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February 23 2014

10 Words in Mysterious Voynich Manuscript Decoded


A researcher claims he's decoded 10 possible words in the famously unreadable Voynich manuscript, which has eluded interpretation for a century.

The book's 250 vellum pages are filled with writings in an unknown alphabet and elaborate drawings depicting a range of subjects from female nudes to medicinal herbs to Zodiac symbols. The medieval text was discovered by an antique book dealer in 1912, and it has been rather stingy in giving up its secrets ever since.

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February 23 2014

Monster Surf Exposes Rare Petroglyphs in Hawaii


Epic winter swells just off of Oahu, Hawaii, have churned up monster waves more than 7 meters high, sent seawater surging around the foundations of beachfront homes, and gnawed away at sandy cliffs along the island’s North Shore.

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February 23 2014

The end of the world IS nigh…if you believe the Vikings


Norse mythology predicts the Ragnarok, the final mystical battle on earth, will begin on February 22.

Legend has it that Norse gods including Thor and Loki will battle to the death after earth splits open and unleashes the inhabitants of hell.

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February 22 2014

Trees On The Move As Temperature Zones Shift 3.8 Feet A Day


You are a snail. You are a plant. You like where you are. The temperature's right. It suits you.

But then, gradually, over the years, it gets warmer. Not every day, of course, but on more and more days, the temperature climbs to uncomfortable highs, drying you out, making you tired, thirsty.

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February 22 2014

Ants Build Raft to Escape Flood, Protect Queen


Ants may be small, but they’re certainly not stupid, as evidenced by the discovery that they build rafts to save themselves and their queen during floods.

What’s more, they construct the rafts using themselves — living ants — linked together to form a nearly waterproof buoyant vessel, according to a study published in the latest issue of PLOS ONE.

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February 22 2014

Marshall Islands: Islands 'grow back' after Pacific storm


A string of Pacific islands have apparently "grown back" after they were devastated by a typhoon a century ago.

A powerful typhoon in 1905 killed all but two inhabitants of the Nadikdik Atoll - part of the Marshall Islands - and washed away most of the islands' landmass. But the islands seem to have re-established themselves - one has become a fully vegetated, stable island again - while several smaller islands have reappeared and formed into a single, larger landmass, the New Zealand Herald reports.

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February 22 2014

Farmland butterflies bounce back


Farmland butterflies have flourished thanks to last year's hot summer, the charity Butterfly Conservation says.

The annual Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS) recorded almost double the number of insects compared with the previous year.

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February 22 2014

Lemurs could be extinct 'very soon' experts warn


Lemurs could “very soon” be extinct, some of the world’s leading experts on the primates warned as they unveiled a three-year plan to save them, on Thursday.

A combination of the destruction of their habitat and bush meat hunting by impoverished local people, means that Lemurs are now the world’s most threatened mammal group.

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February 22 2014

Bee colony collapse viruses spreading to bumblebees


Infectious diseases linked to the colony collapse of honeybees appear to be spreading among wild bumblebees that pollinate crops worldwide, dealing a potential double blow to agriculture, according to a new study.

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February 22 2014

History Repeating Itself at Antarctica's Fastest-Melting Glacier


It's no instant replay, but West Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier, one of the continent's fastest-changing ice streams, looks to be recreating 8,000-year-old history as it melts away, a new study suggests.

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February 22 2014

Prehistoric forest arises in Cardigan Bay after storms strip away sand


A prehistoric forest, an eerie landscape including the trunks of hundreds of oaks that died more than 4,500 years ago, has been revealed by the ferocious storms which stripped thousands of tons of sand from beaches in Cardigan Bay.

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February 22 2014

A lost city reveals the grandeur of medieval African civilization


Some of the world's greatest cities during the Middle Ages were on the eastern coast of Africa. Their ornate stone domes and soaring walls, made with ocean corals and painted a brilliant white, were wonders to the traders that visited them from Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. They were the superpowers of the Swahili Coast, and they've long been misunderstood by archaeologists.

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February 22 2014

How Nutrition In One Generation Can Change The Genetics Of The Next


So many adults in Cambodia are getting diabetes at such a young age, it's unbelievable. "You can go to every village with me and see it," endocrinologist Lim Keuky told PRI. "When I go abroad to developed countries, people say I'm lying. I'm not lying."

Cambodians are getting type 2—A.K.A. adult-onset—diabetes in their late 30s.

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February 22 2014

Montana Boy: Bones Show Ancestral Links to Europe


Despite general resistence, representatives of tribes in the US recently gave their blessing for DNA analysis of the remains of a Stone Age child. Research conducted on the boy's genes indicate that Native Americans have European roots.

It must have been a pretty special child, otherwise the two-year old wouldn't have been buried in such a ceremonious manner.

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February 22 2014

Time travellers: please don’t kill Adolf Hitler


If you find yourself suddenly gaining access to a time machine, what’s the first thing you’d do? If you said “kill Adolf Hitler”, then congratulations; you’re a science-fiction character. Actually, the whole “access to a time machine” thing suggested that already, but the desire to kill Hitler clinches it.

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February 22 2014

'Vitruvian Man' May Have Had A Hernia, Surgeon Says


Leonardo da Vinci made it his mission to sketch the male body with ideal human proportions in the late 1400s. But it turns out, his "Vitruvian Man" may not be so perfect after all.

Dr. Hutan Ashrafian, a surgeon at the Imperial College London in the U.K., noticed something rather odd when he got up close and personal with the iconic drawing.

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February 22 2014

The Apollo of Gaza: One fisherman's amazing catch


A statue thought to be an ancient bronze of Apollo, Greek God of poetry and love, has dropped off the radar after being found in the sea off Gaza last summer and surfacing briefly on eBay. It is 2,500 years old and priceless.

Jawdat Abu Ghurab used to be a builder but in 2007 Israel restricted the delivery of building materials to the Gaza strip, so he became a fisherman like his father.

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February 22 2014

Irish Early Christians, Not So Christian After All?


Excavations at Caherconnell in the Burren region of county Clare on Ireland’s western coast are revealing some interesting practices undertaken by Ireland’s early Christians.

It is traditionally accepted that Christianity arrived in Ireland some time before the middle of the 5th century AD. You might be forgiven, then, for assuming that Christianity and Christian practices could be found throughout Ireland within a century or two of this date.

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