Our Ancestors Weren’t Idiots

Cardinal Hugh of Saint-Cher at study. wearing the first eyeglasses ever depicted in art. (Tommaso da Modena, 1352)

I spend much of my of time reading the words and trying understand the thought processes of the medieval mind. Christendom between about the year 1000 and the Reformation was a time and place with a view of the world profoundly different from ours. (The idea of the Renaissance as some great opening of the [Read More...]

Pat Robertson on Young Earth Creationism

410px-Lemaitre

I didn’t bother covering the “Ham on Nye” debate because I thought it was just dumb. A children’s TV show host debating a quack fundie? What next, a debate about Thetans between Dora the Explorer and Tom Cruise? When I kept seeing “Who will win?!” comments on Twitter, my only thought was: Can’t they both [Read More...]

Turn Your Finger into a Speaker

disney

Disney: finding new ways to creep me out. Okay, it is pretty cool, if pointless. Ishin-Den-Shin allows you to record a message into a special microphone, and then transmit that message directly another person just by touching his ear. The effect is as though you’re whispering right in the person’s ear … through your finger. [Read More...]

A Snail With a Translucent Shell

snail

A new species of snail discovered deep in a Croatian cave has a translucent shell: Zospeum tholussum – belongs to a genus of minute air-breathing land snails that cannot see to find their way around and are considered to be true eutroglobionts that only live in dark, underground caves. The fragile snail has a beautifully [Read More...]

Head Transplants?

twohead

This had been tried on animals since the 1950s, but the problem has always been connecting the spinal chord. I don’t doubt that, at some point in the future, the technology will exist to make this possible, and one scientist thinks he may be getting closer: Canavero describes in a recent paper a step to [Read More...]

NeverWet Looks Amazing

neverwet-shoe

Better living through chemistry! More information. H/T: Victor Lams [Read more...]

Transhumanism’s “Futurama” Future

This is TOTALLY going to happen.

Every child who grew up in the 1970s knew for a fact that Walt Disney’s head had been “frozen” to await a future in which science has progressed enough to heal his cancer-ravaged body and restore him to life in order to provide joy for future generation. None of that was any more true than [Read More...]

Our Weird and Wonderful World

MagnetPutty

Magnetic Putty Time Lapse would be an excellent name for a rock band: Posted by Scott Lawson, who has this to say: Magnetic putty time lapse as it absorbs a rare-earth magnet. Taken over 1.5 hours at 3fps, played back at 24fps. The magnetic putty will eventually arrange itself so that the outer surface is [Read More...]

The Mote In Sauron’s Eye

fomalhault b

I shamelessly stole the headline from this PopSci article on Fomalhaut B, a weird rogue planet-like object in the vast debris field surrounding a star called Fomalhaut. Here’s what that star and debris field look like: Gaaa! Have we accounted for all the Palantirs? Fomalhaut B was imaged in 2007 (or maybe earlier or later, the article [Read More...]

The Sexual Excesses of Modern Civilization

Ngandu men

Okay, so that title is total click-bait, but there’s a real story behind it. If you want some good inadvertent comedy (and tragedy as well), check out this article in Atlantic Magazine, and marvel at the Stan Laurel-style head-scratching of a liberal academic elite trying to make sense of facts that demolish their carefully manufactured [Read More...]