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By Gertjan Filarski | Books, museums, arts & the humanities with steps into archeology. Classic and digital methods. Twitter: @GertjanF

The city that makes Rome blush: 5 reasons why Palmyra's ruins are so important

The fate of one of the world's most important archaeological treasures hangs in the balance after the Islamist militant group ISIS overwhelmed the historic city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmur.

The city contains the ruins of what, according to UNESCO, "was one of the most important cultural centers …

Rome

Do Books have a Future? An Interview with Robert Darnton

Published 22 May 201522 May 2015

In a 2011 interview, I asked the American cultural historian and academic librarian how he sees the future of the …

Book Publishing

Turning Van Gogh's The Night Cafe into virtual reality

American artist Mac Cauley has created a virtual reality experience based on Vincent van Gogh's The Night Cafe.

Cauley spent months creating 3D environments based on the 2D image of the famous painting.

As a result, the 'viewer' can experience the painting in 360 degrees.

BBC Click spoke to the artist …

Virtual Reality

ISIS vs. 3D Printing

Men descend on the venerated space, laying waste to anything they can topple. Armed with sledgehammers, power drills, and cellphone cameras, they leave dust and stones in their wake, mere suggestions of the priceless artifacts proudly displayed only hours before. What little fragments are left of …

Art

With Friends like These, the Humanities Don't Need Enemies

Enrollment in the liberal arts and humanities continues to sink, particularly in languages and literature. At Harvard, for example, almost 60 percent …

Humanities

Do Touch The Artwork At Prado's Exhibit For The Blind

It's a warning sign at art museums around the world: "Don't touch the artwork."

But Spain's famous Prado Museum is changing that, with an exhibit where visitors are not only allowed to touch the paintings — they're encouraged to do so.

The Prado has made 3-D copies of some of the most renowned works …

Blindness

Where The Ancients Saw Miracles, Science May Find Climate Answers

At the intersection of myths and industry

We tend to think of oil and gas as a resource that was only utilized by humans once we entered the industrial age and our appetite for oil exploded. But unlike in Civilization V, oil doesn't just appear out of nowhere as soon as you upgrade to a new …

Climate

Palmyra's Ancient Ruins Unharmed for Now: Syria Antiquities Chief

Syria's antiquities chief said on Tuesday the historic city of Palmyra had been unharmed since ultra-radical Islamic State insurgents seized it from state control last week.

Maamoun Abdulkarim said he was still afraid the jihadist group would blow up Palmyra's 2,000-year-old Roman ruins at Palmyra …

Palmyra

Cuneiform: 6 things you (probably) didn’t know about the world’s oldest writing system

Now, the curators of the world’s largest collection of cuneiform tablets – housed at the British Museum – have written a book exploring the history …

Writing

Project Offers a 3D Look at the Roman Empire

Durham, NC -

A virtual bird's eye view of Reggio Emilia during the Roman Empire.

For many people, the Roman Empire is an abstraction -- a series of …

Archaeology

John Nash's Indelible Contribution To Economic Analysis

John F. Nash, one of the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century and subject of the 2001 film, “A Beautiful Mind”, died this past weekend along with his wife in a New Jersey taxi accident while returning from Oslo to accept the Abel Prize in mathematics, one of the most prestigious …

Economics

Philip Zimmermann: king of encryption reveals his fears for privacy

When Philip Zimmermann was campaigning for nuclear disarmament in the 1980s, he kept an escape plan in his back pocket. The inventor of the world’s most widely used email encryption system, Pretty Good Privacy – more commonly known as PGP – was ready to move his family from Colorado to New Zealand …

Privacy

Five hundred new fairytales discovered in Germany

A whole new world of magic animals, brave young princes and evil witches has come to light with the discovery of 500 new fairytales, which were locked away in an archive in Regensburg, Germany for over 150 years. The tales are part of a collection of myths, legends and fairytales, gathered by the …

Fairy Tales

The Most Popular Book Set in Each State — in One Surprising Map

America loves Stephen King, and it especially loves The Stand.
As we've found with movies and TV shows, the most popular books set in each state can …

Maps

John Nash, 'Beautiful Mind' mathematician, and wife die in car crash

Their marriage, and Nash's Nobel-worthy work on game theory, were at the heart of the 2001 film. At the time of their deaths, John was 86 years old …

Game Theory

The Weather Experiment by Peter Moore review – storms and sunny intervals in 19th-century meteorology

It was 1854, and Robert FitzRoy was awaiting government funding for a nascent Met Office that might forecast the weather. But he was literally laughed out of town. A supportive MP, proposing an increase in the £3,200 allocated because “we might know in this metropolis the condition of the weather …

Weather

Medieval Bargain Books

If you are like me, you probably have two types of books on your shelves: some are new, others are second-hand. The two are very different entities: …

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Recurrent Neural Networks

There's something magical about Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs). I still remember when I trained my first recurrent network for Image Captioning. …

Mathematics Education

The AI Revolution: Our Immortality or Extinction

Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series on AI. Part 1 is here.

We have what may be an extremely difficult problem with an unknown time to solve it,

Listening to the Medieval book

If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources for Khan Academy.

If you're behind a web filter, please make …

Medieval

GoPro to the Middle Ages

In 2004, the first GoPro video camcorders went on sale – and soon the company gained a reputation for making high-quality cameras that could record …

Middle Ages

Google shows how pathetic those security questions really are

Technically Incorrect: Your mother's maiden name? The name of your first dog? Easy meat for a hacker. Got a clever answer instead? Just try …

Security

How Nazi secret police files could stop terror attacks

The Nazi secret police were among the first to use geoprofiling to locate resistance fighters based on leaflets they distributed. Now scientists believe similar methods could track terror cells.

Nazi secret police files detailing the hunt for resistance fighters in Berlin during World War 2 could be …

Terrorism

Open Source Software to Catalogue Cultural Heritage Before a Crisis

The Apamea archaeological site in Syria in 2009 (photo by Arian Zwegers, via Flickr)

Cultural heritage management tends to suffer from limited funding …

Open Source

Jeremy Howard: The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn | Talk Video | TED.com

What happens when we teach a computer how to learn? Technologist Jeremy Howard shares some surprising new developments in the fast-moving field of …

YouTube

The true face of Shakespeare: further evidence of its authenticity

We expected that a storm of controversy would be provoked by the article in Country Life (May 20) in which I identify William Shakespeare on the …

Country Life

Latin American authors reshaping world literature, Stanford literary scholar says

Stanford scholar Héctor Hoyos' research goes beyond famed writers to uncover a whole generation of Latin American authors who are contributing novel …

3,400 years after her death, scientists track a girl's travels

In 1921, archaeologists exploring an ancient burial mound near Egtved, a village in Denmark, unearthed the grave of a girl estimated to have been 16 to 18 years old when she died.

Not much remained of her body — only some hair, teeth, nails, and bits of skin and brain — but scholars could tell a lot …

Archaeology

The Humanities and Science Share the Virtues of Empiricism and Skepticism

Humanities