General

VIDEO: Student texts make fly on wall TV show

BBC test - Wed, 2014-07-23 00:01
BBC Click's Spencer Kelly goes behind the scenes of the TV programme The Secret Lives of Students.
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19th century whale jawbone leaves Edinburgh Meadows as repair bid begins

24 Hour Museum - Wed, 2014-07-23 00:00
Experts are about to launch a repair job on the Jawbone Arch, which has stood over the gateway to Edinburgh's Meadows since the aftermath of a science exhibition in 1886.
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VIDEO: Litvinenko death inquiry announced

BBC test - Tue, 2014-07-22 21:51
The government announces a public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB officer poisoned with radioactive polonium in London.
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VIDEO: World's media prepare for Glasgow 2014

BBC test - Tue, 2014-07-22 19:35
Media organisations from across the world are converged on Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games.
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VIDEO: Crowds welcome 'Lusty' for last time

BBC test - Tue, 2014-07-22 16:58
The Royal Navy's helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious has returned to Portsmouth for the final time.
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Jeju Island is a live volcano

Heritage Daily - Tue, 2014-07-22 16:22
In Jeju, a thriving holiday destination with natural tourism resources, a recent study unveiled a volcanic eruption occurred on the island. The Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) discovered traces that showed that a recent volcanic eruption was evident 5,000 years ago.

The team of researchers led by Dr. Jin-Young Lee confirmed from radiocarbon dating for carbonized wood (charcoal) found beneath the basaltic layer located in Sangchang-ri, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do that it dated back 5,000 years; meaning the time when the basalt on the upper layer was formed was fairly recently, i.e. 5,000 years ago, which demonstrates that the island has experienced a volcanic eruption quite recently.

Jeju Island: WikiPedia

The last known volcanic activity that occurred on Jeju Island was approximately 7,000 years ago at Mt. Songak. The basaltic layer in Sangchang-ri is known to have formed due to the eruption in the vicinity of Byeongak Oreum 35,000 years ago; however this study exposed information that they layer is in fact a product of the most recent volcanic activity, which spewed a large amount of ash.

It is extraordinary that the research team enhanced the accuracy of the findings in the radiocarbon dating technique using carbonized wood, consequently increasing the reliability of the findings. Previous research used the dating method for rocks covering the upper sedimentary layer, in which such dating method with the relatively longer half-life period shows limitations determining the time the basalt was formed approximately 10,000 years ago.

In order to overcome these limitations associated with the dating methods for the rocks covering the upper sedimentary layer, the research team used radiocarbon dating and optically stimulated luminescence dating (OSL), using such cross validation, which raised the accuracy of tracing the past volcanic activities.

According to these findings, Jeju Island is not an extinct volcano; rather it is a potentially live volcano as it has erupted within the last 10,000 years. On a geological basis, a volcano that has erupted within the last 10,000 years is defined to be a live volcano.

The research team plans to continuously conduct the studies on the time the volcanic rocks were formed in several regions on the island in order to identify the latest volcanic activity for certain.

 

Contributing Source: Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources

Header Image Source: WikiPedia

 

 

Categories: General

Barrow Clump 2014: Week 4

Wessex Archaeology - Tue, 2014-07-22 15:34

The continued good weather has meant that we have been able to make excellent progress on site. Our excavation of the Anglo-Saxon graves has continued apace with some exciting discoveries. One of the graves revealed an unusual burial, as the remains were in a crouched position. Whilst not unknown in Saxon burials, this is a first for this site and an interesting addition to the other inhumation burials. The highlight of the week, however came in the form of a particularly special grave. This was first encountered towards the end of last week when the excavation of a deep grave unearthed a shield boss along with the pointed tip of an iron object. Full excavation of the grave exceeded our expectations, with the pointed tip belonging to a sword. This is a particularly rare find and a first for Barrow Clump. The condition of the sword was impressive, with the copper alloy fittings from the scabbard surviving in-situ along with an associated bead. The mineralised remains alongside the metal suggest that the scabbard was made of wood and leather, with the handle made from horn. We will X-ray the sword in order to gather more information on its design and construction. Along with the sword and shield boss, the grave contained a spearhead and a knife making it the most richly furnished male burial on site, the sign of a prestigious individual. Our week ended with a site open day for the local community, featuring site tours and a range of exciting displays and demonstrations. Written by Angus Forshaw  
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VIDEO: Albarn praises 'brave' Latitude

BBC test - Tue, 2014-07-22 14:32
Blur front man Damon Albarn praises the Latitude Festival for giving him a headline slot off the back of his "slow" album.
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VIDEO: Thousands camping for Glasgow Games

BBC test - Tue, 2014-07-22 13:29
Thousands of people are staying in the tents at specially designated sites across Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games.
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Mammoth and Mastodon Behavior was less roam, more stay at home

Heritage Daily - Tue, 2014-07-22 11:48
According to research conducted by the University of Cincinnati, the fuzzy relatives of modern-day elephants liked living in Greater Cincinnati long before it became the trendy hot spot it is today- at the end of the last ice age. A study led by Brooke Crowley, an assistant professor of geology and anthropology, shows the ancient proboscideans enjoyed the area to such an extent that they probably resided there year round and were not the nomadic migrants as previously thought.

The research team has found that they even had their own preferred hangouts. Crowley’s findings indicate each species kept to separate areas based on availability of favored foods.

“I suspect that this was a pretty nice place to live, relatively speaking,” Crowley says. “Our data suggest that animals probably had what they needed to survive here year-round.”

The research that Crowley conducted with co-author and recent UC graduate Eric Baumann, “Stable Isotopes Reveal Ecological Differences Among Now-Extinct Proboscideans from the Cincinnati Region, USA”, was published in the international academic research journal, Boreas.

Mammoth vs Mastodon: WikiPedia

Could the Past save the Future?

Obtaining more information regarding the different behaviors of prehistoric animals has the possibility of benefiting the survival of their modern-day cousins, African and Asian elephants. Both species are on the World Wildlife Fund’s endangered species list. Studying how different types of elephants might have been in the past, Crowley says, might help ongoing efforts to protect these large land mammals from continued threats such as poaching and habitat destruction.

“There are regionally different stories going on,” Crowley says. “There’s not one overarching theme that we can say about a mammoth or a mastodon. And that’s becoming more obvious in studies people are doing in different places. A mammoth in Florida did not behave the same as one in New York, Wyoming, California, Mexico or Ohio.”

The Wisdom in Teeth

During their research Crowley and Baumann looked at the wisdom in teeth- specifically museum specimens of molars from four mastodons and eight mammoths from Southwestern Ohio and Northwestern Kentucky. Carefully drilling a tooth’s surface and proceeding to analyse the stable carbon, oxygen, and strontium signatures in the powdered enamel can reveal a lot of information.

Each of these elements conveys a different story. Carbon exposes insight into an animal’s diet, oxygen relates to overall climatic conditions of an animal’s environment and strontium indicates the amount of travelling an animal undertook whilst the tooth was developing.

“Strontium reflects the bedrock geology of a location,” Crowley says. “So if a local animal grows its tooth and mineralizes it locally and dies locally, the strontium isotope ratio in its tooth will reflect the place where it lived and died. If an animal grows its tooth in one place and then moves elsewhere, the strontium in its tooth is going to reflect where it came from, not where it died.”

The in-depth analyses allowed the researchers to determine several things including the different diets of mammoths and mastodons; mammoths typically consumed more grasses and sedges than mastodons, who preferred leaves from trees or shrubs.

One of their key findings however, was that the strontium from all the specimens studied, except one mastodon, matched local water samples, suggesting they were less mobile and migratory than previously thought. This was coupled with the discovery that there were differences in strontium and carbon between mammoths and mastodons, which implies they did not reside in the same localities.

 

Contributing Source: University of Cincinnati

Header Image Source: WikiPedia

 

 

 

 

Categories: General

AUDIO: Girl refused school trip after mum's death

BBC test - Tue, 2014-07-22 11:35
A school has apologised after an 11-year-old was left out of a reward for 100% attendance because she had a day off for her mother's funeral.
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AUDIO: Growing up with parents in prison

BBC test - Tue, 2014-07-22 11:18
Teenagers describe growing up with parents in prison, as a charity calls for more support.
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AUDIO: Warm weather boosts slug numbers

BBC test - Tue, 2014-07-22 11:07
There has been an increase in the number of slugs in Britain's gardens due to the warm and damp weather.
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VIDEO: Shock over ill son's holiday refusal

BBC test - Tue, 2014-07-22 10:12
A mother has said she was shocked to be told she was not authorised to take her terminally ill son out of school to go on holiday.
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Science and art bring back to life 300 million-year-old specimens of a primitive reptile-like vertebrate

Heritage Daily - Tue, 2014-07-22 09:45
Palaeontologists from the Natural History Museum and academics from Lincoln, Cambridge and Slovakia have managed to recreate the cranial structure of a 308-million-year-old lizard-like vertebrate that could potentially be the earliest example of a reptile and explain the origin of all vertebrates that belong to reptiles, birds and mammals.

Dr. Marcello Ruta, from the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, was one of the co-authors of the paper that was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology and produced a series of intricate hand-drawn recreations of the cranial structure of Gephyrostegus.

Ruta’s intricate hand drawing: University of Lincoln

Palaeontologists have provided a cranial reconstruction of a long-extinct limbed vertebrate (tetrapod) from previously unrecognized specimens discovered in coal deposits from the Czech Republic.

The team of academics reviewed the cranial structural features of the Late Carboniferous Gephyrostegus bohemicus- a small animal with a lizard-like build that roamed the earth 308 million years ago.

It has been found that this early tetrapod may be the earliest example of a reptile and explain the origin of amniotes, all vertebrates that belong to reptiles, birds and mammals.

Experts from, Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia), University Museum of Zoology in Cambridge, The Natural History Museum in London, and the University of Lincoln have been able to study additional specimens unavailable in previous works.

Ruta explained: “Gephyrostegus has always been an elusive beast. Several researchers have long considered the possibility that the superficially reptile-like features of this animal might tell us something about amniote ancestry. But Gephyrostegus also shows some much generalised skeletal features that make the issue of its origin even more problematic. We conducted a new study that brings together data from a large number of early tetrapods. The study shows that Gephyrostegus is closely related to another group of Eurasiatic and North American tetrapods called seymouriamorphs, also involved in debates about amniote ancestry. We found some interesting new cranial features in Gephyrostegus that helped us establish this link.

“Staring at specimens for a long time down a microscope and trying to make sense of their anatomy may be frustrating and tiring at times, but always immensely rewarding.”

 

Contributing Source: University of Lincoln

Header Image Source: Fotopedia

 

Categories: General

Archive Intern Week 7: The Witch in the Basement

Wessex Archaeology - Tue, 2014-07-22 08:56

I’m told that the life of an archivist is mostly spent ferreting away in the well regulated temperature of the archives room and yet whilst this image is terribly appealing in such hot weather, this week I attended an event held by Santander and the University of Sheffield. Alas the coolness of the room was not on par with the basement, but the delicious free sandwiches, quiche and spring rolls helped me cope. The event was to highlight the partnership between the two institutions and to promote the work they do together. Hannah and I were invited as we are fortunate enough to have our internships part funded by this partnership. Without the partnership between Wessex and the University, the internship opportunity would not have been possible and other Wessex staff involved in the setup and day to day supervision of the internships were also invited – Andrew Norton, Richard O’Neill and Jess Tibber.  We were introduced to Simon Bray who heads the Santander Universities initiative and I think he was really impressed with the variety of experiences that we have accrued since the inception of our internships – from the Bronze Age Cremation Urn that I’ve been looking at as part of an archive due for deposition, to the community work that Hannah has been engaged with on the Exploring Tinsley Manor Project; our internships with Wessex Archaeology have shown the amazing variety that Wessex has to offer.  The social events don’t stop there as this week Wessex Archaeology Chair Eugenie Turton and Commercial Director Peter Dean visited our Sheffield office and were given a tour of the archives room (Eugenie particularly liked “the witch in the basement”) and next week I shall be travelling down to our Salisbury office to see the huge archives at Portway House and get stuck in there! By Emma Carter
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VIDEO: Birthday celebrations for Prince George

BBC test - Tue, 2014-07-22 07:01
Prince George celebrates his first birthday on Tuesday and to mark the occasion two new pictures have been released by Kensington Palace.
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VIDEO: Beauty queen becomes weightlifter

BBC test - Tue, 2014-07-22 04:53
Sarah Davies says "strong is the new sexy" and is aiming to change the way women view themselves.
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Burning boats, glass plates and mass observation as Brighton Photo Biennial returns

24 Hour Museum - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:00
Under the slogan Communities, Collectives and Collaboration, the sixth edition of UK’s largest photo festival will showcase the work of 45 photographers and artists.
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In Pictures: Discovering Tutankhamun at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

24 Hour Museum - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:00
The Ashmolean's summer exhibition tells the story of one of the most significant archaeological discoveries ever made: the discovery of the tomb of the 'boy king'.
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