Scientists believe that the function of zebras' stripes are to deter insects, so a team of researchers painted black and white stripes on cows. They found that it reduced the number of biting flies landing on the cows by more than 50%
[full paper: buff.ly/2Iwp6nj]

I am speaking about ancient spears at the online International Ancient Warfare Conference on Saturday, the Zoom is open to the public and I may share my talk later bookandsword.com/2022/06/21/cr @JubalBarca @eleanorkonik

self-hosted Wordpress creepy 

@bookandswordblog I have had my share of issues with Ghost, but nothing like this 😬

What's everybody's favorite mythical, legendary, folkloric, or just plain ole ancient smith?

Bonus points for the really obscure ones!

Mine is the Dark Smith of Drontheim aka Loan Maclibuin, a legendary Norwegian smith that forms the basis of Zee from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.

FOSS Rec? (Help Wanted) 

@joepie91 @Lindsaythelibrarian

My understanding is that they've received some funding from venture capitalists and places like Facebook. I forget if they have a monetization plan coming, maybe stuff like paying for sync services or other premium features?

It's one of the reasons I prefer Obsidian, tbh, but Obsidian isn't FOSS.

@srol I don't mind if the article involves shocking information, just, I'm looking for stuff written in a genuinely skilled and compelling way moreso than "I remember this because it's about a crane that fell in love with a human!" (which I remember more because of the wtfery of it all)

@bipolaron non-human subjects is great, I love Atlas Obscura for example. If there's a better word for that let me know!

@Cyborgneticz
Got a review back recently saying that a certain ascetic source and a hagiographic source aren't thematically connected, because the latter "is clearly about jewelry." Ok, then what is the "most precious pearl" mentioned over and over and over all about?

Does anyone have a piece of longform journalism that really stuck with you for a long time after you read it, particularly for being a well-written narrative as opposed to something shocking?

I'm looking for examples of really good non-book-length nonfiction storytelling.

@badri Oh, nice list! I wonder why Google didn't give me it when I searched. Blasted algorithms :(

two-handed swords in Warring States China 

Two-handed swords were common in southern China by 300 BCE, but in Europe they don't become common until after 1200 CE.

Dr. Ben Judkins argues that this was possible not because of developments in metallurgy, but because of the mighty Asian rhinoceros and armour made from its hide chinesemartialstudies.com/2020 @eleanorkonik

Have you noticed that you can't see the numbers on the boosts and favourites from the timeline, only after you click on a post? This is another great feature, not a bug. This works against the gamification you see in corporate social media sites. Preventing the economy of likes and retweets that drives behaviours elsewhere. I personally love this.

#Feditips

Any recommendations for cosy or novels (or short story collections!) to sink my nose into? I'm thinking along the lines of Elizabeth Bear's white space novels, or basically anything by Becky Chambers.

I'm currently researching guard animals other than dogs and I feel like there should be more than two, but it's surprisingly hard to find a good search term that gives me results other than dogs or geese.

So if I want to "live" in one instance of Mastodon, but want to follow the stream of another instance, is that possible?

I don't like wading into Meta Discourse but since it is clogging my TL right now: if you want people to spread out better over the Fediverse etc etc, tooting that people shouldn't join Masto dot social is not very useful in isolation. Tell people where you think people SHOULD go instead, and not just "a smaller instance", share specific recommendations of "if you're interested in X, go to Y.Z" that will help people point their friends in the right direction!

I was just reminded that markdown+pandoc is a kickass, open source combo that not everyone might be aware of.

Markdown is a super simple rich text markup language that I use every day for notes, recipes, instant messaging, and longer texts like essays and blog posts. It's even supported on most Mastodon instances.

Pandoc is an "under the hood" tool that allows you to convert any document to pretty much any other format worth using. It supports bibliographies and citations in markdown files.

So I guess it's time for my

I'm Andrea, a landscape archaeologist based in Rome. I did my PhD on spatial distribution of Iron Age archaeological sites along the Euphrates river.

Currently, I am working on remote sensing tools applied to cultural heritage and arch. landscape studies, plus on Historic Landscape Characterization in the Near East, and similar.

Super happy to have found this community on Mastodon!

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Scholar Social

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