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The Jireček Line

Yet another border dividing the Balkans, in Greek and Roman halves.

In 1911, Czech historian Konstantin Jireček drew a line across a map of the Balkan peninsula. The line, running east-west from the Adriatic Sea to the Black Sea, through northern Albania, along the Macedonian-Serbian border, and straight through the middle of Bulgaria, was an imaginary demarcation based on archaeological findings.


To the north, Latin was the dominant language. To the south, Greek dominated. This situation became more fluid after the collapse of the Western half of the Roman empire in the 5th century, eventually leading to the diminishing of Latin’s influence – although it did lead to the creation of Romanian, the only large romance language group of Eastern Europe.

Strange Map #128

Got a strange map? Let me know at strangemaps@gmail.com.

Maps found here on wikipedia and here at Tsoutsouneros.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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This optical illusion plays tricks on your brain

Check out these mysterious optical illusions that affect our visual perception.

If you look at the cross in the middle for at least 10 seconds, colorful spots on the sides will begin to fade away, courtesy of the Troxler effect.

Mind & Brain
  • Troxler's effect or "fading" causes images to disappear from your field of vision.
  • Scientists don't have a full understanding yet of how this works.
  • The effect is linked to the way neurons are adapted by the visual system.
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Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

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