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recreating the Smells of 16th Century Europe

nose smell - pixabay

History is written, read, told — but rarely ever is it smelled. Historians and scientists across Europe have now gotten together with perfumers and museums for a unique project: to capture what Europe smelled like between the 16th and early 20th centuries. A European street today may smell like coffee, fresh-baked bread and cigarettes. But what did it smell like hundreds of years ago? As part of this three-year-long project called “Odeuropa,” the researchers want to find all the old scents of Europe — and even recreate some of this ancient smellscape: from the dry tobacco scents and the earthy … Read more

SPACE: ESA Plans New Rover to Search Mars for Life

Rosalind the Rover

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced today (Feb. 7) that its next Mars rover will be named for Rosalind Franklin, the late British scientist, who was behind the discovery of DNA’s double-helix structure. ESA’s ExoMars rover, “Rosalind the rover,” is scheduled to launch to the Red Planet in 2020 and then land in 2021 on a mission to look for signs of life, or extinct life. Chosen from 36,000 suggestions, the name was revealed at the Airbus facility in Stevenage, in the United Kingdom, where the rover is being assembled. Full Story: Megan Gannon, Live Science

Europa’s 50-Foot Ice Spikes – Live Science

Europe - NASA

It’s almost as if Europa has something to protect, something that it doesn’t want us to see. The moon of Jupiter has a saltwater ocean that scientists have long proposed visiting, because at least some researchers think it might contain extraterrestrial life. But there could be a problem: Scientists now report that there’s a good chance 50-foot (15 meters) ice blades defend this fascinating place. In a new paper published yesterday (Oct. 8) in the journal Nature Geoscience, researchers likened the environment at Europa to high altitudes on Earth. In those spots, when the sun blasts fields of ice, it … Read more

Old Stones Bearing Warnings Resurface in Central Europe

Hunger Stone

Old stones bearing ominous messages have resurfaced in a river in Central Europe, according to news reports. Over the course of centuries, Europeans marked low water levels during droughts by carving lines and dates into boulders along the Elbe River, which runs from the Czech Republic into Germany. The idea was that if water levels dipped low enough to reveal an old carving, it would signal to locals that dry, hungry times — similar to those experienced in the marked year — were coming. Over a dozen of these “hunger stones” have reappeared in the Elbe this year, amid a … Read more

ARCHEOLOGY: Ancient Europeans had a Thing for Balls

stone age balls - Live Science

Some of the most enigmatic human-made objects from Europe’s late Stone Age — intricately carved balls of stone, each about the size of a baseball — continue to baffle archaeologists more than 200 years after they were first discovered. More than 500 of the enigmatic objects have now been found, most of them in northeast Scotland, but also in the Orkney Islands, England, Ireland and one in Norway. Archaeologists still don’t know the original purpose or meaning of the Neolithic stone balls, which are recognized as some of the finest examples of Neolithic art found anywhere in the world. But … Read more