The Nebra sky disk, found near Nebra, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany. It is dated to c. 1600 BCE, and is associated with the Bronze Age Unetice culture.
This artifact weighs 2.2 kg, and is inlaid with gold symbols. It is thought that this disk was an astronomical instrument, and likely also held religious significance. This find reconfirms the abilities and astronomical knowledge of the people of the European Bronze Age, which included the sun’s angle between its rising and setting points at summer and winter solstice, and close observation of the sun’s course over the year. The Nebra sky disk is the oldest known “portable instrument” showing such measurements.
The disk appears to have been developed in four stages (Meller 2004):
1) On the right is the waxing moon, on the left the full moon, and between and above, the Pleiades.
2) Arcs are added on the horizon for the zones of the setting and rising of the sun. Individual stars were shifted and/or covered.
3) The “sun boat” is added.
4) The disk in its current condition. A star and part of the full moon (or sun) was restored.
(The diagrams used are by Rainer Zenz)
Euan MacKie suggests that the Nebra disk can be linked to Alexander Thom’s reconstructed solar calendar from his analysis of standing stone alignments in Britain.
But business is still booming in the west-side drug trade. Chicago police and federal agents have made thousands of subsequent arrests in the area, including those resulting from a series of federal investigations centered within a short walk of Hamlin and Iowa. New operations, most specializing in heroin, have adopted tactics that allow managers to continue meeting demand and raking in profits, making the drug trade one of the most resilient and successful industries in the city.
"It’s not just a bunch of idiots out there," Aaron Clayton, a former street manager for the operation around Iowa and Hamlin, said in a recent interview from Elkton federal prison in Ohio. "It is like any other business. The only thing is that our business was illegal."
Mick Dumke discovers that the success of the drug trade on Chicago’s west side is based on the basic principles of all profitable businesses. Here’s his cover story Heroin, LLC.
Today science journalist Douglas Starr speaks to Fresh Air about how certain interrogation techniques elicit false confessions. He explains why people might confess falsely:
First of all, there’s a group of people who confess falsely to something because there’s something wrong with them. More than 200 people confessed to the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby. … But there are external reasons as well. … If you’re held in a room and you think there’s no way out but you’re sure that the justice system with eventually exonerate you, you might actually confess just to get out of the situation. When you’re in a situation where [your] denial is batted away no matter what you say and they start lowering the barrier of confession … it becomes the easy way out. Interestingly, naive people, with faith in the justice system, tend to confess more because they’re sure something will work out on the other side. The trouble is confession trumps everything. Even physical evidence will bend once somebody’s confessed because confessions are so compelling.
Hear Starr’s interview or read more about these techniques here
Or read his article in this week’s issue of The New Yorker
photo via living fine art assoc.
Course 101: When can you not say “legitimate rape”…
People tend to have one of three beliefs about the meaning of work and which category you fall into largely depends on your parents, according to new research from the University of Michigan.
Workers who are job-oriented are those just trying to make a living who much prefer the activities they pursue outside of the office. Career-oriented adults—your typical “workaholic”—value the social status and prestige that comes with professional achievement, and derive much of their identity from their jobs. Calling-oriented people do work that they are passionate about because they want to have a positive impact on the world.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
To tout the usefulness of Arboblend, a hot new bioplastic that looks all but poised to take the bright, sunshiny world of renewable construction materials by storm, students and professors from Stuttgart University’s Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design used it to build this spiky modular pavilion and filmed the entire process.
The resulting piece of manufacturing porn starts with a lowly tub of bioplastic granulate, made from over 90 percent renewable materials, and takes it through the rounds of melting, pressing, and thermoforming that produced this polygonal serpent of a structure.
As the project team explain—and this is to be read in a triumphant cadence, with an eye toward a future where regular old plastic has been rightfully shunned in favor of the eco-friendly blend—”thermoformable sheets of bioplastics will represent a resource-efficient alternative in the future, as they combine the high malleability and recyclability of plastics with the environmental benefits of materials consisting primarily of renewable resources.”