Late Night Open Thread: A collection of missing links….

Evening everyone, I just wanted to post a quick Late Night thread, and thought it would be neat to focus on some links that I have saved, intending to use them in my Sunday Reads post.

There was a story a little while back about looking into the mind of a Neanderthal.

What would have made them laugh? Or cry? Did they love home more than we do? Meet the real Neanderthals…

A new study released by Kristin O’Brien, a biologist at University of Alaska Fairbanks, has found the family of fishes, called icefishes that live only in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica have a strange biological trait in common.

Blood on the left is from a red-blooded Antarctic fish. Blood on the right is from a white-blooded Antarctic icefish. Image Credit: Kristin O’Brien

An icefish off the coast of Antarctica. Its body and blood is translucent. This image has been identified as one of the best pictures on Wikipedia. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

They are unique because they are the only vertebrates in the world that lack the oxygen-binding protein hemoglobin, which is the protein that transports oxygen throughout the body and gives blood its red color. In other words, the blood of an icefish isn’t red. Instead, its blood runs a cloudy white. “I think these animals are among the most fascinating creatures on Earth,” Dr. O’Brien said.

In Treblinka, a Nazi death camp in Poland, a large number of hidden graves have been revealed using new technology.

When the Nazis left Treblinka in 1943 they thought they had destroyed it. They had knocked down the buildings and levelled the earth. They had built a farmhouse and installed a Ukrainian “farmer”. They had planted trees, and – contemporary reports suggest – lupins.

But if they thought they had removed all evidence of their crime, they hadn’t. For a forensic archaeologist, there is a vast amount to study.

The destruction of buildings rarely results in the complete removal of all traces of them. And even on the surface there are still artefacts and other subtle clues that point to the real purpose of the site.

An study by archaeologist Caroline Sturdy Colls in 2010 has revealed some of those graves and hidden clues that lie quietly underneath the earth.

The existence of mass graves was known about from witness testimony, but the failure to provide persuasive physical evidence led some to question whether it could really be true that hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed here.

Although they lasted only a few days, those post-war investigations remained the most complete studies of the camp until I began my work at Treblinka in 2010.

This revealed the existence of a number of pits across the site.


Map of Treblinka shown by investigations of Caroline Sturdy CollsAbout 800,000 Jews – almost one in six victims of the Holocaust – were slaughtered at Treblinka between spring 1942 and August 1943

Here is the above map overlayed on an aerial photograph from late 1943.

Photo of Treblinka taken 30 November, 1943 (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration, College Park)Victims arrived at a fake railway station, and were made to undress and walk naked to the gas chambers along the “Road to Heaven”

In Africa, there are real pink elephants on parade…what is believed to be an albino African elephant was photographed in a herd of elephants in Botswanna. These animals are extremely rare in Africa, and many do not live long because of the harsh sun and extreme conditions the delicate albino skin is exposed to in most of Africa.

Pink baby elephant in Botswana (Mike Holding)

The little pink calf was spotted in amongst an 80-strong elephant herd

…there might be a ray of hope for the pink calf as it already seemed to be learning to adapt to its condition.

Dr Chase explained: “Because this elephant calf was sighted in the Okavango Delta, he may have a greater chance of survival. He can seek refuge under the large trees and cake himself in a thick mud, which will protect him from the Sun.

“Already the two-to-three-month-old calf seems to be walking in the shade of its mother.

“This behaviour suggests it is aware of its susceptibility to the harsh African sun, and adapted a unique behaviour to improve its chances of survival.”

He added: “I have learned that elephants are highly adaptable, intelligent and masters of survival.”

This next link was one I picked and saved specifically for Dakinikat…I thought she would appreciate the use of Hollywood technology to unlock the secret’s of pianist’s sounds.

University of Southampton academics are pioneering a new way of using motion capture technology to examine the way pianists play the piano.

By using a unique kinematic measurement technique, known as HAWK (Hand And Wrist Kinematics), researchers will be able to look at individual pianists’ playing technique — giving an insight into the posture of their hands on the keys and the movements they use — hopefully showing how this translates into the unique sound they create.
The research will also provide new information on musicians’ hand health, to combat wrist injury (for example, repetitive strain injury — a common problem for pianists).

Have any of you seen the movie Zoolander?

This next link proves that the collection called Derelicte designed by Mugatu is really not that far fetched.

The bold and the beautiful: most daring fashion design ever…

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Who is Patrick Mohr designing this for - circus freaks?!

Who is Patrick Mohr designing this for – circus freaks?!

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... while Nida Mahmood goes for a more, er, boxy look.

… while Nida Mahmood goes for a more, er, boxy look.

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Animal balloons or haute couture? With Japanese designers Ayumi Mitsukane and Rie Hosokai's creations, you don't have to decide!

Animal balloons or haute couture? With Japanese designers Ayumi Mitsukane and Rie Hosokai’s creations, you don’t have to decide!

That is just a sample of the 111 photos at that link.

And lastly,  something from the literary field…Adonis: a life in writing ‘There is a tendency for poets and painters in the Arab world to be politically engaged’

Adonis, the greatest living poet of the Arab world, ushers me down a labyrinthine corridor in a stately building in Paris, near the Champs Elysées. The plush offices belong to a benefactor, a Syrian-born businessman funding the poet’s latest venture – a cultural journal in Arabic, which he edits. Fetching a bulky manuscript of the imminent third issue of the Other, Adonis hefts it excitedly on to a coffee table, listing the contributors “from west and east”, many of them of his grandchildren’s generation. He turned 82 this month. His eyes spark: “We want new talents with new ideas.”

That is just the first paragraph…enjoy.

This is an open thread…