1. Anatomy of a Computer Virus
When we heard the sad news late Tuesday that the world’s oldest person, Maria Gomes Valentim of Brazil (pictured above), had died of multiple organ failure only a couple weeks before her 115th birthday, we wondered, “Didn’t we just cover the world’s oldest person dying?” In fact, we hadn’t–it was the world’s oldest man. But the question got us thinking. One reasonably can’t expect the second-oldest person in the world at any given moment to live much longer than the oldest. So, how often is the oldest person in the world dying, and the media covering it?
Widely published in academic journals and books, McGovern’s research has shed light on agriculture, medicine and trade routes during the pre-biblical era. But—and here’s where Calagione’s grin comes in—it’s also inspired a couple of Dogfish Head’s offerings, including Midas Touch, a beer based on decrepit refreshments recovered from King Midas’ 700 B.C. tomb, which has received more medals than any other Dogfish creation.
“It’s called experimental archaeology,” McGovern explains.
7. Weird News of the Week: Man tries to remove wart from finger with a shotgun
A security guard from South Yorkshire shot himself in the hand to try to remove a wart from his finger.
Sean Murphy, 38, lost most of his left middle finger after using the stolen 12-bore Beretta shotgun at a garden centre in Doncaster.
He also landed in court for using an illegal firearm, and was handed a 16-week suspended prison sentence.
Murphy was told at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court that the offence carried a maximum 15 year term.
But he said: “The best thing is that the wart has gone. It was giving me lot of trouble.”
WHY is nearsightedness so common in the modern world? In the early 1970s, 25 percent of Americans were nearsighted; three decades later, the rate had risen to 42 percent, and similar increases have occurred around the world.
There is significant evidence that the trait is inherited, so you might wonder why our myopic ancestors weren’t just removed from the gene pool long ago, when they blundered into a hungry lion or off a cliff. But although genes do influence our fates, they are not the only factors at play.
In this case, the rapid increase in nearsightedness appears to be due to a characteristic of modern life: more and more time spent indoors under artificial lights.
There are European cave paintings that are 30000 years old, but the art of the ancient Americas remains a mystery. This bone fragment features an engraving of either a mammoth or a mastodon, and is at least 13000 years old.
This bone was discovered in Florida by fossil hunter James Kennedy, who discovered the inscription while cleaning the fossil. Realizing its potential anthropological significance, Kennedy turned the bone over to experts at the Smithsonian Museum and the University of Florida, who have now been able to confirm that this really is authentically ancient, and not just a clever forgery (making counterfeit mammoth engravings was a big thing in the 19th century, for whatever reason).
12. Image of the Week: Möbius Ship
Echoing the working methods of ship-in-a-bottle hobbyists, Hawkinson created a painstakingly detailed model ship that twists in upon itself, presenting the viewer with a thought-provoking visual conundrum. The title is a witty play on Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, which famously relates the tale of a ship captain’s all-consuming obsession with an elusive white whale. The ambitious and imaginative structure of Hawkinson’s sculpture offers an uncanny visual metaphor for Melville’s epic tale, which is often considered the ultimate American novel.
(Via: Boing Boing)
The streets of New York may not quite be paved with gold. But one man in America is proving that the cracks on Manhattan pavements really can bear riches.
Raffi Stepanian, 43, has begun crawling around the New York ‘Diamond District’ on his hands and knees, plucking jewels and fragments of precious metals from between the slabs.
Armed with a pair of tweezers, Mr Stepanian, an unemployed diamond setter from Queens, claims to have collected $1,010 (£623) worth in the past fortnight.
15. Interactive Map of the Week: How educated are state legislators?
The Daily tells us, in a profile of healthy pizza purveyor Naked Pizza, that the United States pizza industry “serves about 100 acres of pizza a day.” This figure comes from the National Association of Pizza Operators, an organization that aims “to create and foster a community of independent and small chain pizzeria operators and their industry suppliers where doing business with one another is mutually beneficial.” According to a survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, when it comes to eating fast food, Americans are much more satisfied by pizza than burgers, turning to Pizza Hut as their preferred fast pizza vendor of choice.
17. Infographic of the Week: A Look at How Many Calories $1 Will Buy
Identical twins don’t share exactly the same genetics, but the difference is so small that many DNA tests have trouble distinguishing one twin from another. It turns out the world’s most sophisticated genetic tests have nothing on Czech police dogs.
Imagine that you’re a guest at a dinner party and you’re eating a delicious beef stew. It’s so delicious, in fact, that you ask your host for the recipe. Flattered, she replies, “The secret is in the meat: You need to start out with three pounds of well-marinated golden retriever.” Your reaction to that story—the repulsion—is an example of carnism. Carnism is the invisible belief system that conditions us to eat certain animals. It’s a dominant system that’s institutionalized and structural in America and abroad. People tend to assume it’s only vegans and vegetarians who bring their beliefs to the dinner table. But the fact is that most people in America, for example, eat pigs and not dogs exactly because they do have a belief system; it’s just that their belief system has been invisible.
22. HistoricalLOL of the Week
Finally, empirical evidence has arrived that whining is one of the most annoying noises ever. (As if you needed proof.)
In fact, childish whining is more distracting than the screech of a high-pitched table saw, according to a new study. To test people’s tolerance for various sounds, scientists asked them to do math problems in silence, and then while listening to talking, “motherese” (aka baby talk), whining and machine noise. Just to make sure words weren’t throwing the test-takers off, they recorded the speech in a foreign language.
The results? Whining tripped up subjects with their subtraction more than any other sound.
[A]s former GE CEO Jack Welch once wrote, “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” And al Qaeda, for all its faults, is a learning organization. But does Zawahiri have the chops to lead and transform the ailing terrorist network? If he can learn from the organization’s past mistakes, he could make al Qaeda even more formidable than it was under bin Ladin.
In the spirit, then, of the Harvard Business School extension campus in Waziristan, here are five lessons that Zawahiri and other terrorist groups often fail to heed.
27. Better Book Titles of the Week: John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
28. How-To of the Week: Create a DIY Air Conditioner Chills Your Room with a Fan and Styrofoam Cooler
29. The First World Problems Rap
The June 22 advance online edition of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE publishes the findings, which offer a myriad of potential applications. A newly patented test based on the research, for example, could offer crime-scene investigators a new forensic tool for pinpointing a suspect’s age.
“Our approach supplies one answer to the enduring quest for reliable markers of aging,” said principal investigator Dr. Eric Vilain, a professor of human genetics, pediatrics and urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “With just a saliva sample, we can accurately predict a person’s age without knowing anything else about them.”
33. Sky Diving Dancers