Thursday, May 16, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
“About 2.7 billion years ago, the landscape of small-town Timmins looked a bit different. Beneath prehistoric seas, tectonic plates were spreading and magma was welling up to form new rock. As the rock matured under heat and pressure, water was trapped inside tiny cracks.
The rock drifted around the globe for eons, helping form continents and mountain ranges, and all the while it kept its cargo of water sealed up tight inside.
“It’s managed to stay isolated for almost half the lifetime of the Earth,” Holland says. It’s a time capsule. And it doesn’t just hold water. “There’s a lot of hydrogen in these samples.”“
The round hole made by an artillery shell was visible long before we pulled up next to the National Museum in Baghdad in early May of 2003. The puncture, just below a frieze of a king in a chariot, was in the replica of a Babylon gate next to the exhibit halls…
Archaelogy Magazine examines the 2003 looting of the Iraqi National Museum and the improvements (or lack thereof) since.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
I heartily suggest everyone follow my newest follower (and makers of my day today), The Arctic Museum at Bowdoin. I’ve been a fan for years, not just as a member of a Bowdoin family, but as a polar obsessive. Plus, they have a stuffed polar bear, which is simply badass.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Collectible cigarette cards celebrating polar exploration in 1915. Maybe we need to develop a modern version, celebrating polar scientists, perhaps? but not in cigarette packages…
Again, I exhort everyone to read the truly excellent The Ice Balloon.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Preserving ancient teachings in Timbuktu
Boubacar Sadeck, the youngest of Timbuktu’s scribes at 38, is a master of an ancient art - one that ties him closely to the historical writings that he spends his days transcribing and preserving.
“My weakness, my love, is calligraphy,” said the scribe, who fled Timbuktu, famed for its collection of centuries-old manuscripts, when Islamist militias invaded last year. “If I go a day without writing, I feel as if something is missing or strange. When I sit down with my paper and my pen, I feel wonderful. I feel at ease.”
Many of Timbuktu’s ancient scripts are now refugees separated from their former home in Ahmed Baba Institute after Islamist militias invaded. The rest have been either lost or destroyed in the chaos caused by the successful fight to drive the militias out of the city. Now, the future of these artifacts from the past is up in the air.
Read more in reporter Robyn Dixon’s story here
Photos: Evan Schneide / UN, Eric Feferberg / AFP/Getty Images
Today’s photo from the archives takes us inside the Museum’s Ichthyology Collection back in 1966.
Explore more photos from the archives here.
(c) AMNH Library/#332030
A perfect illustration for a story about how local papers are outliving their city counterparts.
In the United States, some 7,500 community newspapers—papers with under 30,000 in circulation—still hit the streets, front porches, and mailboxes at least once a week. A 2010 survey conducted by the University of Missouri, Columbia for the National Newspaper Association produced some enviable statistics: More than three-quarters of respondents said they read most or all of a local newspaper every week. And in news to warm the heart of any publisher, a full 94 percent said that they paid for their papers.
“The community newspaper business is healthier than metro newspapers, because it hasn’t been invaded by Internet competition,” says Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky. “Craigslist doesn’t serve these kinds of communities. They have no effective competition for local news. Rural papers own the franchise locally of the most credible information.”
- By Geoff McGee at Stanford.edu
The Altadenan may no longer be with us, but the San Marino Tribune still thrives.
Victoria amazonica water lilies can reach 20 feet in circumference and support up to 300 pounds each. Perching children atop the massive leaves was all the rage in water gardens of the time. Salem, North Carolina, c. 1892.
Photograph by Frank Hege, National Geographic
Did you know the Victoria amazonica was originally named the Victoria regia in honor of Queen Victoria? The discovery and history of this amazing flower reveals a cultural history of the British Empire from the swamps of Guiana to the Crystal Palace.
This is perfect
A US Template for a Third Millenium City
In order to attract the millions of Americans who still prefer suburban living to higher-density life, it is necessary to create higher-density habitats very different from those in the traditional central city. Would it be possible to create such a habitat that would still provide much of what people seek in the suburbs—green, relatively traffic-free environments providing safe places for children to play and ride bicycles? How about a dense city without the constant threat and noise of vehicles in front of every home? Some wonderful projects have been built in the past few decades—including Battery Park City in Manhattan and Harbour Green in Vancouver, British Columbia—without a road separating buildings from green spaces and waterfronts. But the challenge is to create not only high-quality isolated projects, but also whole cities with new characteristics.
From Enrique Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota, in UrbanLand