Leonardo da Vinci’s Visionary Notebooks Now Online: Browse 570 Digitized Pages
The notebook, writes Jonathan Jones at The Guardian, represents “the living record of a universal mind.” And yet, though a “technophile” himself, “when it came to publication, Leonardo was a luddite…. He made no effort to get his notes published.”
For hundreds of years, the huge, secretive collection of manuscripts remained mostly unseen by all but the most rarified of collectors. After Leonardo's death in France, writes the British Library, his student Francesco Melzi “brought many of his manuscripts and drawings back to Italy. Melzi’s heirs, who had no idea of the importance of the manuscripts, gradually disposed of them.” Nonetheless, over 5,000 pages of notes “still exist in Leonardo’s ‘mirror writing’, from right to left.” In the notebooks, da Vinci drew “visions of the aeroplane, the helicopter, the parachute, the submarine and the car. It was more than 300 years before many of his ideas were improved upon.”
The digitized notebooks debuted in 2007 as a joint project of the British Library and Microsoft called “Turning the Pages 2.0,” an interactive feature that allows viewers to “turn” the pages of the notebooks with animations. Onscreen glosses explain the content of the cryptic notes surrounding the many technical drawings, diagrams, and schematics (see a selection of the notebooks in this animated format here). For an overwhelming amount of Leonardo, you can look through 570 digitized pages of Codex Arundel here. For a slightly more digestible, and readable, amount of Leonardo, see the British Library’s brief series on his life and work, including explanations of his diving apparatus, parachute, and glider.
Malala Yousafzai Has Been Accepted to Study at Oxford University
Pakistani human-rights and education advocate Malala Yousafzai has been accepted to study at the University of Oxford in the U.K.
The 20-year-old tweeted Thursday: "So excited to go to Oxford!! Well done to all A-level students - the hardest year. Best wishes for life ahead!" along with a screen shot of her acceptance into the prestigious university.
Yousafzai joins thousands of other young people in Britain who find out the results of their A-Level exams on Thursday. The grades determine whether prospective undergraduates will gain a place at their preferred college.
As a 15-year-old blogger, Yousafzai was almost killed by Taliban soldiers when they shot her in the head for her efforts to encourage girls' education in her native Pakistan. In 2014, she became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and has since become a symbol for the fight for human rights and education.
'Frankenstein dinosaur' mystery solved
A new study suggests that it is in fact the missing link between plant-eating dinosaurs, such as Stegosaurus, and carnivorous dinosaurs, like T. rex.
The finding provides fresh insight on the evolution of the group of dinos known as the ornithischians.
The study is published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.
Matthew Baron, a PhD student at Cambridge University, told BBC News that his assessment indicated that the Frankenstein dinosaur was one of the very first ornithischians, a group that included familiar beasts such as the horned Triceratops, and Stegosaurus which sported an array of bony plates along its back.
"We had absolutely no idea how the ornithischian body plan started to develop because they look so different to all the other dinosaurs. They have so many unusual features," the Cambridge scientist said.
Scandinavia is full of moose (Alces alces, also called elk) - the native range of this massive deer family member stretches in an even band across the northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Most of them are dark brown of course, but white ones do form a small part of the population.
Just a couple months ago two white moose calves were also sighted in Norway - the baby twins were thought to be about a month old at that point.
Sightings of white moose actually seem to crop up every year or so, and not just from Europe. Last year one such creature spotted in Alaska made headlines around October, and one mottled specimen was caught on film in Canada's Newfoundland just the year before.
Nilsson is a councilman at Eda Municipality in western Sweden's Värmland county, right on the border with Norway. He says there are about 50 white moose in his region, which seems like a lot, considering the BBC claims there are only about 100 of these animals in the whole of Sweden, out of a total of about 400,000.
Vegetarians Are Nearly Twice As Likely To Be Depressed As Meat-Eaters, Study Finds
Vegetarians are almost twice as likely to suffer from depression as those who consume a conventional balanced diet, according to a new study.
The new Bristol University study of almost 10,000 from southwestern England found that vegetarians were more likely to develop depression due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can negatively impact their mental health.
The 350 committed vegetarians who participated in the study had a higher average depression score when compared to the meat-eaters, according to the study, which was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
The vegetarians’ diet tended to feature lower vitamin B12 consumption, as well as greater intake of nuts that contain omega-6 fatty acids, which have been linked with an increased risk of mental health problems.
NASA to Stop a Doomsday Supervolcano by Stealing its Heat
Beneath Yellowstone National Park is a giant volcano. The heat from this volcano powers all of the park's famous geysers and hot springs, so most tourists probably don't worry about having tons of hot magma under their feet. But perhaps they should: The Yellowstone supervolcano is a disaster waiting to happen.
The supervolcano erupts about every 600,000 years, and it's been about that long since the last eruption. That means the volcano could erupt any day now, and if it does it'll send enough dust and ash into the sky to blot out the sun for years, along with blowing a 25-mile-wide crater in the western U.S. That's why a group of NASA scientists and engineers are developing a plan to prevent an eruption by stealing the volcano's heat.
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NASA's plan is to drill a hole into the side of the volcano and pump water through it. When the water comes back out, it'll be heated to over 600 degrees, slowly cooling the volcano. The team hopes that given enough time, this process will take enough heat from the volcano to prevent it from ever erupting.
As a bonus, the scientists are proposing to use the heated water as a source of geothermal energy, potentially powering the entire Yellowstone region with heat from the volcano that wants to destroy it. A geothermal generator could produce energy at around $0.10 per kWh, competitive with other energy sources.
Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet
Scientists have uncovered the largest volcanic region on Earth – two kilometres below the surface of the vast ice sheet that covers west Antarctica.
The project, by Edinburgh University researchers, has revealed almost 100 volcanoes – with the highest as tall as the Eiger, which stands at almost 4,000 metres in Switzerland.
Geologists say this huge region is likely to dwarf that of east Africa’s volcanic ridge, currently rated the densest concentration of volcanoes in the world.
And the activity of this range could have worrying consequences, they have warned. “If one of these volcanoes were to erupt it could further destabilise west Antarctica’s ice sheets,” said glacier expert Robert Bingham, one of the paper’s authors. “Anything that causes the melting of ice – which an eruption certainly would – is likely to speed up the flow of ice into the sea.
Christian school tells 12-year-old rape victim to ‘turn the other cheek’
(This story contains graphic descriptions that may be upsetting to some readers) An exclusive Christian school in a wealthy Tennessee suburb is being accused of covering up the repeated sexual abuse of a 12-year-old boy. Now, the school is being sued for $60 million by the boy’s mother, reports the Tennessean.
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The school’s headmaster, Curtis G. Masters, allegedly told the victim to “turn the other cheek” and that everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason.” He also allegedly brushed off the assaults as “boys being boys” and claimed he couldn’t effectively run a school and look into the allegations at the same time.
When the mother threatened to go to the police, she was allegedly told by the boy’s counselor that “this isn’t how Christian institutions handle these things.”
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In a statement to the Tennessean, Brentwood Academy said that the safety and protection of students is their “highest priority.”
The accidental invention of the illuminati conspiracy
It’s the conspiracy theory to dwarf all conspiracy theories. A smorgasbord of every other intrigue under the sun, the Illuminati are the supposed overlords controlling the world’s affairs, operating secretly as they seek to establish a New World Order.
But this far-fetched paranoia all started with a playful work of fiction in the 1960s. What does this tell us about our readiness to believe what we read and hear – and what can the Illuminati myth reveal about the fake news and stories we continue to be influenced by today?
When most people try to look into the secret society’s history, they find themselves in Germany with the Enlightenment-era Order of the Illuminati. It was a Bavarian secret society, founded in 1776, for intellectuals to privately group together and oppose the religious and elitist influence over daily life. It included several well-known progressives at the time but, along with the Freemasons, they found themselves gradually outlawed by conservative and Christian critics and the group faded out of existence.
That is, until the 1960s. The Illuminati that we’ve come to hear about today is hardly influenced by the Bavarians at all, as I learned from author and broadcaster David Bramwell, a man who has dedicated himself to documenting the origins of the myth. Instead, an era of counter-culture mania, LSD and interest in Eastern philosophy is largely responsible for the group’s (totally unsubstantiated) modern incarnation. It all began somewhere amid the Summer of Love and the hippie phenomenon, when a small, printed text emerged: Principia Discordia.
Mysterious doors popping up around Truro and other parts of Nova Scotia
A red door popped up outside the farmers’ market on Prince Street, a green one in Victoria Park, a yellow one on Main Street and a blue one in the Truro Mall.
“We’re not sure about it, it is just a door that appeared,” said Jaclyn Johnston, marketing manager for the Truro Mall.
“We’ve heard there has been doors seen all over, including New Glasgow, Pictou, and even others around Truro. We’re not sure what is going on, but it is creating a lot of buzz in the community.”
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“I don’t really know anything about them,” said Christine Bulk, who took a photo of one of the doors.
“I just heard you are supposed to take a picture of them if you find one, post it online and in a few days it will be revealed what they’re for.”