Seeing Hera in the Iliad

Restored ruins of the Temple of Hera, ancient Doric Greek temple at Olympia, Greece / Photo by Carole Raddato, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Seemee Ali Associate Professor of English Carthage College Hera is the most under-appreciated deity in the pantheon of Homer’s Iliad. Inseminating mortals with thoughts and understanding the secret plans of Zeus, Hera[…]

The Origin of Fermentation and Mead in Ancient Egypt

Painted wooden model group: four figures preparing food and beer. 6th Dynasty, Sidmant, Egypt. / © Trustees of the British Museum, London By Dr. Ethan Watrall / 02.05.2014 Assistant Professor of Anthropology Michigan State University The ancient Egyptians were known to be avid practitioners of fermentation. They purposefully created alcohol for the purpose of consumption. Fermentation occurs[…]

Stuffed Ox, Dummy Tree, Artificial Rock: Deception in the Work of Richard and Cherry Kearton

“Shouldering the imitation ox”, from a 1909 edition of Richard Kearton’s Wild Nature’s Ways / archive.org John Bevis explores the various feats of cunning and subterfuge undertaken by the Kearton brothers — among the very first professional wildlife photographers — in their pioneering attempts to get ever closer to their subjects. By John Bevis /[…]

Divine Images as Beings in Western Europe, 1500-1960: Blood, Sweat, and Tears

By Dr. William A. Christian Former Visiting Professor of Religious History, University of California, Santa Barbara Historian of Religion, MacArthur Foundation Fellows Program Toribia del Valintroduced one of the ways of connecting with the divine: the visit of a supernatural with counsel and instructions for a specific purpose, in her case to end a drought[…]

Hubble Catches Black Hole Born from Collapsing Star

A team of astronomers at The Ohio State University watched a star disappear and possibly become a black hole. Instead of becoming a black hole through the expected process of a supernova, the black hole candidate formed through a “failed supernova.” / Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Katrina Jackson “Massive fails” like this one in a[…]

Rite of Spring: Frank Gehry and the Walt Disney Concert Hall of the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California, 2004. / Photo by John Sullivan, Wikimedia Commons The inside story of how Gehry secured the commission for Disney Hall, and then completed the “slow, awesome task” of perfecting the design. By Dr. Thomas S. Hines / 05.25.2017 Architectural Historian Professor Emeritus University of California, Los Angeles[…]

Thinking Iranian, Rethinking Greek

“Wanderer above the sea of fog” (ca. 1818), Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840). Image via Wikimedia Commons. By Dr. Gregory Nagy / 03.13.2015 Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature Professor of Comparative Literature Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies Harvard University Introduction What do you first think of when we hear the words Iranian[…]

Sieving the Mesolithic

By Dr. Jessi Halligan / 08.05.2016 Assistant Professor of Anthropology Florida State University The rain was mercifully holding off and the mid morning breeze had all but blown itself away as I crouched at the edge of a sand lined pool in the rough corner of a reed-thick, marshy field and slowly lifted the tarnished[…]

The Art of Mexican Independence

Anonymous, Allegory of Independence (detail), 1834 (Museo Histórico Curato de Dolores, Guanajato, INAH) By Dr. Maya Jiménez / 02.17.2017 Lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art and Assistant Professor of Art History Kingsborough Community College, CUNY The first two, and most notable, countries in the Americas to gain independence were the United States (1776), led[…]

The Academy of San Carlos

Site of the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City since 1791 (photo: Steven Zucker) By Dr. Maya Jiménez / 02.17.2017 Lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art and Assistant Professor of Art History Kingsborough Community College, CUNY From its beginnings in the sixteenth century, the Viceroyalty of New Spain had been home to many[…]

Nero: The Myth and the Actual Story

Nero: had a reputation as an arsonist even in antiquity. Wikimedia Commons    By Dr. Caillan Davenport (left) and Dr. Shushma Malik (right) / 01.19.2017 Caillan: Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History and ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow, The University of Queensland Malik: Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, The University of Queensland If asked to[…]

How to Make Fear Your Friend

By Simon Yugler / 05.25.2017 Be Cautious, Not Complacent Danger is to adventure what garlic is to spaghetti sauce. Without it, you just end up with stewed tomatoes. – Tom Robbins I’d like to fashion myself an advocate of doing things that scare us. In today’s world of guard-rails, antibacterial soap, and well-meaning regulations, there are[…]

Worse than MRSA: Doctors Call for Urgent Action on Superbug Threat

Klebsiella Pneumoniae (computer illustration) by Alamy  By Madlen Davies / 04.21.2017 Doctors are warning that the rise of an almost untreatable superbug, immune to some of the last-line antibiotics available to hospitals, poses a grave threat and needs urgent government action. The Bureau has obtained data showing 60 people treated at Central Manchester University Hospitals[…]

Neuromechanics of Flamingos’ Amazing Feats of Balance

How do they do while sleeping what we can barely do at all? Carlos Bustamante Restrepo    By Dr. Lena Ting and Dr. Young-Hui Chang / 05.23.2017 Ting: Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Medicine, Emory University Chang: Professor of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology If you’ve watched flamingos at the zoo – or if you’re[…]

Incitatus: Caligula’s Horse in Popular Myth and Reality

An equestrian statue of a Julio-Claudian prince, originally identified as Caligula. ©Trustees of the British Museum    By Dr. Caillan Davenport (left) and Dr. Shushma Malik (right) / 01.19.2017 Caillan: Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History and ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow, The University of Queensland Malik: Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, The University of[…]

The Tomb of Fastia Velsi from Chiusi

By Dr. Richard De Puma Professor Emeritus of Art History University of Iowa Etruscan Studies 11:9 (2008), 134-149 The modern Tuscan town of Chiusi is the site of one of the major inland cities of the ancient Etruscans. For centuries the settlement, its cemeteries and the extensive satellite communities have been explored, plundered and excavated.[…]

Understanding Tornadoes: 5 Questions Answered

Tornado seven miles south of Anadarko, Oklahoma, May 3, 1999. OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory/Flickr    By Dr. Paul Markowski and Dr. Yvette Richardson / 05.18.2017 Professors of Meteorology Pennsylvania State University 1. Where are tornadoes most likely to occur? Most headline-making tornadoes are spawned by what are known as supercell thunderstorms. These are large, intense[…]

Closing in on a Breakthrough: Blood-Forming Stem Cells

An illustration of blood stem and progenitor cells (blue) emerging from hemogenic endothelial cells (purple) during normal embryonic development. Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital recapitulated this process to transform the hemogenic endothelial cells into blood stem and progenitor cells, potentially creating a process to make virtually every cell type in the body. / O’Reilly Science Art[…]

An Ancient Roman Vomitorium: NOT a Place to Vomit

A Roman Feast, by Roberto Bompiani, late 19th century / Getty Center, Wikimedia Commons    By Dr. Caillan Davenport (left) and Dr. Shushma Malik (right) / 01.19.2017 Caillan: Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History and ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow, The University of Queensland Malik: Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, The University of Queensland After[…]

Patron Deities and Politics among the Classic Maya

Maya mask. Stucco frieze from Placeres, Campeche. Early Classic period (c. 250 – 600 AD) / Photo by Wolfgang Sauber, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City By Dr. Joanne Baron Lecturer in Anthropology University of Pennsylvania Introduction Most modern scholars agree that religious belief played at least some role in the exercise and legitimization of[…]

Hangover? There’s an Ancient Cure for That!

Should have stuck to white … / Creative Commons By Dr. Laurence Totelin / 12.31.2014 Lecturer in Ancient History Cardiff University Slightly over-indulged in wine this festive season? Suffering from throbbing headache, dry mouth, and nausea after the office Christmas party? The hair of the dog somehow does not appeal? Are you looking for time-tested[…]

Political Ideologies and Isms

The SLECO (Socialism, Liberalism, Conservatism and Ecology) chart is a proposed alternative to the Nolan Chart and the Hans Slomp projection of the European political spectrum. It should be able to capture more political schools. / Ben Burgers, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. T.M. Sell / 11.30.2014 Pacific Northwest Political Science Association Introduction People sometimes develop[…]

Scientists Publish First Comprehensive Map of Proteins within Cells

[LEFT]: In epidermoid carcinoma cells, that the protein SON (green) is localising into nuclear speckles, a substructure in the nucleus. [RIGHT]: SEPT9 (green) localizes to actin filaments in epidermoid carcinoma cells. The first analysis of how proteins are arranged in a cell has been published today in Science, revealing that a large portion of human[…]

Love, Death, and Blissful Ignorance: Pliny and the Origins of Photography

By Dr. Peter Kruschwitz / 04.23.2017 From The Petrified Muse Professor of Classics Fellow of the Pontifical Academy for Latin (Pontificia Academia Latinitatis) University of Reading Pliny the Elder, ancient Rome’s great encyclopedist, did not, of course, describe the origins of modern photography – a technique and art that was greatly advanced in Reading, Berkshire,[…]