Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Golden ratio discovered in a quantum world

January 22, 2010

Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), in cooperation with colleagues from Oxford and Bristol Universities, as well as the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK, have for the first time observed a nanoscale symmetry hidden in solid state matter. They have measured the signatures of a symmetry showing the same attributes as the golden ratio famous from art and architecture. The research team is publishing these findings in Science on the 8. January. (more…)

Ancient Egyptian cosmetics: ‘Magical’ makeup may have been medicine for eye disease

January 22, 2010

There’s more to the eye makeup that gave Queen Nefertiti and other ancient Egyptians royals those stupendous gazes and legendary beauty than meets the eye. Scientists in France are reporting that the alluring eye makeup also may have been used to help prevent or treat eye disease by doubling as an infection-fighter. (more…)

Scrutinized – Animal sacrifice in Brazilian folk religion

August 29, 2009

Candomblé, a religion practiced primarily in South America and inspired by older African beliefs, makes much use of animal sacrifice. Researchers writing in the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine carried out interviews with priests, priestesses and adherents of the religion, documenting the role sacrifice plays in their beliefs. (more…)

Grim Writing – the Indus Script and Computer Science

July 20, 2009

Found some interesting stuff on Smithsonian.com and sized it down a little for you guys:

The Indus civilization, which flourished throughout much of the third millennium B.C., was the most extensive civilization of its time. At its height, it encompassed an area of more than half a million square miles centered on what is today the India-Pakistan border. Remnants of the Indus have been found as far north as the Himalayas and as far south as Mumbai. It was the earliest known urban culture of the subcontinent and it boasted two large cities, one at Harappa and one at Mohenjo-daro. Yet despite its size and longevity, and despite nearly a century of archaeological investigations, much about the Indus remains shrouded in mystery. (…) Over the decades, archaeologists have turned up a great many artifacts, including stamp sealings, amulets and small tablets. Many of these artifacts bear what appear to be specimens of writing—engraved figures resembling, among other things, winged horseshoes, spoked wheels, and upright fish. What exactly those symbols might mean, though, remains one of the most famous unsolved riddles in the scholarship of ancient civilizations. (more…)

Grim Archaeology – Peruvian Girl Mummies

July 14, 2009

An interesting article was posted by National Geographic today. It sheds a (tiny) bit of light on the worldview of the Andean people. A tale of mountain spirits and girl mummies: “Many of the 33 mummies uncovered near Chiclayo, Peru, were those of girls—a rarity, experts say. peruvian-mummiesTheir throats slit, the girls were probably killed in a bid for agricultural fertility. “Majority of them were sacrificed using a very sharp bladed instrument, probably a copper or bronze tumi knife. And for the majority there are several combinations, a complex set of variations on cutting of the throat.” While mass sacrifice was common in Andean pre-Hispanic cultures, it is rare to find such a large number of sacrificed people together in one place. Another element that made this discovery so unusual was that most of the mummies were females. (more…)