) History. Art. Culture. The Written Word. Comedy. Nature and The Sciences. Oddities and Curiosities. Anything Else That Holds My Attention. Combinations Thereof. And The Occasional Stilted Personal Post. Please To Enjoy.
For years, varied and sometimes wild claims have been made about the origins of a group of dark-skinned residents of the southeastern Appalachia region, once known derisively as the Melungeons. Some speculated they were descended from Portuguese explorers, or perhaps from Turkish slaves or Gypsies.
Now a new DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy attempts to separate truth from oral tradition and wishful thinking. The study found the truth to be somewhat less exotic: Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin.
And that report, which was published in April in the peer-reviewed journal, doesn’t sit comfortably with some people who claim Melungeon ancestry.
The International Women of Courage Award was created by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2007. It is awarded annually to women who have shown leadership and courage around the world, particularly in regards to the rights of women.
To begin exploring how air pollution may affect your community, use our snazzy interactive map of more than 17,000 facilities that have emitted hazardous chemicals into the air. Color-coded dots and scores of one to five smoke stacks are based on an EPA method of assessing potential health risk in airborne toxins from a given facility. More smoke stack icons signify higher potential risks to human health. Zoom in to your neighborhood by clicking on the map or use the search box to find the area you’re looking for.
Since 2009, photographer Chris Jordan has been documenting birds on Midway Atoll way out in the Pacific Ocean — near what’s known as the “Pacific Garbage Patch” or, essentially, a swirling heap of plastic the size of Texas.
What Jordan found on those islands were carcasses of baby birds that have died an unnerving death: According to the BBC, “about one-third of all albatross chicks die on Midway, many as the result of being mistakenly fed plastic by their parents.”
Sept. 16, 2011 - Two early medieval skeletons were unearthed recently in Ireland with large stones wedged into their mouths — evidence, archaeologists say, that it was feared the individuals would rise from their graves like zombies.
King Arthur’s round table may have been found by archaeologists in Scotland
The King’s Knot, a geometrical earthwork in the former royal gardens below Stirling Castle, has been shrouded in mystery for hundreds of years.
Though the Knot as it appears today dates from the 1620s, its flat-topped central mound is thought to be much older.
Writers going back more than six centuries have linked the landmark to the legend of King Arthur.
Archaeologists from Glasgow University, working with the Stirling Local History Society and Stirling Field and Archaeological Society, conducted the first ever non-invasive survey of the site in May and June in a bid to uncover some of its secrets.
Their findings were show there was indeed a round feature on the site that pre-dates the visible earthworks.
Astronomers have announced the discovery of a bevy of distant planets orbiting stars. The discovery of 50 new exoplanets marks the largest group ever discovered at one time and is an indication of how much better astronomers and their telescopes have become at finding far-away worlds. What’s more, some of the newly found planets are Earth-like with conditions that could possibly harbor life.
Surrounded by technology and urbanity though we may be, the human brain remains profoundly hard-wired to respond to animals.
When people are shown pictures of animals, specific parts of the amygdala — a structure central to pleasure and pain, fear and reward — react almost instantly.
Put another way, glimpsing a bird at the feeder or a shark on Animal Planet, or even a plankitten, could invoke cognitive tricks inherited from ancestors who walked on four legs in shallow water.
The effect is large and consistent, and “may reflect the importance that animals held throughout our evolutionary past,” wrote researchers led by California Institute of Technology neurobiologist Florian Mormann in an Aug. 29 Nature Neuroscience paper.
The researchers had access to a unique group of research subjects: 41 people receiving surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy. Prior to surgery, doctors needed to map their minds, a task performed by inserting electrodes into different parts of their brains, then measuring neuron-by-neuron responses to stimuli.