Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, July 14

Anthropologists and archaeologists consider the fate of ancient women and children. Chemistry in the depth of space may help explain the origins of life. And a wide variety of new technologies making their debut in 2016 are showcased. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

There's little doubt that while progress has been made, academia continues to emphasize the accomplishments of adult men over those of women and children. And that applies to the past as well. At Discover, Stephen E. Nash considers how biases towards the concept of "Man the Hunter" have impact archaeological understandings of prehistoric people.

Life is precious and should be valued highly. But that doesn't mean death can't be beautiful as well. All the more so for stars, which are known among astronomers for their beautiful death displays. Astronomer Phil Plait provides a glimpse and brief explanation of how dying stars give rise to beautiful sky tapestries.

Thousands of years ago, before the Normans, the Saxons, the Romans, or even the Celts Britain was inhabited by a Neolithic people who built massive stone structures known as megaliths. The most famous of these, of course, is Stonehenge. But it may not have been the most important. The Guardian takes a journey to northern Scotland and examines one of the oldest (and largest) megaliths  yet discovered.

No matter what science fiction or the History Channel might tell you, there's practically no evidence civilization originated among the stars. But that doesn't mean outer space didn't play an important role in evolution here on Earth. Maddie Stone takes a look at the mystery of chirality in biochemistry and how it might be explained by chemicals in deep space.

In many ways, 2016 has been a fraught year full of tragedy and upsets. But it's also been a year of remarkable scientific and technological progress. At Scientific American, the staff has gathered a collection of some of the most promising new technologies to emerge over the course of the year, including self-driving vehicles, microbial factories, and revolutionary batteries.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.

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