CD Projekt Red reveals PC specs that powered Cyberpunk 2077 at E3

first_imgCyberpunk 2077 had a visually spectacular demo at E3 2019, leading many players to believe it’d be impossible to run on their own hardware.Well, CD Projekt Red has provided some context to the discussion by unveiling the PC specifications used to power the show’s 50-minute gameplay demo.Reported by Spieltimes, the system used to run Cyberpunk 2077 at E3 2019 boasted the following specs: CPU: Intel i7-8700K @ 3.70 GHzMotherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMINGRAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V, 2x16GB, 3000MHz, CL15GPU: Titan RTXSSD: Samsung 960 Pro 512 GB M.2 PCIePSU: Corsair SF600 600WWe can feel our wallets burning already if Cyberpunk 2077 ends up being this demanding upon its April 2020 launch. Although, we imagine plenty of optimizing is yet to happen on the hardware front. It will also be launching for PS4 and Xbox One, offering 4K support on higher tier consoles. CD Projekt Red revealed during the year’s biggest gaming show that Cyberpunk 2077 will take advantage of ray-tracing technology with Nvidia RTX graphics cards. That is, if your rig can handle it.We had a chance to see Cyberpunk 2077 at E3 2019 and came away impressed once again by the ambitious RPG. Here’s a snippet from our preview: ‘Cyberpunk 2077 continues to look like a phenomenal RPG experience, with CD Projekt Red keen to push forward benchmarks in open-world design, storytelling and the importance of creating your own character.Night City is V’s to help grow, destroy or eventually come to call their own, all through decisions the player makes. Of course, it’s all bark and no bite at the moment – but we know CDPR has the chops to pull this off.’I also had a chat with one of the game’s art directors, discovering that Cyberpunk 2077 won’t limit players by gender identity, offering plentiful customisaton options when it launches next year.Cyberpunk 2077 is set to launch for PS4, Xbox One and PC on April 16, 2020. Are you excited for it? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.last_img read more

You can now ask for UK government advice via Alexa

first_img Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. The UK government has decided to embrace smart speakers, by offering answers to simple questions via Alexa and Google Assistant.Rather than trawling through the gov.uk website looking for the answer you need, 12,000 pieces of information have been fed to the virtual assistants to get you the answers you seek more quickly – provided Alexa doesn’t mishear you and answer something completely different instead.“This is all about making life easier for people who need to access information about government services,” said Oliver Dowden, the MP for Hertsmere and minister in charge of implementation. “And with millions now using smart speakers, I want government to keep up and work smarter too.”Related: Google Home vs Amazon EchoTo be clear, if your problem is a complicated tax-related one, I’d still visit the website if I were you. But if your question is relatively simple, then this could be a quick way of saving you having to dig your phone out. The government’s press release offers a couple of questions you can ask, such as “What is the national minimum wage?” or “When is the next bank holiday?” (though if you’re asking that today, the answer is ‘today’.)  You can also ask for information on applying for a new passport or how to get free childcare. The project has taken six months to date, and the Government Digital Service isn’t stopping there with plans to add in the ability to renew car tax, and information on how to get married. “We want to simplify people’s interactions with the government, making information clear and accessible to everyone,” said Jennifer Allum, the head of gov.uk. “These results are promising because voice services can be a really convenient way to get information, particularly for people who find computers and phones hard to use.”Would you entrust explaining government services to Alexa and Google Assistant? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.last_img read more

GM India Showcases Quirky Range Extended EV Concept

Audi To Flood Frankfurt Stage With Electric Concepts Pininfarina Shows Pair Of Range-Extended Concepts With Micro Turbines Honda Promises More Retro Electric Concepts Soon Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 10, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Range Extended Electric Vehicle concept shown to kick off the REEV engineering student contestThis week at FISITA 2018, General Motors Technical Center India (GM TC-I) and SAE India Bangalore unveiled a prototype range extended electric vehicle.The vehicle doesn’t have a formal name, it is just an REEV Concept. But the goal of developing the vehicle was to prepare future engineers and GM TC-I for it’s future role in GM’s “zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion” future.More Electric Vehicle Concepts Source: Electric Vehicle News The announcement of the prototype pairs with the launch of the SAE India REEV student contest. Students that participate are given the task of designing a safe, reliable “urban mobility” vehicle. Those participating will gain not only EV development experience. They will also earn a better understanding of the “vehicle development process used by OEMs.”So what does General Motors have in mind for the REEV?The Chevy Bolt EV signaled the first step towards a “zero emissions future.” Based on recent statements from Mary Barra, plug-in hybrids such as the Chevy Volt will play a much smaller role in the future. So the decision to focus the contest on a range extended electric vehicle is interesting, especially after BMW just nixed the i3 REx in Europe.But unlike the BMW i3, this concept does not necessarily signal a range extended EV that is in the works. Instead, it is more concerned about preparing students for future engineering challenges. Therefore, a REEV platform gives them the experience they need to bridge traditional and future vehicle technologies.Dan Nicholson, GM Vice President of Global Propulsion Systems said:The world-class engineering capability we have at [our GM Technical Center] in Bangalore, India, is playing a significant role in GM delivering its commitment to create a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.I am extremely proud of our team of talented designers and engineers at GMTC-I who developed the Range Extended Electric Vehicle prototype.According to Brian McMurray at GM Technical Centre-India:REEV  focuses on developing engineers of tomorrow who will bring about revolutionary solutions to urban mobility. REEV will steer, evaluate and direct the competition in a manner to uphold this purpose.Want to watch the project develop in a time lapse video? Click the video above.Interested in the 65 page technical instructions of the competition? Check out the PDF file below:Click here to view full technical instructions for REEV contest.Source: SAEIndia REEV, Medium read more

City of London Aims To Be First Zero Emissions Zone In UK

Electric Car Servicing Cost Are Lower: Here’s How Much 20% Of Car Buyers In UK Say Next Vehicle Will Be Hybrid / Electric The long-term transport strategy plan – once finalized and approved in early 2019 at the earliest – will “future-proof this world-class, growing business and culture centre” according to Chris Hayward, the City’s planning and transportation chief.“The City’s aim to develop Britain’s first large-scale zero emission zone will begin with smaller-scale zero emission zones covering the Eastern City Cluster, and Barbican and Golden Lane areas.No specifics on how either the congestion charge or the zero emission zone would work have been given yet. They would be separate from the current London Congestion Charge and Ultra-Low Emission Zone that are enforced by the London Assembly.”Source: Autocar UK Excludes PHEVs From Plug-In Electric Car Grant: BEVs Still Qualify Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 19, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News City of London wants to reduce the number of cars and emissions.There are too many cars in the city centers and the air is too polluted.The City of London (one of the 33 districts that form Greater London) with its 1.12 square mile area could become the first large-scale zero-emission zone in UK.The goal is to reduce the number of cars by 25% in 2030 and by 50% by 2044 (25 years from now) through various actions like a 15 mph (24 km/h) speed limit, congestion charge (separate from the current London Congestion Charge), gradual expansion of zero-emission zone (only for vehicles driving in electric mode) and specific limits on delivery vehicles will all come into play too.More from UK read more

Here are all the coolest electric motorcycles coming in 2019

first_img2018 was a big year for electric motorcycle and scooter announcements. That means 2019 is the year that many of these models will first roll out to the public.Large companies and new startups alike have been getting into the electric two-wheeler game, offering up a wide range of new electric rides. From crazy high powered electric motorcycles to sensible commuter electric scooters, here are the models to watch for next year. more…The post Here are all the coolest electric motorcycles coming in 2019 appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

Hyundai Slashes Kona Electric Production But Why

first_img Hyundai Kona Electric – Every Button Explained & Explored: Video Hyundai Kona Electric A Better Deal Than A Tesla? That demand, combined with the lower-than-expected production numbers have contributed to creating long waiting lists, and even what some would consider price-gauging at some Hyundai dealers in the US.Personally, I’m not surprised that the demand is so strong. I was thoroughly impressed when I attended the Kona Electric press drive last year, and was disappointed to hear the from Hyundai that the US wouldn’t be getting nearly enough to satisfy the likely demand.However, I was pleased to see Hyundai Kona Electric monthly production numbers raising significantly last fall, and eclipsing the 5,300-unit mark for both November and December of 2018. It was starting to look like Hyundai was going to really try to meet the global demand for this long-range, affordable small crossover. Then came 2019.Hyundai produced only 3,074 Kona Electrics in January and then a paltry 2,168 in February. Even if you combine production of those two months, they don’t add up to November or December’s production total. So, what gives?*Image caption – Hyundai Kona Electric production graph courtesy of Thomas Schulzki‎ of the Hyundai Kona Electric Facebook group. Thomas collects the data from the Hyundai Motor Company Investor Relations website, and plots the numbers into this neat graph.We’re not sure what has caused the precipitous drop in Kona Electric production, but speculation is that it could be a battery supply issue, as that seems to be the bottleneck in the manufacturing of EVs across the industry, with the exception of Tesla. Tesla was smart enough to know that they had to control their own battery supply, or they too would likely find themselves supply-constrained. Since all Tesla sells are electric cars, it was vital to be able to make as many battery packs as they would need, because they couldn’t fall back on ICE sales for their profits, as the other OEMs can.We’ll be keeping an eye on the monthly production now, as well as reporting the Kona Electric sales in the US on our monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard, and report back once we have some more monthly info.What do you think this means? Is Hyundai battery-constrained? Is it just a cyclical production variation because Hyundai needed to make more of their other models in January and February? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. Source: Electric Vehicle News Hyundai Kona Electric Edges Out Chevy Bolt In Car & Driver Test Production decreased?Since arriving on the scene in Europe and South Korea last spring, the Hyundai Kona Electric has been the second most sought-after electric vehicle on the market, behind only to the Tesla Model 3.Hyundai Kona Electric News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 17, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Carlos Ghosn Releases Message Im Innocent But Worried About Nissan

first_img Since 2010 Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Sold 725,000 EVs Carlos Ghosn Indicted Again, Kept In Detention, Has Fever Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 9, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Carlos Ghosn: I Have Been Wrongly Accused And Unfairly Detained Because of the poor performances of the company (under new CEO Hiroto Saikawa since April 1, 2017) and lack of vision for Nissan and the Alliance, Ghosn expressed also that he is worried about the future of his work (of saving Nissan 20 years ago and creating the Alliance).The last thing is the hope to have a fair trial, but according to Ghosn, his lawyers are not too optimistic. Source: Electric Vehicle News Carlos Ghosn hints at a conspiracy within NissanCarlos Ghosn (former Nissan CEO and leader of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance as well as the man behind the Nissan LEAF) who was arrested on November 19, 2018 and kept in detention in Japan since then (with a short period of being on bail before re-arrested under new allegations) released a video message.The message was released in this way because Ghosn was not able to hold his earlier announced press conference.Ghosn said that he is innocent and links the entire case to conspiracy and some people (“those people all known” and a “few executives”), who had fear about the autonomy of Nissan within the Alliance.See Alsolast_img read more

In May 2019 NIO Sold 1089 ES8 Electric SUVs In China

first_imgCumulative NIO deliveries of ES8 in China now at 17,550 over 12 months. Now the second model – ES6 enters the market.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

Electric Autonomous And Modular Scania NXT Unveiled

first_imgScania NXT hints the future of electric buses and trucks beyond 2030Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

Avalanche FatalityCharges Dismissed in Bullwinkle KillingCashmere Falls to Mt Baker in State

first_imgA Kirkland man’s body is recovered after he was caught in a large avalanche while snowmobiling near Cle Elum. 45-year-old Mike Albertson was snowmobiling in the Hawkins Mountain area Saturday when he and another man were caught in the mass of snow. The second man was located quickly because his head and arm were visible. It took crews 30 minutes to locate Albertson, who was completely buried. Rescuers attempted to respond by helicopter twice, but were hampered by bad weather. Deputies with the Kittitas County Sheriff’s office recovered Albertson’s body Sunday. Hawkins Mountain is 27 miles northwest of Cle Elum.last_img

Aging An Art Form

first_imgby, Kyrié Carpenter, Managing EditorTweet6Share723Share1Email730 Shares Ora by Claudia Biçen – thoughtsinpassing.comPhysical prowess and aesthetics are constantly shifting from the day one is born until the day one dies. Children often bemoan waiting to grow up, and at some point adults begin to dig in their heels and attempt to freeze the process. Aesthetics are at the root of America’s anti-aging myth. The myth that by maintaining a certain physical appearance one can stop the aging process. Striving for and clinging to an ideal physical appearance is pervasive in American culture. How does this myth exist when every single day of one’s life our appearance is shifting, we are aging? What if this shifting was not seen as growth OR deterioration? What if this shifting was accepted without judgment? The process of aging is universal; the lived qualities of it are unique to the individual. This uniqueness offers us a chance to appreciate the aging process artfully.It is not simply that our physical and even mental abilities as well as our hold on life are dwindling; though that is indeed the case, something else is developing in concert with these losses. . . . The body forces on us a kind of maturity, a settling down into a grounded encounter with reality, and, if we are paying attention, of limited potential. – Jungian Analyst Cynde RotheAging shifts our aesthetic. If this shift can be embraced—or dare I say valued—we can develop an acceptance of our own process and an appreciation for those who have gone through it before. We are good at this in childhood: we look to those older than us and see when they grew and wonder when our growth spurt will come, we anxiously await the changes puberty will bring. This same wonder and curiosity can be used throughout our life. Gurmeet by Claudia Biçen – claudiabicen.comI expose the illusion that youth is perfect. Youth is beautiful in many ways, but it’s not perfect. The problem with thinking youth is perfect is that everything that follows must therefore be in decline. It’s dangerous to let go of what’s familiar, to let go of what you’ve always done, to choose to do something new that you might or might not succeed at. We grow and change and develop across the entire lifespan, not just when we are young. – Dr. Bill Thomas (source)I have tried to embody this concept with an experiment on myself. When I became involved in the fight against ageism I did not yet have my first gray hair. I decided to try to shift my perspective and to view gray hair the way I had awaited the changes in puberty, and as with my own puberty, I had to wait longer than most of my peers for this change. Just a few weeks ago I noticed my first gray and some of its friends near my hairline. I was pleased to notice that my internal dialogue was much the same as it was in reaction to physical changes I experienced earlier in life. I looked at it, noticed the difference in texture from my other hairs, how it glistened silver. I am curious how fast I will go gray and in what pattern. No part of me wanted to pluck or dye these sweet early messengers of elderhood. I look forward to the honor of being a crone and these little hairs are the first physical manifestation of my journey. I am not trying to Pollyanna the aging process. Life is hard and fraught with suffering. I am arguing that we do not need to add to that suffering by judging ourselves for aging or believing that we can only be beautiful for a few years of our lives. Zephyr by Aleah Chapin – aleahchapin.comThe key to aging with grace and comfort is finding that internal dialogue that encourages you as you would encourage a good friend and makes you feel like attractiveness isn’t about having every feature look the same as it did years ago. It’s about focusing on the whole gestalt—your presentation of yourself, your smile, your engaging eyes, a strong stride. That goes along with a dialogue that says, “Life requires a constant adjusting.” – Ex-model and Psychologist Vivian DillerWhat if our culture did not see the shifting aesthetics after early adulthood as a move toward obsolescence? Psychologist James Hillman elaborated on this idea by saying, “Perhaps uselessness needs to be regarded aesthetically [emphasis added]. . . . The old become strikingly memorable, ancestral representations, characters in the play of civilization, each a unique, irreplaceable figure of value. Aging: an art form?” To turn this type of appreciation back on one’s own life (or that of a loved one), to view one’s character as her or his own personal masterpiece of soul art is a significant act of caring for soul. Raga by Claudia Biçen – claudiabicen.comThis year on Bill Thomas’ Age of Disruption Tour the lobby will be a place where you can P.L.A.Y. Life’s Most Dangerous Game with interactive stations. The A of P.L.A.Y stands for Aesthetics and is exactly what we are discussing here. I encourage you to come to the tour (make sure to say hi) if it is coming to a town near you and participate in physical community. If you cannot come this year you can play (pun totally intended) at home and join our community virtually.Here is what you do:Take a selfie. Notice I said a (singular) selfie, not 10. Just one photo to capture you in this moment.Look at the photo. What is the first thing you notice? It is probably a flaw and that is okay, we have been conditioned to notice flaws first. Do not judge yourself by this first impression. Let that thought of flaw float away like a cloud on a breezy day.Pretend you are in a museum looking at art and look at that photo again. What can you appreciate about it now? Look at the whole image. What emotion does it convey? What can be known about you from looking at it? Look at it through the eyes of someone who loves you. What can you appreciate artfully about yourself? Still having trouble? Look at the images in this post, there are unequivocally art and depict subjects generations older than cultural standards of beauty. Can you appreciate them artfully? Take those same eyes and look at your selfie again.Help change the cultural perception of aging. Post your selfie to social media and use the comment “I posted this photo because #AgingIsAnArtForm ” along with what you appreciated artfully about the photo. You can find other people who took the challenge by looking up the hashtag.Change takes time and change takes people. By posting this photo you are changing aging and P.L.A.Y.ing Life’s Most Dangerous Game.Related PostsWant To Come Out And PLAY?I like to talk about becoming an Old Person in Training as way to move beyond denial, overcome internalized ageism, and connect to our future selves.Restraining AgingAs children we welcomed the aging process excitedly, wondering when we would grow and what we would look like. We quickly lose this wonder as we become seduced by an anti-aging culture into disavowing, denying and resisting aging. We’re pressured to see aging as a villain to be stopped, to…I Am Not My Body, My Body Is My OwnOnce we can remove our value from being attached to our bodies we can ask: what then are our bodies if they are not us? They are ours. By this I mean that while we are not our bodies, our bodies are our own. Our bodies are a precious gift…Tweet6Share723Share1Email730 SharesTags: Art Life’s Most Dangerous Game Playlast_img read more

Morning Roundup June 26 2019

first_imgDarion Green-Warren (image via Twitter) Michigan is 1-1 in the College World Series championship, with the rubber game against Vanderbilt coming up (LINK). Go Blue! Honolulu (HI) St. Louis wide receiver Roman Wilson (4-star, #59 WR, #319) named Michigan to his top nine: Final 6! s/o @GeauxEdits pic.twitter.com/kcDRDg8JD4— Darion Green-Warren (@gogettadarion) June 25, 2019 Thank you lord.. I will be committing july 27th. big thanks to @VikingGraphics pic.twitter.com/c23e9B8ppg— rj moten (@rjmoten_) June 24, 2019 Tags: morning roundup TOP 9… pic.twitter.com/UWovvMbdj5— Roman Wilson (@Trilllroman) June 24, 2019 Hit the jump for a look at several players who named Michigan to their top lists. Top ( no order ) pic.twitter.com/JWnvE3KOMP— Van Fillinger (@van_filli) June 24, 2019 Delran (NJ) Delran athlete R.J. Moten (4-star, #18 ATH, #332 overall) named Michigan to his top ten, and he’ll announce his commitment on July 27: Draper (UT) Corner Canyon defensive tackle Van Fillinger (3-star, #18 SDE, #387 overall) named Michigan to his top six: If #Michigan wins tonight, it will be the first #NationalChampionship the #Wolverines have one in a major college sport since I became a fan! Wow! I’m so excited! #GoBlue! #MichiganBaseball pic.twitter.com/kpApzbVSvh— Elle Johnson (@_ElleJohnson) June 25, 2019  0 0You need to login in order to vote Harbor City (CA) Narbonne cornerback Darion Green-Warren (4-star, #15 CB, #198 overall) named Michigan to his top six:last_img read more

Study shows consumer sleep technology needs further validation

first_img Source:https://aasm.org/consumer-sleep-technology-position-statement/ May 15 2018According to a position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), consumer sleep technology must be cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and rigorously tested if it is intended to diagnose or treat sleep disorders.Consumer sleep technologies are non-prescription devices such as wearables and mobile apps that are directly marketed to consumers to monitor sleep, improve sleep quality, or screen for sleep disorders. However, there are minimal data validating the ability of these devices to accurately perform these functions, and to date almost no consumer sleep devices have undergone review by the FDA.The lack of validation data and absence of FDA clearance raises concerns about the accuracy of consumer sleep technology. Therefore, it is important for health care providers to understand the capabilities and limitations of these devices.Related StoriesNovel bed system with VR brainwave-control for sleep blissSleep decline in one’s 50s, 60s increases risk of Alzheimer’s diseaseMore than 936 million people have sleep apnea, ResMed-led analysis reveals”Given the heightened public awareness of the importance of sleep, and of diagnosing and treating sleep disorders, I believe we will continue to see more patient-generated health data,” said lead author Dr. Seema Khosla, the medical director of the North Dakota Center for Sleep in Fargo. “We need some guidance both for how to utilize consumer sleep technology in our practice and also how to communicate with our patients about the specific metrics their devices are measuring.”The position statement is published in the May 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.As the popularity of consumer sleep technology continues to grow, clinicians are increasingly asked to analyze patient-generated health data. However, health care providers must recognize that this data should be considered in the context of a comprehensive sleep evaluation and should not replace validated diagnostic testing.”While technology is advancing rapidly, and we are following the trends closely, consumer sleep devices currently are unable to diagnose sleep disorders,” said AASM President Dr. Ilene Rosen. “Individuals who are dissatisfied with their sleep, experiencing an ongoing sleep problem, or struggling with excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue should discuss this important issue with a licensed medical provider, regardless of what their wearable or other consumer sleep technology device tells them.”Despite their limitations, consumer sleep devices may increase awareness of the importance of sleep and the potential presence of a sleep disorder. Therefore, this technology can promote meaningful interactions between patients and clinicians when discussed during an appropriate clinical evaluation.”I, like many of my colleagues, have seen more patients presenting to the sleep clinic to discuss their abnormal data,” said Khosla. “They are looking for ways to improve their sleep and reaching out to their local sleep specialists for guidance. I believe consumer sleep technology allows us to partner with our patients to improve their sleep.”last_img read more

New research shows evidence of soot from polluted air in placentas

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 17 2018Evidence of tiny particles of carbon, typically created by burning fossil fuels, has been found in placentas for the first time, in new research presented today (Sunday) at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.Previous research has indicated links between pregnant mothers’ exposure to air pollution and premature birth, low birth weight, infant mortality and childhood respiratory problems.The new study adds to existing evidence on the dangers of pollution for unborn babies and suggests that when pregnant women breathe polluted air, sooty particles are able to reach the placenta via the bloodstream.The work was presented by Dr Norrice Liu, a pediatrician and clinical research fellow, and Dr Lisa Miyashita, a post-doctoral researcher, both members of Professor Jonathan Grigg’s research group at Queen Mary University of London, UK. Dr Miyashita said: “We’ve known for a while that air pollution affects fetal development and can continue to affect babies after birth and throughout their lives.”We were interested to see if these effects could be due to pollution particles moving from the mother’s lungs to the placenta. Until now, there has been very little evidence that inhaled particles get into the blood from the lung.”The researchers worked with five pregnant women who were all living in London and due to have planned caesarean section deliveries at the Royal London Hospital. They were all non-smokers with an uncomplicated pregnancy and each one gave birth to a healthy baby. The women all gave permission for researchers to study their placentas after delivery.The researchers were interested in particular cells called placental macrophages. Macrophages exist in many different parts in the body. They are part of the body’s immune system and work by engulfing harmful particles, such as bacteria and pollution particles. In the placenta they also help to protect the fetus.The team studied a total of 3,500 placental macrophage cells from the five placentas and examined them under a high-powered microscope. They found 60 cells that between them contained 72 small black areas that researchers believe were carbon particles. On average, each placenta contained around five square micrometers of this black substance.They went on to study the placental macrophages from two placentas in greater details using an electron microscope and again found material that they believe was made up of tiny carbon particles.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTIn previous research, the team have used the same techniques to identify and measure these sooty particles in macrophages in people’s airways. Dr Liu added: “We thought that looking at macrophages in other organs might provide direct evidence that inhaled particles move out of the lungs to other parts of the body.”We were not sure if we were going to find any particles and if we did find them, we were only expecting to find a small number of placental macrophages that contain these sooty particles. This is because most of them should be engulfed by macrophages within the airways, particularly the bigger particles, and only a minority of small sized particles would move into the circulation.”Our results provide the first evidence that inhaled pollution particles can move from the lungs into the circulation and then to the placenta.”We do not know whether the particles we found could also move across into the fetus, but our evidence suggests that this is indeed possible. We also know that the particles do not need to get into the baby’s body to have an adverse effect, because if they have an effect on the placenta, this will have a direct impact on the fetus.”Professor Mina Gaga is President of the European Respiratory Society, and Medical Director and Head of the Respiratory Department of Athens Chest Hospital, Greece, and was not involved in the study. She said: “Previous research shows that pregnant women living in polluted cities are more prone to pregnancy issues such as restricted fetal growth, premature birth and low birth weight babies. The evidence suggests that an increased risk of low birthweight can happen even at levels of pollution that are lower than the European Union recommended annual limit.”This new research suggests a possible mechanism of how babies are affected by pollution while being theoretically protected in the womb. This should raise awareness amongst clinicians and the public regarding the harmful effects of air pollution in pregnant women.”We need stricter policies for cleaner air to reduce the impact of pollution on health worldwide because we are already seeing a new population of young adults with health issues.” Source:http://www.europeanlung.org/en/news-and-events/media-centre/press-releases/first-evidence-that-soot-from-polluted-air-is-reaching-placenta/last_img read more

Are you happy Your dog can tell

first_imgDog owners may think their pets can tell a smile from a frown, but scientific evidence has been lacking. Now, researchers have trained dogs from a variety of breeds to look at a pair of photos arranged side by side—one showing the upper half of a woman’s face looking happy and the other showing the upper half of the same woman’s face looking angry—and pick out the happy expression by touching their snouts to it (pictured). When then shown the lower halves of the faces or pieces of other people’s faces, the perceptive pooches could still easily discern happy from angry. Another group of canines similarly learned to identify angry faces. Dogs in a previous study that distinguished expressions on whole faces could have done so using simple visual clues that reappeared in every face: the white of teeth in a smile, for instance, or creases in angry skin. Identifying emotions from photos of different parts of the face requires a more holistic understanding of expression, argue the authors of the new study, published online today in Current Biology. While primates are known to recognize faces, dogs may have been especially adapted for emotional sensitivity to humans during their domestication. The researchers plan to investigate how common this ability is by testing pigs and other animals.last_img read more

Breakthrough in budget negotiations could raise spending for science

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Breakthrough in budget negotiations could raise spending for science Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email By David MalakoffFeb. 7, 2018 , 4:40 PM Top lawmakers in Congress today announced a budget agreement that could produce substantial spending increases for research at key U.S. science agencies—and avoid a partial government shutdown on Friday. But the deal must still clear a few hurdles before it is finalized.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–KY) and Senator Chuck Schumer (NY), the Senate’s top Democrat, said the two parties—and the White House—have agreed to smash through caps on military and domestic spending imposed by a 2011 law designed to reduce the nation’s long-term debt. (The caps apply only to so-called discretionary spending, which accounts for about one-third of annual federal outlays, but not to so-called mandatory programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, that account for about two-thirds of annual spending.)Under the deal, federal discretionary spending this year and next will total roughly $300 billion more than allowed by the caps. Diliff/Wikimedia Commons Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) In the 2018 fiscal year that began this past October, the Pentagon would get an additional $80 billion, and domestic spending—which is the source of most research funding—would get an additional $63 billion.In 2019, military spending would increase by $85 billion, while domestic funding would rise by $68 billion.Although it is too early to say exactly how that additional domestic cash, if approved, will be allocated, some science agencies appear to be in line to benefit. Lawmakers in the Senate, for example, have proposed giving the National Institutes of Health (NIH) a $2 billion increase in 2018, $1 billion more than a raise proposed by the House of Representatives. The new deal tags $2 billion over 2 years for NIH on top of about $500 million it would receive in 2018 from the 21st Century Cures Act. The agreement would make an NIH increase somewhere between the House and Senate levels much more likely, if Congress can finally complete work on the 2018 spending package. (So far, the government has been funded by a series of so-called continuing resolutions that have essentially frozen agency spending at 2017 levels.)The National Science Foundation (NSF) could also benefit. The House, for example, has proposed keeping NSF’s research budget flat in 2018, at about $6 billion. But Representative John Culberson (R–TX), chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees NSF’s budget, has said he would move to give it additional funding if Congress raised the caps.Such moves would delight the research community, which for years has joined with a wide range of groups—including military and public health advocates—in calling for Congress to break the caps. The spending limits, they argue, will do little to rein in the national debt because they don’t apply to mandatory spending—but are doing real damage to the nation’s security and ability to fund innovative science.Two years ago, such arguments helped persuade Congress to reach a similar deal to break the caps. But before federally funded researchers can celebrate today’s deal, it must be approved by the Senate and House and signed by President Donald Trump. The Senate appears ready to approve it. And the White House has signaled support for the agreement, which will be attached to a continuing resolution extending government funding through late March, giving lawmakers a few more weeks to finalize 2018 spending.But in the House, some Democrats are unhappy that the pact does not include protections for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, and some conservative Republicans oppose the additional spending.Despite those concerns, House Republican leaders have said that they believe they can corral the necessary votes to approve the deal.But the clock is ticking: The current bill funding the government expires at midnight Thursday, and the government will have to begin shutting down Friday if no agreement is reached.last_img read more

Plant studies show where Africas early farmers tamed some of the continents

first_img SIA KAMBOU/AFP/GETTY IMAGES Genetic studies, however, bypass some of these difficulties. In 2002, Nora Scarcelli, a population geneticist colleague of Vigouroux’s at IRD, took an interest in yams, the most important root crop in Africa before the introduction of cassava in the 1500s and still more important than maize in parts of Africa.The vines of the African yam (Dioscorea rotundata) produce large tubers that look a bit like American sweet potatoes (sometimes mistakenly called yams), but the plant is a different species that is also distinct from Asian yams. But whether the modern African crop was derived from D. abyssinica, a wild yam that grows in the savanna, or D. praehensilis, which thrives in the wetter rainforests, was not known. Hoping to resolve the issue, Scarcelli and colleagues recently sequenced and compared 167 genomes of wild and domesticated yams gathered from Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, and Cameroon. The DNA of savanna wild yams was fairly similar, but the forest wild yams split into two groups, one centered in Cameroon and another much farther west. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Wheat and other plants that feed much of the world today were likely first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. But another early cradle of agriculture lay thousands of kilometers away, around West Africa’s Niger River Basin, a flurry of plant genomic studies is showing. Several of the continent’s traditional food crops got their start there: a cereal called pearl millet and Africa’s own version of rice. Now, a report out this week in Science Advances adds yams to the list of African crops domesticated thousands of years ago in that same area. A drying climate may have spurred the move to farming, says Yves Vigouroux, a population geneticist at the French Research Institute for Development (IRD) in Montpellier who led some of the new work.The recent findings pinpoint the wild ancestors of some of Africa’s most important crops, highlighting reservoirs of genes that could be exploited to boost the productivity and disease resistance of the domesticated varieties, he adds. Such improvements could be life savers on a continent where population is expanding, and climate change threatens crop yields. “When we study evolution of crops across time, it helps us to see varieties [that] are more resilient,” says Alemseged Beldados, an archaeobotanist at Addis Ababa University. “It will help us single out better breeds.”Generations of archaeologists have studied plant domestication in the Middle East as well as in Asia and the Americas. “But Africa has very much lagged behind,” says Dorian Fuller, an archaeobotanist at University College London. Plant fossils and farming artifacts are less likely to be preserved in Africa’s warm, moist environments, funding is scarce, and field research often faces political and logistical challenges. Plant studies show where Africa’s early farmers tamed some of the continent’s key crops Scarcelli, Vigouroux, and their colleagues further identified forest yams in the Niger River Basin, between eastern Ghana and western Nigeria, as the source of the modern domesticate. Their analysis could not pinpoint the date of domestication, but it did identify genes that changed along the way. Variations in genes for water regulation probably helped convert a forest dweller into a plant that thrives in open sun. Alterations in root development and starch production genes also likely made tubers regularly shaped and richer in starch.A similar study of pearl millet (Cenchrus americanus), the most important cereal for arid areas of Africa and Asia with poor soils, also pointed to a West African origin. When Vigouroux and his colleagues sequenced and compared the genomes of 221 wild (Pennisetum glaucum monodii) and domesticated millets, they concluded that all domesticated pearl millet varieties came from a single ancestor growing north of the Niger River in part of the western Sahara Desert that today includes northern Mali and Mauritania. The genetic work, reported last year in Nature Ecology & Evolution, dovetails nicely with a 2011 discovery of 4500-year-old pearl millet remains in an archaeological site in southeastern Mali, Fuller adds.Previous studies had shown that about 6000 years ago, probably before millet was domesticated, a moist climate created a network of lakes in the region, yielding abundant wild food. As the climate dried and those lakes vanished, Vigouroux hypothesizes, the local people began to cultivate plants.And over more time, people and plants shifted southward, with cultivated plants intermittently interbreeding with wild plants. The mingling slowed full domestication but added genetic variation to the millet. “Our findings stressed the importance of wild-to-crop gene flow during and after crop domestication,” Vigouroux and his colleagues wrote.African rice (Oryza glaberrima) is less important today than the other traditional crops, having been mostly replaced with Asian rice. But it, too, got a West African start. Last year in Current Biology, Vigouroux and his colleagues analyzed 163 varieties of the domesticated African rice and 83 samples of wild rice collected from west and east Africa. Their analysis showed the cultivated species has about half as much genetic diversity as the wild species, and that it arose from wild relatives in northern Mali. They also found that some of the same genetic changes central to the taming of Asian rice, such as a gene deletion that made the plant grow more erect, also played a part in the domestication of African rice.Other researchers have tracked down additional genes that aided African rice domestication. In the March issue of PLOS Genetics, they described the evolution of genes that make rice seeds less likely to fall off the stalks. Such a detailed history is easier to piece together for African rice than Asian rice because so many wild populations are still intact, says evolutionary geneticist Michael Purugganan of New York University in New York City, who led the work. Studies in Africa “may tell us more about crop domestication than what people have learned about other crops elsewhere,” he adds.While Vigouroux focuses on climate to explain why agriculture arose in this part of Africa, archaeologist Sylvain Ozainne from the University of Geneva in Switzerland suggests movements of Saharan pastoralists helped initiate and spread a culture of crop growing, particularly of pearl millet. “Rather than a direct response to abrupt climatic change, the expansion of African agriculture may be better explained through a more complex process, which involved socioeconomic transformations,” he says.In Africa, as elsewhere, crop domestication was a long, drawn-out process. It happened outside the Niger River Basin as well. Sorghum was likely tamed in East Africa. Last month, Nature Plants published a genetic analysis of wild and domesticated sorghum samples excavated from an archaeological site in Egypt that spans several thousands years. It showed that early farmers either deliberately crossed this crop—now the sixth most widely grown in the world—with wild relatives and with domesticates from other places, or cultivated varieties that naturally interbred.All this genetic exchange ultimately helped improve the final crop, says Emuobosa Akpo Orijemie, an archaeobotanist at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. The new findings, he adds, “speak about how intelligent our ancestors were in terms of selecting and managing crops for a variety of uses.”*Correction, 3 May, 9:50 a.m.: An earlier version of this story misstated that the Nok were Saharan pastoralists. As it was domesticated, the African yam got bigger, starchier, and more regular in shape. NORA SCARCELLI/IRD Wild yams such as these were cultivated into an African crop. By Elizabeth PennisiMay. 1, 2019 , 2:00 PMlast_img read more

7 Popular Wedding Traditions with Fascinating Origins

first_imgWeddings, at least in the western tradition, are often quite similar. There’s the engagement period (sometimes short, sometimes years), the bachelor party, the giving away of the bride, the cake, and the honeymoon.But have you ever stopped to think about where these traditions originated and why they are still practiced today? Here are just a few of the more common wedding traditions, and their roots.The Bachelor or Stag PartyToday, men often have a bachelor or stag party (or for women, a hen night or bachelorette party) as a last “hurrah” before tying the knot with their beloved.The first reference to a “bachelor party” comes from the 19th century and can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary, but parties celebrating the groom’s last night as a single man date from as far back as the 5th century BC in ancient Sparta.The groom on the way to the bath on the eve of the wedding (a group of men holding each other’s hands).Interestingly, the term “bachelor” originally meant a young knight-in-training, like a squire, and was mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s 14th century work The Canterbury Tales when he referred to an unmarried man.White WeddingThe tradition of a bride wearing white for her wedding originated in Great Britain and was popularized by Queen Victoria.In 1840, when she married Prince Albert, Victoria wore a white lace court dress.Queen Victoria, in her wedding dress and veil from 1840, painted in 1847 as an anniversary gift for her husband, Prince Albert.SourceBucking the customary trend of royal brides wearing heavily brocaded and elaborate gowns, the Queen set a new fashion and news of her dress spread throughout the Empire and across North America.Other members of the elite soon followed in her footsteps. The tradition was not fully embraced by the middle-classes in Great Britain until after the Second World War, however.Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something BlueThe traditional rhyme ends with “and a sixpence in your shoe,” but as these are hard to come by today, many brides are happy with the first 4 elements. The “old” was to ward off evil and provide a sense of continuity as the bride begins her new life. This is often an heirloom of some variety, like a piece of jewelry from a family member.Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something BlueThe “new” represents optimism for the future, and is usually the bride’s dress itself. Something “borrowed” was said to bring the couple good luck, and can often have sentimental value. And the “blue” item was said to represent purity, love and fidelity.It is unknown from where the rhyme originated, but it dates from at least 1876, where it is referred to as “an ancient custom” in the book Bye-gones, Relating to Wales and the Border Counties.Giving Away the BrideIn many (if not most) weddings, a male family member walks the bride down the aisle to “give her away,” It is not always her father, as was the case with the Duchess of Sussex’s recent wedding, when her future father-in-law walked her down the aisle.Rear view of bride and father walking down the aisle with people in background during outdoor wedding. Horizontal shot.The tradition is often seen as the family member accompanying the bride on her way to her new life, and has been a part of weddings around the world for centuries.However, female children used to be the property of their fathers. By literally handing over his daughter, a father was transferring ownership and responsibility of her to her husband. Thankfully, however, the act is only a symbolic one in most weddings today.The CakeWedding cakes can be extremely elaborate, beautiful and very expensive.Traditionally, they take the form of tiers, embellished with everything from flowers to edible “pearls.” Wedding cakes are nothing new, however, and began as early as ancient Rome, when a simple cake would be broken over the bride’s head to bring good luck.Beautiful wedding cake, close up of cake and blur background, selective focus.During the Middle Ages, cakes were stacked as high as possible as a sort of dare for the bride and groom. If they could kiss over top of it, they would have a good marriage.From the 17th to 19th centuries a “bride’s pie” was often served, and would sometimes have a glass ring in it. Whoever found the ring would be the next to be married. Wedding cakes have evolved to indicate social status and wealth. The bigger and more extravagant the cake, the higher one’s social standing.The HoneymoonThe wedding is over and the happy couple embark on their honeymoon to a tropical island paradise to bask in their newly wedded bliss.Newlyweds leaving for their honeymoon boarding a Trans-Canada Air Lines plane, Montreal, 1946The term for this post-ceremonial vacation actually comes from the Old English “hony moone” and is quite literal. The “honey” part refers to the sweet, idyllic time that (hopefully) accompanies couples in their first weeks of marriage, roughly the span of one moon cycle, or four weeks.In 1542, Samuel Johnson described the honeymoon as, “the first month after marriage, when there is nothing but tenderness and pleasure.” Curiously, a 2015 study found that going on a honeymoon resulted in a lower risk of divorce.Carrying the Bride over the ThresholdThe tradition of a groom carrying his bride over the threshold, or through the doorway, of their home (or hotel room) has different meanings in different cultures. In ancient Rome, it was believed that a bride who tripped over the doorway would bring bad luck to her marriage. Carrying her prevented this from happening (assuming that the groom did not trip either).Carrying the Bride over the Threshold Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-B1109-0017-001 / Kohls, Ulrich / CC-BY-SA 3.0Other darker origins may be that the bride was not particularly willing to be married, and had to be physically carried in to the groom’s home against her will. In Zoroastrianism, a groom cannot touch the doorjamb as he walks through it, after which his mother-in-law marks his forehead with a red pigment and then throws rice at him.Read another  story from us: 6 of the Most Scandalous Women in HistoryBrides and grooms may not understand all of the origins of the rituals and traditions on their big day, but if they help to start the couple off on a happy marriage, then the more traditions, the better!last_img read more

A Brandy Flask from The Titanic Sold for A Huge Price

first_imgThe RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton on April 10, 1912. Scheduled to make a triumphant arrival in New York City, the ship never arrived at her destination, famously colliding with an iceberg and sinking. More than 1,500 passengers and crew lost their lives in the tragedy, which was one of the deadliest marine disasters of all time. Over a century later, the story of the Titanic still piques the curiosity of people from all over the globe, with some wealthy collectors willing to pay huge fees for artifacts and memorabilia from the doomed ship.The original RMS TitanicThe latest example of these historical items to fetch a huge fee at auction is a silver brandy flask. It was owned by one Edward Kent, a first-class passenger who sadly perished when the Titanic sank.As reported by the BBC, the flask’s original owner, a woman named Helen Churchill Candee, was also on board and gave the flask to Kent, stating “You stand a better chance of living than I.” As fate would have it, while Kent died, Churchill Candee was actually one of the survivors of the disaster.The flask is engraved with the original owner’s family motto — “Faithful but Unfortunate” — and was recovered along with Mr Kent’s body in the wake of the accident.As CNN reports, the flask was given to Mr Kent’s widow, who decided to return it to the Churchill Candee family. She wrote an accompanying later to explain what had happened and apologized for the “out of shape” nature of the flask.Photo courtesy of Henry Aldridge & SonThe flask was recently placed up for auction. It was described by appraisers at UK-based Henry Aldridge & Son, one of the leading auction houses for Titanic objects, as “one of the most powerful and emotive three-dimensional objects from the Titanic ever offered for auction”.Andrew Aldridge, the auctioneer in charge of the sale, examined the flask before the auction and estimated that it could raise between $80,000 and $100,000, with the power and significance of the item predicted to make it a big hit with auction-goers.Photo courtesy of Henry Aldridge & SonIn the end, the flask sold for just under $100,000 (£76,000), so Aldridge’s estimation was very accurate. Clearly, collectors are willing to pay top dollar for such prestigious and one-of-a-kind pieces.The sinking of the Titanic was a hugely significant moment in human history, being famously depicted in one of the most successful films of all time: James Cameron’s 1997 epic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, which won an unprecedented total of 11 Academy Awards.Kate Winslet offers her hand to Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from the film ‘Titanic’, 1997. Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty ImagesCNN also reports that many bidders vied for the flask, including several international buyers placing bids online and over the phone. In the end, an anonymous private buyer from the United Kingdom won the lot.Other Titanic items sold alongside the flask included a lifeboat plaque, which went for roughly $59,000 (£45,000), and a sublime silk postcard, which fetched close to $50,000 (£38,000).Titanic Menu. Photo courtesy of Henry Aldridge & SonAs previously stated, there’s a lot of interest in Titanic memorabilia, with collectors willing to spend huge amounts on individual items retrieved from the sunken ship. Henry Aldridge & Son host two specialist Titanic-based auctions each year.Read another story from us: The Titanic Wreck was Discovered While Looking for Lost Nuclear SubmarinesThe item that sold for the highest price was a Wallace Hartley violin, which sold in 2013 for $1.4 million. It was believed that this violin was played by the on-board band who played in attempt to calm down the frantic passengers as the ship started to sink and it became clear that not everyone would be making it out alive.last_img read more

Final Resting Place of the Elephant Man Found by Author

first_imgThe skeleton of Joseph Merrick, known as the Elephant Man, has been preserved at the Royal London Hospital ever since 1890, the year of his death. But author Jo Vigor-Mungovin said she’s made a discovery: Merrick’s final resting place is in an unmarked grave in the City of London Cemetery. Vigor-Mungovin, who wrote the book Joseph: The Life, Times & Places of the Elephant Man, told the BBC that his soft tissue remains were buried at the cemetery after Merrick’s body was dissected.She posted a photo of the grave on Twitter on May 4, 2019, writing: “Today after weeks of emails, research & visits to the City of London Cemetery, the final resting place of Joseph Merrick has been located. His bones are at @BHAandM for medical purposes but his flesh/remains were buried in consecrated ground after a small service…”This image of Joseph Merrick (1862–1890) was published in the British Medical Journal in 1886Merrick had a skeletal and soft tissue deformity. He died at the age of 27. His head measured 36 inches, and when he died on April 11, 1890, it is believed that he was asphyxiated by the weight of his own head after trying to trying to sleep lying down.Vigor-Mungovin told the BBC that “a story about his soft tissue being buried had not been followed up due to the number of graveyards in use at the time.” She continued, “I was asked about this and off-hand I said, ‘It probably went to the same place as the [Jack the] Ripper victims’, as they died in the same locality.”Today after weeks of emails, research & visits to the #CityofLondonCemetery the final resting place of #JosephMerrick has been located. His bones are @BHAandM for medical purposes but his flesh/remains were buried in consecrated ground after a small service. #Leicester R.I.P pic.twitter.com/MNSSf68Bh2— Jo Vigor-Mungovin (@Berliozjo) May 3, 2019But shortly afterward she decided to investigate the records of the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium near Epping Forest to see if there was more to learn. Mary Ann Nichols and Catherine Eddowes, both believed to have been murdered by Jack the Ripper, are buried there.“I decided to search in an eight-week window around the time of his death and there, on page two, was ‘Joseph Merrick,’ ” she told the BBC.She said the location of his grave was hard to track down, as Victorian London had many cemeteries, but she was “99 per cent certain” the grave was Merrick’s.“The burial is dated April 24, 1890, and Joseph died on April 11,” she said to the BBC. The records she found list “his residence as London Hospital, his age as 28 — Joseph was actually 27 but his date of birth was often given wrong — and the coroner as Wynne Baxter, who we know conducted Joseph’s inquest.”Merrick photographed in 1889Merrick’s condition, which developed in early childhood, is believed to be due to a rare genetic disorder called Proteus syndrome. Because of his leg deformities, he could only walk with a stick.His mother died when he was 11, and he became an object of curiosity and ridicule. He was confined to a workhouse, which he left to join a traveling “freak show”. He was often robbed of his earnings while part of this show. Whether he was beaten or abused is a subject of some debate.A doctor, Frederick Treves, became involved in his case and Merrick was admitted to the hospital. “The weight of his head, which would have crushed his windpipe, prevented him from sleeping normally so he had to get his rest sitting up,” according to Biography. “The death was ruled an accident and Treves concluded that Merrick was experimenting with sleeping. He died trying to be like others.”John Hurt in the David Lynch film, ‘The Elephant Man’ (1980). Photo by Images Press/IMAGES/Getty ImagesIn his lifetime he became well known and was visited by Alexandra, princess of Wales. In the 20th century, he was the subject of various books, a play, and the 1980 film The Elephant Man, starring Anthony Hopkins as the doctor and John Hurt as Merrick.Read another story from us: The Sad Life of the Real “Elephant Man”“The authorities said a small plaque could be made to mark the spot, which would be lovely,” Vigor-Mungovin told the BBC. “Hopefully, we can soon get a memorial in his hometown of Leicester.”Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. Her new book, The Blue, is a spy story set in the 18th-century porcelain world. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.comlast_img read more