September 14, 2017

Miscellany #83

The Strange History of the Sunflower

Sunflowers originate from North America but would travel to the Old World and back – and back again - in their centuries old journey to become the plant we know today. They were probably one of the first crops to be grown in the Americas. Before this they were picked by hunter gatherers as a natural source of fat. The seeds could be ground up and mixed with flour to make bread much like the pita variety we eat today.


Balmy 77-Degree Oasis Found In Antarctica a web of hidden ice caves beneath Ross Island’s Mount Erebus where the air temperature hovers around 77 degrees Fahrenheit.  “You could wear a T-shirt in there and be pretty comfortable,” said lead researcher Ceridwen Fraser.

Has the mystery of the 600-year-old Voynich manuscript been solved?

For more than a century, researchers have been trying to decipher ancient texts found in the Voynich manuscript, discovered in an Italian monastery in 1912 and preserved at the Beinecke Library at Yale University.  The 600-year-old document, described as 'the world's most mysterious medieval text,' is full of illustrations of exotic plants, stars, and mysterious human figures, as well as many pages written in an unknown text.  Now, one British academic, Nicholas Gibbs, an expert on medieval medical manuscripts, claims the document is in fact a health manual for a 'well-to-do' lady looking to treat gynecological conditions.

 Voynich Manuscript

Ancient Ruins Older Than The Pyramids Discovered In Canada

When researchers were searching Triquet Island, an island located about 300 miles north of Victoria, British Columbia, they found ancient fish hooks and spears, as well as tools for make fires as well as an ancient cooking hearth, from which they were able to obtain flakes of charcoal burnt by prehistoric Canadians. Using carbon dating on the charcoal flakes, the researchers were able to determine that the settlement dates back 14,000 years ago, making it significantly older than the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, which were built about 4,700 years ago....

To understand how old that truly is, one has to consider that the ancient ruler of Egypt, Cleopatra lived closer in time to you than she did to the creation of the pyramids. This newly discovered settlement dates back more than three times older than the pyramids.

Bird Photographer of the Year 2017 awards

 Flamingos Photy
Alejandro Prieto Rojas for Feeding Flamingos
Best Portrait 2017
 Bird Photy
Bret Charman for Australian Pelican landing on water
Gold Category Birds in Flight 2017

Watch this mesmerizing GIF to see what happens to pills after they enter your body

The Hidden Memories of Plants

Biologists have shown that certain plants in certain situations can store information about their experiences and use that information to guide how they grow, develop, or behave. Functionally, at least, they appear to be creating memories....  scientists have found that certain plants can remember experiences of drought and dehydration, cold and heat, excess light, acidic soil, exposure to short-wave radiation, and a simulation of insects eating their leaves. Faced with the same stress again, the plants modify their responses.

The Menorah Panel of The Arch of Titus in Color

One of the most famous monuments in ancient Rome is the Arch of Titus, constructed by Roman emperor Domitian around 81 C.E. after the death of his brother and predecessor, emperor Titus. The arch celebrates Titus’s military victories during the First Jewish-Roman War (66–74 C.E.)—when the Romans infamously burned the Temple in Jerusalem. One of the arch’s panels depicts Roman soldiers carrying captured treasures from Jerusalem’s Temple, including a large menorah, through the streets of Rome.  Once brightly colored, today, all the colors have faded, so that it looks colorless.

This digital reconstruction shows the Arch of Titus’s menorah panel after it has been restored and colored by the Arch of Titus Project and the Institute for the Visualization of History. A glimpse of what ancient Rome looked like.

 Colorized Arch-Of-Titus-Restoration

Posted by Jill Fallon at September 14, 2017 12:55 AM | Permalink