Sealed with a kiss
This discovery about a secret Viking message is special - and will put a big smile on your face. For years researchers have tried to crack a Viking rune alphabet known as Jötunvillur. It is found in some 80 inscriptions, including the one above, which dates from the 11th or 12th century. Recently the news broke that a runologist in Norway was successful. It turns out that you had to replace the rune character with the last letter of the sound it produced. So the rune for “f”, which was pronounced like “fe”, represented an “e”. And so researchers were able to decode the 900-year-old message on the piece of wood above, which turned out to be - wait for it… - “Kiss me”! It gets better, however. It turns out that coding and decoding such messages was a playful game, a leisure activity. This is clear from the fact that some of the inscriptions invite the reader to solve the code, stating for example “Interpret these runes.” This, of course, makes the discovery of the “Kiss me” message even more sensational. The kiss was no doubt the reward for the successful individual who cracked this particular message. Two Viking lovers entertaining themselves with a playful coding game - that came with a delightful climax. Awesome.
More information: this Norwegian article originally reported the story, which is also the source of the image (made by Jonas Nordby, the researcher who cracked the code). I picked up the story from the invaluable Medievalists blog (here).
hidden rune smooch secrets
Elephants Know How Dangerous We Are From How We Speak
Elephants pay attention when we speak, a new study in Kenya shows.
When an elephant killed a Maasai woman collecting firewood near Kenya’s Amboseli National Park in 2007, a group of young Maasai men retaliated by spearing one of the animals.
"It wasn’t the one that had killed the woman, says Graeme Shannon, a behavioral ecologist at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins. "It was just the first elephant they encountered—a young bull on the edge of a swamp."
The Maasai spiked him with spears and, their anger spent, returned home. Later, the animal died from his wounds.
Elephants experience those kinds of killings sporadically. Yet the attacks happen often enough that the tuskers have learned that the Maasai—and Maasai men in particular—are dangerous.
The elephants in the Amboseli region are so aware of this that they can even distinguish between Ma, the language of the Maasai, and other languages, says a team of researchers, who report their findings today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For a related paper, check out this article on elephants classifying human ethnic groups based on clothing and olfactory cues.
America’s prisons are dangerously overcrowded, and the war on drugs is mainly to blame.
Over 50 percent of inmates currently in federal prison are there for drug offenses, according to an infographic recently released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (see chart below). That percentage has risen fairly consistently over decades, all the way from 16 percent in 1970.
The second-largest category, immigration-related crimes, accounts for 10.6 percent of inmates. This means that people convicted of two broad categories of nonviolent crimes — drugs and immigration — make up over 60 percent of the U.S. prison population.
i would like to see an infographic on the types of drugs people are in for, as well as if there are additional charges to those people
you kids these days with your rapidly growing concern for the state of the world and your knowledge of important issues at increasingly younger ages despite having been told your opinions don’t matter by the adults who put you in these situations
How dare you not accept your promised lifetime of crippling debt and belittlement by the generations that precede you with grace and silent gratitude.
If you didn’t want life to be like this, maybe you shouldn’t have been born into a hostile socioeconomic climate completely beyond your control.
And no, that is not an invitation for you to change it.
goddamn it lucas don’t you judge me DON’T YOU JUDGE ME
Ok, now I know I’ve spent too much time browsing Modcloth because I recognize that cardigan.
the les mis fandom actually terrifies me because its been around for like 300 years in some form and every so often a movie happens and it rises like a sea serpent from the ocean, swallows two of my dearest friends and retreats beneath the waves for another few centuries
how old are you