Archive for March, 2009

Ancient rock art from around the world

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: March 23, 2009   View Article

Even 15,000 years ago, humans were compelled to decorate the interior walls of their abodes. Back then – the Stone Age – home was often no more than a cave, but the artwork was sophisticated and sublime. Check out eight examples of rock art from around the world.

New Miniboats Are “Superbuoyant”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 20, 2009   View Article

Copper mesh coated with a highly water repellent material can float extremely well, according to researchers in China who built stamp-size prototypes.

The “boats” even stay afloat “when the upper edges are just a hair below the surface of the water.”

10 spring flings with science

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: March 19, 2009   View Article

Spring, the season of fertility and frivolous flings, is a bounty for science as well. Learn about the science of spring from festivals to floods.

Eight surprising fossil finds

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: March 16, 2009   View Article

Fossils help scientists peel back the layers of time to reveal stories of life from eras long past. Sometimes the story goes in an unforeseen direction; other fossils have a “wow” factor simply because they were discovered at all. Check out eight surprising fossil finds.

St. Patrick’s Day Facts: Snakes, a Slave, and a Saint

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 16, 2009   View Article

On St. Patrick’s Day—Tuesday, March 17—millions of people will don green and celebrate the Irish in, and around, them with parades, good cheer, and perhaps a pint of beer.

But few St. Patrick’s Day revelers have a clue about St. Patrick, the man, according to the author of St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography.

“The modern celebration of St. Patrick’s Day really has almost nothing to do with the real man,” said classics professor Philip Freeman of Luther College in Iowa.

Friday the 13th Strikes Again – Two Months in a Row

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 12, 2009   View Article

You’re not having a nightmare. It really is Friday the 13th again.

For the first time in 11 years, Friday the 13th is falling in two consecutive months. This double threat can only occur in certain non-leap years and only in a February-March combination. Look for it—or avoid it—again in 2015.

Zapotec Digs in Mexico Shows Clues to Rise and Fall

Publication: National Geographic magazine   Date: March 9, 2009   View Article

When it comes to pre-Columbian civilizations, the Aztec and Maya—known for their spectacular pyramids and temples, hieroglyphic writing systems, and elaborate, violent rituals—often overshadow the Zapotec, their less familiar counterparts centered in southern Mexico.

But the Zapotec also played a vital role in ancient Mesoamerica, and archaeologists are seeking new clues to the rise and fall of their culture and civilization, which flourished and declined in the Valley of Oaxaca at roughly the same time as the ancient Maya.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach