The Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui is a Bigfoot-like creature that haunts the top of a Scottish peak and is known for chasing attempted mountaineers. The most likely explanation is a Brocken Spectre, an optical phenomenon in which on a foggy day a gigantic shadow of an individual is projected upon the fog behind them.
An analysis of thirty nine million scientific papers shows a rapidly (and very linearly!) increasing ratio of p = 0.04 to p = 0.06 papers, indicating worsening p-hacking and publication bias on a massive scale. Minimal differences between physics, biology, and social sciences.
Google Trends indicates Snowden’s NSA revelations have led to a drop in sensitive Google searches.
You might have guessed that the etymology of the word medicine was related to “meditation”, but what about to Medea, Diomedes, Archimedes, and Laomedon?
As resistance develops to artemisin, Australian team discovers a new way to kill the malaria parasite by blocking release of proteins it needs to survive.
However creepy you thought Nick Land of Xenosystems was, he’s much creepier than that.
How all sides in the current cluster of Iraq-Syria wars are basing their interpretation of current events on Islamic end time prophecies. Related: bizarre conspiracy theory that Abu Ghraib was part of an Israeli plot to find and kill the Mahdi.
A sudden drop in testosterone may have coincided with our species’ sudden advancement 50,000 years ago.
I know people have gotten so good at Minecraft that “really amazing Minecraft city built!” is no longer big news. But even controlling for that, this build of Kings’ Landing is pretty impressive. Related: the WesterosCraft server, which I eventually gave up trying to jump through the hoops they wanted to log on.
In a Muslim world not exactly known for its feminist credentials, women make up 70% of Algeria’s lawyers, 60% of its judges, >50% of its doctors and university students, and are starting to take over politics. New York Times investigates why, and paints the picture of a sort-of-bargain where the more women obey the exterior trappings of Islam, the more Islamic men are okay with them taking over traditionally male roles.
German Nazis condemn anti-Semitism: “The group’s other public campaigns include the dissemination of bumper stickers featuring a picture of Reinhard Heydrich, the senior Nazi official who chaired the Wansee Conference where the Final Solution was hatched. Underneath the photo reads: ‘As a Nazi, I’m a Zionist.'”
The new Exodus movie has revived the constant simmering debate over the racial makeup of ancient Egypt. And probably most people are familiar with the Black Athena debate on the role of Africans in ancient Greece as well. But one blogger isn’t afraid to ask the really tough questions: Were The Ancient Romans White? Not On Your Life.
Gallup polls Americans on the situation in the Middle East. Somewhat surprising: a very strong effect in which the more people know about the conflict, the more likely they are to favor Israel (from 71% of people following “very closely” to 18% of people following “not closely”). Likewise, the more educated someone is the more pro-Israeli they are (53% of post-graduates compared to 34% high school only). These are the opposite of the numbers I would expect given that liberals tend to be both more educated/news-following and more pro-Palestine. Meta-level question: should strong trends in favor of more educated and clueful people supporting one side get treated as a heuristic telling us that side is probably right?
There is a surprisingly strong case to be made that the Doctor from Doctor Who is Willy Wonka.
Popehat: those this crime carries a maximum sentence of X statements you see in newspapers bear little relationship to reality. Related: outrage-bait about how crime X carries a longer sentence than crime Y even though crime X is much worse are mostly just that – outrage-bait.
Related to our recent discussion about skyscrapers as civilizational status symbols: tech companies are also constructing status signal headquarters, but instead of building up they’re building weird.
New blog on the sidebar: Carcinization, with contributions from St. Rev, Sam Burnstein, Sister Y, and others taking more or less pains to obscure their identities. Thus far my favorite post has been this powerful defense against the recently popularized conservative accusation of “telescopic morality” and demands to “keep morality local”.
But if you don’t want to read Carcinization, the blog, then at least read about carcinization itself, which Wikipedia describes as “one of the many attempts of Nature to evolve a crab”.
Despite how the media is spinning it, the president of Azerbaijan didn’t really declare war on Armenia over Twitter. Just sort of, informally, halfway. Still, come on Azerbaijani military, I would expect even an informal-kinda-Twitter-declaration-of-war to get more than 18 favorites. I make terrible Twitter puns that do better than that!