Various articles on science

Egyptian bird flu resistant to Tamiflu


After the worldwide scare of bird flu, Egypt saw several cases. Not surprising since Egypt is on one of the main migratory routes for birds from Europe and Asia south to Africa. The flu is caused by a strain of avian influenza virus called H5N1. Governments have been stockpiling Tamiflu, an oral medication for flu, in anticipation of a worldwide pandemic.

Pseudoscience: Paul Chiasson and the Island of Seven Cities


It seems that Gavin Menzies is not the only person who claims that the Chinese discovered the Americas before Columbus.Paul Chiasson, a Toronto architect and amateur archeologist, claims that some ruins at Cape Breton are indeed due to Chinese navigators who circumnavigated around Africa and came to Cape Breton and settled there. He claims that Mi'kmaq natives were culturally influenced by those alleged Chinese navigators too.

Drinking tea has health benefits


A new study shows that tea is mostly beneficial to the health.Tea cuts down the chances for heart attacks, has flouride in it and hence good for teeth, and has antioxidants in it as well, which although not conclusively cancer-preventing, has other benefits.Tea is also a source of fluid. The myth that tea causes dehydration, because of its caffeine content, has been debunked.All this is good news to me, since tea is my main source of fluid. The only downsides are the caffeine content of tea, which is less than coffee, and its prevention of iron absorption if taken around meal times.

King Tut's Necklace Gem Is Actually Natural Glass From Meteorite Impact


The BBC has an article on how a gem in one of King Tut's necklaces is actually made of natural glass that formed from a meteorite that exploded over the Western Desert.Here is an article on on the crater, called El Kebira ( الكبيرة "The Big" in Arabic), and here is a satellite photo.

Pseudo science: Mega Tsunami on May 25, 2006


Some time ago, a few days after the December 2004 South Asia Tsunami, I wrote about the mega tsunami in the Atlantic ocean. This is a disaster waiting to happen anytime. Others have predicted a definite date for a Tsunami of May 25, 2006, but caused by a comet and more interesting stuff. Today, I got a comment (which I unpublished) and an email from a "friend".  Here is the email, and then a discussion of it:

George Saliba of Columbia University on Islamic Science


Dr. George Saliba of Columbia University gave a lecture at Princeton on Islamic science. A few years back, I attended a lecture he gave at the University of Waterloo, and wrote about it. I got his permission to republish some of his articles as well. I later started digging some of what he discussed, and the result was many articles on my site about Leo Africanus, Joseph Barbatus, Elmacinus, Erpenius, Rhazes, Alhazen and Ibn Khaldun.

Two Canadian educational web sites on Astronomy and Space


I ran across two Canadian educational web site, closely related.CASCA Education has nice background articles on Astronomy, specially in Canadian history, as well as modern famous Canadian astronomers. SpaceNow focuses on Space and has articles ranging from the Space Elevator to Human Mars Exploration.

Pseudoscience: Gavin Menzies: 1421 The Year China Discovered The World


On 21 July 2004 on PBS, there was a two hour program about Zheng He. Zheng He was a Muslim eunuch in the service of the Ming Emperor of China. Zheng He commissioned, built and commanded a Chinese Imperial fleet that sailed through the Strait of Malacca, and into the Indian Ocean to Calicut, possibly East Africa, and other countries.

They also reviewed Gavin Menzies proposal that Zheng He sailed all the way to America, and even established colonies there, as told in his book, 1421: the Year China Discovered the World, and on his web site.

Similarities in unrelated Languages


Language similarities between apparently unrelated languages is quite a prevalent phenomenon, regardless of what the underlying reasons in each case are. Here is a link that clearly shows that totally unrelated languages can have the same words for the same concepts or objects.And how likely are chance resemblances between languages? Quite likely actually. according to this statistical study on the Zompist web site.


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