From a book I happen to be reading at the moment:
The prevailing theory as to why, as a species, we left off hunting and gathering is that we had ruined that perfectly good lifestyle by overdoing it, killing off the megafauna on which we depended. Otherwise, it's hard to explain why humans would ever have traded such a healthy and comparatively pleasant way of life for the backbreaking, monotonous work of agriculture. Agriculture brought humans a great many blessings, but it also brought infectious disease (from living in close quarters with one another and our animals) and malnutrition (from eating too much of the same thing when crops were good, and not enough of anything when they weren't). Anthropologists estimate that typical hunter-gatherers worked at feeding themselves no more than seventeen hours a week, and were far more robust and long-lived than agriculturalists, who have only in the last century or two regained the physical stature and longevity of their Paleolithic ancestors.
—The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, pg. 279.
And Now, The Links
- Orionids Meteor Shower Starts This Weekend
- Fireball Picture: Meteor Explodes Over the Netherlands – A once-in-a-lifetime photo.
- Elusive lunar plume caught on camera after all
- "Rejected" Protons Offer a New View of the Moon
- Opportunity rover finds yet another Mars meteorite
- Robot nuclear windjammer to sail patio-gas oceans of Titan
- What shook up Saturn's rings in 1984?
- IBEX maps edge of Solar System
- Mystery Emissions Spotted at Edge of Solar System
- Astronomers clash with US air force over laser rules
- Ares I-X TVC retesting taking place – Range Safety Waiver overview
- Testing, reviews continue for grounded climate satellite – It may never fly, but so far it has shown an amazing ability to not-quite-die.
- Building a second sun: Take $10 billion, add coconuts – An article on ITER.
- 'Magnetricity' observed for first time
- First black hole for light created on Earth
- Crystal is one-way street for microwaves
- Entanglement on demand – This Scientific American article has ceased to exist, and now forwards would-be readers to an article in Nature, which is not publicly available. Sigh. However, the article is still available from the Google cache, but probably only temporarily.
- Research in a Vacuum: DARPA Tries to Tap Elusive Casimir Effect for Breakthrough Technology
- Solving the crystal maze: The secrets of structure
- Swine flu vaccine shunned despite availability
- Sick American dogs get first shot at cancer drugs
- Labs-on-a-chip that you can shrink to fit
- Placebo effect caught in the act in spinal nerves
- Evolution details revealed through 21-year E. coli experiment
- Plants Recognize Siblings: ID System In Roots
- Conservation targets too low to save at-risk species
- Out of your head: Leaving the body behind
- It's official: Your bullying boss really is an idiot
- Psychopaths are distracted, not cold-blooded
- Secret ACTA treaty can't be shown to public, just 42 lawyers
- White House: Fox News Is 'A Wing Of The Republican Party' – Thanks to Jay Lake.
- Jay Lake: Will the Real Conservatives Please Stand Up?
- Oct. 16, 2002: Second Great Library Opens in Alexandria – If memory serves, the original Library of Alexandria burned not once, but three times. Leaving that historical quibble aside, the idea of replacing it is appealing. Looking at the new building, however, I can't help but wonder: What is the new library's design life? Will the building they've built last 500 years, or even 100? And even if it does, will it still be maintainable? If the answer to any of those questions is "no," did the architects really consider the significance of what they were designing, or was it viewed as just another high-profile win for their firm? Anyway, here's wishing the new library better luck than its predecessor.
- How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road