background preloader

6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America

6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America
When it comes to the birth of America, most of us are working from a stew of elementary school history lessons, Westerns and vague Thanksgiving mythology. And while it's not surprising those sources might biff a couple details, what's shocking is how much less interesting the version we learned was. It turns out our teachers, Hollywood and whoever we got our Thanksgiving mythology from (Big Turkey?) all made America's origin story far more boring than it actually was for some very disturbing reasons. For instance ... #6. The Myth: Our history books don't really go into a ton of detail about how the Indians became an endangered species. When American Indians show up in movies made by conscientious white people like Oliver Stone, they usually lament having their land taken from them. But if we had to put the whole Cowboys and Indians battle in a Hollywood log line, we'd say the Indians put up a good fight, but were no match for the white man's superior technology. The Truth: #5. #4.

Related:  EARTH &History / Knowledge

Watch: 3D scan of Earth’s interior shows what lies underneath volcanoes Scientists have used the seismic data of 273 strong earthquakes over the past 20 years to create a high-resolution 3D map that shows how plumes of hot rock stretch from Earth’s mantle to volcanic hotspots like Hawaii and Samoa. Likening their technique to a CT scan of Earth’s interior, seismologists from the University of California, Berkeley in the US say their new 3D model offers the first accurate glimpse at the gargantuan hot rock formations that lie underneath volcanoes. “No one has seen before these stark columnar objects that are contiguous all the way from the bottom of the mantle to the upper part of the mantle,” said Scott French, first author of the study, in a press release. These plumes are massive too.

Centralia, Pennsylvania All properties in the borough were claimed under eminent domain and therein condemned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1992 and Centralia's ZIP code was revoked by the Postal Service in 2002.[6] State and local officials reached an agreement with the remaining residents on October 29, 2013, allowing them to live out their lives there, after which the rights of their properties will be taken through eminent domain.[7] History[edit] Early history[edit] Many of the Native American tribes endemic to what is now Columbia County sold the land that makes up Centralia to colonial agents in 1749 for the sum of five hundred pounds.

Pluto Probe Starts Beaming Home 'Treasure Trove' of Flyby Data NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has begun beaming home the best data from its epic July Pluto flyby. On July 14, New Horizons became the first probe ever to fly by Pluto, zooming within 7,800 miles (12,550 kilometers) of the dwarf planet's enigmatic surface. New Horizons sent some images and measurements back to its handlers immediately after the encounter, but stored the vast majority onboard for later transmission. That transmission — which involves tens of gigabits of information — began in earnest on Saturday (Sept. 5) and should take about a year to complete, mission team members said. [Destination Pluto: NASA's New Horizons Mission in Pictures] "This is what we came for — these images, spectra and other data types that are going to help us understand the origin and the evolution of the Pluto system for the first time," New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said in a statement.

The most beautiful suicide On May 1, 1947, Evelyn McHale leapt to her death from the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Photographer Robert Wiles took a photo of McHale a few minutes after her death. The photo ran a couple of weeks later in Life magazine accompanied by the following caption: This Face Changes the Human Story. But How? A trove of bones hidden deep within a South African cave represents a new species of human ancestor, scientists announced Thursday in the journal eLife. Homo naledi, as they call it, appears very primitive in some respects—it had a tiny brain, for instance, and apelike shoulders for climbing. But in other ways it looks remarkably like modern humans. When did it live? Where does it fit in the human family tree?

Stonewall riots The Stonewall Inn, taken September 1969. The sign in the window reads: "We homosexuals plead with our people to please help maintain peaceful and quiet conduct on the streets of the Village—Mattachine."[1] The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBT) community[note 1] against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

Leif Erikson Day and other history we get wrong The day celebrates the 11th-century Norse explorer who is credited with sailing to New Foundland and settling Vinland hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus ventured forth. But his story -- and that of the Vikings -- is rife with misinformation. For one, there is no evidence that they wore the now famous headgear with the horns. Nor were all Scandinavians and Norse people pirating and plundering coasts of Europe in the 8th to 10th centuries. Films and TV shows like the History Channel's "Vikings" have helped the fierce legend of the group live on.

Brain Researchers Can Detect Who We Are Thinking About Scientists scanning the human brain can now tell whom a person is thinking of, the first time researchers have been able to identify what people are imagining from imaging technologies. Work to visualize thought is starting to pile up successes. Recently, scientists have used brain scans to decode imagery directly from the brain, such as what number people have just seen and what memory a person is recalling. They can now even reconstruct videos of what a person has watched based on their brain activity alone. Cornell University cognitive neuroscientist Nathan Spreng and his colleagues wanted to carry this research one step further by seeing if they could deduce the mental pictures of people that subjects conjure up in their heads.

Plague in humans 'twice as old' but didn't begin as flea-borne, ancient DNA reveals New research using ancient DNA has revealed that plague has been endemic in human populations for more than twice as long as previously thought, and that the ancestral plague would have been predominantly spread by human-to-human contact—until genetic mutations allowed Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis), the bacteria that causes plague, to survive in the gut of fleas. These mutations, which may have occurred near the turn of the 1st millennium BC, gave rise to the bubonic form of plague that spreads at terrifying speed through flea—and consequently rat—carriers. The bubonic plague caused the pandemics that decimated global populations, including the Black Death, which wiped out half the population of Europe in the 14th century.

Geodesic dome Typically a geodesic dome design begins with an icosahedron inscribed in a hypothetical sphere, tiling each triangular face with smaller triangles, then projecting the vertices of each tile to the sphere. The endpoints of the links of the completed sphere are the projected endpoints on the sphere's surface. If this is done exactly, sub-triangle edge lengths take on many different values, requiring links of many sizes.