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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Scientists solve the origin of Stonehenge’s sarsen stones

Most of Stonehenge's megaliths, called sarens, came from West Woods, Wiltshire.

  • Researchers have known Stonehenge's smaller bluestones came from Preseli Hills, Wales, but the source of its sarsens has remained a mystery.
  • Using chemical analysis, scientists found at matching source at West Woods, approximately 25 kilometer north of the World Heritage Site.
  • But mysteries remain, such as why that site was chosen.
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    What if Middle-earth was in Pakistan?

    Iranian Tolkien scholar finds intriguing parallels between subcontinental geography and famous map of Middle-earth.

    Image: Mohammad Reza Kamali, reproduced with kind permission
    • J.R.R. Tolkien hinted that his stories are set in a really ancient version of Europe.
    • But a fantasy realm can be inspired by a variety of places; and perhaps so is Tolkien's world.
    • These intriguing similarities with Asian topography show that it may be time to 'decolonise' Middle-earth.
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    Europe to ban American travel as U.S. struggles to contain pandemic

    The European Union is debating over two lists of nations from which it will accept travelers starting July 1.

    Joe Raedle / Getty
    • The EU has slowed the spread of COVID-19 in most regions, while cases in the U.S. continue to grow.
    • The U.S. is reportedly excluded from both lists of "accepted nations," but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested the U.S. may reach an agreement with European officials.
    • A ban on American travel would surely have political consequences for the Trump administration.
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    Do you prefer subs or dubs? Here’s a map for that.

    Europe is divided on whether films should have subtitles or different audio tracks.

    Image: MapChart, reproduced with kind permission
    • The boom of international content is fueling the rise of dubbing, or 're-voicing' the movie or series in another language.
    • As old as the 'talkies', dubbing and subtitling won out over a competing technique known as 'multiple language versions'.
    • As this map shows, Europe is deeply divided between subbing and dubbing – and between different kinds of dubbing.
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    Austria like you’ve never seen it before

    And after these 10 surprising maps, the Alpine republic will never look the same again.

    Image: Austrian Maps
    • Austria has an almost-exclave, connected to the motherland via a single dot on a mountaintop.
    • Habsburgs were so fancy, they were buried in three different locations across Vienna.
    • These and other absurd and obscure facts about Austria are the subject of a highly entertaining Twitter account.
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