What you should know about anthropology

 

Anthropology is the field which studies what makes us human. Anthropologists consider the past through one of its branches called archaeology, to learn how human collectivities lived hundreds or thousands of years ago, what made them different and what was important to them.

These dedicated people consider everything, from our biological bodies and genetics, to our health and customs. Anthropologists also compare humanoids with other animals, to see what we have in common with those relatives and what makes our mammalian species unique.

 

Their purpose

These guys also try to learn how people interact in social groups, and how those same relationships develop over time. They study the ways in which people dress and communicate in different civilizations. Then they use these comparisons to understand their societies and how they worked.

The end purpose of this whole thing is to give context to those traits that define our existence and to create a timeline for our convoluted history. It is not an easy task, but it is fundamental if we want to stay away from mistakes that could result in the end of civilization.

 

Biological Anthropology

This is one of the first branches of the field. Biological anthropologists seek to comprehend how our ancestors and modern humans adapt to different environments, what leads to diseases and early death, and how our quirky species evolved from other animals.

To do so, they study humans and human fossils, and other primates such as apes. They are also invested in how biology and culture combine to shape our fleeting lives. Through this work, biological anthropologists reveal that we are more similar to each other than we are different.

 

Cultural Anthropology

These anthropologists explore how people in different parts of the world live and understand the environment around them. They want to discover what people think is vital to their existence and the social rules they create for interpersonal interaction.

As wars have proven, even today countries still disagree about how sexes should speak, dress, treat others or have intimate relationships. Anthropologists want to have an unbiased opinion and to listen to all voices, so they can understand how societies vary.

Linguistic Anthropology

Perhaps the most underrated experts, linguistic anthropologists analyze the many ways in which people from different backgrounds communicate across the globe. The ones who practice it are interested in how language evolved and how it is linked to the ways we perceive the world and how we relate to one another.

For linguistic anthropologists, communication and language are keys to the intricate mechanisms we use to build societies and cultures. These fields are not separate entities and they work together to bring accurate data to the public. There’s not one that is more important than the other, as all have their specific purpose and place in the scientific community. One thing is for sure: without anthropology, we would know nothing of who we are and how we came to create such complex societies.

 

How has the earth evolved over time?

 

The history of our Earth is long and complicated. The continental crust, which stretches miles deep, contains the historical account of our planet. Some of the oldest rocks are over four billion years old, while the younger ones are still forming to this day.

The data scientists collected shows a fascinating timeline of our ever-changing planet, and with this article I am planning to show you more of what earth looked like 4.5 billion years ago.

Genesis

Although most planets surround considerable stars in their galaxies, how they actually form remains a subject of debate, even though there’s some proof at the edge of the Universe. Currently, two main theories are duking it out for supremacy.

The first one is the most widely accepted theory, called core accretion and works well with the formation of terrestrial planets like our Earth, but has problems with giant planets which are usually made up of gas, like Saturn. The second theory is called the disk instability method and it may account for the latter category.

 

The core accretion model

4.6 billion years ago, at the point where our journey begins, the solar system we live in was a cloud of dust, known as a solar nebula in the scientific community. Gravity then collapsed the material in on itself, it began to spin, and then it formed the sun in the center of the said nebula.

A few million years later, solar winds swept away light elements, leaving only rocky materials to create smaller terrestrial worlds like Earth. The planet’s rocky core was the first one to form, with heavy elements like iron colliding and binding together.

 

The beginning

In its early stages, Earth suffered an impact when a large body collided with our planet, and it threw bits of it into space, where gravity transformed them into our Moon. Because the Earth’s outer core is liquid, its movements cause plate tectonics, a motion which gives birth to mountains and volcanoes, things that had the most impact on shaping the young planet’s surface.

Furthermore, meteorites, asteroids and other bodies from this category soon started to hit our surface just like they hit the Moon, and they most likely deposited the Earth’s water on its surface, thus shaping the planet even more. Some speculations say that’s how life came about, and that we are the descendants of the bacteria carried by those frozen rocks.

 

The evidence

Exoplanet observations, mainly from space telescopes like Hubble, seem to confirm core accretion as being the legit theory. The 2005 discovery of a new giant planet with a massive core is another piece of the puzzle that helped NASA strengthen the case for core accretion.

Plus, all around the world, you can spot asteroid impact crates, filled with pieces of rock that are thousands upon thousands of years old and that resemble nothing on Earth.

 

Cool facts about ancient Greece

 

Ancient Greece was a captivating ancient civilization that lasted through the turbulent Archaic period to the end of the art-filled Antiquity era. This fact makes it one of the oldest known civilizations, with a massive spread from the 12th century BC to 600 AD.

It still has a massive impact on how the world works and looks today, especially in the Mediterranean Basin. Remnants of the luscious Greek culture can be seen even today in our art museums, philosophy, and politics and if you’re willing to travel a bit, you can find traces of its presences all around Greece. Now, let’s learn more about the inventors of Democracy.

Greeks invented the Olympics

The first prototype of the games took place almost 3000 years ago, in a festival created to honor Zeus, the leader of the gods. Some of the main events have lasted to the modern era, and which can be found in our Olympics today. They include running, boxing, and wrestling.

The victorious Olympians, which were usually part of the Greek army, were crowned symbolically with an olive wreath and treated as demigods upon their arrival home. If you visit the ruins of the first stadiums, you can even sprint across the tracks like they did, although ancient athletes usually competed naked, which nowadays would be illegal.

 

Daily life

Before starting this part of the article, you should know that between 40% and 75% of the population of Ancient Athens were slaves, even if they were treated much better than America treated its slaves. Also, Ancient Greece was a democracy, the world’s first, as a matter of fact, but it lasted for only 185 years.

In many ways, life in those times was not necessarily different from modern daily life. Most of the time was spent hanging out and fighting in public spaces, and during the Golden Age of Athens or the Democracy era, citizens participated in their democratic government. Women and slaves were not permitted to participate, and male citizens just voted yes or no on all rules, laws, and changes.

Art as a way of life

Ancient Greeks invented the theatre. Greeks loved watching plays, and almost all cities had a theatre, with some big enough to hold at least 15,000 people. But because our early societies were inherently sexist, only men were allowed to be actors, and they had to wear masks to show the audience whether their characters were happy or sad.

They also held many festivals in honor of their main gods and goddesses. To celebrate Zeus, the first Greek Olympics were held in the ancient city of Olympia. There are also thousands of sculptures scattered across their area, which shows us they loved creating not to survive, but to prove they were sophisticated people who enjoyed beautiful things.

 

Asteroid mining – a revolutionary field

 

The population is growing rapidly and scientists are looking for ways to eliminate scarcity. The interesting part is that their research might expand beyond the Earth borders since we have a goldmine out there in the Universe, waiting for us to take advantage of.

You are probably aware of the fact that we are not alone in this big oasis called Cosmos. As Earth orbits around the Sun, a couple of thousand of asteroids pass by. Known as Near Earth Objects or NEO, they are a potential treasure because of the resources contained within them. Therefore, some groups of entrepreneurs are tempted to consider the alternative of asteroid mining, a process that mind boosts the economy and make some people quite rich.

If you’re a tad skeptical about this type of activity, you should know you’re not the only one. Because the outer space is so unfamiliar and so far away, people can’t believe that asteroids are the future oil fields of space.

 

 

When I first heard of this concept I wasn’t sure about their efforts of trying to get water and other types of resources from these asteroids. I mean, we have everything we need here on Earth. Apparently, I misjudged the situation because trying to get 1 gallon of water to the International Space Station costs more than 20,000$. Therefore, it’s understandable why we need to get the resources straight from the area we intend to make colonies for the human beings.

Basically, the asteroid mining process consists of repeating the world history, only in a completely new environment. Due to the natural resources, people were able to expand their frontiers and conquer new territories. For instance, when Europeans first came to North America and settled, the only way they could have survived was because of the reserves found in this land. By doing so, they created one of the most powerful economies in the world.

There’s one obstacle, though. According to the law, no country can own the moon, asteroids or any parts related to space, no matter how many flags astronauts put there. However, certain companies have come up with strategies that include sending small satellites into space that can prospect that area for ice and minerals.

 

 

Even though we have plenty of nickel and iron, trying to send them into space it’s too pricey. If we use asteroid mining, these metals can be processed directly while in orbit and used for several purposes, such as building special equipment or spacecrafts. From there on, we could even extract valuable minerals found in the aforementioned asteroids at a lower cost.  This way, it might be worth it trying to bring them back to Earth and support the economies with the assets located in the outer space.

 

 

New habitable planets found by NASA

 

Space agency NASA has discovered more potential candidates for habitable planets outside of our own galaxy. Scientists manning the Kepler Space Telescope have identified 219 new habitable zone candidates. The good news gets even better with the scientists’ declaration that 10 of those are about the size of our own Earth and are in the life-supportive area of their solar systems.

This is just one of those instances when the well-lauded Kepler Space Telescope has been able to deliver information about exoplanets, or basically zones that can support life. NASA leverages the ability of the space scope to use the blinking and dimming of distant alien stars to identify planets orbiting around those stars.

 

 

The latest 10 Earth-size discoveries are the right distance from their host star, which means they are neither too cold or too hot and can, therefore, hold liquid water. The ability of a planet to hold water is key to it being able to sustain life. The discovery, however, sadly constitutes the near-end of the massive exoplanet search by Kepler.

Despite the fact that the Kepler Space Telescope is still in space searching for new planets, and will most likely go on for around one more year, its primary mission ended in an untimely manner when the instrument malfunctioned in 2013. Two of the four wheels geared to keep the scope pointed at one spot on the sky broke.

The engineers at NASA did not give up on the instrument completely. Instead, they found a way to use the sun as a backup reaction wheel. The solar panels on Kepler were then utilized to keep the craft in place while being pressed on by the physical force of light and with the unbroken wheels pushing back for balance. This provided the second chance that Kepler needed, which in turn opened up a new mission called K2.

 

 

On its own, K2 has been able to discover a number of exoplanets despite the mission being a bit different.

During the first mission, the space telescope stared at a single patch of sky to identify any signs of planetary activity around 150,000 stars in the Earth’s own cosmos. On the other hand, K2 is a slave to the position of the sun, so it can’t simply be pointed to any spot the scientists choose it to.

This means the scientists have to choose a target that supports the need to fill the deficiency presented by the broken wheels, at just the right spot for the sun to provide the required assistance and hopefully, with stars worth observing.

Right now, the observation team only has less than a hundred days, or 80 days to be exact, before the telescope has to move once more. While K2 has spotted new planets and still continues doing so, the richness of data originally provided by the first mission is severely lacking in the second.

That said, NASA brings the good news that the entire collection of data from the original Kepler mission has been subjected to multiple analysis to make the information good enough for drawing statistical conclusions. There are now 4,034 potential planetary candidates, 50 of them verified to be Earth-size and located in their star’s habitable zone including the just-announced 10.

Thirty of those fifty have been verified. We can anticipate additional exoplanet announcements based on the data reanalysis but most likely no longer from the mission itself.

What’s a light meter and what can you use it for?

 

Sometimes, I go online and look for all sorts of gadgets and devices. I came across a website that helped me through and through, especially when I bought a microscope for a niece. I needed something easy to work with, but I wasn’t willing to pay good money for a toy. As I like to learn more things every day, I started to investigate a bit further and find out more about lab equipment and other gear typically destined for scientific applications.

That’s how I came across about the best light meter. At first, I had no idea what these devices were or what they measured, even though the terminology is rather obvious in my opinion. It goes without saying that they have to measure out the light. The fact is that there are several variations on the same topic. Light meters are most used in photography. The one taking the pictures places the device in front of the subject so that the meter displays a letter that can be used as an indicative of the aperture and exposure.

Another variable pertaining to light meters is their design. Some are made to be handheld, and in my opinion, this type is the one that makes more sense than any alternatives that are anything but portable. Of course, there’s an endless debate as to whether or not a more compact design might interfere with the performance of the device. From what I have gathered, however, it looks that most models are capable of providing superior reliability, which is to say that they will be able to measure light and tell you the right settings you need to use depending on your ISO.

If you’re interested in studying photography or maybe you’re already doing so, you might want to do a bit of research before deciding on a certain model. What I mean by this is that there are a plethora of devices you can select from, and it’s a truth universally acknowledged that not all options could offer you the same value. From my perspective, those that are made both for photography and for filmmaking are by far the most versatile ones.

Also, you need to ensure that you risk getting a light meter for nothing. Believe it or not, there are mobile apps that you can utilize nowadays to make the most of your smartphone. There’s the Pocket Light Meter app that can be bought for a reasonable cost, and all it does is rely on the sensors of the camera on your cell phone. As with traditional light meters, you need to set the ISO beforehand so that the application is capable of doing its job properly.