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From Schon Beechler: I live with a perfectionist – me. I have been blessed with a very high level of energy… that energy can vacillate between the super-positive and the super-negative.
From Discovery: Research shows cave bears lived in the same spaces coveted by prehistoric humans up to 32,000 years ago. The new study on cave bears, which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Archaeological Science, may also shed light on the age of cave art depicting these enormous animals and why the bears eventually went extinct.
Why is it that most of us are able to track down the tiny sketch of a bespectacled cartoon man wearing a striped shirt and a funny hat—in the midst of a busy scene filled with distractions and look-alikes? Finding “Waldo” might be a tad tamer than hunting down a prehistoric dinner. But we can do both because we’re excellent visual hunters, and a new study demonstrates that the human brain uses its inputs and neural networks to find “search objects” at a near-optimal level.
From Genographica: Genographic Project scientists published a study today in the journal PLoS Biology revealing the complex genetic changes that occurred in early European populations. Studying mitochondrial DNA, the researchers analyzed human remains at one of the first farming sites in Europe, from a well-documented archaeological site in Germany inhabited around 5500–5000 BC. Lead author and Genographic Post Doc Wolfgang Haak said: “Our results reveal that the first farmers in Europe were indeed invaders with revolutionary new ideas, rather than populations of Stone Age hunter-gatherers who already existed in the area.”
From NY Times: In 1858, a British epidemiologist named William Farr set out to study what he called the “conjugal condition” of the people of France. He divided the adult population into three distinct categories: the “married,” consisting of husbands and wives; the “celibate,” defined as the bachelors and spinsters who had never married; and finally the “widowed,” those who had experienced the death of a spouse. Using birth, death and marriage records, Farr analyzed the relative mortality rates of the three groups at various ages. The work, a groundbreaking study that helped establish the field of medical statistics, showed that the unmarried died from disease “in undue proportion” to their married counterparts. And the widowed, Farr found, fared worst of all.
From Larry Rothe at San Francisco Symphony: Beethoven’s timeless works inspire and move us still today. Whether his music is something you’re discovering for the first time, or his pieces are old and cherished friends, find out what Beethoven’s music can teach us about life, love, emotion, fate, and more.
Monday, November 23, 2009 · Topics: human-development
From National Geographic: In the grip of an Ice Age, the Earth’s temperature dropped, locking the world’s moisture into giant glaciers and bringing intense drought to Saharan Africa. As herds of thirsty animals wandered northeast off the African continent searching for water, human hunters, our ancestors, followed. JOURNEY OF MAN tells the remarkable story of the human journey out of Africa and into the rest of the world, tracing history through evidence uncovered in the Y-chromosome of man’s DNA. Traversing six continents, the film takes viewers on a fascinating journey into the hidden world of their ancestry and offers a modern look at our ancestor’s lives.