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In a talk at the annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society in Frisco, archaeologist Sonia Harmand of Stony Brook University in New York described the discovery of numerous tools at the site of Lomekwi 3, just west of Lake Turkana in Kenya, about 1000 kilometers from Olduvai Gorge. In 2011 they spotted what Harmand called unmistakable stone tools on the surface of the sandy landscape and immediately launched a small excavation.

The result: Stone flakes dated to 3.3 million years ago, 700,000 years older than the oldest-known tools to date and hundreds of thousands of years before our genus Homo even arrived.

“The artifacts were clearly knapped [created by intentional flaking] and not the result of accidental fracture of rocks,” Harmand told the meeting.
Is there still bias in academic science? There is definitely unequal representation in some areas. The social sciences, for example, is 70 percent women while physics is 70 percent men, but there is no evidence that either gender is being blocked out.

Instead, there is second order sociological claims of stereotype threat, with the NSF funding games like Gender Bias Bingo, but there is little evidence that there is still bias - instead, studies for years have shown that women have been over-represented in hiring. The numbers remain unequal because academics get tenure, and people are working longer than ever, so men still have more jobs - but when new jobs open up, women have been more likely to get them.
 India has once again had enough of Greenpeace. They suspended froze Greenpeace India’s bank accounts and essentially labeled them fifth columnists who put a political agenda of the best interests of Indian people.

If not for the rapes on buses if women are out after 9PM it sounds like they are interested in joining the developed world - science is a competitive advantage, something that Europe has forgotten in its conservative efforts to retreat into the past.

We want to protect consumers from product misbranding and adulteration and so the Code of Federal Regulations, which govern 'standards of identity', was born in 1938. 

Yet what laws never account for is "innovation" and the modern environmental movement, with its food identity fetish, exploits that bureaucracy - for everything except organic food, anyway. Organic lobbyists control a sub-committee that controls the dozens of synthetic ingredients that can be allowed into organic food and keep their $100 billion business going and will sue to keep the USDA from being involved.

Geochemical tests on a burial box found in a tomb in 1980 have renewed questions about whether Jesus Christ was buried there. If he was buried there, in a family grave, there was no resurrection, 

The ossuaries have names like “Jesus son of Joseph”, “James son of Joseph brother of Jesus” and “Mary”, which is so conveniently consistent with the New Testament it could be a George Lucas film plot.
According to a new study of Olympic athletes, about 25 percent of swimmers had verified asthma. What is odd is that it is more common in athletes from some parts of the world than others which would seem to eliminate intensity of swimmer training, or long hours spent in the water, which may expose swimmers to more chlorine byproducts  - unless Olympic swimmers in some parts of the world do not train as hard.

It could be that people with asthma self-select swimming. It could be that some have a doctor's note so they can use inhalers that are otherwise banned. 
 Brennan Linsley/AP/Corbis
Tripp Keber, the CEO of Dixie Brands, Inc., among the biggest names in Colorado’s legal pot business, says there will soon be legal THC-infused luxury consumer packaged goods in 27 states.

And the big reason they will be so popular is because the culture war on smoking, funding by fines and taxes on cigarettes companies in the billions of dollars. has convinced the public that not inhaling cigarettes will prevent every kind of cancer - and therefore anything else goes.

Starbucks, the one place in the world where you can order a cup of whipped cream with a shot of caramel syrup and call it coffee, is ready to make you healthy.

Fresh off its universally applauded "Race Together" campaign, which forced the wrong advocates to get in the face of the wrong audience in the wrong venue to talk about racism in the least racist country in the world, now they want to be pushy about the amount of vegetables you're eating every day.

And they are doing it with kale. 

Commercial beekeeper Lee Townsend of metropolitan Edmonton found out Club Sierra - I mean Sierra Club (if you've been to their offices you know why it is easy to conflate the two) - was stopping by on its “Protect the Pollinators Tour“.

He wanted to know their thoughts on pollinator awareness so he stopped in. The scientist speaking was not an expert on bees but checked off the correct neutral boxes ('complex issue', 'multi-factorial') but it was Sierra Club of Canada Executive Director John Bennett would really got him wound up.
Evolution is messy, it happens in bursts some of the time and is painfully slow at others. On occasion, it is brilliant but sometimes, like in the human male reproductive layout, you have to wonder if it was drunk.

Dr. Carin Bondar shows both in a video about evolution, to the tune of "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus. It is at times hilarious, poignant and informative - just like biology itself. Kudos to Carin, Emily Hammel-Brisson (vocals) and Jordan Oram (everything else) for making natural selection fun.


During World War II, the Nazis built hideouts all over friendly territories, in hard-to-find places like deserts, mountains and jungles. One such jungle was Teyu Cuare in Argentina and scholars recently explored it.
The International Astronomical Union has been critical of groups that allow you to name asteroids or planets, insisting that it was only their realm as self-appointed gatekeepers.

Now they seem to have changed their minds and recognize that getting the public involved is the only way the public will care - people like cute robots on Mars because NASA makes them feel involved. Ironically, the IAU are doing it with the planet that got the public most dismissive of the IAU - Pluto, where 237 members outvoted a few others and decided was not a planet at all before it became one of about 50,000 dwarf planets.

New York Times Style columnist Nick Bilton worries the Apple Watch might give you cancer, so he consulted...Joe Mercola.

Yes, that Mercola, the famous homeopath who has been fined by the federal government for making bizarre unsubstantiated medical claims that probably sound legit to osteopaths and residents of Marin County, California, but make no sense in the evidence-based world.
Michael Hofmann Winer just won a $150,000 first-place prize for innovation, based on quantum condensed matter physics work he did in collaboration with U-Md. physics professor Victor Galitski and graduate student Justin Wilson - and he hasn't finished high school yet.

Winer is the winner of this year's Intel Science Talent Search. Obviously he did a lot of work but he also credits the math, science and computer science magnet program at Montgomery Blair, as well as teacher James R. Schafer, whom he called “one of the best teachers in the universe.”
Pity poor Albert Einstein. He is on more Facebook posters endorsing more causes and claims than he could ever have dreamed possible; sometimes he even uses modern colloquialisms in the quotes.

He's Einstein - if he said it, it must be smart.

There is just one problem, aside from the fact that he never said most of the things those glorified infographics claim he said - he was only smart about one thing. If you are taking his word about anything else, you are no different than if you take a Starbuck's barista's word on bST in milk. 
Do you want to inhale your whisky rather than drink it, or maybe print a smell? Harvard professor David Edwards can make it happen.

More intriguingly, he has created an edible skin meant to replace traditional food packaging, as part of his Wikifoods effort.  Skin on ice cream sounds kind of gross, except an apple has skin, a banana has a skin, an orange has a skin. He is just replacing regular packaging with an edible container.


When the traditional American mafia was at its apex, they would 'launder' their money through legitimate businesses. If a mafia drug lord wanted to have anything approaching a worthwhile life, cars and rings and goomahs, but did not want to go the route of Al Capone and be busted for tax evasion, he had to find a way to make enough money appear to be legitimate that the illegal money can be used. So they would invest in businesses that provided them with income that could be taxed and explain their lifestyles, allowing them to use the much greater illegal money.
If you make an arbitrary decision not to vaccinate your child, and a bunch of people get sick, should you go to jail, just like if you starve a child or let them live in feces?

Though we once got a promise to restore science to its rightful place, instead it looks more and more of the same anti-science mentality we got from President Clinton in the 1990s: Catering to environmental fringe groups - even going to far as declaring a small oyster farm "heavy industry" in order to shut them down.

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, as staunch a liberal as we can get, tried to take a stand for science and small business but was unable to prevent the Department of the Interior from "using scientifically unsound, and at times bizarre, tactics to prove the oyster farm had to go."
Science media is a tough place to be independent and it just got tougher. Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, the part of the family company that owns Nature and Scientific American and others, with  Springer Science+Business Media, investment banked by BC Partners. Macmillan Science and Education, namely Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan and the global businesses of Macmillan Education will all be under the same banner.