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Why We Need to Start Seeing the Classical World in Color Modern technology has revealed an irrefutable, if unpopular, truth: many of the statues, reliefs, and sarcophagi created in the ancient Western world were in fact painted. Marble was a precious material for Greco-Roman artisans, but it was considered a canvas, not the finished product for sculpture. It was carefully selected and then often painted in gold, red, green, black, white, and brown, among other colors. A number of fantastic museum shows throughout Europe and the US in recent years have addressed the issue of ancient polychromy.

Humans are responsible for the sudden disappearance of world's largest mammals Humans likely had an important role to play in the extinction of the wooly mammoth. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. During the late Pleistocene, about 125,000 years ago, some of the world’s largest and most impressive mammals suddenly started disappearing. This was a time when huge beasts collectively known as megafauna roamed the planet; animals like a hornless rhino that was ten times bigger than today’s living variety or a short-faced bear that would have towered over the mighties grizzlies. But even such terrifying megafauna was no match for a seemingly inconsequential-looking species: Homo Sapiens. Paleontologists studied the entire mammal fossil record from 65 million years ago — after the dinosaurs became extinct following a giant asteroid impact — up to present day.

The book that fights sexism with science When young men and women come up against sexist stereotypes masquerading as science, Angela Saini wants them to be armed with the facts. “I call my book ammunition,” she says of her 288-page prize-winning work Inferior: The True Power of Women and the Science that Shows It. “There are people out there who insist that somehow the inequalities we see in society are not just because of historic discrimination, but also because of biology – the idea that there are factors within us that will cause men or women to be better at some things than others.”

The Immigrant Ancestors Ann Coulter Wishes She Didn’t Have In a recent appearance on The View to promote her latest book, Ann Coulter reiterated her well-known anti-immigrant stance. Guest host Ana Navarro responded, saying, “Let me point out that you’re sitting at this table next to two immigrants ... What is your family’s immigration story? Are you a Native American?” Coulter’s reply was curious: “Yes, I am. I’m a settler. Taking Cactus Portraits In the Summer In Arizona – A. D. McCormick Just about nobody goes to Phoenix in August if they can help it. When I arrived, the temperature had fallen to 110 degrees Fahrenheit from close to 120 several days prior, and it was all the locals were talking about: “You’re lucky you weren’t here last week.” I enjoy the heat, and one of my favorite sensations is stepping out of air conditioning into unreasonably hot weather. Visiting Hong Kong in the summer, emerging from the airport at night into the tropical humidity, is like entering the body of an animal. The air is so viscous and saturated, so full of flavor, it hangs on you.

Culture - The rare blue the Maya invented In 17th Century Europe, when Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and Peter Paul Rubens painted their famous masterworks, ultramarine blue pigment made from the semi-precious lapis lazuli stone was mined far away in Afghanistan and cost more than its weight in gold. Only the most illustrious painters were allowed to use the costly material, while lesser artists were forced to use duller colours that faded under the sun. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution in the 19th Century that a synthetic alternative was invented, and true ultramarine blue finally became widely available. During colonisation Maya blue was exploited along with everything else that had belonged to the people of the New World

How Native American Slaveholders Complicate the Trail of Tears Narrative When you think of the Trail of Tears, you likely imagine a long procession of suffering Cherokee Indians forced westward by a villainous Andrew Jackson. Perhaps you envision unscrupulous white slaveholders, whose interest in growing a plantation economy underlay the decision to expel the Cherokee, flooding in to take their place east of the Mississippi River. What you probably don’t picture are Cherokee slaveholders, foremost among them Cherokee chief John Ross. What you probably don’t picture are the numerous African-American slaves, Cherokee-owned, who made the brutal march themselves, or else were shipped en masse to what is now Oklahoma aboard cramped boats by their wealthy Indian masters. These uncomfortable complications in the narrative were brought to the forefront at a recent event held at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Teachers' Strategies for Pronouncing and Remembering Students' Names Correctly The names of white and nonwhite children alike are mispronounced, Kohli and Solórzano write, but the experience is much more damaging for a child who “goes to school and reads textbooks that do not reference her culture, sees no teachers or administrators that look like her, and perhaps does not hear her home language,” since these cues (plus advertisements, movies and other indicators of societal values at large) already communicate “that who they are and where they come from is not important.” For one Latina study participant, having her name mispronounced made her wish her parents were more Americanized; a Sri Lankan American reported feeling that his name was “an imposition on others.” They’re not imagining things. Kathryn Campbell-Kibler, a sociolinguist at The Ohio State University, says the effort we put into overcoming a “barrier to communication” depends on (and communicates) social values. How then can educators overcome the hurdles to doing so?

Knowledge of different cultures shakes up psychology 2 clicks The academic discipline of psychology was developed largely in North America and Europe. Some would argue it’s been remarkably successful in understanding what drives human behaviour and mental processes, which have long been thought to be universal. But in recent decades some researchers have started questioning this approach, arguing that many psychological phenomena are shaped by the culture we live in. Clearly, humans are in many ways very similar – we share the same physiology and have the same basic needs, such as nourishment, safety and sexuality. So what effect can culture really have on the fundamental aspects of our psyche, such as perception, cognition and personality?

Tripping on Peyote in Navajo Nation In 2002, on assignment for Discover Magazine, I participated in a peyote ceremony of the Native American Church. I’ve been recalling this extraordinary experience lately because I’ve been in contact with the man who arranged it, psychiatrist John H. Halpern, an authority on psychedelics, whom I met while researching my 2003 book Rational Mysticism.

Woman Parodies Celebrity Culture in Hilarious Photo Recreation Series Instagram has proven to be a bastion of some of the most strange celebrity portraits, and Australian comedian Celeste Barber is ready and eager to point out just how ridiculous they really are. In her long-running series called #CelesteChallengeAccepted, she posts side-by-side photos of herself (and sometimes her husband) mimicking the bizarre images of celebrities and high fashion models. Not one to sugarcoat things, Barber’s photo recreations add a biting wit and heavy dose of realism to the often idyllic or just plain silly celebrity pictures. #CelesteChallengeAccepted started in January 2015 as a “fun experiment to see what it would look like for an average person to photograph herself doing rich people things.” The straightforward concept yields hilarious results that only amplify the absurdity of the original photo.

Clever Rock Science Provides New Possibilities for Migration to the Americas When and how did the first people come to the Americas? The conventional story says that the earliest settlers came via Siberia, crossing the now-defunct Bering land bridge on foot and trekking through Canada when an ice-free corridor opened up between massive ice sheets toward the end of the last ice age. But with recent archaeological evidence casting doubt on this thinking, scientists are seeking new explanations. One dominant, new theory: The first Americans took a coastal route along Alaska's Pacific border to enter the continent. A new geological study provides compelling evidence to support this hypothesis. Why Are We Still Teaching Reading the Wrong Way? Our children aren’t being taught to read in ways that line up with what scientists have discovered about how people actually learn. It’s a problem that has been hiding in plain sight for decades. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, more than six in 10 fourth graders aren’t proficient readers. It has been this way since testing began.

Hotter, Drier, Hungrier: How Global Warming Punishes the World’s Poorest KAKUMA, Kenya — These barren plains of sand and stone have always known lean times: times when the rivers run dry and the cows wither day by day, until their bones are scattered under the acacia trees. But the lean times have always been followed by normal times, when it rains enough to rebuild herds, repay debts, give milk to the children and eat meat a few times each week. Times are changing, though. Northern Kenya — like its arid neighbors in the Horn of Africa, where Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson paid a visit last week, including a stop in Nairobi — has become measurably drier and hotter, and scientists are finding the fingerprints of global warming. According to recent research, the region dried faster in the 20th century than at any time over the last 2,000 years.