Yule, is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.
- Yule Lore
If fire was the beginning of civilization, was the appearance of Pong the beginning of the videogame age? A case can be made.
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"Where did we come from?" It's a central human question that drives us to wonder about origins -- of humans, life, the Earth, the Universe. The age of the Earth is central to that question, and it has been taken on by human cultures for millennia. But only in the last couple centuries have we obtained the means to unequivocally determine that age from actual evidence. The road was a long one.
In the late 1700s, geology was in its infancy. Rock layers (of any type) were only starting to be recognized as something other than deposits from a catastrophic, world-wide flood. James Hutton, a Scottish scientist, became enthralled with the fantastic histories he saw recorded in the rocks of his homeland. At a now-famous seaside outcrop on the eastern coast of Scotland, he saw nearly horizontal layers of red sandstone on top of completely vertical layers of a much different, gray sedimentary rock. He was the first to grasp the significance of that spatial relationship.
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That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind
- Neil Armstrong from Tranquility Base, the Moon, 20 July 1969
Shuttle Endeavour arrives at space station for final visit -- Washington Post
View Cagle's Shuttle Shutdown cartoon collection.
Twenty-five years after the Chernobyl meltdown, a scientific debate rages. Could there be an evolutionary response that would allow animals to cope with the stress of radioactive contaminants?
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Comic strip artist Brian Basset has created a drawing depicting his characters, Red and Rover, racing alongside the space shuttle as it lands for the final time. After 30 years and more than 130 missions, NASA's space shuttle fleet will retire later this year.
A poster commemorating the Space Shuttle Program's 30th anniversary will feature Basset's cartoon and a patch selected as part of a contest among NASA employees to honor the program.
"The U.S. space program has been the one constant throughout my entire life," Basset said. "I was humbled and honored when given the opportunity to create the art for the commemorative Space Shuttle Program 30th anniversary poster."
Basset, a supporter of space exploration, created "Red and Rover" in 2000. A comic strip with a retro feel, it is about the unconditional love between a boy and his dog. The pair often dreams of going to space together. Nominated by the National Cartoonists Society for Best Comic Strip of the Year in 2003 and 2010, "Red and Rover" appears in more than 160 newspapers worldwide and syndicated by Universal Uclick.
The dawn of beer remains elusive in archaeological record -- Scientific American
Who brewed -- and then enjoyed -- the first beer? The civilization responsible for the widely beloved beverage must have been a very old one, but we don't yet know who first brewed up a batch of beer, Christine Hastorf explained in a March 10 lecture at New York University on the archaeology of beer.
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As someone once said -- "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
(This is credited to Ben Franklin, but the jury is still out on whether or not he really said this.)