Daily Archives: February 14, 2012

History of Valentine’s Day

valentines day

Forget roses, chocolates and candlelight dinners. On Valentine’s Day, that’s rather boring stuff — at least according to ancient Roman standards. Imagine half-naked men running through the streets, whipping young women with bloodied thongs made from freshly cut goat skins. Although it might sound like some sort of perverted sadomasochistic ritual, this is what the Romans did until A.D. 496. Mid-February was Lupercalia (Wolf Festival) time. Celebrated on Feb. 15 at the foot of the Palatine Hill beside the cave where, according … Continue reading

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The Life Scientific


The Life scientific is a weekly radio program on BBC Radio 4 in the UK. Professor Jim Al-Khalili talks to leading scientists about their life and work, finding out what inspires and motivates them and asking what their discoveries might do for mankind. This week Jim talks meets paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer to find who our ancestors were. So if you would like to listen click here. Unfortunately this may only be available in the UK due to BBC terms & … Continue reading

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Liquid batteries could level the load


The biggest drawback to many real or proposed sources of clean, renewable energy is their intermittency: The wind doesn’t always blow, the sun doesn’t always shine, and so the power they produce may not be available at the times it’s needed. A major goal of energy research has been to find ways to help smooth out these erratic supplies. New results from an ongoing research program at MIT, reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, show a promising … Continue reading

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