The Klerksdorp Spheres found near Ottosdal, South Africa, Moqui Marbles from Utah and Arizona, and the Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach on the Otago coast of New Zealand all have something in common: they aren't puzzling ancient artifacts or possibly proof of otherworldly connections, but rather concretions, naturally occurring geologic features that are created in the same fashion as pearls. Archaeology Fantasies debunks the myths of the Klerksdorp Spheres, and also details what is know of the giant stone balls of Costa Rica, which retain some mystery to their creation and purpose. [more inside]
Déjà Lu republishes locally-selected scholarly articles from journals connected to regional anthropological associations around the world. The result is a PDF-heavy but fascinating collection of long reads on obscure topics. Via. [more inside]
SPACE.com has reported that a prototype of the ISSpresso, an espresso machine heading to the International Space Station (ISS) next year, was recently displayed at the 65th International Astronautical Congress 2014. [more inside]
With the completion of the group stages, three quarters of the matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup have been played. Now, it's a straight round-by-round elimination for the remaining 16 teams in their quest to reach the final. There's been biting, alternative commentary, mood swings, (allegedly) sulky England players, exciting matches, the USA vs Ronaldo, Europeans taking early return flights, deep analysis, a fantasy league and many goals - but who will finally lift the trophy in Rio's Estádio do Maracanã on Sunday 13th July? [more inside]
Killing a Turtle Advocate
Each spring on Costa Rica’s desolate Caribbean coast, endangered leatherback sea turtles come ashore at night to lay and hide their eggs. Poachers steal them for cash, and as Matthew Power reports, they’re willing to kill anyone who gets in their way.[more inside]
108 stitches per ball. One stitch every 8.3 seconds. For a 10.5 hour shift*. 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Complicated? [more inside]
Takasugi-an by Terunobu Fujimori
4treehouse by Lukasz Kos
Lake-Nest Tree House and Lantern House by Roderick Romero [more inside]
Copa América is streamed live on YouTube. Copa América is the oldest international football competition, having been held first in 1916. This is a contest between the 10 South American nations and two invitational teams, this time Costa Rica and Mexico, who both sent young squads (Japan was slated to take part but withdrew due to the earthquake). The tournament started yesterday with Bolivia unexpectedly managing to hold Argentina to a draw. Colombia are currently beating a 10-man Costa Rica 1-0. Brazil start their campaign tomorrow, against Venezuela. One of the world's premier football writers, Jonathan Wilson, wrote previews of the three groups, A, B and C. The Independent has more light-hearted team previews.
On his March 8th show Rush Limbaugh declared that if health care reform passed he would be getting his future heath care in Costa Rica. Mike and Patrick would like to buy him a ticket (as long as he doesn't come back). Enough money has already been raised, but if Rush refuses to go all monies will be donated to Planned Parenthood. (via and via)
How much life could you find in one cubic foot? With a 12-inch green metal-framed cube, photographer David Liittschwager (of the Endangered Species Project) surveyed biodiversity in land, water, tropical and temperate environments around the globe for National Geographic. At each locale he set down the cube and started watching, counting, and photographing with the help of his assistant and many biologists. The goal: to represent the creatures that lived in or moved through that space. The team then sorted through their habitat cubes and tallied every inhabitant, down to a size of about a millimeter. [more inside]
Latin America Turning Left? From the top: Lula da Silva*, Lopez Obrador, Nestor Kirchner, Hugo Chavez*, Alvaro Uribe, Michelle Bachelet*, Ollanta Humala, Alfredo Palacio, Oscar Berger, Leonel Fernandez, Oscar Arias, Tony Saca, Tabare Vazquez, Martín Torrijos, Evo Morales* Manuel Zelaya, Nicanor Duarte, Daniel Ortega, Rene Preval*.