Science Hit-and-Run

Theoretical Breakthrough: Generating Matter and Antimatter from Nothing

“Under just the right conditions — which involve an ultra-high-intensity laser beam and a two-mile-long particle accelerator — it could be possible to create something out of nothing, according to University of Michigan researchers.”

“Nothing” seems to include an awful lot of equipment. Someone please explain creation ex nihilo again to these people.

Lost Civilization Under Persian Gulf?

Historical sea level data show that, prior to the flood, the Gulf basin would have been above water beginning about 75,000 years ago. And it would have been an ideal refuge from the harsh deserts surrounding it, with fresh water supplied by the Tigris, Euphrates, Karun, and Wadi Baton Rivers, as well as by underground springs. When conditions were at their driest in the surrounding hinterlands, the Gulf Oasis would have been at its largest in terms of exposed land area. At its peak, the exposed basin would have been about the size of Great Britain, Rose says.

Tigris and Euphrates, eh? That reminds me of something. Oh yeah.

Giant Storks May Have Fed on Real Hobbits

The extinct predator could have fed on fishes, lizards and birds, “and possibly in principle even small, juvenile hobbits, although we have no evidence for that,” she said. “These birds are opportunistic carnivores — if you give them plenty of prey items, they’ll hunt all of them.”

There are no signs yet of whether hobbits returned the favor by hunting these birds. “No cut marks are seen on any of its bones,” Meijer said.

Homer was apparently quite well-informed:

When the companies were thus arrayed, each under its own captain, the Trojans advanced as a flight of wild fowl or cranes that scream overhead when rain and winter drive them over the flowing waters of Oceanus to bring death and destruction on the Pygmies, and they wrangle in the air as they fly; but the Achaeans marched silently, in high heart, and minded to stand by one another. (Iliad III)

Medieval England Twice as Well Off as Today’s Poorest Nations

New research led by economists at the University of Warwick reveals that medieval England was not only far more prosperous than previously believed, it also actually boasted an average income that would be more than double the average per capita income of the world’s poorest nations today.

Say what you will about the tenets of feudalism — at least it’s an ethos.

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