Scary, scary news. While 2018 was only the 4th hottest year ever, the last five years—from 2014 to 2018—are the warmest years ever recorded in the 139 years that NOAA has tracked global heat. (NOAA stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and is a section of the US Department of Commerce.)
You can see on this leaf, John the Evangelist has already copied John 1:1-2 in Ge'ez. It comes from a gospel book, all written in Ge'ez, the traditional language for worship in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. This particular manuscript, dating to the 1st half of the 1500s, is exceptionally well-preserved and represents the golden age of what has been termed the Gunda Gunde style of Ethiopian manuscripts.
The Gunda Gunde style is characterized by bold blocks of color defined by detailed and often delicate linear motifs. Figures are highly stylized and expressive, like John the Evangelist on this page. And around the figures are beautiful geometric and interlaced designs, like the chair that John is sitting upon
Many of us are not taught about this very popular religion in school. Well, "religion" may be the wrong word. Way of viewing the world?
Human's homo ancestors were likely much hairier than we are. Think chimpanzees and gorillas, not hairless cats. Why did humanity evolve to lose their body hair? There are many theories, including Darwin's that it was because our ancestors preferred less-hairy mates (in biological terms, sexual selection pressure), and that less hair meant less parasites and therefore a better chance of surviving.
The most popular theory today is that we evolved less hair to assist with regulating our body heat (in biological terms, thermoregulation). During some evolutionary phase after our ancestors became bipeds, they were regularly walking or running in open, drier habitats. Such activities in such an environment would make overheating a serious risk. Reducing body hair, to reduce heat trapping, and increasing sweat glands, for more effective evaporative cooling via perspiration, would therefore be evolutionarily favored.
I know I'm undereducated about Namibia. Maybe you are too?
Uatchitodon, the earliest known venomous reptile, lived about 200 million years ago. Its existence is known only from its surviving teeth.
"The Great Unconformity" is the technical term for where layers of rock suddenly jump in time - skipping about a billion years forward. The good news is, researchers may have solved what's going on!
Female Ethiopian captain Aster Tolossa is allegedly the first female pilot to shoot down an enemy fighter jet. She did so in 2000 near Asmara, in Eritrean airspace.
Gilbert Highet, on Juvenal. Highet (1906 – 1978) was a Scottish-American classicist, academic, writer, intellectual, critic and literary historian. Juvenal (1st century - 2nd century CE) was a Roman poet who published at least five books of verses. They lived 1,800 years apart, proving the truth of Highet's quote.
This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!
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