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Hello, Scholars (& Friends!)

My undergrad degree was in philosophy and I passed the bar exam in 2012 (oof) so now I teach (yay). My interests are broad and varied; I enjoy reading academic papers on random topics like feudalism and the role of priestesses in ancient Rome.

I'm working on an epic fantasy novel inspired by the environmental crises in northeast Africa, but I won't talk much about the writing process nearly as often as I'll squee about obscure research dives.

One of the cool things I learned recently from the folks over at Classical Wisdom is that in Ancient Greece, most of the known female painters were themselves the daughters of artists.

Here's some other neat stuff I learned about art history lately:

Thanks to following the @ScienceDaily bot on mastodon, I recently learned that Mexican food, with its many uses for different hot peppers, may be one of the world's oldest cuisines.

Plus, most pre-Columbian protein apparently came from easy-to-harvest insects like ants, grasshoppers, manuey worms, & jumil bugs. There was also super useful blue algae that was harvested with nets.

I collated more information about the history of food for my newsletter if you're curious:

I had a lot of fun exploring this overgrown amphitheater in Germany. The locals turned it into an orchard after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, but it was in surprisingly good condition. One could easily imagine watching a horse race from the surrounding hilltop.
In Germany's Black Forest, there exists a neat little "map" pointing out all the different nearby mountain peaks, what they're called, and how high they are.

It was surprisingly easy to interpret, and feels like the sort of monument / monolith that would be handy for navigating a mountain range in a world with limited infrastructure.

Hey does anyone have the following PDFs? I have tried Sci-hub, Library Genesis and my library.

10.4324/9781315582283-18 - A brief history of Dudeism (from Fiction, Invention and Hyper-reality: From popular culture to religion)

10.4324/9780429301384 - Permitted and Prohibited Desires

10.1201/9781003123675 - Crypto Wars: The Fight for Privacy in the Digital Age

Thank you to anyone who can help me.

Don't go all to #Stripe just because they're your nextdoor Big Tech payment provider :D

There are other payment providers, and I realize I should start keeping track of them as well on the #delightful #funding candidate list 🤔

Went to one of the oldest German sawmills still in use and saw this delightful little car on some tracks leading into the mill, like something out of an old cartoon. It was pretty neat to see this kind of stuff in person!
I can't decide if this fountain thing is INCREDIBLE or INCREDIBLY IMPRACTICAL. How would one repair it? Would it ever need to be repaired? How does it work? I don't know, but I wish I knew how to find out!

**Wise old elephants keep the young calm**

"Male elephants are more aggressive when fewer older males are present, new research suggests."

#science #news #bot

Does anyone know of any resources where if I plug in a color, it'll spit back out an appropriate accessible color that is similar?

Telling me a particular color isn't accessibility-friendly is useful, but it's less useful than giving me an alternative instead of plugging in seventeen different progressively less similar colors until I find a good one...

I'm not the world's best photographer or anything, but I feel like I got a pretty hilarious shot of this squirrel when I was in Germany.

**Crows keep special tools extra safe**

"Just like humans, New Caledonian crows are particularly careful when handling their most valuable tools, according to a new study. The research reveals that crows are more likely to store relatively complex and efficient foraging tools for future use than more basic tools."

#science #news #bot

Time to learn about urban and suburban farming.

And also regular farming.

Who here is doing that work?

Do I know anyone with expertise in Essex's Rebellion (England, c. 1601), specifically the trial of Essex and Southampton? Bonus points if you have access to rare or obscure academic materials.

I know a (published) historical fiction author looking for materials, and I'd love to connect you.

Around 4,000 years ago, the Khoisan of southern Africa built stone dams along the shoreline as a fishing technique.

During high tide, seawater would flow into the areas behind the dams.

Later, the water filtered out between the stones. Fish got stranded in the pools behind the dams. This made them easy to catch.

As far as I know, coastal communities are still maintaining and using these structures.

Learn more about ancient fishing techniques:

Is this a bird bath? A fountain? A weird toilet? I don't know, because I forgot to caption all this stuff when I took the photos 3 years ago when I was actually in Germany, alas.

Does anybody have a really good primer on like, idolatry in the ancient world and what scholars really mean when they use the word "idols" in the context of ancient religion (and not, like, pop culture icons)?

Google is too muddy and JSTOR is too technical and I'm out of ideas.

When some lizards are threatened, they drop their tails to evade predators, then grow a new one over a few weeks In most cases, the new tail is supported by cartilage, instead of bones and nerves. Scientists figured out how to implant gene-edited neural stem cells into adult lizards to get them to regrow "perfect" new tails.

There's a ton of awesome science out there about regeneration & regrowth that's useful for writing about immortality.

I collated some here:

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Scholar Social

Scholar Social is a microblogging platform for researchers, grad students, librarians, archivists, undergrads, academically inclined high schoolers, educators of all levels, journal editors, research assistants, professors, administrators—anyone involved in academia who is willing to engage with others respectfully.