Some science stories for you to consider while I decide what todays primate will be.
National Geographic uncovers the plot, hatched by Humboldt squid, to deprive the world of fish sticks and artificial crab cakes:
A species of 100-pound (45-kilogram) predatory squid previously confined to more tropical climates has taken up residence in coastal California waters, scientists say.
And the invasion of Humboldt squid seems to be making a noticeable dent in the local population of hake, experts note in a new study.
Hake, also known as Pacific whiting, is used to make imitation crab, fish sticks, and other minced-fish products.
I’m not sure we should stop them from ridding the world minced-fish products. To be serious for a moment, the invasion seems to be do to a decline in tuna populations. Tuna are one of the Humboldt squids main competitors for food and even eat baby squid…
Science Daily is reporting on the oldest artificial prosthesis – a prosthetic big toe dating to between 1000 B. C. and 600 B. C. The toe was found on an Egyptian mummy and researchers are currently testing it to see if it was a functional prosthesis or a cosmetic addition to the mummy.
National Geographic also has an interesting story on the rise of demonic possessions after the Norman Conquest:
But while demon possession involving ritual display carried out by a priest or exorcist was well documented in mainland Europe, the phenomenon was either rare or absent in Anglo-Saxon England, the researcher found.
This changed after William of Normandy invaded from France, defeating the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Hastings and replacing King Harold as England’s monarch… “As an imported and learned series of behaviors, demon possession did not seem to ‘take’ in England, for the most part, prior to the Norman Conquest,” Dendle said.
The story goes on to say:
Lasting no more than 50 years, the outbreak may reflect the tension between Christianity and lingering pagan beliefs, Dendle pointed out. Or the spate could have resulted from differences in the way converts understood their new religion.
Societies under stress do strange things…
This bit from the article was quite amusing:
One argument is that demon possession as a religious concept was good for business.
If cures appeared to work, “people would be very grateful and leave donations–which the churches and monasteries were dependent on,” Lee pointed out.
Who’d have thunk it…
The article then moves to more contemporary times:
“Demon possession as a living social phenomenon has made a ‘miraculous’ comeback over the last 30 years,” Dendle added. “It’s currently a growth industry in America and England as well as throughout the developing world.”
Such a trend is seen today mainly among Evangelical Christians, such as those belonging to the Pentecostal movement.
Rather than an abstract idea, evil is seen by believers as an actual force that can be manifest when the devil “possesses” someone.
“There is little out there more spectacular than demon possession, and it brings with it an intoxicating aura of mystery and primordial danger–of cosmic forces locked in epic combat,” Dendle said.
“I believe this trend will continue to gain momentum for some time.”
Hmph! Folks who still personify good and evil rather than considering them abstractions.
Filed under: Interesting Science News