We’re Bilbo, heading off to perpetual war, in The Hobbit‘s latest trailer.
- Touchdown! Wild celebrations as Curiosity rover lands on Mars.
- Photos show Mars rover’s descent.
- Remains of Anglo Saxon warriors found at Barrow Clump, on Salisbury Plain.
rulingserving the public in the genes? All US presidents bar one are directly descended from King John of England, who signed Magna Carta in 1215.
- Unidentified volcano caused global catastrophe: Mass grave reveals disaster wiped out almost a third of Londoners in 1258.
- Expedition sets off to find ‘treasure island’ loot stashed in 1820.
- In the shadow of Wounded Knee, the Oglala Lakota people still nurture their tribal customs, language, and beliefs.
- Angkor Wat: Survival lessons from an ancient failed city.
- Chimpanzee asks zoo visitors to free him from enclosure in heartbreaking video that shows him pointing at a window bolt and making a sign language ‘open’ gesture.
- Hacker Gary McKinnon is one of seven UK citizens who have been requested for extradition by the US for alleged crimes committed in the UK. Two have already been taken to the US.
- The role of formal scientific processes in climate science appear to be under threat as never before.
- Decoding the science of sleep.
- Scientists find brain’s irony-detection center!
- Raging Bulls: How Wall Street got addicted to light-speed trading.
- Australia’s secret UFO files released.
- Fall, Mortality, and the Machine: Tolkien and Technology.
- Beyond 7 Billion: The biggest generation in history is just entering its childbearing years. ‘We’re going to have to produce more food in the next 40 years than we have the last 10,000.’
- Tombstoning: The terrifying new craze in Britain in which children as young as 11 leap from clifftops into the sea.
- The Knights of Mayhem: Full contact medieval jousting aims to become the latest U.S. extreme sport.
- Fascinating case of Holmes and the Arctic adventure: Conan Doyle’s lost diary reveals origins of super-sleuth.
- ‘Prove another park inspired Pandora’s Hallelujah Mountains, and we’ll give you £10,000.’
- Stress relief: Blue holes of the Bahamas, and rainforest treehouses.
Quote of the Day:
Before this electrically illuminated age, our ancestors slept in two distinct chunks each night. The so-called first sleep took place not long after the sun went down and lasted until a little after midnight. A person would then wake up for an hour or so before heading back to the so-called second sleep.
It was a fact of life that was once as common as breakfast—and one which might have remained forgotten had it not been for the research of a Virginia Tech history professor named A. Roger Ekirch, who spent nearly 20 years in the 1980s and ’90s investigating the history of the night. As Prof. Ekirch leafed through documents ranging from property records to primers on how to spot a ghost, he kept noticing strange references to sleep. In “The Canterbury Tales,” for instance, one of the characters in “The Squire’s Tale” wakes up in the early morning following her “first sleep” and then goes back to bed. A 15th-century medical book, meanwhile, advised readers to spend their “first sleep” on the right side and after that to lie on their left. A cleric in England wrote that the time between the first and second sleep was the best time for serious study.