Jul 10 2009

Friday Roundup

It’s going to be a busy weekend, and I don’t have much time to get ready for it, so I’m posting some “quick” links again.  I promise to actually write some stuff next week.

First of all, there’s a new Latin lesson, #24, on the relative pronouns, like who, whom, which, and that.  I haven’t figured out where I’m going with the next lesson yet.

Here are a couple cool sciency things.  The first is about an archaeological dig in Turkey where they’ve found almost 50 large carved stones, sort of like Stonehenge if there were lots more stones and they had lots of stuff carved on them.  The big catch is that carbon dating says they’re at least 12,000 years old, at least five thousand years older than Stonehenge.  That makes them a couple thousand years older than agriculture, and the arrowheads they’re finding with the stones support the idea that they were built by hunter-gatherers.

The problem with that is, scientists have been telling us that humans weren’t able to build things until they settled down in one place for a long time, and that they couldn’t do that until the Agricultural Revolution when they started growing crops.  This blows that theory away.  The assumption was that any group of people large enough to build something lasting would wipe out the wild game and have to move on too soon to bother building.   I suspect most people today underestimate just how many animals there were to eat back then.

The funny part about the article is that after the author points out how this blows away some assumptions about history that have been accepted as fact, he comes up with some pretty wild theories of his own.  Interesting, though.

Here’s one about a new technology that will let you have a 3-D model of your baby before it’s born.  That’s very cool, but if it’s going to look like the one in the picture, they should probably warn the parents how much it looks like a goblin.  I guess it’d benefit from the same thing that makes people say every newborn is beautiful: when it’s your little goblin, it’s the most beautiful thing ever.

Here’s an inspirational one, about Fr. Tim Vakoc, a priest who was seriously injured in 2004 while serving as an Army chaplain in Iraq.  He just passed away recently after spending the last five years in a nursing home.  It sounds like he had an incredible amount of faith and did a lot of good for the soldiers in his care.  Now that we’ve got a new president, we don’t hear much about them anymore, but an awful lot of people are still over there.

To end on a lighter note, here’s a funny bit from a Simpsons episode.  Homer and Bart have decided to become Catholic, and Marge is having a dream after Ned Flanders tells her that people of different religions go to different heavens:

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