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Mysterious chambers found hidden in ancient Giza structure


Two scientists say they’ve uncovered hidden chambers in the Great Pyramid of Giza. Discovered using an advanced X-ray technique the chambers are completely isolated from all other tombs and passages in the 4,500 year-old structure.

The discovery was made by Scan Pyramids, a research project involving universities and advanced scientific instruments. Using a combination of thermography, 3D simulation and radiography imaging, the team discovered anomalies in the structure indicating the presence of holes beneath the rock.

From the expert’s mouth

Chimpanzé (Pan troglodytes)

In this Atlantic piece on how candidates will do in the debates:

“In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” Jane Goodall, the anthropologist, told me shortly before Trump won the GOP nomination. “In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks. The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.”

In her book My Life With the Chimpanzees, Goodall told the story of “Mike,” a chimp who maintained his dominance by kicking a series of kerosene cans ahead of him as he moved down a road, creating confusion and noise that made his rivals flee and cower. She told me she would be thinking of Mike as she watched the upcoming debates.

“Vigorous and imaginative displays on Trump’s part and steady error avoidance on Clinton’s are the stories of their progress through the primary-cycle debates. Clinton is her party’s nominee independent of anything that happened in the 10 Democratic debates and town halls, and with minimal effect from them on her financial, endorsement, and name-recognition advantages. Trump is his party’s nominee largely because of the Republicans’ 20-some debates, town halls, forums, and other live-television displays.

Don’t let it be forgot


Since I am a complete sucker for anything related to the Arthurian legend, this is so cool:

Archaeologists have discovered the impressive remains of a probable Dark Age royal palace at Tintagel in Cornwall. It is likely that the one-metre thick walls being unearthed are those of the main residence of the 6th century rulers of an ancient south-west British kingdom, known as Dumnonia.

Scholars have long argued about whether King Arthur actually existed or whether he was in reality a legendary character formed through the conflation of a series of separate historical and mythological figures.

But the discovery by English Heritage-funded archaeologists of a probable Dark Age palace at Tintagel will certainly trigger debate in Arthurian studies circles – because, in medieval tradition, Arthur was said to have been conceived at Tintagel as a result of an illicit union between a British King and the beautiful wife of a local ruler.

The account – probably based on an earlier legend – was written by a Welsh (or possibly Breton-originating) cleric called Geoffrey of Monmouth. The story forms part of his greatest work, Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain), one of the most important books ever produced in the medieval world.

Significantly, it was almost certainly completed by 1138 – at a time when the Tintagel promontory (where the probable Dark Age palace complex has been discovered) was uninhabited. The medieval castle, the ruins of which still stand today, was built almost a century later. Geoffrey of Monmouth’s assertion that King Arthur was conceived in an earlier by then long-abandoned great fortress on the site would potentially therefore have had to have come, in the main, from now long-lost earlier legends, claims or quasi-historical accounts.

This is really cool

through the foliage

I was a really smart kid, but nothing like this:

A teenager from Quebec has discovered an ancient Mayan city without leaving his province’s borders.

William Gadoury is a 15-year-old student from Saint-Jean-de-Matha in Lanaudière, Quebec. The precocious teen has been fascinated by all things Mayan for several years, devouring any information he could find on the topic.

During his research, Gadoury examined 22 Mayan constellations and discovered that if he projected those constellations onto a map, the shapes corresponded perfectly with the locations of 117 Mayan cities. Incredibly, the 15-year-old was the first person to establish this important correlation, reported the Journal de Montreal over the weekend.

Then Gadoury took it one step further. He examined a twenty-third constellation which contained three stars, yet only two corresponded to known cities.

Gadoury’s hypothesis? There had to be a city in the place where that third star fell on the map.

Satellite images later confirmed that, indeed, geometric shapes visible from above imply that an ancient city with a large pyramid and thirty buildings stands exactly where Gadoury said they would be. If the find is confirmed, it would be the fourth largest Mayan city in existence.

Jersey tomatoes making a comeback?

Tomato ripening in Australian "winter"

For anyone who’s ever eaten one, this is very good news indeed. The tasteless, mushy things that pass for tomatoes now are a very pale imitation:

The Jersey tomato, red, ripe and juicy, was once revered as the best to be had, with a tangy, sweet-tart flavor that was the very taste of summer.

If that kind of tomato perfection has faded to a dim memory in recent decades, blame mechanized harvesting and long-distance shipping, which prize durability over flavor. Pulpy, thick-skinned, flat-tasting tomatoes became the unsatisfying norm.

“The old, soft tomatoes split too easily, so you couldn’t ship them,” John Hauser, a farmer in East Brunswick, N.J., said. “But newer tomatoes, while they look good and hold up well, made people start to understand that beauty is only skin-deep. A lot of flavor was lost.”

This season, Rutgers University introduced a reinvented version of a tomato variety from 1934 that reigned unchallenged for decades. After years of work by Rutgers plant specialists, this old-fashioned tomato with old-fashioned taste has returned as the Rutgers 250, named in honor of the university’s 250th anniversary.

“This was the tomato that made the Jersey tomato reputation,” Thomas J. Orton, a professor in the department of plant biology and pathology, said of the 1934 variety. “It was a groundbreaking tomato that redefined what a tomato should be and was the most popular variety in the world. At one point, it represented in excess of 60 percent of all tomatoes grown commercially.”

Here come the cicadas

Black and Scarlet Cicada  (Red-nosed Cicada) Huechys sanguinea (Hemiptera - Cicada)

Billions and billions of cicadas will soon emerge in Ohio, West Virginia and other nearby states, in an event that hasn’t occurred since 1999. Beginning in May, three different species of cicadas (Magicicada septendecim, M. cassini and M. septendecula) in these areas will emerge as adults and start to look for mates, the highlight of a… Continue Reading →

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