Image Source: ars technica | Gregory F. Maxwell/Wikimedia Commons
It’s bizarre but true: wire recording is the longest-lasting capture format in audio history, one that paved the way for reel-to-reel tapes and a host of others—even though most people today, and some techies included, have barely heard of it. READ MORE: Forgotten audio formats: Wire recording | Ars Technica
There are some books that are simply too delicate to crack open — the last thing you want to do is destroy an ornate medieval Bible simply because you’re curious about its contents. If MIT has its way, though, you won’t have to stay away. Its scientists have crafted a computational imaging system that can read the individual pages of a book while it’s closed. Their technology scans a book using terahertz radiation, and relies on the tiny, 20-micrometer air gaps between pages to identify and scan those pages one by one. A letter interpretation algorithm (of the sort that can defeat captchas) helps make sense of any distorted or incomplete text. READ MORE: MIT uses radiation to read closed books | engadget
Scientists have been arguing over the authenticity of an ancient document called the Grolier Codex for 50 years. A new analysis published in a special section of the journal Maya Archaeology has concluded that the codex is indeed genuine, making it the oldest surviving manuscript from the pre-Colombian era. READ MORE: Controversial Maya Codex Is the Real Deal After All | Gizmodo
Science illuminates the dark night when the Greek poet looked to the heavens, lonely for her lover. Due to tantalizing hints in the poem, scholars have long debated when it was written. Now, thanks to software used to simulate night skies in planetariums, scientists have figured it out. READ MORE: Software solves the mystery of a 2,500 year-old poem by Sappho | Ars Technica
At a dig outside Florence, a group of researchers have unearthed a massive stone tablet, known as a stele, covered in Etruscan writing. The 500-pound stone is 4 feet high and was once part of a sacred temple display. But 2500 years ago it was torn down and used as a foundation stone in a much larger temple. READ MORE: Rare example of lost language found on stone hidden 2500 years ago | Ars Technica
The 17th century manuscript, which was handwritten by Isaac Newton, describes a procedure for making mercury—a substance that alchemists thought could turn lead into gold. Sir Isaac Newton Image: Godfrey Kneller As reported in Chemistry World, the US Chemical Heritage Foundation has purchased the document, which languished in a private collection for decades. The newly surfaced manuscript was authored by an American chemist but handwritten and owned by Isaac Newton.
Source: Rediscovered Manuscript Shows How Isaac Newton Dabbled In Alchemy
Gregory Heyworth is a textual scientist; he and his lab work on new ways to read ancient manuscripts and maps using spectral imaging technology. In this fascinating talk, watch as Heyworth shines a light on lost history, deciphering texts that haven’t been read in thousands of years. How could these lost classics rewrite what we know about the past? Source: Gregory Heyworth: How I’m discovering the secrets of ancient texts | TED.com
This craft used to be a man’s world, but these women changed the game. READ MORE: 12 Women Artists Who Revolutionized Print-Making | HuffPost
Back in the 1950s and 60s, General Electric created a comic book series to help spark interest and excitement in science and engineering. Now the brand has teamed up with Wattpad to bring “Adventures in Science” back to life for a new generation, but with a bit of a twist.
The comic covers still look straight out of the ’60s, but the brand invited six of the writing social app’s most popular writers to create new science-fiction inspired by the old school comic series. The new fiction…is based on the real work of GE scientists and tackles topics from GE’s digital industrial portfolio like transportation, power and water, health care, and energy. READ MORE: General Electric And Wattpad Combine Modern Science With Old School Sci-Fi Comics | FastCompany
Tracking the lightning quick development of modern cities is easy with Google Street View, but the [Venice Time Machine] project aims to provide context for the past 1,000 years of urban evolution in Venice, Italy. The Venice Time Machine will digitize and catalog a staggering amount of historical documents—a combined 50 miles worth of shelves!—then turn the data into an internet archive and adaptable 3D model. READ MORE: How To Scan 50 Miles of Historical Documents Into an Online Archive | Gizmodo