Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Plugging Into Nature

I was at the campfire, flipping pancakes, when 13-year-old Ethan came over and asked if he could use my phone.

"I want to show those guys a YouTube video," he said, nodding toward his brother, Sam, and my sons, Charlie and Joe.

I looked up and arched an eyebrow. "Seriously, Ethan?" I said. "We all agreed this would be an electronics-free camping trip. Remember?"

"I know," he said, "but it's a video about camping."

Read the entire story here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Laser Scans Reveal Maya "Megalopolis" Below Guatemalan Jungle

In a discovery that’s being hailed as a major breakthrough in Maya archaeology, researchers have identified the ruins of more than 60,000 houses, palaces, elevated highways, and other human-made features that were hidden for centuries under the jungles of Central America.

The vast, interconnected network of ancient cities in what is now northern Guatemala was home to millions more people than previously thought.

Scholars used a revolutionary technology known as LiDAR (short for “Light Detection and Ranging”), to digitally remove the tree canopy from aerial images of the now-unpopulated landscape, revealing the ruins of a sprawling pre-Columbian civilization that was far more complex and interconnected than most Maya specialists had supposed.

“The LiDAR images make it clear that this entire region was a settlement system whose scale and population density had been grossly underestimated,” said Thomas Garrison, an Ithaca College archaeologist and National Geographic Explorer who specializes in using digital technology for archaeological research.

Read the full story here.

On the Front Lines of the Ebola Epidemic

“It felt like being on a sinking ship,” Kidega says. “You can’t believe the fear.” Some victims swarmed the hospitals, while others ran ...