stories we liked from this week’s news
Basque Cases The Basque language, or Euskadi, seems to be very ancient indeed. Biut no one knew that they were writing it down until this startling find from northern Spain. Nature Briefings: Bronze Hand might rewrite the history of Basque This is where science, linguistics and art meet folks- an Enlightenment learning feast!
A flat, life-size bronze hand engraved with symbols could prove the existence of written Vasconic — the language that developed into Basque. “This piece upends how we’d thought about the Vascones and writing until now,” says linguist Joaquín Gorrochategui, who was involved in the analysis by the Aranzadi Science Society, a Basque research institute. “We were almost convinced that the ancient Vascones were illiterate and didn’t use writing except when it came to minting coins.”The Guardian | 4 min read
Reference: Aranzadi Science Society press release (in Basque)
T Rex were really big Fans of the 1970s glam rock group T. Rex will recall that they were named after a species of large predatory dinosaur that has been in more films than Matt Damon. News that these beasts were really, really big comes in this piece from the Mail. T Rex’s closest living relatives are things like chickens and geese, which gives whole new meaning to the song Ride a White Swan
But the Universe was even bigger The problem with the practice of amateur astronomy is that it’s cold, dark, lonely and frustrating. Problems we share with people like fishermen, joggers and flashers, to name but a few. But Johns Hopkins University have come up with a way of avoiding all those hours at the telescope. They have a remarkable new map which lets you explore the secrets and wonders of the universe from the comfort of a warm lap top, and no more being scared out of your wits by the approach of a wandering hedgehog
Man attacks Shark Ever since the release of the popular film Jaws, sharks have had a bad press, Attempts to conserve these fascinating and ancient creatures are stymied by the old canard: “but they bite!” But there’s hope for our cartilagenous chums in this piece from the BBC
This week’s musical clip Fans of the Baroque period in music (which didn’t quite overlap with that in art) will enjoy this selection from JS Bach’s Mass in B minor.,We’ve chosen the agnus dei, as we think film directors everywhere may want to use it Look, there’s even a picture of some bloke singing it!