June 24, 2010

Lasers Used to Uncover Oldest Known Paintings of Apostles
Twenty-first century laser technology has opened a window into the early days of the Catholic Church, guiding researchers through the dank, musty catacombs beneath Rome to a startling find: the first known icons of the apostles Peter and Paul. Vatican officials unveiled the paintings, discovered along with the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew in an underground burial chamber beneath an office building on a busy street in a working-class Rome neighborhood. (Nicole Winfield, Associated Press)

Surveillance Impact Assessment
What is the likely impact of ubiquitous surveillance on our moral personalities? How might the advent of the surveillance society affect a person’s moral education and development? How does it alter the opportunities for moral growth? Does it render obsolete the Kantian emphasis on acting from a sense of duty as opposed to acting out of self-interest? (Emrys Westacott, Philosophy Now)

Where Does Evil Come From?
What drives a person to commit unspeakable acts of evil and depravity? We turned to forensic psychologist Stephen Diamond, author of the Evil Deeds blog on Psychology Today for the answer. (James Williams, Discovery News)

You, in Digital
What fascinates me in particular is the idea that an avatar stitched together from crumbs of personal information harvested from across the Web might behave, or evolve, in a different way to one that you created as a straight copy of yourself—in other words, it could be a truer version of you than you are able, or willing, to reveal. (Roger Highfield, Telegraph)

“The Beauty Bias”
Here, Deborah Rhode, a law professor at Stanford University, reveals five damaging myths about beauty. (Steven Levingston, Political Bookworm, The Washington Post)

What We’re Learning From the New Australopithecus Afarensis Fossil (Called “Kadanuumuu,” or Big Man)
“The difference between Australopithecus and humans is much less than everyone expected,” said Owen Lovejoy, a Kent State University paleoanthropologist. “Upright walking and running were pretty advanced at 3.6 million years ago, and they didn’t change much over the next 2 million years.” (Brandon Keim, Wired Science, Wired.com)

Category: Field Notes

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