"Academics restart work
to unlock secrets of mystery medieval civilization with links to Persia on edge of the Siberian Arctic. The 34 shallow graves excavated by archeologists at Zeleniy Yar throw up many more questions than answers. But one thing seems clear: this remote spot, 29 km shy of the Arctic Circle, was a trading crossroads of some importance around one millennium ago."
"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."Naturalis Historia
was written by Pliny the Elder
between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian
, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum
, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification. [more inside]
To a Chinese Scrap-Metal Hunter, America's Trash Is Treasure:
Johnson Zeng is a Chinese trader who travels across the U.S. in search of scrap metal. By his estimate, there are at least 100 others like him driving from scrap yard to scrap yard, right now, in search of what Americans won’t or can’t be bothered to recycle. His favorite product: wires, cables, and other kinds of copper. His purchases, millions of pounds of metal worth millions of dollars, will eventually be shipped to China. [more inside]
It's 1963. You're in a cold war with Russia. You want to keep up communication capabilities globally. Communication satellites haven't come into their own. The ionosphere is fickle and jammable. What do you do? You fire 480 million tiny copper wires into space to create an artificial dipole antenna belt around the earth. You call it Project West Ford
. It works. [more inside]
The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards
, commonly shortened to the Eisner Awards
, are prizes given for creative achievement in American comic books since 1988. The digital comic category was added in 2005. Some say the category could be expanded
, given the abundance of digital creations. Regardless, there are 42 different titles nominated in the past 8 years. The 2013 nominations have been made
: Ant Comic
, by Michael DeForge (previously
) | Bandette
, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover | It Will All Hurt
, by Farel Dalrymple (previously
) | Our Bloodstained Roof
, by Ryan Andrews (previously
) | Oyster War
, by Ben Towle. Nominations and winners from prior years inside. [more inside]
Golden Buddha, Hidden Copper.
"Twelve years after the Taliban blew up the world-famous Bamiyan Buddhas, a Chinese mining firm -- developing one of the world's largest copper deposits -- threatens to destroy
another of Afghanistan's archeological treasures
." Campaign to Save Mes Aynak
U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan.
The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.
The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
The new monetary standard: Copper.
How much is a penny worth today?
Oh, about $0.0105465. Of course, it costs more than that to produce them. Is the penny worth keeping
? The old copper penny had bactericidal qualities
. You could drop a copper penny in a glass of wine
to discern its nature. They were the subject of various high-school chemistry experiments
. According to some, they were excellent conductors of luck
. And the new zinc pennies? Their melting point is lower, and they don't have the same ring to them. Some people like
them, others like to eat
them. What are they good for? Not much. The time has come to abolish the penny
- tales about Copper and Fred, his dog. By Kazu Kibuishi
is a beautifully drawn web-comic about a dog and his boy. The author Kazu Kibuishi is also about to release Flight
, a highly anticipated anthology which includes the works of Derek Kirk Kim
, Jen Wang
, Clio Chang
, Rad Sechrist
, Vera Brosgol
and Enrico Casarosa
, all a group of artists who met over the Internet (Most links are to comics) Scott McCloud sends in a review
from the year 2054.