Saturday, October 4, 2014

Das Baggen du Grabben

-- Every now and again, scientists stop noodling around stuff like the building blocks of the universe and how stuff is made and all and direct their attention to something important.

-- Entrepreneur Elon Musk says that in order for the human race to survive, we need to have at least a million people living on Mars, in case something happens to the Earth to make it uninhabitable. Actually, if we pick the right million, then the Earth's habitability could increase dramatically. (The article's at Aeon, but no link because Mr. Musk has a vocabulary as limited as his account balances are expansive and writer Ross Anderson decided to lead with it).

-- There's some discussion about whether or not Pluto, demoted from planet status to "dwarf planet" in 2006, should be called a planet again. The article's in USA Today, but I'm not linking this one because of the stupid autoplay video.

-- Archaeologists working at a dig site in Turkey think they found a prison where Vlad, Prince of Wallachia and later known as Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes) and then still later known as Wladislaus Dragwlya, and the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula, was held as a prisoner by Ottoman Turks. Vlad and his brother Radu were captives of the Turks for some time, and although they were later freed Vlad spent much of his life fighting against the Ottomans, eventually dying in battle at their hands. Excavation at the site is progressing slowly; it seems nobody wants to be anywhere near the place after the sun has set.

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