Thursday, December 29, 2011
Information on the mounds near Jefferson City we can find in the paper
published by The Project Gutenberg EBook of Scientific American Supplement, No. 841,
February 13, 1892, by Various
INVESTIGATION OF A MOUND NEAR JEFFERSON CITY, MO, By A.S. LOGAN.
"Recently, a party consisting of engineers and employes of the Missouri River Improvement Commission began an exploration of one of the mounds, a work of a prehistoric race, situated on the bluff, which overlooks the Missouri River from an elevation of one hundred and fifty feet, located about six miles below Jefferson City.
This mound is one of about twenty embraced in a circle one quarter of a mile in diameter.
The above party selected the mound in question apparently at haphazard; all the mounds presenting nearly a uniform outline, differing only in size and mostly circular in form, and from twenty to twenty-four feet at the base, rising to a height of eight feet and under. A trench was cut on a level with the natural soil, penetrating the mound about eight feet. A stone wall was encountered which was built very substantially, making access in that direction difficult, in consequence of which the earth was removed from the top for the purpose of entering from that direction. The earth was removed for a depth of four feet, when the top of the wall was exposed. Further excavation brought to light human bones, some of them fairly well preserved, especially the bones of the legs. On the removal of these and a layer of clay, another layer of bones was exposed, but presenting a different appearance than the first, having evidently been burned or charred, a considerable quantity of charcoal being mixed with the bones. In this tier were found portions of several skulls, lying close together, as if they had been interred without regard to order. They were, in all probability, detached from the body when buried....
A few pieces of flint weapons were found in the upper layers, and nothing else of any significance....
At this juncture the diggers abandoned the search, and some days later the writer, desirous of seeing all that was to be seen, resumed the work and removed the earth and remains until the bottom of the vault was reached; several layers being thus removed. All of these had evidently been burned, as charcoal and ashes were mixed with the bones of each succeeding layer. The layers were about an inch in thickness, with from two to four inches of earth between, and small flat stones, about the size of a man's hand, spread on each different layer, as if to mark its division from the next above.
Between the bottom layers, mixed with charcoal, ashes and small portions of burned bones were found what gives value to the search, numbering about fifty tools and a smoking pipe.
The material of the tools is the same as the rock forming the vault, locally known as "cotton rock." I would consider it a species of sandstone.
Overlying the edge of "cotton rock" in the bluff is flint in great quantities, and in every conceivable shape, that these people could have resorted to had they been so disposed, and why they used the softer material I will leave to some archæologist to determine. The tools themselves are made after no pattern, but selected for their cutting qualities, as they all have a more or less keen edge which could be used for cutting purposes, and were no doubt highly prized, as they were found all in a pile in one corner of the vault and on top of which was found a stone pipe. The pipe is made bowl and stem together, and it is curious that people of such crude ideas of tools and weapons should manufacture such a perfect specimen of a pipe. It is composed of a very heavy stone, the nature of which would be difficult to determine, as it is considerably burned.
A description of the vault will be found interesting to many. The wall of the vault rests upon the natural surface of the ground, about three feet high and eight and a half feet square, the inside corners being slightly rounded; it is built in layers about four inches in thickness and varying in length upward to three feet, neither cement nor mortar being used in the joints; the corners formed a sort of recess as they were drawn inward to the top, in which many of the stones were found. The stone for constructing the vault was brought from a distance of about a quarter of a mile, as there is none in sight nearer.
I assume from all these circumstances that these people lived in this neighborhood anterior to the age of flint tools, as the more recent interments indicate that they were then entering upon the flint industry, and it may be that the "cotton rock" had become obsolete.
These people buried their dead on the highest ground, covering and protecting them with these great mounds, when it would seem much easier to bury as at the present day; but instead, they, with great labor, carried the rock from a great distance, and it is reasonable to suppose, also, that the earth was brought from a distance with which they are surrounded, and piled high above, as there is no trace of an immediate or local excavation....
My object is the hope of a more thorough investigation at some future time...."
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
In It, Vol. 1, No. 19, March 18, 1897, by Various
What a great thing this will be! Fancy wheeling away over the snow, propelling our wheels as fast as the pedals can make us go. The bicyclists ought to be very happy this year; so many clever brains are working for their comfort and pleasure. All who ride have been troubled at times what to do with the bicycles when they are standing still.
It may be there is damp grass, which would make it impossible to lay the precious wheel down; or there may be a thousand other little inconveniences. Some one has come to the aid of the bicyclist, and invented a bicycle support, which can be secured to the machine, and raised at will, so as not to interfere with the wheel when in motion. It is just the thing all bicyclists have been longing for.
Another busy brain has been at work in anticipation of the summer, and the glorious time in store, riding along the country roads. An umbrella support is the result. It consists of an attachment composed of portions which can be connected or removed at will. What a boon it will be, on a hot summer's day, to have an umbrella comfortably held over one's head, while the hands are free to guide the wheel!
In It, Vol. 1, No. 15, February 18, 1897, by Various
we find the following news
"INVENTION AND DISCOVERY.- 1897
A New York newspaper has been making some experiments in signalling ships at night, which, if as successful as it is claimed to be, will be of the greatest service to sailors for all time to come.
Ships have a regular way of talking to one another, by means of flags arranged in certain ways...
There has been one difficulty with the flag-signals, and that has been that they were useless at night. When it became too dark for the flags to be seen, sailors had no other means of communication.
The New York paper claims to have overcome this difficulty.
In saying that ships have no means of communicating with each other, it must not be forgotten that they can use lights and send certain messages with them. But the flag system enables them to say exactly what they wish to, while through the lights they can only show where they are, and call for help in case of accident.
The invention of the searchlight set men thinking, and at last the idea struck one man that if the searchlight were turned on the flags, it ought to be perfectly possible to see them in the darkest night.
A few nights ago two tugs went down to Sandy Hook to try if the experiment would work. To their great delight they found it did answer perfectly. The tugs were stationed about a mile and a half apart, and could read with ease the messages waved across the water.
More experiments will be made, and if on further trial the method is found to be practical, a great advance will have been made in navigation...
This invention is in the nature of a powerful foghorn. It is, however, made somewhat like a musical instrument, so that different tones can be produced by it; and the idea is to have these tones arranged into a signalling code, after the fashion of the flag-signals, so that a conversation can be kept up in a similar way to that done with flags. G.H.R."
Of course, the use of the Morse Code is better. But we have to wait till the Aldis Lamp.
According to the Oxford Dictionary: Aldis lamp, a handheld lamp for signalling in Morse code. Origin:
First World War: named after Arthur C. W. Aldis (1878–1953), its British inventor
The Aldis Lamp is a signal lamp, a visual signaling device for optical communication (typically using Morse code). Modern signal lamps are a focused lamp which can produce a pulse of light.
The barchans move. Note the dunes on the tracks.
Volume 51, Number 1, January 2012
had published the Special Section: Centennial Anniversary of Superconductivity in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of JJAP and the centennial anniversary of superconductivity.
Special Section —Centennial Anniversary of Superconductivity—
Invited Review Papers
Selected Topics in Applied Physics
Semiconductors, dielectrics, and organic materials
Photonics, quantum electronics, optics, and spectroscopy
Spintronics, superconductivity, and strongly correlated materials
Nanoscale science and technology
Crystal growth, surfaces, interfaces, thin films, and bulk materials
Plasmas, applied atomic and molecular physics, and applied nuclear physics
Device processing, fabrication and measurement technologies, and instrumentation
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
One experiment, known as Atlas, suggested that the hypothesized Higgs is most likely to have a tiny mass, in the range of 116 to 130 gigaelectronvolts, or GeV. The other experiment pegged mass at 115 to 127 GeV. The experiments were carried out at the European particle physics laboratory CERN near Geneva."
Wall Street Journal
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
"The mollusc shell is made up of only one mineral: calcium carbonate, yet the combination of that plus other enzymes and proteins gives it remarkable properties in terms of strength, while remaining incredibly light. Prof Mark Rodger, project leader and director of Warwick University’s Centre for Scientific Computing, told The Engineer: ‘The whole point of this project is to try to understand what happens when you make hybrid materials that are partly organic and partly inorganic.’"Read more: Mollusc shell features could be replicated in synthetic fabrics | News | The Engineer
Monday, December 5, 2011
Archaeologists from the University of Leicester have used all this aerial data to identify as much as they can about the so-called Garamantes people, who are otherwise known purely through Greek and Roman sources. They've already discovered "the mud brick remains of the castle-like complexes, with walls still standing up to four metres high, along with traces of dwellings, cairn cemeteries, associated field systems, wells and sophisticated irrigation systems." "
Friday, December 2, 2011
Abstract: In one of his paintings, the School of Athens, Raphael is depicting Leonardo da Vinci as the philosopher Plato. Some image processing tools can help us in comparing this portrait with two Leonardo’s portraits, considered as self-portraits.
There is a portrait in red chalk, dated approximately 1510 and held at the Biblioteca Reale of Turin, which is widely accepted as a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. It is thought that Leonardo drew this self-portrait at the age of 58 or 60 (see Fig.2). Ref.5 tells that this well-known drawing is not universally accepted as a self-portrait, because the depicted face appears to be quite old, suggesting that Leonardo represented his father or grandfather. Another possibility is that Leonardo altered himself, in order that Raphael might use it for his Plato. However, Plato does not look so old in the painting by Raphael.
To use this portrait it is necessary to remove the written text. Carlo Pedretti was the first to suggest a “restoration” of this drawing, of course not of the real page of the Codex, but made on a photographic plate. It was only two years ago, in 2009, that Piero Angela, an Italian scientific journalist, presented the digital restoration of the portrait [8,9], that is, the restoration of the corresponding digital image. In 2009, I have proposed a simple approach that uses an iterative procedure based on thresholding and interpolation with nearest neighbouring pixels [10,11]. Recently, I proposed a further processing with a wavelet-filtering program, Iris [12-14]: the result is shown in Fig.3, right panel. According to Pedretti, this is the young Leonardo da Vinci self-portrait.
In Figure 5 we have the two images, the Raphael painting on the right and the result of merging the two Leonardo’s drawings on the left, shown side by side. Let me remark that we are looking at two images obtained from originals created by two artists who used different techniques and a different rendering of the head position. Moreover, there is another fact, which is in my opinion quite important, that the two portraits are showing a distinct side of the face. And we know very well that the two sides are not equal and that the existing small differences create the "good" and "bad" side of our faces .
Let us remember that for all the living creatures, the bilateral symmetry  of the body is an approximate symmetry: the two halves, left and right, of the body and then of the face, are not perfectly symmetrical. The symmetry of human faces is a subject of several studies. Some researchers are supporting the idea that more symmetry means more beauty and freedom from diseases [18-20]. On the other hand, a face, which is too symmetric, gives the impression of being unnatural .
I decided to change the Raphael’s image, with a reflection and a small rotation using GIMP. Moreover, I converted the colours in grey tones, to avoid the vision of different hues. Fig.7 gives the result. Is the figure showing the same person? I guess that there is this possibility, but further studies are necessary. Let me then avoid a direct answer and just write some conclusions.