Archive for the 'Science & Research' Category

The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

As you know, we love scents. Perhaps this little one-of-a-kind spot is worth a field trip?

 

The perfume organ holds hundreds of natural perfume oils. (Bianca Taylor/KQED)

 

From KQED,

 

New Museum in Berkeley Worships the Art of Smell

By Bianca Taylor

 

“The first thing I notice about the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents is that it doesn’t smell.

 

Mandy Aftel, the museum’s founder and the author of “Essence & Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume,” says this is not an accident.

 

“I think people are worried that it will be very smelly like a department store,” she says.

 

Aftel tells me that the natural oils in her perfumes are not as pungent and long-lasting as the synthetic oils that you’d find at a makeup counter.

 

The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents was founded as a way to share her love of natural fragrance with the world. The small museum is in a garage behind her house in Berkeley, just over the fence from Chez Panisse…”

 

For the rest, and a video, click here.

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Rome’s new subway unearths artifacts from the Paleolithic

“With its subway lines traveling at nearly 100 feet below ground, Line C has given archaeologists access to artifacts dating as far back as the Paleolithic era.”

 

 

From the New York Times,

 

Unearthed in Rome’s New Subway: Extinct Elephants and Persian Peach Pits

By Elisabetta Povoledo

 

“ROME — The ancient Romans were celebrated for their engineering feats: roads that helped expand an empire; aqueducts that quenched throngs and supplied lavish fountains; monumental bridges, some of which are still in use today.

 

So it seems apt that a modern engineering achievement — the construction of a new subway line in the city — has given archaeologists a unique opportunity to study this ancient world in extraordinary detail.

 

“This subway has provided a wealth of knowledge about the city that no other operation could have duplicated,” said Rossella Rea, the archaeologist who has overseen the project since planning for the subway line began in the 1990s.

 

The new route, Line C, will link the city center to an area to the east of Rome, beyond the city limits, connecting a series of fairly recently developed and heavily populated suburbs. The hope is that the line, whose first 13 stations were opened in 2014, will alleviate some of Rome’s famously chronic traffic chaos.

 

In living cities, archaeologists typically get to muck around underground during the construction of parking lots, with digs up to 26 feet below ground. With its subway lines traveling at nearly 100 feet below ground, Line C has given archaeologists access to artifacts dating as far back as the Paleolithic era.

 

“We haven’t done anything so extensive or gone so deeply” for years, Ms. Rea said.

 

As tens of thousands of cubic meters of earth has been moved during the line’s decade-long construction, each unearthed artifact — marble capitals and mosaics, and even remains of long-ago leftover meals and the ruins of 19th-century villas — has been painstakingly documented, cataloged and extracted. Some will go on show once a proper exhibition space is found. Some more monumental finds will be recomposed to be admired in situ…”

 

For the rest, click here.

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The Science Of Nightmares

What causes nightmares?

 

John Quidor [Public domain]

 

From Medical Daily,

A Bad Dream Is More Than Just A Dream: The Science Of Nightmares
By Lizette Borreli

 

“The jolt of fear and terror felt as we run for our lives to escape danger quickly eases us back into consciousness in bed to help us flee the dreamscape. Nightmares tend to creep in and out at night in our lifetime, primarily during childhood, but why do they happen in the first place? Do we ever outgrow bad dreams?

 

Why Nightmares Happen

 

Nightmares can be vivid and frightening detailed images that can leave us in a state of panic and fear after we wake up. Most young children experience nightmares, with an estimated 10 percent to 50 percent between the ages of 5 and 12 years having nightmares severe enough to disturb their parents, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Children’s nightmares may stem from listening to a scary story, TV show or movie, or even feeling anxious and stressed during the day from starting school to a death in the family. Typically, most kids will grow out of them, but what happens to adults?

 

Only two to eight percent of the adult population is plagued by nightmares, says the AASM, which involves some of the same triggers seen in children’s nightmares. Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, a professional dream analyst and author of Dream On It, Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, stresses the importance of understanding that dreaming is actually a thinking process; a continuation of our thoughts stream from the day. “[T]he nightmare is when we are thinking about difficult issues during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and trying to sort them out. We often try to ignore our difficult issues with distractions during the day but when we are asleep and are forced to be alone in our own heads, these difficult issues will be addressed,” she told Medical Daily in an email.

 

Unresolved conflict is not the only causation of nightmares, poor eating habits can also contribute to the frequency of these terror episodes. People can have nightmares after having a late-night snack. Eating meals or snacks that are high in carbohydrates in the late hours of the night can increase brain activity and body metabolism…”

 

For the rest, click here.

 

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