Sign of the Times
A regular system of 26 symbols thought to be the origins of written language crop up in stone carvings throughout the prehistoric world – now experts are trying to decipher their meaning.
A regular system of 26 symbols thought to be the origins of written language crop up in stone carvings throughout the prehistoric world – now experts are trying to decipher their meaning. "Some wonder whether [the symbols] originated with early humans as they migrated across the globe out of Africa some 70,000 years ago. From the walls of the Great Hall of the Bulls, Lascaux II cave, Dordogne, France to rock paintings in Chobe National Park, Botswana,. to caves and canyon walls in Australia, central Africa, Europe, India and South and North America, breathtakingly beautiful Stone Age paintings have revealed strange squiggles, semicircles, lines, dots, spirals, hands and zigzags that may hold the key to understanding early forms of human communication. The zigzag lines for example didn't emerge until 20,000 years ago and by 13,000 years ago had disappeared. A similarly shaped snaking form existed from 30,000 years ago but also died off around 13,000 years ago. A multidisciplinary team of scientists at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico is working toward reconstructing the mother of all languages. Since all representatives of the species Homo sapiens presumably share a common origin, it would be natural to suppose that all human languages also go back to some common source."
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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